1/1/45 ATTACK AGAINST VOHWINKEL – Railway Yards

Crew
F/S Vernon John Zinzan. Pilot
P/O James Sydney George Coote. Navigator
F/O John Kennedy Clements. Air Bomber
Sgt. Miles Parr. Wireless Operator
Sgt. A. Ackroyd. Flight Engineer
Sgt. H. Hutchinson. Mid Upper Gunner
Sgt. Herbert Steele. Rear Gunner

Aircraft
Lancaster Mk.I LM740
“B” for Baker

Remarks
Bomb Load 1 x 4,000 H.C., 12 x 500 G.P., 2 x 500 M.C.
Primary target Vohwinkel
Good concentration of TIS. Tried to jettison hang up on return – but still unable to release hold up.

Flight
Up 11.32 1st January
Down 22.43 1st January
Total Flight Time 5 hours 12 minutes

75(NZ) Sqn RAF Operational Record Book (ORB)
Operations. 
Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack Vohwinkel, in datlight. Nineteen aircraft took off, seventeen of which attacked the primary target. F/O McMillan attacked a last resort target. NZ40984 W/Cdr. R.J. Newton and NZ429286 P/O R. Aitchison as second pilot, failed to return. There was very little opposition in the target area.

Page 9, 1945. Form 540/ 541 AIR27/ 647  75(NZ) Squadron RAF, Mepal. National Archives.

Lancaster Mk.III ME321 AA-N
W/Cdr. Raymond John Newton DFC, MiD RNZAF NZ40984. Pilot. 30th Jan to 7th Aug 1942 & 11th Dec 1944 to kao 1st Jan 1945. Died Wednesday 1st January 1945, age 28, during a raid on Vohwinkel. No known grave. Commemorated on Panel 284 Runnymede Memorial.MiD (1 Jan 1942) Citation DFC (1 August 1942):
“This officer has carried out many sorties as captain of aircraft. Throughout, he has displayed great skill and determination. He has on several occasions flown his aircraft safely back although severely damaged by enemy fire. An excellent bomber pilot and an outstanding captain. Squadron Leader Newton has set an excellent example.”

P/O Richard Justin Aitchison RNZAF NZ429286. 2nd Pilot. 27th Dec 1944 to 1st Jan 1945. Died Tuesday 1st January 1945, age 28, during a raid on the railway marshalling yards, Vohwinkel, Germany. Lost without trace, commemorated on Panel 285, Runnymede Memorial.

Sgt Harry Sansome RAFVR 1583772 Navigator. 28th Dec 1944 to 1st Jan 1945. Died Monday 1st January 1945, age 21, during a raid on Vohwinkel. Lost without trace, commemorated on Panel 276 Runnymede Memorial.

Sgt Arthur Lee RAFVR 1622893 Navigator. 28th Dec 1944 to 1st Jan 1945. Died Monday 1st January 1945, age 25, during a raid on Vohwinkel. No known grave. Commemorated on Panel 271 Runnymede Memorial.

Sgt Victor James Clark RAFVR 1811271. WOAG 27 Dec 1944 to 1 Jan 1945. Died Monday 1st January 1945, age 20, during a raid on Vohwinkel. No known grave. Commemorated on Panel 274 Runnymede Memorial.

F/Sgt John Stanley Hoskins RAFVR 652139. FE. 28th Dec 1944 to 1st Jan. Died Monday 1st January 1945, age 23, during a raid on Vohwinkel. No known grave. Commemorated on Panel 271 Runnymede Memorial.

Sgt Martin Brennan RAFVR 1596812. AG. 27th Dec 1944 to 1st Jan 1945. Died Monday 1st January 1945, age 21, during a raid on the Vohwinkel railway yards. Buried Jonkerbos War Cemetery, Netherlands.

Sgt Leonard James Cooke RAFVR 3011677. AG. 27th Dec 1944 to 1st Jan 1945. Lost on 1st sortie. Died Monday 1st January 1945, age 19, during a raid on Vohwinkel. No known grave. Commemorated on Panel 274 Runnymede Memorial.

Bomber Command War Diary
1 January 1945
152 Lancasters and 5 Mosquitos of No 5 Group carried out an accurate attack on the Gravenhorst section of the Mittelland Canal. Half a mile of banks were pitted with bomb craters and some parts were breached. No aircraft lost.

146 aircraft of No 3 Group successfully attacked the railway yards at Vohwinkel. 1 Lancaster lost.

105 Halifaxes of No 4 Group and 18 Lancasters and 16 Mosquitos of No 8 Group attempted to bomb a benzol plant at Dortmund but the attack was scattered and the plant was not hit. No aircraft lost.

28 Mosquitos to Hanau and 27 to Hannover (both ‘spoof’ raids), 42 RCM sorties, 59 Mosquito patrols. No aircraft lost. The No 100 Group Mosquitos claimed 6 German night fighters destroyed.

Total effort for the night: 598 sorties, 1 aircraft (0.2 per cent) lost; 5 aircraft crashed in England.

Page 645, The Bomber Command War Diaries. 2011. Everitt Middlebrook. Midland publishing.

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