R.M. Sanderson crew 10.10.40 †

09/08/1940 – Bombing Attacks on Target L.84.
Nine Wellington aircraft from this Unit took off to attack targets L.84 and Z.53. Eight were detailed to attack L.84 and one Z.53. Latter target not attacked by CB.744 who was detailed, as area searched for 1 ½ hours, but ground obscured by 10/10 cloud at 2,000feet, therefore bombs brought back to Base. Other than this, operations on a whole were successful, although primary target not attacked in each case, but other military objectives. Original target not located by CB.728, but aerodrome at GLIZE attacked, releasing bombs in one stick from 5,000ft, bursts observed, but damage could not be estimated.
After dropping second flare CB.729 located target, and after this had died out dropped bombs in one stick from 9,000feet. Bright green flashes seen among bomb bursts, and several big explosions, and fires.
CB.730 reports, bombs dropped on target and fires started at 23.08 hours.
On way in to target L.84, CB.731 discovered EINDHOVEN aerodrome with boundary lights in, decided to bomb it, stick dropped on same and three bursts observed, large fires started by incendiaries, and all lights extinguished on aerodrome.
Bombs were dropped at 22.55 hours from 14,000ft by CB.732, bursts appeared to be South of target. Three separate level attacks were carried out by CB.733 from West to East, from 11,000ft. Five bursts observed on East side on first attack, on second run eight fierce fires started on West side, numerous small explosions, and one violent explosion with vivid white flash. Last attack, good steady run dropping two 18hr delay bombs. Nickels dropped over target prior to bombing.
Target located and precision bombed by CB.734, height 12,000ft. Three bombs observed to burst, unable to see results. After 1 ½ hours search, 3 bombs dropped on target L.84 by CB.735 and two bombs on flak battery at KOLN. Number of flares noticed over North Sea, some appeared to be in water, other of slow descending type.
A.A. fire exceptionally heavy over target area and all main towns, heavy flak improving in accuracy for height and direction. Searchlights very active over whole area. No enemy aircraft observed.
Weather rather hazy in RUHR area, making observations very difficult, low 10/10 cloud was met on returning to base. Navigation by D/R, visual fixes and homing bearings.

Wellington Mk.1c L.7857 AA-C
Raid No. CB.744 Z.53 (target not located)

P/O Eric Vernon Best, RAF 36236 – Pilot.
P/O Rex Martyn Sanderson, RAF 42727 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Harry Albert Goodwin, RAF 79573 – Navigator.
Sgt. Green, RAF – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Lawler, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Emmett Cerretti Joseph McMahon, RNZAF NZ39868 – Rear Gunner .

Take Off 21:40 – Landed 02:50
Flight Time 05:10

13/08/1940 – Bombing Attacks on Targets G.82, L.82, and D.7.
Of the nine aircraft detailed from this unit, eight were on bombing raids, while ninth, CB746 was to carry out Photographic reconnaissance of STETTIN DOCKS in Baltic. Weather again hindered operations, due to 10/10 cloud over practically whole of N.W. Germany.
CB750 reports, target area of G.82 obscured by 10/10 cloud from 600ft. Seaarch made, but no suitable target found in vicinity, so course set for base and bombs bought back.
Target not located by CB.751 owing to cloud. 3 250lbs. bombs and 1 – S.B.C. dropped at DORSEL on road and rail junction showing evenly spaced shaded lights. Incendiaries caused fires. Unable to ascertain damage owing to cloud.
Target located and believed bombed successfully by CB.752. Ground haze made it difficult to identify target accurately. Four bursts observed in target area.
CB.753 reports, both primary target and alternative target at FRANKFURT were covered with thick layer of cloud at 7,000ft. Bombs were brought back as no suitable target discovered, either in Germany or HOLLAND. Nickels dropped over FRANKFURT.
Stick of three bombs dropped on flare paths of aerodrome at VUGHT by CB.759. Bursts observed short of runway, at 22.20hrs. Target not located due to 10/10 cloud. Marshalling yards at ROERMOND bombed and fires started at 23.35 hours.
CB.760 reports, bursts appeared to straddle target, but observation difficult owing to haze.
Owing to low cloud and haze, target not located by CB.761 bombs were brought back.
CB.762 reports, bombs dropped at 23.30 hours. Explosions not seen owing to searchlights. Large fire seen in target area some minutes after course had been set for home.
CB.746, who was detailed to carry Photographic Reconnaissance, reports, photographs spoilt by either A.A. shell bursts or a searchlight.
No important observations or reconnaissance made. A.A. fire exceptionally heavy and accurate around target L.82. Little heavy flak received at G.82, but this all fired through 10/10 cloud.
Searchlights very active in RUHR. CB.746 reports, being attacked by an ME110 South of Kiel. The ME was eluded by going into cloud.
As for the weather, 10/10 cloud covered practically whole of areas detailed to bomb.
Navigation by D/R, and homing bearings, while CB.746 used Astro extensively, with great success.

Wellington Mk.1c L.7857 AA-C
Raid No. CB.760 L.82

P/O Eric Vernon Best, RAF 36236 – Pilot.
P/O Rex Martyn Sanderson RAF 42727 2nd Pilot.
P/O Harry Albert Goodwin, RAF 79573 – Navigator.
Sgt. Green, RAF – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Lawler, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Emmett Cerretti Joseph McMahon, RNZAF NZ39868 – Rear Gunner .

