P/O Alan Russell Galletly RNZAF (NZ427481) Pilot.
© Alan Galletly
Many thanks to Alan, nephew of Alan Galletly for contacting me and supplying this wonderful picture of his uncle.
Alan’s son Ben was the first of the Galletly family to visit Alan’s grave . He was teaching in England at the time and made the trip over for Alan. Since then a cousin has also visited. Alan’s father died 30 years ago not knowing where his brother was buried which was sad but he didn’t have the advantage of the computer. Alan had a brother in the N.Z Army who was captured on Crete and spent the rest of the war as a POW .
Alan would love to see a crew photo of the boys – if one exists. So as always, if you have or know of one, please contact me………
All the crew were lost when they collided with another Lancaster from 115 Squadron – the more ironic, given that despite the collision taking place over Wolsfeld, Kries Bitburg, north west of Trier, 115 Squadron were based at Witchford, some 3 miles from Mepal were 75(NZ) flew from. Fascinatingly, this information is noted in pencil handwriting at the bottom of page 268 of the 1944 Operational Record Book.
The annotation also notes that the crew were initially buried in Wulsfield churchyard, before being moved to the British military cemetery at Rheinberg on the 25th November 1946.
P/O Alan Russell Galletly RNZAF (NZ427481) Pilot. Died Thursday 5th October 1944, age 33. Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery,
F/Sgt Stuart Edwin Mosely RNZAF (NZ426106) Navigator. Died Thursday 5th October 1944, age 29. Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery Germany.
Sgt Roy Albert Wells RAFVR (1802473) Air Bomber. Died Thursday 5th October 1944, age 21. Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery Germany.
Sgt Reginald Samuel Hond RAFVR Wireless Operator. Died Thursday 5th October 1944, age 23. Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany.
Sgt Peter Eric Tuthill, RAFVR (2211929) Flight Engineer. Died Thursday 5th October 1944, age 21. Buried Rheinberg Cemetery Germany.
Sgt Arthur Kitchener Sutton, RAFVR (1816276) Mid Upper Gunner. Died Thursday 5 October 1944. Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery Germany.
Sgt John Peter Cooke RAFVR (1816385) Rear Gunner. Died Thursday 5th October 1944, age 22. Buried Rheinberg
In a strange twist of fate, I have discovered in ‘Lancaster – The Definitive History‘ by Harry Holmes and also ‘3 Group Bomber Command – an operational record‘ by Chris Ward and Steve Smith, that the 75(NZ) Lancaster ND904 actually came to the squadron FROM 115 Squadron – it’s designator code whilst with 115 was KO-M – the same designator letter that PD344 was flying under that day…….