B

BABER, Thomas James Desmond

F/L Thomas James Desmond Baber, MiD, Czech Medal for Bravery, RNZAF NZ39857 – Rear Gunner .
Lost without trace age 23 on the 12th of March 1942
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England.
Grave location – Panel 114.

12/03/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Kiel
Eight Wellington aircraft carried out an attack against the above target, one aircraft, captained by Sgt Bell did not carry out an attack. Three aircraft captained by S/L Kitchin, F/O Sandys and Sgt Parnham failed to return to base. Bomb load consisted of 1,000 lbs, 500 lbs and 250 lbs was dropped in the target area, bomb bursts being observed. There was heavy and light predicted flak and large cones of searchlights in the target area and one twin engined enemy aircraft made one unsuccessful attack on Wellington III X3586 captained by S/L Newton. Weather was clear over the target with 5/10 cloud over North Sea. Navigation was by D.R. and TR1335.

Wellington Mk.III X.3585 AA-V

F/O John Frederick Kelly Sandys, RCAF J.4814 – Pilot.
Sgt. Roy Desmond Joffre Woodcock, RNZAF NZ404985 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O John Earle, RNZAF NZ401756 – Observer.
Sgt. Henry John Price, RNZAF NZ404095 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Leslie Joseph Dunn, British Army 1001633 – Front Gunner.
F/L Thomas James Desmond Baber, RNZAF NZ39857 – Rear Gunner.

There are no details regarding the fate of X.3585 and her crew, all being lost without trace.

TJD Baber


 

BAGNALL, Trevor Horace

W/O Trevor Horace Bagnall, RNZAF NZ40640 – 2nd Pilot.
Lost without trace age 26 on the 17th of December 1942
Son of Henry Gordon Bagnall, and of Maud Janetta Bagnall (Nee Ames), of Palmerston North, Wellington, New Zealand.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 114.

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 BF396 AA-X

W/C Victor Mitchell, RAF 37755 – Pilot.
W/O Trevor Horace Bagnall , RNZAF NZ40640 – 2nd Pilot.
F/S Reginald William Pearson, RAFVR 747858 – Navigator.
Sgt. Gerald Thomas Padden, RAFVR 1041966 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Stuart John Goff, RAFVR 916785 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Robert Hart, RAFVR 523663 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Arthur Henry Rider, RAFVR 960489 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Albert Charles William Parker, RAFVR 909252 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.I BF.396 AA-X was lost without trace and all crew presumed dead. They are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. The Captain, W/C V Mitchell, DFC, RAF, was the Squadron Commander. W/O Bagnall and his crew had only arrived on the Unit a few days previously.

It is thought possible that BF.396 might have been brought down by Oblt. Werner Huseman of Stab NJG1 at 20.53, with the aircraft coming down in the North Sea approximately 5km West of Bergen aan Zee, however this has not been substantiated. (Source Aircrew Remembered http://www.aircrewremembered.com/mitchell-victor.html)


BAILEY, Martin

F/S Martin Bailey, RCAF 119568 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 27 on the 28th of August 1943
Son of Reuben and Elizabeth Bailey, of Stockton, Manitoba, Canada.
Buried Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 9. C. 23.
‘Blown, golden trumpets,
Mournfully,
For all the golden youth
That’s fled’

27/08/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Nuremburg
Nineteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lbs. and 4lbs. One aircraft failed to return, but the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Good concentrated fires and heavy explosions were seen. A moderate barrage consisting of light and heavy A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered, and two aircraft received slight damage. Some enemy aircraft were seen, one short combat took place, but no damage was sustained by our aircraft. The weather was cloudy on the outward journey but clear over the target and visibility was good. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling Mk.III EE955 captained by F/Sgt. Higham.

Stirling Mk.III EE955 AA-D

F/S Frank Douglas Higham, RNZAF NZ416116 – Pilot.
Sgt. John Richard Culshaw, RAFVR 1437100 – Navigator.
Sgt. Martin Bailey, RCAF R.119568 – Air Bomber.
F/S Cyril Jack Bridger, RNZAF NZ417192 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Robert Renfrew, RAFVR 984047 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Jennings, RAFVR 1818122 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Albert Clarke, RAFVR 940903 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EE955 AA-D was brought down at Schwarzenau, 12 miles East North East of Würzburg. The circumstances are unclear as to how EE955 was brought down, although the location of the crash was some 60 miles North West of Nuremberg ground defences, suggesting the likelihood of night fighter action. All of the crew were killed and are buried in Durnbach War Cemetery, 9 miles East of Bad Tölz.



BAILEY, Robert

F/S Robert Bailey, RNZAF NZ429072 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 20 on the 23rd of April 1944
Son of Inez Bailey, and Stepson of James Freeman, of Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Aabenraa Cemetery, Denmark.
Grave location – Allied Mil. Plot.
Row 4. 6.

23/04/1944 – Mining in Kiel Bay
Five Stirlings were detailed for mine laying in Kiel Bay. Three of the aircraft successfully dropped twelve mines. One aircraft returned early and another failed to return (Captain NZ421728 F/S. Lammas, M.)

Stirling Mk.III EF137 AA-E

F/S Manson Lammas, NZ421728 – Pilot.
F/S Douglas William Vaughn, RNZAF NZ429046 – Navigator.
F/S Robert Bailey, RNZAF NZ429072 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. William Frederick Harrison, RAFVR 1396448 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Edwin Henry Thomas, RAFVR 1811856 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Patrick Frederick Butler, RAFVR 1384944 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ivor Larson, RCAF R.192316 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EF137 AA-E was shot down by a night-fighter at 23:15hrs over Denmark, crashing in flames near Vemmenaes, East South East of Lundby on Tasinge Island. The aircraft broke up on impact and came to rest in shallow waters, where the bodies of all seven crew were recovered and later buried in Åbenrå cemetery.

BAILEY, Robert 



BAILIE, Cyril Philip

P/O Cyril Philip Bailie, RAFVR 155786 – Pilot.
Killed age 21 on the 3rd of August 1943
Son of Matthias Godard Anthony and Matilda Blanche Bailie, of Allestree, Derby.
Buried Lemvig Cemetery, Denmark..
Grave location – Grave 715.
‘Sadly missed by all at home.
Allestree, Derby,
England R.I.P.’

02/08/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
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.

Stirling Mk.III EH928 AA-A
Log refers to ‘B’ – unclear if this is the designator or the Flight….

Sgt. Cyril Philip Bailie, RAFVR 1578834/ 155786 – Pilot.
F/S Jack Thomson, RNZAF NZ421145 – 2nd Pilot.
F/O William Turner, RNZAF NZ416579 – Navigator.
Sgt. Joseph Isherwood, RAFVR 1502733 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Edward ‘Eddie’ Millward, RAFVR 1385557 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Howard Thompson, RAFVR 1484375 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Thomas Purdie, RAFVR 1554949 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ernest Francis Hunting, RAFVR 1358198 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EH928 AA-A was intercepted and shot down by a night-fighter (Hptm Hans Johchim Jabs, IV,/NJG1) and crashed into the North Sea off Terschelling, Frisian Island. P/O Bailie is buried in Lemvig Cemetery, Denmark. All other crew members are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.



BAIN, Andrew

Sgt. Andrew Bain, RAF 658930 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 27 on the 24th of August 1943
Son of Alexander and Helen Cumming Bain; Husband of Isabella Dougall Bain, of Burnside, Glasgow. A.C.1.I.
Buried Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 4. K. 13.

23/08/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Berlin
Twenty three aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1,000lb., 500lb., and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb.. Five aircraft returned early owing to failure and three aircraft failed to return. The remainder of the aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area and all of the crews agreed that it had been well and truly hit. The fires were all concentrated and huge columns of smoke together with heavy explosions could be seen. A moderate heavy A.A. barrage co-operating with searchlights were encountered, but only one aircraft received damage. A great number of enemy aircraft were seen and several combats took place. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. WILKINSON sighted a JU88 passing above, the Mid-upper and Rear Gunners fired and strikes were seen on the enemy aircraft which was then lost sight of and is claimed to have been damaged. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. WHITEHEAD whilst over BERLIN sighted an enemy aircraft on the starboard quarter, 300yds away. The Rear Gunner fired a five second burst and the enemy aircraft was seen in flames diving to earth, and was claimed as probably destroyed. The same aircraft encountered another unidentified aircraft 300yds away on the starboard quarter. The Rear Gunner fired another five seconds burst and the enemy aircraft exploded and disintegrated. It was claimed to be destroyed. The aircraft captained by F/O. A. Alexander, whilst over the target sighted a ME110 approaching from the starboard quarter above and firing at his aircraft. The Mid-upper and Rear Gunners replied with long bursts and the enemy aircraft was seen to be in flames. A fire was later seen on the ground and the enemy aircraft was claimed as probably destroyed. Scattered cloud was met on the outward route, but it was clear over the target. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk.III BF465 captained by P/O A. RANKIN, BF564 captained by P/O A. Sedunary and EE938 captained by W/O T. Fear.

The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. WHITE, O.H. whilst approaching the target area was coned by searchlights and repeatedly hit by heavy A.A. fire, sustaining considerable damage to port main plane. He continued towards the target though still coned by searchlights and was then attacked by a JU88 sustaining hits in the rear of the fuselage which shattered the rear turret and killed Rear Gunner Sgt. Poole, J.. The aircraft was forced into an uncontrollable dive and the captain warned his crew ‘Prepare to abandon the aircraft’. Unfortunately, in the middle of this order the inter-communication failed, and the Navigator, Air Bomber and Wireless Operator abandoned the aircraft, due to the fact that they were unable to contact their Captain. F/Sgt. WHITE jettisoned his bomb load whilst in the dive directly over the target area, managed to regain control of the aircraft when height had been lost down to 6,000ft. The captain and two remaining members of the crew after taking stock of the damage decided to attempt the long and hazardous return journey to base. This they did successfully and made a perfect crash landing at base without lights, flaps or under carriage, as the electrical leads were shot away.

Stirling Mk.III EE938 AA-X

W/O Trevor Fear, RAFVR 1317167 – Pilot.
Sgt. Brian Hartley Ruddy, RAFVR 1419688 – Navigator.
Sgt. Andrew Bain, RAFVR 658930 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Douglas George Woolcott, RAFVR 1290189 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Charles Munro, RAFVR 1566746 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Joseph Andrew Cletus Holmes, RCAF R.143622 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Alexander Davidson, RCAF R.181120 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EE938 AA-X was brought down at Mahlsdorf, 7 miles East South East of Berlin. There were no survivors. All crew members, except Sgt C Munro, are buried in the Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery. The flight engineer has no known grave.

SONY DSC



BAITTLE, Horace David

F/S Horace David Baittle, RCAF 79439 – Observer.
Killed age 19 on the 29th of August 1942
Buried Adegem Canadian War Cemetery, Belgium..
Grave location – XII. E. 8.

28/08/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Nuremburg
Ten aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lb. And 1000lb. 500lb. And incendiaries were dropped in the target area. Large fires were seen, A.A. fire was heavy but inaccurate, there were large concentrations of searchlights, enemy aircraft were very accurate. Wellington BJ.837, captained by Sgt. Hockaday reported that the whole town was ablaze and fires were observed 70 miles from the target. Four bomber and one presumed to be fighter were seen falling in flames. The nacelle tanks were pulled in the Amiens region, approximately 60 miles from the coast. Aircraft landed at Tangmere owing to shortage of petrol. On landing one tyre was discovered to be burst. Wellington X.3936 captained by P/O Trott, was attacked by ME.110 fire was returned and the rear gunner, Sgt. Hamerton, reported that the enemy aircraft was hit, no further fire was exchanged. the weather was excellent being clear moonlight over the target, navigation was very good by D/R and T/R. Wellington BJ.673 captained by Sgt. Davis and Wellington X.3389 captained by Sgt. Perks failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III BJ.673 AA-?

Sgt. Sydney Bernard Thomas Davis, RAFVR 1165309 – Pilot.
Sgt. Horace David Baittle, RCAF R.79439 – Observer.
Sgt. Daniel Archibald McKay, RCAF R.73282 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Charles Arthur Vickers, RCAF 1115126 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Lawrence Donald Hiltz, RCAF R.88319 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Mk.III BJ.673 was brought down at about 23:15hrs, 10 miles West of St Niklaas (13miles South West of Antwerp), Belgium. There were no survivors. The time and position of the crash, proximity from base and known strategies of enemy night-fighters in this area, indicates a strong possibility that the aircraft was shot down while en route to the target. The bodies were first buried in the Moerbeke Cemetery but were later reinterred in the Canadian War Cemetery, Adegem.



BAKER, Henry George

Sgt. Henry George Baker, RAFVR 1814627 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 19 on the 26th of August 1944
Buried Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 5. H. 12.

25/08/1944 – Attack Against Russelsheim
Twenty eight aircraft took off as detailed to attack Russelsheim. Of these twenty five attacked the primary target and reported a good concentrated raid. A.A. opposition was slight, but enemy aircraft were active and one of our aircraft had two inconclusive combats. Another was unable to identify the target and jettisoned its load. A further one was caught in searchlights over the target and during evasive action lost both ailerons. This aircraft was captained by NZ424504 .F/S. O’Callaghan, E. The navigator 958564 .F/S. Hartley, R., kept the aircraft on track on the return journey even though his instruments were unserviceable and his chart lost. Two aircraft failed to return, they were captained by NZ422382 .F/O. J. Fleming and NZ421345 .F/S. Barker, R.

Lancaster Mk.I LL866 AA-S “Swingtime”

F/S Richard Stockdale Barker, RNZAF NZ421345 – Pilot.
F/S John Farnworth, RAFVR 1147012 – Navigator.
F/S William George Norton, RNZAF NZ413227 – Air Bomber.
W/O Raymond Firth, RAFVR NZ417203 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Gordon Baden Jones, RAFVR 1892748 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Henry George Baker, RAFVR 1814627 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Clifford George Nash, RAFVR 1654190 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I LL866 AA-S “Swingtime” was brought down over Germany, crashing near Untereisesheim, about a mile North of Heilbronn. There were no survivors. All of the crew were buried in the Durnbach War Cemetery.



BAKER, James Guthrie

F/S James Guthrie Baker, RNZAF NZ41142 – Wireless Operator.
Lost without trace age 27 on the 1st of September 1943
Son of Henry and Charlotte Baker; Husband of Ellen Baker, of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 198.

31/08/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Berlin
Eighteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1,000lb., 500lb. and incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb. Two aircraft failed to take-off and four did not return, the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Large fires were seen, although rather scattered they appeared to be progressing very well. Moderate heavy A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered and one air craft received slight damage. Enemy night-fighters were in great prominence, the aircraft piloted by F/Sgt. Wilkinson, G encountered a JU88 approaching from astern 500yds away. The rear gunner fired a long burst, the enemy aircraft replied and stalled. The mid-upper gunner then fired three long bursts. The enemy aircraft was seen to fall away and is claimed as probably destroyed. Our aircraft received damage to the rear of the fuselage and had part of the tail plane and fin badly damaged. The aircraft captained by F/O Alexander sighted two Me109’s, the first opened fire from the starboard quarter and the rear gunner replied with a short burst. The enemy aircraft stalled and the mid-upper gunner fired a short burst. The enemy aircraft then dived to the ground and exploded, it was claimed to be destroyed. The second Me109 opened fire with a short burst from the port bow to the port quarter. The rear gunner then fired a short burst and tracer was seen to enter the enemy aircraft, which dived. It was claimed as possible destroyed. The aircraft captained by W/O Moseley, P. sighted a Me110 on the port quarter, the mid upper and rear gunner fired a long burst and the enemy aircraft turned over and dived with smoke pouring from its starboard side. It was claimed as probably destroyed. The aircraft captained by P/O C.Logan sighted a Me109 sixty yards astern, the mid-upper and rear gunner  fired and tracer from the rear gunner was seen to hit the aircraft. The Stirling then corkscrewed and the Me109 disappeared. It was claimed to be damaged. Two other aircraft crash landed away from base due to damage caused by enemy fighters, none of the crews were injured however. 8/10ths cloud was encountered on the outward journey and 9’10ths at the target, visibility, nevertheless, was good. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings MK.III EE918 captained by F/Sgt. Roberts,E, EE878 captained by F/Sgt. Henley, D, EE905 captained by F/Sgt. Helm,G. and EF501 captained by F/S McGregor, K.

Stirling Mk.III EF501 AA-K

F/S Keith Alexander McGregor, RNZAF NZ415770 – Pilot.
F/O James Benjamin Lovelock, RNZAF NZ416324 – Navigator.
F/S William Adam Kilby, RNZAF NZ415261 – Air Bomber.
F/S James Guthrie Baker, RNZAF NZ41142 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. G.A.A. Bond, RAFVR 1801229 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. G.F. Dummett, RAFVR 1377778 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Terence Grange, RAFVR 1323448 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EF501 AA-K was shot down by a night-fighter SW of Berlin, crashing at Potsdam. All crew except the flight engineer and mid upper gunner were killed and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. The two survivors, Sgt Bond and Sgt Dummett, were captured as POW’s.



BAKER, Robert Charles

Sgt. Robert Charles Baker, RAFVR 1624103 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 21 on the 25th of July 1944
Buried Cronenbourg French National (Mixed) Cemetery, Strasbourg, France..
Grave location – L. 9. Coll. grave 5-11.   
24/07/1944 – Attack Against Stuttgart
Twenty one aircraft took off as detailed to attack Stuttgart. Eighteen aircraft bombed the target with the aid of markers, but the raid appeared to be scattered. One aircraft returned early with engine trouble. Intense A.A. fire was encountered over the target, and fighters were fairly active, two aircraft having combats. Two aircraft failed to return, these were captained by NZ415216 P/O. J. McRae & NZ428800 P/O. K. Whitehouse.

Lancaster Mk.I HK568 AA-K

P/O Keith Owen Whitehouse, RNZAF NZ428899 – Pilot.
F/S Jack Thomas Miliner, RAAF AUS.426367 – Navigator.
F/S Ray Steele Horsford, RAFVR 1387835 – Air Bomber.
W/O Keat Dudding, RNZAF NZ415522 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Bernard Leighton, RAFVR 2209941 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Robert Charles Baker, RAFVR 1624103 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S George Alfred Badge Taverner, RAAF AUS.429835 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I HK568 AA-K was brought down at 02.10hrs by an enemy fighter near the French/German border, on the northern outskirts of Strasbourg. All crew members were killed. They are buried in a collective grave in the French National Cemetery, at Chronenbourg.



BAKER, Thomas Henry William

F/O Thomas Henry William Baker, RAFVR 107286 – 2nd Pilot.
Killed age 26 on the 11th of August 1942
Son of Matthew Botham Baker and Edith May Baker, Husband of Elizabeth Montgomery Baker, of Cheadle.
Buried Wilmslow Cemetery, Cheshire, England..
Grave location – Sec. A. Grave 128.
‘I am He that liveth,
And was dead;
And, behold, I am alive
For evermore
Rev.I.18’

11/08/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Mainz
Nine aircraft were detailed to attack above target. Bomb load of 4000lb, 1000lb, 500lb and incendiaries were dropped in target area. A.A. fire was light, searchlights were scarce and ineffective. One fighter was seen by P/O Horne in Wellington B.J.765 as he was crossing the Dutch Coast homeward bound, no attack was made. The weather was moderate, being cloudy near target. Navigation was good by D.R. and T.R. Wellington BJ837 captain Sgt. Hockaday.N.J., five minutes from the English coast on way to target, fabric stripped off nose of aircraft to port and starboard, the Bomb load was jettisoned and the aircraft returned to base. Three aircraft failed to return, Wellington B.J.767 captained by F/O Dobbin, Wellington B.J.625, Sgt Barclay.T.S., captain, Wellington X.3646 captain Sgt Bradey.G.E.

Wellington Mk.III X.3646 AA-?

Sgt. George Edward Francis Bradey, RNZAF NZ401954 – Pilot.
F/O Thomas Henry William Baker, RAFVR 107286 – 2nd Pilot.
S/L Ronald Ernest Kimber, RAF 45956 – Observer.
Sgt. Arden Ivan Ellis, RCAF R.92690 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Cyril Vincent Green, RNZAF NZ402997 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. J. E. London, RAFVR 953137 – Rear Gunner.

On the 12th of August 1942 Wellington Mk.III X3646 crashed into the North Sea. Piloting the aircraft that night was George Edward Francis Bradey, who had earlier been severely wounded in the abdomen by flak, whilst attacking the target of Mainz with 8 other aircraft from 75(NZ) Squadron RAF.

The aircraft was struck by flak on the return flight, severely wounding the Captain in the abdomen. He was able to keep the aircraft on a westerly course till they were over the Dutch coast. A descent was made to 2,000ft and the crew was ordered to bale out but soon after, the aircraft ditched in the sea.

The remaining details of the incident do not seem that clear. Of the crew of 6, 5 were killed. The only survivor being the Rear Gunner Sgt. J. E. London, who was captured and spent the remainder of the War as a Prisoner.

Of the remaining 5 airmen who were killed, Pilot Officer George Bradey, Squadron Leader Ronald Ernest Kimber, the Navigator, Flight Sergeant Arden Ivan Ellis, Wireless Operator and Front Gunner, Flight Sergeant Cyril Vincent Green have no known resting place and are remembered on the Runnymede Memorial.

Perhaps strangely in this case then, the body of 2nd Pilot Flying Officer Thomas Henry William Baker was recovered and now lays in Wilmslow Cemetery .

THW Baker Wilmslow



BANDY, Frederick Alexander

F/S Frederick Alexander Bandy, RAFVR 1318948 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 23 on the 30th of May 1943
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 31. B. 15-17.

29/05/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Wuppertal
Twenty aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with bombs of 2000lb, 1000lb, and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb. One aircraft failed to take-off owing to the rear turret being unserviceable, and two returned early. Four aircraft failed to return. The remaining thirteen aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Very large fires were seen and also some big explosions. Some heavy A.A.Fire was encountered, but it was ineffective. No searchlights were seen. A few enemy aircraft were seen and one short combat took place, but no damage was sustained by our aircraft. The weather was good in the target area, but visibility was impaired by smoke from the fires. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk.III BK776 Captained by P/O. R.F.Bennett, Mk.I EF398, captained by F/O. R.B. Vernazoni, MK.III EH881 captained by Sgt. J.H. Carey and Mk.III Bf561 captained by Sgt. S.R. Thornley.

Stirling Mk.III BK776 AA-R

P/O Raymond Frederick Bennett, RNZAF NZ415282 – Pilot.
Sgt. Raymond Francis Norman RNZAF NZ416145 – 2nd Pilot.
F/S Alan Lloyd Davidson, RNZAF NZ411864 – Navigator.
F/S Frederick Alexander Bandy, RAFVR 1318948 – Air Bomber.
F/S Stanley Leo Kavanagh, RNZAF NZ403579 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J.B. Harrison, RAFVR 1052295 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. James Allan Pirie, RCAF R.108000 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Christopher Patrick Middleton, RNZAF NZ413337 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III BK776 AA-R was brought down at Odenspiel, 12 miles West North West of Siegen (about 35 miles South East of the target). Only the Flight Engineer, Navigator and Rear Gunner survived but were taken as P.o.W’s. The Captain, P/O Bennett, is now at rest in Rheinberg War Cemetery while the four other deceased were reinterred in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.



BANGS, Archibald Robert

Sgt. Archibald Robert Bangs, RAFVR 1891699 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 19 on the 27th of September 1943
Son of Harry and Florence Bangs, of Kingston-On-Thames, Surrey.
Buried Hanover War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 3. E. 18.
‘Deep in our hearts
Your memory is kept
We who loved you
Can never forget”.

27/09/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hanover
Sixteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lb. and 4 lb. Two aircraft failed to return and one returned early owing to its rear turret being unserviceable. The remainder dropped their bombs in the target area. This was an exceedingly successful and well concentrated attack, considered to be even better than the previous one. Numerous large fires and columns of smoke rising to 12,000ft., were seen and the fires were again visible at the DUTCH coast. Very moderate, ineffective heavy A.A. Fire numerous searchlights and flares were encountered. Many enemy aircraft were seen and several combats took place. The aircraft captained by F.Sgt. HORGAN, D. had a combat with a JU88 which was claimed to be destroyed. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. BURTON, H., sighted a JU88 and the Rear Gunner fired, it was then seen to fall in flames and was claimed as destroyed. Two other short combats took place and one of our aircraft received slight damage. The weather was poor on the outward and return journeys, but good with clear visibility over the target. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk.III, EF515 captained by Sgt. Martin, R., and EH877 captained by F/Sgt. WHITMORE, R.

