BK783

 

Date Target Notes Code Pilot Duration
1 21/05/43 Mining off the Frisian Islands AA-Q Sgt. Thornley 04:15
2 23/05/43 Dortmund AA-Q Sgt. Tietjens Missing
Total Op hours 4:15

 

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.

Take Off 23:15 – Landed –
Flight Time – Missing

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.

Sgt. Stephen Muir Tietjens, RNZAF NZ415640 – Pilot.
Killed age 26.
Son of John Christopher and Margaret Bremner Tietjens, of Auckland City, New Zealand.
Buried Beesd General Cemetery, Holland..
Grave location – Coll. grave 1-2.

Sgt. George Watson Turnbull, RNZAF NZ421342 – Navigator.
Killed age 24.
Son of Charles Le Masurier Turnbull and of Myrtle Victoria Turnbull (Nee Dement), of Wellington City, New Zealand.
Buried Beesd General Cemetery, Holland..
Grave location – Coll. grave 1-2.

Sgt. Frederick John Leigh Joblin, RNZAF NZ417063 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 25.
Son of Frederick Leigh Joblin and Ivy Joblin, of Morere, Poverty Bay, New Zealand; Husband of Mary Esther Joblin, of Gisborne, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Beesd General Cemetery, Holland..
Grave location – Coll. grave 1-2.

Sgt. Ronald Bell, RAFVR 1077692 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 22.
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’

Sgt. Stanley John Wayman, RAFVR 1391814 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 21.
Son of Henry and Emily Wayman, of Brixton, London.
Buried Beesd General Cemetery, Holland..
Grave location – Coll. grave 1-2.
‘To all, peace.
Dad Wayman and family’

Sgt. Derrick George Amos Storey, RAFVR 1809725 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 19.
Son of Mr. and Mrs. E. E. Storey, of Clapham, London.
Buried Beesd General Cemetery, Holland..
Grave location – Coll. grave 1-2.
‘All you had, you gave
To save mankind – yourselves
You scorned to save Mum’

Sgt. Leslie R. Vale, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.
P.o.W
Prisoner of War Number: 272
Prison Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft VI and 357
Date of return to United Kingdom: not known