A.G. Tolley crew 20.08.42 †

20/08/1942 – Gardening Off St. Nazaire
Five aircraft were detailed to carry out the above. Bomb load of Mines were dropped in the target area. Considerable A.A. fire was encountered near the target, searchlights were few. No enemy aircraft were seen. The weather was good. Wellington BJ.774 captained by F/Sgt. Anderson failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III X.3396 AA-S

Sgt. Alan Gray Tolley, RNZAF NZ411954 – Pilot.
Sgt. Errol Thomas Peterson Dalzell, RNZAF NZ411738 – Observer.
Sgt. Roderick McGregor, RAFVR 1100964 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Denis Patrick Hogan, RAFVR NZ412331 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Victor Arthur Tunbridge, RNZAF NZ411788 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:00 – Landed 00:00
Flight Time 03:00

24/08/1942 – Gardening Off Frisian Islands
Two aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation. Bomb load of 1500lb. Mines was dropped by one of the aircraft in the target area, the other aircraft failed to reach allotted spot for gardening owing to compasses becoming unserviceable. The weather was good, Navigation was by D.R. and T.R. Wellington X.3936 captained by Sgt. Tolley A.G. flew over a British convoy near the English coast. A.A. Fire from the convoy was very accurate causing the aircraft to take evasive action.

Wellington Mk.III X.3936 AA-T

Sgt. Alan Gray Tolley, RNZAF NZ411954 – Pilot.
P/O Errol Thomas Peterson Dalzell, RNZAF NZ411738 – Observer.
Sgt. Denis Patrick Hogan, RNZAF NZ412331 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Roderick McGregor, RCAF 1100964 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Victor Arthur Tunbridge, RNZAF NZ411788 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:45 – Landed 23:50
Flight Time 02:05

24/08/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Frankfurt
Eight aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack Bomb load of 500lb. And incendiaries were dropped in the target area, one large fire was observed. A.A. fire was heavy and accurate. Searchlights were moderate. Several enemy aircraft were seen, Wellington X.3396 Captained by Sgt. Kearns, R.S.D. was attacked by a FW.190. The weather was clear on route but cloudy over target. Navigation was excellent.

Wellington Mk.III X.3936 AA-T

Sgt. Alan Gray Tolley, RNZAF NZ411954 – Pilot.
P/O Errol Thomas Peterson Dalzell, RNZAF NZ411738 – Observer.
Sgt. Roderick McGregor, RAFVR 1100964 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Denis Patrick Hogan, RAFVR NZ412331 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Victor Arthur Tunbridge, RNZAF NZ411788 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:45 – Landed 23:50
Flight Time 02:05
29/11/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Turin
Two aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with Bomb loads of 1000lb and 500lb. Both of the aircraft failed to reach the target. Stirling I, BK609 captained by F/Sgt McCullough had to abandon the sortie owing to faulty bomb release gear, the bombs were jettisoned 66 miles West of Turin, the aircraft then ran short of petrol over French Territory, he managed to reach this country and landed at Bradwell Bay, over shooting the Aerodrome, the Air Bomber being slightly injured. Stirling I. BK618 captained by Sgt. Scott returned early, his bombs jettisoned in the Wash. The weather was very bad on the way to the target and also over England on return, visibility being Nil. Navigation was good by D.R. and T.R.

Stirling Mk.I BK.609 dnc AA-R

F/S John McCullough, RNZAF NZ40410 – Pilot.
Sgt. Alan Gray Tolley RNZAF NZ411954 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. William Edmund Gibbes, RNZAF NZ404535 – Navigator.
Sgt. Ian James Duncan Brodie, RAFVR 1344759/ 147474 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Keith James Stockley Smith, RNZAF NZ411783 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Francis Frederick Allen, RAFVR 936019 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. K.E. Kimmberley, RAFVR 1576231 – Mid Upper Gunner.
P/O Derek Arthur Stuart-White, RAFVR 917071/ 105152 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:05 – Landed 07:05
Flight Time 07:00

03/12/1942 – Operations. Gardening off Frisian Islands
Four aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with 1500lb. Vegetables, only three of the aircraft got off, the fourth being cancelled owing to engine trouble. This was a successful trip, all three aircraft planted their vegetable in the allotted area and the parachute were seen to open. No A.A. fire, searchlights or enemy aircraft were seen. The weather was clear with good visibility. Navigation was very good. This operation was only made possible by a stupendous effort on the part of the armoury as this attack was changed from a land to a sea attack later in the evening. A message of appreciation to ground crews was received from the Air Officer Commanding.

