Daily Archives: July 17, 2013

Harold Dewhurst – Mid Upper Gunner. Warren crew

Kevin has passed onto me an inquiry from Yvonne regarding her uncle, Harold Dewhurst, who was the MId Upper Gunner with the Warren crew between November 1943 and May 1944. The crew were tragically lost on the Louvain raid, the aircraft exploded and crashed at Castle Elderschans some 2km NW of Aardenburg (Zeeland) , Holland.

Yvonne knows very little about her Uncle, but is desperate to find out more – I can’t promise anything, but based on the amazing connections that have happened already via this blog, my fingers are crossed for her………

The Warren Crew arrived on or around the 5th November 1943. There appears to be no record of Derek completing a 2nd dickie Op with another crew before flying operationally with his crew.

11.11.43 Mining in the Gironde Estuary. Stirling Mk.III EF217
Up 17.00
Down 01.00
F/L Derek Warren – Pilot
F/O Arnold Irving – Navigator
P/O Donald Gage – Air Bomber
F/S David Clough – Wireless Operator
Sgt. Harold Dewhurst – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S Harold Hewitt – Rear Gunner

25.11.43 Mining in the Bay of Biscay. Stirling Mk.III EF217
up 17.20
Down 23.20
Same crew

16.12.43 Mining in the Bay of Biscay. Stirling Mk.III EF217
Up 17.05
Down 22.45
Same crew

22.12.43. Attack Against a Special Target. Stirling Mk.III EF217
Up 21.10
Down 23.55
Same crew

21.1.44. Attack Against a Special Target. Stirling Mk.III EF217
Up 18.30
Down 20.55
Same Crew

25.1.44. Attack Against a Special Target. Stirling Mk.III EF217
Up 23.55
Down 03.00
Same Crew

27.1.44. Mining in the Heligoland Area. Stirling Mk.III EF217
Up 17.10
Down 21.50
Same crew.

28.1.44. Mining in Kiel Bay. Stirling Mk.III EF217
Up 18.50
Down 00.50
Same crew

11.2.44. Mining in the River Adour. Stirling Mk.III EF217
Down 01.50
Same Crew

15.2.44. Mining in the River Adour. Stirling Mk.III EF217
Up 23.30
Down 06.40
Same Crew

20.2.44. Mining off Morlaix. Stirling Mk.III EF512.
Up 18.35
Down 22.50
Same crew

22.2.44. Mining Kiel Bay. Stirling Mk.III EF217
UP 16.40
Down 19.25
Same crew

24.2.44. Mining Kiel Bay. Stirling Mk.III EF217
UP 17.10
Down 00.35
Same crew

FORM 540 Squadron ORB
March 1944
Administration.  Conversion to Lancaster Aircraft. It was decided by higher authority to convert the Squadron from Stirling to Lancaster aircraft, and our first Lancaster was received on 13th March, 1944, since that date we have received a further 19. All crews are being converted to Lancaster aircraft and at present 13 have passed through No.3 Lancaster Finishing School at R.A.F. Station Feltwell.

Administration. The following proceeded for Lancaster conversion to No. 3 L.F.S Feltwell:- NZ415820 F/O H. Murray and crew, NZ42354 f/S Armstrong C. and crew, NZ414591 A/F/L S. Clark and crew, NZ403561 A/S/L D. Climie and crew, 151118 A/F/L D. Warren and crew, NZ422282 F/O R. Herron and crew, NZ401266 A/S/L D. Gibb and crew, AUS413157 P/O A. Humphreys and crew and NZ421105 Sgt. Scott F. and crew.

5/6 March 1944. Special Operations March Moon Period.
Operation PETER 24 (Abortive)
Same Crew

7/8 March 1944. Operation AUTHOR 17 (Abortive)
Same Crew

10/11th March 1944. Operation MONGREL 20 (Successful)
Same crew

13.3.44. Mining off Brest. Stirling Mk.III EF217
Up 22.40
Down 03.25
Same crew.

15/16th March 1944 Operation BOB 155 (Abortive)
Same crew

18.3.44. Mining in the Heligoland Bight. Stirling Mk.IIIvEF217
Up 18.55
Down 23.20

FORM 540 Squadron ORB
Administration. NZ421105 Sgt. Scott F. and crew proceeded on detachment to No.33 Base, Waterbeach. The following crews ceased to be detached to No.3 L.F.S. Feltwell:- NZ415820 F/O Murray H. and crew, NZ42354 F/S Armstrong C. and crew, NZ414591 A/F/L S. Clark and crew, NZ403561 A/S/L J. Climie and crew, 151118 F/L Warren D. and crew, NZ422282 F/O R. Herron and crew, NZ401266 A/S/L D. Gibb and crew, AUS413157 P/O A. Humpreys and crew and NZ 421105 Sgt. Scott F. and crew.

18.4.44. Mining in Kiel Area. Stirling Mk.III ND768*
Up 20.45
Down 02.55
P/O Bill Lake (Wireless Operator with my Fathers 1st Tour crew) replaces David Clough as Wireless Operator.
*This appears to be an error in the ORB – ND768 was in fact a Lancaster MK.III AA-F (Shot down target Dortmund 22.5.44)

24.4.44. Attack Against Karlsruhe. Lancaster Mk.III ND911 JN-V
Up 22.25
Down 03.45.
P/O Ralph Barker replaces Bill Lake as Wireless Operator.