Stirling Mk.III EF515 AA-F

Sgt. Ralph Egerton Martin, RNZAF NZ416415 – Pilot.
Sgt. Harold Clarke Dwight, RNZAF NZ421930 – Navigator.
Sgt. Eric McKay, RNZAF NZ415230 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. W.V. Harries, RAFVR 1198898 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Charles Arthur Smith, RAFVR 917722 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Archibald Robert Bangs, RAFVR 1891699 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ronald Frederick Summerhays, RNZAF NZ425003 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EF515 AA-F was brought down, probably by enemy night-fighter action, in the vicinity of Haverbeck-Hamelin. The pilot succeeded in making a crash landing, allowing all but one of the crew to escape uninjured. The mid-upper gunner, Sgt A R Bangs, did not survive the crash and was buried in Hannover War Cemetery. The remaining crew were captured as P.o.W’s.



BARCLAY, Thomas Smith

F/S Thomas Smith Barclay, RNZAF NZ411358 – Pilot.
Killed age 22 on the 12th of August 1942
Son of Thomas Young Barclay, and of Janet Barclay (nee Smith), of Pelaw, Co. Durham, England; stepson of Olive Mary Barclay.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 9. H. 4.

11/08/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Mainz
Nine aircraft were detailed to attack above target. Bomb load of 4000lb, 1000lb, 500lb and incendiaries were dropped in target area. A.A. fire was light, searchlights were scarce and ineffective. One fighter was seen by P/O Horne in Wellington B.J.765 as he was crossing the Dutch Coast homeward bound, no attack was made. The weather was moderate, being cloudy near target. Navigation was good by D.R. and T.R. Wellington BJ837 captain Sgt. Hockaday.N.J., five minutes from the English coast on way to target, fabric stripped off nose of aircraft to port and starboard, the Bomb load was jettisoned and the aircraft returned to base. Three aircraft failed to return, Wellington B.J.767 captained by F/O Dobbin, Wellington B.J.625, Sgt Barclay.T.S., captain, Wellington X.3646 captain Sgt Bradey.G.E.

Wellington Mk.III BJ.625 AA-T

Sgt. Thomas Smith Barclay, RNZAF NZ411358 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ronald George Renauf Hodges, RCAF R.92164 – Observer.
Sgt. Waring, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Cyril Ingleby, RNZAF 937625/ 118898 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. John William Filda Atkin, RNZAF NZ411057 – Rear Gunner.

Little is known of the circumstances that led to the aircraft being brought down near Dusseldorf, although flak damage was considered to be the main cause. All crew except Sgt Atkin, the Rear Gunner, died.and were initially buried in the Dusseldorf Cemetery. Sgt Atkin escaped with slight injuries and was taken prisoner.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/thomas-smith-barclay © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/thomas-smith-barclay © New Zealand War Graves Project



BARKER, Richard Charlwood

Sgt. Richard Charlwood Barker, RAFVR 1006907 – Pilot.
Killed age 20 on the 15th of October 1941
Son of George Guyse Barker and Annie Barker, of Deganwy, Caernarvonshire.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 11. B. 1-4.

15/10/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Cologne and Boulogne
Ten Wellington aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. A mixed bomb load was carried consisting of 1,000 lb, 500 lb, 250 lb GP’s and containers of incendiaries. Captains report that bombs were dropped on the target by estimation, but owing to slight haze over the target results were not seen. A considerable amount of heavy AA fire was experienced in and around the target area. Fire was accurate over Aachen. Searchlight activity was intense throughout the route but ineffective in the target area because of the cloud. Weather was fair en route but thick ground haze over all target area. Navigation was by Astro, D/R, QDM. Pinpointing and Lorenz check. Two of these aircraft, Z8945, captained by Sgt Barker, and X9916, captained by Sgt Matetich failed to return to base.

Wellington Mk.Ic W.5663 AA-O

Sgt. Richard Charlwood Barker, RAFVR 1006997 – Pilot.
P/O Trevor Bernard Robertson, RNZAF NZ404948 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Harold Dawson Grimes, RAAF AUS.404532 – Observer.
Sgt. David Levick Beney, RAFVR 960078 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. G.F. Cole, RAFVR 961126 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. James Blake Stephenson, RCAF R.65625/ 96324 – Rear Gunner.

The first of the two 75(NZ) Squadron Wellingtons lost this night was Wellington Mk.Ic W.5663 AA-O, which crashed to the North of Dusseldorf, possibly as a result of night fighter action – they were known to be operating in that area; accounting for the loss of 57 Squadron’s Wellington, shot down. The two Air Gunners, Cole and Stephenson, survived the impact and were taken Prisoners of War. The other four crew were all killed. They were buried in the Nord Friedhof. At the end of hostilities their remains were disinterred and taken to the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.



BARKER, Richard Stockdale

P/O Richard Stockdale Barker, RNZAF NZ421345 – Pilot.
Killed age 28 on the 26th of August 1944
Son of Arthur Barker and of Rebecca Barker (Nee Bailey).
Buried Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 5. H. 15.

25/08/1944 – Attack Against Russelsheim
Twenty eight aircraft took off as detailed to attack Russelsheim. Of these twenty five attacked the primary target and reported a good concentrated raid. A.A. opposition was slight, but enemy aircraft were active and one of our aircraft had two inconclusive combats. Another was unable to identify the target and jettisoned its load. A further one was caught in searchlights over the target and during evasive action lost both ailerons. This aircraft was captained by NZ424504 .F/S. O’Callaghan, E. The navigator 958564 .F/S. Hartley, R., kept the aircraft on track on the return journey even though his instruments were unserviceable and his chart lost. Two aircraft failed to return, they were captained by NZ422382 .F/O. J. Fleming and NZ421345 .F/S. Barker, R.

Lancaster Mk.I LL866 AA-S “Swingtime”

F/S Richard Stockdale Barker, RNZAF NZ421345 – Pilot.
F/S John Farnworth, RAFVR 1147012 – Navigator.
F/S William George Norton, RNZAF NZ413227 – Air Bomber.
W/O Raymond Firth, RAFVR NZ417203 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Gordon Baden Jones, RAFVR 1892748 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Henry George Baker, RAFVR 1814627 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Clifford George Nash, RAFVR 1654190 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I LL866 AA-S “Swingtime” was brought down over Germany, crashing near Untereisesheim, about a mile North of Heilbronn. There were no survivors. All of the crew were buried in the Durnbach War Cemetery.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/richard-stockdale-barker © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/richard-stockdale-barker © New Zealand War Graves Project



BARKER, William John

Sgt. William John Barker, RAFVR 1378561 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 33 on the 6th of September 1941
Son of George Henry and Maud Barker; Husband of Mary Barker, of North Kensington, London.
Buried Borculo General Cemetery, Holland.     .
Grave location – Plot U. Coll. grave 1-5.
‘In loving memory of William’

06/09/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Huls
Thirteen Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks. One of these aircraft, X9767 captained by P/O Johnson, failed to return to base. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 1,000 lb GP, 500 lb GP, 250 lb GP, and SBC’s of 4lb incendiaries. One aircraft was seen under attack on the Dutch-German frontier. Another aircraft was observed possibly being shot down by dual AA fire/searchlight action about 15 miles west or south-west of the target. An enemy aircraft was seen taking off from Schipol, but no attacks occurred Bombs were dropped in the target area and numerous fires were started. A.A. fire was light over the target area, but heavy en route, while searchlights were working in cones around target. Three enemy  aircraft seen but no attacks made. The weather was good over the whole journey.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9767 AA-S

P/O James Edward Johnson, RAFVR 66519 – Pilot.
Sgt. Peter Simpson Dickson Johnston, RAFVR 776002 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Michael Minchin, RAFVR 751355 – Navigator.
Sgt. Wilfred Bearne, RAFVR 976174 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ronald Davies, RAFVR 751130 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. William John Barker, RAFVR 1378561 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9767 AA-S was intercepted by a German night fighter (flown by Oblt Emil Woltersdorft, Unit 111, NJG1) over Holland. The Wellington crashed into the sea at 00.11hrs near Borculo (Gelderland) South East of Lochem, Holland. None of the crew survived. Their bodies were subsequently recovered and later buried at Borculo General Cemetery.
Barker W J



BARKHOUSE, Donald Frederick

Sgt. Donald Frederick Barkhouse, RCAF 65416 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 20 on the 15th of October 1941
Son of Robert Mcdonald Barkhouse and Anna Grace Barkhouse, of Kentville, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 1. C. 2.
‘The souls of the righteous
Are in the hand of God,
… they are in peace’

15/10/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Cologne and Boulogne
Ten Wellington aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. A mixed bomb load was carried consisting of 1,000 lb, 500 lb, 250 lb GP’s and containers of incendiaries. Captains report that bombs were dropped on the target by estimation, but owing to slight haze over the target results were not seen. A considerable amount of heavy AA fire was experienced in and around the target area. Fire was accurate over Aachen. Searchlight activity was intense throughout the route but ineffective in the target area because of the cloud. Weather was fair en route but thick ground haze over all target area. Navigation was by Astro, D/R, QDM. Pinpointing and Lorenz check. Two of these aircraft, Z8945, captained by Sgt Barker, and X9916, captained by Sgt Matetich failed to return to base.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9916 AA-

Sgt. John Anthony Matetich, RAFVR 778235 – Pilot.
Sgt. Frederick Lionel Roy Wood, RNZAF NZ404439 – 2nd Pilot.
F/S Neville Henry Welsh, RNZAF NZ391334 – Navigator.
Sgt. Frederick Harry Worledge, RAFVR 755764 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Arthur Service, RAFVR 749347 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Donald Frederick Barkhouse, RCAF R.65416 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9916 was lost over Cologne.The circumstances are unclear as to what caused the aircraft to crash. All the crew were killed and later buried in the Rheinberg War Cemetery.



BARNES, Raymond James

W/O Raymond James Barnes, RCAF 2 R/87330 – Navigator.
Killed age 26 on the 16th of April 1943
Son of Edward Wilson Barnes and Millicent Kate Barnes, of Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 20. A. 13-14.
‘Rest in peace’     

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.I W7469 AA-O

F/S Kevin Frederick Debenham, RNZAF NZ412211 – Pilot.
Sgt. Raymond James Barnes, RCAF R.87330 – Navigator.
Sgt. David Michael Turner Watts, RAFVR 1312572 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Peter Braithwaite Pearson, RAFVR 1377412 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. D. Wainwright, RAFVR 1193816 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. John Leslie Marlow, RAFVR 1353768 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Jim Jack Davis, RAFVR 629241 – Rear Gunner.

t/o 2217 Newmarket. Crashed at Katzenbach. Those who died are buried in Rheinberg Cemetery.

The circumstances surrounding the loss of Stirling Mk.I W7469 AA-O are unclear. It crashed at Katzenbach, south of Frankfurt, and all but the Flight Engineer, Sgt Wainwright, were killed. The sole survivor was listed as a P.o.W, suggesting he either baled out or escaped from the wrecked aircraft and was captured. The crew members who died are buried in the Rheinberg War Cemetery, south of Wesel.



BARR, Derek Singleton

F/O Derek Singleton Barr, RAFVR 190947 – Pilot.
Lost without trace age 29 on the 21st of March 1945
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 266.

21/03/1945 – Attack Against Munster Viaduct
Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack the Muster Viaduct. There was hardly any cloud over the target. It is thought that the concentration was good although the formation was broken up just prior to bombing. Three aircraft failed to return from this operation – AA”T”, NZ42451 F/L J. Plummer, AA”R” NZ429139 P/O A. Brown and JN”P” 190947 P/O D.S. Barr. All three aircraft were seen to hit in the target area. Considerable H/F was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I RA564 JN-P

F/O Derek Singleton Barr, RAFVR 1394583/ 190947 – Pilot.
F/S Arthur Leslie Archibald Oakey, RNZAF NZ4213810 – Navigator.
Sgt. Dryden Stewart, RAFVR 1673061 – Air Bomber.
W/O Robert William West, RAFVR 195545 – Wireless Operator.
F/S Clifford Isaac Stocker, RAFVR 1587275 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Bruce Henry Nicholl, RAFVR 746205 – Mid Upper Gunner.
W/O Alwyn Amos, RAFVR 1578224 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I RA564 JN-P was bombing the target at Munster when it was struck by a bomb falling from another aircraft flying above, which exploded. There were no survivors. Only the body of the rear gunner was found and buried at Margraten, Holland. The other crew members have no known graves.



BARSON, Jack Frank MacDonald

Sgt. Jack Frank MacDonald Barson, RAFVR 1324529 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 21 on the 21st of July 1944
Son of Louisa Ann Barson, of Ilford, Essex.
Buried Jonkerbos War Cemetery, Nijmegen, Holland.
Grave location – 12. J. 4.
‘He has out soared
The shadow of our night;
Envy and calumny
And hate and pain’

20/07/1944 – Attack Against Homberg
Twenty six aircraft took off, as detailed, to attack the oil refinery at Homberg. Nineteen aircraft were successful in bombing the target, with the aid of markers, which seemed well concentrated. Two good explosions were seen and smoke came up from the target area. Heavy A.A. fire was moderate, but fighters were very active, eight combats taking place. Seven aircraft failed to return, the captains were AUS22776 W/O. Gilmour, H., NZ428819 F/S. Howell, E., NZ421829 F/S. Mackay, K., NZ422057 F/S. Davidson, N., NZ42488 W/O. Whittington, H., NZ413219 F/S. Roche, G. & NZ414560 P/O. Burtt, H.

Lancaster Mk.I ME752 AA-E

F/S Gerald Brian Roche, RNZAF NZ413219 – Pilot.
F/O Horace Callow, RNZAF NZ427185 – Navigator.
F/S John Burgess, RNZAF NZ4211008 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Jack Frank MacDonald Barson, RAFVR 1324529 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Joseph Armstrong, RAFVR 1684332 – Flight Engineer.
F/S William Edward McGee, RNZAF NZ427902 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Keith Emmett Smith, RNZAF NZ425179 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I ME752 AA-E was brought down by a night-fighter at 01:15hrs at Heythuysen in the Dutch province of Limburg, 7 miles East of Weert. All crew members, except the Air Bomber and Mid-Upper Gunner, died in the crash and were first buried in the Heythuysen cemetery but are now lying in Jonkerbos War Cemetery.

F/S Burgess survived and was captured as a POW. F/S McGee also survived and successfully evaded capture.



BARTON, Arthur James Douglas

F/S Arthur James Douglas Barton, RNZAF NZ413700 – Navigator.
Lost without trace age 23 on the 5th of February 1943
Son of Richard John and Georgina Barton, of Masterton, Wellington, New Zealand.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England.
Grave location – Panel 198.

05/02/1943 – Mining off the Frisian Islands
Four aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with 1500 lb. mines. Three of the aircraft successfully planted their mines in the allotted area. All aircraft flew in cloud which was 10/10ths. from the English coast to the mining area. No A.A. fire, searchlights or enemy aircraft were seen. Navigation was very good. Stirling 1 BK617 captained by Sgt. R.E. Redding failed to return. This aircraft took off at 18.10 and at 19.43 a message was received  that they had something to communicate to base, but this was never received. It was later reported that the aircraft was seen to crash in flames just off Cromer. Nothing further was heard of the crew, or the aircraft although a search was made by Air Sea Rescue.

Stirling Mk.I BK617 AA-D

Sgt. Randolph Ernest Redding, RNZAF NZ414678 – Pilot.
Sgt. Arthur James Douglas Barton, RNZAF NZ413700 – Navigator.
Sgt. Harry Dennis, RAFVR 659116 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Cyril George Phillips, RAFVR 1201720 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Robert Colin Legge, RCAF R.64510 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Wesley William Wilson, RCAF R.113265 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Patrick Paul Deane Freeman, RNZAF NZ413305 – Rear Gunner.

t/o 1943 Newmarket for mine laying duties off the Frisians. Outbound, caught fire in the air at 1,500 ft and dived into the sea some 2 miles off Cromer, Norfolk. All are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

At 19.42hrs – 1hr 32mins after take-off – the crew of the third aircraft, Stirling Mk.I BK617 AA-D, despatched a signal to base indicating they had a further message to report, but none was received. It was later reported that the aircraft was seen to crash in flames just off Cromer, on the Norfolk Coast, on track for base. Nothing further was heard of the crew or the aircraft, although a thorough search was conducted by the Air Sea Rescue service. The circumstances seemed to indicate the likelihood of a catastrophic on-board fire resulting from a possible enemy air attack about 50miles from the SW end of the Frisian Islands, necessitating an emergency return to base.

This was the Redding crew’s 1st Op with the Squadron.



BATESON, Benjamin William

F/S Benjamin William Bateson, RNZAF NZ424788 – Pilot.
Killed age 22 on the 25th of June 1944
Son of Benjamin and Ethel May Bateson, of Auckland City, New Zealand.
Buried Fruges Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Coll. grave 7. 7

24/06/1944 – Attack Against Rimeux
Twenty five aircraft took off as detailed to attack the constructional works at Rimeux. Twenty four crews bombed successfully with the aid of markers, and an accurate raid was reported.   There were numerous searchlights in action, but the A.A. opposition was not serious. The aircraft captained by NZ424788 F/S. Bateson, B. failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.III ND920 AA-P

F/S Benjamin William Bateson, RNZAF NZ424788 – Pilot.
Sgt. Geoffrey Leonard Startin, RAFVR 1600846 – Navigator.
Sgt. Maurice Frederick Morgan, RAFVR 1394772 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Francis Cassidy McIntyre, RAFVR 1562888 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Colin Harry Slater, RAFVR 1815706 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Ernest Lewis Connett, RAFVR 1236363 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Bruce Milne, RNZAF NZ428017 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.III ND920 AA-P was shot down by a German night-fighter near Fruges (Pas-de-Calais), 27 mils South East of Boulogne, probably while en route to attack a V1 flying-bomb site at Rimeaux. According to local eye witnesses of the crash, the plane exploded on impact, and buried itself in a deep crater, all the members of the crew being instantly killed, such remains as were recovered were buried by French civillians in Grave No.7 in the Fruges Communal Cemetery.



BATTEN, Hector Austin Charles

F/L Hector Austin Charles Batten, RAFVR 61948 – Observer.
Killed age 23 on the 31st of May 1942
Buried Apeldoorn (Ugchelen-Heidehof) General Cemetery, Holland..
Grave location – Plot 4. Grave 138.

30/05/1942 – Bombing Attacks Against Cologne
Twenty-three Wellington aircraft, including IA, IC,III, were detailed to carry out the above attacks. One of these aircraft, Wellington IA T.2894, captained by P/O Johnson (attached to this Unit from C.G.S. Suton Bridge) failed to return to base. Another aircraft X.3751 captained by P/O Jarman, was badly damaged by flak, both fuel tanks being holed and both port and starboard airspeed indicators rendered unserviceable. The bomb load consisted of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs and 30lbs. and 4lbs incendiaries. The weather conditions were excellent, and the target was bombed successfully many fires being started in all parts of the town. A.A. fire was very erratic and searchlights were working in cones. A large number of enemy aircraft were seen but no attacks resulted. Navigation was by D/R, TR, Q.D.M., Loop.

Wellington Mk.Ic N.2894 AA-?
(crew attached from Central Gunnery School, Sutton Bridge)

P/O David Malcolm Johnson, RAFVR 103511 – Pilot.
W/O Oldrich Jambor, RAFVR 787441 – 2nd Pilot.
F/L Hector Austin Charles Batten, RAF 61948 – Observer.
F/S Josiah Robert Connor, RAFVR 621339 – Wireless Operator.
F/S John McKenzie Mclean, RAFVR 968453 – Front Gunner.
F/S G.J. Waddington-Allwright, RAFVR 751360 – Rear Gunner.

A ‘borrowed’ Wellington Mk IA, T2894, from Central Gunnery School, Sutton Bridge, was shot down by a night-fighter over Holland.

The only survivor was the rear gunner, who was taken prisoner of war. All other crew members died.



BATTY, Ronald John Morton

Sgt. Ronald John Morton Batty, RAF 549542 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 26 on the 21st of July 1944
Buried Uden War Cemetery, Holland.
Grave location – 5. A. 9. 104

20/07/1944 – Attack Against Homberg
Twenty six aircraft took off, as detailed, to attack the oil refinery at Homberg. Nineteen aircraft were successful in bombing the target, with the aid of markers, which seemed well concentrated. Two good explosions were seen and smoke came up from the target area. Heavy A.A. fire was moderate, but fighters were very active, eight combats taking place. Seven aircraft failed to return, the captains were AUS22776 W/O. Gilmour, H., NZ428819 F/S. Howell, E., NZ421829 F/S. Mackay, K., NZ422057 F/S. Davidson, N., NZ42488 W/O. Whittington, H., NZ413219 F/S. Roche, G. & NZ414560 P/O. Burtt, H.

Lancaster Mk.I ME691 AA-R

W/O Harold Whittington, RNZAF NZ42488 – Pilot.
F/O Joseph Stevens, RAFVR 125607 – Navigator.
Sgt. Alfred Alexander Simpson, RNZAF NZ425112 – Air Bomber.
P/O Phillip Edwin Tompkins, RAFVR 157922 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. D. W. Gore, RAFVR 1624691 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Ronald John Morton Batty, RAFVR 548542 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Andrew Crawford Fletcher, RNZAF NZ42675 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I ME691 AA-R was brought down by an enemy aircraft at 01:33hrs beside a road near Veghel (Noord Brabant), 4 miles South West of Uden. All but the flight engineer perished in the crash and were buried in the local War Cemetery, Uden. Sgt Gore, the flight engineer, survived but was taken as a P.o.W.



BAYES, Joseph Thomas

P/O Joseph Thomas Bayes, RAFVR 185783 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 35 on the 4th of November 1944
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 5. C. 5.

04/11/1944 – Attack Against Solingen
Twenty one aircraft took off to attack Solingen in daylight, carrying 8,000 lb, 4,000 lb, 1,000 lb, 500 lb, 4 lb incendiaries and No.17 Clusters. All crews dropped their bombs in the target area, but the raid appeared to be scattered. Flak opposition was moderate. One aircraft captained by NZ428797 F/O J. Scott, failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.III ND917 JN-O

F/O John Harold Scott, RNZAF NZ428797 – Pilot.
F/S Alister Henry Scott, RNZAF NZ428259 – Navigator.
F/S Kenneth Peder Christian Andersen, RNZAF NZ429128 – Air Bomber.
F/S Edward John Francis Howard, RNZAF NZ424469 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Howard Mansel Thomas, RAFVR 1895708 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. John Thomas Beardmore, RAFVR 1818755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Joseph Thomas Bayes, RAFVR 1595589, 185783 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.III ND917 JN-O was brought down by flak about 9 miles South East of the target, crashing near Werrmelskirchen. None of the crew survived and they were buried at that small township, but later reinterred at Rheinberg War Cemetery, south of Wessel.



BEARD, John Lawrence

Sgt. John Lawrence Beard, RAFVR 3006185 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 19 on the 14th of March 1945
Son of Arthur Lawrence Beard and Lilian Ethel Florence Beard, of East Dulwich, London.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 25. D. 1.
‘God gave thy soul
Brave Wings’

14/03/1945 – Attack Against Heinrich Hutte
Twenty aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Crews found the target covered with 10/10ths cloud. Formation was good though the target and bombs fell away together. Very accurate moderate H/F was met on the run in and over the target. F/Lt. E. Parsons in AA”E” failed to return. His aircraft was seen to be hit causing it to spiral into cloud. F/S McLernon landed at Woodbridge but returned to base the following day.

Lancaster Mk.I PB741 AA-E

F/L Eric George Parsons, RAFVR 185301 – Pilot.
Sgt. William Phinn, RAFVR 1684789 – Navigator.
F/S Francis Henry Ebbage, RAFVR 1615600 – Air Bomber.
F/S Eric Ramsay, RAFVR 2205987 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Charles Albert Longstaff, RAFVR 1595982 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. John Lawrence Beard, RAFVR 3006185 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S John Nichol, RAFVR 1670779 – Rear Gunner.

