Monthly Archives: July 2014

Bill Jordan’s visits to 75 (NZ) Squadron – 1942

DSC_0045

– NZBCA archives, Morri Parker collection.

Another fantastic photo from the archives of the NZ Bomber Command Assn., and as a result, several more questions …!!

As a bit of background on Bill Jordan, the following from Wikipedia
Jordan served as New Zealand’s High Commissioner to London from September 1936 to 1951. For much of this time, London was New Zealand’s only diplomatic posting, and Jordan became prominent as New Zealand’s official representative overseas.

Jordan was highly regarded during the War for his loyalty to New Zealand servicemen and women, and his care for soldiers.

Jordan’s reputation among officials and Cabinet colleagues was much less warm. He frequently refused instructions from Wellington on the basis that remote officials at home could not accurately assess New Zealand’s position. Jordan was loathed by his deputies, Major General W. G. Stevens and Dick Campbell. Secretary of External Affairs Alister McIntosh had frequent difficulties with Jordan. Deputy Prime Minister Walter Nash had feuds with Jordan, stemming from Nash’s position representing the Prime Minister at international gatherings that Jordan felt was his own right to represent.

Despite this, Jordan remained a popular figure among the public in New Zealand. In 1949, with the Labour Party defeated from office, the incoming National Government decided to retain Jordan in his post, until 1951. He was knighted in 1952. He was a Christian Socialist and Methodist home missionary. He died in Auckland on 8 April 1959.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Joseph_Jordan

now over to Chris………..

This appears to be a poster or fold-out taken from a book or magazine, from the collection of Maurice Parker, Bomb Aimer for the Whitehead crew (March – September 1943).

Not only is it a nice record of the camaraderie and spirit of the time (Jordan was apparently very popular with the men), but individual faces can be clearly recognised (click the photo to see a larger version).

Two names are hand-written at the top, with arrows pointing to “Maurice C”, and “Rex”.

“Maurice C” is probably Maurice “Nick” Carter, DFC, Wireless Operator with Jack Wright’s crew. Nick is alive and well and featured in a recent news item about the remarking of the MoTaT Lancaster in Auckland:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11270114

Does anyone have any idea who “Rex” could be?

After finishing a tour of 30 op’s with 75 (NZ) Sqdn, Nick Carter went with Jack Wright to 156 (PFF) Sqdn, as did two other crew members, Raymond “Podge” Reynolds, DFC, and Charles “Charlie” Kelly, DFC. They became the famous “Thomas Frederick Duck” crew (https://75nzsquadron.wordpress.com/2014/01/19/new-zealanders-in-the-air-war-john-jack-leonard-wright-the-crew-of-thomas-frederick-duck/).

You can see Charlie Kelly in the photo above (directly above Jordan’s head, three of four back), as well as members of the Raharuhi crew, Marama Parata and Mikaere Manawaiti (far right).

The photo is credited to Sport & General, and is captioned:

“Visit by NZ High Commissioner, W.J. “Bill” Jordan, 7 August 1942. The CO, Wing Commander V. Mitchell DFC, leads the cheers. Behind Mr Jordan is Mildenhall’s Station Commander, Group Captain Wasse.”

However there is a problem with the date in the caption, as the Squadron didn’t move to Mildenhall until the 15th August 1942.

The Operational Record Book (Form 540) for 7 August does record a visit that day, but doesn’t mention Jordan:

“Visit of Air Commodore Isitt, Wing Commander Freeman DSO, DFC and bar, and the New Zealand Minister in Washington, the Hon. Mr Walter Nash. A group photograph of visitors and Squadron aircrew was taken”.
That’s definitely Jordan in the photo, not Nash, and not Isitt (the RNZAF’s head man in the UK at that time) or Freeman, so most likely the date given to the photo is incorrect, and this was a different occasion.

A Mildenhall Squadron Visit is recorded in the ORB on 9 October 1942, more likely the occasion recorded in the photograph above:  “The Right Hon Mr W.J. Jordan High Commissioner for New Zealand visited the Squadron. Photographs of aircrew personnel were taken.”

