Monthly Archives: December 2014

Francis Cassidy McIntyre, Wireless Operator – Bateson crew

Francis portrait

Sgt Francis McIntyre, Wireless Operator with Benjamin Bateson’s crew, all who were lost on the 25th of June 1944 during an attack on Rimeux. © Archie McIntyre

Many thanks to Archie for contacting me about his Father, Francis McIntyre, Wireless Operator with the Bateson crew, who were all killed on the  25th of June 1944 during an attack on Rimeux.

The story that Archie bought to me was deeply disturbing regarding the possible fate of the crew  – I would like to thank Kevin and Errol for responding to my request for information on the crew and the information, particularly that Errol was able to provide to perhaps put Archie and his family’s worries to rest regarding the events of the 25th of June.

In Archie’s own words, his Fathers story is a tragic one:
“He was the old man on the plane being 25 when he died. His one year old daughter died in 1942 and his 20 year old wife also died in 1942, yet he still few on for another 18 months. Surely they could have spared him this as he was all I had left. He was by all accounts very depressed at this time.”

Rescue training

A group of airmen during their training undertaking life raft drill (location and date unknown) Francis is sat on the left of the dinghy. © Archie McIntyre

The Bateson crew first met at No. 11 Operational Training Unit on the 16th November 1943, moving to 1651 Heavy Conversion Unit on the 18th March 1944. The crew began their final stage of training at Feltwell at No.3 Lancaster Finishing School on the 19th of May. 8 days later the Bateson crew arrived at their first Operational unit – 75(NZ) Squadron RAF.

29 days later the Bateson crew would be dead.

As was normal at this time, Ben Bateson flew a single Op with Richie Millar and his crew to Trappes on the 31st of May. On the 2nd of June the Bateson crew flew their first Op to Wissant.

The bateson crew

The Bateson crew, stood in front of the rear tail plane of what we must deduce to be ND756. From left to right: Sgt. Maurice Frederick Morgan ( Air Bomber), Sgt. Francis Cassidy McIntyre (Wireless Operator), F/S Bruce Milne (Rear Gunner), F/S Benjamin William Bateson (Pilot), Sgt. Colin Harry Slater, (Flight Engineer), Sgt. Geoffrey Leonard Startin (Navigator) & Sgt. Ernest Lewis Connett (Mid Upper Gunner). © Archie McIntyre

The picture above of the Bateson crew and ND756 is perhaps a little strange and worth exploring. Firstly, there appears to be at least 3 bomb silhouettes that have been painted over – suggesting perhaps that this aircraft had been based elsewhere before arriving at Mepal – in fact, according to ‘Lancaster – the Definitive History’ by Harry Holmes, ND756 came straight to 75(NZ) Squadron on the 13th March 1944. Next, based on Ops in the database, The Bateson crew made their only flight in ND756 on the 10th of June to Dreux – according to records this would have been the aircraft’s 19th Op – and thus, if one assumes the photograph was taken pre-Op, it should show 18, however, even factoring in the apparently rather inaccurate tally of only 9 (rather than I assume the more normal 10) in the second row, the tally sits at 22 – suggesting this is the 23rd Op – which would place it on the 21st of June, or simply a ‘random’ photo opportunity with the aircraft sometime between the 17th and 21st of June.

02/06/1944 – Attack Against Wissant
Fifteen aircraft were detailed to attack a target at Wissant, N. France. Owing to thick cloud over the target, twelve aircraft were unable to identify the markers and brought their bombs back. No opposition was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.III ND752 AA-O (20)

F/S Benjamin William Bateson, RNZAF NZ424788 – Pilot.
Sgt. Geoffrey Leonard Startin, RAFVR 1600846 – Navigator.
Sgt. Maurice Frederick Morgan, RAFVR 1394772 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Francis Cassidy McIntyre, RAFVR 1562888 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Colin Harry Slater, RAFVR 1815706 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Ernest Lewis Connett, RAFVR 1236363 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Bruce Milne, RNZAF NZ428017 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 01:20 – Landed 03:55
Flight Time 02:35

03/06/1944 – Attack Against Calais
Ten aircraft were detailed to attack Calais, and all crews were successful in contributing to a good concentrated raid in clear weather. Defences were slight to moderate and no enemy fighters were seen.