Take Off 21:10 – Landed 01:30
Flight Time 04:20

17/08/1940 – Bombing Attacks on Targets A.97, K.62 and M.434
Ten Wellington crews from No. 75(NZ) Squadron, were detailed to carry out bombing operations against the enemy. One aircraft, CB.606 (F/L. Adams) returned to base after being out 20 mins due to W/T electrical trouble, as sometime was taken over repairing this defect, that particular sortie was cancelled altogether.
Cb.793 unable to locate target owing to 10/10 cloud covering area, but owing to a shortage of petrol, bombs were jettisoned at D/R position 51° 26’ N, 10° 53’ E.
Numerous fires reported to be already burning in target area, when CB.794 bombed, and further large fires broke out after attack. Petrol tanks observed to explode, and high columns of thick black smoke rose from fires. Glare on cloud still visible for 15 minutes after leaving target.
A level attack made by CB.795 from 9,00ft and 5 – 250lbs. bombs dropped in stick. Incendiaries brought back owing to selector switch being accidentally knocked up. 250lbs. bombs caused two large explosions on large factory buildings.
CB.796 failed to locate target A.97 owing to 8/10 cloud and thick haze in area. After searching for half an hour course was set for SOEST. Marshalling Yards at SOEST attacked in shallow dive from 8,000 to 7,00 feet at 01.10hrs, a stick of 6 – 250lbs. bombs being dropped. Bursts not observed, owing to heavy accurate flak fire.
Target located at 23.30 hours by CB.799 and stick dropped across. Fire started and visible for considerable distance.
CB.800 reports, a level stick at 10,000ft. Bombs hit aerodrome. Incendiaries hit buildings casing thirteen distinct explosions and explosions were still appearing as aircraft set course for home. One good fire was left burning. Nickels dropped between KASSEL and ESCHWEGE.
CB.801 reports, bombs seen to fall on lines of Marshalling Yards.
CB.802 reports, identification of target made difficult by low cloud and ground haze. Flares dropped by other aircraft and half an hour spent in identifying target. Shallow dive attack from South and stick of bombs dropped on North end of target. Result and bursts not observed owing to cloud.
CB.807 reports, primary target not located owing to 9/ 10 cloud and haze. A string of lights which appeared to be an aerodrome attacked..
Balloons again reported to be flying in the RUHR area.
Heavy flak was experienced by most aircraft on target A.97 in the region of MUNSTER and UTRECHT. This was reported to be good for height and accuracy. Searchlights very numerous over the whole of the target area.
10/10 cloud was encountered practically over the whole of the route, with the exception of the RUHR.
Navigation was by D/R, visual observations, Astro and homing bearings.

Wellington Mk.1c L.7848 AA-V
Raid No. CB.802 M.434

P/O Richard Melville Curtis, RAF 42200 – Pilot.
P/O Rex Martyn Sanderson, RAF 42727 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. McMaster, RAFVR – Navigator.
Sgt. Trevor James Goodhue, RNZAF NZ38113 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Beckett, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. James Norman Ritchie, RNZAF NZ391386 – Rear Gunner .

Take Off 21:00 – Landed 02:10
Flight Time 05:10

19/08/1940 – Bombing Attacks on Targets D.4, A.17 and M.431
Ten Wellington aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out operations against enemy. For the attack on target D.4 at Kiel, weather was against the raiders, with result that main objective was not located, so secondary targets in that area were successfully bombed.
Bomb load consisted of 250lbs. bombs fused N.D.T. 250lbs. bombs fused 6 – 18hr delay, and containers of incendiaries.
CB.810 located target 9KIEL) and six bomb bursts were observed on subterranean oil plant North of the town on the river bank. The Battleship GNEISENAU was not observed owing to low cloud.
A stock of 6 – 250lbs bombs was dropped by CB.811 from 13,000 feet, on same target as CB.810. These were seen to burst across KRUPP’S yards.
CB.812 failed to locate the primary target owing to 10/10 cloud in the target area. The object of an attack was their DE KOOY aerodrome in Northern HOLLAND. Six 250lbs. bombs were dropped from a height of 5,000 feet. Bursts were observed but damage not estimated.
CB.813 did not attack primary target owing to cloud, even after making four runs. The buildings on the side of the fitting out basin 1,100 yards 200°T from Primary target were attacked by dive bombing 13,000 – 8,000ft. Bursts observed on area.
The target area was located by CB.814 from a height of 15,000 feet and after flying around at this height for 30 minutes bombs were dropped in stick along the bank. Owing to 7/10 cloud being over the target at the time, bomb bursts were unobserved.
CB.815 reports, that although a search was made for an hour he was unable to locate KIEL owing to low cloud and fog on the coast. At 02.00 hours a shallow dive attack at 8,000feet was carried out on WANGEROOGE aerodrome, a stick of 6 – 250lbs bombs being dropped. No results were observed.
CB.822 reports that owing to 10/10 cloud in target area, primary target was not attacked. Bombs were dropped from 6,000 feet in one stick on aerodrome at De Kooy. Believed hits but no accurate observation possible.
CB.823 reports that target was not located due to 10/10 cloud. Railway junction at WUNSTORF straddled with stick, and fire started at 23.45 hours.
Owing to 10/10 clod, CB.824 failed to locate the target. Enemy aerodrome in use at DIEPHOLZ bombed. 250lbs. bombs burst across flare path, incendiaries fell short. Two fires seen on North East corner of aerodrome.
CB.828 reports, that a high level attack was made from 11,500 feet and a stick was dropped from East to West. Hits were observed on target and one or two small fires were started.
The aerodrome at HURSEIM was clearly visible and three runways were observed, making pin-pointing easy. Balloons were observed flying up to 12,000ft around KIEL. A number of dummy flare paths were also in various sections.
A.A. Fire very intense over target D.4 and over all the North Frisians Islands.
Searchlights very active in all target areas. Weather :- 10/10 cloud was prevalent over the targets and most of route to same.
Navigation was by D/R, visual observations, and homing bearings. Astro was used by Sorties CB.812 and 813 with very good results.
All aircraft returned safely.

