A.S. Raphael crew 26.08.41 †

21/07/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Mannheim and Cherbourg
Eleven Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried and was made up of 1000lbs; 500lbs; 250lbs; and containers of incendiaries.
CKN.294 reports that bomb bursts were observed. Bursts were observed by CKN.326
Bombs were dropped in target area by CKN.342.
The target was attacked by CKN.380 and bombs were seen to burst. CKN.432 attacked the docks at Cherbourg and reports hits on North West corner. The target was bombed by CKN.446.
CKN.530 bombed target area but no results were observed.
CKN.591 reports that a large fire was started in target area.
CKN.627 started medium fire slightly south east of target and several explosions were observed.
CKN.664 saw H.E.’s and incendiaries burst in target area.
P/O. Scott reports that incendiaries were seen burning.
Dummy fires were observed. An aircraft was seen to be caught in searchlights over Ostend. It was hit by A.A. fire and seen to burst into flames.
A.A. fire was not very intense.
Searchlights were active in target area and at parts of route.
No enemy aircraft were encountered. The weather was fine. Navigation was by D/R, loop, astro, map reading, W/T.

Wellington Mk.Ic R.1648 AA-K

Sgt. Francis Charles Fox, RNZAF NZ40762 – Pilot.
P/O Alfred Sydney Raphael, RAFVR 68155 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Derrick Polley, RAFVR 977080 – Observer.
Sgt. C. Simpson, RAFVR 943822 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Jack Wilson Bottomley, RAFVR 943398 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Stevenson, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:35 – Landed 04:05
Flight Time 05:30

06/08/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Mannheim and Calais
Thirteen Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. One of these aircraft, R.1648 captained by SGT. Millet, failed to return to base. The bomb load was mixed and consisted of 1000lbs; 500lbs; 250lbs; and containers of incendiaries.
GHC.170 sighted river near target but had to bomb through 10/10 cloud. Glow of a fire was seen through clouds. Bomb bursts were observed in target area by GHC.231. GNC.265 observed bomb bursts in dock area. GHC.279 bombed target area but was unable to pinpoint target on account of haze. GHC.324 saw bombs burst across outer harbour of Ostend. Unable to reach primary target owing to loss of time and petrol in extensive thunder cloud on East Coast. GHC.470 dropped bombs in target area but results were not observed. GHC.535 bombed target through 9/10 cloud. Fire observed on departure. GHC.688 failed to attack target. GHC.719 bombed flak and searchlight concentrations on E.T.A. through 10/10 cloud. Results were not observed by GHC.750.
P/O. Williams reports direct hit on lock gates. Results were not observed by P/O. Scott owing to heavy cloud.
A fair amount of activity was observed on enemy aerodromes in Brussels-liege area.
A.A. fire was slight but accurate.
Searchlights were ineffective owing to cloud.
GHC.279 reports encounter with probable JU.88. Three attacks were made but the enemy was driven off by return fire. Rear gunner believes he scored hit with third burst, causing aircraft to break away.
Weather was not favourable, there being heavy cloud, thunder, electric storms, and bad icing conditions.
Navigation was by W/T, D/R, astro and loop.

Wellington Mk.Ic R.1409 AA-N

P/O Timothy John Wilder Williams, RNZAF NZ401797 – Pilot.
P/O Alfred Sydney Raphael, RAF 68155 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Arthur Wellington Clifford, RCAF R.60247/ J.4770 – Observer.
Sgt. Ayres, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Atkins, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. W.A.C. Hemsley, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:35 – Landed 02:55
Flight Time 04:20

12/08/1942 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Hanover and Le Havre
Nine Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. One of these aircraft, SXA.893 captained by P/O. Roberts was attacked over the Zuyder Zee by an enemy fighter. Our aircraft was damaged but a good hit was scored on the enemy which turned away in a steep dive. When nearing base out aircraft ran out of petrol and the captain succeeded in baling out 5 of his crew, but he himself had no time to jump. By the aid of his landing light he picked out a fire break in a forestry plantation and landed safely with little additional damage. All bombs were dropped and fires were started. A.A. fire was heavy and co-operating with searchlights. Search lights were numerous but not troublesome. Thunderstorms were encountered on route and there was slight cloud and haze in target areas.

