Sgt. Stanley Lawrence Drayton RAFVR 1331697 – an update

After being contacted by Tony earlier this week regarding the 75(NZ) boys that rest in Newmarket Cemetery, I did a bit more digging regarding Sgt. Stanley Lawrence Drayton, listed as a member of the Squadron, I was a little perplexed that seemed neither to exist in the Roll of Honour or the Nominal Roll……..

I’ve been having a look through a few different documents/ books. It would appear that the crash in question happened at RAF Oakington, where a number of flights from 75(NZ) were undergoing conversion training from Wellingtons to Stirlings.

On the 24th of October Sgt. Broady flew to Milan on a raid in Wellington BK275;
Sgt. Broady, R. Captain
Sgt. Fabian, J. Navigator
Sgt. Gray, E.W. Wop
Sgt. Jobson, G. F/Gunner
Sgt. McIssac, A. R/Gunner
(This was from Newmarket)

At some point between this date and the 13th of November Broady and ‘crew’ clearly went to Oakington for conversion to Stirling with ‘A’ flight. ORB lists Sgt. Broady as undertaking single and dual flights on the 13th, 17th, 20th, 21st, 27th and finally on the 28th.

Broady’s details in the nominal roll describe the Wellington as “Stalling whilst carrying out an emergency manouvere  to avoid a head on collision with another Stirling” – flights listed in the ORB for that day have Broady undertaking a ‘night dual’ with F/O Bishop. It would appear that it was the only 75(NZ) Stirling listed as undertaking a night flight that day, so we must assume that it was another squadrons a/c that was involved in the near collision.

F/O Bishop cannot be identified in the 75(NZ) Nominal roll or the Roll of Honour – I would assume that he was based at Oakington with the conversion squadron.

Looking through the 75(NZ) Nominal Roll for Broady and any other airmen that are linked to his name, the following are identified (Gray and Fabien, listed as crew in the Wellington raid on Milan clearly were not in the a/c that night).

BROADY, Sgt Raymond Herbert John, RNZAF. NZ39691, Pilot, 5 Sep to 28 Nov 1942 Died Saturday 28 November 1942, age 28. Crashed during local flying practice when his aircraft stalled while carrying out emergency manoeuvers to avoid a head-on collision with another Stirling. Buried Cambridge City Cemetery, England.

McISAAC, Sgt Alexander RNZAF. NZ412891 AG 6 Oct to 28 Nov 1942. c/w R H J Broady. Died Saturday 28th November 1942, age 24, during local night flying practice.

GRAY, F/Sgt Edward Henry RNZAF NZ412878 WOAG 6 Oct 1942 to 25 Oct 1943 c/w R H J Broady.

ROGERS, Sgt Charles Thomas RAVRF. 1170921 AG x Oct to 30 Nov 1942. c/w R H J Broady as R/Gnr. Died Monday 30th November 1942. Buried Crowle (St. John the Baptist Churchyard England.

JOBSON, Sgt George Trueman RAFVR 1287935 AB x Sep to 28 Nov 1942 c/w R H J Broady. Died Saturday 28th November 1942, age 20, during local flying practice. Buried Chevington Cemetery, Northumberland, England.

FABIAN, Fg Off John Charles Kennedy DFC RNZAF NZ413720 Navigator 6 Oct 1942 to 1 Nov 1943. c/w R H J Broady. Citation DFC (Imm) (2 Nov 1943) with 75 Sqn. Flying Officer Fabian is a navigator of outstanding ability and his skilful efforts have contributed materially to the success of many sorties on which he has flown. He has taken part in attacks on a wide variety of targets including Hamburg, Berlin and several industrial centres in the Ruhr. Flying Officer Fabian has displayed great determination and devotion to duty. DFC* (Imm) 19 May 1944 with 15 Sqn.

DIBBEN, Sgt Ronald Oswald RAFVR 1252627 Flight Engineer x Oct to 28 Nov 1942. c/w R H J Broady. Died Sunday 28th November 1942, age 22, when his aircraft crashed on a local training flight. Buried Ham (St. Andrew) Churchyard, England.

Sgt. Drayton is the only one missing. I checked through ‘Bomber Command Losses’  by WR Chorley and it would appear that Sgt. Drayton actually was from 30 Operational Training Unit, not indeed 75(NZ).

I mail this information back to Tony and get a tantalising reply;

Stan Drayton survived the crash but died in RAF Hospital Ely later in the day.  CWGC put him in 75 NZ Sqdn

I have also just realised, someone is putting fresh flowers and poppy cross on his grave on Remembrance Day, hence a relative is still around who maybe can get more for us, all I have to do it find him/her

We shall have to wait and see………..

2 thoughts on “Sgt. Stanley Lawrence Drayton RAFVR 1331697 – an update

  1. Tony Pringle

    Still unable to track down whoever is putting flowers on Sgt Drayton’s grave, but I will eventually get there. I will be there on 25th at 11am, probably alone this year. At least we had a trumpeter and sky pilot last year on Anzac Day. Looks like I must up date my website if Stanley was not 75 (NZ) Squadron but OTU.

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    1. 75nzsquadron Post author

      Hi Tony
      nice to hear from you. Well, It seems he wasn’t 75(NZ) – Chorley has him as 30 O.T.U. I wonder if as a training unit, he was at Oakington to assist in the Stirling conversion?

      Whilst I have your ear, I don’t suppose you could get me the 12 gravestone pictures for the boys from Newmarket ???

      cheers
      Simon

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