To War in a Wellington

Bill McRae at the controls of a Wellington Bomber

Bomber Command was luck. I realised early on you were expendable. After training you were very keen — you wanted to dash into it. When you got into it you realised you were bloody well expendable. You’ve only got someone to say, ‘There’s the target. Go for it.’ And you were gone.


Bill’s crew before leaving England

Hardships and dangers

Bill’s crew probably after their last operation.

A part of history

Bill McRae flew 43 Operations in World War II based in North Africa and Malta. He took some amazing photographs and (contrary to regulations) kept a comprehensive diary.  Bill and his crew faced deadly anti-aircraft fire and enemy fighters to attack Axis shipping and ground forces in North Africa and Crete. Bill’s words and images provide a unique insight into the dangers and hardships of war in the air.


This site is dedicated to keeping alive the experiences of Bill and his crew. His diary and photographs have been collated into a book available in hardback and softback from Blurb publishing

Extracts and photographs are available on these pages.




Bill bombed Tobruk several times – this entry is from the 148 Squadron Operations Record Book 14 August 1942.