Stirling Mk.I BF.398 AA-F

F/S John McCullough, RNZAF NZ40410 – Pilot.
Sgt. Alan Gray Tolley RNZAF NZ411954 2nd Pilot.
F/S William Edmund Gibbes, RNZAF NZ404535 – Navigator.
Sgt. Terence Austin Murphy, RNZAF NZ413307 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Keith James Stockley Smith, RNZAF NZ411783 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Francis Frederick Allen, RAFVR 936019 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. K.E. Kimmberley, RNZAF 1576231 – Mid Upper Gunner.
P/O Derek Arthur Stuart-White, RAFVR 917071/ 105152 – Rear Gunner.

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

17/12/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Fallersleben
Five aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with bombs of 1,000lb. This was to be a low level flight all the way climbing to 5,000feet to bomb. Four out of the five aircraft unfortunately failed to return. They were the Squadron Commander, Wing Commander V. Mitchell, D.F.C., captain of Stirling I BF396 who took W/O Bagnall and crew who had only arrived a few days previously. Stirling I,BF400 captained by F/O Jacobson, Stirling 1, BK620 captained by P/O R.E. Williams, and Stirling I, R9247 captained by F/Sgt. Rousseau. The one aircraft to return was captained by P/O McCullough who could not find the target owing to rain and bad visibility, and bombed an alternative. This was an aerodrome, the bombs were seen to explode on the flare path and hangars. A.A. fore was fairly heavy and a few searchlights were seen. The aircraft was twice attacked by fighters but they were driven off on each occasion, on return the aircraft was found to have four holes believed due to combat with one of the fighters. The weather was clear to the target but developed to rain and 7/10th cloud on return. Navigation was good.

Stirling Mk.I R.9250 AA-C

P/O John McCullough, RNZAF NZ40410 – Pilot.
Sgt. Alan Gray Tolley RNZAF NZ411954 2nd Pilot.
F/S William Edmund Gibbes, RNZAF NZ404535 – Navigator.
Sgt. Terence Austin Murphy, RNZAF NZ413307 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Keith James Stockley Smith, RNZAF NZ411783 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Francis Frederick Allen, RAFVR 936019 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. K.E. Kimmberley, 1576231 – Mid Upper Gunner.
P/O Derek Arthur Stuart-White, RAFVR 917071/ 105152 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:45 – Landed 00:13
Flight Time 06:28

23/03/1943 – Mining off the Frisian Islands
One aircraft was detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1500 lb. All the mines were successfully dropped in the morning area and five of the parachutes were seen to open. It was quite an uneventful trip, no A.A. fire, searchlights, or enemy aircraft being encountered. There was haze over the sea up to a height of 4,000 feet. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.I BF398 AA-F

P/O Alan Gray Tolley, RNZAF NZ411954 – Pilot.
Sgt. William Henry Ellis, RAFVR 1021328 – Navigator.
Sgt. Frank Wakefield Upton, RNZAF NZ404430 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Cyril Thomas Cobb, RNZAF NZ412315 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Gerald Albert Raymond Town, RAFVR 1217965 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Frederick Joseph Earle, RAFVR 1332585 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ian Charles Salt, RNZAF NZ404046 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:32 – Landed 23:11
Flight Time 03:39

28/03/1943 – St. Nazaire
Two aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack with incendiary bombs of 30 lb. and 4 lb. They both successfully dropped their bombs in the target area, and good fires were seen to start. Moderate and heavy A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights, was encountered, but it was inaccurate. No enemy aircraft were seen the weather at the target was very good, with clear visibility. Navigation was good.

Stirling Mk.I W7469 AA-

P/O Alan Gray Tolley, RNZAF NZ411954 – Pilot.
F/S William Henry Ellis, RAFVR 1021328 – Navigator.
Sgt. Frank Wakefield Upton, RNZAF NZ404430 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Cyril Thomas Cobb, RNZAF NZ412315 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Gerald Albert Raymond Town, RAFVR 1217965 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Frederick Joseph Earle, RAFVR 1332585 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ian Charles Salt, RNZAF NZ404046 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:20 – Landed 01:20
Flight Time 06:00

04/04/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Kiel
Ten aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets, with incendiaries of 30 lb. and 4 lb. Four of the aircraft however returned early owing to engine trouble and one of the aircraft failed to take-off. The remaining five aircraft successfully bombed the target, although it was impossible to accurately assess results owing to heavy cloud, but nevertheless red glows were seen silhouetted against the clouds. Both light and heavy A.A. Fire was encountered, with searchlights co-operating. Some enemy aircraft were seen, but no combats took place. There was ten tenths cloud in the target area and visibility was not very good. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.I BF467 AA-W

P/O Alan Gray Tolley, RNZAF NZ411954 – Pilot.
F/S William Henry Ellis, RAFVR 1021328 – Navigator.
Sgt. Frank Wakefield Upton, RNZAF NZ404430 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Cyril Thomas Cobb, RNZAF NZ412315 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Gerald Albert Raymond Town, RAFVR 1217965 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Frederick Joseph Earle, RAFVR 1332585 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ian Charles Salt, RNZAF NZ404046 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:30 – Landed 23:00
Flight Time 02:30

