C

CAIRNS, Louvain Trevor

F/S Louvain Trevor Cairns, RNZAF NZ402437 – Front Gunner.
Lost without trace age 25 on the 26th of July 1942.
Son of Robert Cairns and of Elizabeth Cairns (Nee Latimer), of St. Albans, 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.

LT Cairns


CAITCHEON, Gordon Edwin

Sgt. Gordon Edwin Caitcheon, RNZAF NZ404016 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 28 on the 29th of July 1942.
Son of William Gordon Caitcheon and of Ivy May Caitcheon (Nee Beresford), of Morrinsville, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Becklingen War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – Coll. grave 14. F. 12-14.

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/gordon-edwin-caitcheon © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/gordon-edwin-caitcheon © New Zealand War Graves Project


CALLAN, John Patrick

Sgt. John Patrick Callan, RAFVR 1777282 – Flight Engineer.
Lost without trace age 22 on the 30th of August 1944.
Son of John and Annie Callan, of Gateshead, Co. Durham.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 226.

29/08/1944 – Attack Against Stettin
Fourteen aircraft took off as detailed to attack Stettin and thirteen of these successfully bombed the target with the aid of markers. A good concentration of fires developed and all crews reported a successful raid. A.A. opposition was moderate and enemy fighters were active on the outward route. Three of our aircraft had combats, two being inconclusive but the third (Captain NZ428797 .P/O. J. Scott) claimed one enemy aircraft as probably destroyed. The aircraft captained by 1323677 .F/S. King, D., failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I HK594 AA-G

F/S Douglas Arthur Severn King, RAFVR 1323677/ 183954 – Pilot.
F/S Walter Davis Watson, RNZAF NZ428918 – Navigator.
F/S John Fitzgerald, RNZAF NZ424777 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Charles Burton Hill, RAFVR 1372387 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. John Patrick Callan, RAFVR 1777282 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Derrick Leonard Desmond Moon, RAFVR 1626105 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Herbert William Causley, RAFVR 1199994 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I HK594 AA-G was attacked by a night-fighter at 6,500ft while flying on a South East heading over the Swedish coastline, tracking toward Stettin. Cannon shells shattered the tail and rear turret, killing the gunner instantly. The pilot ordered the crew to bale out when the aircraft became uncontrollable and five of them came down in the Baltic but failed to survive. King left the aircraft shortly after and parachuted down not far from Tollarp Village, while the Lancaster plunged into the ground near Svenskop Village, all its bombs exploding on impact causing substantial damage throughout the neighbourhood. A badly injured F/S King was interrogated by the Swedish Military and later interned at Koranas until being repatriated on 10 October 44. Two bodies from the crew were later found in the water and the rear gunner was still in the aircraft wreckage. They were buried at the Hälsingborg (Palsjo) Municipal Cemetery. The remaining crew members were never found and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial

F/Sgt King and his crew had managed to survive the German air defence ordeal over Denmark, Kattegat and the crossing of Swedish defences They were flying at 6500 ft on a south-easterly dog-leg over Sweden down to Bornholm, which was the turning point en-route to Stettin.
When passing over the Swedish coastline the aircraft was suddenly hit by cannon- shells. The rear gunner was probably killed outright in this attack. The damage sustained by the aircraft was so serious that the pilot gave the order to bale out. Due to the damaged tail-plane the Lancaster was difficult to control. F/Sgt King tried to turn back so that the crew would be overland and therefore had a greater chance of survival when baling out. Witnesses on the ground, including military personnel saw the bomber being attacked by a night fighter and making a wide turn inland. During this turn five of the crew and drifted down into the Baltic. F/Sgt King left the Lancaster and came down not far from Tollarp village. The Lancaster took the final plunge between two farms north of Svenskop village not more than eighty yards from the nearest house. The crash caused a large explosion as its bomb load went off, which smashed all the windows in the neighbourhood. An adjacent house had all the doors and the roof torn off. F/S King was found by the local Home Guard and he told them that the crew had comprised seven men. A search was started which went on all through the next two days. Sgt. Moon and Hill were found dead in the water outside Ahüs in the morning of Thursday the 30th. The body of Sgt. Causley was found inside the wrecked bomber. No trace of the rest of the crew has ever been found. On being questioned by a Swedish Air Force officer F/S King told the officer that the aircraft must have flown over Sweden due to a navigational error. The Swedish officer commented in his report that F/S King, judging from other remarks he made, must have known that he was crossing Sweden. King gave the officer a few details concerning the attack, he mentioned that the control surfaces in the tail had been severely damaged. This made control of the aircraft very difficult and explained the wide separation of the crew members found. Subsequently a fire had broken had broken out. The crew did not see the German night-fighter. After a couple of nights rest King was sent north by train passing the British Embassy on his way to Falun. He was interned at Korsnas where he arrived on 6th September and stayed in internment until being repatriated on 10th October.


CALLOW, Horace

F/O Horace Callow, RNZAF NZ427185 – Navigator.
Killed age 27 on the 21st of July 1944.
Son of William Brideson Callow and Matilda Callow, of Brooklyn, Wellington, New Zealand.
Buried Jonkerbos War Cemetery, Nijmegen, Holland.
Grave location – 12. J. 2.

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.

Sgt Armstrong, the RAF flight engineer, at 40 years of age was one of the oldest airmen killed on Bomber Command operations during 1944.

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

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/horace-callow © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/horace-callow © New Zealand War Graves Project



CAMERON, Edward Colin Joseph

P/O Edward Colin Joseph Cameron, RAF 36237 – 2nd Pilot.
Killed age 19 on the 20th of July 1940.
Son of Alan Banks Cameron and Alice Amelia Cameron, of Waihi, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 21. F. 1.

20/07/1940 – Bombing Attacks on Targets A.70 and A.71
Nine aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out individual attacks on targets above. The Squadron suffered its second loss, since the beginning of Operations in March 1940, when CB.650 (F/O. Watson, Captain) failed to return.

CB.639 reports, two attacks, consisting of two sticks of 5 bombs each were dropped over the target at 00.33 hours. Height 5,000 feet. Previously to this another aircraft had dropped incendiaries in same area. Fires and explosions from other aircraft’s bombs, on target, but few from incendiaries which dropped little to West of actual area. EINDHAVEN flare path bombed with stick of 3 – 250lbs. bombs at 22.35 hours by CB.640. Flare path extinguished and remained so. Target A.70 located and bombed at 00.25hrs. Bursts observed and fires observed to break out and gradually increased.

CB.641 reports, being unable to identify target, bombs were dropped from 9,500ft in one stick on railway junction at KAMEN. Last two bombs observed to burst in railway yards.

CB.648 located target after waiting for cloud to disperse and doing several dummy runs. Believed bombed successfully as four bursts observed on N.E. corner of works and fires started across railway line.

CB.649 reports, the incendiaries seen to burst on Southern extremity of target. The 250lbs bombs were not observed owing to cloud over target.

Level attack from 10,800ft made by CB.651 from N.E. to S.W. on target A.71. Three hits obtained on N side of target, remaining bombs appeared to undershoot. Several small fires started followed by minor explosions.

A high level attack carried out from 14,000ft by CB.652. One large flash observed and number of small fires. One red and two green.

CB.653 reports, the target located without difficulty, being made so by light of moon and excellent landmarks. Bombed from 11,000ft in one stick on straight run over target. Results unobserved.

Balloons seen up to 14,000 feet in many towns over RUHR. Heavy flak experienced over WESEL and all target areas, accurate for height etc./ Searchlights over whole area.

