Request for information – The McConnell crew

I have been contacted by Benard in France, who is seeking contact with relatives of the McConnell crew. For the last 9 years Benard has researched the losses that occurred during the War in the area of Avesnois, his home region.

Jim McConnell and his crew arrived with the Squadron on the 16th of September 1942, after flying a single 2nd dickie Op with Gerald Jacobson’s crew, the crew flew their first sortie to Terchelling on the 30th of September to drop sea mines.

The McConnell crews were all lost on their 8th Sortie on the 24th of October 1942, to Milan.

Wellington Mk.III BJ.725 AA-H was brought down by enemy action over France, crashing near Valencienns, 25 miles North East of Cambrai. All five crew were killed. They were buried at Valenciennes.

Sgt. James Allison Mcconnell, RNZAF NZ414646 – Pilot.
Killed age 21.
Son of James Allison Mcconnell and Jessie Campbell Mcconnell, of Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand.
Buried Valenciennes (St Roch) Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Plot 4. Row A. Coll. Grave 15.

Sgt. Selwyn Clarence Smith, RNZAF NZ41952 – Observer.
Killed age 29.
Son of E. T. and Sarah Elizabeth Smith, of Winton, Southland, New Zealand.
Buried Valenciennes (St Roch) Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Plot 4. Row A. Coll. Grave 15.

Sgt. Douglas Noel Tonkin, RNZAF NZ413285 – Front Gunner.
Killed age 22.
Son of Daniel and Annie Frances Tonkin, of Hastings, Hawke’S Bay, New Zealand.
Buried Valenciennes (St Roch) Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Plot 4. Row A. Joint grave 16.

Sgt. Arthur Quinn, RAFVR 1095594 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 21.
Son of Arthur and Margaret Quinn, of Seaham, Co. Durham.
Buried Valenciennes (St Roch) Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Plot 4. Row A. Coll. Grave 15.
‘He giveth
His beloved sleep
At rest’

Sgt. Vallance Albert Oliver Dimock, RNZAF NZ412317 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 22.
Son of Albert William and Rosy Dimock, of Wellington City New Zealand.
Buried Valenciennes (St Roch) Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Plot 4. Row A. Joint grave 16.

4 thoughts on “Request for information – The McConnell crew

  1. Chris Pritchard

    I am sorry if this is not the right platform but my Father a Halton “Brat” was based at Mepal. 75 New Zealand Squadron.Basil Pritchard. Does anyone know of Or have any record of him. Born 29.09.23.
    Many thanks
    Chris Cecile Pritchard

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  2. Cheryl Clare

    I am the niece of Arthur Quinn. His closest living relative, my father Raymond was his brother. I’m not sure if I can be of help but feel free to contact me.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Kevin King

      Hello Cheryl
      Thank you for getting in touch with regard to your uncle. Any information and photos would help to build a bigger picture of Arthur and his crew.
      Kevin
      Chairman of The Friends of 75 NZ Squadron Association.

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      Reply
  3. Pat Goldstiver

    Hello. I am very interested in your site as my Dad – Royden Joseph Burkitt – was a member of the 75th. I would respectfully suggest that as well as wanting information on pilots and their crews – what about an article on the lives of Ground Crew. My Dad (I understand) was working all hours of the days and nights repairing the planes so they could safely go out again – and again. In fact my Dad was twice Mentioned in Dispatches’ – as I guess were a lot of others. So it is not just about those that were risking their lives flying over Germany. We were billeted on the edge of an airport – Mepal I think – and were at times in danger of being bombed also. I was born in London during an air raid in 1942, so remember little as I was a tad too young – but what I do remember is sailing to New Zealand in 1945 in convoy and losing my hat overboard! We lived in New Plymouth after the war and I remember Dad going off to Wellington for the 75th Reunions which he very much enjoyed. We heard stories of walking on ceilings – please explain!!!

    There must be some great stories out there – get them down before it’s too late.

    Kind regards,

    Pat Goldstiver (Burkitt).

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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