At 16.35hrs on the run up to the target PB741, F/L Parsons & crew, was seen to have been hit by flak in the port-inner engine, which was then feathered. It also appeared to have been hit in the port-outer engine, which was feathered as the aircraft began descending quickly. Part of the wing caught fire and soon after, the complete wing broke off just as the Lancaster was diving through cloud.

All on board were killed in the resultant crash. The flight engineer and air bomber have no known graves. The other five crew members are buried at the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.



BEARDMORE, John Thomas

Sgt. John Thomas Beardmore, RAFVR 1818755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 19 on the 4th of November 1944
Son of John Thomas Beardmore and Bertha May Beardmore, of Stoke-On-Trent.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 5. C. 2.
‘Dearly loved son
Of James Thomas And Bertha May Beardmore,
Stoke-on-Trent, England’

04/11/1944 – Attack Against Solingen
Twenty one aircraft took off to attack Solingen in daylight, carrying 8,000 lb, 4,000 lb, 1,000 lb, 500 lb, 4 lb incendiaries and No.17 Clusters. All crews dropped their bombs in the target area, but the raid appeared to be scattered. Flak opposition was moderate. One aircraft captained by NZ428797 F/O J. Scott, failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.III ND917 JN-O

F/O John Harold Scott, RNZAF NZ428797 – Pilot.
F/S Alister Henry Scott, RNZAF NZ428259 – Navigator.
F/S Kenneth Peder Christian Andersen, RNZAF NZ429128 – Air Bomber.
F/S Edward John Francis Howard, RNZAF NZ424469 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Howard Mansel Thomas, RAFVR 1895708 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. John Thomas Beardmore, RAFVR 1818755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Joseph Thomas Bayes, RAFVR 1595589, 185783 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.III ND917 JN-O was brought down by flak about 9mls SE of the target, crashing near Werrmelskirchen. None of the crew survived and they were buried at that small township, but later reinterred at Rheinberg War Cemetery, south of Wessel.



BEARNE, Wilfred

Sgt. Wilfred Bearne, RAFVR 976174 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 22 on the 6th of September 1941
Son of Alfred James Beaven and Margaret Beaven.
Buried Borculo General Cemetery, Holland.     .
Grave location – Plot U. Coll. grave 1-5.
‘In loving memory of my dear son’

06/09/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Huls
Thirteen Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks. One of these aircraft, X9767 captained by P/O Johnson, failed to return to base. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 1,000 lb GP, 500 lb GP, 250 lb GP, and SBC’s of 4lb incendiaries. One aircraft was seen under attack on the Dutch-German frontier. Another aircraft was observed possibly being shot down by dual AA fire/searchlight action about 15 miles west or south-west of the target. An enemy aircraft was seen taking off from Schipol, but no attacks occurred Bombs were dropped in the target area and numerous fires were started. A.A. fire was light over the target area, but heavy en route, while searchlights were working in cones around target. Three enemy  aircraft seen but no attacks made. The weather was good over the whole journey.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9767 AA-S

P/O James Edward Johnson, RAFVR 66519 – Pilot.
Sgt. Peter Simpson Dickson Johnston, RAFVR 776002 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Michael Minchin, RAFVR 751355 – Navigator.
Sgt. Wilfred Bearne, RAFVR 976174 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ronald Davies, RAFVR 751130 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. William John Barker, RAFVR 1378561 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9767 AA-S was intercepted by a German night fighter (flown by Oblt Emil Woltersdorft, Unit 111, NJG1) over Holland. The Wellington crashed into the sea at 00.11hrs near Borculo (Gelderland) South East of Lochem, Holland. None of the crew survived. Their bodies were subsequently recovered and later buried at Borculo General Cemetery.

Bearne W



BEAVEN, James Wilfred

Sgt. James Wilfred Beaven, RNZAF NZ403566 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 31 on the 22nd of May 1942
Son of Alfred James Beaven and Margaret Beaven.
Buried Buxton Cemetery, Derbyshire, England..
Grave location – Grave 4180

22/05/1942 – Cross Country Night Flying Training
Wellington Mk III, Z.1566 AA-K,was undergoing a night cross-country training flight when the weather deteriorated. The Pilot-in-command elected to remain above the cloud layer for some time before he was able to descend through a gap in the cloud in the early morning hours so that the navigator could visually establish their position. At 03.40 hrs, the aircraft flew into a hillside at Grindon Farm, six miles East South East of Leek, Staffordshire. The sole survivor of the crash was the rear gunner, Sgt Chappell, who was injured. All remaining members of the crew were killed.

Wellington Mk III, Z.1566 AA-K

P/O Andrew Donald Mackay, RNZAF NZ411919 – Pilot.
Sgt. Wilfred Herbert Smeaton, RNZAF NZ405331 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. John William Bode, RAFVR 1185743 – Observer.
Sgt. Cyril Hayton, RAFVR 1113610 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. James Wilfred Beaven, RNZAF NZ403566 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Sidney John Chappell, RNZAF NZ41571 – Rear Gunner.

All are buried at Buxton, Derbyshire, except Sgt Hayton, RAF, who is buried in the Byker and Heaton Cemetery, Newcastle-on-Tyne, his hometown.

SONY DSC



BEECH, Cyril

Sgt. Cyril Beech, RAFVR 1584473 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 20 on the 5th of May 1944
Son of Herbert and Nellie Beech, of Halmer End, Staffordshire.
Buried Clermont-Ferrand (Des Carmes Dechaux) Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Row A. Coll. grave 4-6.

04/03/1944 – Special Operations – March Moon Period TRAINER 124 (RESULT UNKNOWN)
Operation TRAINER 124 (Result unknown).
The m/n. crew in Stirling “M” took off at 20.51 hours. The aircraft failed to return and nothing was heard after take-off.

Stirling Mk.III EF215 AA-M

S/L Raymond Johnson Watson, RNZAF NZ404978 – Pilot.
F/O Matthew Roland Henderson, RNZAF NZ427204 – Navigator.
F/S Ralph Morley Woods, RAFVR 1386860 – Air Bomber.
F/S Arthur Stanley Jones, RNZAF NZ421977 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Cyril Beech, RAFVR 1584473 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Colin Armstrong, RAFVR 2209010 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Robert James Ian Melville, RNZAF NZ42349 – Rear Gunner.

The wreckage of Stirling Mk.III EF215 AA-M was found on a mountainside at Rochefort-Montagne, 15 miles West South West of Clermont-Ferrand, where six of the deceased crew were buried. The only survivor was Sgt C. B. Armstrong, who escaped with relatively few injuries. He was taken into custody as a POW.



BELL, John Robson

F/O John Robson Bell, RAFVR 173943 – Navigator.
Killed age 34 on the 20th of November 1944
Son of Harry and Mary Bell, of Newcastle-On-Tyne; Husband of Jean Doreen Bell, of Jesmond, Newcastle-On-Tyne.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 29. B. 1-16.
‘Always in our thoughts,
Darling.
Your loving wife Jean,
The twins and Alan’

20/11/1944 – Attack Against Homberg
Twenty eight aircraft took off to attack the Oil Refinery Plant at Homberg. Twenty two aircraft in daylight attacked the target in ten tenths cloud with tops at 23,000 ft. which made formation flying very difficult. They carried 4,000 lb and 500 lb bombs. Results of bombing could not be observed, but it is considered that the raid was unsatisfactory. One aircraft AA/J returned early owing to icing trouble and two aircraft bombed last resort targets at Duisburg and Hamborn. Three aircraft failed to return. These were captained by 185116 F/O R. Gordon, AUS419328 F/O P. McCartin and 152402 F/O H. Rees.

Lancaster Mk.I PB689 AA-X
Missing – Heavy Flak

F/O Ronald Gordon, RAFVR 1580245/ 185116 – Pilot.
P/O John Robson Bell, RAFVR 173943 – Navigator.
F/S Albert John ‘Mick’ Weston, RAFVR 1115103 – Air Bomber.
F/O Louis David Sampson, RAFVR 186413 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Carl Robert Freeman, RAFVR 189608 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Sidney George Hone, RAFVR 2221190 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. James Leonard Forrester, RAFVR 3010665 – Rear Gunner.

PB609 encountered heavy flak after bombing, when approximately 8 miles North East of Moers and the aircraft was seen to explode and crash. There were no survivors. All the crew were buried in the Reichswald Forest Cemetery.

J R Bell



BELL, Maurice Perrott

P/O Maurice Perrott Bell, RNZAF NZ404882 – Pilot.
Killed age 26 on the 29th of March 1942
Son of George John and Mary Bell, of Tuna, Taranaki, New Zealand.
Buried Kiel War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – Coll. grave 2. A. 4-6.

28/03/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Lubeck
Ten Wellington aircraft took off to attack the above target, one aircraft, Wellington III X3462 captained by Sgt Bell failed to return to base. Bomb load consisting of 4,000 lbs, 1,000 lbs, 500 lbs, 250 lbs, and containers of incendiaries was dropped in the target area. Bombs were seen to burst on target and large fires were seen burning in the target area. Weather was clear except for slight haze over west portion of the North Sea. There was very little A.A. Fire and few searchlights over the target. No enemy aircraft were seen. Navigation by TR1335 and D.R. was good. he whole operation was very successful.

Wellington Mk.III X.3462 AA-D

Sgt. Maurice Perrott Bell, RNZAF NZ404882 – Pilot.
Sgt. Franklyn Bertram Cran, RNZAF NZ405237 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Claude Joseph Harris, RNZAF NZ404028 – Observer.
Sgt. Ronald Gilliam Allen, RAFVR 1261123 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Thomas Richard Cross, RAFVR 917809 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. James William Hinton, RAFVR 1150584 – Rear Gunner.

The precise circumstances of the loss of this aircraft and crew, are unknown. Whilst the raid report states that there were no combats with E/A, a combat report held in the National Archives (AIR50/192/6) describes a Pilot witnessing an enemy aircraft firing first on what is believed to be another Wellington. This Wellington was reported as going down into the sea and burning furiously. The fact that all the crew’s bodies were buried in the German Naval Garrison Cemetery, before being re-interred in the Kiel War Cemetery, perhaps suggest this might have been the Bell crew, however it should be noted that the Naval Garrison also had gun batteries near it, so this does not discount A.A. fire as the source of this crew loss.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/maurice-perrott-bell © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/maurice-perrott-bell © New Zealand War Graves Project



BELL, Ronald

Sgt. Ronald Bell, RAFVR 1077692 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 22 on the 24th of May 1943
Son of Bernard and Hilda Bell, of Otley, Yorkshire; Husband of Marguerite Bell, of Otley.
Buried Beesd General Cemetery, Holland..
Grave location – Coll. grave 1-2.
‘At the going down
Of the sun
And in the morning
We will remember them’

23/05/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Dortmund
Fifteen aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks with bombs of 1000lb and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb. One aircraft returned early owing to engine trouble, and the remaining aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Some very large fires were seen, and the bombs were seen to explode amongst large buildings. Medium and Heavy A.A. Fire co-operating with searchlights was encountered. One aircraft was hit whilst over the target, and the port outer propeller was shot off, but the aircraft successfully returned to base. Some enemy aircraft were seen, and two short combats took place, but no damage was sustained to our aircraft. The weather was good in the target area, but identification was difficult owing to smoke from the fires. Navigation was very good. Stirling Mk.III,BK.783 captained by Sergeant S.M. Tietjens failed to return.

Stirling Mk.III BK783 AA-Q

Sgt. Stephen Muir Tietjens, RAFVR NZ415640 – Pilot.
Sgt. George Watson Turnbull, RAFVR NZ421342 – Navigator.
Sgt. Frederick John Leigh Joblin, RNZAF NZ417063 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Ronald Bell, RAFVR 1077692 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Stanley John Wayman, RAFVR 1391814 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Derrick George Amos Storey, RAFVR 1809725 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Leslie R Vale, RAFVR 1235008 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III BK783 AA-Q was shot down by an enemy night-fighter over the Netherlands on the return flight home. The aircraft came down in a ditch at Beesd, (Gelderland), 5 miles South South West of Culemborg, All but the Rear Gunner, Sgt L R Vale, died in the crash. They were buried in a collective grave at Beesd General Cemetery. Vale miraculously survived the major crash with an injured leg and temporary memory loss. He was later taken prisoner by German soldiers.

BELL R JOBLIN F J L



BENEY, David Levick

Sgt. David Levick Beney, RAFVR 960078 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 19 on the 15th of October 1941
Son of Arthur and Evelyn Annie Beney, of Limpsfield, Surrey.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 11. B. 1-4.

15/10/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Cologne and Boulogne
Ten Wellington aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. A mixed bomb load was carried consisting of 1,000 lb, 500 lb, 250 lb GP’s and containers of incendiaries. Captains report that bombs were dropped on the target by estimation, but owing to slight haze over the target results were not seen. A considerable amount of heavy AA fire was experienced in and around the target area. Fire was accurate over Aachen. Searchlight activity was intense throughout the route but ineffective in the target area because of the cloud. Weather was fair en route but thick ground haze over all target area. Navigation was by Astro, D/R, QDM. Pinpointing and Lorenz check. Two of these aircraft, Z8945, captained by Sgt Barker, and X9916, captained by Sgt Matetich failed to return to base.

Wellington Mk.Ic W.5663 AA-O

Sgt. Richard Charlwood Barker, RAFVR 1006997 – Pilot.
P/O Trevor Bernard Robertson, RNZAF NZ404948 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Harold Dawson Grimes, RAAF AUS.404532 – Observer.
Sgt. David Levick Beney, RAFVR 960078 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. G.F. Cole, RAFVR 961126 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. James Blake Stephenson, RCAF R.65625/ 96324 – Rear Gunner.

The first of the two 75(NZ) Squadron Wellingtons lost this night was Wellington Mk.Ic W.5663 AA-O, which crashed to the North of Dusseldorf, possibly as a result of night fighter action – they were known to be operating in that area; accounting for the loss of 57 Squadron’s Wellington, shot down. The two Air Gunners, Cole and Stephenson, survived the impact and were taken Prisoners of War. The other four crew were all killed. They were buried in the Nord Friedhof. At the end of hostilities their remains were disinterred and taken to the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.



BENNETT, Raymond Frederick

P/O Raymond Frederick Bennett, RNZAF NZ415282 – Pilot.
Killed age 29 on the 30th of May 1943
Son of Frederick William and Ruby Elizabeth Bennett, of Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 4. G. 11.

29/05/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Wuppertal
Twenty aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with bombs of 2000lb, 1000lb, and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb. One aircraft failed to take-off owing to the rear turret being unserviceable, and two returned early. Four aircraft failed to return. The remaining thirteen aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Very large fires were seen and also some big explosions. Some heavy A.A.Fire was encountered, but it was ineffective. No searchlights were seen. A few enemy aircraft were seen and one short combat took place, but no damage was sustained by our aircraft. The weather was good in the target area, but visibility was impaired by smoke from the fires. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk.III BK776 Captained by P/O. R.F.Bennett, Mk.I EF398, captained by F/O. R.B. Vernazoni, MK.III EH881 captained by Sgt. J.H. Carey and Mk.III Bf561 captained by Sgt. S.R. Thornley.

Stirling Mk.III BK776 AA-R
Sgt. Raymond Francis Norman RNZAF NZ416145 – 2nd Pilot.
F/S Alan Lloyd Davidson, RNZAF NZ411864 – Navigator.
F/S Frederick Alexander Bandy, RAFVR 1318948 – Air Bomber.
F/S Stanley Leo Kavanagh, RNZAF NZ403579 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J.B. Harrison, RAFVR 1052295 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. James Allan Pirie, RCAF R.108000 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Christopher Patrick Middleton, RNZAF NZ413337 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III BK776 AA-R was brought down at Odenspiel, 12 miles West North West of Siegen (about 35 miles South East of the target). Only the Flight Engineer, Navigator and Rear Gunner survived but were taken as P.o.W’s. The Captain, P/O Bennett, is now at rest in Rheinberg War Cemetery while the four other deceased were reinterred in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/raymond-frederick-bennett © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/raymond-frederick-bennett © New Zealand War Graves Project



BENNETTON, Frederick Horace

Sgt. Frederick Horace Bennetton, RAFVR 1281626 – Wireless Operator.
Lost without trace age 20 on the 5th of May 1943.
Son of Edward E. and Nellie M. Bennetton, of Grappenhall, Cheshire.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 142.

05/05/1943 – Mining off the Frisian Islands
Six aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack with Mines of 1500lb. One aircraft, however, failed to take-off and one failed to return. The remaining four aircraft successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area, and all the parachutes were seen to open. Some light A.A.Fire was encountered, but it was ineffective. No enemy aircraft were seen. There was broken cloud in the mining area, although visibility was fairly good. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling Mk.I. EF.340, captained by Sgt. R.F. Westwood.

Stirling Mk.I EF430 AA-Q

Sgt. Reginald Francis Westwood, RAAF AUS.416471 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Henry Waldron Bentley, RNZAF NZ414580 – Navigator.
Sgt. Erwin Henry Reubin Lamb, RNZAF NZ413709 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. William Harkness, RAFVR 1127681 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Horace Bennetton, RAFVR 1281626 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Gilbert Humphreys Rogers, RAFVR 1382746 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John McLaren Boswell, RNZAF NZ414491 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.I EF430 AA-Q was engaged by AA fire while transiting the Dutch coastal area and was brought down in the Waddenzee, South East of Vlieland, at 01:15hrs. None of the crew survived. All are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

FH Bennetton



BENTLEY, Loch Lomond

F/S Loch Lomond Bentley, RNZAF NZ403936 – Pilot.
Killed age 28 on the 23rd of December 1941
Son of Harry and Margaret Daziel Bentley, of Waitoms Caves, Auckland, New Zealand, Husband of Winifred Kathleen Bentley.
Buried Feltwell (St. Nicholas) Churchyard, Norfolk, England..
Grave location – Row B. Grave 6.

23/12/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Brest
Seven Wellington Ic aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. Bomb load consisted of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Bomb bursts and fires were seen in the target area. Light, medium and heavy flak was met and searchlights were not very active. Weather was good over the target. Navigation was good. Wellington Z.8834, captained by Sgt. Bentley, crashed at Burner’s Heath on return and Sgt. Bentley was killed, the crew being injured.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.8834 AA-P

F/S Loch Lomond Bentley, RNZAF NZ403936 – Pilot.
Sgt. Trevor William Burke, RNZAF NZ402515 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Herbert Ives, RNZAF NZ402192 – Observer.
Sgt. Wiles, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. S.V. Hardman, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Olrod, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.8834 AA-P, captained by F/Sgt L L Bentley, RNZAF, arrived in the circuit at base awaiting landing clearance but inexplicably flew into the ground near Burner’s Heath, some 5 milse South West of Thetford. Although all his crew escaped the crash with non-life threatening injuries, Bentley’s were more severe and he failed to recover. He is buried at RAF Feltwell.

Bentley, Loch Lomand RNZAF



BENTLEY, Robert Henry Waldron

P/O Robert Henry Waldron Bentley, RNZAF NZ414580 – Navigator.
Lost without trace age 23 on the 5th of May 1943
Son of Henry Arthur Bond Bentley and Jessie Eleanor Bentley, of Auckland, New Zealand.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 198.

05/05/1943 – Mining off the Frisian Islands
Six aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack with Mines of 1500lb. One aircraft, however, failed to take-off and one failed to return. The remaining four aircraft successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area, and all the parachutes were seen to open. Some light A.A.Fire was encountered, but it was ineffective. No enemy aircraft were seen. There was broken cloud in the mining area, although visibility was fairly good. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling Mk.I. EF.340, captained by Sgt. R.F. Westwood.

Stirling Mk.I EF430 AA-Q

Sgt. Reginald Francis Westwood, RAAF AUS.416471 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Henry Waldron Bentley, RNZAF NZ414580 – Navigator.
Sgt. Erwin Henry Reubin Lamb, RNZAF NZ413709 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. William Harkness, RAFVR 1127681 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Horace Bennetton, RAFVR 1281626 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Gilbert Humphreys Rogers, RAFVR 1382746 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John McLaren Boswell, RNZAF NZ414491 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.I EF430 AA-Q was engaged by AA fire while transiting the Dutch coastal area and was brought down in the Waddenzee, South East of Vlieland, at 01:15hrs. None of the crew survived. All are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.



BERESFORD, John Bosworth

Sgt. John Bosworth Beresford, RAFVR 1583723 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 20 on the 28th of September 1943
Son of John Bosworth Beresford and Florence Maud Beresford, of Meadows, Nottingham.
Buried Hanover War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 8. C. 2.
‘Though absent,
You are always near,
Still loved,
Still missed and ever dear’

27/09/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hanover
Sixteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lb. and 4lb. Two aircraft failed to return and one returned owing to its rear turret being unserviceable. The remainder dropped their bombs in the target area. This was an exceedingly successful and well concentrated attack, considered to be even better than the previous one. Numerous large fires and columns of smoke rising to 12,000ft., were seen, and the fires were again visible at the DUTCH Coast. Very moderate and ineffective heavy A.A. fire, numerous searchlights and flares were encountered. Many enemy aircraft were seen and several combats took place. The air craft captained by F/Sgt. HORGAN, D. had a combat with a JU88 which was claimed to be destroyed. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. BURTON, H., sighted a JU88 and the Rear Gunner fired, it was seen to fall in flames and was claimed as destroyed. Two other short combats took place and one of our aircraft received slight damage. The weather was poor on the outward and return journeys, but good with clear visibility over the target. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirling Mk.III, EF515 captained by Sgt. MARTIN, R., and EH877 captained by F/Sgt. WHITMORE, R.

Stirling Mk.III EH877 JN-C

F/S Richard Charles Whitmore, RNZAF NZ421123 – Pilot.
F/O David Maurice Adamson, RNZAF NZ415052 – Navigator.
Sgt. Hugh Munn, RAFVR 1349759 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Frederick Charles Cowan, RAFVR 1387682 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. John Bosworth Beresford, RAFVR 1583723 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Frederick John Charles Chesson, RAFVR 1336122 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Tame Hawaikirangi Waerea, RNZAF NZ421300 – Rear Gunner.

The Whitmore crew in Stirling MK.III EH877 JN-C, took off between 19:45 and 20:00hrs to join a main force of 678 aircraft attacked Hanover the second time that month. Although the attack was well concentrated, incorrectly forecast wind speeds, used by the Pathfinders to mark the target, resulted in the center of the city being spared – the majority of bombs falling approximately 5 miles North of Hanover city center.

There is little information regarding the exact cause of loss of EH877. Some, sources report seeing it falling in flames, the aircraft apparently breaking up in the air prior to final impact.

Sgt J.B. Beresford  (1)



BERNARD, Arthur George

F/S Arthur George Bernard, RNZAF NZ424964 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 22 on the 22nd of November 1943
Son of Frank Horace and May Bernard, of Hawera, Taranaki, New Zealand.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 9. A. 22-25.

22/11/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Berlin
Four aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1,000lbs and incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb. One aircraft returned early owing to an Oxygen failure and two failed to return. The remaining aircraft successfully dropped its bombs in the Target Area. It was very difficult to assess the results as there was 10/10ths cloud over the target. Little opposition was encountered and no incidents were reported. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk.III LJ453 Captained by F/S A.Single and EF148 Captained by F/S. J. TURNER.

Stirling Mk.III LJ453 AA-K

F/S Alan Roy Single, RAAF AUS.413144 – Pilot.
F/O Jack Brothwell, RAFVR 135042 – Navigator.
F/S John Edward Stanley Margetts, RNZAF NZ422665 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Eric Richmond Whittington, RNZAF NZ416030 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ivor George Holbrook, RAFVR 937367 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Victor Stanley Hughes, RAFVR 1796312 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Arthur George Bernard, RNZAF NZ424964 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III LJ453 AA-K was brought down over Germany, crashing about a mile South South East of Arlen, between Gemmerich and Dolberg. The lack of AA fire in the target area suggested that a night fighter was probably responsible for the loss of the Stirling.