A visit, more or less around this time, is mentioned by Jack Moller in his memoirs, some time after the disastrous Hamburg raid of 28 July 1942:

“This was a balls up as we expected a saturation raid with about 600 aircraft, but for some reason all Groups except 3 Group were given a BBA (Return to Base) early on in the raid and we went in like sitting ducks. When we found out what had happened the mood on the Sqdn was quite mutinous and Bill Jordan the NZ High Commissioner was sent down from London to pacify the NZ airmen.”

Jordan visited the Squadron on several occasions – several photos survive, but in each case, dates and details are missing.

One of Jordan’s earliest visits was to Feltwell in late 1940, to “con­fer, on be­half of His Majesty, the Dis­tin­guished Fly­ing Medal upon Cor­po­ral C.B.G.Knight New Zealand Squadron and to meet Wing Com­man­der M.W. Buck­ley, M.B.E., with the Of­fi­cers, N.C.O’s and men of his Squadron”.

Sgt Colin Beres­ford Gra­ham Knight, DFM, a Wireless Operator, was the first mem­ber of the RN­ZAF to be dec­o­rated in the the Sec­ond World War. His DFM was gazetted in January 1940 for an incident that took place in December 1939, when he was with 99 Squadron, so it seems strange that his presentation took place only after he joined 75 (NZ) Squadron, which wasn’t until September 1940.
Was this photo taken during that visit?:

standard - Copy (10)

– NZBCA archives.

Jordan later arranged for a supply of boxing gloves and rugby boots to be sent to the Squadron.

On another occasion, according to Alec Rowe, Rear Gunner with the Parker crew, Jordan came down to sort out a dispute where the NZ’ers were extremely upset over an order to relinquish their RNZAF uniforms for standard RAF issue.

This photo is said to have been taken on that occasion, some time between March and September 1941:

BillJordanVisit

– Photo from Dion Rowe, via Wings Over New Zealand forum.

Two of Jordan’s visits were said to have involved ‘mutinous’ situations, and we would love to know more about them. If anyone has more details, please let us know.

Thanks again to Peter Wheeler and the NZ Bomber Command Assn., for permission to reproduce the photos above.

Group portrait of the 75th New Zealand Bomber Squadron, 1942

22753875

Group portrait of the 75th New Zealand Bomber Squadron, Royal Air Force, alongside a Vickers bomber aeroplane, England Date: 20 Jun 1942 Credit: National Library of New Zealand. Ref: 1/2-123840-G http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22753875 Description: 75th New Zealand Bomber Squadron, Royal Air Force, alongside a Vickers bomber aeroplane, 30 June, 1942, in England. Photographer unidentified. Evening Post (Wellington, NZ).

Many thanks to Chris for this post regarding a Squadron group photographs from 1942.

This photo comes from the National Library of New Zealand, a relatively casual portrait, and probably too small a number (56?) to be the full Squadron. Still, its a great photo.

The date credited, 20 June 1942, seems more likely to be the date published in Wellington’s Evening Post, than the date that the photo was taken.

Slightly to the right of centre, front row standing, hands clasped in front, is P/O Eric George Delancey Jarman, DFC RAAF (AUS.404507), Pilot, Nov 1941 to 3 Aug 1942.

Immediately to the left of him, I believe,  is a member of his first crew, 2nd Pilot P/O Trafford McRae Nicol RNZAF, NZ411929, who died on 23 April 1942.

The crew’s Rear Gunner was also killed in the same incident, and three other crew members injured, two of whom did not continue flying with Jarman. I can see two other members from Jarman’s first crew as well who don’t appear in 2nd crew photos, so I think this photo was probably taken before the 22 April incident, the same one in which Jarman earned his DFC.

The chap with cigarette behind and just over Jarman’s shoulder is, I think, Sgt R. S. (Ron) Davey, RAF, Front Gunner in both of Jarman’s crews.