Lancaster Mk.III ND752 AA-O (21)

F/S Benjamin William Bateson, RNZAF NZ424788 – Pilot.
Sgt. Geoffrey Leonard Startin, RAFVR 1600846 – Navigator.
Sgt. Maurice Frederick Morgan, RAFVR 1394772 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Francis Cassidy McIntyre, RAFVR 1562888 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Colin Harry Slater, RAFVR 1815706 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Ernest Lewis Connett, RAFVR 1236363 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Bruce Milne, RNZAF NZ428017 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:35 – Landed 02:35
Flight Time 02:00

05/06/1944 – Attack Against Ouistreham
The target for No.3 Group was the coastal battery at Ouistreham in N. France. This target, and others in the same area were attacked by strong forces of Bomber Command aircraft immediately prior to the Anglo-American Invasion of the Continent. Twenty six aircraft from this Squadron participated and all were successful in bombing their target with the aid of markers. Opposition was very slight.

Lancaster Mk.I ME702 AA-Q (7)

F/S Benjamin William Bateson, RNZAF NZ424788 – Pilot.
Sgt. Geoffrey Leonard Startin, RAFVR 1600846 – Navigator.
Sgt. Maurice Frederick Morgan, RAFVR 1394772 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Francis Cassidy McIntyre, RAFVR 1562888 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Colin Harry Slater, RAFVR 1815706 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Ernest Lewis Connett, RAFVR 1236363 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Bruce Milne, RNZAF NZ428017 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 03:45 – Landed 06:50
Flight Time 03:05

06/06/1944 – Attack Against Lisieux
Twenty four aircraft took off, as detailed, to attack a target at Lisieux, in support of the invading forces which were establishing a bridge head in Normandy. All aircraft successfully bombed the target and an accurate attack was reported. Only slight opposition was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.III HK557 AA-P ‘Peter’ (3)

F/S Benjamin William Bateson, RNZAF NZ424788 – Pilot.
Sgt. Geoffrey Leonard Startin, RAFVR 1600846 – Navigator.
Sgt. Maurice Frederick Morgan, RAFVR 1394772 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Francis Cassidy McIntyre, RAFVR 1562888 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Colin Harry Slater, RAFVR 1815706 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Ernest Lewis Connett, RAFVR 1236363 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Bruce Milne, RNZAF NZ428017 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:50 – Landed 03:38
Flight Time 03:48

08/06/1944 – Attack Against Fougeres
Twenty aircraft took off as detailed to attack Fougeres in N. France. Nineteen aircraft bombed successfully, one bringing its bombs back owing to the Bomb sight being unserviceable when over the target area. Two aircraft had inconclusive combats with enemy aircraft, but the remainder carried out their mission without incident, there being no opposition in the target area.

Lancaster Mk.III ND753 AA-G (10)

F/S Benjamin William Bateson, RNZAF NZ424788 – Pilot.
Sgt. Geoffrey Leonard Startin, RAFVR 1600846 – Navigator.
Sgt. Maurice Frederick Morgan, RAFVR 1394772 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Francis Cassidy McIntyre, RAFVR 1562888 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Colin Harry Slater, RAFVR 1815706 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Ernest Lewis Connett, RAFVR 1236363 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Bruce Milne, RNZAF NZ428017 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:50 – Landed 02:30
Flight Time 04:40

10/06/1944 – Attack Against Dreux
Of the twenty four aircraft detailed to bomb Dreux, twenty two successfully attacked in good weather, the marshalling yards being visually identified until they were obscured by smoke. One aircraft had an inconclusive combat with a JU.88. The aircrafts captained by NZ422098 P/O. L. Bonisch and NZ422267 F/S. Donaghy, T. failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.III ND756 AA-M (19)

F/S Benjamin William Bateson, RNZAF NZ424788 – Pilot.
Sgt. Geoffrey Leonard Startin, RAFVR 1600846 – Navigator.
Sgt. Maurice Frederick Morgan, RAFVR 1394772 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Francis Cassidy McIntyre, RAFVR 1562888 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Colin Harry Slater, RAFVR 1815706 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Ernest Lewis Connett, RAFVR 1236363 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Bruce Milne, RNZAF NZ428017 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:00 – Landed 03:20
Flight Time 04:20

21/06/1944 – Attack Against Domleger
Twenty three aircraft were detailed to attack the constructional works at Domleger during daylight. Two aircraft failed to take off and the remainder were unable [to] locate the target, the markers not being visible owing to 10/10th cloud. they were instructed by the master bomber to abandon their mission, and apart from some aircraft which jettisoned their load, bombs were brought back. Opposition was very slight.