There were no survivors. The seven crew were buried at Achmer, and later reinterred at Reichswald Forest Cemetery.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/arthur-george-bernard © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/arthur-george-bernard © New Zealand War Graves Project



BERRY, Eric

Sgt. Eric Berry, RAFVR 1380078 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 20 on the 23rd of January 1943
Son of William Berry and of Evelyn Berry, of Lowestoft, Suffolk.
Buried St.Thegonnec Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Plot 2. Row 1. Grave 3.
‘Greater love
Hath no man than this,
That a man lay down
His life for his friends’

23/01/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Lorient
Nine aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with bombs of 1,000 lb. 500 lb. and 4 lb. incendiaries. This was a very successful and concentrated attack. All aircraft reported that their bombs were seen to fall in the target area. Large fires were seen to be lighting up the whole area. A fair amount of heavy, medium and light flak was encountered, only a few searchlights were seen. A few enemy aircraft were seen, but no combats took place. The weather was very clear at the target and good visibility. Navigation was by D.R., T.R., pinpoints and visual. Stirling I R9248 captained by Sergt. R.M.Kidd failed to return.

Stirling Mk.I R9248 AA-H

Sgt. Robert Miln Kidd, RNZAF NZ412700 – Pilot.
Sgt. James William Schofield, RAFVR 1088089 – Navigator.
Sgt. Bernard Torrance, RAFVR 1319178 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Eric Berry, RAFVR 1380078 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Gilbert Frank Mitchell, RAFVR 1479975 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. James Edward Brewster, RAFVR 1035972 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Peter Douglas Fowler, RAFVR 1320278 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.I R9248 AA-H was hit by AA fire shortly after bombing, causing catastrophic damage. The captain attempted a crash landing at St Thégonnec (Finistère), about 8 miles South East of Morlaix, France. All but one of the crew died in the crash and were laid to rest in St Thegonnec Communal Cemetery. Sgt Kidd escaped slightly injured from the wreck and managed to evade capture.



BERTRAM, Robert

P/O Robert Bertram, RAFVR 128536 – Pilot.
Killed age 26 on the 29th of June 1942
Son of Walter and Catherine Bertram; Husband of Kathleen Beatrice Bertram, of Gipsyville, Hull. A.C.I.S.
Buried Hull Crematorium, Kingston-Upon-Hull, East Yorkshire, England..
Grave location – Screen Wall. Panel 1.

29/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Bremen
Sixteen a/c were detailed to carry out the above attack. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area. Results not observed. A.A. fire was heavy in target area. Searchlights were ineffective through cloud. A JU88 was attacked and claimed as shot down by Well.BJ837, captained by Sgt. Hockaday. Weather was cloudy. Nav was excellent. Well.III (P/O Monk) failed to return and Well.III Z1616 (Sgt. Bertram) crashed after take-off and caught fire. All crew killed.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1616 AA-D

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Norman Mitchell, NZ404084 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1616 AA-D completed a normal take-off at 23:20, but approximately 5 minutes after becoming airborne, fire was seen to break out on the aircraft (witnesses say the aircraft was on fire before it crashed). The Wellington then crashed in flames near Red House Farm, Methwold, a few miles north of Feltwell. All five crew were killed.

DSC02787



BETLEY, Roland Desmond Ernest

F/S Roland Desmond Ernest Betley, RNZAF NZ421495 – Pilot.
Killed age 22 on the 16th of June 1944
Son of John Ernest Betley and of Amy Violet Betley (nee Shaw), of Hastings, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand; husband of Barbara Isobel May Betley, of Oroua Downs, Wellington, New Zealand.
Buried Rieux Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Coll. grave 8-10. 9

15/06/1944 – Attack Against Valenciennes
Twenty four aircraft took off as detailed to attack the Marshalling Yards at Valenciennes. Twenty three aircraft attacked the primary target with the aid of markers. A.A. Fire was very slight, but fighters were active, two of our aircraft having combats with enemy aircraft. The aircraft captained by 175311 P/O. C. Crawford claimed hits on an enemy fighter, but sustained serious damage itself, the pilot, however, was able to land safely at Manstone. The aircraft captained by NZ421495 F/S. Betley, R. failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I LL888 JN-X

F/S Roland Desmond Ernest Betley, RNZAF NZ421495 – Pilot.
Sgt. Edward George Gilliat, RAFVR 648452 – Navigator.
F/S Lawrence Eastmure Hale, RNZAF NZ42395 – Air Bomber.
F/S Edward Wallace Toohey, RNZAF NZ416672 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Basil Griffiths, RAFVR 1578754 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Ronald Howe, RAFVR 993314 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Peter Jackson Cook, RNZAF NZ42708 – Rear Gunner.

LL888 was brought down by a night-fighter SW of the target, crashing near Rieux, just NE of Cambrai. There were no survivors, six of the seven crew members were located in or near the wreckage and later buried at Rieux, The body of the seventh crew member was found some distance away indicating he probably had attempted to bale out, without success.



BEYER, Edwin Harry

Sgt. Edwin Harry Beyer, RAF 657044 – Observer.
Lost without trace age 25 on the 3rd of September 1942
Son of Edwin and Ruth Madeline Beyer, of Teddington, Middlesex.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England.
Grave location – Panel 78.

03/09/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Emden
Six aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 500lb. Were dropped in target area by two aircraft. Two failing to reach the target. A.A. fire was slight, searchlights were few. The weather was bad, being heavy cloud all the way to target and 10/10ths cloud over target. Navigation was good. Wellington X.3396 captained by Sergt. Law and Wellington X.3794 captained by Sergt. Hunting, failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III X.3794 AA-?

Sgt. Eric Richmond Hunting, RAFVR 1291752 – Pilot.
Sgt. Edwin Harry Beyer, RAFVR 657044 – Observer.
Sgt. Harry Edward Goldie, RAFVR 1187044 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Glenville McArter, RNZAF R.87459 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. William Anderson, RAFVR 650736 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Mk.III X.3794 was lost without trace, but assumed to have been brought down in the sea off the Netherlands coast where the body of Sgt Anderson (A/g) was recovered. He was buried in Bergen op Zoom War Cemetery, Holland. The other four crew are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

EH Bayer



BICKHAM, Charles John

F/O Charles John Bickham, RAFVR 49977 – Air Bomber.
Lost without trace age 24 on the 28th of April 1943
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 123.

28/04/1943 – Mining in Kiel Bay
Eight aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1500 lbs. One of these aircraft returned early owing to its compass being faulty and four failed to return. The remaining three aircraft successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area and the parachutes were seen to open. A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights was encountered which is believed to have come from an A.A. ship in the mining area. No enemy aircraft were seen. Visibility was fairly good, with scattered cloud in the mining area. Navigation was very good. Stirlings Mk.1 R9290, Sgt. A. Lewis, W.7513 – Sgt. K. Halliburton, BF.467 – P/O D. Thompson, Mk.III BK664 – P/O. D.V. Hamer, failed to return.

Stirling Mk.I R9290 AA-Y

Sgt. Alfred Edward Lewis, RAAF AUS.412458 – Pilot.
Sgt. Henry George Corin, RNZAF NZ417269 – Navigator.
P/O Charles John Bickman, RAFVR 49977 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Frederick Arthur Moulton, RAFVR 1292879 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Andrew Graham, RAFVR 1369996 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. John Herbert Whitehart, RAFVR 964185 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Victor Charles Howes, RNZAF NZ413418 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.I R9290 AA-Y was operating in the ‘Radish’ area of the Fehmar-Belt, in the Baltic, and was brought down in the sea off the Danish Island of Lolland, to the West of the Vesternaes. There were no survivors.

The crew is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

CJ Bickham



BIGGAR, John Matthew

F/S John Matthew Biggar, RNZAF NZ427945 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 22 on the 12th of September 1944
Son of Peter and Ivy Biggar, of Nakirikiri, Wellington, New Zealand.
Buried Orslev Churchyard, Denmark..
Grave location – Joint grave 11B.

11/09/1944 – Mining in the Baltic Sea
Eight aircraft were detailed to lay mines in the Baltic area, and they all dropped their mines as ordered. No opposition was met on the mining area, but fighters were thought to be active on the homeward route, and one aircraft had an inconclusive combat with a JU.88. Another aircraft (Captain NZ426041 F/O. W. Hadley) failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I LM268 AA-D

F/O Wilson Orchard Hadley, RNZAF NZ426041 – Pilot.
F/S John Bernard Gudgeon, RNZAF NZ428786 – Navigator.
F/S David John Robert Wilcox, RNZAF NZ421244 – Air Bomber.
F/S John Patrick Arthur Giles, RNZAF NZ425836 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Colin R. Fowler, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S William James Victo Boyd, RNZAF NZ428303 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S John Matthew Biggar, RNZAF NZ427945 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I LM268 AA-D was brought down at 00:15hrs by a night-fighter near the southern end of Sjælland Island, Denmark. The aircraft crashed onto a farmhouse near the township of Orslev, killing five members of the family. Only two of the crew, the Fight Engineer and Air Bomber, succeeded in baling out, the former evading capture and the latter, although badly hurt, was aided by locals and hospitalized before being turned over to the authorities.

Of those in the crew who died, the Pilot and Rear Gunner were buried in the local Churchyard at Orslev while the other three were buried at the Svino Churchyard.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/john-matthew-biggar © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/john-matthew-biggar © New Zealand War Graves Project



BISHOP, Arthur John

Sgt. Arthur John Bishop, RAFVR 1271480 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 22 on the 1st of September 1943
Son of Archibald John Bishop and of Ethel Dorothy Bishop (Nee Smith); Husband of Teresa Bishop, of Darlington, Co. Durham.
Buried Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 8. L. 7-17.
‘My John. R.I.P.’ 

31/08/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Berlin
Eighteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1,000lb., 500lb. and incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb. Two aircraft failed to take-off and four did not return, the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Large fires were seen, although rather scattered they appeared to be progressing very well. Moderate heavy A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered and one air craft received slight damage. Enemy night-fighters were in great prominence, the aircraft piloted by F/Sgt. Wilkinson, G encountered a JU88 approaching from astern 500yds away. The rear gunner fired a long burst, the enemy aircraft replied and stalled. The mid-upper gunner then fired three long bursts. The enemy aircraft was seen to fall away and is claimed as probably destroyed. Our aircraft received damage to the rear of the fuselage and had part of the tailplane and fin badly damaged. The aircraft captained by F/O Alexander sighted two Me109’s, the first opened fire from the starboard quarter and the rear gunner replied with a short burst. The enemy aircraft stalled and the mid-upper gunner fired a short burst. The enemy aircraft then dived to the ground and exploded, it was claimed to be destroyed. The second Me109 opened fire with a short burst from the port bow to the port quarter. The rear gunner then fired a short burst and tracer was seen to enter the enemy aircraft, which dived. It was claimed as possible destroyed. The aircraft captained by W/O Moseley, P. sighted a Me110 on the port quarter, the mid upper and rear gunner fired a long burst and the enemy aircraft turned over and dived with smoke pouring from its starboard side. It was claimed as probably destroyed. The aircraft captained by P/O C.Logan sighted a Me109 sixty yards astern, the mid-upper and rear gunner  fired and tracer from the rear gunner was seen to hit the aircraft. The Stirling then corkscrewed and the Me109 disappeared. It was claimed to be damaged. Two other aircraft crash landed away from base due to damage caused by enemy fighters, none of the crews were injured however. 8/10ths cloud was encountered on the outward journey and 9’10ths at the target, visibility, nevertheless, was good. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings MK.III EE918 captained by F/Sgt. Roberts,E, EE878 captained by F/Sgt. Henley, D, EE905 captained by F/Sgt. Helm,G. and EF501 captained by F/S McGregor, K.

Stirling Mk.III EH905 AA-R

F/S George Vincent Helm, RNZAF NZ416113 – Pilot.
F/S Donald Mackay Stewart, RNZAF NZ421366 – Navigator.
F/S Joseph George Arkless Fisk, RNZAF NZ412874 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Arthur John Bishop, RAFVR 1271480 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Oliver McCoo, RAFVR 1365426 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. G.T. Buglass, RAFVR 645313 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Frederick Thomas John Harries, RAFVR 1358765 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EH905, AA-R was reported to have been struck by at least one bomb, dropped from an aircraft flying at a higher level over the target area.

The damaged aircraft came down near Ludwigsfelde-Heide, 18 miles south-south-west of Berlin. All crew except the two Air Gunners died and were buried initially in a collective grave in the Russian Prisoner of War Cemetery near where the aircraft crashed. They later were re-interred in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery.

Sergeants Moore and Harries were captured and spent the rest of the War as Prisoners of War.



BISHOP, Sidney Thomas

Sgt. Sidney Thomas Bishop, RAFVR 1322249 – Wireless Operator.
Lost without trace age 22 on the 14th of March 1944
Son of Henry Edward and Edith Ethel Bishop, of East Acton, London.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 225.

13/03/1944 – Mining off St. Nazaire
Sixteen aircraft were detailed for mine laying off St. Nazaire, Lorient, La Rochelle, and Brest. One aircraft (Captain NZ414567 F/Sgt. Rowberry T.) failed to return. Another aircraft (Captain NZ42999 P/O. C. Baker) returned early with aileron trouble and crashed at Castle Comb, without injury to the crew although the aircraft was burnt out. The remaining fourteen successfully laid their mines, one aircraft landing at Woodbridge on return.

Stirling Mk.III LJ462 AA-O

F/S Geoffrey Warren Rowberry, RNZAF NZ414567 – Pilot.
F/S Graham Stanley Hadfield, RNZAF NZ426239 – Navigator.
Sgt. Brian Simmett, RAFVR 1392577 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Sidney Thomas Bishop, RAFVR 1322249 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Arthur William Horner, RAFVR 1641609 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Raymond David Davies, RAFVR 1317623 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt Alfred Newnham, RAFVR 1172993 – Rear Gunner.

No official account of the loss of the crew exists, or is officially accepted and as such the Rowberry crew are recorded as lost without trace.



BISSET, Stuart Richard

F/S Stuart Richard Bisset, RNZAF NZ415738 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 20 on the 23rd of June 1943
Son of Alexander and Aline Constance Bisset, of Kaitaia, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 19. G. 4-6.

22/06/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Mannheim (actually Mülheim)
Fifteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lbs and 4lbs. Four aircraft failed to return and the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Large concentrated fires and some explosions were seen the whole RUHR area was smoke palled. A very heavy A.A. barrage co-operating with searchlights was encountered and five aircraft were slightly hit by A.A.fire, some enemy aircraft were seen and three short combats took place, but no damage was sustained by our aircraft. There was 3/10ths cloud on the target area but visibility was fairly good, except for smoke haze. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirling Mk.I EF399 captained by F/S Burbidge, Mk.III EF408 captained by Sgt. Wood, MK.III BK810 captained by W/O McKenzie and Mk.III EH889 captained by F/O McCrorie.

Stirling Mk.III EF408 AA-P

Sgt. Benjamin Brinley Wood, RAFVR 656588 – Pilot.
F/S George King Samson, RNZAF NZ402563 – Navigator.
Sgt. Stuart Richard Bisset, RNZAF NZ415738 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Edgar Henry Reader, RAFVR 1331432 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Stanley Lawrence Webb, 1266998 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Frederick Johns Hobbs, RAFVR 1609558 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Cyril Benjamin Hemmings, RAFVR 1235070 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EF408 AA-P was hit by flak and crashed at Gelsenkirchen. There were no survivors. All were buried in the Bismarck Friedhof, but later reinterred in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.

Stuart Richard Bisset



BLACK, Charles Thomas

Sgt. Charles Thomas Black, RAFVR 1377719 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 30 on the 7th of November 1941
Son of Thomas and Bridget Black; Husband of Alice Josephine Black, of Islington, London, England.
Buried Bergen-Op-Zoom Canadian War Cemetery, Holland..
Grave location – Coll. grave 8. H. 3-7.

07/11/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Berlin and Ostend
Fourteen Wellington Ic aircraft were detailed from this Unit to attack the above targets. Two of these aircraft, X.9951, captained by F/O Methven and X.9976, captained by Sgt. Black, failed to return to base. A mixed bomb load was carried consisting of 1000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Bombs were dropped in target area and some large fires were started, but results were not clearly observed owing to heavy cloud over target area. A considerable amount of heavy flak was met over target area but searchlights, where seen, were ineffective. No enemy aircraft were met throughout the trip. Weather was poor with 10/10th cloud over target area. Navigation was good, Astro and D/R loops being used. Wellington Z.1091, captained by P/O Sandys returned to base owing to engine trouble. Wellington Z.1068, captained by Sgt. Parham returned to base owing to Navigator being sick.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9976 AA-O

Sgt. John William Black, RNZAF NZ402843 – Pilot.
Sgt. Trevor Hedley Gray, RNZAF NZ404356 – 2nd Pilot..
P/O Eric Lloyd, RNZAF NZ402197 – Navigator.
Sgt. Leslie Cyril Green, RNZAF 755095 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Jack Dennis Thompson, RAFVR 1152206 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Charles Thomas Black, RAFVR 1377719 – Rear Gunner.

The other Wellington lost, X9976, was shot down by a German night fighter (pilot Ob Lt Helmut Lent, 4/NJG1) over the Netherlands, crashing at 01.20hrs at Oldeboorn (Friesland), 4 nautical miles East of Akkrum, Holland.



BLACK, John William

F/S John William Black, RNZAF NZ402843 – Pilot.
Killed age 27 on the 7th of November 1941
Son of Allan and Elizabeth Welsh Black, of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand.
Buried Bergen-Op-Zoom Canadian War Cemetery, Holland..
Grave location – Coll. grave 8. H. 3-7.

07/11/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Berlin and Ostend
Fourteen Wellington Ic aircraft were detailed from this Unit to attack the above targets. Two of these aircraft, X.9951, captained by F/O Methven and X.9976, captained by Sgt. Black, failed to return to base. A mixed bomb load was carried consisting of 1000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Bombs were dropped in target area and some large fires were started, but results were not clearly observed owing to heavy cloud over target area. A considerable amount of heavy flak was met over target area but searchlights, where seen, were ineffective. No enemy aircraft were met throughout the trip. Weather was poor with 10/10th cloud over target area. Navigation was good, Astro and D/R loops being used. Wellington Z.1091, captained by P/O Sandys returned to base owing to engine trouble. Wellington Z.1068, captained by Sgt. Parham returned to base owing to Navigator being sick.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9976 AA-O

Sgt. John William Black, RNZAF NZ402843 – Pilot.
Sgt. Trevor Hedley Gray, RNZAF NZ404356 – 2nd Pilot..
P/O Eric Lloyd, RNZAF NZ402197 – Navigator.
Sgt. Leslie Cyril Green, RNZAF 755095 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Jack Dennis Thompson, RAFVR 1152206 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Charles Thomas Black, RAFVR 1377719 – Rear Gunner.

The other Wellington lost, X9976, was shot down by a German night fighter (pilot Ob Lt Helmut Lent, 4/NJG1) over the Netherlands, crashing at 01.20hrs at Oldeboorn (Friesland), 4 nautical miles East of Akkrum, Holland.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/john-william-black © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/john-william-black © New Zealand War Graves Project



BLACKMAN, George Joseph

Sgt. George Joseph Blackman, RAFVR 1398967 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 23 on the 22nd of November 1943
Son of George Henry and Mary Elizabeth Blackman, of Finsbury, London.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – 26. A. 1.
‘Eternal rest
Grant unto him,
O Lord;
And let perpetual light
Shine upon him.
R.I.P.’

22/11/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Berlin
Four aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1,000lbs and incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb. One aircraft returned early owing to an Oxygen failure and two failed to return. The remaining aircraft successfully dropped its bombs in the Target Area. It was very difficult to assess the results as there was 10/10ths cloud over the target. Little opposition was encountered and no incidents were reported. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk.III LJ453 Captained by F/S A.Single and EF148 Captained by F/S. J. TURNER.

Stirling Mk.III EF148 AA-R

F/S John Cecil Turner, RNZAF NZ421115 – Pilot.
P/O Stanley Henry MacKenzie, RNZAF NZ422418 – Navigator.
P/O William George Simpson Pagett, RAFVR 151630 – Air Bomber.
F/S James Lindis Cowie, RNZAF NZ42322 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. George Joseph Blackman, RAFVR 1398967 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Robert McLeod More, RAFVR 1809983 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas McGloin, RAFVR 1796255 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EF148 AA-R was brought down over Germany, crashing near Achner, 10 miles North West of Osnabruck. There were no survivors. The seven crew members were buried at Achner but later reinterred at Reichswald Forest Cemetery, SW of Cleve.



BLANCE, Ian Edward

P/O Ian Edward Blance, RNZAF NZ421496 – Pilot.
Killed age 21 on the 29th of July 1944
Son of John William and Ivy Bertha Blance, of New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand.
Buried Millery Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Grave 4.

28/07/1944 – Attack Against Stuttgart
Twenty two aircraft set out as detailed to attack Stuttgart. Twenty aircraft successfully bombed the target with the aid of markers, but it is thought that several aircraft undershot, as they appeared to be two concentration of fires 2-3 miles apart. Fighters were very active in the target area and also en route, several aircraft having combats. The aircraft captained by NZ413043 A/S/L. L. Drummond, was attacked five times by a JU88, all of which were indecisive, followed by an attack by an unidentified enemy aircraft which is claimed as destroyed, being seen to go down in flames. At the same time as this our aircraft was also being attacked by two JU88s, one of which was damaged by fire from our aircraft. Two aircraft failed to return, they were captained by NZ421403 A/F/L. N. Stokes & NZ421469 F/O. I. Blance.

Lancaster Mk.III ND756 AA-M

P/O Ian Edward Blance, RNZAF NZ421496 – Pilot.
F/S Colin Frederick Johnson Grieg, RNZAF NZ422281 – Navigator.
F/S Ronald Howard Spencer, RAFVR 1575186 – Air Bomber.
F/S Frederick Walter Percival Climo, RNZAF NZ4210148 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. W.J. Hyde, RAFVR 1895228 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Frederick Francis Arthur Jenkins, RNZAF NZ429888 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Aubrey Charles Kirk, RNZAF NZ425845 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.III ND756 AA-M was shot down in flames by a night-fighter over France, crashing at 01:25hrs close to Millery village, 3 miles North of Pompey. All but the Flight Engineer, Navigator and Rear Gunner died and were buried at the Millery cemetery. The surviving three crew members had baled out of the burning aircraft successfully. Sgt Hyde (F/E) and F/S Kirk (R/G), evaded capture and escaped but F/S Grieg (Nav) was captured as prisoner of war.

It was revealed that 1,500 local inhabitants of Millery Village turned out for the funeral of the four airmen who died. Two large rooms in the church were overflowing with flowers.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/ian-edward-blance © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/ian-edward-blance © New Zealand War Graves Project



BLANK, John Frederick

F/S John Frederick Blank, RNZAF NZ422175 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 20 on the 23rd of June 1943
Son of Julius C. and Ada Blank, of Oxford, Canterbury, New Zealand.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 31. D. 10.

22/06/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Mannheim (actually Mülheim)
Fifteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lbs and 4lbs. Four aircraft failed to return and the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Large concentrated fires and some explosions were seen the whole RUHR area was smoke palled. A very heavy A.A. barrage co-operating with searchlights was encountered and five aircraft were slightly hit by A.A.fire, some enemy aircraft were seen and three short combats took place, but no damage was sustained by our aircraft. There was 3/10ths cloud on the target area but visibility was fairly good, except for smoke haze. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirling Mk.I EF399 captained by F/S Burbidge, Mk.III EF408 captained by Sgt. Wood, MK.III BK810 captained by W/O McKenzie and Mk.III EH889 captained by F/O McCrorie.

Stirling Mk.III BK810 AA-G

P/O Francis Max McKenzie, RNZAF NZ41244 – Pilot.
Sgt. Albert Edgar West, RNZAF NZ421947 – Navigator.
Sgt. John Frederick Blank, RNZAF NZ422175 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Basil Henry Broadhead, RNZAF NZ415986 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. R.A.W. Triptree, RAFVR 1323983 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. J.R.G. Chrystal, RAFVR 520340 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Eric William McGonigal, RNZAF NZ421329 – Rear Gunner.

BK810 was brought down at 02.10hrs at Oostrum (Limburg) about a mile E of Venray, Holland from a combination of AA fire and fighter attack. The latter pilot was believed to be Hptm Wilhelm Herget of I /NJG1. All five crew except P/O McKenzie and F/S Blank parachuted to safety and were captured as POW’s. McKenzie was buried in Jonkerbos War Cemetery, while Blank is located in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/john-frederick-blank © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/john-frederick-blank © New Zealand War Graves Project



BLEWETT, Terence Douglas

F/L Terence Douglas Blewett, RNZAF NZ414376 – Pilot.
Killed age 26 on the 17th of January 1945
Son of Leonard Francis Blewett, and of Leonora Blewett (Nee Sorrell), of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand.
Buried Cambridge City Cemetery, Cambridgeshire, England..
Grave location – Grave 15558.