Jarman flew 41 op’s to complete his tour with 75 (NZ) Squadron, and then went on to a second tour with 460 Squadron. He was promoted to Squadron Leader, but on their 9th op’, he and 5 of his crew were lost over Germany on 28 April 1944. The crew is immortalised in a famous painting, “Bomber Crew” (http://www.awm.gov.au/exhibitions/stella/detail-p5-i58.asp), which was still in progress when they were shot down.

Four to the left of Jarman, the imposing figure with folded arms, is W/C Edward George “Ted” Olson, DSO, RNZAF (NZ1006). Olson was OC of 75 (NZ) Squadron from 6 April to 30 July 1942.

The presence of both Olson and Nicol suggests a date for this photo of around mid April 1942.

Olson later rose to Group Captain, Air Commodore, and Air Officer Commanding (AOC) of RNZAF HQ, London, before being forced to return to NZ due to ill health in 1945. He died on 15 May 1945, in New Plymouth.

The photo below appeared in the Evening Post in 1942, apparently taken at the same time, and probably by the same photographer:

75SqdnEarly1942EveningPostCarter

Personnel of the No. 75 (New Zealand) Bomber Squadron in front of one of their machines. Evening Post, 1942. – NZBCA archives, Maurice (Nick) Carter collection.

Olson, Jarman, Nicol and others are clearly visible in the same positions.
Thanks again to Peter Wheeler and the NZ Bomber Command Assn., for permission to reproduce the second photo.

Read more about the painting that Chris mentioned in the post here.
Read more about the events of the night of 23rd April, within a post about Feltwell Cemetery here.(about half way down the post)

Doetinchem (Loolaan) General Cemetery – Netherlands

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Many thanks to Phillip for supplying these gravestone images of the Nunn crew.

A force of just 54 aircraft, including 13 Wellington bombers from 75(NZ) Squadron RAF took off to bomb the German city of Essen, on the 8th of November 1941. 3 Wellingtons were lost on this raid – all from 75(NZ) Squadron RAF.

Wellington IC, X9977, captained by Sgt. Geoffrey Nunn  is believed to have been shot down at approximately 21.36hrs by a German night-fighter, piloted by Lt Werner Rowlin, III./NJG1. The aircraft crashed to the ground at Ijzevoorde (Gelderland), East of Doetinchen, Holland. All crew members were killed.

Sgt Geoffrey Sidney Nunn RAF 1252728 – Pilot. Age 20
Sgt Thomas Young Wylie  RNZAF NZ40401 – 2nd Pilot. Age 25
Sgt Richard Dundas RAF 986084 – Observer. Age 23
F/S Thomas Edison Elliot  RCAF R.52050 – Front GUnner. Age 20
Sgt Alfred Hubert Harrison RNZAF NZ403000 – Wireless Operator. Age 25
Sgt William Massey RAF 1365268 – Rear Gunner. Age 33

Beesel Roman Catholic Cemetery – Netherlands

SONY DSC

On the 21st of July 1944, 147 Lancasters and 11 Mosquitos took off to attack the Fischer Tropsch oil refinery/aviation fuel producer in Homberg. Although the raid was considered a relative success, this success came at a massive price – whilst the ground anti aircraft  defenses were as expected, the German Nachtjagd fighters were merciless in their assault when they came across the approaching bombers.  20 aircraft failed to return – 7 of which were from 75(NZ) Squadron RAF – the Squadrons highest single loss figure for any raid during the War.

Lancaster Mk I HK56, AA-Q, Piloted by F/S Neil Douglas Davidson was intercepted by a German night-fighter on the outbound leg of their flight, at approximately 01.25 hrs at Heibloem, Limburg, 5 miles South, South West of Venlo Holland.

In a desperate attempt to control the now blazing and badly damaged aircraft, F/S Davidson flew over the River Maas, but then turned and tried to land it in the river, he succeeded but the aircraft hit the river bank and with its full bomb load on board, HK569 exploded.

