5/9/43 Attack Against Targets at Mannheim

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

Aircraft
Striling Mk.III EH939 ‘J’ for Johnny

Flight
Up 19.15 5th September
Down 02.15 10th September
Total Flight Time 6 hours 30 minutes

75 (NZ) Sqn RAF Operations Record Book (ORB)
5/9/43
Operations.   
Nineteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lb. and 4lb. One aircraft had trouble shortly after take-off and was forced to jettison its bombs four miles north of CAMBRIDGE. The attack was well concentrated and large fires together with heavy explosions were seen. Moderate heavy A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered, which were ineffective. One aircraft on the return journey when near the FRENCH Coast was hit by A.A. fire. It received considerable damage and two of its engines were made unserviceable. The ENGLISH Coast was reached however, it belly-landed at Hunsden. Many fighters were seen and some combats took, place. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. H.BATGER sighted an enemy aircraft on the port quarter which opened fire on them and our aircraft corkscrewed. The Mid-upper and Rear Gunner then opened fire and the enemy aircraft was seen to dive to the ground in flames. It was claimed as destroyed. Our aircraft received considerable damage and the Flight Engineer Sgt. R. DALKINS was seriously wounded. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. R. WHITMORE sighted an enemy aircraft 100yds. astern, the Mid-upper and Rear Gunners opened fire, the enemy aircraft was seen to turn over and spin into the ground afire. It was claimed as destroyed. This was flowed by another enemy aircraft approaching from starboard to port astern, the Mid-upper and Rear Gunners again fired and the enemy aircraft broke away. One minute later an unidentified aircraft was seen firing at a Lancaster aircraft, which was afire. F/Sgt. WHITMORE’s Mid-Upper and Rear Gunners opened fire on the enemy aircraft, which disappeared. The Lancaster was then seen to break up. Some cloud was encountered on the way to the target, but there was a clear sky and visibility was good in the target area. Navigation was very good. One aircraft failed to return, it was captained by F/Sgt. WILKINSON, E.S.
Page 585, 1943. Form 540/ 541 AIR27/ 646  75(NZ) Squadron RAF, Mepal. National Archives.

Stirling Mk.III EE893 JN-N 
F/S. Ernest Stanley Wilkinson RNZAF NZ417138. Pilot. 15th May to 6th September 1943. Died Monday 6th September 1943, age 25. Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany.

F/S. Gordon Noel Simes RNZAF NZ415376. Nav. 15th May to 6th September 1943. Shot down Monday 6th September 1943. Baled out over target area and unconscious for some days after parachute descent. POW No. 43292. Camps Dulag Luft, Obermasseld Hospital, Stalag IXC and 357. Promoted to Warrant Officer whilst a PoW. Member of Caterpillar Club.

F/S. Neil Gordon Roy Treacher RNZAF NZ416418. AB. 15th May to 6th September 1943. Shot down  Monday 6th September 1943. The Stirling crashed at Schwanheim. POW No. 222548. Camps, Dulag Luft, Stalag IVB. Promoted to Warrant Officer as PoW. Safe UK, 17th May 1945.

Sgt. Jeffrey James Waterman RAFVR 1312274. WOAG. 15th May to 6th September 1943. Died Monday 6th September 1943, age 21. Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany.
Sgt. Timothy Whatley. RAFVR 1314153. FE. 19th June to 6th September 1943. Died Monday 6th September 1943, age 22. Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany.

Sgt. E.S.Robson RAFVR 1810690. AG. 15th May to 6th September 1943. Shot down Monday 6th September 1943. POW No. 222770. Camps Dulag Luft, Stalag IVB. Safe uk date unknown.

F/S. George Stanley Wilkinson RAFVR 642538. AG. Xth September 1942 to 18th February 1943 and then 2nd August to 6th September 1943. Died Monday 6th September 1943, age 27. Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery , Germany.

Bomber Command War Diary
5/6 September 1943
605 aircraft – 299 Lancasters, 195 Halifaxes, 111 Stirlings – ordered to carry out a second ‘double’ attack, this time against Mannheim and Ludwigshafen. 34 aircraft – 13 Halifaxes, 13 Lancasters, 8 Stirlings – lost, 5.6 per cent of the force. The target area for this double attack was clear of cloud and the Pathfinder marking plan worked perfectly. Ground-markers were placed on the eastern side of Mannheim so that the bombing of the Main Force – approaching from the west – could move back across Mannheim and then into Ludwigshafen on the western bank of the Rhine. The creepback did not become excessive and severe destruction was caused in both targets.

4 Mosquitos to Düsseldorf, 25 aircraft minelaying in the German Bight, near Texel and off Brest and Lorient. No aircraft lost.
Page 429, The Bomber Command War Diaries. 2011. Everitt Middlebrook. Midland publishing.

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