Lancaster Mk.I ME691 AA-R (26)

F/S Benjamin William Bateson, RNZAF NZ424788 – Pilot.
Sgt. Geoffrey Leonard Startin, RAFVR 1600846 – Navigator.
Sgt. Maurice Frederick Morgan, RAFVR 1394772 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Francis Cassidy McIntyre, RAFVR 1562888 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Colin Harry Slater, RAFVR 1815706 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Ernest Lewis Connett, RAFVR 1236363 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Bruce Milne, RNZAF NZ428017 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:00 – Landed 20:50
Flight Time 02:50

23/06/1944 – Attack Against L’Hey
Twenty aircraft were detailed to attack the constructional works at L’Hey. All crews bombed on instructions from the Master bomber, and the glow of fires seen through clouds indicated a concentrated raid. Opposition was very slight, although one aircraft had an inconclusive combat with two enemy fighters.

Lancaster Mk.III ND920 AA-P (22)

F/S Benjamin William Bateson, RNZAF NZ424788 – Pilot.
Sgt. Geoffrey Leonard Startin, RAFVR 1600846 – Navigator.
Sgt. Maurice Frederick Morgan, RAFVR 1394772 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Francis Cassidy McIntyre, RAFVR 1562888 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Colin Harry Slater, RAFVR 1815706 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Ernest Lewis Connett, RAFVR 1236363 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Bruce Milne, RNZAF NZ428017 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:15 – Landed 01:35
Flight Time 02:20

24/06/1944 – Attack Against Rimeux
Twenty five aircraft took off as detailed to attack the constructional works at Rimeux. Twenty four crews bombed successfully with the aid of markers, and an accurate raid was reported.   There were numerous searchlights in action, but the A.A. opposition was not serious. The aircraft captained by NZ424788 F/S. Bateson, B. failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.III ND920 AA-P (23)

F/S Benjamin William Bateson, RNZAF NZ424788 – Pilot.
Sgt. Geoffrey Leonard Startin, RAFVR 1600846 – Navigator.
Sgt. Maurice Frederick Morgan, RAFVR 1394772 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Francis Cassidy McIntyre, RAFVR 1562888 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Colin Harry Slater, RAFVR 1815706 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Ernest Lewis Connett, RAFVR 1236363 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Bruce Milne, RNZAF NZ428017 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:18 – Landed –
Flight Time MISSING

F/S Benjamin William Bateson – Pilot. Died age 22.
Sgt. Geoffrey Leonard Startin – Navigator. Died age 20.
Sgt. Maurice Frederick Morgan – Air Bomber. Died age 23.
Sgt. Francis Cassidy McIntyre – Wireless Operator. Died age 25.
Sgt. Colin Harry Slater – Flight Engineer. Died age 20.
Sgt. Ernest Lewis Connett – Mid Upper Gunner. Died age 21
F/S Bruce Milne – Rear Gunner. Died age 21.

All are buried in Collective Grave No.7, Fruges Communal Cemetery, France.

As I mentioned at the top of this post. Archie came to me with a shocking and potentially very serious story regarding the fate of the Bateson crew:

“My name is Archie McIntyre, I am 74 years old and living in Falkirk , Scotland. My Father was a wireless operator on a Lancaster which was shot down in Fruges, France, near Pas de Calais where he and the rest of the crew were buried. This was on 25th June 1944. In the early 1960’s his older sister went on holiday to France and visited the grave. While she was standing at the grave a French woman spoke to her and said she saw the plane come down and the local people buried all the crew of whom none had survived. That was the story for 70 years until the sister was on her death bed when she confided in another relative the real details. It appears that the plane came down on the German side, (this was shortly after D-Day) and the Gestapo ran up and shot all the crew. All the crew survived the landing although some were injured. The young New Zealand Pilot, I think 22 years old, must have done an amazing job getting it down.”

I must confess, on reading this, I was speechless and quite shocked – the implication was that clearly a war crime had been committed and suddenly I was acutely aware that my sphere of knowledge simply did not extend to this sort of thing. An email to Kevin bought, as always, sound and good council – the possibility of other relatives coming a cross a post of this nature was far too problematic to simply post to see what came back and, I must confess, Kevin suggested a very obvious (only in hindsight to me) route of inquiry and he contacted Errol Martyn.