Prior to impact, the Air Bomber, Sgt. T. G. Little had baled out, but was seriously injured on landing, after his parachute failed to open properly. Sgt. Little was captured and spent the remainder of the War as a Prisoner of War in Stalag Luft IXC.

Prior to impact with the river bank, the tail section of the aircraft broke away and landed in a nearby field. The Rear Gunner, F/S Henry is thought to have perhaps survived in this wreckage for up to 2 days after the crash, but his body was not found until 2 weeks later by a farm labourer, working with the Dutch Resistance. Henry’s body was buried in Beesel Roman Catholic Cemetery.

F/S Henry John Hiscox RAFVR 928092 – Rear Gunner. Age 35

The ferocity of the impact and subsequent explosion meant that no remains of the rest of the crew were found. The are commemorated  at the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England

F/S Neil Douglas Davidson RNZAF NZ422057 – Pilot. Age 21
Sgt Arthur Ernest John Goddard RAFVR 1323147 – Navigator. Age 22
Sgt Douglas Corris RAFVR 1501099 Wireless Operator. Age 21
Sgt Robert Gerald Sloman RAFVR 914220 – Flight Engineer. Age 24
Sgt Raymond Stanley Lang RAFVR 1896528 – Mid Upper Gunner. Age 32

To read a more detailed account of the loss of the Davidson crew and to see the list of all 75(NZ) Squadron RAF crew lost on the 21st July 1944 Homberg Op, click here.

Colin Woonton, Navigator – Waugh crew and ND801’Astra’

ColinLancaster_0002 face cleaned

The Waugh crew posing in front of ND801 JN-V ‘Get Sum Inn’ prior to their final Op to Mersburg on the 6th December 1944. Far right back row is Collin Woontan, Navigator and front row right is Thomas Waugh, Pilot. Based on the picture at the bottom of the post, I am guessing that back row second from left is the crew’s Flight Engineer Sgt. N. Southgate. The precise positions of the other members of the Waugh crew are know at this time. What is also very interesting about this photograph is the apparently extra nose art ‘Astra’ and a white star.© Robert McAdam

A massive thanks to Robert for sending these new photographs of ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’, this time related to Tom Waugh’s crew. Rob’s Father-in-Law was Colin Woonton, Navigator.

Very interestingly, after the war Colin was instrumental in getting the MoTaT Lancaster MK VII NX665/WU13 under cover, he was the CEO of Asmuss Steel at the time. Perhaps fitting as this Lancaster is now painted to replicate NE181 JN-M ‘The Captains Fancy’ – an aircraft the Waugh crew flew twice during their tour.

Fascinatingly, this crew photograph clearly shows more nose art on ND801 – the word ‘Astra’ and a white star. When I first saw this photograph, I wondered if perhaps this was an addition to ‘Get Sum Inn’, maybe by the Waugh crew themselves. However on consideration, I am not so sure – agonisingly, the original picture of ND801 that was posted a few weeks ago – I now realise – actually shows that the portion of the nose that this ‘discovered’ artwork sits on has been destroyed in the impact of the 3rd of February 1945 crash. So perhaps this new artwork was either original, or perhaps added after ‘Get Sum Inn’ – either way, its fascinating to realise that what we initially thought to be the nose art for ND801 has now with Robert’s photograph actually become more.

ND 801 002wm

© Pauline Whittall

Robert contacted me a few days ago and based on the work I had done to present ND801’s Op history using the database, I went back and added the relevant information for the Waugh crew. What follows therefore is an example of the concatenated data held, relative to an aircraft and a crew. Already I realise there is a bit to do with the database – I have no arrival information for a crew or individuals, or an automatic way to identify a ‘2nd’ Dickie’ Op(s) initially flown by a Pilot – but I’ll sort this at a later point.

Administration
27th July, 1944
159574 P/O T. Waugh and crew arrived on posting from No.31 Base.

04/08/44 Attack Against Bec D’Ambes
Lancaster Mk.III NE181 JN-V ‘The Captains Fancy’ (30)
F/S John Lethbridge and crew
F/O Thomas Christie Waugh 2nd Pilot

And so, the Waugh crew began their Operational career at 75(NZ) Squadron RAF,  Mepal.