Three H.E. 113’s attacked CB639 over WESEL. (i) above and astern (ii)Starboard qtr and below. (iii) below and astern. No.(ii) shot down in flames, No. 3 assumed disabled. No.1 attacked 3 times afterwards.

Weather fair, visibility good, throughout whole of journey. Navigation by D/R, visual fixes and homing bearings. The moon was quite advantageous in helping to locate the target.

Wellington Mk.1c R.3165 AA-L
Raid No. CB.650 A.70

F/O Samuel Miles Mackenzie Watson, RAF 77026 – Pilot.
P/O Edward Colin Joseph Cameron, RAF 36237 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Gordon Murray Cumming, RAFVR 743076 – Observer.
F/S Ronald Alexander John Anderson, RNZAF NZ36139 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. John Lewis Owen, RNZAF NZ391332 – Rear Gunner .

There is no record, regarding the details of the loss of Wellington Mk. 1c R.3165 AA-L. The aircraft came down near Weseke, approximately 40 miles North North West of Horst airfield, near Gelsenkirchen. Other crews on the Op noted the presence of three Me.109’s, seen in the moonlight over the target area. Thus, it would be reasonable to conjecturise that the Watson crew succumbed to at least one of these aircraft.



CAMERON, Gibson

Sgt. Gibson Cameron, RAFVR 1304742 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 23 on the 23rd of July 1943.
Son of David B. and Margaret R. Cameron, of Perth.
Buried Markelo General Cemetery, Holland.     .
Grave location – Plot 4. Row C. Joint grave 11-12.
‘The eternal God
Is our refuge,
And underneath
Are the everlasting arms’

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



CAMERON, Leslie Charles

Sgt. Leslie Charles Cameron, RAFVR 971743 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 23 on the 17th of April 1943.
Son of Alan and Margaret Cameron; Husband of Jeanie Cameron, of Glasgow.
Buried Choloy War Cemetery, France..
Grave location – 2. A. 8.
‘Lord God of hosts,
Be with us yet,
Lest we forget –
Lest we forget!’

16/04/1943 – 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 BF451 AA-Z

P/O Kelvin Havelock Green Groves, RNZAF NZ415819 – Pilot.
Sgt. James Oscar Way, RCAF R.102353 – 2nd Pilot
Sgt. Tom Graham Shergold, RAFVR 1149715 – Navigator.
Sgt. Richard Fleury Wanstall, RAFVR 656462 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Rodney Leslie Pierson, RAFVR 1376120 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Leslie Charles Cameron, RAFVR 971743 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Ronald Charles Stone, RNZAF NZ413281 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Leslie Leonard Everden, RAFVR 1187983 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.I BF451 AA-Z was considered to have been shot down by a night-fighter between Rilly-la- Montange and Chigny-les-Roses (Marne), 6 miles South of Rheims. None of the crew survived. They were laid to rest in Reims, then after the city became liberated by U S Forces in 1944, their bodies were taken to Antilly. After September 1944, their remains were exhumed and transferred to the Choloy War Cemetery, 145 miles south of Rheims.



CAMPBELL, Alan

F/S Alan Campbell, RNZAF NZ391857 – Front Gunner.
Killed age 22 on the 29th of July 1942.
Son of John and Mary Hannah Campbell, of Hawera, Taranaki, 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, RNZAF 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/alan-campbell © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/alan-campbell © New Zealand War Graves Project



CANT, Leslie Ronald

Sgt. Leslie Ronald Cant, RAFVR 1397680 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 20 on the 24th of June 1943.
Son of William Charles and Mary Ann Cant, of Bermondsey, London.
Buried Flushing (Vlissingen) Northern Cemetery, Holland.
Grave location – Row F. Grave 7.

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.



CARDOO, Alexander Rodger

Sgt. Alexander Rodger Cardoo, RAFVR 1522196 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 20 on the 30th of May 1943.
Son of William and Elizabeth Cardoo, of Rutherglen, Lanarkshire.
Buried Jonkerbos War Cemetery, Nijmegen, Holland.     .
Grave location – 24. B. 1.
‘So he passed over
And all the tumpets
Sounded for him
On the other side’

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.



CAREY, John Henry Roy

F/S John Henry Roy Carey, RNZAF NZ414242 – Pilot.
Killed age 27 on the 30th of May 1943
Son of Thomas Carey and of Ivy Carey (Nee Dimmick), of Westport, Nelson, New Zealand.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – 6. A. 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 EH881 AA-Z

Sgt. John Henry Roy Carey, RNZAF NZ414242 – Pilot.
Sgt. John Lewes Roberts, RNZAF NZ411593 – Navigator.
Sgt. Percy Gibson Knight, RNZAF NZ417282 – Air Bomber.
F/S Maurice Archibald Brady, RNZAF NZ39987 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. T.E. Beaver, RAFVR 1276184 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. William Alfred Owen, RAFVR 1250494 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Norman Alexander McLeod, RNZAF NZ404079 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EH881 AA-Z was brought down at Eilendorf, outside the township of Aachen (35 miles South West of Cologne). The Captain and two gunners died in the crash and are buried in Rheinberg War Cemetery. The other four crew all escaped uninjured, either by parachute or from the wrecked aircraft, and were captured as POW’s.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/john-henry-roy-carey © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/john-henry-roy-carey © New Zealand War Graves Project



CARLING, Rodney Patrick

Sgt. Rodney Patrick Carling, RAFVR 950217 – Observer.
Lost without trace age 22 on the 24th of July 1941.
Son of Robert William and Anna O’Mera Carling, of Stockton, Co. Durham.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 40.

24/07/1941 – Daylight Attacks Against Battleship Gneisenau at Brest
Six Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out daylight attacks against the above target. One of these aircraft, N.2854 captained by SGT. Streeter failed to return to base. The bomb load consisted of 24 500lbs. S.A.P.
Results were unobserved by DNS.772.
DNS.329 reports bombs overshot aiming point. Direct hits on sheds or warehouses about half mile S.E. of aiming point were observed.
DNS.411 reports that one and possibly two hits were observed on north end of No.1 graving dock.
Results were not observed by P/). Ashworth.
S/L. Lucas reports that bombs were dropped in target area.
Balloons were observed in the harbour.
A.A. fire was very intense and accurate.
Enemy aircraft were numerous and our aircraft were attacked.
The weather was excellent and visibility was good.
Navigation was by D/R, and map reading.

Wellington Mk.Ic N.2854 AA-U

Sgt. Desmond Frederick Streeter, RNZAF NZ401033 – Pilot.
Sgt. William Owen, RCAF R.58067 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Rodney Patrick Carling, RAFVR 950217 – Navigator.
Sgt. Reginald James Turner, RAFVR 913804 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Robert Samuel Carson Craig, RAFVR 947814 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Graham Stuart Walker, RNZAF NZ401817 – Rear Gunner.

There was no report from Sgt Streeter’s crew. Their aircraft, Wellington Mk.Ic N.2854 AA-U, failed to return and was officially classified as ‘lost without trace’. Numerous enemy aircraft were operating in the area and Squadron aircraft were among those coming under attack. It became clear that these attacks had a profound bearing on the loss of R2854.

