BK721

 

Date Target Notes Code Pilot Duration
1 04/05/43 Attack Against Targets at Dortmund AA-Z F/L Appleton 04:54
2 12/05/43 Attack Against Targets at Duisburg AA-Z F/L Appleton Crashed
Total Op hours 4:54

 

12/05/1943 – Attack Against Targets At Duisburg
Nine aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 2000lb, 1000lb and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb. Stirling Mk.III. BK.721 captained by F/Lt. E.R.M. Appleton, whilst taking off failed to clear an obstruction at the end of the runway and crashed almost immediately afterwards, all the crew with the exception of the captain and the wireless operator, F/Sgt. Cocks, S.G. were killed. The captain received severe injuries and the wireless was also injured, both were admitted to hospital. As a result of this crash two aircraft were unable to take-off. One aircraft returned early owing to the Captain being sick. The remaining five aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area, and large concentrated fires and some explosions were seen. Some heavy A.A.Fire, co-operating with searchlights was encountered, but it was ineffective. A few enemy aircraft were seen but no combats took place. The weather was very clear in the target area with good visibility except for ground haze which prevented identification. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.III BK721 AA-Z

F/L Edward Robert Myddleton Appleton, RAF 42475 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Frederick Harvey, RNZAF NZ416483 – 2nd Pilot.
F/O John Johnston, RNZAF NZ416198 – Navigator.
P/O Selwyn James Clubb, RNZAF NZ414593 – Air Bomber.
F/S Stanley Gordon Cocks, RNZAF NZ404624 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. James Samuel Andrews, RAFVR 634968 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Bernard Arthur Riley Moore, RAFVR 1106308 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Joseph Wykes, RAFVR 1127228 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:37 – Landed –
Flight Time Crashed

Stirling Mk.III BK721 AA-Z crashed after take-off from Newmarket airfield at 00:37hrs following a failure of the starboard inner engine and collision with Devils Dyke. All but the Captain and W/Op were killed in the crash and are buried in the Newmarket cemetery.

S/Ldr. Edward Robert Myddleton Appleton, RAF 42475 – Pilot.
Seriously injured

Sgt. Robert Frederick Harvey, RNZAF NZ416483 – 2nd Pilot.
Killed age 23.
Son of James and Elizabeth Harvey, of Tauranga, Auckland, New Zealand; Husband of Marjorie Enid Harvey.
Buried Newmarket Cemetery, Suffolk, England..
Grave location – Plot P. Grave 414.

F/O John Johnston, RNZAF NZ416198 – Navigator.
Killed age 28.
Son of John Robert and Alice May Johnston, of Auckland City, New Zealand; Husband of Agnes Gibson Johnston, of Auckland City.
Buried Newmarket Cemetery, Suffolk, England..
Grave location – Plot P. Grave 445.

F/O Selwyn James Clubb, RNZAF NZ414593 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 20.
Son of Frederick and Winifred Clubb, of Taita, Wellington, New Zealand.
Buried Newmarket Cemetery, Suffolk, England..
Grave location – Plot P. Grave 430.

F/S Stanley Gordon Cocks, RNZAF NZ404624 – Wireless Operator.
Injured

Sgt. James Samuel Andrews, RAF 634968 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 23.
Son of James and Ethel andrews, of Bramley.
Buried Guilford Cemetery, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Old portion. Grave 985.
‘Always so thoughtful
Unselfish and kind
A beautiful memory Left behind’

Sgt. Bernard Arthur Riley Moore, RAFVR 1106308 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 25.
Son of William and Mary Ann Moore, of Cheltenham.
Buried Cheltenham Cemetery, Gloucestershire, England..
Grave location – Sec. D1. Grave 1425.
‘At the going down
Of the sun
And in the morning
We will remember them’

Sgt. Joseph Wykes, RAFVR 1127228 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 22.
Son of Joseph and Elizabeth Wykes; Husband of Florence Wykes, of Welwyn, Hertfordshire.
Buried Dalbeattie Cemetery, Urr, Kirkcubrightshire, Scotland..
Grave location – Grave 879-880.