08/04/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Duisburg
Nine aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks, with bombs of 1000 lb. and incendiaries of 30 lb. and 4 lb. Four of the aircraft however were forced to return early owing to severe icing conditions, which prevented the aircraft from gaining height. Four of the remaining aircraft successfully bombed the target through cloud. Large fires were seen glowing below the clouds. A fair amount of heavy predicted A.A. Fire was encountered, some enemy aircraft were seen, but no combats took place. The weather was 10/10ths cloud, with electrical storms, rain and severe icing. Which prevented this operation from being a complete success. Navigation was very good. Stirling III, BK770, captained by W/O Walsh, was returning to base at 01.10 hours a message was received from him, but this was the last heard of the aircraft until it was reported to have crashed at Bressingham, Norfolk, soon after this time. The aircraft exploded on impact and burnt out, and unfortunately the whole of the crew were killed.

Stirling Mk.III BF434 AA-X

P/O Alan Gray Tolley, RNZAF NZ411954 – Pilot.
F/S William Henry Ellis, RAFVR 1021328 – Navigator.
Sgt. Frank Wakefield Upton, RNZAF NZ404430 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Cyril Thomas Cobb, RNZAF NZ412315 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Gerald Albert Raymond Town, RAFVR 1217965 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Frederick Joseph Earle, RAFVR 1332585 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ian Charles Salt, RNZAF NZ404046 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:30 – Landed 02:15
Flight Time 04:45

10/04/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Frankfurt
Twelve aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1000lb and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb. Three aircraft were forced to return early as they failed to maintain height. Eight of the remaining aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. It was not possible to see the target owing to thick cloud, a large red glow was nevertheless seen. Both light and heavy A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights was encountered, although they were ineffective. Several enemy aircraft were seen and two short combats took place. There was 10/10ths cloud in the target area, but it was clear and dark above our aircraft. Navigations was excellent. Stirling III, BF455 captained by F/Sgt. Rothschild was hit over the target by A.A. Fire and also chased by enemy Fighters. This caused him to run short of Petrol over the English Channel on the way home, and he eventually crash landed in the sea, 3 miles off Shoreham. The wireless procedure had been perfect, and Spitfires escorted it over the French coast, and a Walrus Flying Boat was waiting for it to crash land. Dingy drill was perfect and all the crew got in safely after an immaculate landing – the Stirling floating for 25 minutes. The final scene was enacted in the Channel as the Walrus collided with the Dinghy and dropped all the crew in the sea. No Ill-effects except for Sgt. Grainger, the Flight Engineer, who suffered from shock. Stirling III BF456 captained by Sgt. Webb failed to return.

Stirling Mk.I W7469 AA-

P/O Alan Gray Tolley, RNZAF NZ411954 – Pilot.
F/S William Henry Ellis, RAFVR 1021328 – Navigator.
Sgt. Frank Wakefield Upton, RNZAF NZ404430 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Cyril Thomas Cobb, RNZAF NZ412315 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Gerald Albert Raymond Town, RAFVR 1217965 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Frederick Joseph Earle, RAFVR 1332585 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ian Charles Salt, RNZAF NZ404046 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:00 – Landed 06:30
Flight Time 06:30

14/04/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Stuttgart
Eleven aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with incendiary bombs of 30 lb and 4 lb. One aircraft returned early as the controls were faulty. None of the remaining aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Large fires were seen, together with a great deal of black smoke. There was a moderate amount of heavy A.A. Fire encountered on the way to the target, but very little in the target area. A few searchlights were seen, but they were ineffective. Some enemy aircraft were seen and short combats took place, but our aircraft were not damaged. It was very clear over the target, as there was a bright moon, and visibility was good in spite of slight ground haze. Navigation was very good. Stirling Mark III BF513 captained by P/O. D.J. McCaskill failed to return.

Stirling Mk.III BF506 AA-P

P/O Alan Gray Tolley, RNZAF NZ411954 – Pilot.
F/S William Henry Ellis, RAFVR 1021328 – Navigator.
Sgt. Frank Wakefield Upton, RNZAF NZ404430 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Cyril Thomas Cobb, RNZAF NZ412315 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Gerald Albert Raymond Town, RAFVR 1217965 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Frederick Joseph Earle, RAFVR 1332585 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ian Charles Salt, RNZAF NZ404046 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:35 – Landed 23:50
Flight Time 02:15