‘Pleased’ is wholly not the right word to describe the material that Errol returned via Kevin  – but I was pleased and relieved at what I read, even though the contents of the Missing Research Enquiry Unit (MREU) made very cold and uncomfortable reading.

The Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was set up in 1944 to trace the 42,000 personnel who were listed as ‘missing, believed killed’. The demand was so great that the department was expanded in 1945.

These men had no special training, and did not have the benefits that modern technology offers; only a strong desire to bring home those who had not returned. Despite the obstacles caused by the lack of tools, the MRES was able to account for over two thirds of the missing personnel by a thorough combing of the globe. Those found were identified and reinterred in Commonwealth War Graves Commission plots.

Without the commitment shown by the dedicated teams of the MRES, many families would go on not knowing what had happened to their loved one or of the location of their Final resting place. The MRES allowed families the dignity to finally grieve. The unit was disbanded in 1952. (Royal Airforce Museum)

image001

A letter from the New Zealand Air Department to the Father of Ben Bateson. “According to local eye witnesses of the crash, the plane exploded on impact and buried itself in a deep crater, all the members of the crew being instantly killed, such remains as were recovered were buried by French civilians in Grave No.7 in the Fruges Communal Cemetery. Supplied by Errol Martyn

image002

Supplied by Errol Martyn

 

Hopefully this information has bought some closure to Archie and his family – certainly the reportage of the events of the 25th are precise and clinical, but as I said in the email to Archie that contained these documents, at least the boys felt no pain.

I know Archie is keen to try to reconnect with relatives of the crew – so hopefully one, or someone that knows one, might see this post and help Archie reach further closure regarding the loss of his Father

 

After the War – Allan Johnson Mayfield, Pilot

1009_zps83b99e7c

One assumes a group of Fieldair pilots taken some time in 1955. Stood second from left, Allan Johnson Mayfield, Bob’s Pilot from his first tour with 75(NZ) Squadron, July to November 1943. Picture courtesy John Chiplin

Many thanks to John for passing on this group photograph of what I assume to be Fieldair pilots from 1955. Second from left in the photograph is Allan Johnson Mayfield – my Father’s first tour Pilot in 1943. After completing his second tour with 128 LNSF Squadron, Allan returned to New Zealand and joined Fieldair, a top dressing company. John joined some time later and got to know Allan.

An earlier post I made about Fieldair contained a story about how the company got a goose as it’s company logo and at the time I wondered if the pilot in question might have been Allan – whilst not able to confirm this John recalls another incident:

” The only “incident” I am aware of is as follows. He recalled working off Lawson Field’s Makiri strip which was curved with a bank on the blind  side. Allan Mayfield was working on the same job, both men flying Tiger  Moths. The day was going well with the Tiger on the ground having the right of way. They had a good routine going. After a refuel, Allan took off, Bob was waiting to be loaded, there was a hiccup with the loader which delayed Bob’s take-off. Mayfield must have thought that Bob had already taken off as he couldn’t see around the curve and landed, not knowing that Bob was under full power, thundering around the curve, only to see Mayflower heading straight for him. Bob couldn’t stop, Mayfield couldn’t go anywhere, all 4 port wings were destroyed in the impact. Bob ended up upside down, Mayfield managed to stop after looping, both were surprised to be ok after the dust settled.”

Ivan Hislop RNZAF NZ428181 Navigator. 1945 – logbook

P1060021

© Kerry Foster

Thanks again to Kerry (belatedly) for the contribution of a number of documents of Ivan Hislop, Navigator with Jim Westbrooke’s crew, March to July 1945. As well as Ivan’s logbook, which can be seen here. Kerry commented when me met in the summer, that what impressed him about these documents was Ivan’s apparent determination to fly.

He initially trained as a pilot commencing training with No 2 E.F.T.S. in Ashburton New Zealand on the  8th March 1943,  soloing 22nd March 1943. However it appears the training was terminated due to lack of aptitude on 11th April 1943.

P1060019cropped out for blog

Extract from Ivan Hislop’s logbook showing the rather sad appraisal of his flying skills – ‘Flying terminated – lack of aptitude’ © Kerry Foster

By the 14th of February 1944 Ivan was receiving navigational training in Canada under the E.A.TS. 2 A.O.S. During further training in the UK he was crewed up with F/Lt James Westbrooke while at 11 O.T.U. Oakley before flying their first & only bombing Op with 75(NZ) Squadron on the 9th April 1945 to Kiel. The Westbrooke crew finished their posting in 75(NZ) Squadron with Manna food drops, Prisoner Repatriation, Post Mortems and Baedecker.