One of the other Wellington crews in the same formation as Streeter’s, witnessed the latter’s aircraft being targeted by a number of Me109’s and receiving several cannon shell bursts that caused an engine to fail. They last saw the Wellington going down steeply with two or three Me109’s still attacking it. Their chances of escaping would have been very slim, and it was concluded the aircraft had crashed out of control into the sea.
R P Carling



CARNCROSS, Murray Ellis

P/O Murray Ellis Carncross, RNZAF NZ411718 – Observer.
Killed age 19 on the 29th of July 1942.
Son of Arthur Ellis Carncross, and of Muriel Winifred Carncross, of Wellington City, New Zealand.
Buried Becklingen War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – Joint grave 11. E. 8-9.

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.599 AA-U

Sgt. George Alister Hutt, RNZAF NZ41914 – Pilot.
P/O Murray Ellis Carncross, RNZAF NZ411718 – Observer.
Sgt. James Gordon McMurchy, RNZAF NZ405539 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Clerken O’She, RAFVR NZ411096 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. John Henry Savage, RNZAF NZ404620 – Rear Gunner.

Following a bombing attack on Hamburg, where intense anti-aircraft defence measures were encountered, Wellington Mk.III BJ.599 AA-U crashed at Steinbeck, near Stade, about 20 miles to the North West of the target. There were no survivors. All were buried at Stade, but after the war they were reinterred at Becklingen.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/murray-ellis-carncross © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/murray-ellis-carncross © New Zealand War Graves Project



CARTER, Tony Kevin

Sgt. Tony Kevin Carter, RAFVR 1375377 – Front Gunner .
Lost without trace age 20 on the 12th of March 1942.
Son of Thomas Francis and Mable Alice Mary Carter.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England.
Grave location – Panel 79.

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.3588 AA-U

S/L Peter James Robert Kitchin, RAF 39539 – Pilot.
P/O William James Parton, RNZAF NZ41932 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Herbert Sidney George Cullen, RAFVR 926722 – Observer.
Sgt. William Clezy, RAFVR 1365054 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Henry James Carter, RAFVR 929289/ 104474 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Lloyd Montgomery Chamberlain, RNZAF NZ40914 – Rear Gunner.

The aircraft was recorded as lost without trace. All crew members are commemorated on the Runneymede Memorial

TK Carter



CARTER, Walter Frederick

Sgt. Walter Frederick Carter, RAFVR 1543208 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 21 on the 21st of July 1944.
Son of Mr. and Mrs. F. C. Merryweather, of Tadley, Hampshire.
Buried Tilburg (Gilzerbaan) General Cemetery, Holland.     .
Grave location – Plot B. Row 2. Grave 59.
‘Died doing his duty.
Years pass
But love and memory last.
Mum and dad’

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.



CAUSLEY, Herbert William

Sgt. Herbert William Causley, RAFVR 1199994 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 22 on the 30th of August 1944.
Son of Bertie and Daisy Elizabeth Causley, of Hele, Torquay, Devon.
Buried Helsingborg (Palsjo) Municipal Cemetery, Sweden.     .
Grave location – Sec. XV. 20.
‘We hardly guessed
The greatness of your soul
Fearless, yet so gentle
In your ways’

Lancaster Mk.I HK594 AA-G

F/S Douglas Arthur Severn King, RAFVR 1323677/ 183954 – Pilot.
F/S Walter Davis Watson, RNZAF NZ428918 – Navigator.
F/S John Fitzgerald, RNZAF NZ424777 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Charles Burton Hill, RAFVR 1372387 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. John Patrick Callan, RAFVR 1777282 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Derrick Leonard Desmond Moon, RAFVR 1626105 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Herbert William Causley, RAFVR 1199994 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I HK594 AA-G was attacked by a night-fighter at 6,500ft while flying on a South East heading over the Swedish coastline, tracking toward Stettin. Cannon shells shattered the tail and rear turret, killing the gunner instantly. The pilot ordered the crew to bale out when the aircraft became uncontrollable and five of them came down in the Baltic but failed to survive. King left the aircraft shortly after and parachuted down not far from Tollarp Village, while the Lancaster plunged into the ground near Svenskop Village, all its bombs exploding on impact causing substantial damage throughout the neighbourhood. A badly injured F/S King was interrogated by the Swedish Military and later interned at Koranas until being repatriated on 10 October 44. Two bodies from the crew were later found in the water and the rear gunner was still in the aircraft wreckage. They were buried at the Hälsingborg (Palsjo) Municipal Cemetery. The remaining crew members were never found and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial



CHALMERS, Henry Edward

F/S Henry Edward Chalmers, RAFVR 1565986 – Air Bomber.
P.o.W
Killed whilst a Prisoner of War, when RAF fighters straffed the railway carriage he was being transported in, age 22 on the 3rd of March 1045.
Buried Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 6. C. 18.
Prisoner of War Number: not known
Prison Camps: not known

14/02/1945 – Attack Against Chemnitz
Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack Chemnitz. Nineteen attacked primary. AA”J” F/O R.J. Pearson, returned early through engine failiure. Cloud was ten tenths with tops 16-17000 over the target. Aircraft bombed with the aid of special equipment. No resilts were observed, very slight H/F was met over the target. AA”D”, captained by F/L G.S. Davies failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I NG113 AA-D

F/L George Stanley Davies, RNZAF NZ427262 – Pilot.
F/S Claude Cuthbert Greenough , RNZAF NZ429069 – Navigator.
F/S Henry Edward Chalmers, RAFVR 1565986 – Air Bomber.
F/S T.M. White , RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt I.R.H. Evans, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. J.J. Maher, RAFVR 1434090 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S R. Muir, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I NG113 AA-D was en route to the target over Germany when fire suddenly erupted in one wing aft of an engine. The blaze was thought to have started in a broken oil line. The pilot and engineer were unable to close down the engine or feather the propeller and with the fire continuing to grow, the decision was made to abandon the aircraft hurriedly. All the crew reached the ground uninjured but were soon captured and taken to a POW camp.



CHAMBERLAIN, Lloyd Montgomery

F/S Lloyd Montgomery Chamberlain, RNZAF NZ40914 – Rear Gunner.
Lost without trace age 28 on the 12th of March 1942.
Son of Lionel Shafto Chamberlain and Rhoda Chamberlain, of Hamilton, Auckland, New Zealand.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England.
Grave location – Panel 117.

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.3588 AA-U

S/L Peter James Robert Kitchin, RAF 39539 – Pilot.
P/O William James Parton, RNZAF NZ41932 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Herbert Sidney George Cullen, RAFVR 926722 – Observer.
Sgt. William Clezy, RAFVR 1365054 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Henry James Carter, RAFVR 929289/ 104474 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Lloyd Montgomery Chamberlain, RNZAF NZ40914 – Rear Gunner.

The aircraft was recorded as lost without trace. All crew members are commemorated on the Runneymede Memorial

LM Chamberlain



CHAMBERLAIN, Paul Burton

S/Ldr. Paul Burton Chamberlain, RAF 33229 – Pilot.
Killed age 25 on the 12th of October 1941.
Son of Horace and Gladys Chamberlain; Husband of Florence Margaret Chamberlain. Awarded Sword of Honour, R.A.F. College, Cranwell, 1936.
Buried Dinant (Citadelle) Military Cemetery, Belgium.
Grave location – Grave 6.
‘He lies content
With that high hour
In which he lived and died’

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.