26.4.44 Attack Against Essen. Lancaster Mk.III ND911 JN-V
UP 23.30
Down 03.40
F/S Colin Megson flies with crew as 2nd Dickie.
Sgt. T. Hamilton replaces Ralph Barker as Wireless Operator.

27.4.44. Attack Against Friedrichshafen. Lancaster Mk.III ND911 JN-V
Up 22.10
Down 05.30
David Clough returns to the crew as Wireless Operator.

10.5.44. Attack Against Courtrai. Lancaster Mk.III ND753 ??-G
Up 22.05
Down 01.15
F/S Bill White flies with the crew as 2nd Dickie

11.5.44 Attack Against Louvain. Lancaster MK.III ND919 AA-D
Up 22.56

F/Lt. Derek Warren, RAFVR 151118 – Pilot.
Died age 20. Buried Aardenburg General Cemetery Netherlands.

F/O Arnold Earle Irving, RCAF J.19819 – Navigator.
Died age 23.Buried Aardenburg  General Cemetery, Netherlands.

P/O Donald Irwin Gage, RCAF R.166/183, J.19996 – Air Bomber.
Died age 24. Buried Aardenburg General Cemetery, Netherlands.

F/S David Clough, RAFVR 1193544 – Wireless Operator.
Died age 21. Buried Aardenburg General Cemetery, Netherlands. (American Citizen)

Sgt. Francis Christopher Riley, RAFVR 1584169 – Flight Engineer.
Died age 21. Buried Aardenburg General Cemetery Netherlands.

Sgt. Harold Dewhurst, RAFVR 1094980 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Died age 23. Buried Aardenburg General Cemetery, Netherlands.

F/S Harold Max Hewett, RAAF AUS.419311 – Rear Gunner.
Died age 21. Buried Aardenburg General Cemetery.

The memoirs of Jack Wall – Part 3

11th June 1945 to 16th September 1944 – Instructing at O.T.U.
I was sent to No.26 O.T.U. at Wing near Leighton Buzzard as an instructor in the Bombing Section. This entailed instructing airmen who had passed their initial course and had received their brevets. All were destined for Bomber Command and so all were straight Bomb Aimers with the letter “B” in their brevets instead of the “O” for observer that I was wearing. As far as I can recall the course for each group lasted 3 or 4 weeks and in that time we instructed on the different types of bombs, fuses and flares. We also told them what to expect on Ops and in general to advise on the different aspects of their job. During this period they dropped small practice bombs at a range outside Thetford using mainly Wellingtons.

On some occasions the instructors flew with them and of course next day we studied the results of their efforts after receiving the plots from the bombing range. While on the station I was sent to Manby on a Bombing Instructors Course and on return was put in charge of the section. Later on I was sent again to Manby on a Bombing leaders Course and this was more advanced than the previous course and included instruction on planning bomb loads in relation to positioning etc. for various types and fuel loads and targets

On the 24th June 1944 I qualified as Bombing Leader “A“ Category – I am not sure exactly what this “A” category meant but the Bombing Leader at Wing was well pleased with my efforts. After a year or so I was getting a little fed up with the routine being repeated every few weeks and it was a great moment for me when my Pilot from 75 N.Z. Sqadron flew down to see me. He said that he was going back on Ops with the old squadron and asked if I was interested in returning with him as his Bomb Aimer. I eagerly agreed but advised him that I was doubtful that I would be able to as I hal been on the Bombing Instructor and Bombing leaders Courses and that I understood that the the Bombing Leader at Wing was hoping for a posting and that I would take over. However he was pretty sure that he could use his Irish Blarney (he was an Irish New Zealander known as Irish Jack) and said that I would hear in due course. Sure enough a few weeks later I was told to report to No.3 L.F.S. at Feltwell which was a short Conversion Course on Lancaster

So on the 16th September 1944 I said goodbye to all my friends at Wing to start to prepare for my second tour………….

Veterans still working for the memory of their lost comrades

comp of both images

left picture: the boys signing pictures at a garden center. right picture: meeting Princess Anne at a Buckingham Palace garden party.

I am pleased to post this short article that Helen De Hoop, wife of John De Hoop, Wireless Operator with the Wakelin crew Oct. 1944 to Mar. 1945, has passed on to the UK 75(NZ) Association for publication in its next newsletter.

About three years ago a group of Bomber Command veterans (12) were organized out of our local Aircrew Association to raise funds for the building of the BC Memorial in London. A super lady PR was recruited and also a number of authors of WW2 books and a collection of prints and other pictures of WW2 aircraft.

A venue for the display and sale of the items was investigated and we were lucky to find a keen aircraft enthusiast in the owner of a string of Garden nurseries. On each occasion a stall is set up to sell the memorabilia which are signed by the veterans with name and Squadron. With some publicity, large numbers of people have come often being the same people who have previously attended. Up to the moment we have raised in excess of £30,000.

Although the monument is now built the RAF Benevolent is left with the task of the maintenance of the structure so we are carrying on with the fund-raising for as long as we can.

Last week our team were invited to a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace and were introduced to Princess Anne which was a nice recognition of our efforts.

Some of us veterans who were in the TV programme ”Bomber Boys” broadcast last year, have been in demand to give talks to various organizations for which we have received extra donations for the Fund. One very rewarding venue (not monetary) has been visiting schools to talk to the children as part of the national curriculum. Watch ‘Bomber Boys’ here.

I am sure we wish John and his colleagues all the success possible in their continuing efforts to raise money for the up-keep of the stunning Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park. If you wish to make a donation you can do so here