A.R. Galletly crew 5.9.44 †

Pilot A. Galletly cropped & contrast

P/O Alan Russell Galletly RNZAF (NZ427481) Pilot.
© Alan Galletly

Many thanks to Alan, nephew of Alan Galletly for contacting me and supplying this wonderful picture of his uncle.

Alan’s son Ben was the first of the Galletly family to visit Alan’s grave . He was teaching in England at the time and made the trip over for Alan. Since then a cousin has also visited. Alan’s father died 30 years ago  not knowing where his brother was buried which was sad but he didn’t have the advantage of the computer. Alan had a brother in the N.Z Army who was captured on Crete and spent the rest of the war as a POW .

Peter Eric Tuthill cropped BW

Sgt. Peter Eric Tuthill, Flight Engineer with the Galletly crew
© Geoff Hurst

Many thanks to Geoff for passing on a picture of his Uncle, Peter Eric Tuthill, Flight Engineer with Alan Galletly’s crew.

Geoff was only one month old when he was killed. Peter was the ‘baby’ of the family and had three older brothers and three older sisters one of which was Geoff’s mother. Geoff says his mother said it was a terrible shock for the family as Peter never told anybody he was operational, presumably because he knew they would worry. His loss was never spoken about and whenever a program about the war or a film such a Dam Busters was shown the television would be turned off or the channel changed.

Joyce and Roy's reception outside No. 9 on 1st July, 1944

Group photograph taken on 1st July, 1944 at Joy and Roy’s reception outside No. 9. From left to right: W/O N.A.L. Wells (Medical Technician Branch (Uncle of all the Wells’ in the picture)), Stuart Edwin Mosely (Navigator – Galletly crew), Joyce Wells, Roy Wells (Air Bomber – Galletly crew), Allan Galletly (Pilot), Cyril Leslie Wells ATC (Roy’s younger brother). In foreground: Mureen Snook (neighbour’s daughter) & a young Michael Wells.

I heard from Mike last night regarding a little bit more information on the  photograph above, of his Uncle, Roy Wells, Air Bomber with the Galletly crew, who were lost on the night of 5th October 1944 on a raid to Saarbrucken. All the crew were lost when they collided with another Lancaster from 115 Squadron – the more ironic, given that despite the collision taking place over Wolsfeld, Kries Bitburg, north west of Trier, 115 Squadron were based at Witchford, some 3 miles from Mepal were 75(NZ) flew from.

Having recently moved, Mike was going through some things and found a letter sent from Joyce to Roy. Fascinatingly, within the letter, Joyce asked Roy how Alan, Stuart and the crew were. Mike’s postulation and I am inclined to agree, is that given Joyce mentions both Allan and Stuart by name, she must have known or met them. After posting details of Roy, I was contacted by Alan, whose uncle was Alan Galletly, Roy’s Skipper. Alan was able to answer one question as to the identity of the 2 unknown individuals in the picture above – identifying Alan as being the airman second from right in the picture. It would seem Mike has now managed to name the final mystery airman in the photograph – F/S Stuart Edwin Mosely, the Navigator in the Galletly crew.

05/09/1944 – Attack Against Le Havre
Eighteen aircraft were standing by to attack Dortmund, but this operation was postponed and twenty five aircraft took off to attack Le Havre in favourable weather. Opposition was negligible and a very successful raid was carried out, without loss. Most of the bombing was done visually. Reports indicate that the target was well saturated.

Lancaster Mk.III ND904 AA-B “Target for Tomorrow Night”

F/S Alan Russell Galletly, RNZAF NZ427481 – Pilot.
F/S Stuart Edwin Mosley, RNZAF NZ426106 – Navigator.
Sgt. Roy Albert Wells, RAFVR 1802473 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Reginald Samuel Hond, RAFVR 1214443 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Peter Eric Tuthill, RAFVR 2211929 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Arthur Kitchener Sutton, RAFVR 1816276 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Peter Cooke, RAFVR 1816385 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:35 – Landed 21:25
Flight Time 03:50

06/09/1944 – Attack Against Harqueboc Le Havre
Twenty four aircraft were detailed to attack the German Army Headquarters at Harqueboc, near Le Havre. All aircraft bombed the target according to the Master Bomber’s instructions and a very accurate raid was reported. Fires were seen to be still burning from the previous day’s attack on Le Havre. Once again no opposition was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I HK595? ??-?

