Jim Saunders, Air Bomber – Stevens crew

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P/O James Harold Saunders RAFVR 1392219/196874 Air Bomber with Charlie Stevens crew.
© Nigel Saunders

Many thanks to Nigel for contacting me and passing on these 2 fantastic photographs of his Father, Jim Saunders, Air Bomber and member of Charlie Stevens crew. Having put together a starting crew list for the boys, the Op history shows a remarkable turn over of individuals – the positions of Wireless Operator, Mid Upper Gunner and Rear Gunner, at points in the tour changing on a raid by raid basis.

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A fantastic picture of the Stevens crew. Charlie Stevens, Pilot in the middle of the picture. Far right Jim Saunders, Air Bomber and the the extreme left, Les Hoffert. The 2 chaps in the middle of the back row are thought to be Les Hall and George Giles, Navigator and Rear Gunner respectively.
© Nigel Saunders

F/S Stevens and crew arrive on base on 2nd January 1945 from No.31 Base.

6.1.45 War Ops – Attack Against Neuss
Lancaster Mk.I ME751 AA-M
F/S Charles Mackenzie Stevens RNZAF NZ4210535. Pilot
Sgt. Leslie Robert Hall RNZAF NZ429331. Navigator
F/S James Harold Saunders RAFVR 1392219/196874. Air Bomber
Sgt. W. Pugh RAFVR. Wireless Operator
Sgt.Les Hofert RAFVR. Flight Engineer
Sgt. William Jones RAFVR. Mid Upper Gunner
Sgt. George Giles RAFVR. Rear Gunner

11.1.45. War Ops – Attack Against Krefeld
Lancaster Mk.III PB132 AA-X
Same crew

13.1.45. War Ops – Attack Against Saarbrucken
Lancaster Mk.III PB132 AA-X
Same crew

15.1.45. War Ops – Attack Against Langrendeer (Recklinghausen)
Lancaster Mk.III PB132 AA-X
Same Crew

16.1.45. War Ops – Attack Against Wanne Eickel
Lancaster Mk.III PB132 AA-X
Same Crew

28.1.45. War Ops – Attack Against Cologne
Lancaster Mk.I HK597 JN-N ‘Bad Penny IV’
F/L Alan Rhodes  replaces Sgt. Pugh as Wireless Operator
F/S Jim Murphy replaces Bill Jones as Mid Upper Gunner
F/S R. Muir replaces George Giles as Rear Gunner

14.2.45. War Ops – Attack Against Chemnitz
Lancaster Mk.III PB421 JN-P
Sgt.Pugh returns as Wireless Operator
Bill Jones returns as Mid Upper Gunner
W/O Roderick Powell replaces Sgt. Muir as Rear Gunner

16.2.45. War Ops – Attack Against Wesel
Lancaster Mk.I HK653 ‘W’
F/S William Campin replaces Alan Rhodes as Wireless Operator
F/S T. Dewsbury joins crew as a Mid Under Gunner

18.2.45. War Ops – Attack Against Wesel
Lancaster Mk.I HK554 JN-Z
Bill Jones returns as Mid Upper Gunner
George Giles returns as Rear Gunner

19.2.45. War Ops – Attack Against Wesel
Lancaster Mk.III PB418 AA-C
Same crew

22.2.45. War Ops – Attack Against Osterfeld
Lancaster Mk.I HK597 JN-N
Alan Rhodes replaces F/S Campin as Wireless Operator
Jim Murphy replaces George Giles as Rear Gunner
P/O Gwyn Duglan joins crew as a Mid Under Gunner

23.2.45. War Ops – Gelsenkirchen
Lancaster Mk.I HK563 JN-W
Sgt. W. Campin returns to replace Alan Rhodes as Wireless Operator
Sgt. Frank Watts replaces Jim Murphy as Rear Gunner
F/S T. Dewsbury returns to crew as Mid Under Gunner.

26.2.45. War Ops – Attack Against Dortmund
Lancaster Mk.I NF935 AA-P
George Giles returns as rear Gunner

27.2.45. War Ops – Attack Against Gelsenkirchen
Lancaster Mk.I HK591 ‘N’? (A/C does not appear in database?)
Same crew

2.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Cologne (ABORTED)
Lancaster Mk.I NG448 JN-P
Same crew

5.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Gelsenkirchen
Lancaster Mk.I NG449 JN-T
Same crew

6.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Wesel
Lancaster Mk.I HK554 JN-Z
Same crew

17.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Auguste Viktoria
Lancaster Mk.I ME751 AA-M
Same crew

20.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Hamm Marshalling Yards
Lancaster Mk.I RF157 AA-X
Sgt. J. Tutty replaces George Giles as Rear Gunner

27.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Hamm
Lancaster Mk.I  RF127 ‘W’
Richard Urlich joins crew as 2nd Pilot

4.4.45. War Ops – Attack Against Mereseburg
Lancaster Mk.III LM728 AA-R
Bill Reay joins crew as 2nd Pilot

9.4.45. War Ops – Attack Against Kiel
Lancaster Mk.I RA127 AA-W
Same crew

14.4.45. War Ops – Attack Against Potsdam
Lancaster Mk.I RF127 AA-W
Same crew

22.4.45. War Ops – Attack Against Bremen
Lancaster Mk.I RF127 AA-W
Edward Plowman joins crew as 2nd Pilot

7.5.45. Operation Manna –  Supply Dropping Delft
Lancaster Mk.I RF127 AA-W
LAC Barnes replaces Jones as Passenger instead of Mid Upper Gunner

10.5.45. Operation Exodus
Lancaster MK.I HK561 AA-Y
Same crew

12.5.45. Operation Exodus
Lancaster Mk.I RF127 AA-W
F/S A. Griffiths replaces Jim Saunders as Air Bomber

14.5.45. Operation Exodus
Lancaster Mk.I RF127 AA-W
J. Crawford replaces F/S Griffiths as A/B

4 thoughts on “Jim Saunders, Air Bomber – Stevens crew

  1. John Stackhouse

    I have a photo album with a number of photos of the Stevens crew and Jim Saunders. It includes crew photos, individual photos, crew relaxing, Stevens and Saunders on leave, some of Lancs and group photos. Along with other material related to 75 Squadron I will try to find the time to send some of it through! The naming of the crew is correct as per the second photograph, of which I have a very similar original.

    Like

    Reply
    1. 75nzsquadron Post author

      Hi John
      Great to hear from you as always and of course, I would be fascinated to see any additional images you have of the Jim and the Stevens crew – and I’m glad the captioning was right – always a worry when I get group photographs!

      cheers again

      Simon

      Like

      Reply
    2. Nigel Saunders

      Many, many thanks for the post Simon. You have added details about his time during the war that I knew nothing about and I’m so grateful for that as well.

      Like

      Reply
      1. PaulStevens

        I am charles stevens son I have numerous photos and Dads flighrt log book if any of his his crews family are intersted

        Like

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