CHAMPION, William James

P/O William James Champion, RAF 53774 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 25 on the 4th of November 1943.
Son of Edward and Mary Champion; Husband of Edna Champion, of Woking, Surrey.
Buried Frederikshavn Cemetery, Denmark..
Grave location – Allied Plot. grave 48.
‘Enshrined
Forever in our hearts.
Au revoir’

04/11/1943 – Mining in the Baltic Sea
Four aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation, with mines of 1500lbs. This was an unfortunate night as three aircraft failed to return and the other aircraft returned early having jettisoned its mines. This aircraft met an enemy night fighter and sustained damage to the port wing, starboard flap, rear turret and many large holes in the fuselage, the rear gunner, Sgt.W. HURDLE, was killed during the combat. The weather was bad and ten tenths cloud made visibility poor. Navigation was good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings MKIII BF461, Captained by P/O.G.K.WILLIAMS, BK778 Captained by P/O.W.S.MASTERS and EE897 Captained by F/O. N.WILSON.

Stirling Mk.III BF461 AA-B

P/O Gordon Kenneth Williams, RNZAF NZ401796 – Pilot.
F/S Walter Frank Morice, RNZAF NZ415708 – Navigator.
Sgt. Francis Edward McGregor, RNZAF NZ415338 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. William James Champion, RAFVR 624043/ 53774 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. H.N. Moffatt, RAFVR 1682621 – Flight Engineer.
F/O John Arthur Black, RAAF AUS.425420 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. R. Ingrey, RAFVR 1504520 – Rear Gunner.

On the night of the 4th of November 1943, the RAF launched only minor operations. Thirty-six aircraft were detailed for mining at various places from Lorient to the Kattegat. Four Stirlings failed to return from the night’s operations.. According to the crews on return from 75(NZ) Sqn the weather was bad with poor visibility.

One of the lost Squadron aircraft was Stirling Mk.III BF461 AA-B, which took off from Mepal just after 16:00 hrs. Nothing was heard from it after take-off. Like many of the aircraft, BF461 encountered German night fighters over Denmark, in this instance two Ju.88’s. The damage caused to the Stirling in the ensuing confrontation forced it to jettison its mines and attempt to return early to base.



CHANDLER, James John

Sgt. James John Chandler, RAFVR 1699180 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 19 on the 30th of May 1043.
Buried Jonkerbos War Cemetery, Nijmegen, Holland.     .
Grave location – 24. B. 2.

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.



CHARLTON, Ronald

F/S Ronald Charlton, RAF 644136 – Wireless Operator.
Lost without trace age 22 on the 4th of November 1943.
Son of John William and Lydia Ellen Charlton, of Billingham, Co. Durham.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 135.

04/11/1943 – Mining in the Baltic Sea
Four aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation, with mines of 1500lbs. This was an unfortunate night as three aircraft failed to return and the other aircraft returned early having jettisoned its mines. This aircraft met an enemy night fighter and sustained damage to the port wing, starboard flap, rear turret and many large holes in the fuselage, the rear gunner, Sgt.W. HURDIE, was killed during the combat. The weather was bad and ten tenths cloud made visibility poor. Navigation was good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings MKIII BF461, Captained by P/O.G.K.WILLIAMS, BK778 Captained by P/O.W.S.MASTERS and EE897 Captained by F/O. N.WILSON.

Stirling Mk.III EE897 AA-G

F/O Norman Clarence Bruce Wilson, RNZAF NZ417139 – Pilot.
F/O Thomas Lodge, RNZAF NZ417284 – Navigator.
F/O Alfred Thomas Dance, RNZAF NZ42495 – Air Bomber.
F/S Ronald Charlton, RAFVR 644136 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Walter John Stratton, RAFVR 1166593 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leonard Charles Gaskin, RAFVR 1392668 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Arnold Goodrick Fawcett, RNZAF NZ422698 – Rear Gunner.

EE897 was lost without trace. All seven crew are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

R Charlton



CHESSON, Frederick John Charles

Sgt. Frederick John Charles Chesson, RAFVR 1336122 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 21 on the 28th of September 1943
Buried Hanover War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Joint grave 8. C. 5-6.

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 F.J.C. Chesson  (1)



CHILMAN, Peter Ernest

F/O Peter Ernest Chilman, RAFVR 155993 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 25 on the 28th of April 1944.
Buried Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 4. C. 1-7.

27/04/1944 – Attack Against Friedrichshafen
Sixteen Lancasters were detailed to attack Friedrichshafen. Fourteen successfully carried out their mission, one aircraft bombed a decoy in error and another failed to return (Captain NZ42282 F/O. R. Herron).

Lancaster Mk.III ND796 AA-J

F/O Robert Weir Herron, RNZAF NZ425238 – Pilot.
F/S Matthew Roland Henderson, RNZAF NZ427204 – Navigator.
Sgt. Walter Reginald Percival, RAFVR 553063 – Air Bomber.
F/O Euan Wilfred McLachlan, RAFVR NZ415266 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. John William Germing, RAFVR 1803074 – Flight Engineer.
W/O Keith Alfred Smith, RNZAF NZ416022 – Mid Upper Gunner.
P/O Peter Ernest Chilman, RAFVR 155992 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.III ND796 AA-J was shot down by a night-fighter just North West of the target, crashing 500 metres South East of Langenhart, about a mile North of Messkirch. There were no survivors. All seven crew were buried in a collective grave at Lagenhart. They were later reinterred at Durnbach War Cemetery.

This aircraft was the first 75(NZ) Squadron Lancaster reported missing..



CHRISTIE, Arthur Stafford

F/S Arthur Stafford Christie, RNZAF NZ402982 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 21 on the 21st of June 1942.
Son of Arthur Humphrey and M. Jessie Christie, of Palmerston North, Wellington, New Zealand.
Buried Schiermonnikoog (Vredenhof) Cemetery, Holland.     .
Grave location – Grave 73.

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.

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.

Arthur’s body was washed ashore on the 12th of 12th of July. The body had, by this time begun to show the signs of advanced decomposition, certainly accelerated by the time in water. A signet ring with the initials A.S.C. identified the body as that of F/S Christies.Cause of death was thought most likely to be by drowning.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/arthur-stafford-christie © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/arthur-stafford-christie © New Zealand War Graves Project



CHURCH, David

Sgt. David Church, RAFVR 1196564 – Wireless Operator.
Lost without trace age 29 on the 28th of April 1943.
Son of James Arnold and Alice Mary Church; Husband of J. Church, of Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 145.

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, <k.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.

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.

David had arrived at Newmarket as a member of Ron Laud’s crew. With the continuing absence of a regular W/Op for the Halliburton crew, David found himself joining the them, not even getting the chance to fly with his own crew. Tragically, this was to be Sgt. David Church’s only Op with 75(NZ) Squadron RAF. The Laud crew would be lost 2 months later on an Op to Dusseldorf.

D Church



CLARE, Frederick William

F/O Frederick William Clare, RAFVR 144607 – Navigator.
Killed age 25 on the 28th of May 1944.
Son of James Thomas Clare and Theresa Clare; Husband of Roma Evelyn Clare, of Westcliff-On-Sea, Essex.
Buried Wevelgem Communal Cemetery, Belgium..
Grave location – Coll. grave E. 473-474. 10
‘Forever in our thoughts,
Bill dearest.
Your loving wife Roma,
Mother and dad’

27/05/1944 – Attack Against Aachen
Thirteen aircraft were detailed to attack Aachen and eleven to attack a target at Boulogne. They all were successful in attacking their respective targets and good concentrated bombing was reported. Two aircraft attacking Aachen had combats with enemy aircraft, NZ40750 F/L. R. Berney claiming the destruction of an enemy night fighter and 170664 P/O. T. Buckley claimed strikes on a F.W. 190. There was no opposition from the Boulogne target.