Wellington Mk.1c L.7848 AA-V
Raid No. CB.825 M.431

P/O Richard Melville Curtis, RAF 42200 – Pilot.
P/O Rex Martyn Sanderson, RAF 42727 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. McMaster, RAFVR – Navigator.
Sgt. Trevor James Goodhue, RNZAF NZ38113 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. James Norman Ritchie, RNZAF NZ391386 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Beckett, RAFVR – Rear Gunner .

Take Off 21:10 – Landed 02:25
Flight Time 05:15

24/08/1940 – Bombing Attacks on Targets A.161 and M.434
Eleven Wellington aircraft were detailed from this unit to carry out bombing operations against the enemy on the above targets. CB.837 (F/L. Adams) did not complete the sortie due to engine trouble when over enemy territory, he set course for base and jettisoned bombs in sea. The operations taken on the whole, were not very successful due to extremely bad weather conditions encountered.
A varied bomb load was carried between the eleven aircraft consisting of 250lbs., fused N.D.T., 250lbs, G.P. with delay action, 500lbs. G.P. fused N.D.T., and containers of 4lbs. incendiaries.
Target not located by CB.838, due to 10/10 cloud. Railway junction and landing ground at KOBLENZE bomber. Results unobserved due to bad haze.
Target located through hole in cloud by island in river, and bombed by CB.839. Results not observed.
CB.840 reports, primary target at FRANKFURT obscured owing to 10/10 cloud. Returned to target B.47 (KNAPSACK) and bombed. Unable to distinguish results of bombs although flashes observed. Nickels were dropped at KNAPSACK.
Attack was made by CB.841 from 11,000ft, the incendiaries being dropped first, so as to allow to make a run up with the 250lbs. bombs. A medium fire was still burning when target area was left.
CB.842 reports, targets A.151 and C.28 at FRANKFURT were not located owing to 10/10 dense cloud in area. Nickels dropped approximately 15 miles North of FRANKFURT. Dive bombing attack carried out at 5,000ft on LIMBURG aerodrome. Five bursts observed on North side of aerodrome some 200 yards from flare path and hangers. Red obstruction lights extinguished, but dim flare path remained on.
CB.834 reports, main target and two secondary targets not located owing to nine to ten tenths cloud. One 500lbs. bomb was dropped on a search-light by diving down beam. Two ships in YISMUNDEN harbour were attacked by dive bombing 4,00 – 2,000 feet, two 500;bs. N.D.T. bombs dropped. Hits or near misses reported.
CB.844 reports, owing to 9/10 cloud, primary target not located. Bombs dropped from 1,100ft on a factory on river bank East of HANAU. Bursts were observed in small buildings around main building. No fires observed.
Targets not located owing to 10/10 cloud by CB.848. Whole route from Great Britain to Eastern Germany said to be covered.
Bombs dropped by CB.849 on heavy flak batteries in target area. Again, results not observed due to 10/10 cloud.
CB.850 also reports that target not located owing to cloud.
Owing to the whole of the area being practically covered with 10/10 clouds, nothing of importance to relate as far as observations, and reconnaissance etc.
A.A. fire, heavy at most areas attacked., although 10/10 cloud prevailed, good accuracy was attained by the heavy batteries.
Searchlights were active as usual.
Navigation was by D/R, visual observations, homing bearing and Astro.
All aircraft returned safely.

Wellington Mk.1c L.7848 AA-V
Raid No. CB.849 M.434

P/O Richard Melville Curtis, RAF 42200 – Pilot.
P/O Rex Martyn Sanderson, RAF 42727 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. McMaster, RAFVR – Navigator.
Sgt. Trevor James Goodhue, RNZAF NZ38113 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Beckett, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. James Norman Ritchie, RNZAF NZ391386 – Rear Gunner .

Take Off 21:00 – Landed 03:00
Flight Time 06:00

26/08/1940 – Bombing Attacks on G.82, C.38 DUISBURG, ARNHEIM, and FLUSHING
Ten Wellington Crews from this Unit were detailed to carry out individual attacks against enemy objectives in enemy territory. Taken over all, the operations were very successfully, good weather being encountered at most targets. On the return journey CB.851 carried out an attack on a single engined aircraft in the region of NIVELLS, and shot down in flames.
The bomb load carried was made up of 500lbs G.P. bombs fused N.D.T., 250lbs bombs fused N.D.T., 250lbs G.P. bombs fused delay action, and containers of 4lbs. incendiaries.
CB.851 reports, due to heavy searchlights and A.A. fire on the run up to the main target, bombs were dropped on the secondary target C.38. Four bursts were observed, but damage could not be estimated due to avoiding action having to be taken, while hits are assumed.
No results seen from first stick of two bombs dropped by CB.852. Explosions and fire started by second stick of three bombs.
Stick of four bombs dropped to East of target, and small fires started by CB.853.
The target was located by CB.854, and a run up made from South to North at 23.20 hours. The bursts of two bombs were observed, these being approximately a mile South of the primary target. The results of the bursts were unobserved owing to intense searchlight activity at the time.
A stick was dropped by CB.856 from 13,000ft in a level attack. Three bursts were observed and three small fires started.
Owing to searchlights and haze, main target was not located by CB.857. Bombs were dropped on C.38 GRISCHEIM, from 12,000feet. Greenish flashes were observed in target area following burst of bombs, No fires observed.
Bombs dropped through clouds by CB.864 in DUISBURG – ESSEN area. Five A.A. gun emplacements bombed, but results not observed.
Target not located by CB.865 owing to low 10/10 cloud. Bombs were brought back.
CB.866 reports, original target (M.61) not located owing to thick cloud over area. Bombed aerodrome near ARNHEIM from 6,000feet and machine-gunned same from 2,000feet. Hits observed on hangar and on landing ground. Incendiaries overshot target and did no damage.
Five bombs were dropped over FLUSHING aerodrome by CB.874, bursts were observed, but not pin-pointed.
A large number of aerodromes were noticed to be carrying out night flying in HOLLAND, BELGIUM and FRANCE.
A.A. Fire was very heavy and accurate in the FRANKFURT area.
Searchlights active and very heavily concentrated in all main target areas.
CB.831 reports, attacking one twin engine Bomber (type unknown) as it was coming to land at NIVELLS aerodrome. The attack was successful, the Front Gunner shooting the aircraft down in flames and it crashed on the flare path.
Weather was perfect in the FRANKFURT area, but very cloudy in the RUHR district.
Navigation by D/R, homing bearings and Astro.