16/04/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Ludwigshaven
Eleven aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack, with bombs of 2000 lb, 1000 lb and incendiaries of 30 lb and 4 lb. Seven of the aircraft successfully attacked the target. Large fires and one big explosion were seen. Two aircraft returned early owing to engine trouble. Both heavy and light A.A. Fire was encountered co-operation with searchlights. Two of our aircraft were hit and the Navigator of one was hit in the leg. Several enemy aircraft were seen, but no combats took place. The weather was good on the route, but considerable haze was experienced at the target. Navigations was very good. Stirling Mark III BK.664 captained by F/Lt. D.C.Lowe, which experienced some very accurate A.A. Fire whilst overt the target, found on landing, that this throttle controls were jammed open, he was lucky enough to be able to land, but unfortunately he crashed into a semi built hanger on the aerodrome. The aircraft was an absolute wreck, but all the crew got away safely, although not without injuries. Stirling Mark III W 7469 captained by F/Sgt. K.F. Debenham and Stirling Mark I BF451 captained by P/O K.H.G. Groves failed to return.

Stirling Mk.III BF506 AA-P

P/O Alan Gray Tolley, RNZAF NZ411954 – Pilot.
F/S William Henry Ellis, RAFVR 1021328 – Navigator.
Sgt. Frank Wakefield Upton, RNZAF NZ404430 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Cyril Thomas Cobb, RNZAF NZ412315 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Gerald Albert Raymond Town, RAFVR 1217965 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Frederick Joseph Earle, RAFVR 1332585 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ian Charles Salt, RNZAF NZ404046 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:50 – Landed 03:50
Flight Time 06:00

20/04/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Rostock
Nine aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1000 lb and incendiaries of 30 lb and 4 lb. Eight of the aircraft successfully attacked the target area. Some very large scale fires were seen but the attack was spoilt by a smoke screen which partly obscured the target. A.A. Fire was mainly confined to light tracer which was ineffective. Stirling Mk.III BF.518 captained by Sgt. Dalzell, collided with a Lancaster aircraft after leaving the target, and fortunately only slight damage was caused to the rudder and fin. After this hazardous experience he returned to base and made a perfect landing. Some enemy aircraft were seen in the target area, but no combats took place. The weather was very good and visibility was excellent. Navigation was very good. Stirling Mk.III, captained by P/O A.G. Tolley, failed to return.

Stirling Mk.III BF506 AA-P

P/O Alan Gray Tolley, RNZAF NZ411954 – Pilot.
F/S William Henry Ellis, RAFVR 1021328 – Navigator.
Sgt. Frank Wakefield Upton, RNZAF NZ404430 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Cyril Thomas Cobb, RNZAF NZ412315 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Gerald Albert Raymond Town, RAFVR 1217965 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Frederick Joseph Earle, RAFVR 1332585 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ian Charles Salt, RNZAF NZ404046 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:05 – Landed –
Flight Time Missing

Stirling Mk.III BF506 AA-P took off at 22:05 from Newmarket. It was last heard on W/T at 03:00 signalling ‘starboard inner on fire’. Nothing further was heard, and the Stirling crashed at 03:26 at Boegballe, 15km North of Vejle, Denmark.

It’s demise is reported as having been caused by a night-fighter attack. All rest in Esbjerg (Fourfelt) Cemetery.

P/O Alan Gray Tolley, RNZAF NZ411954 – Pilot.
Killed age 21.
Son of Henry John and Eva Florence Tolley, of Wellington City, New Zealand.
Buried Esbjerg (Fourfelt) Cemetery, Denmark..
Grave location – Coll. grave A. 11. 11-14.

F/S William Henry Ellis, RAFVR 1021328 – Navigator.
Killed age 31.
Buried Esbjerg (Fourfelt) Cemetery, Denmark..
Grave location – Coll. grave A. 11. 11-14.

F/S Frank Wakefield Upton, RNZAF NZ404430 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 28.
Son of Fredrick Samuel and Isabel Upton, of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand.
Buried Esbjerg (Fourfelt) Cemetery, Denmark..
Grave location – Coll. grave A. 11. 11-14.

F/S Cyril Thomas Cobb, RNZAF NZ412315 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 30.
Son of Fred and Mary Cobb, of Thames, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Esbjerg (Fourfelt) Cemetery, Denmark..
Grave location – A. 9. 6.

Sgt. Gerald Albert Raymond Town, RAFVR 1217965 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 20.
Buried Esbjerg (Fourfelt) Cemetery, Denmark..
Grave location – A. 11. 15.

Sgt. Frederick Joseph Earle, RAFVR 1332585 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 22.
Son of Frederick Earle, and Stepson of Edith A. Earle, of Guildford, Surrey.
Buried Esbjerg (Fourfelt) Cemetery, Denmark..
Grave location – Coll. grave A. 11. 11-14.

F/S Ian Charles Salt, RNZAF NZ404046 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 20.
Son of Charles Henry Salt and of Margaret Crawford Salt (Nee Boa), of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand.
Buried Esbjerg (Fourfelt) Cemetery, Denmark..
Grave location – Coll. grave A. 11. 11-14.