Wellington Mk.Ic R.1409 AA-N

P/O Timothy John Wilder Williams, RNZAF NZ401797 – Pilot.
P/O Alfred Sydney Raphael, RAF 68155 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Arthur Wellington Clifford, RCAF R.60247/ J.4770 – Observer.
Sgt. Ayres, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Atkins, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. W.A.C. Hemsley, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:20 – Landed 03:00
Flight Time 05:40

14/08/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Hanover
Eight Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 1000lbs; 500lbs; 250lbs; and containers of incendiaries.
ROB.214 reports bombs fell probably near centre of town but to N.W. of railway station. Bursts observed. Large fires seen when leaving. Have and cloud over target made pinpointing impossible.
ROB.417 bombed south of town.
ROB.476 reports one very large fire started approx.. half mile N.W. of target aiming point.
ROB.556 dropped bombs in target area.
ROB.577 reports that bursts were see and a small fire started.
P/O. Scott reports bomb bursts see and a large fire started.
S/L. Widdowson bombed target.
P/O. Williams bombed buildings near target.
Several dummy fires were observed around target area.
A.A fire was fairly intense and co-operating with searchlights.
Searchlights were active.
ROB.214 was attacked by enemy aircraft, probably JU.88, at about 1200feet over base. One head-on attack was made with cannon and machine gun, but no hits scored. Avoided enemy action by diving to about 200 feet.
The weather was fine in target area, but there was heavy cloud on route.
Navigation was D/R, W/T, loop, astro, Q.D.M.

Wellington Mk.Ic R.1409 AA-N

P/O Timothy John Wilder Williams, RNZAF NZ401797 – Pilot.
P/O Alfred Sydney Raphael, RAF 68155 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Arthur Wellington Clifford, RCAF R.60247/ J.4770 – Observer.
Sgt. Ayres, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Atkins, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. W.A.C. Hemsley, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:20 – Landed 04:00
Flight Time 06:40

17/08/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Duisburg
Five Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. The bomb load was mixed and was made up of 1000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs, and containers of incendiaries. All bombs were dropped, but owing to heavy cloud results were not observed. A.A. fire was moderate, and there was little searchlight activity.

Wellington Mk.Ic R.1409 AA-N

P/O Timothy John Wilder Williams, RNZAF NZ401797 – Pilot.
P/O Alfred Sydney Raphael, RAF 68155 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Arthur Wellington Clifford, RCAF R.60247/ J.4770 – Observer.
Sgt. Ayres, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Atkins, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. W.A.C. Hemsley, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

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

26/08/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Cologne and Boulogne
Fourteen Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. SWU.567 failed to identify the target and bombs were jettisoned over the sea when petrol gauges had been showing zero for approximately one hour. Another aircraft, captained by Sgt Curlewis, failed to identify the target owing to 10/10 cloud and bombs were returned. All other aircraft dropped their bombs, but heavy cloud in the target area prevented observation of results. A.A. fire was moderate and predicted. Searchlights were ineffective owing to cloud. A few enemy aircraft were seen, but no attacks made

Wellington Mk.Ic L.7848 AA-V

P/O Alfred Sydney Raphael, RAF 68155 – Pilot.
Sgt. Harry Machin, RAFVR 1166970 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Gerald Robert Craig, RCAF R.69832 – Navigator.
Sgt. Murray Alexander McDonald, RAAF AUS.400352 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Campbell Ewen Justin Aitchison, RNZAF NZ402974 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Joseph Henry Godfrey, RAFVR 1378233 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 01:35 – Landed 05:20
Flight Time 03:45

28/08/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Ostend
Three Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks. All bombs were dropped and bursts were observed. A.A. fire was heavy and accurate and co-operating with searchlights which were accurate and working in cones. There was a thin layer of cloud over the route, but the weather in the target area was fine.

Wellington Mk.Ic R.1409 AA-N

P/O Alfred Sydney Raphael, RAF 68155 – Pilot.
Sgt. Harry Machin, RAFVR 1166970 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Gerald Robert Craig, RCAF R.69832 – Navigator.
Sgt. Murray Alexander McDonald, RAAF AUS.400352 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Campbell Ewen Justin Aitchison, RNZAF NZ402974 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Joseph Henry Godfrey, RAFVR 1378233 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:40 – Landed 01:50
Flight Time 04:10

02/09/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Frankfurt
Ten Wellington Aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. One of these aircraft, GYM.475 failed to reach the target owing to failure of the rear gunners oxygen  supply. Bombs were dropped by the remaining aircraft, and large fires were started. A.A. fire was slight but accurate in target area. Several cones of searchlights were reported near the target but these were not very accurate. Three enemy aircraft were seen, but no attacks  developed. The weather was clear over the target area, but hazy on the return journey.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.8834 AA-P