16/01/1945 – Attack Against Wanne Eickel
Seventeen aircraft attacked Wanne Hickel in ten tenths cloud, tops 6/7000 feet, carrying 4,000 H.C., 500 G.P. 500 ANM, 500 M.C. 250 G.P. and Munro bombs. Crews bombed with the aid of instruments and sky markers. Flak was moderate. The general impression was that bombing was concentrated on markers and red glow seen through cloud. The aircraft captained by NZ426235 F/S Wood, J, was attacked by a F.W. 190. The rear gunner opened fire, but no hits were observed and our aircraft suffered no damage. The aircraft captained by NZ414376 F/L T. Blewett unfortunately crashed in this country. The captain and Air Bomber NZ426234 F/O J. Wilson were killed. The Navigator 1398282 F/S Cornell, B.T. died later as a result of severe injuries.

Lancaster Mk.I PB761 AA-Y
Damaged not due to Enemy Action (E) (L) – Landing unknown

F/L Terence Douglas ‘Tim’ Blewett, RNZAF NZ414376 – Pilot.
F/S Bryant Thomas Cornell, RAFVR 1398282 – Navigator.
F/O John Stanley Wilson, RNZAF NZ426234 – Air Bomber.
W/O John Smyrk, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ronald Hunwicks, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Kenneth Hollins, RAFVR 2221435 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William Henry Pridmore, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:30 – Landed –
Flight Time – Crashed on return

PB761 was returning home following a raid on a Benzol plant at Wanne-Eickel, Germany. Although only a short distance from base, the aircraft inexplicably flew into the ground at 04.20hrs near Wooditon, Suffolk, just south of Newmarket, and burst into flames. The captain and air-bomber were killed but the other five crew escaped injured. The navigator died of his injuries the following day.

Blewett, Terence Douglas RNZAF



BLINCOE, Kenneth Howard DFC

P/O Kenneth Howard Blincoe, RNZAF NZ412194 – Pilot.
Killed age 33 on the 3rd of February 1943.
Son of Francis Blincoe and of Ruth Blincoe (Nee Packer), of Nelson, New Zealand; Husband of Ida Annie Blincoe, of Murchison, Nelson.
Buried Amersfoort (Oud Leusden) General Cemetery, Holland..
Grave location – Plot 13. Row 13. Grave 212.

03/02/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Nine aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with 4 lb. incendiaries. The crews were instructed to return if they hit bad weather, which unfortunately they did. Heavy cloud and icing were experienced forcing five aircraft to return early. Two aircraft attacked the target but they were unable to observe results owing to 10/10ths. cloud. Some A.A. fire and a few searchlights were encountered although low cloud prevented accuracy. No enemy aircraft were seen. Navigation was good. Two aircraft failed to return, they were Stirling 1 BK604 captained by P/O J McCullough and Stirling 1 R9280 captained by P/O K.H. Blincoe. This was a sad loss as they were two of the oldest captains in the Squadron, with them was also lost Sergt. Scott and P/O Henderson, two new captains gaining experience as second pilot. This leaving us with two headless crews.

Stirling Mk.I R9250 AA-C

P/O Kenneth Howard Blincoe, RNZAF NZ412194 – Pilot.
Sgt. Andrew James Newell ‘Dougal’ Scott RNZAF NZ414685 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Frank Arthur Boese, RAFVR 1293282 – Navigator.
Sgt. George Wood Cook, RNZAF NZ412514 – Air Bomber.
P/O Harold Lowe, RAFVR 905609/ 115129 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Desmond David Hayward, RAFVR 651764 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Edward. McDermott, RCAF R.96960 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Desmond Clearwater, RNZAF NZ412314 – Rear Gunner.

R.9280 was attacked by a German night-fighter over the Netherlands, while returning to base. The aircraft crashed at 20.00hrs in the vicinity of Ingen, 6miles NNE of Tiel, Hollnd. All on board were killed. They were buried in Amersfoort (Oud Leusden) General Cemetery.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/kenneth-howard-blincoe © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/kenneth-howard-blincoe © New Zealand War Graves Project



BLOXHAM, Malcolm Victor

Sgt. Malcolm Victor Bloxham, RAF 552574 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 21 on the 23rd of September 1943
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 21. B. 15-18.

23/09/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Mannheim
Eighteen aircraft were detailed to carry the above operation with incendiary bombs of 30lb. and 4lb.. Three aircraft failed to return, but the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. This was, undoubtedly, a good attack, concentrated fires which were spreading to the West, and large heavy explosions were seen. Moderate heavy A.A. fire and a large curtain of searchlights were encountered, but caused no trouble. Enemy aircraft were very active and several combats took place. The aircraft captained by W/O. P. MOSELEY had a combat with a JU88 which was claimed as a probably destroyed. In the action our aircraft received damage the Pilot W/O. P. MOSELEY and the Mid Upper Sgt. C(?) MIDDLETON were slightly injured. The aircraft captained by P/O A. BURLEY had three combats with enemy aircraft, one of which was claimed as destroyed, the two as  damaged. The weather was good with clear visibility. Navigation was excellent. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk.111 EF459 captained by P/O C.C. LOGAN, EH946 captained by F/Lt. G. TURNER , and EH935 captained by F/O L. KIRKPATRICK.

Stirling Mk.III EH936 JN-W

F/L Geoffrey Turner, RCAF J.7326 – Pilot.
F/O Kenneth Albiston, RAFVR 136454 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Alan Hall Cleghorn, RAFVR 1493160 – Navigator.
F/O Arthur Douglas Howlett, RNZAF NZ413335 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Malcolm Victor Bloxham, RAFVR 552574 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. John Smith Thomson, RAFVR 1374282 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Ronald Wilks, RAFVR 1417280 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Christopher Frederick McRae, RCAF R.147326 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EH936 JN-W, was brought down near the target Mannheim, crashing at Dirmstein, 5 miles North of Frankenthal. There were no survivors.



BLUCK, Norman Bradford

P/O Norman Bradford Bluck, RNZAF NZ40364 – Pilot.
Killed age 22 on the 24th of June 1943
Son of Walter Bradford Bluck and of Eileen Maud Bluck (Nee Atchison), of Otorohanga, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Flushing (Vlissingen) Northern Cemetery, Holland.
Grave location – Row F. Grave 12.

24/06/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Wuppertal
Thirteen aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack with incendiary bombs of 30lns and 4lbs. One aircraft returned early owing to the rear turret being unserviceable and one failed to return. The remaining aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. This was a very good attack, very large concentrated fires being seen, the glow of which was visible 30 miles away from the Dutch Coast. The defences were considerably stronger than the previous attacks, both moderate and heavy A.A.fire was encountered and two aircraft were slightly hit. Some enemy aircraft were seen and one short combat took place but no damage was sustained by our aircraft. The weather was good, although the smoke from the fires obscured ground detail. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling Mk.III EH902 captained by F/S Bluck.

Stirling Mk.I EH902 AA-K
Form 541 for this Op lists a/c as  EH902 (above in diary report), but as BK619 (AA-X) against crew list.

F/S Norman Bradford Bluck, RNZAF NZ40364 – Pilot.
F/S James Brett Cooksey, RNZAF NZ416460 – Navigator.
F/S Geoffrey Walter Strong, RNZAF NZ413905 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Michael Kendlan, RAFVR 1072258 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. John William Gillard, RAFVR 938834 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Douglas Armitage, RAFVR 1434609 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Leslie Ronald Cant, RAFVR 1397680 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.I EH902 AA-K was brought down either by AA fire or a night-fighter, crashing into the sea off Wissenkerke on the Dutch island of Beveland. There were no survivors. The bodies were all recovered and four of the crew buried in Vlissingen Northern Cemetery. The other three were buried at Bergen op Zoom War Cemetery.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/norman-bradford-bluck © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/norman-bradford-bluck © New Zealand War Graves Project



BLUNDELL, John James

Sgt. John James Blundell, RAFVR 2205143 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 19 on the 21st of July 1944.
Son of John Thomas Blundell and Ellen Blundell, of Liverpool.
Buried Jonkerbos War Cemetery, Nijmegen, Holland.
Grave location – Coll. grave 4. H. 2-8. 198

20/07/1944 – Attack Against Homberg
Twenty six aircraft took off, as detailed, to attack the oil refinery at Homberg. Nineteen aircraft were successful in bombing the target, with the aid of markers, which seemed well concentrated. Two good explosions were seen and smoke came up from the target area. Heavy A.A. fire was moderate, but fighters were very active, eight combats taking place. Seven aircraft failed to return, the captains were AUS22776 W/O. Gilmour, H., NZ428819 F/S. Howell, E., NZ421829 F/S. Mackay, K., NZ422057 F/S. Davidson, N., NZ42488 W/O. Whittington, H., NZ413219 F/S. Roche, G. & NZ414560 P/O. Burtt, H.

Lancaster Mk.III PA967 AA-D

F/S Edward Howell, RNZAF NZ428819 – Pilot.
Sgt. Richard John Wilkinson, RAFVR 1585068 – Navigator.
F/O John Ronald McGeorge, RAFVR 152740 – Air Bomber.
F/S Gerard Henry Redwood, RNZAF NZ425012 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. John James Blundell, RAFVR 2205143 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Robert Douglas McAdam, RAFVR 2210689 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Leonard Charles Hickford, RNZAF NZ426886 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.III PA967 AA-D was brought down by a night-fighter at approximately 01:00hrs in the countryside some 2.5 miles North of Nederweert (Lisburg) and 2.5 miles from the centre of Weert, Holland. There were no survivors. All crew are buried in the Jonkerbos War Cemetery.



BOAG, Robert James

F/S Robert James Boag, RAAF AUS.432097 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 24 on the 30th of November 1944
Son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Boag, of Arncliffe, New South Wales, Australia.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 25. A. 13-18

30/11/1944 – Attack Against Osterfeld
Eighteen aircraft took off as detailed carrying 4,000 lb, 1,000 lb, 500 lb, and Incendiary bombs to attack the coking plant at Osterfeld. Seventeen aircraft attacked the target successfully through ten tenths cloud with tops 10,000 feet, and the raid was reported as being well concentrated. One aircraft captained by NZ411915 F/O J.A. McIntosh is missing and the aircraft is believed to have had its tail shot away.

Lancaster Mk.I NF980 JN-F
Missing – A/C believed to have had its tail shot off

F/O James Alexander McIntosh, RNZAF NZ411915 – Pilot.
F/S Robert Carhampton Morgan, RNZAF NZ421389 – Navigator.
F/S Ronald Wynne Newman, RNZAF NZ4210960 – Air Bomber.
F/S Robert James Boag, RAAF AUS.432097 – Wireless Operator .
F/S Richard Thomas Taylor, RAFVR 1401963 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Cyril Brewer, RAFVR 1418695 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Edward Roy Cooper, RAFVR 2221308 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I NF980 JN-F received a direct hit by flak over the target and it appeared to another crew flying close by, to have lost most of its tail-plane. The aircraft fell sharply out of the sky and struck the ground violently. The rear gunner was the only survivor but he too, died from his injuries in a hospital about 3 weeks later.

Boag RJ



BODE, John William

Sgt. John William Bode, RAFVR 1185743 – Observer.
Killed age 22 on the 22nd of May 1942.
Son of Howard James Bode and Caroline Bode, of Northfield, Birmingham.
Buried Buxton Cemetery, Derbyshire, England..
Grave location – Grave 4181
‘Rest in peace’

22/05/1942 – Cross Country Night Flying Training
Wellington Mk III, Z.1566 AA-K, was undergoing a night cross-country training flight when the weather deteriorated. The Pilot-in-command elected to remain above the cloud layer for some time before he was able to descend through a gap in the cloud in the early morning hours so that the navigator could visually establish their position. At 03.40 hrs, the aircraft flew into a hillside at Grindon Farm, six miles East South East of Leek, Staffordshire. The sole survivor of the crash was the rear gunner, Sgt Chappell, who was injured. All remaining members of the crew were killed.

Wellington Mk III, Z.1566 AA-K

P/O Andrew Donald Mackay, RNZAF NZ411919 – Pilot.
Sgt. Wilfred Herbert Smeaton, RNZAF NZ405331 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. John William Bode, RAFVR 1185743 – Observer.
Sgt. Cyril Hayton, RAFVR 1113610 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. James Wilfred Beaven, RNZAF NZ403566 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Sidney John Chappell, RNZAF NZ41571 – Rear Gunner.

All are buried at Buxton, Derbyshire, except Sgt Hayton, RAF, who is buried in the Byker and Heaton Cemetery, Newcastle-on-Tyne, his hometown.

SONY DSC



BOESE, Frank Arthur

Sgt. Frank Arthur Boese, RAFVR 1293282 – Navigator.
Killed age 22 on the 3rd of February 1943.
Son of Arthur and Carrie Boese, of East Ham, Essex; Husband of Irene Emily Boese (Nee Middleton), of East Ham.
Buried Amersfoort (Oud Leusden) General Cemetery, Holland..
Grave location – Plot 13. Row 5. Grave 92.
‘With tender love And deep regret We who loved you Will never forget’   

03/02/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Nine aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with 4 lb. incendiaries. The crews were instructed to return if they hit bad weather, which unfortunately they did. Heavy cloud and icing were experienced forcing five aircraft to return early. Two aircraft attacked the target but they were unable to observe results owing to 10/10ths. cloud. Some A.A. fire and a few searchlights were encountered although low cloud prevented accuracy. No enemy aircraft were seen. Navigation was good. Two aircraft failed to return, they were Stirling 1 BK604 captained by P/O J McCullough and Stirling 1 R9280 captained by P/O K.H. Blincoe. This was a sad loss as they were two of the oldest captains in the Squadron, with them was also lost Sergt. Scott and P/O Henderson, two new captains gaining experience as second pilot. This leaving us with two headless crews.

Stirling Mk.I R9250 AA-C

P/O Kenneth Howard Blincoe, RNZAF NZ412194 – Pilot.
Sgt. Andrew James Newell ‘Dougal’ Scott RNZAF NZ414685 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Frank Arthur Boese, RAFVR 1293282 – Navigator.
Sgt. George Wood Cook, RNZAF NZ412514 – Air Bomber.
P/O Harold Lowe, RAFVR 905609/ 115129 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Desmond David Hayward, RAFVR 651764 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Edward. McDermott, RCAF R.96960 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Desmond Clearwater, RNZAF NZ412314 – Rear Gunner.

R.9280 was attacked by a German night-fighter over the Netherlands, while returning to base. The aircraft crashed at 20.00hrs in the vicinity of Ingen, 6 miles North North East of Tiel, Hollnd. All on board were killed. They were buried in Amersfoort (Oud Leusden) General Cemetery.



BONISCH, Lester Lascelles

P/O Lester Lascelles Bonisch, RNZAF NZ422098 – Pilot.
Killed age 21 on the 11th of June 1944
Son of Ernest Joseph and Clara Adelaide Bonisch, of Gisborne, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Bayeux War Cemetery, France.
Grave location – XI. K. 2. 167

10/06/1944 – Attack Against Dreux
Of the twenty four aircraft detailed to bomb Dreux, twenty two successfully attacked in good weather, the marshalling yards being visually identified until they were obscured by smoke. One aircraft had an inconclusive combat with a JU.88. The aircrafts captained by NZ422098 P/O. L. Bonisch and NZ422267 F/S. Donaghy, T. failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I ME702 AA-Q

P/O Lester Lascelles Bonisch, RNZAF NZ422098 – Pilot.
F/S James Murdoch Thomas McKenzie, RNZAF NZ427217 – Navigator.
F/S James Stuart Millar, RNZAF NZ427220 – Air Bomber.
F/O Henry Herbert Marsh, RAFVR 145303 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. William Thomas Reaveley, RAFVR 1892370 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt Bernard ‘Bill’ Allen, RAFVR 968734 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Frank William Cousins, RAFVR 1237485 – Rear Gunner.

Shortly after target, ME702, AA-Q was hit twice by flak, before breaking up in the air. All the crew was killed, except for Bernard ‘Bill’ Allen, the crew’s Mid Upper Gunner. From Bill Allen’s War Log, the following is his memory of this event:

“The bomb aimer directed the plane on to the target, and gave the words “bombs gone” to the skipper, to which the skipper replied “bomb doors closing”. No sooner had he got the words from his mouth than there was a terrific crash, me seat collapsed, my intercom went dead, I felt terrific pain in my left leg, and the aircraft was filled with flame and smoke. I scrambled for my parachute which was lying near the main entrance of the aircraft, up this end the smoke and flames were most dense. At first I couldn’t find my chute in the smoke, my eyes were running and sore, and the aircraft was swinging from side to side so that I fell to the floor and had to claw my way along by clutching at the hydraulic pipes along the sides of the fuselage. I got to my chute and hooked it on, simultaneously there was another crash, the plane gave a lurch and the next thing I knew I was sailing through space. I grabbed the rip cord and pulled it, the chute opened quite easily and I floated down to earth wondering what had happened, and listening to the second wave of Lanc’s bombing the target.”



BOOTH, Clifford

Sgt. Clifford Booth, RAFVR 1034046 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 23 on the 25th of July 1944
Son of Harry and Mary Edith Hinchliffe Booth; Husband of Margaret Booth, of Holmbridge, Yorkshire.
Buried Chateau-Voue Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Coll. grave 1-3.
‘At the going down
Of the sun
And in the morning
We will remember them’

24/07/1944 – Attack Against Stuttgart
Twenty one aircraft took off as detailed to attack Stuttgart. Eighteen aircraft bombed the target with the aid of markers, but the raid appeared to be scattered. One aircraft returned early with engine trouble. Intense A.A. fire was encountered over the target, and fighters were fairly active, two aircraft having combats. Two aircraft failed to return, these were captained by NZ415216 P/O. J. McRae & NZ428800 P/O. K. Whitehouse.

Lancaster Mk.I HK575 AA-O

P/O James Kenneth McRae, RNZAF NZ415216 – Pilot.
F/O William Lowe, RAFVR 151082 – Navigator.
F/S Thomas Christopher Potts, RNZAF NZ421143 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Clifford Booth, RAFVR 1034046 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Frederick Hubert Patten, RAFVR 2211183 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Douglas Archibald Thomas Roffey, RAFVR 1852080 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Cunningham, RAFVR 1365361 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I HK575 AA-O was brought down by a night-fighter at approximately 02:50hrs between Burlioncourt (Moselle) and Château-Salins. There were no survivors. All crew members are buried in a Communal Cemetery at Château-Voué, near where the aircraft crashed.



BOOTH, Ronald

Sgt. Ronald Booth, RAFVR 1096896 – Flight Engineer.
Lost without trace age 21 on the 7th of August 1943.
Son of Charles Wilfred and Eva Booth, of Royton, Lancashire.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England.
Grave location – Panel 143.

06/08/1943 – Mining in the Gironde Estuary
Five aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1,500lb. One aircraft returned early owing to inter-communication failure and bought its mines back and one aircraft failed to return. The remaining aircraft successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area and the parachutes were seen to open. Slight heavy A.A. fire and one searchlight were encountered, but were ineffective. A few enemy aircraft were seen, one short combat took place, but no damage was sustained by our aircraft. The weather was good above 1,000ft. and visibility was fair to good. On the return journey, F/Sgt. Mayfields aircraft fired at a locomotive and the engine was seen to blow up with a brilliant flash. The missing aircraft was a Stirling Mk.I HK614 captained by F/Sgt. Mayo, J.R.

Stirling Mk.III BK614 JN-N

F/S John Russell Mayo, RNZAF NZ417085 – Pilot.
Sgt. Albert Edward Turner, RAFVR 1316391 – Navigator.
Sgt. Irvine Sydney Rothstein, RCAF R.123638 – Air Bomber.
F/S Thomas Henry Gittens, RAFVR 1067871 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ronald Booth, RAFVR 1096896 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Raymond Henry Amstell, RAFVR 1455709 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Stephen Tom Kitching, RAFVR 1215487 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III BK614 JN-N was lost without trace. All seven crew are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

R Booth



BOSWELL, John McLaren

Sgt. John McLaren Boswell, RNZAF NZ414491 – Rear Gunner.
Lost without trace age 26 on the 5th of May 1943.
Son of David Mclaren Boswell and Mary Ellen Boswell, of Petone, Wellington, New Zealand.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 199.

05/05/1943 – Mining off the Frisian Islands
Six aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack with Mines of 1500lb. One aircraft, however, failed to take-off and one failed to return. The remaining four aircraft successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area, and all the parachutes were seen to open. Some light A.A.Fire was encountered, but it was ineffective. No enemy aircraft were seen. There was broken cloud in the mining area, although visibility was fairly good. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling Mk.I. EF.340, captained by Sgt. R.F. Westwood.

Stirling Mk.I EF430 AA-Q

Sgt. Reginald Francis Westwood, RAAF AUS.416471 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Henry Waldron Bentley, RNZAF NZ414580 – Navigator.
Sgt. Erwin Henry Reubin Lamb, RNZAF NZ413709 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. William Harkness, RAFVR 1127681 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Horace Bennetton, RAFVR 1281626 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Gilbert Humphreys Rogers, RAFVR 1382746 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John McLaren Boswell, RNZAF NZ414491 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.I EF430 AA-Q was engaged by AA fire while transiting the Dutch coastal area and was brought down in the Waddenzee, South East of Vlieland, at 01:15hrs. None of the crew survived. All are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.



BOTTOMLEY, Jack Wilson

Sgt. Jack Wilson Bottomley, RAFVR 943398 – Front Gunner.
Lost without trace age 24 on the 7th of August 1941
Son of Benjamin and Nellie Bottomley, of Bradford, Yorkshire.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 40.

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.1648 AA – K

Sgt. Leopold Ian Adrian Millet, RAFVR 1164817 – Pilot.
Sgt. Richard Grosvenor Morgan, RNZAF NZ402239 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Derrick Polley, RAFVR 977080 – Observer.
Sgt. Clifford Simpson, RAFVR 943822 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Jack Wilson Bottomley , RAFVR 943398 – Front Gunner.
F/S William Neill Kennedy Mellon, RAFVR 176808 – Rear Gunner.

Shot down after bombing target Mannheim 6.8.41; ditched in North Sea; crew 4 POW and 2 killed:

JW Bottomley



BOXALL, Charles Henry George

Sgt. Charles Henry George Boxall, RAFVR 1393248 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Lost without trace age 19 on the 28th of April 1943.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 143.

28/04/1943 – Mining in Kiel Bay
Eight aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1500 lbs. One of these aircraft returned early owing to its compass being faulty and four failed to return. The remaining three aircraft successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area and the parachutes were seen to open. A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights was encountered which is believed to have come from an A.A. ship in the mining area. No enemy aircraft were seen. Visibility was fairly good, with scattered cloud in the mining area. Navigation was very good. Stirlings Mk.1 R9290, Sgt. A. Lewis, W.7513 – Sgt. K. Halliburton, BF.467 – P/O D. Thompson, Mk.III BK664 – P/O. D.V. Hamer, failed to return.

Stirling Mk.I W7513 AA-G

Sgt. Keith Haliburton, RNZAF NZ415411 – Pilot.
Sgt. Patrick Torre Hunter, RNZAF NZ42297 – Navigator.
Sgt. Leslie Thomas Scarfe, 1261331 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. David Church, RAFVR 1196564 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Devinder Singh Sidhu, RAFVR 946455 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Charles Henry George Boxall, RAFVR 1393248 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Alexander Clunie Howell, RNZAF NZ392104 – Rear Gunner.

Took off at 20.42 hrs from R.A.F. Newmarket in Suffolk. Part of a huge 207 aircraft force on a “Gardening” (Mine laying) operation. A total of 593 mines were laid off Heligoland, in the river Elbe and in the Great and Little Belts. Low cloud base forced the aircraft to fly very low over the German and Danish coasts. Because of this they took very heavy flak and also attacks from Luftwaffe night fighters.
Although this was the largest mine laying operation in one night of the whole war it came at a price. A total of 22 aircraft were lost (75 (NZ) Squadron RAF lost 4 aircraft alone, with a total of 28 crew members killed) – 9 aircraft were lost by the night fighters and the remainder from the flak.