Wellington Mk.1c L.7848 dnc AA-V
Raid No. CB.865 M.61 (did not bomb)

P/O Richard Melville Curtis, RAF 42200 – Pilot.
P/O Rex Martyn Sanderson, RAF 42727 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. McMaster, RAFVR – Navigator.
Sgt. Trevor James Goodhue, RNZAF NZ38113 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Beckett, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. James Norman Ritchie, RNZAF NZ391386 – Rear Gunner .

Take Off 21:00 – Landed 02:40
Flight Time 05:40

29/08/1940 – Bombing Attacks on Targets A.69, Z159, M116, EVERE and WAALHAVEN
Eleven Wellington crews were detailed to proceed to allotted targets and carry out bombing attacks on same, and thus hinder the enemy in operations against this country. The three aircraft Detailed to attack target Z.159 (ST. NAZAIRE, FRANCE) encountered practically no opposition and a very peaceful trip was had throughout.
Total bomb load carried was made up of 500lbs G.P. bombs fused N.D.T., 250lbs bombs fused N.D.T., and delay action and containers of 4lbs incendiaries.
CB.881 reports, targets not located 10/10 cloud.
Aerodrome at WESSEL bombed and bursts observed on North East boundary of aerodrome and two medium fires started.
Two bursts observed by Navigator of CB.882, but results not observed. As aircraft passed over cloud, terrific flash observed, but results not noticed.
CB.883 reports, no results observed from first stick of 5 – 250lbs. bombs owing to searchlights.
Two fires started by second stick.
Owing to cloud 55 minutes was spent by CB.884 over target area for cloud to clear. A stick of bombs was dropped to target area for causing 5 or 6 large fires which lasted until leaving. On one bomb bursting a blue flash was seen.
Original target not located by CB.885 owing to cloud and haze over area. Bombs dropped on Marshalling yards, or railway junction to the West of BOTTROP. Three hits observed.
The target was located without difficulty by CB.887 due to the excellent position of such. An attack was made in a shallow dive from East to West and the bombs were released in a stick from 8,000 feet. Results not observed.
CB.888 reports, one 250lbs bomb N.D.T. and two 250lbs. delays were dropped in a high level attack on a heading of 020°M. Stick dropped across Western extremity of Eastern target causing medium sized fire. The last 3 N.D.T. 250lbs. G.P. and 1 – S.B.C. were dropped in a dive attack, 8,500ft to 4,000ft. The 250lbs G.P’s hit the Southern edge of the Eastern target. Incendiaries overshot into sea.
Target located and bombed by CB.889 at 00.35hrs one 250lbs bomb and one 500lbs bomb dropped at 8,000 feet. Two 500lbs bombs dropped at 4,000 feet, all bombs observed to burst on target, but with little result.
CB.894 reports , five bursts seen across target and large fires started with incendiaries. A series od explosions developed from fires – bright flashes intermittently resulted.
EVERE aerodrome attacked at 23.00 hours by CB.896 Direction of attack North West to South East. Three bombs seen to burst on N.W, boundary of aerodrome and last bomb in the flare path. Lights immediately extinguished.
CB898 reports, target found (ROTTERDAM) WAALHAVEN aerodrome. BRUSSELS aerodrome covered in 9-10/10 cloud, base 1,500feeet. Height 4,000 feet. Target found running up on river and hangar lights accidentally being switched on for a period od about 20 seconds. Bombs seen to land on aerodrome, but no results observed.
A number of flare paths were noticed in most of German occupied countries. Balloons were seen at target Z.159, these were flying at a height of 6,000 feet.
Heavy A.A. Fire in all the target areas.
Searchlights very active in the RUHR areas only.

Wellington Mk.1c L.7848 AA-V
Raid No. CB.884 A.69

P/O Richard Melville Curtis, RAF 42200 – Pilot.
P/O Rex Martyn Sanderson, RAF 42727 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. McMaster, RAFVR – Navigator.
Sgt. Trevor James Goodhue, RNZAF NZ38113 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Beckett, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. James Norman Ritchie, RNZAF NZ391386 – Rear Gunner .