05/08/1944 Attack Against Bassens
Lancaster Mk.III ND911 JN-V  (40)

F/O Thomas Christie Waugh, RAFVR 159174 – Pilot
F/S William Hannam Woonton, RNZAF NZ429055 – Navigator
Sgt. Robert Irwin Swetland, RAFVR 1098818/ 186577 – Air Bomber
Sgt. P. Kidd, RAFVR  – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate, RAFVR – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels, RNZAF NZ425852 – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage, RNZAF NZ424824 – Rear Gunner

Take Off 14:27 – Landed 22:23
Flight Time 07:56

08/08/1944 Attack Against Lucheux
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’ (40)
ORB Form 541
‘There was only slight opposition from A.A. fire, but enemy fighters were active and three of our aircraft had inconclusive combats, two suffering damage but no casualties’.

In collision with a German nightfighter which damaged the STB, fin and rudder. They managed to return to base and land safely although it was touch and go – from Robert McAdam, son in law of Colin Wooton

F/O Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/S William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
Sgt. Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
Sgt. P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 22:02 – Landed 01:24
Flight Time 03:22″

ColinLancaster_0004

The starboard rudder of ND801 after colliding with a German night fighter on the 8th August 1944, Lucheux Op. © Robert McAdam

ColinLancaster_0005

An other view of the starboard rudder of ND801. © Robert McAdam

09/08/1944 Attack Against Fort D’Anglos
Lancaster Mk.I HK563 JN-W ‘The Paper Doll’ (21)

F/O Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/S William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
Sgt. Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
Sgt. P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 22:07 – Landed 00:22
Flight Time 02:15

11/08/1944 Attack Against Lens
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’ (41)

F/O Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/S William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
Sgt. Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
Sgt. P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 14:27 – Landed 17:52
Flight Time 03:25

12/08/1944 Attack Against Russelsheim
Lancaster Mk.I HK597 JN-P ‘Bad Penny IV’ (3)

F/O Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/S William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
Sgt. Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
Sgt. P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 21:46 – Landed 02:37
Flight Time 04:51

14/08/1944 Attack Against Hamel
Lancaster Mk.I HK563 JN-W ‘The Paper Doll’ (23)

F/O Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/S William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
Sgt. Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
Sgt. P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 13:57 – Landed 17:40
Flight Time 03:43

16/08/1944 Attack Against Stettin
Lancaster Mk.I HK601 JN-D  (5)

F/O Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/S William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
Sgt. Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
Sgt. P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 21:05 – Landed 05:02
Flight Time 07:57

18/08/1944 Attack Against Bremen
Lancaster Mk.I HK601 JN-D  (6)

F/O Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/S William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
Sgt. Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
Sgt. P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 21:34 – Landed 03:33
Flight Time 05:59

25/08/1944 Attack Against Russelsheim
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’ (45)

F/O Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/S William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
Sgt. Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
Sgt. P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 20:33 – Landed 05:04
Flight Time 08:31

26/08/1944 Attack Against Kiel
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’ (46)

F/O Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/S William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
Sgt. Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
Sgt. P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 20:04 – Landed 01:29
Flight Time 05:25

05/09/1944 Attack Against Le Havre
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’ (49)

F/O Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/S William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
Sgt. P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 17:36 – Landed 20:58
Flight Time 03:22

06/09/1944 Attack Against Harqueboc Le Havre
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’ (50)

F/O Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/S William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
F/S P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 15:39 – Landed 19:43
Flight Time 04:04

10/09/1944 Attack Against Montivilliers
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’ (51)

F/L Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/S William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
F/S P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 15:36 – Landed 19:21
Flight Time 03:45

11/09/1944 Mining in the Baltic Sea
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’ (52)

F/O Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/S William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
F/S P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 19:34 – Landed 02:52
Flight Time 07:18

12/09/1944 Attack Against Frankfurt
Lancaster Mk.III ND197 JN-O  (1)