There are no known details regarding the loss of W7513 and her crew, all being lost without trace. Stirling W7513 is not on the Luftwaffe claims list for this raid so it is thought that it had been taken down by flak All crew are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

CHG Boxall



BOYD, William James Victor

F/S William James Victor Boyd, RNZAF NZ428303 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 20 on the 12th of September 1944.
Son of James Benjamin Boyd and of Lucy Eileen Boyd (Nee Westley), of Mapua, Nelson, New Zealand.
Buried Svino Churchyard, Denmark.
Grave location – Coll. grave 88.

11/09/1944 – Mining in the Baltic Sea
Eight aircraft were detailed to lay mines in the Baltic area, and they all dropped their mines as ordered. No opposition was met on the mining area, but fighters were thought to be active on the homeward route, and one aircraft had an inconclusive combat with a JU.88. Another aircraft (Captain NZ426041 F/O. W. Hadley) failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I LM268 AA-D

F/O Wilson Orchard Hadley, RNZAF NZ426041 – Pilot.
F/S John Bernard Gudgeon, RNZAF NZ428786 – Navigator.
F/S David John Robert Wilcox, RNZAF NZ421244 – Air Bomber.
F/S John Patrick Arthur Giles, RNZAF NZ425836 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Colin R. Fowler, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S William James Victor Boyd, RNZAF NZ428303 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S John Matthew Biggar, RNZAF NZ427945 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I LM268 AA-D was brought down at 00:15hrs by a night-fighter near the southern end of Sjælland Island, Denmark. The aircraft crashed onto a farmhouse near the township of Orslev, killing five members of the family. Only two of the crew, the Fight Engineer and Air Bomber, succeeded in baling out, the former evading capture and the latter, although badly hurt, was aided by locals and hospitalized before being turned over to the authorities.

Of those in the crew who died, the Pilot and Rear Gunner were buried in the local Churchyard at Orslev while the other three were buried at the Svino Churchyard.

Boyd William



BRADEY, George Edward Francis

P/O George Edward Francis Bradey, RNZAF NZ401954 – Pilot.
Lost without trace age 25 on the 11th of August 1942.
Son of John Frederick and Constance Bradey, of Maharahara, Hawke’S Bay, New Zealand.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 115.

11/08/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Mainz
Nine aircraft were detailed to attack above target. Bomb load of 4000lb, 1000lb, 500lb and incendiaries were dropped in target area. A.A. fire was light, searchlights were scarce and ineffective. One fighter was seen by P/O Horne in Wellington B.J.765 as he was crossing the Dutch Coast homeward bound, no attack was made. The weather was moderate, being cloudy near target. Navigation was good by D.R. and T.R. Wellington BJ837 captain Sgt. Hockaday.N.J., five minutes from the English coast on way to target, fabric stripped off nose of aircraft to port and starboard, the Bomb load was jettisoned and the aircraft returned to base. Three aircraft failed to return, Wellington B.J.767 captained by F/O Dobbin, Wellington B.J.625, Sgt Barclay.T.S., captain, Wellington X.3646 captain Sgt Bradey.G.E.

Wellington Mk.III X.3646 AA-?

Sgt. George Edward Francis Bradey, RNZAF NZ401954 – Pilot.
F/O Thomas Henry William Baker, RAFVR 107286 – 2nd Pilot.
S/L Ronald Ernest Kimber, RAF 45956 – Observer.
Sgt. Arden Ivan Ellis, RCAF R.92690 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Cyril Vincent Green, RNZAF NZ402997 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. J. E. London, RAFVR 953137 – Rear Gunner.

On the 12th of August 1942 Wellington Mk.III X3646 crashed into the North Sea. Piloting the aircraft that night was George Edward Francis Bradey, who had earlier been severely wounded in the abdomen by flak, whilst attacking the target of Mainz with 8 other aircraft from 75(NZ) Squadron RAF.

The aircraft was struck by flak on the return flight, severely wounding the Captain in the abdomen. He was able to keep the aircraft on a westerly course till they were over the Dutch coast. A descent was made to 2,000ft and the crew was ordered to bale out but soon after, the aircraft ditched in the sea.

The remaining details of the incident do not seem that clear. Of the crew of 6, 5 were killed. The only survivor being the Rear Gunner Sgt. J. E. London, who was captured and spent the remainder of the War as a Prisoner.

GEF Brady



BRAILEY, Clifton Robert

Sgt. Clifton Robert Brailey, RNZAF NZ404589 – Front Gunner.
Lost without trace age 23 on the 21st of June 1942.
Son of James Frederick and Gwendoline Elizabeth Brailey, of Lower Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England.
Grave location – Panel 117.

20/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Emden
Twelve a/c were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 250lbs and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area. Results were not observed. There was intense flak and searchlights were few. A JU88 attacked Well.III, X3539 without result. Weather was hazy with 5/10 cloud. Visibility very bad. Nav was good. Well.III, X3760 P/O Fraser failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III X.3760 AA-L

P/O Allen Armistice Fraser, RNZAF NZ405030 – Pilot.
P/O Wallace Edward Buckley, RNZAF NZ391379 – Navigator.
F/S Arthur Stafford Christie, RNZAF NZ402982 – .Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Clifton Robert Brailley, RNZAF NZ404587 – Front Gunner.
P/O Raymond Wickliffe John Trengrove, RNZAF NZ40927 – Rear Gunner.

The exact fate of X.3760 AA-L is not known, however it is very likely that the aircraft was shot down by a German night-fighter, crashing into the sea west of Ameland, near the Frisians.

There were no survivors.

Whilst the exact fate of X.3760 is not known, it is almost certain that the aircraft was shot down by a German night-fighter, crashing into the sea west of Ameland, near the Frisians. There were no survivors. The front gunner, Sgt Brailey, was lost without trace and is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. The bodies of the other four were eventually washed ashore and are buried near where they were found.

CR Brailey



BRAMWELL, Walter

Sgt. Walter Bramwell, RAFVR 1051374 – Flight Engineer.
Lost without trace age 22 on the 30th of May 1943
Son of Stanley Bramwell, and of Lucy Bramwell, of Hoyland Common, Yorkshire.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 143.

29/05/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Wuppertal
Twenty aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with bombs of 2000lb, 1000lb, and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb. One aircraft failed to take-off owing to the rear turret being unserviceable, and two returned early. Four aircraft failed to return. The remaining thirteen aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Very large fires were seen and also some big explosions. Some heavy A.A. Fire was encountered, but it was ineffective. No searchlights were seen. A few enemy aircraft were seen and one short combat took place, but no damage was sustained by our aircraft. The weather was good in the target area, but visibility was impaired by smoke from the fires. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk.III BK776 Captained by P/O. R.F.Bennett, Mk.I EF398, captained by F/O. R.B. Vernazoni, MK.III EH881 captained by Sgt. J.H. Carey and Mk.III Bf561 captained by Sgt. S.R. Thornley.

Stirling Mk.I EF398 AA-A

F/O Richard Berry Vernazoni , RNZAF NZ416185 – Pilot.
Sgt. Owen Alfred Innes, RNZAF NZ421935 – Navigator.
P/O Harold Tong, RNZAF NZ416648 – Air Bomber.
F/O Charles Hudson Riddle, RNZAF NZ41190 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Walter Bramwell, RAFVR 1051374 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alexander Roger Cardoo, RAFVR 1522196 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. James John Chandler, RAFVR 1699810 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.I EF398 AA-A was shot down at 01:49hrs by a night-fighter (Oblt Manfred Meurer, I. /NJG1) The aircraft crashed between Vlodrop and Roermond (Limburg), while overflying the Netherlands en route to the target There were no survivors. Five crew have no known graves. The two gunners are buried in Jonkerbos War Cemetery after being found in a temporary military cemetery at Venlo.

W Bramwell



BRAUN, Michael Ryves

P/O Michael Ryves Braun, RAF 42390 – Pilot.
Killed age 19 on the 20th of September 1940.
Son of Walter W. Braun and of Mariquila Braun (Nee Ryves), of Wimbledon, Surrey.
Buried Ostende New Communal Cemetery, Belgium..
Grave location – Plot 9. Row 4. Grave 3.
‘… and left the vivid air Signed with their honour’

20/09/1940 – Bombing Attacks Against Enemy Territory
Nine Wellington aircraft wee detailed to carry out the above operations. The bomb load was made up of 250lbs. bombs and containers of 4lbs. incendiaries.
CB.157 reports that a large fire was started in docks standing alongside No. 1 basin (with lockgate) and seen to burn for 50 minutes, and grow to size of a hangar. Lockgates were hit with a stick of 10 – 250lbs. bombs.
CB.158 reports that all bombs were dropped in one stick bursting down dock area between the two basins. One large fire started. Still burning 20 minutes later.
CB.159 reports that one stick laid across docks observed to make direct hits. Fires and explosions followed which could be seen on second climb. One stick five N.D.T. and one S.B.C. laid longitudinal across 15/20,000 tone vessel. First bomb 40-50yds astern, remainder either direct hits or very near misses.
CB.160 reports that bombs were dropped in one stick across harbour entrance. Large fires observed on N.E. side of harbour mouth started by incendiaries.
CB.162 reports eight bombs burst in target area though no fires started. A large fire was started in the deck area but was apparently caused by a machine bombing at exactly the same time.
CB.164 dropped one stick of six 250lbs bombs on N.W. heading which was seen to burst in vicinity of tidal basin. One stick of five 250lbs bombs and one S.B.C. dropped on S.E. heading was seen to burst on jetty of fish harbour. Incendiary fires observed to seaward side of fort on north side of harbour entrance.
CB.165 dropped first stick in Nos. 1 and 2 basins heading 180° approximately. A second stick and one S.B.C. was dropped in No.3 Basin heading 045° approximately.
One stick and S.B.C was dropped by CB.163 on Eastern side of outer harbour wharves. Bombs exploded, but no fires observed.
Several large fires were seen and were visible for miles after leaving target area. CB.157 reports that a plane was shot down north of the docks at 22.35 hours. Barge concentration seen on OSTEND-BRUGES CANAL. Submarine or “E” boat observed by CB159 signalling in morse short distances from Belgium coast. This aircraft also encountered flak barrage in mid-channel. Parachute flare dropped and two searchlights and light flak, presumably from British convoy, observed by CB160.
Fairly heavy and accurate A.A. fire encountered in all areas.
Searchlights were fairly active, although not particularly accurate.
One ME.110 was encountered by CB.157 off target coast, but owing to the speed of the former, no contact was made. Two unidentified aircraft were encountered over target area by CB.159 but no attack made.
Weather was good in target areas, although patches of cloud were encountered over North Sea.
Navigation was by D/R, visual fixes, map reading and homing bearings.

Wellington Mk.1c T.2463 AA-E
Raid No. CB.161

P/O Michael Ryves Braun, RAF 42390 – Pilot.
Sgt. Alfred Joseph Green, RAF 741824 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Edward McCormick, RAF 580801 – Navigator.
Sgt. Norman McDonald, RAF 755134 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Lindsay Douglas Anderson, RNZAF NZ391321 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Lewis Alan White, RAF 626213 – Rear Gunner .

Wellington Mk.1c T.2463 AA-E,  was shot down by coastal anti-aircraft batteries, crashing near Leffinge, Belgium, 8km South South West of Ostend. All crew members were killed.



BRENNAN, Martin

Sgt. Martin Brennan, RAFVR 1596812 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 21 on the 1st of January 1945.
Son of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Brennan, of Horden, Co. Durham.
Buried Jonkerbos War Cemetery, Nijmegen, Holland.     .
Grave location – 23. H. 2.
‘Greater love no man hath
Than to lay down
His life for his friends R.I.P.’

01/01/1945 – Attack Against Vohwinkel
Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack Vohwinkel, in daylight. Nineteen aircraft took off, seventeen of which attacked the primary target. F/O McMillan attacked a last resort target. NZ40984 W/Cdr. R.J. Newton and NZ429286 P/O R. Aitchison as second pilot, failed to return. There was very little opposition in the target area.

Lancaster Mk.III ME321 AA-N

W/C Raymond John Newton, RNZAF NZ40984 – Pilot.
P/O Richard Justin Aitchison, RNZAF NZ429286 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Harry Sansome, RAFVR 1583772 – Navigator.
F/S Arthur Lee, RAFVR 1622893 – Air Bomber.
F/S Victor James Clark, RAFVR 1811271 – Wireless Operator.
F/S John Stanley Hoskins, RAFVR 652139 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Martin Brennan, RAFVR 1596812 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Leonard James Cooke, RAFVR 3011677 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.III ME321 AA-N crashed near the Dutch town of Maastricht, probably through contact with enemy fighters. There were no survivors. Sgt Martin Brennan was buried in the Jonkerbos War Cemetery, the other seven crew are all commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. It was thought that this was W/C Newton’s 50th operational sortie.



BREWER, Cyril

Sgt. Cyril Brewer, RAFVR 1418695 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 22 on the 30th of November 1944.
Son of John and Catherine Brewer, of St. Athan, Glamorgan.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 25. A. 13-18.
‘May the winds of heaven
Blow gently
On this sacred spot’

30/11/1944 – Attack Against Osterfeld
Eighteen aircraft took off as detailed carrying 4,000 lb, 1,000 lb, 500 lb, and Incendiary bombs to attack the coking plant at Osterfeld. Seventeen aircraft attacked the target successfully through ten tenths cloud with tops 10,000 feet, and the raid was reported as being well concentrated. One aircraft captained by NZ411915 F/O J.A. McIntosh is missing and the aircraft is believed to have had its tail shot away.

Lancaster Mk.I NF980 JN-F
Missing – A/C believed to have had its tail shot off

F/O James Alexander McIntosh, RNZAF NZ411915 – Pilot.
F/S Robert Carhampton Morgan, RNZAF NZ421389 – Navigator.
F/S Ronald Wynne Newman, RNZAF NZ4210960 – Air Bomber.
F/S Robert James Boag, RAAF AUS.432097 – Wireless Operator .
F/S Richard Thomas Taylor, RAFVR 1401963 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Cyril Brewer, RAFVR 1418695 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Edward Roy Cooper, RAFVR 2221308 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I NF980 JN-F received a direct hit by flak over the target and it appeared to another crew flying close by, to have lost most of its tail-plane. The aircraft fell sharply out of the sky and struck the ground violently. The rear gunner was the only survivor but he too, died from his injuries in a hospital about 3 weeks later.



BREWSTER, James Edward

Sgt. James Edward Brewster, RAFVR 1035972 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 21 on the 23rd of January 1943.
Son of Russell and Lilian Brewster, of West Cornforth, Co. Durham.
Buried St.Thegonnec Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Plot 2. Row 1. Grave 2.
‘His memory
Is our greatest treasure,
Always in our thoughts.
Pop and Lil’

23/01/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Lorient
Nine aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with bombs of 1,000 lb. 500 lb. and 4 lb. incendiaries. This was a very successful and concentrated attack. All aircraft reported that their bombs were seen to fall in the target area. Large fires were seen to be lighting up the whole area. A fair amount of heavy, medium and light flak was encountered, only a few searchlights were seen. A few enemy aircraft were seen, but no combats took place. The weather was very clear at the target and good visibility. Navigation was by D.R., T.R., pinpoints and visual. Stirling I R9248 captained by Sergt. R.M.Kidd failed to return.

Stirling Mk.I R9248 AA-H

Sgt. Robert Miln Kidd, RNZAF NZ412700 – Pilot.
Sgt. James William Schofield, RAFVR 1088089 – Navigator.
Sgt. Bernard Torrance, RAFVR 1319178 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Eric Berry, RAFVR 1380078 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Gilbert Frank Mitchell, RAFVR 1479975 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. James Edward Brewster, RAFVR 1035972 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Peter Douglas Fowler, RAFVR 1320278 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.I R9248 AA-H was hit by AA fire shortly after bombing, causing catastrophic damage. The captain attempted a crash landing at St Thégonnec (Finistère), about 8 miles South East of Morlaix, France. All but one of the crew died in the crash and were laid to rest in St Thegonnec Communal Cemetery. Sgt Kidd escaped slightly injured from the wreck and managed to evade capture.



BRIAN, William Leslie Fred

F/S William Leslie Fred Brian, RNZAF NZ411737 – Wireless Operator.
Lost without trace age 23 on the 28th of April 1943.
Son of William Brian and of Rita Brian (Nee Pearse); Husband of Rona Brian, of Wellington, New Zealand.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 198.

28/04/1943 – Mining in Kiel Bay
Eight aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1500 lbs. One of these aircraft returned early owing to its compass being faulty and four failed to return. The remaining three aircraft successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area and the parachutes were seen to open. A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights was encountered which is believed to have come from an A.A. ship in the mining area. No enemy aircraft were seen. Visibility was fairly good, with scattered cloud in the mining area. Navigation was very good. Stirlings Mk.1 R9290, Sgt. A. Lewis, W.7513 – Sgt. K. Halliburton, BF.467 – P/O D. Thompson, Mk.III BK664 – P/O. D.V. Hamer, failed to return.

Stirling Mk.III BK664 AA-M

P/O Douglas Vincent Hamer, RAFVR 963403/ 141713 – Pilot.
Sgt. Desmond Ray Ross, RNZAF NZ42341 – Navigator.
Sgt. Ross Cameron Buckley, RNZAF NZ411206 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. William Leslie Fred Brian, RNZAF NZ411737 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. George Len Lennox, RAFVR 950013 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harry Pears Holme, RAFVR 1301281 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Malcolm Edward John Shogren, RNZAF NZ415375 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III BK664 AA-M was brought down by A/A fire from a Kreigsmarine (flak ship), battery MAA508, positioned between the Fehmarn-Belt and Lolland Island, in the Baltic. It crashed at 00:23hrs on the western side of Lolland Island and the crew all perished.

The bodies of both air gunners were recovered and are buried in the Svino Churchyard. All other crew are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.



BRIDGER, Cyril Jack

F/S Cyril Jack Bridger, RNZAF NZ417192 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 26 on the 28th of August 1943
Son of Cyril and Kathleen Blanche Bridger, of Nelson City, New Zealand; Grandson of Clara Maud Hoult, of Nelson City.
Buried Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 9. C. 20.

27/08/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Nuremburg
Nineteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lbs. and 4lbs. One aircraft failed to return, but the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Good concentrated fires and heavy explosions were seen. A moderate barrage consisting of light and heavy A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered, and two aircraft received slight damage. Some enemy aircraft were seen, one short combat took place, but no damage was sustained by our aircraft. The weather was cloudy on the outward journey but clear over the target and visibility was good. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling Mk.III EE955 captained by F/Sgt. Higham.

Stirling Mk.III EE955 AA-D

F/S Frank Douglas Higham, RNZAF NZ416116 – Pilot.
Sgt. John Richard Culshaw, RAFVR 1437100 – Navigator.
Sgt. Martin Bailey, RCAF R.119568 – Air Bomber.
F/S Cyril Jack Bridger, RNZAF NZ417192 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Robert Renfrew, RAFVR 984047 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Jennings, RAFVR 1818122 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Albert Clarke, RAFVR 940903 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EE955 AA-D was brought down at Schwarzenau, 12 miles ENE of Würzburg. The circumstances are unclear as to how EE955 was brought down, although the location of the crash was some 60miles NW of Nuremberg ground defences, suggesting the likelihood of night fighter action. All of the crew were killed and are buried in Durnbach War Cemetery, 9 miles east of Bad Tölz.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/cyril-jack-bridger © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/cyril-jack-bridger © New Zealand War Graves Project



BRIDGMAN, Arthur Mervyn

P/O Arthur Mervyn Bridgman, RNZAF NZ41866 – Navigator.
Lost without trace age 26 on the 3rd of March 1943.
Son of Arthur Leslie and Evelyn Bridgman, of Nelson, New Zealand.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 198.      

03/03/1943 – Mining off the Frisian Islands

Three aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operations, with mines of 1500 lb. Two of the aircraft successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area, the other aircraft failed to return. No A.A. fire or searchlights were encountered. Sergt. French the Captain of Stirling 1 BF398, met a JU88 on the homeward journey, after a short exchange of firing the enemy aircraft disappeared. The weather was very clear and visibility was good. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling 1 N6123, captained by Sgt. R.C.Going.

Stirling Mk.I N6123 AA-Q

Sgt. Raymond Cyril Going, RNZAF NZ414278 – Pilot.
Sgt. Arthur Mervyn Bridgman, RNZAF NZ41866 – Navigator.
Sgt. Frederick Arthur William Willis, RAFVR 1382215 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Kenneth Cedric Eyre, RAFVR 1071970 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Emrys Herbert Weaver, RAFVR 1409013 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Francis Barkhouse Stewart, RAFVR 547841 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Clarence Sydney Burton, RNZAF NZ414493 – Rear Gunner.

The crew took off from Newmarket to lay mines off the Frisian Islands, off the coast of Denmark, part of the Squadron’s continuing efforts to disrupt German shipping. Mine-laying operations were often given to rookie crews as they were considered slightly less dangerous. Bomber Command code-named all the waterways after vegetables or fruit, hence these op’s became known as “gardening”. Sadly, on their very first operation, the Going crew was lost without trace.



BRISCO, Robert Hylton

Sgt. Robert Hylton Brisco, RNZAF NZ411204 – Observer.
Killed age 26 on the 29th of July 1942.
Son of Hylton Musgrave Campbell Brisco and Kathleen Brisco, of Hunterville, Wellington, New Zealand.
Buried Becklingen War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – Coll grave 14. F. 12-14.

28/07/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Seventeen a/c were detailed to carry out an attack on the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 30lb and 4lb incendiaries was dropped in target area and bursts were seen in dock area. A.A. fire was very accurate, light and heavy predicted. There were many accurate searchlight cones in parts but clear over target. Navigation was good by TR and DR. Six a/c failed to return to base

Wellington Mk.III X.3664 AA-X/Q/V

F/L Peter John Wilson, RNZAF NZ402475 – Pilot.
F/S Victor Kenneth Westerman, RNZAF NZ41970 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Hylton Brisco, RNZAF NZ411204 – Observer.
F/S Ronald Fraser Davis, RNZAF NZ403569 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Alan Campbell, RAF? NZ391857 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Gordon Edwin Caitcheon, RNZAF NZ404016 – Rear Gunner.

The Wellington was shot down by AA fire near the target area, crashing at Fischbek, 18 miles South East of Stade. None of the crew survived. They were buried initially in a collective grave at Stade but later reinterred at Becklingen.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/robert-hylton-brisco © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/robert-hylton-brisco © New Zealand War Graves Project



BROADLEY, Ronald

Sgt. Ronald Broadley, RAFVR 937347 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 22 on the 26th of July 1943.
Son of Percy and Hesper Broadley, of Leeds.
Buried Colne Valley ( Slaithwaite) Cemetery, Yorkshire, England..
Grave location – Block A. Sec. 3. Grave 7.

25/07/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Twenty aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 2,000lbs., 1,000lbs., and incendiaries of 30lbs., and 4lbs. One aircraft failed to take off, and two returned early, wing to engine trouble and an intercommunication failure respectively, and one aircraft failed to return. Sixteen aircraft successfully dropped their bombs on target area, which was an absolute mass of flames. Many huge explosions were seen in the midst of the fires. Moderate A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered, one aircraft receiving slight damage. An aircraft was held in a searchlight cone for 3 minutes, but avoided it by making diving turns. Some enemy aircraft were seen. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. H.C. WILLIAMS sighted an unidentified aircraft 400 yds away approaching from astern. The Stirling corkscrewed and the Mid-upper and Rear gunners fired a long burst, the enemy aircraft exploded in the air and dived to the ground. It was claimed to be destroyed. Another aircraft was sighted by them approaching on the port quarter, the Rear gunner fired two short bursts and the enemy aircraft broke away. The weather was hazy to the enemy Coast, but clear over the target. Visibility was good except for haze caused by smoke from the fires, which could be seen west of the DUTCH coast. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling MK.III EE892 captained by Sgt.. M. ASHDOWN

Stirling Mk.III EE892 AA-F

Sgt. Michael Henry Charles Ashdown, RAFVR 1320551 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ronald Kenneth Harold, RAFVR 1335706 – Navigator.
Sgt. Ronald Walter Threadgold, RAFVR 1457394 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Ernest Claude Denyer, RAFVR 1262911 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ronald Broadley, RAFVR 937347 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Archie Cleveland, RCAF R.167518 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Harold Clyde Dawson, RCAF R.178318 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EE892 AA-F came down in the sea off Southwold, Suffolk, while returning to base. Eyewitness reports indicated that the Stirlng was on fire before it struck the water. All on board perished. Four bodies were picked up by the Aldeburgh lifeboat crew. Sgt Dawson RCAF is buried in Scottow Cemetery; the others were taken back to their home-towns. Sgt’s Harrold, Threadgold and Cleveland are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.