As well as Ivan’s logbooks, Kerry also has sent through additional documentation:

P1060542

A close-up of Ivan’s Identity card, showing his RNZAF mug shot. © Kerry Foster

P1060541

Ivan’s full Identity card. © Kerry Foster

P1060031

Paybook. © Kerry Foster

P1060033

Ivan’s final transfer to reserve instructions. © Kerry Foster

 

 

 

A Seasonal Post…..

P1070195 cropped and cleaned

Courtesy Kerry Foster

Kerry has kindly passed these items to me and given the nature of them I felt it was fitting to post them today. The top image is the outside cover of an RAF Christmas card from Feltwell, 1941. Below is the inside of the card. Kerry says not much is known of ‘Ted’ other than he was apparently Ground crew with 75(NZ) Squadron RAF for the duration of the war.

joining of christmas card 1941

Courtesy Kerry Foster

The second item is a NAAFI purchased 75(NZ)  Squadron RAF calender for 1943.

P1070194

Courtesy Kerry Foster

So, from 75nzsquadron.com to all of you:

Have a Merry Christmas

and a

Prosperous New Year

Leslie Gordon ‘Bill’ Sinclair – Pilot. 1945

Pops crew cont and tone

The Sinclair crew, stood in front of HK600 JN-K “Kiwi”. Back row left to right: Bill Glover (Rear Gunner), Alan McRobert (Mid Upper Gunner), Bill Sinclair (Pilot) & George Painting (Flight Engineer). Front row left to right: Sandy Sommerville (Navigator), Ian Rowe (Air Bomber) & Ian Foster (Wireless Operator). © Sinclair Family

Many thanks to the family of Leslie Gordon ‘Bill’ Sinclair for getting in touch with me and also sending these remarkable pictures of Bill’s crew that clearly show another ‘named’ aircraft of 75(NZ) Squadron RAF.

Pops crew kiwi contrasted with innes logo

A close up of the nose of HK600, with contrast modified to show what is clearly a flying kiwi – the illustration to the right gives us a better idea of what the nose art looked like. © Sinclair Family

Bill and boys flew in “Kiwi” 6 times whilst they were at Mepal – which tends me to think that perhaps HK600 had the nose art before this – the photograph also throws up another interesting point. Obviously its impossible to say (at this point) when the group photograph in front of “Kiwi” was taken – the Sinclair crew first flew in her on the 13th of April to Kiel, their last flight in her being on the 28th of May, to view ‘the effects of the Bombing Offensive’. The ‘pure database record for HK600 shows 55 and 68 Ops respectively for these 2 raids (we must of course remember that in a pre-Op photo, the tally will not reflect that raid……). Based on the photograph, we could at this point conjecturise that “Kiwi’ had already 5, or as many as 18 ‘non-counting’ Ops at some point in its career…..

To this end, it’s clear that the secondary clarification of an individual aircraft’s history is simply not the case of counting how many times it appears in the ORB’s and its obvious that a fair bit of time is going to have to be spent reconciling ‘total’ Op tally’s versus ‘actual’ Op counts. Already, the database shows that HK562 and PB418 are listed over 100 times, though as I have said, until the raid details and aborts have been factored in, we should keep or streamers in their wrapping

Having said this – I do have a story and an extract from a logbook that contains a clear note regarding PB418 ‘Charlie’ hitting 100 Ops, in addition to an already published picture showing 100 Ops……..

7.3.45. F/O L.G. Sinclair and crew arrived on posting from No. 73 Base.

09/03/1945 – Attack Against Datteln
Twenty one aircraft attacked Datteln as detailed. A good concentration of aircraft and bombing reported. Cloud ten tenths. No opposition was encountered. A mushroom of smoke was seen penetrating cloud.