Lancaster Mk.III ND908 AA-M

F/L Spencer Francis Fauvel, RNZAF NZ414971 – Pilot.
F/O Francis Henry Clark Lukey, RNZAF NZ42990 – 2nd Pilot.
F/O Frederick William Clare, RAFVR 144607 – Navigator.
F/S Maurice Isidore Joseph Fitzgerald, RAFVR 1389106/ 176576 – Air Bomber.
F/S Douglas William James Marvin, RAFVR 176037 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Kenneth Clinch, RAFVR 1288144 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Kenneth Wilfred Gower, RNZAF NZ421272 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S James Rooker Mason, RNZAF NZ421307 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.III ND908 AA-M was brought down at Poelkapelle (West-Vlaanderen) 5miles North East of Ypres and 25 miles West of Courtrai, scene of the FW .410 attacks on ND915 in the same raid. There were no survivors and all eight crew members were laid to rest at Wevelgem Communal Cemetery.



CLARK, Mervyn Oliver

P/O Mervyn Oliver Clark, RNZAF NZ404895 – Navigator.
Killed age 20 on the 17th of December 1942.
Son of John and Ann Liddle Clark, of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – Coll. grave 8. L. 15-18.

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 R.9247 AA-W

F/S Henry Edwin Rousseau, RAFVR 1026535 – Pilot.
Sgt Mervyn Oliver Clark, RNZAF NZ404895 – Navigator.
Sgt. Reginald Crosby Mocock , RAFVR 1168876 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Christopher James Kendall , RNZAF NZ412342 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Morton WW,   – .
Sgt. John Fellows, RAFVR R.78046 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Pullar Henry Welsh Pullar , RNZAF NZ411777 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.I R.9247 AA-W was brought down near Vechta airfield, 30 miles South West of Bremen, Germany, while en route to or from the target. None of the crew survived the crash. All are buried in the Reinberg Cemetery.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/mervyn-oliver-clark © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/mervyn-oliver-clark © New Zealand War Graves Project



CLARK, Roy Stanley

Sgt. Roy Stanley Clark, RAFVR 1388242 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 22 on the 22nd of April 1945.
Son of Charles Herbert and Henrietta Gertrude Clark; Husband of May Ethel Eileen Clark, of Clapton. London.
Buried Chingford Mount Cemetery, Chingford, Essex, England..
Grave location – Sec. D.7. Grave 4464.
‘In ever loving memory
Of my beloved husband.
He died That we may live’

22/04/1945 – Attack on Bremen
21 aircraft were detailed to attack BREMEN. 2-5/10ths cloud over target and many crows (???) made out river bend and factory area. Bombing results were satisfactory though slight overshooting and undershooting but not outside built up area. Flak from Wilhemshaven and Bremen was at intervals moderate and very accurate. Flight Engineer (Sgt. R. Clark) of AA/P was killed. No fighters seen.

Lancaster Mk.I NF935 AA-P

S/L Jack Colin Parker, RNZAF NZ405608 – Pilot.
P/O John McGarry, RAFVR 1398549, 191084 – Navigator.
Sgt. John Moore, RAFVR – Air Bomber.
W/O C. Cartwright-Howell, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Roy Stanley Clark, RAFVR 1388242 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Phillip William Cook, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S E. Hannaford, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 15:19 – Landed 20:50
Flight Time 05:31

S/L Parker & crew, NF935, encountered accurate flak at 18.32hrs while outbound at 17,500ft in the vicinity of Wilhelmshaven, where shrapnel from an AA shell-burst struck and killed Flight Engineer, Sgt R Clarke, RAF.



CLARK, Victor James

Sgt. Victor James Clark, RAFVR 1811271 – Wireless Operator.
Lost without trace age 20 on the 1st of January 1945.
Son of William James Clark, and of Jane Clark, of Tottenham, Middlesex.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 274.

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.



CLARK, William Graham

Sgt. William Graham Clark, RAFVR 903293 – Observer.
Killed age 29 on the 9th of June 1942.
Son of Thomas Grant Clark and Elizabeth Marshall Clark, of Devonport.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 9. F. 16.
‘Pro patria mori’

08/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Twelve aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and 4 lb inc was dropped in the target area. Owing to haze results were not observed. There was a heavy concentration of flak and searchlights in target area. Two unidentified a/c were observed near Dutch Coast by Well.III, X3720 and were eluded. Weather was good no cloud over target but hazy. Navigation was very good. Well.III, X3587, captained by P/O. Smith and Well.III, Z1573, captained by P/O Murdoch failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III X.3587 AA-P/S

P/O Rupert John Smith, RNZAF NZ41950 – Pilot.
Sgt. William Graham Clark, RAFVR 903293 – Observer.
Sgt. William Robertson Ramsay, RNZAF NZ405508 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Barry Herbert Coulter, RAFVR 1261820 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Henry Edward Jones, RAFVR 1192997 – Rear Gunner.

The aircraft was brought down, probably by flak, crashing near Dusseldorf. There were no survivors. All five crew were buried in the Nordfriedhof Cemetery, in Dusseldorf, but later reinterred at Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, South West of Cleve.



CLARKE, Albert

Sgt. Albert Clarke, RAFVR 940903 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 24 on the 28th of August 1943.
Son of Albert and Eliza Annie Clarke, of Stone, Staffordshire.
Buried Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Joint grave 9. C. 25-26.
‘Christ will link
The broken chain
Closer when we meet again’

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.



CLARKSON, Henry Paul

Sgt. Henry Paul Clarkson, RAFVR 1376787 – Rear Gunner.
Lost without trace age 22 on the 14th of July 1941
Son of Henry Watson Clarkson and of Emily Frances Clarkson (Nee Mccarthy), of Santiago, Chile.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 41.

Sgt. Frederick Thomas Miniken, RAFVR 903047 – Pilot.
P/O John Trelawney Leacock, RAFVR 62295 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Gilding, RAFVR – Navigator.
Sgt. Ernest Fox, RAFVR 957199 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Joseph Edward Price, RAFVR 1355067 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Henry Paul Clarkson, RAFVR 1376787 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington X9634, flown by Sgt Miniken, suffered a failure of the starboard engine without warning at 6,000ft, when climbing out on course after take off. The captain levelled out and reversed heading for base but the heavy aircraft lost height rapidly. He carried out an emergency ditching in the sea off Corton, near Lowestoft. Only Sgt Miniken and his second pilot, Sgt Gilding, were rescued from the water two hours later. All other crew members remained missing, feared drowned.

HP Clarkson



CLEAK, Frederick Bernard

P/O Frederick Bernard Cleak, RAF 77961 – Observer.
Killed age 30 on the 24th of October 1940.
Son of Frederick and Ethel Cleak.
Buried Esbjerg (Fourfelt) Cemetery, Denmark..
Grave location – A. 14. 11.
‘In peace and honour
Rest you here, my son
In silence and eternal sleep’

23/10/1940 – Bombing Attacks on Berlin, Potsdam Station, D.148.
Five Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks. One, CB.362, captained by P/O Sanderson, failed to return. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 1000lbs. Bomb, delayed action, 500lbs. Bombs delayed action, 500lbs. Nombs fused N.D.T., 250lbs delayed action, 250lbs. bombs fused N.D.T., containers of incendiaries, while CB.359 carried one flash bomb.
CB.358 reports results were not observed owing to two layers of cloud.
CB.359 attacked flarepath probably east of Berlin, bursts unobserved, but incendiaries observed burning 300 yards short of flarepath.
CB361 reports bombs seen to burst in vicinity of NEURUPPIN Aerodrome. No fires started.
NO results were observed by CB.368 due to intensity of searchlights.
EELDE Aerodrome lit with electric flare path and boundary lights. Red beacon at decoy aerodrome. Beacon flashing C.F. 530 3N 0450E. White beacon flashing 5 secs. approximately AMELAND.
A.A. fire was heavy and accurate.
Searchlights were few, and not very accurate owing to cloud. No enemy aircraft were seen. Heavy cloud was experienced in all areas. Navigation was by D/R, Astro and Q.D.M’s.