BROADY, Raymond Herbert John

Sgt. Raymond Herbert John Broady, RNZAF NZ39691 – Pilot.
Killed age 28 on the 28th of November 1942.
Son of Herbert Horace and Adeline Jane Mabel Broady, of Northcote, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Cambridge City Cemetery, Cambridgeshire, England..
Grave location – Grave 14732.

28/22/1942 – Night Flying Test
Crashed at 22:29 at Trinity Farm on Cambridge Road, near Oakington airfield. The aircraft stalled while trying to avoid a head on collision with another Stirling. The Rear Gunner, Sgt. Rogers, whilst surviving the crash, died two days later on the 30th of November.

Sgt. Raymond Herbert John Broady, RNZAF NZ39691 – Pilot.
Sgt. George Trueman Jobson, RAFVR 1287935 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Robert James Mcwilliam, RCAF 93977 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ronald Oswald Dibben, RAFVR 1252627 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alexander Mcisaac, RNZAF NZ412891 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Charles Thomas Rogers, RAFVR 1170921 – Rear Gunner.

BROADY, Raymond Herbert John



BRODIE, Andrew Moore

Sgt. Andrew Moore Brodie, RNZAF NZ391378 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 25 on the 21st of February 1941.
Son of Andrew Brodie and of Joanna Brodie (Nee Moore), of Gisborne, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Sage War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 8. A. 4.

21/02/1941 – Bombing Attacks on Wilhelmshaven
Seven Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above target. One of the aircraft, JAH.124, captained by P/O Falconer, failed to return to base. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 1000lbs. 500lbs. 250 lbs. and containers of incendiaries. JAH.243 bombed docks at EMDEN. Incendiaries not observed; 500lbs. bombs seen to explode in target area. Owing to front and rear turrets being unserviceable, JAH.460 returned to base. Bombs were jettisoned in sea. JAH.598 reports bombs seen to explode on docks. Incendiaries seen to cause large fires. JAH.607 reports one good fire, and three minor fires. JAH.969 dropped in vicinity of target area. JAH.996 bombed on ETA and heaviest flak concentration. Bomb bursts seen under cloud. No observations were made, and no reconnaissance carried out. The A.A. fire encountered was medium and inaccurate. There were few searchlights, mostly operating in cones. No enemy aircraft were seen. There was 10/10 cloud over most of the journey, with severe icing conditions. Navigation was by D/R, W/T, map reading, pin points.

Wellington Mk.Ic T.2503 AA-

P/O Arthur James Falconer, RNZAF NZ39910 – Captain.
S/L Edward Ulric Guerin Solbe, RAFVR 34090 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Anthony Vincent Muir, RNZAF NZ40195 – Observer.
Sgt. William Donald ‘Don’ Morrison, RAFVR 946356 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Harry Thomas Hellier, RAFVR 650057 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Andrew Moore Brodie, RNZAF NZ391378 – Rear Gunner.

All aircraft, except Wellington Mk.Ic T.2503, returned to base safely, landing at approximately 00.30hrs. Wellington T2503 failed to return. Very little information is available to determine the fate of the aircraft, although it became apparent it was brought down in the North Sea. The crew all perished. Two bodies were later washed ashore near Helgoland, north of Wilhelmshaven. Acting as second pilot on this ill-fated sortie, was S/L Solbe, ‘A’ Flight Commander.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/andrew-moore-brodie © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/andrew-moore-brodie © New Zealand War Graves Project



BRODIE, Ian James Duncan

P/O Ian James Duncan Brodie, RAFVR 149887 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 27 on the 8th of March 1943.
Son of 2/Lt. Duncan Smith Brodie, York and Lancaster Regt. (Killed In Italy, 15th June, 1918), and of Agnes Ida Brodie, of Doune, Perthshire. Dux Ludorum, Mclaren High School, Callander.
Buried Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – 2. G. 12.
‘Of Doune, Scotland,
Son of Ida and late 2nd. Lt. D.S. Brodie.
Killed in action 1918′

08/03/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Nurenburg
Nine aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack with bombs of 2,000 lb. 1,000 lb. 500 lb and incendiaries of 30 lb. and 4 lb. One aircraft returned early owing to engine trouble and another failed to return. The remaining seven aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area, large fires being seen, one large explosion from the centre of target, was seen one hundred miles away as the aircraft were returning. Both light and heavy A.A. fire was encountered co-operating with searchlights, they however, proved to be ineffective. Stirling 1 BK646 captained by P/O Lowe, was attacked by an enemy aircraft near Saarbrucken on the return journey. The enemy aircraft opened fire with cannon and a stream of tracer came into the cockpit, one exploding near the second pilot’s leg. Corkscrew tactics were adopted, but after seven minutes the enemy aircraft was lost. The only casualties were the second pilot, who was wounded in the leg and the Captain, who had slight face cuts. The aircraft successfully returned to base. There was a slight haze at the target, although visibility fairly good. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling 1 BF437, captained by Sergeant C.R. Davey.

Stirling Mk.I BF437 AA-L

Sgt. Charles Raglan Davey, RNZAF NZ413937 – Pilot.
F/S Anthony Arlen, RCAF R.84152 – Navigator.
Sgt. Ian James Duncan Brodie, RAFVR 1344759/ 147474 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Leighton Mansel Stone, RAFVR 1313099 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Arthur Edgar Howlett, RAFVR 528778 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Andrew James Feenan, RAFVR 632983 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Alfred Bertram Tarrant, RAFVR 1450019 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.I BF437 AA-L was brought down near Philippsburg, 22 miles North North East of Carlsruhe (18 miles south of Mannheim). All seven crew were killed. Sgt’s Davey and Brodie were buried at Mannheim but later reinterred at Durnbach. The other five crew members are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.



BROMLEY, Alan Stevens

F/S Alan Stevens Bromley, RAFVR 1247614 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 23 on the 23rd of May 1944.
Buried Heverlee War Cemetery, Belgium..
Grave location – Coll. grave 6. C. 3-5. 179

22/05/1944 – Attack Against Dortmund
Twenty three aircraft were detailed to attack Dortmund of which eighteen completed their mission successfully. Three aircraft returned early and two failed to return (Captains NZ417016 P/O. E. Burke and NZ42354 P/O. C. Armstrong). The raid was well concentrated and carried out in good weather with excellent visibility. One aircraft had an inconclusive combat with a JU 88. Otherwise the operation was uneventful.

Lancaster Mk.I ME690 AA-Z

P/O Edgar Lawrence Burke, RNZAF NZ417016 – Pilot.
F/O John Wallace Downing, RAFVR 136351 – Navigator.
W/O Frank Albert Page, RAAF AUS.409481 – Air Bomber.
F/S Alan Stevens Bromley, RAFVR 1247614 – Wireless Operator .
F/S Walter Pickering, RAFVR 1434290 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. James Henry Cooper, RAFVR 1308375 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Donald Cameron Kitchener Grant, RAFVR 527237 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I ME690 AA-Z was shot down by a night-fighter and crashed at Neerpelt (Limburg) 5miles from Lommel, Belgium, after breaking up in flight. There were no survivors. Their remains were reinterred in Heverlee War Cemetery, near Louvain.



BROTHWELL, Jack

F/O Jack Brothwell, RAFVR 135042 – Navigator.
Killed age 24 on the 22nd of November 1943.
Son of Frederick and Nellie Brothwell, of Southey Green, Sheffield.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 9. A. 22-25.

22/11/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Berlin
Four aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1,000lbs and incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb. One aircraft returned early owing to an Oxygen failure and two failed to return. The remaining aircraft successfully dropped its bombs in the Target Area. It was very difficult to assess the results as there was 10/10ths cloud over the target. Little opposition was encountered and no incidents were reported. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk.III LJ453 Captained by F/S A.Single and EF148 Captained by F/S. J. TURNER.

Stirling Mk.III LJ453 AA-K

F/S Alan Roy Single, RAAF AUS.413144 – Pilot.
F/O Jack Brothwell, RAFVR 135042 – Navigator.
F/S John Edward Stanley Margetts, RNZAF NZ422665 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Eric Richmond Whittington, RNZAF NZ416030 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ivor George Holbrook, RAFVR 937367 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Victor Stanley Hughes, RAFVR 1796312 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Arthur George Bernard, RNZAF NZ424964 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III LJ453 AA-K was brought down over Germany, crashing about a mile South South East of Arlen, between Gemmerich and Dolberg. The lack of AA fire in the target area suggested that a night fighter was probably responsible for the loss of the Stirling.

There were no survivors. The seven crew were buried at Achmer, and later reinterred at Reichswald Forest Cemetery.



BROUN, Alan Stewart

P/O Alan Stewart Broun, RNZAF NZ405367 – Observer.
Lost without trace age 32 on the 9th of July 1942.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 115.

08/07/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Wilhemshaven
Thirteen a/c were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area and hit were believed to be scored. There was heavy predicted flak and searchlights were scattered. No enemy a/c were seen. Weather was good clear over target. Navigation was excellent.

Wellington Mk.III X.3557 AA-X

P/O Trevor Harry Smith, RNZAF NZ41953 – Pilot.
P/O Donald Norman Potts RNZAF NZ412267 2nd Pilot.
P/O Alan Stuart Broun, RNZAF NZ405367 – Observer.
Sgt. Frank Edwin McKenzie, RNZAF NZ391085 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. George Anthony Young, RNZAF NZ405771 – Front Gunner.
P/O Jack Ralph Gavegan, RNZAF NZ402128 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Mk.III X.3557 AA-X came down at the northern end of the Waddenzee, near Rottumeroog Is at 01.30hrs. The time of the crash indicates the aircraft was still on the outward bound route to the target and was almost certainly shot down by one of the many German night fighters operating along that part of the Dutch coast. The details contained within German documentation regarding the injuries to the body of George Young certainly seem to support this, describing significant head injuires, assumed to be from a bullet or shell.

All of the crew were killed. Only the bodies of Sgt Young and the Pilot, P/O Trevor Harry Smith were recovered. As mentioned previously, a second body was recovered with Sgt. Young’s – the conjecture by rank of the airman is that this was Frank McKenzie, however a positive I.D. was never able to be made.

Trevor Smith was initially buried in Rottumeroog, but was subsequently moved to and re-interred at Oldebroek General Cemetery. The rest of the crew are remembered on the Air Force Memorial at Runnymede.

AS Broun



BROWN, Alfred Errol

F/O Alfred Errol Brown, RNZAF NZ429139 – Pilot.
Killed age 25 on the 21st of March 1945.
Son of Alfred and Laura Matilda Brown, of Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 12. D. 18.

21/03/1945 – Attack Against Munster Viaduct
Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack the Muster Viaduct. There was hardly any cloud over the target. It is thought that the concentration was good although the formation was broken up just prior to bombing. Three aircraft failed to return from this operation – AA”T”, NZ42451 F/L J. Plummer, AA”R” NZ429139 P/O A. Brown and JN”P” 190947 P/O D.S. Barr. All three aircraft were seen to hit in the target area. Considerable H/F was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.III LM733 AA-R

P/O Alfred Errol Brown, RNZAF NZ429139 – Pilot.
F/S Arthur Donald Baker, RNZAF NZ4214043 – Navigator.
F/S James Haswell Wood, RNZAF NZ425811 – Air Bomber.
F/S Arthur Elliott Robson, RNZAF NZ4210853 – Wireless Operator.
F/S R.H. Lawrence, RAFVR 1607264 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. J. Grierson, RAFVR 1593931 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Barraclough, RAFVR 1590144 – Rear Gunner.

LM733 was bombing the target at Munster when it was seen to break into two sections and enter a downward spiral before crashing in flames among trees near Coesfeld at 13.30hrs. The cause of the catastrophic damage was thought to be a combination of flak damage and being struck by a bomb from another 3 Group aircraft flying above. Two crew, the pilot and air bomber, were killed and later buried in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. The other five crew parachuted to safety and were captured as P.o.W’s.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/alfred-errol-brown © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/alfred-errol-brown © New Zealand War Graves Project



BROWN, John Lukies

F/S John Lukies Brown, RNZAF NZ402534 – 2nd Pilot.
Killed age 22 on the 12th of March 1942.
Son of Mrs. M. W. Mcnee, of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand.
Buried Kiel War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – 2. H. 3.

12/03/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Kiel
Eight Wellington aircraft carried out an attack against the above target, one aircraft, captained by Sgt Bell did not carry out an attack. Three aircraft captained by S/L Kitchin, F/O Sandys and Sgt Parnham failed to return to base. Bomb load consisted of 1,000 lbs, 500 lbs and 250 lbs was dropped in the target area, bomb bursts being observed. There was heavy and light predicted flak and large cones of searchlights in the target area and one twin engined enemy aircraft made one unsuccessful attack on Wellington III X3586 captained by S/L Newton. Weather was clear over the target with 5/10 cloud over North Sea. Navigation was by D.R. and TR1335.

Wellington Mk.III X.3282 AA-F/V?

Sgt. John Frederick Massey Parnham, RAFVR 1254725 – Pilot.
Sgt. John Lukies Brown, RNZAF NZ402534 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Robert McGibbon, RAFVR 998735 – Observer.
Sgt. Murray Alexander McDonald, RAAF AUS.400352 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Campbell Ewen Justin Aitcheson, RNZAF NZ402974 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Joseph Henry Godfrey, RAFVR 1378233 – Rear Gunner.

The circumstances surrounding the loss Wellington Mk.III X.3282 are not known, other than that the aircraft crashed near Scleswig, approximately 40 miles North West of the target area. The entire crew were killed.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/john-lukies-brown © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/john-lukies-brown © New Zealand War Graves Project



BROWN, Norman Wilson     DFM

Sgt. Norman Wilson Brown, DFM, RAF 518807 – Observer.
Killed age 24 on the 26th of July 1940.
Son of Arthur Kinnear Brown and Ethel Brown, of Hull; Husband of Minnie Brown, of Hull.
Buried Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery, Holland..
Grave location – Plot 69. Row A. Grave 25.
‘Greater love
Hath no man than this,
That a man lay down
His life for his friends’

25/26 July 1940. Bombing Attacks on KASSEL, targets F.10, M.434.
Of the nine Wellington aircraft taking part in the above operations from this Unit, one GB.661 (F/O Coleman) failed to return, and Squadron thus suffered its third loss since operations began.

Wellington 1.C R.3235, AA-?

F/O William Harcourt Coleman, RNZAF, Captain
P/O Frank Twain Poole, RAF, 2nd Pilot
Sgt Norman Wilson Brown, RAF. (518807), Observer
Sgt John Dowds, RAF (632780), Front Gunner
Sgt William Eric Nevill, RAF, W/Operator
Sgt William Donald Francis Annan, RNZAF, (NZ391377), Rear Gunner

Early on the morning of 26th July, 1940, Wellington B.IC R3235 of 75 (New Zealand) Squadron, RAF, crashed into the Ijsselmeer, the inland sea near Amsterdam, 1km east of Uitdam. There were no survivors. The bodies of the airmen washed ashore, that of F/O Coleman on the 3rd of August, 1940.



BROWN, Russell Howard

F/S Russell Howard Brown, RNZAF NZ425444 – Navigator.
Lost without trace age 24 on the 22nd of May 1944.
Son of Russell Eric and Winifred Elizabeth Brown, of Morningside, Auckland, New Zealand.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 263.

21/05/1944 – Attack Against Duisberg
Twenty five aircraft took off to attack Duisburg, of which twenty one attacked the primary target. Three returned early with various technical failures and one failed to return (Captain NZ421803 P/O. W. Willis). Another aircraft (Captain AUS413157 P/O. A. Humphreys) was attacked by an enemy fighter and the navigator 1438903 F/Sgt. Hill, A. was injured, the aircraft also being damaged.

Lancaster Mk.III ND804 AA-K

P/O William Jarvis Willis, RNZAF NZ421803 – Pilot.
F/S Russell Howard Brown, RNZAF NZ425444 – Navigator.
F/S Alan Lister Kay, RNZAF NZ42299 – Air Bomber.
F/S Stanley Albert ‘Hank’ Hancock, RAFVR 1396104 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Donald Rimmer, RAFVR 1495443 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Allister Archibald Ferguson, RNZAF NZ425391 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William Ferguson ‘Billy’ Reid, RCAF R.178421/ J.89732 – Rear Gunner.

ND804 was lost without trace. All crew members are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.



BRUCE, John Henry

Sgt. John Henry Bruce, RAFVR 1566967 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 23 on the 17th of September 1944.
Son of Robert Alexander and Edith Eleanor Bruce, of Primrose, Jarrow.
Buried Jarrow Cemetery, County Durham, England..
Grave location – Sec. 17. Grave 61.
‘In God’s own garden
Now at rest
Peacefully sleeping
Lies one of the best’

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.III PB430 AA-P

S/L Garth Reginald Gunn, RNZAF NZ411397 – Pilot.
F/O Francis Robert Smith, RAFVR 1457442/ 153453 – Navigator.
F/O Angus Moorcroft Millar, RNZAF NZ428249 – Air Bomber.
F/L William French Morison Naismith, RAFVR 47714 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. John Henry Bruce, RAFVR 1566967 – Flight Engineer.
F/O Charles Cameron Robertson, RNZAF NZ411708 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/O Stanley Raymond Haynes, RNZAF NZ401519 – Rear Gunner.

Hit by flak(E) – 30mm shell S/L Gunn and crew, received a direct hit, which severely damaged the aircraft necessitating both starboard engines being shut down. The captain and flight engineer had difficulty in maintaining control of the aircraft returning across the Channel. A decision was made to carry out an emergency landing at RAF Hawkinge, an airfield with a short runway. The Lancaster overshot the runway and crashed. The Captain, Navigator and Air Bomber were injured, two seriously. The Flight Engineer was killed in the crash. The other three crew escaped uninjured.The pilot, S/L L G Gunn (‘B’ Flight Commander) died three days later from his injuries.



BRUHNS, Harold Henry

P/O Harold Henry Bruhns, RNZAF NZ42367 – Pilot.
Lost without trace age 22 on the 24th of February 1944.
Son of John Henry Bruhns, and of Elsie Bruhns, of Mosgiel, Otago, New Zealand.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 263.

24/02/1944 – Mining in Kiel Bay
Fifteen aircraft were detailed with a large force to lay mines of 1500 lbs in Kiel Bay, and fourteen returned after completing their mission successfully. One aircraft (Captain NZ42367 F/S. Bruhns H.) is missing, and no news was heard after take-off.

Stirling Mk.III EH948 AA-Q

F/S Harold Henry Bruhns, RNZAF NZ42367 – Pilot.
F/S Eric Arthur Wilkes, RAFVR 1575513 – Navigator.
Sgt. Laurie Licence Butler, RNZAF NZ421672 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Woolf Jack Summers, RAFVR 1395702 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. James William Harry, RAFVR 1601839 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Arthur Hertley Sawtell, RAAF AUS.417521 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Robert Ewen Hall, RAFVR 1392121 – Rear Gunner.

Little is known of the circumstances causing the loss of Stirling Mk.III EH948 AA-Q, although the body of the RAAF Air-Bomber was found washed ashore near Sønderborg, on the south coast of ALS Island, in the NW area of Kiel Bay. It thus seems likely the aircraft was brought down by AA fire from one or more Flak ships known to patrol Kiel Bay. The remaining six crew are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.



BRYER, Dennis George Albert

Sgt. Dennis George Albert Bryer, RAFVR 1874880 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 19 on the 20th of November 1944.
Son of Albert Edward Bryer, and of Dorothy Beatrice Bryer, of Grays, Essex.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – Coll. grave 7. B. 5-7.
‘As long as life
And memory last
We will remember thee’

20/11/1944 – Attack Against Homberg
Twenty eight aircraft took off to attack the Oil Refinery Plant at Homberg. Twenty two aircraft in daylight attacked the target in ten tenths cloud with tops at 23,000 ft. which made formation flying very difficult. They carried 4,000 lb and 500 lb bombs. Results of bombing could not be observed, but it is considered that the raid was unsatisfactory. One aircraft AA/J returned early owing to icing trouble and two aircraft bombed last resort targets at Duisburg and Hamborn. Three aircraft failed to return. These were captained by 185116 F/O R. Gordon, AUS419328 F/O P. McCartin and 152402 F/O H. Rees.

Lancaster Mk.III ND911 JN-V

F/O Patrick Leo McCartin, RAAF AUS.419328 – Pilot.
Sgt. John Miles, RAFVR 845847/ 187426 – Navigator.
F/O Leonard ‘Len’ Arthur Martin, RAFVR 153528 – Air Bomber.
F/S Phillip Francis Smith, RAAF AUS. 427206 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. William John Warlow, RAFVR 1653307 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Dennis George Albert Bryer, RAFVR 1874880 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Gray, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster ND911 took off from Mepal, Cambridgeshire at 12:47 hrs, as part of 3 Group with a force of 183 Lancaster’s, to bomb Homberg (Oil Refinery Plant).   Weather was stormy and many of the bomber stream were not able to maintain formation with the G-H (Radar aided aircraft) on the bombing run and the bombing was believed to have been scattered.   The force met little resistance from Luftwaffe fighters, but suffered very heavy flak.

 On the bomb run at about 15:00 hrs, the pilot was forced to lose height as the starboard outer engine failed and he decided to feather it.   The aircraft was forced to leave the formation, however at 15:15 hrs they bombed the target.   At 15:17 hrs they then received a direct hit in the port wing area from flak and is thought that the fuel tanks exploded.   The Lancaster broke up in mid-air and a very violent spin developed.   Flt Sgt Gray, the Rear Gunner, was knocked unconscious. When he came to the entire tail unit had broken away during the mid-air explosion and he was able to rotate the turret to enable him to bail out at 10,000 ft.   He stated that he saw no other parachutes during his descent. During his parachute drop at around 2,000 ft. he was shot at by German ground troops but was not hit. The rest of the crew were all killed.



BRYSON, Norman Albert

F/S Norman Albert Bryson, RNZAF NZ40859 – Rear Gunner.
Lost without trace age 26 on the 26th of July 1942.
Son of Henry Albert Bryson, and of Alice Idoline Bryson, of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 117.

26/07/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Fifteen a/c were detailed to carry out an attack against the above target. Bomb load of 34000lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs and incendiaries was dropped on target area. Numerous fires and bomb bursts were seen. A.A. fire was accurate. Seven searchlights destroyed and others damaged and one m/c gun post silenced by Well.III, X3396, captained by Sgt. Kearns. Searchlights were ineffective owing to moon. One JU88 was seen 30 miles from enemy coast but did not attack. Weather was clear over target but cloudy on route. Navigation was very good by TR and DR

Wellington Mk.III X.3714 AA-W

Sgt. Colin Valentine McPherson, RNZAF NZ404912 – Pilot.
Sgt. Stanley David Ross, RNZAF NZ41359 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Philip Charles Spittal, RNZAF NZ404420 – Observer.
Sgt. Raymond Patrick Coppersmith, RNZAF NZ391697 – Wireless Operator.
F/S Louvain Trevor Cairns, RNZAF NZ402437 – Front Gunner.
F/S Norman Albert Bryson, RNZAF NZ40859 – Rear Gunner.

The circumstances leading to the loss of Wellington Mk.III X.3714 AA-W, are unknown and it was thus recorded as ‘lost without trace’. All of the crew are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

NA Bryson



BUCKBY, Peter

Sgt. Peter Buckby, RAFVR 1156870 – Rear Gunner.
Lost without trace age 21 on the 30th of November 1941.
Son of Arthur and Harriet Wesley Buckby, of Burton Latimer, Northamptonshire.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England.
Grave location – Panel 40.

30/11/41 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Emden and Hamburg
Eleven Wellington Ic and two Wellington II aircraft were detailed from the Unit to attack the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried consisting of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Weather was clear and visibility good. A few bombs were dropped in the target area the remaining were bought back to base. Heavy, medium and light flak was encountered and a large number of searchlights were active. (Sentence illegible). One unidentified aircraft was also seen off the Frisian Islands. A convoy off Cromer fired at aircraft until colours were fired. Navigation was good. Astro and D.R. loop being used. One Wellington Ic aircraft, 1099, captained by Sgt. Harrison-Smith failed to return to base.