Take Off 20:45 – Landed 02:30
Flight Time 05:45

01/09/1940 – Bombing Attacks on Targets M.116, A.17, F.40, and SOEST
Eleven Wellington aircraft took part, in above operations. A mixed bomb load was carried, consisting of 500lbs G.P. bombs, 250lbs. G.P. bombs fused N.D.T., 250lbs. Delayed action bombs, and containers of incendiaries.
One returning to base from a raid on HANOVER, CB passed over an aerodrome, presumed to be FELTWELL. Permission to land was granted, and an approach made using landing light. Thick haze made landing difficult, and another circuit made. Attempted other landing as fuel getting low, but lost sight of flare path on turning in. Just before touching down, line of trees appeared ahead of aircraft, hit these and burst into flames. The crew got clear of aircraft before bomb load (brought back) exploded, as a result of which explosion aircraft totally destroyed. Actually aircraft landed in field short of flare path at East Wrotham, Honnington Satellite aerodrome.
CB.921 reports, descended to 500 feet in target area on D/R but unsuccessful in getting below cloud. Target not located and bombs brought back. Target located at 23.40 hours by CB.914 and bombs dropped at 23.45 hours. Bursts observed on target area, but unable to see extent of damage owing to bad visibility.
CB.900 reports three terrific explosions from incendiaries in target area, and 250lbs bombs seen to burst in same place. Level attack made from 11,000ft the incendiaries being dropped on the first run.
Target located and bombed by CB.901 Results not observed owing to intense searchlights and A.A. fire.
CB.904 reports, Primary target not located owing to engine trouble. EINDHOVEN aerodrome bombed. Flare path and obstruction lights extinguished when a stick of three bombs was dropped across it at 12,000 feet at 22.46 hours. Large explosions observed.
CB.905 reports, on reaching area a flare was dropped, showing up ground clearly, and enabling target to be identified, attack then made from 11,000 feet in a South Westerly direction. Bursts observed and a line of fires started, about 7 or 9 in all and a further explosion seen. Fires still burning on leaving area.
CB.908 and CB.909 failed to locate targets and bombs were brought back.
CB.916 and CB.917 reports, that they located targets and bombed same, but results not observed due to cloud. Only observations, a large circle of lights mainly white with a few red seen, between BREMEN and BREMERHAVEN, presumably aerodrome or dummy on Eastern edge of MUNSTER, three red flares fired from ground formed isosceles triangle. On the whole A.A. was heavy, especially over HANOVER and between HAMM and ROTTERDAM.
Searchlights very active, but due to thick cloud layers and haze, they were ineffective. Weather taken all round was poor, on way out to targets, 8-10/10 cloud was encountered, while over actual targets almost clear with only hazy conditions. Navigation by D/R, and homing bearings.

Wellington Mk.1c L.7848 AA-V
Raid No. CB.905 F.40

P/O Richard Melville Curtis, RAF 42200 – Pilot.
P/O Rex Martyn Sanderson, RAF 42727 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. McMaster, RAFVR – Navigator.
Sgt. Trevor James Goodhue, RNZAF NZ38113 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Beckitt, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. James Norman Ritchie, RNZAF NZ391386 – Rear Gunner .

Take Off 20:45 – Landed 05:15
Flight Time 08:30

04/09/1940 – Bombing Attacks on Thurenger Forest, Black Forest, and Woods South of Strasburg
Nine Wellington aircraft from this Unit took part in above operations. Seven of the aircraft detailed to carry out attacks on the woods carried 6 containers of incendiary bombs, while CB.931, who attacked wood South of Strasbourg, carried a load of 5 containers of incendiaries (25 lbs), 3 – 250 lbs. incendiaries and one flash bomb. CB.940 carried 6- 250lbs. bombs fused N.D.T.
CB.992 made a level attack from a height of 11,000 feet, the bombs being dropped in a stick every 12 seconds. Terrific fires started in a line covering eight miles and could be seen 20 minutes after setting course for home.
CB.923 searched the target area and dropped bombs in a NW. SE direction covering an area of 5 or 6 miles. Over 100 small fires were started and the glow could be seen over 20 miles away on returning.
CB.926 dropped bombs in groups of four at eleven second intervals in a Northerly direction, from Swiss border on Western side of target area. The incendiaries were seen to be burning amongst the trees, but no time spent waiting to see further results.
CB.927 bombed central portion of target area L (Black Forest). Numerous small fires observed but no large conflagration seen at time of leaving area.
CB.928 reports that bombs were dropped in long circular stick and observed to burst. Some fires started but aircraft left area before extent of fire could be estimated.
CB.929 reports that bombs were dropped on targets and fires started.
CB.930 spread bombs in a stick running N.N.E. across Northern corner. Several small fires started. Half container was dropped from 6000 feet on LUNEVILLE aerodrome, and fires were started which could be seen for 40 miles.
CB. 931 reports that all incendiaries were dropped in a circular area, radius about 3 miles. The fires burnt for 10-15 minutes but did not persist. A photograph was taken 20 minutes after the first attack and shows that the fires were not catching.
CB.940 reports that two bombs fell on hangers and four on tarmac of aerodrome.
Extensive road traffic movements observed in North West France. Dummy aerodrome at LE TOUQUET – CB.928 reports, 2 lights flashing “S” alternatively and ‘M” together, situated 6 miles South East of OSTEND.
CB.922 and 940 report light and heavy flak, but taken all round, very little encountered.
Searchlights encountered over HAMM and Belgian Coast, but here again, on the whole very few.
Weather good throughout operations, mist patches in places, but visibility generally very good.
Navigation by D/R mainly, assisted by Astro in two instances.
System of locating beacons for balloons reported to be excellent by CB.931

Wellington Mk.1c L.7848 AA-V
Raid No. CB.923 Thurenger Forest

P/O Richard Melville Curtis, RAF 42200 – Pilot.
P/O Rex Martyn Sanderson, RAF 42727 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. McMaster, RAFVR – Navigator.
Sgt. Trevor James Goodhue, RNZAF NZ38113 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Beckett, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. James Norman Ritchie, RNZAF NZ391386 – Rear Gunner .

