The Pathfinder Year - 97 Squadron at Bourn
S/L Dunnicliffe (left, and below with his crew in March 1944) was the acting Commanding Officer on the night of Black Thursday, 16-17 December 1943. 

He had only taken over from Group Captain N H Fresson on 15th December when Fresson was posted to RAF Snaith. Dunnicliffe was well-liked and a very capable officer, but his was only a temporary caretaking appointment - Wing Commander E J Carter would succeed him as CO three weeks later, on 7th January 1944.


After Black Thursday, the terrible task befell Dunnicliffe of sending 28 letters to the bereaved families, and a further 8 letters to the families of the Brill crew who were missing (and later were confirmed as all killed over Berlin). It is his signature that appears on all the condolence letters.