P/O Alfred Sydney Raphael, RAF 68155 – Pilot.
Sgt. Harry Machin, RAFVR 1166970 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Gerald Robert Craig, RCAF R.69832 – Navigator.
Sgt. Murray Alexander McDonald, RAAF AUS.400352 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Campbell Ewen Justin Aitchison, RNZAF NZ402974 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Joseph Henry Godfrey, RAFVR 1378233 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:20 – Landed 04:20
Flight Time 08:00

13/09/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Brest
Twelve Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. One aircraft, GYM.833 was unable to identify target and returned to base with bomb load. The remaining aircraft bombed the target and bursts were seen A smoke screen covered the target area. A.A. fire was heavy, and searchlights were working in cones. The weather was clear over the target.

Wellington Mk.Ic T.2805 AA-E “D for Donald”

P/O Alfred Sydney Raphael, RAF 68155 – Pilot.
Sgt. Harry Machin, RAFVR 1166970 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Gerald Robert Craig, RCAF R.69832 – Navigator.
Sgt. Murray Alexander McDonald, RAAF AUS.400352 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Campbell Ewen Justin Aitchison, RNZAF NZ402974 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Joseph Henry Godfrey, RAFVR 1378233 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:00 – Landed 04:45
Flight Time 06:45

15/09/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Hamburg
Twelve Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. Two of these aircraft failed to return, one being captained by Sgt J. A. Ward who was awarded the Victoria Cross on 4 August 1941. There was clear weather over the target, and bursts were seen in many parts of the target area. A.A. fire was heavy over and near target area. Searchlights were numerous, working in cones, and co-operating with A.A. fire and night fighters.

Wellington Mk.Ic T.2805 AA-E “D for Donald”

P/O Alfred Sydney Raphael, RAF 68155 – Pilot.
Sgt. Harry Machin, RAFVR 1166970 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Gerald Robert Craig, RCAF R.69832 – Navigator.
Sgt. Murray Alexander McDonald, RAAF AUS.400352 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Campbell Ewen Justin Aitchison, RNZAF NZ402974 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Joseph Henry Godfrey, RAFVR 1378233 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:57 – Landed 04:07
Flight Time 08:10

17/09/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Karlsruhe
Eight Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks on the above targets. One of these aircraft failed to return. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 1,000 lb, 500 lb, 250 lb and containers of incendiaries. A.A. fire and searchlights were slight in the target area. Weather was hazy over the target.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.8834 AA-P

P/O Alfred Sydney Raphael, RAF 68155 – Pilot.
Sgt. Harry Machin, RAFVR 1166970 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Gerald Robert Craig, RCAF R.69832 – Navigator.
Sgt. Murray Alexander McDonald, RAAF AUS.400352 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Campbell Ewen Justin Aitchison, RNZAF NZ402974 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Joseph Henry Godfrey, RAFVR 1378233 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:21 – Landed 03:16
Flight Time 07:55

20/09/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Berlin and Ostend
Twelve Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks on the above targets. One of these aircraft is missing. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 1,000 lbs, 500 lbs, 250 lbs and containers of incendiaries.
Worsening weather resulted in a general recall to all aircraft. Three crews carried on to Berlin and reported AA fire was heavy and fairly intense, and accurate. The aircraft Captained by Sgt Curlewis was attacked by a Ju.88 night fighter after being caught in a cone of searchlights. It was only a single attack, which gave the air gunners little chance of countering before it made off.

Wellington Mk.Ic T.2805 AA-E
Force landed 04.00 in a sixty acre field at Grove farm, near Upper Street, Horning, 9 miles North East of Norwich. Sgt. Craig was injured in the crash and admitted to Norfolk and Norwich Hospital – dying the following day.

P/O Alfred Sydney Raphael, RAF 68155 – Pilot.
Sgt. Harry Machin, RAFVR 1166970 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Gerald Robert Craig, RCAF R.69832 – Navigator. †
Sgt. Murray Alexander McDonald, RAAF AUS.400352 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Campbell Ewen Justin Aitchison, RNZAF NZ402974 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Joseph Henry Godfrey, RAFVR 1378233 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off not recorded – (crash) Landed 04.00
Flight Time –

Sgt. Robert Gerald Craig, RCAF 69832 – Observer.
Killed age 20.
Son of Robert B. Craig and Elizabeth E. Craig, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Buried Scottow Cemetery, Norfolk, England..
Grave location – Grave 258.
‘He paid the debt
To his country.
Thou faithful son, well done’