Lancaster Mk.I PB820 JN-V (33)

F/L Douglas St.Clair Clement, RNZAF NZ421679 – Pilot.
F/O Leslie Gordon ‘Bill’ Sinclair, RNZAF NZ428917 – 2nd Pilot.
Position of 2nd Pilot recorded in Logbook but not recorded in ORB

Take Off 10:44 – Landed 16:08
Flight Time 05:24

10/03/1945 – Attack Against Gelsenkirchen Buer
Twenty one aircraft attacked Gelsenkirchen as detailed. Aircraft bombed in light formation and all bombs were dropped together. Cloud was ten tenths. Slight H/F was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I HK593 JN-X  (24)

F/O Leslie Gordon ‘Bill’ Sinclair, RNZAF NZ428917 – Pilot.
F/O Alexander Annandale ‘Sandy’ Sommerville, RNZAF NZ425459 – Navigator.
F/S Ian Dalrymple Rowe, RNZAF NZ4210043 – Air Bomber.
P/O Ian Anderson Foster, RAAF AUS.423091 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. George Painting, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alan McRobert, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William ‘Bill’ Glover , RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:36 – Landed 17:21
Flight Time 04:45

11/03/1945 – Attack Against Essen
Twenty one aircraft were again detailed for operations, tis time against Essen. Very slight H/F was the only opposition. Cloud was 10/10ths. A gradual blackening of the cloud tops was all that could be seen

Lancaster Mk.I HK593 JN-X  (25)

F/O Leslie Gordon ‘Bill’ Sinclair, RNZAF NZ428917 – Pilot.
F/O Alexander Annandale ‘Sandy’ Sommerville, RNZAF NZ425459 – Navigator.
F/S Ian Dalrymple Rowe, RNZAF NZ4210043 – Air Bomber.
F/O Ian Anderson Foster, RAAF AUS.423091 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. George Painting, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alan McRobert, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William ‘Bill’ Glover , RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:52 – Landed 17:19
Flight Time 05:27

14/03/1945 – Attack Against Heinrich Hutte
Twenty aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Crews found the target covered with 10/10ths cloud. Formation was good though the target and bombs fell away together. Very accurate moderate H/F was met on the run in and over the target. F/Lt. E. Parsons in AA”E” failed to return. His aircraft was seen to be hit causing it to spiral into cloud. F/S McLernon landed at Woodbridge but returned to base the following day.

Lancaster Mk.I PB820 JN-V  (36)

F/O Leslie Gordon ‘Bill’ Sinclair, RNZAF NZ428917 – Pilot.
F/O Alexander Annandale ‘Sandy’ Sommerville, RNZAF NZ425459 – Navigator.
F/S Ian Dalrymple Rowe, RNZAF NZ4210043 – Air Bomber.
F/O Ian Anderson Foster, RAAF AUS.423091 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. George Painting, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alan McRobert, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William ‘Bill’ Glover , RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 13:45 – Landed 18:43
Flight Time 04:58

18/03/1945 – Attack Against Bruchstrasse
Seventeen aircraft were detailed to attack the coking areas and Bensol plant at Bruchstrasse. Cloud was 10/10ths over the target with tops at 6/7,000 ft. Crew report formation was good through the target and bombs fell away together. No results were seen. Slight H.F was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I HK601 JN-D  (80)

F/O Leslie Gordon ‘Bill’ Sinclair, RNZAF NZ428917 – Pilot.
F/O Alexander Annandale ‘Sandy’ Sommerville, RNZAF NZ425459 – Navigator.
F/S Ian Dalrymple Rowe, RNZAF NZ4210043 – Air Bomber.
F/O Ian Anderson Foster, RAAF AUS.423091 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. George Painting, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alan McRobert, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William ‘Bill’ Glover , RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:58 – Landed 17:07
Flight Time 05:09

21/03/1945 – Attack Against Munster Viaduct
Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack the Muster Viaduct. There was hardly any cloud over the target. It is thought that the concentration was good although the formation was broken up just prior to bombing. Three aircraft failed to return from this operation – AA”T”, NZ42451 F/L J. Plummer, AA”R” NZ429139 P/O A. Brown and JN”P” 190947 P/O D.S. Barr. All three aircraft were seen to hit in the target area. Considerable H/F was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I NG322 JN-F  (38)

F/O Leslie Gordon ‘Bill’ Sinclair, RNZAF NZ428917 – Pilot.
F/O Alexander Annandale ‘Sandy’ Sommerville, RNZAF NZ425459 – Navigator.
F/S Ian Dalrymple Rowe, RNZAF NZ4210043 – Air Bomber.
F/O Ian Anderson Foster, RAAF AUS.423091 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. George Painting, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alan McRobert, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William ‘Bill Glover , RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 10:02 – Landed 15:25
Flight Time 05:23

13/04/1945 – Attack on Kiel
21 aircraft were detailed to attack Kiel. The target was covered by 10/10 cloud with tops 4/5000. Bombing was concentrated and fires were seen on leaving the target. Flak was slight. M/B was clearly heard. (AA’K’ F/O. Morgan W.) returned early, bombs were jettisoned. This was also a leaflet raid.