Take Off 20:20 – Landed 02:30
Flight Time 06:10

10/09/1940 – Bombing Attacks on Ostend Harbour and Flushing Docks
Seven Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry put attacks on the above targets. The bomb load consisted of 250lbs G.P. bombs fused N.D.T.
Owing to 10/10 cloud over Belgian Coast a descent was made by CB.966 to 4000 feet where OSTEND was located. Three flares were dropped over docks. A stick of bombs was dropped at 3,500 feet over dock area but owing to violent evasive action bursts were not observed.
CB.967 failed to locate the target owing to heavy cloud extending from 12,000 feet to 1000 feet over Belgian Coast.
CB.968 failed to locate the target owing to heavy cloud and thick mist. Bombs were bought back.
CB.972 dropped bombs in a dive from 4000 feet to 1000 feet. No results were observed owing to violent evasive action, searchlights and haze. Flares were dropped over target and lighted up area satisfactorily.
Owing to 10/10 cloud down to 700 feet, CB.973 failed to locate target.
Five bombs dropped by CB.974 were seen to burst across docks. No results were observed of second stick owing to searchlights, but they believed to have hit the target.
Owing to 10/10 cloud, CB979 reports nil results observed.
Flares were dropped, warships were observed to open fire and continued a heavy broadside for almost half an hour. Several small vessels were seen close to coast line. Retaliatory action appeared to be taken by coastal batteries.
Some light and heavy A.A. fire was experienced at OSTEND and at other target areas.
Searchlights were active around the target areas, but were ineffective owing to cloud.
During the whole of the operations, only one enemy aircraft was seen – by CB.974 – off the Dutch Coast.
Weather was very poor, there being 9/10 – 10/10 cloud. Navigation was by D/R, W/T, and in some cases MF/DF and Astro.
Squeaker at HARWICH not heard, although balloons seen.

Wellington Mk.1c L.7848 AA-V
Raid No. CB.966 Ostend

P/O Richard Melville Curtis, RAF 42200 – Pilot.
P/O Rex Martyn Sanderson, RAF 42727 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. McMaster, RAFVR – Navigator.
Sgt. Trevor James Goodhue, RNZAF NZ38113 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Beckett, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. James Norman Ritchie, RNZAF NZ391386 – Rear Gunner .

Take Off 01:40 – Landed 04:45
Flight Time 03:05

12/09/1940 – Bombing Attack on emden and Schwerte
Nine Wellington aircraft from this Unit took part in Operations against the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 250lbs. bombs, fused N.D.T., 250lbs. bombs delayed action, and containers of incendiaries, while CB.984 carried one flash bomb.
CB.984 and CB.985 failed to locate the target due to 10/10 cloud, and bombs were brought back.
CB.986 reports that bombs were dropped, but bursts were unobserved due to bad visibility.
CB.987 bombed target in bad visibility from 6000 feet, but results were unobserved owing to cloud.
CB.988 failed to locate target owing to 10/10 cloud. Intense A.A. fire was experienced and bombs were released over centre of A.A. activity.
CB.994 reports that results were not observed.
Owing to dense low cloud, CB.995 failed to locate original target, SCHWERTE. Bombs were dropped from 1000 feet on the aerodrome at DE KOOY, but results were not observed.
CB/997 failed to locate target, but bombs were released on A.A. emplacements between SOEST and DORTMUND.
CB.999 reports that direct hits were scored on ammunition store in dock buildings. Heavy explosions occurred and large fires were started.
Owing to bad visibility no observations or reconnaissance were made although CB.999 reports that docks and wharves were clearly seen.
Light and heavy A.A. fire was experienced in many parts of the target areas, while flak ships or warships continued barrage some distance to sea. Flaming onions were also experienced at one point.
Searchlights were numerous and very active, but owing to cloud were ineffective.
No enemy aircraft were encountered.
ten-tenths cloud was experienced over most of the route. Icing conditions, rain and electrical storms were also experienced.
Navigation was carried out by D/R, W/T and homing bearings.
CB.999 returned to base with shell holes in wings and machine gun bullet through front turret. Attack was carried out from 150 feet – machine blown up to 600 and was very unstable on return journey. S.O.S. was sent out as machine was expected to land in sea. P/O Denton, captain of this machine, was awarded D.F.C. (Immediate).

Wellington Mk.1c L.7848 AA-V
Raid No. CB.988 D.184

P/O Richard Melville Curtis, RAF 42200 – Pilot.
P/O Rex Martyn Sanderson, RAF 42727 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. McMaster, RAFVR – Navigator.
Sgt. Trevor James Goodhue, RNZAF NZ38113 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Beckett, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. James Norman Ritchie, RNZAF NZ391386 – Rear Gunner .