Wellington Mk.1c P.9292 AA-C
Raid No. CB.-

P/O Rex Martyn Sanderson, RAF 42727 – Pilot.
P/O William John Finlayson, RNZAF NZ39911 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. White, RAF – Observer.
Sgt. Jack Gibbs, RAFVR 625697 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Grice Hitchmough, RAFVR 653978 – Front Gunner.
P/O Frederick Bernard Cleak, RAF 77961 – Rear Gunner .

Wellington Mk.Ic P.9292 AA-C is known to have crashed into the North Sea off the Danish Coast. Returning from Berlin, it appears that the aircraft might have fallen prey to a number of German night-fighters that were known to be operating in this airspace. All of the crew, with the exception of P/O Frederick Cleak, were lost without trace and are remembered on the Runneymede Memorial. P/O Cleak, whose body was recovered was buried in Esbjerg (Fourfelt) Cemetery in Denmark.



CLEARWATER, Desmond

Sgt. Desmond Clearwater, RNZAF NZ412314 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 24 on the 3rd of February 1943.
Son of Irwin Clearwater and of Jacobina Manson Clearwater (Nee Bain), of Remuera, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Amersfoort (Oud Leusden) General Cemetery, Holland..
Grave location – Plot 13. Row 5. Grave 89.

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/desmond-clearwater © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/desmond-clearwater © New Zealand War Graves Project



CLEGHORN, Alan Hall

Sgt. Alan Hall Cleghorn, RAFVR 1493160 – Navigator.
Killed age 32 on the 23rd of September 1943.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 21. B. 13.

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.



CLEVELAND, Archie

W/O Archie Cleveland, RCAF 2 R/167518 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Lost without trace age 24 on the 26th of July 1943.
Son of Lyle W. and Josephine Cleveland, of Nipawin, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 179.

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.



CLEZY, William

Sgt. William Clezy, RAFVR 1365054 – Wireless Operator.
Lost without trace age 21 on the 12th of March 1942
Son of Archibald W. Clezy, and of Louisa S. Clezy, of Perth.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England.
Grave location – Panel 180.

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.3588 AA-U

S/L Peter James Robert Kitchin, RAF 39539 – Pilot.
P/O William James Parton, RNZAF NZ41932 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Herbert Sidney George Cullen, RAFVR 926722 – Observer.
Sgt. William Clezy, RAFVR 1365054 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Henry James Carter, RAFVR 929289/ 104474 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Lloyd Montgomery Chamberlain, RNZAF NZ40914 – Rear Gunner.

The aircraft was recorded as lost without trace. All crew members are commemorated on the Runneymede Memorial



CLIMO, Frederick Walter Percival

F/S Frederick Walter Percival Climo, RNZAF NZ4310148 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 22 on 29th of July 1944.
Son of Frederick Linton Climo and Alice Mary Climo, of Timaru, Canterbury, New Zealand; Husband of Margaret Eva Climo (Nee Ireland), of Timaru.
Buried Millery Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Grave 2.

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/frederick-walter-percival-climo © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/frederick-walter-percival-climo © New Zealand War Graves Project



CLINCH, Kenneth

Sgt. Kenneth Clinch, RAFVR 1288144 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 23 on the 28th of May 1944.
Buried Wevelgem Communal Cemetery, Belgium..
Grave location – Coll. grave E. 473-474. 10

27/05/1944 – Attack Against Aachen
Thirteen aircraft were detailed to attack Aachen and eleven to attack a target at Boulogne. They all were successful in attacking their respective targets and good concentrated bombing was reported. Two aircraft attacking Aachen had combats with enemy aircraft, NZ40750 F/L. R. Berney claiming the destruction of an enemy night fighter and 170664 P/O. T. Buckley claimed strikes on a F.W. 190. There was no opposition from the Boulogne target.

Lancaster Mk.III ND908 AA-M

F/L Spencer Francis Fauvel, RNZAF NZ414971 – Pilot.
F/O Francis Henry Clark Lukey, RNZAF NZ42990 – 2nd Pilot.
F/O Frederick William Clare, RAFVR 144607 – Navigator.
F/S Maurice Isidore Joseph Fitzgerald, RAFVR 1389106/ 176576 – Air Bomber.
F/S Douglas William James Marvin, RAFVR 176037 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Kenneth Clinch, RAFVR 1288144 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Kenneth Wilfred Gower, RNZAF NZ421272 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S James Rooker Mason, RNZAF NZ421307 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.III ND908 AA-M was brought down at Poelkapelle (West-Vlaanderen) 5miles North East of Ypres and 25 miles West of Courtrai, scene of the FW .410 attacks on ND915 in the same raid. There were no survivors and all eight crew members were laid to rest at Wevelgem Communal Cemetery.



CLOUGH, David

F/S David Clough, RAFVR 1193544 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 21 on the 12th of May 1944
Son of Vina M. Clough, of Bridgeport, Connecticut, U.S.A.
Buried Aardenburg General Cemetery, Holland..
Grave location – Coll. grave 1-7.

11/05/1944 – Attack Against Louvain
Twenty-four aircraft, representing the largest number of Lancaster aircraft so far detailed by this Squadron, were despatched to attack the marshalling yards at Louvain. Twenty-three aircraft successfully attacked in good weather. One aircraft (Captain NZ414591 A/F/L. S. Clark) claimed a JU 88 destroyed in combat over the North Sea. Another aircraft (Captain 151118 A/F/L. D. Warren) failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.III ND919 AA-D

F/L Derek Warren, RAFVR 151118 – Pilot.
P/O Arnold Earle Irving, RCAF J.19819 – Navigator.
P/O Donald Irwin Gage, RCAF R.166183/ J.19996 – Air Bomber.
F/S David Clough, RAFVR 1193544 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Francis Christopher Riley, RAFVR 1584169 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Dewhurst, RAFVR 1094980 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Harold Max Hewett, RAAF AUS.419311 – Rear Gunner.

 

ND919 exploded in flight and crashed at Castle Elderschans, about 1 mile West of Aardenburg, (Zeeland), Holland. The very brief circumstances suggest the fully armed aircraft probably came under attack by a night-fighter during the early stages of its outbound flight. There were no survivors. All seven crew were buried in Aardenburg General Cemetery.



CLUBB, Selwyn James

F/O Selwyn James Clubb, RNZAF NZ414593 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 20 on the 13th of May 1943.
Son of Frederick and Winifred Clubb, of Taita, Wellington, New Zealand.
Buried Newmarket Cemetery, Suffolk, England..
Grave location – Plot P. Grave 430.

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.

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.

CLUBB, Selwyn James RNZAF



COATES, Dudley Dobson

Sgt. Dudley Dobson Coates, RNZAF NZ421318 – Navigator.
Killed age 33 on the 26th of May 1943.
Son of William Thomas Coates and Ethel Coates, of Puha, Auckland, New Zealand Husband of Wilna Coates, of Wellington City, New Zealand.
Buried Ostende New Communal Cemetery, Belgium..
Grave location – Plot 9. Row 5. Grave 17.