F/S Alan Russell Galletly, RNZAF NZ427481 – Pilot.
F/S Stuart Edwin Mosley, RNZAF NZ426106 – Navigator.
Sgt. Roy Albert Wells, RAFVR 1802473 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Reginald Samuel Hond, RAFVR 1214443 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Peter Eric Tuthill, RAFVR 2211929 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Arthur Kitchener Sutton, RAFVR 1816276 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Peter Cooke, RAFVR 1816385 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 16:04 – Landed 19:57
Flight Time 03:53

08/09/1944 – Attack Against Doudenville
Twenty three aircraft took off at dawn to attack enemy defence positions at Doudeneville on the outskirts of Le Havre. Weather conditions were very unfavourable over the target and crews had great difficulty in seeing the markers. Only ten dropped their bombs before the Master Bomber gave instructions to abandon the mission. The remaining thirteen aircraft brought their bombs back to base. Considerable light A.A. fire and machine gun fire was encountered in the target area.

Lancaster Mk.I HK576 AA-G

F/S Alan Russell Galletly, RNZAF NZ427481 – Pilot.
F/S Stuart Edwin Mosley, RNZAF NZ426106 – Navigator.
Sgt. Roy Albert Wells, RAFVR 1802473 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Reginald Samuel Hond, RAFVR 1214443 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Peter Eric Tuthill, RAFVR 2211929 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Arthur Kitchener Sutton, RAFVR 1816276 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Peter Cooke, RAFVR 1816385 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 06:30 – Landed 09:58
Flight Time 03:28

14/09/1944 – Attack Against Waasenaar
Ten aircraft attacked Waasenaar in Holland, as detailed without loss. The operation was carried out in good weather and bombing was accurate.

Lancaster Mk.I LM266 AA-A “The Seven Sinners”

F/S Alan Russell Galletly, RNZAF NZ427481 – Pilot.
F/S Stuart Edwin Mosley, RNZAF NZ426106 – Navigator.
Sgt. Roy Albert Wells, RAFVR 1802473 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Reginald Samuel Hond, RAFVR 1214443 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Peter Eric Tuthill, RAFVR 2211929 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Arthur Kitchener Sutton, RAFVR 1816276 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Peter Cooke, RAFVR 1816385 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 13:01 – Landed 00:00
Flight Time 10:59

17/09/1944 – Attack Against Boulogne
In the morning fourteen aircraft took off to attack Boulogne. Crews were able to identify landmarks and bombing was accurate, although much smoke hid results. The aircraft captained by NZ411397 A/S/L. G. Gunn was severely damaged by light flak, but he managed to fly back across the Channel even though both starboard engines were feathered. On landing at Hawkinge, however, the aircraft overshot the small runway and crashed. The Captain received injuries and was placed on the Dangerously Ill List, the Navigator 153453 F/O F. Smith was slightly injured, the Air Bomber NZ428249 F/O A Millar was placed on the Seriously Ill List, the Flight Engineer 1566967 Sgt Bruce, J was killed, but the remainder of the crew were uninjured, they were WO/AIR 47714 F/L W Naismith, MU/Gnr NZ411708 F/O C. Robertson and R/Gnr NZ402519 F/O S. Haynes. All of those injured were admitted to Kent and Canterbury Hospital, Canterbury and the body of Sgt Bruce was sent to his next of kin for burial.

Lancaster Mk.I LM266 AA-A “The Seven Sinners”

F/S Alan Russell Galletly, RNZAF NZ427481 – Pilot.
F/S Stuart Edwin Mosley, RNZAF NZ426106 – Navigator.
Sgt. Roy Albert Wells, RAFVR 1802473 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Reginald Samuel Hond, RAFVR 1214443 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Peter Eric Tuthill, RAFVR 2211929 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Arthur Kitchener Sutton, RAFVR 1816276 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Peter Cooke, RAFVR 1816385 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 10:19 – Landed 12:56
Flight Time 02:37

20/09/1944 – Attack Against Calais
Twenty seven aircraft set out as detailed to attack enemy strong points at Calais. They all successfully bombed the target from a low level and an accurate and concentrated raid was reported. Opposition was very slight.

Lancaster Mk.III PB421 AA-K
Serial no. is duplicated for this Op.

F/S Alan Russell Galletly, RNZAF NZ427481 – Pilot.
F/S Stuart Edwin Mosley, RNZAF NZ426106 – Navigator.
Sgt. Roy Albert Wells, RAFVR 1802473 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Reginald Samuel Hond, RAFVR 1214443 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Peter Eric Tuthill, RAFVR 2211929 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Arthur Kitchener Sutton, RAFVR 1816276 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Peter Cooke, RAFVR 1816385 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 14:49 – Landed 17:39
Flight Time 02:50

23/09/1944 – Attack Against Neuss
Twenty six aircraft took off as detailed to attack the Marshalling Yards at Neuss. The target was obscured by ten tenths cloud with tops of 11,000 ft. Most crews bombed below cloud, some explosions and flashes were seen, but results were difficult to assess. One aircraft returned early through the complete failure of the electrical system and a further aircraft bombed the target, but owing to a technical failure, landed at Woodbridge on return. Moderate but inaccurate A.A. Fire was met over the target.