Take Off 19:30 – Landed 23:30
Flight Time 04:00

14/09/1940 – Bombing Attacks on Antwerp and Soest
Ten Wellington Aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out above operations. Bomb load consisted of 250lbs. bombs fused N.D.T., 250lbs. delayed action bombs, containers of incendiaries and CB.120 carried one flash bomb.
CB.115 reports that owing to severe ice forming cloud, target was not reached, but an attack was made from 7000 feet on DE KOOY Aerodrome, where a stick of bombs was dropped on hangars. Numerous fires started, and major and minor explosions followed, suggesting blowing up of ammunition. Fires lit up aerodrome buildings.
Owing to 10/10 cloud Cb.116 failed to locate original target. Bombs were dropped on rail junction at AARHUS.
CB.117 reports three large explosions took place after the first stick of 8 – 250lbs. bombs had been dropped on East Docks. Second stick of 7 – 250 lbs bombs and one S.B.C. seen to explode on new docks.
CB.118 reports that target was located and bombs dropped, but owing to thick haze results could not be estimated.
CB.119 reports that one stick of bombs and one S.B.C. were dropped on dock basins and fires were started by incendiaries on quay. Yellow explosions from two of the fires at irregular intervals.
CB.120 reports that all bombs were seen to burst in docks, but no big fires were seen.
CB.122 reports that owing to an error in map reading, one stick of bombs was dropped over target area and hits are believed to have been scored although no fires were observed.
CB.123 reports that barges in chain basin were hit. Direct hits were scored on dicks and barges in basin North of town. A large fire was also started in this basin.
CB126 reports that bombs were dropped and bursts observed in main dock area. At time of leaving target incendiaries were observed burning fiercely with orange coloured flames. Repeated minor explosions were observed in vicinity of incendiaries.
P/O. Denton reports that one stick of nine bombs was dropped on N.W. docks, but owing to evasive action, only first two bombs observed to burst. One stick was dropped on South docks nearest town, and all bombs were observed to make direct hits.
Recognition signal – red and two white star cartridge, observed several times near target area. Flare paths observed at aerodromes near WOENSDRECHTE, and South of ANTWERP. Dummy flarepath seen N.E. of ANTWERP. Flashing beacon 12 miles E.N.E. ANTWERP. Three pairs of ships about 1000 tonnes were observed on ZUYDER ZEE, while two large merchant ships were seen N.W. side of main basin, and one 4000 ton merchant ship seen sailing N.W.-S.E. of FLUSHING out into North Sea.
Fairly intense light and heavy A.A. fire experienced in many parts of target area. This was not very accurate.
Searchlights were few and inactive.
Only one enemy aircraft, an ME.109, was observed over target area.
Icing conditions and electrical storms were experienced by most aircraft. Weather in target area was good..
Navigation was mainly D/R, with W/T, MF/DF. Astro and homing bearings.
CB,123 reports an excellent trip, exceptional bombing done by Observer, also excellent Asto navigation. Approximately 50 small boats, believed fishing smacks seen on beach between HAGUE and the Hook near SCHEVENINGEN.

Wellington Mk.1c L.7848 AA-V
Raid No. CB.115 Soest

P/O Richard Melville Curtis, RAF 42200 – Pilot.
P/O Rex Martyn Sanderson, RAF 42727 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. McMaster, RAFVR – Navigator.
Sgt. Trevor James Goodhue, RNZAF NZ38113 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Beckett, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. James Norman Ritchie, RNZAF NZ391386 – Rear Gunner .

Take Off 19:55 – Landed 01:10
Flight Time 05:15
10/10/1940 – Bombing Attacks on Targets A.68, A.28, A.71, and Eindhoven Aerodrome
Ten Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks on the above targets. The bomb load was a mixed one and consisted of 500lbs. Bombs fused N.D.T., 250lbs. Bombs, fused N.D.T., 250lbs. Bombs, delayed action and containers of incendiaries.
CB.278 reports that large fires started after bombs burst. Location was impossible because of thick haze and searchlights.
CB.283 dropped one stick from East to West across target. A number of large fires started, in the middle of which a large explosion was observed.
CB.284 reports that all bombs and incendiaries were seen to burst in target area. Two small fires left burning.
CB.285 reports bombs dropped on heading 120* in one stick. Bursts observed but unable to determine accuracy owing to searchlight dazzle.
CB.286 dropped one stick North to South. Bombs seen to burst on buildings. One bomb overshot landed in Rhine. Brilliant blue flashes observed. Small fires seen from incendiaries.
CB.288 reports that first two bombs caused two large orange flashes; nest four causes vivid blue flashes. Thought to be direct hits on power station.
CB.289 reports that all bombs fell in northern end of works on large building. Four fires started which eventually joined up into one large one.
CB.290 reports bomb burst in target area, with vivid green explosions. Incendiaries hung up so were dropped on large railway sidings near RHINEBURG. Twelve fires burning when aircraft was 50 miles away.
CB.291 reports bombs dropped in one stick from 12,000 feet. Results unobserved.
CB.294 reports that bombs fell short on docks. Explosions followed bomb bursts, fires started, burnt out after few minutes.
Flarepath, believed ENDHOVEN, observed in position 15* 20′ N, 04* 05* E. Dummy factory seen on Northern bend of river near DUSSELDORF.
Intense heavy anti-aircraft fire was experienced. This was fairly accurate.
Searchlights were active and fairly accurate.
CB.288 encountered and engaged one enemy aircraft which was seen to crash and burn three miles N.W. of STEENBERGEN.
Weather was fine. Cloud was experienced in some parts of route to and from target.
Navigation was by D/R, Q.D.M’s and Astro.

Wellington Mk.1c L.7797 AA-F
Raid No. CB.294 Eindhoven Aerodrome (Docks at Antwerp attacked as secondary target)

P/O Rex Martyn Sanderson, RAF 42727 – Pilot. P/O William John Finlayson, RNZAF NZ39911 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Reginald William Bryant White, RAFVR 755956 – Observer.
Sgt. Jack Gibbs, RAFVR 625697 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Grice Hitchmough, RAFVR 653978 – Front Gunner.
P/O Frederick Bernard Cleak, RAF 77961 – Rear Gunner .

