2/8/43 Attack Against Targets at Hamburg

Crew
F/S Allan Johnson Mayfield RNZAF. Pilot
P/O Jack Francis David Jarmy. Navigator
Sgt. Robert Douglas  Sommerville. Air Bomber
Sgt. F. Weaver. Wireless Operator
Sgt. A. Warburton. Flight Engineer
Sgt R. Bullen. Mid Upper Gunner *
Sgt. John Sebastian Hulena RNZAF. Rear Gunner

Aircraft
Striling Mk.I EE893 ‘N’ for Nab

Flight
Up 23.15 2nd August
Down 05.45 3rd August
Total Flight Time 6 hours 30 minutes

1356658 Sgt. A/G Bullen, R. Posted to Combined Reselection centre w.e.f. 18/10/43 (Authy.P/N.3G/2380/43/ dd 16/10/43)

page 607 1943. Form 540/ 541 AIR27/ 646  75(NZ) Squadron RAF, Mepal. National Archives.

*There is no clear reason why at this point Sgt. Bullen leaves the crew after this raid. There appears to be no further record of him flying with any other crew. The crew movements for  October note that he left Mepal. His posting to a Combined Reselection Centre suggests for whatever reason he did not fit in the Squadron, or possibly his crew.

Jack recalls on this op the Flight Engineer accidentally turned the wrong fuel valve whilst balancing wing fuel loads as they approached the Dutch coast on the way out. All for engines stopped mid air and everybody was reaching for their chutes – luckily the FE realised what had happened and opened the valve pretty quick smartish and they flew on to the target. The crew never spoke about this event on their return to Mepal…..

75 (NZ) Sqn RAF Operations Record Book (ORB)
2/8/43
Operations. 
Seventeen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lb and 4lb. Six of the aircraft returned early owing to severe icing and engine trouble, two failed to return. The remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Large fires and columns of smoke were seen although this attack was not considered to be a successful as the previous one. Moderate heavy and light A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered, which proved to be ineffective. Some enemy aircraft were seen but no combats took place. The weather was good at the beginning of outward journey, but cloud gathered and was 10/10ths at the target, icing and electrical storms were also encountered. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk. III EH928 captained by Sgt. Baille, P. and BF 557 captained by F/Sgt. Couper, J.A.

Page 555, 1943. Form 540/ 541 AIR27/ 646  75(NZ) Squadron RAF, Mepal. National Archives.

Stirling Mk.III EH928 AA-A
P/O. Cyril Philip Bailie RAF 1578834/ 155786. Pilot, 26th Apr to 3rd Aug 1943. Died Tuesday 3rd August 1943, age 21, during a raid on Hamburg. Buried Lemvig Cemetery, Denmark.

F/Sgt Jack Thomson* RNZAF NZ421145. 2nd Pilot. 29th Jul to 3rd Aug 1943. Died Tuesday 3rd August 1943, age 26, during a raid on Hamburg, his 2nd sortie. No known grave. Commemorated on Panel 199 Runnymede Memorial.

F/O William Turner RNZAF NZ416579. Nav. 26th Apr to 3rd Aug 1943. Died Tuesday 3rd August 1943, age 22, during a raid on Hamburg. No known grave. Commemorated on Panel 198 Runnymede Memorial.

Sgt Joseph Isherwood RAFVR 1502733. AB. 26th Apr to 3rd Aug 1943. Died Tuesday 3rd August 1943, age 31, during a raid on Hamburg. No known grave. Commemorated on Panel 154 Runnymede Memorial.

Sgt Eddie Millward RAFVR 1385557. WOAG. 26th Apr to 3rd Aug 1943. Died Tuesday 3rd August 1943, age 20, during a raid on Hamburg. No known grave. Commemorated on Panel 89 Runnymede Memorial.

Sgt William Howard Thompson RAFVR 1484375. FE. 26th Apr to 3rd Aug 1943. Died Tuesday 3rd August 1943, age 21, during a raid on Hamburg. No known grave. Commemorated on Panel 167 Runnymede Memorial.

Sgt Thomas Purdie RAFVR 1554949. AG. 26th Apr to 3rd Aug 1943. Died Tuesday 3rd August 1943, age 27, during a raid on Hamburg. No known grave. Commemorated on Panel 161 Runnymede Memorial.

Sgt Ernest Francis Hunting RAFVR 1358198. AG.  26th Apr to 3rd Aug 1943. Died Tuesday 3rd August 1943, age 22, during a raid on Hamburg. No known grave. Commemorated on Panel 154 Runnymede Memorial.

*F/Sgt. Thomson, having been killed on this raid left the remainder of his crew to be dispersed – it is believed that William Lake and Sgt. T Derbyshire (both later to join the Mayfield crew) were part of this crew.

Stirling Mk.III BF577 JN-M
Sgt James Arthur Couper
RNZAF NZ417027. Pilot. 21st Jun to 3rd Aug 1943. Died Tuesday 3rd August 1943, age 31, when his aircraft collided with a Do.217 over the target at Hamburg, Buried Hamburg War Cemetery, Germany

Sgt George Albert Walker RAFVR 1332840. Navigator. 4th Jun to 3rd Aug 1943. Died Tuesday 3rd August 1943, age 21, during a raid on Hamburg. Buried Hamburg War Cemetery, Germany

Sgt Geoffrey Scott Corlett RNZAF NZ42289. AB. 21st Jun to 3rd Aug 1943. Died Tuesday 3rd August 1943, age 20, when they collided with a Do.217 over the target at Hamburg. Buried Hamburg War Cemetery, Germany.

F/Sgt Sydney Cecil Oliver Reeves RNZAF NZ42339. WOAG. 21st Jun to 3rd Aug 1943. Died Tuesday 3rd August 1943, age 21, during a raid on Hamburg when they collided with a Do.217 over the target area. Buried Hamburg War Cemetery Germany.

Sgt James Wilson Sneddon RAFVR 1342219. FE. 19th Jun to 3rd Aug 1943. Died Tuesday 3rd August 1943 during a raid on Hamburg when they collided with a Do.217 over the target area. Buried Hamburg War Cemetery Germany.

Sgt Thomas Edward Wadeson RAFVR  1489406. AG. 19th Jun to 3rd Aug 1943. Died Tuesday 3rd August 1943, age 21, during a raid on Hamburg. Buried Hamburg War Cemetery Germany.

Sgt Alan Ashworth RAFVR 1529817.  AG. 19th Jun to 3rd Aug 1943. Died Tuesday 3rd August 1943, age 21, during a raid on Hamburg. Buried Hamburg War Cemetery, Germany.

Bomber Command War Diary
2/3 August 1943
740 aircraft – 329 Lancasters, 235 Halifaxes, 105 Stirlings, 66 Wellingtons, 5 Mosquitos despatched on a failed raid to Hamburg. The bombing force encountered a large thunderstorm area over Germany and many crews turned back early or bombed alternative targets. At least 4 aircraft, probably more, were lost because of icing, turbulence or were struck by lightning. No Pathfinder marking was possible at Hamburg and only scattered bombing took place there. Many other towns in a 100-mile area of Northern Germany received a few bombs. A sizeable raid developed on the small town of Elmshorn, 12 miles from Hamburg. It is believed that a flash of lightning set a house on fire here and bomber crews saw this through a gap in the storm clouds and started to bomb the fire.

30 aircraft – 13 Lancasters, 10 Halifaxes, 4 Wellingtons, 3 Stirlings – lost, 4.1 per cent of the force.

Page 415, The Bomber Command War Diaries. 2011. Everitt Middlebrook. Midland publishing.

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