Lancaster Mk.III ND904 AA-B “Target for Tomorrow Night”

F/S Alan Russell Galletly, RNZAF NZ427481 – Pilot.
F/S Stuart Edwin Mosley, RNZAF NZ426106 – Navigator.
Sgt. Roy Albert Wells, RAFVR 1802473 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Reginald Samuel Hond, RAFVR 1214443 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Peter Eric Tuthill, RAFVR 2211929 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Arthur Kitchener Sutton, RAFVR 1816276 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Peter Cooke, RAFVR 1816385 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:41 – Landed 23:50
Flight Time 04:09

26/09/1944 – Attack Against Cap Gris Nez
Eighteen aircraft took off as detailed to attack a defended locality near Cap Gris Nez. They all attacked the target from a low level and an accurate and concentrated raid was reported. Opposition was negligible.

Lancaster Mk.III PB418 AA-C

F/S Alan Russell Galletly, RNZAF NZ427481 – Pilot.
F/S Stuart Edwin Mosley, RNZAF NZ426106 – Navigator.
Sgt. Roy Albert Wells, RAFVR 1802473 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Reginald Samuel Hond, RAFVR 1214443 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Peter Eric Tuthill, RAFVR 2211929 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Arthur Kitchener Sutton, RAFVR 1816276 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Peter Cooke, RAFVR 1816385 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:56 – Landed 14:21
Flight Time 02:25

05/10/1944 – Attack Against Saarbrucken
Thirty one aircraft took off as detailed to attack the railway centre at Saarbrucken. They all reached the target area but only fourteen bombed before the Master Bomber issued instructions to abandon the mission. Bombing appeared scattered, and the raid was unsatisfactory. The aircraft captained by NZ 427481 F/Sgt Galletly, A. failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.III ND904 AA-B “Target for Tomorrow Night”

F/S Alan Russell Galletly, RNZAF NZ427481 – Pilot.
F/S Stuart Edwin Mosley, RNZAF NZ426106 – Navigator.
Sgt. Roy Albert Wells, RAFVR 1802473 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Reginald Samuel Hond, RAFVR 1214443 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Peter Eric Tuthill, RAFVR 2211929 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Arthur Kitchener Sutton, RAFVR 1816276 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Peter Cooke, RAFVR 1816385 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:11 – Landed Missing
Flight Time – missing

ND904 collided with Lancaster PD344 from 115 RAF Squadron over Wolsfeld, Kreis Bitburg, NW of Trier, Germany. There were no survivors on either aircraft. All crew members were initially buried in the Wolsfeld Churchyard but later re-interred in the British Military cemetery, at Rheinberg (North West of Duisburg)

P/O Alan Russell Galletly, RNZAF NZ427481 – Pilot.
Killed age 33.
Son of Charles David Galletly, and of Elizabeth Galletly (Nee Gray), of Hawarden, Canterbury, New Zealand.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – 8. G. 8.

F/S Stuart Edwin Mosley, RNZAF NZ426106 – Navigator.
Killed age 29.
Son of William Alfred and Agnes Jane Mosley, of Ravensbourne, Otago, New Zealand.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – 8. G. 9.

Sgt. Roy Albert Wells, RAFVR 1802473 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 21.
Son of Charles Albert and Evelyn May Wells; Husband of Joyce Violet Wells, of Egham, Surrey.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – Coll. grave 8. G. 10-14.
‘Deep in our hearts
A memory is kept
Of one we loved
And shall never forget’

Sgt. Reginald Samuel Hond, RAFVR 1214443 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 23.
Son of Henry and Freda Hond, of Palmer’S Green, Middlesex.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – Coll. grave 8. G. 10-14.
‘In loving memory.
May his soul rest in peace’

Sgt. Peter Eric Tuthill, RAFVR 2211929 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 21.
Son of Robert Sidney and Harriet Helen Tuthill of Chigwell Essex.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – 8. G. 7.

dscn4750-cropped

Peter Tuthill’s medals as awarded: (left to right) 1939 – 1945 Star with Bomber Command clasp, France and Germany Star and War Medal 1939 – 1945. Image supplied by Geoff Hurst

Sgt. Arthur Kitchener Sutton, RAFVR 1816276 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 29.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – Coll. grave 8. G. 10-14.

Sgt. John Peter Cooke, RAFVR 1816385 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 22.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – 8. G. 1.