Take Off 22:45 – Landed 02:10
Flight Time 03:25

16/10/1940 – Bombing Attacks on Target D.3 at KIEL
Nine Wellington aircraft carried out the above attacks. One of these aircraft, captained by P/O. Morton, crashed in Cumberland after having completed operations.
The bomb load consisted of 500lbs. S.A.P. bombs, 1/10 sec. delay.
CB.312 reports that a large red fire was observed.
CB.313 bombed docks in KIEL, but results were no observed.
CB.315 reports that results were not observed owing to low cloud and gun flashes.
CB.322 reports that target was observed in floating dock. Bomb bursts seen on target.
On the first run, CB.323 dropped a stick of two bombs which burst in water one on each side of GNEISENAU. A salvo of two bombs was dropped on second run and burst either side of the jetty of target. Heavy orange explosion was seen.
CB.324 reports that primary target was obscured by 10/10 cloud. Secondary target clear and easily identified. Good run up and bombs aimed accurately but bursts were not observed.
CB.325 dropped one stick from 11,500 feet. Bursts seen. Bombs fell N.E. of target on quays.
CB.326 dropped bombs in one stick on target. Bursts observed, but no pinpointed in relation to target due to cloud layer, but definitely in immediate vicinity of target. Rectangle of red lights 800 yds. x 600yds. seen in vicinity of LECK. Green light flashed from end like Aldis. Four red lights in a line North and South, equally spaced, across BORKUM. These flashed for one second at eight second intervals. Two searchlights believed to be on HELIGOLAND.
Fair amount of heavy A.A. fire. Fairly accurate. Searchlights were active, but ineffective owing to cloud. One enemy aircraft seen in NEUMUNSTER area. Believed to be HE.113.
Weather was clear over target areas. Heavy cloud experienced on return journey.
Navigation was by D/R, Astro, and MF/DF.

Wellington Mk.1c L.2550? AA-?
Raid No. CB.315 D.3 (Docks at Kiel attacked as secondary target)

P/O Rex Martyn Sanderson, RAF 42727 – Pilot.
P/O William John Finlayson, RNZAF NZ39911 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Reginald William Bryant White, RAFVR 755956 – Observer.
Sgt. Jack Gibbs, RAFVR 625697 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Grice Hitchmough, RAFVR 653978 – Front Gunner.
P/O Frederick Bernard Cleak, RAF 77961 – Rear Gunner .

Take Off 18:30 – Landed 01:30
Flight Time 07:00

23/10/1940 – Bombing Attacks on Berlin, Potsdam Station, D.148.
Five Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks. One, CB.362, captained by P/O Sanderson, failed to return. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 1000lbs. Bomb, delayed action, 500lbs. Bombs delayed action, 500lbs. Nombs fused N.D.T., 250lbs delayed action, 250lbs. bombs fused N.D.T., containers of incendiaries, while CB.359 carried one flash bomb.
CB.358 reports results were not observed owing to two layers of cloud.
CB.359 attacked flarepath probably east of Berlin, bursts unobserved, but incendiaries observed burning 300 yards short of flarepath.
CB361 reports bombs seen to burst in vicinity of NEURUPPIN Aerodrome. No fires started.
NO results were observed by CB.368 due to intensity of searchlights.
EELDE Aerodrome lit with electric flare path and boundary lights. Red beacon at decoy aerodrome. Beacon flashing C.F. 530 3N 0450E. White beacon flashing 5 secs. approximately AMELAND.
A.A. fire was heavy and accurate.
Searchlights were few, and not very accurate owing to cloud. No enemy aircraft were seen. Heavy cloud was experienced in all areas. Navigation was by D/R, Astro and Q.D.M’s.

Wellington Mk.1c P.9292 AA-C
Raid No. CB.-

P/O Rex Martyn Sanderson, RAF 42727 – Pilot.
P/O William John Finlayson, RNZAF NZ39911 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Reginald William Bryant White, RAFVR 755956 – Observer.
Sgt. Jack Gibbs, RAFVR 625697 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Grice Hitchmough, RAFVR 653978 – Front Gunner.
P/O Frederick Bernard Cleak, RAF 77961 – Rear Gunner .

Take Off – – Landed –
Flight Time – Missing

Wellington Mk.Ic P.9292 AA-C is known to have crashed into the North Sea off the Danish Coast. Returning from Berlin, it appears that the aircraft might have fallen prey to a number of German night-fighters that were known to be operating in this airspace. All of the crew, with the exception of P/O Frederick Cleak, were lost without trace and are remembered on the Runneymede Memorial. P/O Cleak, whose body was recovered was buried in Esbjerg (Fourfelt) Cemetery in Denmark.

P/O Rex Martyn Sanderson, RAF 42727 – Pilot.
Lost without trace age 24.
Son of Alexander and Adelaide Ida Sanderson, of Auckland, New Zealand.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 10.

P/O William John Finlayson, RNZAF NZ39911 – 2nd Pilot.
Lost without trace age 23.
Son of John Herbert Mcwilliam Finlayson and Hilda Kathleen Finlayson (Nee Benton), of Opoho, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 27.

P/O Frederick Bernard Cleak, RAF 77961 – Observer.
Killed age 30.
Son of Frederick and Ethel Cleak.
Buried Esbjerg (Fourfelt) Cemetery, Denmark..
Grave location – A. 14. 11.
‘In peace and honour
Rest you here, my son
In silence and eternal sleep’

Sgt. William Grice Hitchmough, RAF 653978 – Front Gunner.
Lost without trace age 19.
Son of Henry and Annie Hitchmough, of Allerton, Lancashire.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 15.

Sgt. Jack Gibbs, RAF 625697 – Wireless Operator.
Lost without trace age 19.
Son of Philip Frederick and Maud Beatrice Gibbs, of Newbold, Warwickshire.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 14.

Sgt. Reginald William Bryant White, RAFVR 755956 – Rear Gunner.
Lost without trace age 20.
Son of William Herbert and Ethel Ruth White, of Homsey, Middlesex.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 20.