Lancaster Mk.I HK600 JN-K “Kiwi” (55)
Appears to have carried a flying Kiwi bird as noseart and was certainly know to the Sinclair crew as “Kiwi”
F/O Leslie Gordon ‘Bill’ Sinclair, RNZAF NZ428917 – Pilot.
F/O William George Reay, RNZAF NZ4211843 – 2nd Pilot.
F/O Alexander Annandale ‘Sandy’ Sommerville, RNZAF NZ425459 – Navigator.
F/S Ian Dalrymple Rowe, RNZAF NZ4210043 – Air Bomber.
F/O Ian Anderson Foster, RAAF AUS.423091 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. George Painting, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alan McRobert, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William ‘Bill’ Glover , RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:31 – Landed 02:14
Flight Time 05:43

18/04/1945 – Attack on Heligoland
25 aircraft were detailed to attack the target HELIGOLAND. Weather was good with good visibility. Crews were able to identify northern top of Island and also western edge. The rest of the Island was obliterated by smoke. Bomb bursts on fires. The crews bombed as ordered by the Master Bomber and bombing was thought to be well concentrated, but there was some overshooting as well as undershooting.

Lancaster Mk.I HK600 JN-K “Kiwi” (57)

F/O Leslie Gordon ‘Bill’ Sinclair, RNZAF NZ428917 – Pilot.
F/O Alexander Annandale ‘Sandy’ Sommerville, RNZAF NZ425459 – Navigator.
F/S Ian Dalrymple Rowe, RNZAF NZ4210043 – Air Bomber.
F/O Ian Anderson Foster, RAAF AUS.423091 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. B. Fletcher, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alan McRobert, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William ‘Bill’ Glover , RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 10:34 – Landed 15:27
Flight Time 04:53

20/04/1945 – Attack on Regensburg
20 aircraft were detailed to bomb REGENSBURG. Perfect visibility and the river, dock and target areas could be made out. Bombing appears to have been fairly well concentrated round the target starting with a slight undershoot but some bombs also spread to the M/yards beyond. The crew on starboard side of formation claimed direct hits on railway bridge. Flak slight but accurate.

Lancaster Mk.I HK600 JN-K “Kiwi” (58)

F/O Leslie Gordon ‘Bill’ Sinclair, RNZAF NZ428917 – Pilot.
F/O Alexander Annandale ‘Sandy’ Sommerville, RNZAF NZ425459 – Navigator.
F/S Ian Dalrymple Rowe, RNZAF NZ4210043 – Air Bomber.
F/O Ian Anderson Foster, RAAF AUS.423091 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. B. Fletcher, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alan McRobert, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William ‘Bill’ Glover , RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 09:51 – Landed 17:17
Flight Time 07:26

24/04/1945 – Attack on Bad Oldesloe
21 aircraft were detailed to attack BAD OLDESLOE. JN/N (F/L Preyer) failed to take off owing to engine trouble and AA/Y (F/S Reay) made an early return owing to fire in starboard outer engine. No opposition was encountered but slight flak seen over Dutch Coast. Some of the bombs fell to the port of the A/P. Main attack considered very good.

Lancaster Mk.I HK600 JN-K “Kiwi” (60)

F/O Leslie Gordon ‘Bill’ Sinclair, RNZAF NZ428917 – Pilot.
P/O William Caverhill Turnbull, RNZAF NZ4210995 – 2nd Pilot.
F/O Alexander Annandale ‘Sandy’ Sommerville, RNZAF NZ425459 – Navigator.
F/S Ian Dalrymple Rowe, RNZAF NZ4210043 – Air Bomber.
F/O Ian Anderson Foster, RAAF AUS.423091 – Wireless Operator.
W/O W. Peplow, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alan McRobert, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William ‘Bill’ Glover , RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 07:21 – Landed 13:13
Flight Time 05:52

01/05/1945 – Supply Dropping at Delft
21 Aircraft were detailed for Supply Dropping at Delft. The population were very excited. There was a great deal of flag waving and thanks messages were seen painted on roof tops.