25/05/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Dusseldorf
Sixteen aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack with bombs of 1000lb and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb. Four aircraft returned early owing to engine trouble, and one failed to return. The remaining eleven aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area, and some large explosions were also seen. Both heavy and light A.A. Fire was encountered, co-operating with searchlights, which were ineffective. Some enemy aircraft were seen and two short combats took place, but no damage was sustained by our aircraft. Ten tenths cloud was prevalent in the target area, but visibility was fairly good. Navigation was very good. This missing aircraft was Stirling Mk.I. BK602, captained by Sergeant T.W. Darton.

Stirling Mk.I BK602 AA-R

Sgt. Thomas William Darton, RNZAF NZ416465 – Pilot.
Sgt. Dudley Dobson Coates, RNZAF NZ421318 – Navigator.
Sgt. John Milton Patrick Riordan, RNZAF NZ422668 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. John Charles Lawrence Whiteman, RAFVR 1234862 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Alick McQuater, RAFVR 1369879 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Stephen Redpath, RAFVR 1572718 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Frederick Philip Wilshire, RAFVR 1170594 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.I BK602 AA-R was shot down by a night-fighter off the Belgian/French coast and went down into the sea off IJmuiden. The attack probably took place within the dreaded German air defensive ‘Box’ when BK602 was en route to the target area. Four bodies were recovered and identified as Sergeant’s Coates, Whiteman, Redpath and Willsher. Coates and Whiteman are buried in Oostende New Communal Cemetery; Redpath lies in Dunkerque Town Cemetery and Wilsher in Bergen op Zoom War Cemetery, Holland.

Sergeant’s Darton, McQuarter and Riordan are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/dudley-dobson-coates © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/dudley-dobson-coates © New Zealand War Graves Project



COBB, Cyril Thomas

F/S Cyril Thomas Cobb, RNZAF NZ412315 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 30 on the 21st of April 1943.
Son of Fred and Mary Cobb, of Thames, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Esbjerg (Fourfelt) Cemetery, Denmark..
Grave location – A. 9. 6.

20/04/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Rostock
Nine aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1000 lb and incendiaries of 30 lb and 4 lb. Eight of the aircraft successfully attacked the target area. Some very large scale fires were seen but the attack was spoilt by a smoke screen which partly obscured the target. A.A. Fire was mainly confined to light tracer which was ineffective. Stirling Mk.III BF.518 captained by Sgt. Dalzell, collided with a Lancaster aircraft after leaving the target, and fortunately only slight damage was caused to the rudder and fin. After this hazardous experience he returned to base and made a perfect landing. Some enemy aircraft were seen in the target area, but no combats took place. The weather was very good and visibility was excellent. Navigation was very good. Stirling Mk.III, captained by P/O A.G. Tolley, failed to return.

Stirling Mk.III BF506 AA-P

P/O Alan Gray Tolley, RNZAF NZ411954 – Pilot.
F/S William Henry Ellis, RAFVR 1021328 – Navigator.
Sgt. Frank Wakefield Upton, RNZAF NZ404430 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Cyril Thomas Cobb, RNZAF NZ412315 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Gerald Albert Raymond Town, RAFVR 1217965 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Frederick Joseph Earle, RAFVR 1332585 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ian Charles Salt, RNZAF NZ404046 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III BF506 AA-P took off at 22:05 from Newmarket. It was last heard on W/T at 03:00 signalling ‘starboard inner on fire’. Nothing further was heard, and the Stirling crashed at 03:26 at Boegballe, 15km North of Vejle, Denmark.

It’s demise is reported as having been caused by a night-fighter attack. All rest in Esbjerg (Fourfelt) Cemetery.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/cyril-thomas-cobb © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/cyril-thomas-cobb © New Zealand War Graves Project



COLEMAN, William Harcourt

F/O William Harcourt Coleman, DFC, RNZAF NZ2526 – Pilot.
Killed age 23 on the 26th of July 1940.
Son of Mrs. C. M. Walton, of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand.
Buried Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery, Holland..
Grave location – Plot 69. Row A. Grave 21.

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), Navigator
Sgt John Dowds, RAF (632780), Front Gunner
Sgt William Eric Nevill, RAF, W/Operator
Sgt William Donald Francis Annan, RNZAF, (NZ391377), Rear Gunner

No-one knows for sure what happened, but the crew made it to the target and dropped their bombs. The official report said: “Wellington 1C R3235 on the way back from the attack on the marshalling yards in NW Germany, the wireless operator’s Mayday signal came through, but nothing more.”

 

Kassel was heavily defended, as confirmed by F/L Adams and other crews who had to undertake violent evasive action to avoid being struck. So it’s possible that Coleman’s aircraft received serious flak damage over the target, but was not totally disabled, allowing the crew to head off westward, with Coleman managing to stay airborne for 320km, almost making it to the coast of Holland.

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.

All 6 crew members were buried in the Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery:

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/william-harcourt-coleman © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/william-harcourt-coleman © New Zealand War Graves Project



COLES, Thomas Edward

Sgt. Thomas Edward Coles, RNZAF NZ40161 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 28 on the 7th of September 1942.
Son of Thomas and Margaret Coles, of Ponsonby, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 16. F. 11.

06/09/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Duisburg
Fifteen aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks. Bomb load of 4,000lb. 1,00lb. 500lb. 250lb. and incendiaries were dropped in the target area, large fires were seen to be growing in intensity. A.A. fire was heavy and intense but was bursting high above aircraft, searchlights were intense, particularly at target area.
Wellington BJ772 captained by F/Lt. Womersley was attacked from rear on return by an enemy aircraft, one bursts was fired by the rear gunner and the enemy aircraft was driven off. No other enemy aircraft was seen. The weather was good, clear over target with slight ground haze. Navigation was good. Wellington BJ.765 captained by Sergt. Sharman G.W and Wellington X.3867 captained by F/Sgt.Parkes W.R. failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III BJ.765 AA-L

Sgt. George William Sharman, RNZAF NZ412746 – Pilot.
Sgt. Norman Priestly Saul, RNZAF NZ411730 – Observer.
Sgt. Claude Joseph Frederick Jarvis, RNZAF NZ411722 – Wireless Operator.
P/O George William Alfred Mills, RNZAF NZ411769 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Edward Coles, RNZAF NZ40161 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Mk.III BJ.765 AA-L was brought down over Germany, crashing near Krefeld, 11 miles South West of the target, Duisburg. There were no survivors.

All five crew were initially buried in the military Cemetery, Krefeld, but later reinterred at Reischwald Forest Cemetery, South West of Kleve.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/thomas-edward-coles © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/thomas-edward-coles © New Zealand War Graves Project



COLLETT, Wilfred Ira

S/Ldr. Wilfred Ira Collett, RAF 34232 – Pilot.
Seriously injured – died later that day age 28 on the 4th of August 1940.
Son of Edgar Arnold and Louise Amy Collett, of Gisborne, Auckland, New Zealand; Husband of Doreen Williamson Collett, of Gisborne.
Buried Feltwell (St. Nicholas) Churchyard, Norfolk, England.