F/L Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/S William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
F/S P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 18:40 – Landed 01:47
Flight Time 07:07

17/09/1944 Attack Against Boulogne
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’ (54)

F/L Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/S William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
F/S P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 10:06 – Landed 13:01
Flight Time 02:55

20/09/1944 Attack Against Calais
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’ (55)

F/L Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/S William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
F/S P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 14:35 – Landed 18:14
Flight Time 03:39

27/09/1944 Attack Against Calais
Lancaster Mk.I NF980 JN-F  (7)

F/L Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/S William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
F/S P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 07:21 – Landed 10:28
Flight Time 03:07

14/10/1944 Attack Against Duisburg
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 AA-X  (60)

F/L Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
– 2nd Pilot
W/O Richard Hilary Woodhouse – Navigator
Sgt John Hemmingway – Air Bomber
Sgt A Dibbs – Wireless Operator
Sgt. John Johnstone – Flight Engineer
Sgt. Esmond Pareta Montgomery Thomas – Mid Upper Gunner
Sgt. C. Chippendale – Rear Gunner

This entry in the ORB is quite perplexing as it clearly shows Tom Waugh Skippering a completely different crew. The crew appear to be that of what would become Alex Simpson’s crew – it would appear, certainly from information related to Woodhouse and Johnstone that they had only arrived at Mepal 2 days before. What further confuses this is that the Battle Orders for this first morning Op to Duisburg shows Tom Waugh with a completely different crew from that listed in Form 541 (what appears to be Jim McIntosh’s crew) – the final icing on this cake of confusion is that as you can see from the Duisburg Battle Orders below, Alex Simpson is listed as a 2nd Pilot  – Form 541 shows him flying this Op with Terry May’s crew. Additionally (as Chris notes in a comment below and I forgot to mention), ND801 is listed as ‘AA’, representing either ‘A’ or ‘B’ Flight, as opposed to its ‘C’ Flight designator of ‘JN’ – there appears to be no other corroborating evidence to suggest that ND801 ever carried a designator other than ‘JN’.

Take Off 06:47 – Landed 11:09
Flight Time 04:22

Battle Order for 14th October 1944, showing the 31 aircraft, morning Op to Duisburg – another trip to the same target would occur that night as well. Supplied by Tom Rae

14/10/1944 Attack Against Duisburg
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’ (61)

F/L Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
P/O William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
F/S P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 22:38 – Landed 03:30
Flight Time 04:52

19/10/1944 Attack Against Stuttgart
Lancaster Mk.I NF980 JN-F  (14)

F/L Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
P/O William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
F/S P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 17:35 – Landed 23:20
Flight Time 05:45

21/10/1944 Attack Against Flushing
Lancaster Mk.III NE181 JN-M ‘The Captains Fancy’ (63)

F/L Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
P/O William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
F/S P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 11:17 – Landed 14:10
Flight Time 02:53

22/10/1944 Attack Against Neuss
Lancaster Mk.III NE181 JN-M ‘The Captains Fancy’ (64)

F/L Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
P/O William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
F/S P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 13:27 – Landed 17:33
Flight Time 04:06

23/10/1944 Attack Against Essen
Lancaster Mk.I HK561 JN-Y  (15)

F/L Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/O John Murray watts? – Navigator
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
F/S P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 16:51 – Landed 21:27
Flight Time 04:36

25/10/1944 Attack Against Essen
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’ (62)

F/L Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
P/O William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
F/S P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 13:20 – Landed 17:19
Flight Time 03:59

29/10/1944 Attack Against West Kapelle
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’ (64)

F/L Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
P/O William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
F/S P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 10:00 – Landed 12:32
Flight Time 02:32

31/10/1944 Attack Against Bottrop
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’ (66)

F/L Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
P/O William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
F/S P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 11:49 – Landed 16:35
Flight Time 04:46

02/11/1944 Attack Against Homberg
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’ (68)

F/L Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
P/O William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
F/S P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 11:38 – Landed 15:46
Flight Time 04:08

04/11/1944 Attack Against Solingen
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’ (69)

F/L Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
P/O William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
F/S P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 11:31 – Landed 16:24
Flight Time 04:53

06/12/1944 Attack Against Mersburg Leuna Oil Refinery
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’ (82)
Crew photo of Waugh crew shows an additional piece of nose art on a/c – the word ‘Astra’ and a white star.