Lancaster Mk.I NG322 JN-F  (49)

F/O Leslie Gordon ‘Bill’ Sinclair, RNZAF NZ428917 – Pilot.
F/O Alexander Annandale ‘Sandy’ Sommerville, RNZAF NZ425459 – Navigator.
F/S Ian Dalrymple Rowe, RNZAF NZ4210043 – Air Bomber.
F/O Ian Anderson Foster, RAAF AUS.423091 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. George Painting, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alan McRobert, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William ‘Bill’ Glover , RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 14:02 – Landed 16:26
Flight Time 02:24

03/05/1945 – Supply Dropping at Delft and the Hague
10 Aircraft were detailed for Supply Dropping, five for Delft and five for the Hague. Crowds and flag waving were not so extensive as before and enthusiasm seems to be waining.

Lancaster Mk.I HK600 JN-K “Kiwi” (62)

F/O Leslie Gordon ‘Bill’ Sinclair, RNZAF NZ428917 – Pilot.
F/O Alexander Annandale ‘Sandy’ Sommerville, RNZAF NZ425459 – Navigator.
F/S Ian Dalrymple Rowe, RNZAF NZ4210043 – Air Bomber.
F/O Ian Anderson Foster, RAAF AUS.423091 – Wireless Operator.
P/O Terence Joseph ‘Terry’ Murphy?, RAFVR 1622657, 186203 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. no mid upper gunner on this op,   – .
Sgt. William ‘Bill’ Glover , RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:32 – Landed 14:02
Flight Time 02:30

28/05/1945 – Viewing the Effects of the Bombing Offensive
3 Aircraft were detailed to view the effect of the B Bombing Offensive, F/O L. Sinclair (JN.K) taking Group Personnel.

Lancaster Mk.I HK600 JN-K “Kiwi” (68)

F/O Leslie Gordon ‘Bill’ Sinclair, RNZAF NZ428917 – Pilot.
F/O Alexander Annandale ‘Sandy’ Sommerville, RNZAF NZ425459 – Navigator.
F/O Alfred Hugh Woolcock, RNZAF NZ2121 – Air Bomber.
F/S W. Clough, RAAF AUS.423091 – Wireless Operator.
F/S Duncan Walker, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alan McRobert, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William ‘Bill’ Glover , RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 09:39 – Landed 13:58
Flight Time 04:19

19/06/1945 – Viewing the Effects of the Bombing Offensive
2 Aircraft were detailed for viewing the effects of the Bombing Offensive.

Lancaster Mk.I NN747 AA-D  (57)

F/O Leslie Gordon ‘Bill’ Sinclair, RNZAF NZ428917 – Pilot.
F/O Alexander Annandale ‘Sandy’ Sommerville, RNZAF NZ425459 – Navigator.
F/O Lawrence Luxton, RNZAF NZ4211873 – Air Bomber.
W/O Edward Spooner, RAAF AUS.423091 – Wireless Operator.
F/S Duncan Walker, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.

Take Off 09:27 – Landed 14:08
Flight Time 04:41

 

175,000 views – another 25,000 and this is the 500th post

A massive thank you to all the readers who have pushed us to this latest milestone regarding views. At 150,000 views, I decided to increase the figure to 25,000 views as postable milestones and I am pleased to say we have just reached it.

I have been quite frustrated over the last 5 weeks or so – an ongoing sinus problem finally blew up and resulted in a quite a serious secondary infection which in turn has left me struggling at the moment with a viral condition called labarynthitis which has left me suffering essentially with vertigo, even when I am sat down. Through all of this I struggled with the fact that despite having a lot of half finished posts, I simply was too ill to move anything forward.

Finally, I have managed to sit down properly and am going to try to keep the posts coming quite regularly over the Christmas period.

By pure chance, this post is also a milestone – the blog has now got 500 posts – an incredible figure, more so I think because the majority of these 500 posts have been through the generosity of relatives and interested parties – I hope this will continue and I am crossing my fingers that new people continue to discover the blog and in turn they are able to help us celebrate, commemorate and tell the stories of the boys in the Squadron.

I still maintain my original position – everything that is donated to the blog will be posted and made available to everyone, everything I receive, everything I discover, everything I am able to piece together I will share with all of you.

New visitors to the bog and more seasoned readers – please make sure you follow us – its just a click on the right hand side of the page and it guarantees you are notified of all new posts – so you don’t miss anything!

75nzsquadron.com continues to be the largest online resource relating to 75(NZ) Squadron RAF and it’s down to all of you – so thank you all very much for an early Christmas present!