F/S Francis Charles Harrison-Smith, RNZAF NZ403959 – Pilot.
Sgt. Douglas Victor Sizmur, RAFVR 934205 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Daniel Mccready, RAFVR 1375023 – Observer.
Sgt. Eric Henry James Painter, RAFVR 1359501 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Brian Dominic Meagher, RAFVR 1109620 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Peter Buckby, RAFVR 1156870 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Z.1099 failed to return. It was shot down at 23:05hrs by a night fighter (Pilot; Ofw Paul Gildner, 4. /NJG1) and crashed into the Waddenzee. All members of the crew died.

P Buckby



BUCKLEY, Ross Cameron

F/S Ross Cameron Buckley, RNZAF NZ411206 – Air Bomber.
Lost without trace age 29 on the 28th of April 1943.
Son of William Joseph Buckley and of Mabel Bernice Richards Buckley (Nee Muklejohn), of Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 198.

28/04/1943 – Mining in Kiel Bay
Eight aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1500 lbs. One of these aircraft returned early owing to its compass being faulty and four failed to return. The remaining three aircraft successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area and the parachutes were seen to open. A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights was encountered which is believed to have come from an A.A. ship in the mining area. No enemy aircraft were seen. Visibility was fairly good, with scattered cloud in the mining area. Navigation was very good. Stirlings Mk.1 R9290, Sgt. A. Lewis, W.7513 – Sgt. K. Halliburton, BF.467 – P/O D. Thompson, Mk.III BK664 – P/O. D.V. Hamer, failed to return.

Stirling Mk.III BK664 AA-M

P/O Douglas Vincent Hamer, RAFVR 963403/ 141713 – Pilot.
Sgt. Desmond Ray Ross, RNZAF NZ42341 – Navigator.
Sgt. Ross Cameron Buckley, RNZAF NZ411206 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. William Leslie Fred Brian, RNZAF NZ411737 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. George Len Lennox, RAFVR 950013 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harry Pears Holme, RAFVR 1301281 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Malcolm Edward John Shogren, RNZAF NZ415375 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III BK664 AA-M was brought down by A/A fire from a Kreigsmarine (flak ship), battery MAA508, positioned between the Fehmarn-Belt and Lolland Island, in the Baltic. It crashed at 00:23hrs on the western side of Lolland Island and the crew all perished.

The bodies of both air gunners were recovered and are buried in the Svino Churchyard. All other crew are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.



BUCKLEY, Wallace Edward

P/O Wallace Edward Buckley, RNZAF NZ391379 – Observer.
Killed age 28 on the 21st of June 1942.
Son of Mr. and Mrs. Augustus Buckley, of Auckland City, New Zealand; Husband of Doreen Buckley (Nee Gale), of Streatham Park, London, England.
Buried Sage War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – 3. A. 12.

20/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Emden
Twelve a/c were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 250lbs and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area. Results were not observed. There was intense flak and searchlights were few. A JU88 attacked Well.III, X3539 without result. Weather was hazy with 5/10 cloud. Visibility very bad. Nav was good. Well.III, X3760 P/O Fraser failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III X.3760 AA-L

P/O Allen Armistice Fraser, RNZAF NZ405030 – Pilot.
P/O Wallace Edward Buckley, RNZAF NZ391379 – Navigator.
F/S Arthur Stafford Christie, RNZAF NZ402982 – .Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Clifton Robert Brailley, RNZAF NZ404587 – Front Gunner.
P/O Raymond Wickliffe John Trengrove, RNZAF NZ40927 – Rear Gunner.

Whilst the exact fate of X.3760 is not known, it is almost certain that the aircraft was shot down by a German night-fighter, crashing into the sea west of Ameland, near the Frisians. There were no survivors. The front gunner, Sgt Brailey, was lost without trace and is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. The bodies of the other four were eventually washed ashore and are buried near where they were found.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/wallace-edward-buckley © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/wallace-edward-buckley © New Zealand War Graves Project



BUDGE, William Finlay

P/O William Finlay Budge, RNZAF NZ41977 – 2nd Pilot.
Killed age 24 on the 6th of April 1942.
Son of John Budge and of Elizabeth Budge (Nee Finlay), of Auckland City, New Zealand.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 1. D. 6-18.

05/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against Targets Cologne
Nine Wellington Aircraft from this unit were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, and 250lbs and 4lb incendiaries was dropped but results were not observed. There was intense heavy flak and many searchlights were active but ineffective owing to the bright moonlight. One Ju.88 aircraft was seen near the target and Wellington III X3705 was attacked by a Me.110 near Liege without result. Weather was good and navigation by TR1335 and D.R was also good. One aircraft did not carry out it’s mission and two are missing. Wellington III X3489, captained by W/Cdr Sawrey Cookson the C.O. of the squadron, and Wellington III X3661 captained by F/S Thomas.

Wellington Mk.III X.3489 AA-P

W/C Reginald Sawrey-Cookson, RAFVR 39574 – Pilot.
P/O William Finlay Budge, RNZAF NZ41977 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Ronald Harry Emery, RAFVR 922974 – Observer.
Sgt. Edwin Hainsworth, RAFVR 1360695 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Donald Percival Stock, RNZAF 1157823 – Front Gunner.
F/O George Eric Mitchell, RCAF R.74313/ J.15022 – Rear Gunner.

The aircraft was brought down by flak over the target, crashing into the city center where its bomb load exploded (see excerpt of the raid above). The bodies of all crew members were recovered and initially buried in the English Military Cemetery, south Cologne, then later reinterred in the Rheinberg War Cemetery.

Further casualties occurred among a crowd of people watching a burning bomber (probably a Wellington) crashing in the middle of Cologne as its bomb load exploded, killing 16 people and injuring 30 more.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/william-finlay-budge © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/william-finlay-budge © New Zealand War Graves Project



BURBIDGE, Kenneth Alfred

F/S Kenneth Alfred Burbidge, RNZAF NZ412200 – Pilot.
Killed age 22 on the 23rd of June 1943.
Son of Alfred William and Alice Jessie Burbidge, of Byfleet, Surrey, England.
Buried Markelo General Cemetery, Holland.     .
Grave location – Plot 4. Row C. Grave 13.

22/06/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Mannheim (actually Mülheim)
Fifteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lbs and 4lbs. Four aircraft failed to return and the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Large concentrated fires and some explosions were seen the whole RUHR area was smoke palled. A very heavy A.A. barrage co-operating with searchlights was encountered and five aircraft were slightly hit by A.A. fire, some enemy aircraft were seen and three short combats took place, but no damage was sustained by our aircraft. There was 3/10ths cloud on the target area but visibility was fairly good, except for smoke haze. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirling Mk.I EF399 captained by F/S Burbidge, Mk.III EF408 captained by Sgt. Wood, MK.III BK810 captained by W/O McKenzie and Mk.III EH889 captained by F/O McCrorie.

Stirling Mk.I EF399 AA-O

F/S Kenneth Alfred Burbidge, RNZAF NZ412200 – Pilot.
Sgt. Walter Frederick Wilcockson, RNZAF NZ42314 – Navigator.
Sgt. Andrew James McEwen, RNZAF NZ417077 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Donald Ernest Martin, RNZAF NZ413872 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. George Lockey, RAFVR 1142645 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Gibson Cameron, RAFVR 1304742 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Kenneth Fazackerley Shaw, RAFVR 1132866 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.I EF399 AA-O was last heard from at 02:25hrs on a W/T message indicating the aircraft had been badly damaged by AA fire. Soon after, the Stirling was engaged by a night-fighter (Hptm Egmont Prinz zur LippeWeissendfeld, III./NJG1) and shot down at 02:47hrs near Markelo (Overjissel) 12 miles South West of Hengelo, Holland. All the deceased crew were buried in Markelo General Cemetery.

SONY DSC



BURBRIDGE, Eric James

Sgt. Eric James Burbridge, RAFVR 1392526 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 21 on the 16th of December 1942.
Son of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Burbridge; Husband of Freda Joan Burbridge, of Streatham.
Buried Wandsworth and Streatham Cemetery, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Block 12. Grave 300.
‘In everlasting memory
Of my dearest husband Eric
For ever in my thoughts’

16/12/1942 – Operations. Gardening off Bordeaux
Nine aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with 1500lb. vegetables. The take-off was rather cross wind and unfortunately during take-off the wind backed severely so that the flare path was dead cross wind. Three aircraft swung violently on take-off. Then Sergeant Franklin tried to take-off in Stirling I, R9245, it swung as violently as the other aircraft, but went on, straightened and got airborne, only to crash a mile away from the aerodrome. Two mines exploded and all of the crew were killed. It later transpired that the starboard under carriage carried away the oil tank to the starboard inner engine and this is presumed to have seized, causing the aircraft to spin into the ground. No other aircraft took off after this. The three aircraft who successfully took off all planted their vegetables in the allotted area. Some light tracer and a few searchlights were encountered, no enemy aircraft were seen. The weather was variable with heavy rain and hail storms over the garden area, but clear generally. Navigation was good.

Stirling Mk.I R.9245 AA-?

Sgt. Benjamin Allan Franklin, RNZAF NZ414277 – Pilot.
Sgt William Henry Whitcombe, RNZAF NZ41561 – Navigator.
Sgt. Edgar William Harvey, RNZAF NZ41902 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Harold Rangi Welch, RNZAF NZ41709 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Joseph Lawrence, RCAF R.70294 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Eric James Burbridge, RAFVR 1392526 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Tom Pascoe, RAFVR 1308491 – Rear Gunner.

During take-off at 21:45hrs, three aircraft swung badly but this was promptly rectified and they became airborne. Then R9245 (Sgt Franklin) experienced similar wind effect causing it to swing dangerously, but Franklin kept power on to counter it and continued the take-off attempt. The aircraft became airborne briefly but crashed a mile away from the airfield. Two mines exploded and all the crew were killed. It was later established that the starboard undercarriage had hit Devil’s Dyke (a mound around the perimeter) and broke off the oil tank to the starboard inner engine, causing it to seize.



BURKE, Edgar Lawrence

P/O Edgar Lawrence Burke, RNZAF NZ417016 – Pilot.
Killed age 26 on the 23rd of May 1944.
Son of Charles Augustine and Tillie May Burke, of Manaia, Taranaki, New Zealand.
Buried Heverlee War Cemetery, Belgium..
Grave location – 6. C. 2. 178

22/05/1944 – Attack Against Dortmund
Twenty three aircraft were detailed to attack Dortmund of which eighteen completed their mission successfully. Three aircraft returned early and two failed to return (Captains NZ417016 P/O. E. Burke and NZ42354 P/O. C. Armstrong). The raid was well concentrated and carried out in good weather with excellent visibility. One aircraft had an inconclusive combat with a JU 88. Otherwise the operation was uneventful.

Lancaster Mk.I ME690 AA-Z

P/O Edgar Lawrence Burke, RNZAF NZ417016 – Pilot.
F/O John Wallace Downing, RAFVR 136351 – Navigator.
W/O Frank Albert Page, RAAF AUS.409481 – Air Bomber.
F/S Alan Stevens Bromley, RAFVR 1247614 – Wireless Operator .
F/S Walter Pickering, RAFVR 1434290 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. James Henry Cooper, RAFVR 1308375 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Donald Cameron Kitchener Grant, RAFVR 527237 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:49 – Landed –
Flight Time Missing

Lancaster Mk.I ME690 AA-Z was shot down by a night-fighter and crashed at Neerpelt (Limburg) 5miles from Lommel, Belgium, after breaking up in flight. There were no survivors. Their remains were reinterred in Heverlee War Cemetery, near Louvain.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/edgar-lawrence-burke © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/edgar-lawrence-burke © New Zealand War Graves Project



BURRILL, Frank

F/S Frank Burrill, RCAF 95221 – Pilot.
Lost without trace age 20 on the 10th of September 1942.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England.
Grave location – Panel 103.

10/09/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Dusseldorf
Thirteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4,000 lb. and incendiaries were dropped in target area, Wellington X.3747 captained by Sgt. Rousseau and Wellington BJ.837 captained by P/O Jacobson were forced to return to base before reaching target area. owing to aircraft failures. Large fires were seen, a few dummy fires were also seen near target. Light and heavy A.A. fire was encountered, particularly in searchlight cones, which covered a large area. The weather was good, slight haze at target area. Navigation was by D.R. and T.R. Wellington BJ.828 captained by Sergt. Lees, Wellington BJ.968 captained by Sgt. Burrill and Wellington BJ.974 captained by Sergt. Metcalf, failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III BJ.968 AA-W

Sgt. Frank Burrill, RCAF R.97521 – Pilot.
P/O Randolph Cruickshank Smart, RNZAF NZ411006 – Observer.
Sgt. Michael Bertram St. Louis, RCAF R.69204 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Wilfred Henry Lavers, RAFVR R.83468 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Ralph Ernest Gorman, RCAF R.93025 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Mk.III BJ.968 AA-W was lost without trace. All five crew are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

F Burrill



BURTON, Clarence Sydney

Sgt. Clarence Sydney Burton, RNZAF NZ414493 – Rear Gunner.
Lost without trace age 22 on the 3rd of March 1943
Son of Christopher Burton, and of Bertha Burton, of Wanganui, Wellington, New Zealand.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 199.

03/03/1943 – Mining off the Frisian Islands
Three aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operations, with mines of 1500 lb. Two of the aircraft successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area, the other aircraft failed to return. No A.A. fire or searchlights were encountered. Sergt. French the Captain of Stirling 1 BF398, met a JU88 on the homeward journey, after a short exchange of firing the enemy aircraft disappeared. The weather was very clear and visibility was good. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling 1 N6123, captained by Sgt. R.C.Going.

Stirling Mk.I N6123 AA-Q

Sgt. Raymond Cyril Going, RNZAF NZ414278 – Pilot.
Sgt. Arthur Mervyn Bridgman, RNZAF NZ41866 – Navigator.
Sgt. Frederick Arthur William Willis, RAFVR 1382215 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Kenneth Cedric Eyre, RAFVR 1071970 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Emrys Herbert Weaver, RAFVR 1409013 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Francis Barkhouse Stewart, RAFVR 547841 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Clarence Sydney Burton, RNZAF NZ414493 – Rear Gunner.

The crew took off from Newmarket to lay mines off the Frisian Islands, off the coast of Denmark, part of the Squadron’s continuing efforts to disrupt German shipping. Mine-laying operations were often given to rookie crews as they were considered slightly less dangerous. Bomber Command code-named all the waterways after vegetables or fruit, hence these Op’s became known as “gardening”. On their very first operation, the Going crew was lost without trace.



BURTT, Henry John

F/O Henry John Burtt, RNZAF NZ414560 – Pilot.
Killed age 31 on the 21st of July 1944.
Son of Albert John and Edith Jessie Burtt, of Durie Hill, Wanganui, Wellington, New Zealand.
Buried Tilburg (Gilzerbaan) General Cemetery, Holland.     .
Grave location – Plot B. Row 2. Grave 58.

20/07/1944 – Attack Against Homberg
Twenty six aircraft took off, as detailed, to attack the oil refinery at Homberg. Nineteen aircraft were successful in bombing the target, with the aid of markers, which seemed well concentrated. Two good explosions were seen and smoke came up from the target area. Heavy A.A. fire was moderate, but fighters were very active, eight combats taking place. Seven aircraft failed to return, the captains were AUS22776 W/O. Gilmour, H., NZ428819 F/S. Howell, E., NZ421829 F/S. Mackay, K., NZ422057 F/S. Davidson, N., NZ42488 W/O. Whittington, H., NZ413219 F/S. Roche, G. & NZ414560 P/O. Burtt, H.

Lancaster Mk.III ND752 AA-O

P/O Henry John Burtt, RNZAF NZ414560 – Pilot.
F/S Vivian Connell, RAAF AUS.424158 – Navigator.
W/O Herbert John Wellington Coedy, RCAF R.130143 J.96491 – Air Bomber.
W/O Gottfred Lyall Gillan, RNZAF NZ42324 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Vernon Charles Cornish, RAFVR 1609419 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Walter Frederick Carter, RAFVR 1543208 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Arthur Levy, RAFVR 1893404 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.III ND752 AA-O was attacked by an enemy aircraft at 01:40hrs and brought down close to Udenhout (Noord-Brabant) and a mile North of Tilburg. Five of the crew died but two survived and were captured as POW’s. The dead were buried in the Gilzerbaan General Cemetery.



BUTLER, Laurie Licence

F/S Laurie Licence Butler, RNZAF NZ421672 – Air Bomber.
Lost without trace age 22 on the 24th of February 1944.
Son of William Francis and Gertrude Clara Butler, of Takapuna, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 263.

24/02/1944 – Mining in Kiel Bay
Fifteen aircraft were detailed with a large force to lay mines of 1500 lbs in Kiel Bay, and fourteen returned after completing their mission successfully. One aircraft (Captain NZ42367 F/S. Bruhns H.) is missing, and no news was heard after take-off.

Stirling Mk.III EH948 AA-Q

F/S Harold Henry Bruhns, RNZAF NZ42367 – Pilot.
F/S Eric Arthur Wilkes, RAFVR 1575513 – Navigator.
Sgt. Laurie Licence Butler, RNZAF NZ421672 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Woolf Jack Summers, RAFVR 1395702 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. James William Harry, RAFVR 1601839 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Arthur Hertley Sawtell, RAAF AUS.417521 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Robert Ewen Hall, RAFVR 1392121 – Rear Gunner.

Little is known of the circumstances causing the loss of Stirling Mk.III EH948 AA-Q, although the body of the RAAF Air-Bomber was found washed ashore near Sønderborg, on the south coast of ALS Island, in the NW area of Kiel Bay. It thus seems likely the aircraft was brought down by AA fire from one or more Flak ships known to patrol Kiel Bay. The remaining six crew are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.



BUTLER, Patrick Frederick

Sgt. Patrick Frederick Butler, RAFVR 1384944 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 21 on the 23rd of April 1944.
Buried Aabenraa Cemetery, Denmark.
Grave location – Allied Mil. Plot.
Row 4. 1.

23/04/1944 – Mining in Kiel Bay
Five Stirlings were detailed for mine laying in Kiel Bay. Three of the aircraft successfully dropped twelve mines. One aircraft returned early and another failed to return (Captain NZ421728 F/S. Lammas, M.)

Stirling Mk.III EF137 AA-E

F/S Manson Lammas, NZ421728 – Pilot.
F/S Douglas William Vaughn, RNZAF NZ429046 – Navigator.
F/S Robert Bailey, RNZAF NZ429072 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. William Frederick Harrison, RAFVR 1396448 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Edwin Henry Thomas, RAFVR 1811856 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Patrick Frederick Butler, RAFVR 1384944 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ivor Larson, RCAF R.192316 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EF137 AA-E was shot down by a night-fighter at 23:15hrs over Denmark, crashing in flames near Vemmenaes, East South East of Lundby on Tasinge Island. The aircraft broke up on impact and came to rest in shallow waters, where the bodies of all seven crew were recovered and later buried in Åbenrå cemetery.

BUTLER, Patrick Frederick 



BUTT, Raymond George

Sgt. Raymond George Butt, RAFVR 930644 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 20 on the 12th of October 1941.
Son of George and Maud Butt, of Hirwaun, Glamorgan.
Buried Dinant (Citadelle) Military Cemetery, Belgium.
Grave location – Grave 7.
‘At the going down
Of the sun
And in the morning
We will always remember him’

12/10/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Bremen and Nurenburg
Nine Wellington aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out these attacks. One of these aircraft, X9981 captained by S/Ldr Chamberlain, failed to return to base. Wellington IC X9975, captained by P/O Fisher returned to base owing to over heating of an engine. Direct hits were observed on the docks at Ostend and large fires were started which were visible for 90 miles. Incendiary bombs were dropped on a large factory and fires left burning. Other machines were dropping loads within 50 mile radius. A.A. fire was nil at primary, but there was a heavy flak after dropping bombs on Ostend. Searchlights were active to the East and West of target area. Weather was good.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9981 AA-?

S/L Paul Burton Chamberlain, RAFVR 33229 – Pilot.
Sgt. Douglas Cecil Holley     , RAFVR 1190121 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Joseph Allan Robinson, RCAF J.5684 – Observer.
Sgt. Raymond George Butt, RAFVR 930644 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Francis Edward Austin, RAFVR 1262243 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. John Richard Ashley, RAFVR 908768 – Rear Gunner.

Little is known of the circumstances, although it seems likely they were the victims of an enemy night-fighter, since four other aircraft from 57, 76, 77, and 102 squadrons, were shot down in the same area that night. X9981 came down near Dinant (Namur), Belgium, with no survivors. All these crew members were buried in the Military Cemetery.



BUZZA, Reginald Ernest

Sgt. Reginald Ernest Buzza, RAFVR 2203174 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 24 on the 21st of July 1944.
Son of Ernest and Margaret Buzza; husband of Dorothy Joan Buzza, of Hale, Cheshire.
Buried Eindhoven (Woensel) General Cemetery, Holland.     .
Grave location – Plot KK. Grave 112. 95
‘Rest in Peace’

20/07/1944 – Attack Against Homberg
Twenty six aircraft took off, as detailed, to attack the oil refinery at Homberg. Nineteen aircraft were successful in bombing the target, with the aid of markers, which seemed well concentrated. Two good explosions were seen and smoke came up from the target area. Heavy A.A. fire was moderate, but fighters were very active, eight combats taking place. Seven aircraft failed to return, the captains were AUS22776 W/O. Gilmour, H., NZ428819 F/S. Howell, E., NZ421829 F/S. Mackay, K., NZ422057 F/S. Davidson, N., NZ42488 W/O. Whittington, H., NZ413219 F/S. Roche, G. & NZ414560 P/O. Burtt, H.

Lancaster Mk.III ND915 AA-A

W/O Hugh Edward Gilmour, RAAF AUS.22776 – Pilot.
W/O Lindsay Arthur Woodward, RAAF AUS.417257 – Navigator.
F/S Samuel Mills, RAAF AUS.425036 – Air Bomber.
F/S John Edward Osborne, RAAF AUS.417877 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Reginald Ernest Buzza, RAFVR 2203174 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. W.J.S. Ballard, RAFVR 1853215 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Leonard Stephenson, RAFVR 2202048 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.III ND915 AA-A was brought down by an enemy night-fighter at 01:35hrs between Keldost (Noord-Brabant) and Erp, 3 miles South East of Veghel. Five of the seven crew died and two, the Navigator and Mid Upper Gunner, escaped uninjured  to be taken as Prisoners of War.

The RAF Rear Gunner, Sgt Stevenson, at 18 years of age was one of the youngest airmen killed while flying with Bomber Command during 1944.



BYRNE, Martin John

F/S Martin John Byrne, RNZAF NZ404529 – Observer.
Killed age 32 on the 29th of July 1942.
Son of John and Florence Byrne, of Cambridge, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery, Holland.
Grave location – Plot 69. Row E. Grave 18.

28/07/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Seventeen a/c were detailed to carry out an attack on the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 30lb and 4lb incendiaries was dropped in target area and bursts were seen in dock area. A.A. fire was very accurate, light and heavy predicted. There were many accurate searchlight cones in parts but clear over target. Navigation was good by TR and DR. Six a/c failed to return to base

Wellington Mk.III BJ.661 AA-X

Sgt. John Edward Gilbertson, RNZAF NZ41894 – Pilot.
Sgt. Martin John Byrne, RNZAF NZ404529 – Observer.
Sgt. Ronald Patrick Callaghan, RNZAF NZ411739 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Alan Walter Rutherford, RNZAF NZ404572 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. William Arthur Titcomb, RAFVR 1291758 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Mk.III BJ.661 AA-X was shot down by a German Ju 88 night-fighter at 03:05hrs into the Ijsselmeer, near Amsterdam, while on its way home following the Hamburg raid. The Ju 88 crew of two was Lieutenant Wilfgang Kuthe and his gunner, Unteroffizier Helmut Bonk.

Only Callahan the W/op, and Rutherford the nose gunner, survived the crash and floated free, supported by their life vests. They were later rescued and sent to a POW camp.

The bodies of the captain and navigator were recovered from the wreck and buried in Amsterdam. The rear gunner’s body floated free and was recovered later some distance from the crash site and buried at Harderwijk.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/martin-john-byrne © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/martin-john-byrne © New Zealand War Graves Project

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