F/L Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/S John Henry Thomas Wood – 2nd Pilot
P/O William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
F/S P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 17:04 – Landed 00:36
Flight Time 07:32

ColinLancaster_0006 cont

Based on the Op count of ND801, this photograph of Tom Waugh and Flight Engineer Sgt. N. Southgate was probably taken prior to the Mersburg Op of 6th December 1944. This would be the 81st Op for ND801 and the last for the Waugh crew. © Robert McAdam

Ben Wood, Pilot – a little more information

Benny

F/S Benjamin Brinley ‘Benny’ Wood, Pilot – lost with all of his crew on 23rd June 1943, Mülheim. © Liz and Dave Wood

Many thanks to Liz for passing on this wonderful picture of Ben Wood, her husbands Uncle.

Benjamin ‘Benny’ Wood was lost with all of his crew on the 23rd of June 1943 on the Mülheim Op – their aircraft, Stirling Mk.III EF408 AA-P was hit by flak.

The Wood crew on the Mulheim Op were;
F/Sgt Benjamin Brinley Wood RAFVR 656588 – Pilot. Age 24
F/Sgt. George King Samson RNZAF NZ402563 – Navigator. Age 27
F/Sgt Stuart Richard Bisset RNZAF NZ415738 – Air Bomber. Age 20
Sgt Edgar Henry Reader RAFVR 1331432 – Wireless Operator. Age 21
Sgt. Stanley Lawrence Webb RAFVR 1266998 – Flight Engineer. Age 33
Sgt. Frederick Johns Hobbs RAFVR 1609558 – Mid Upper Gunner. Age 19
Sgt. Cyril Benjamin Hemmings RAFVR 1235070 – Rear Gunner. Age 21

Liz has passed on the following biographical information on Ben:
Ben was born in 1919 in New Tredegar, Wales, the family went to Jersey in about 1928.  He finished his education at St Clements School Jersey.  His first job was as a bus conductor.  He was then an apprentice Motor Engineer at La Motte St Garage, Jersey.  As he was of military age, had he stayed in Jersey he would have been interned.  He left the Island in June 1940, and joined the RAF.   Trained as a Cadet Pilot at the Dart School of Aeronautics, Albany, Georgia, USA.  He married Sadie on 13th April 1943 and tragically died only two months later.

See the gravestones of the Wood crew, now resting in Reichswald War Cemetery here.
See a photograph of Ben as a young man, tending vegetables in his parents garden in Jersey here.
Read about the Wood crew and their Wreless Operator Edgar Reader here.

Borculo General Cemetery, Netherlands

crem compd red

Many thanks to Philip for supplying these gravestone images.

On the 6th September 1941 86 airfract, including 13 Wellingtons from 75(NZ) Squadron RAF, took off from various airfields to bomb a chemical pant in Hüls. The Squadron lost 2 of the Wellingtons on this Op, one was X9767.

Wellington Mk IC, X9767, Captained by P/O James Edward Johnson,  was shot down by a German night fighter (flown by Oblt Emil Woltersdorft, Unit 111, NJG1) over Holland. The Wellington crashed into the sea at approximately 00.11hrs near Borculo (Gelderland) South East of Lochem, Holland. None of the crew survived.

P/O James Edward Johnson RAF 66519 – Pilot. Age 21
Sgt Peter Simpson Dickson Johnston RAF 776002 – 2nd Pilot. Age 28
Sgt William John Barker RAF 1378561 – Rear Gunner. Age 33
Sgt Wilfred Bearne RAF 976174 – Wireless Operator. Age 22
Sgt Ronald Davies RAF 751130 – Front Gunner. Age 23
Sgt Robert Michael Minchin RAF 751355 – Observer. Age 22