03/08/1940 – Bombing Attacks on Target A.71 at HORST
Nine Wellington aircraft from this unit detailed to carry out individual attacks on above, but due to heavy ground haze over target area, attacks had to be carried out on various other targets, with success. Low 10/10 cloud encountered on returning to base and aircraft directed to other aerodromes. CB.692 crashed when attempting a forced landing, due to engine failure. The Captain, S/Ldr. Collet, was killed, but the five remaining members of the crew escaped with injuries.
A combined bomb load was carried.

Stick of bombs and S.B.C. dropped by CB.693 down flare path at approximate position 51° 42’ North, 6° 53’ East.

CB.695 located target and bombed. Results of 250lbs bombs not observed, but incendiaries seen to miss target.

CB.695 almost reached primary target, but owing to engine trouble, returned and bombed SCHIPOL aerodrome, believed successful. Height 19,500ft on North Westerly course. Four bundles nickels dropped near target.

CB.696 reports, extensive large fires started by incendiaries in target area. Results not seen of 250’s.

CB.697 located target after search of 45 minutes and dropped stick of 5 – 250lbs bombs and one S.B.C. at 00.15hrs from 12,000ft in level attack. Two bursts observed amongst lights in target area and extinguished same. Incendiaries failed to function, reason not known. Line of six Blast Furnaces on Eastern outskirts of GLADBECK also attacked with stick of 4 – 250lbs N.D.T. bombs from 12,000ft. Four burst observed 200 yards South of Blast Furnace.

CB.698 failed to locate primary target owing to ground haze, and searchlight activity over area. Marshalling yards at HALTERN attacked. All bombs dropped in one stick, bursts seen and explosions followed, and considerable damage thought to be done.

CB.699 failed to locate target owing to ground haze and searchlights. SCHIPOL aerodrome attacked from 4,000ft. Results not observed owing to intense opposition.

CB.700 did not locate primary target owing to haze and searchlights, but bombs dropped from 10,000ft in one stick on aerodrome at BUER. Two bursts observed. What appeared to be dummy Blast Furnaces, seen in target area, and usual light and heavy flak experienced, seems to be more intense around SCHIPOL. Searchlights intense and very active. CB.693 followed back to English coast by three unidentified aircraft. Weather poor, low visibility, 10/10 cloud as low as 300ft on return. Navigation by D/R, W/T fixes, and homing bearings.

Wellington Mk.1c R.3176 AA-?
Raid No. CB.692 A.71 (did not bomb?)

S/L Wilfred Ira Collett, RAF 34232 – Pilot.
P/O Arthur George Lee Humphreys, RAF/ RNZAF 36241/ NZ2449 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. James George Simpkin, RAFVR 580847 – Observer.
F/S Williams, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Robert Gordon Holford, RNZAF NZ39966 – Front Gunner.
P/O John Outerson William Kenneth Ferris, RAF 77931 – Rear Gunner .

Take Off 21:15 – Landed 04:20*
Flight Time 07:05

*recorded as time of engine failure/ crash.

On return, the majority of the Squadron encountered poor weather and the majority were diverted to other airfields. The Collett crew were instructed to divert to Mildenhall, but at 04:20 one of the Wellington’s engines failed and a wheels up forced landing had to be made. The aircraft crash landed at Barton Mills, 11 miles South West of Thetford. Landing on uneven terrain, significant structural damage was done to the aircraft, this damage caused a fire to break out which injured three of the crew, the Captain, Ira Collet was so seriously injured that he died later that day.

COLLETT, Wilfred Ira RAF



COLLINS, John Noel

F/L John Noel Collins, RNZAF NZ2513 – Pilot.
Lost without trace age 23 on the 21st of May 1940.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 27.

21/05/1940 – Bombing Operations over Enemy Territory (Aachen and Dinant)
Eight aircraft detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks on above targets, six on target AACHEN and two on target DINANT.
All aircraft carried 12 – 250lbs. G.P. fused N.D.T. bombs each.

KCB.248 dropped 12 bombs on Marshalling yards and scored direct hits, and also KCB.249.

KCB. 252 failed to locate target and returned to base with bomb load.

KCB.253, KCB.256, KCB257 successfully attacked target, but unable to observe results due to intense searchlight activity. KCB.256 proceeded and attacked Power Station on S.E. of MAASTRICHT dropping three sticks of two bombs each. Two hits seen on railway siding beside station.

KCB.267 attacked road and rail bridge at DINANT, all strikes very near.

KCB.266 also on target failed to return.

Wellington Mk.1c R.3157 AA-H

F/O John Noel Collins, RNZAF NZ2513 – Pilot.
P/O Francis Albert Gabriel Joseph De Labouchere-Sparling, RAF 41990 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. G. Thorpe, RAFVR 523426 – Navigator.
AC John Stanley Brooks, RAFVR 622115 – Wireless Operator.
P/O Leonard Phillip Redcliff Hockey, RAF 76011 – Rear Gunner .

While attacking the road/rail bridge at Dinant from a height of approximately 3,000ft, Wellington Mk.1c R.3157 AA-H received a direct hit by an AA shell in the starboard engine. The aircraft crashed in flames near the township of Kain (Hainaut), 2-3 miles North North West of Tournai, Belgium. Both pilots were killed in the crash but the other crew-members baled out safely, thanks to courageous efforts by John Collins in controlling the burning aircraft long enough to enable them to escape at low level. They survived and were captured. This was 75 Squadron’s first operational loss of the war, and the death of F/O. Collins (one of the original members of the New Zealand Flight) was the RNZAF’s first fatal casualty of the war.

JN Collins



CONIBEAR, David Henry

Sgt. David Henry Conibear, RAFVR 932380 – Front Gunner.
Killed age 32 on the 17th of July 1941.
Son of John Henry and Christina Conibear; Husband of Barbara Conibear, of Bridgend, Glamorgan.
Buried Rumney (St.Augustine) Churchyard, Gwent, Wales..
Grave location – Row 7. Grave 5.
‘In the midst of life
We are in death’

15/07/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Duisburg
Nine Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. One of these aircraft, R.3171 captained by SGT. Fotheringham, failed to return to base. Another, W.5663, captained P/O Rees, (RJT.533) was attacked by unidentified enemy fighter over the target. The aircraft was badly damages and the 2nd Pilot Sgt. Joyce was killed. SGT. Conibear, the front gunner, was seriously injured and died in hospital; and SGT. Gwyn-Williams was injured (Rear gunner). The aircraft returned to base where a landing was made. P/O Rees was awarded the D.F.C.; and the wireless operator, SGT. Lewis, was awarded the D.F.M.

RJT.147 bombed marshalling yard south of aiming point.
RJT.319 Observed bomb bursts in target area.
RJT.385 Attacked target area and saw bomb bursts.
RJT.445 bombed target area.
RJT.533 bombed target area, but thin cloud prevented accurate pin-point.
RJT.570 reports big fire started by bombs on target area.
RJT.683 located target, but it was not clearly pinpointed. A fix was obtained from Rhine and autobahn. Bombs dropped in salvo on large fire within radius of 3 miles of target.
P/O Ashworth reports that results were not observed over Ruhr, but a fire was started and a building blown up on an aerodrome 6 miles south of Hague. Heavy accurate predicted A.A. fire was encountered in target area. Searchlights were very active and accurate. The weather was good, but there was a layer of cloud over target. Navigation was by map reading, D/R, W/T, astro

Wellington Mk.Ic W.5663 AA-O

P/O William Jeffrey Rees, RAF 86395 – Pilot.
Sgt. David Campbell Joyce, RNZAF NZ401278 – 2nd Pilot..
P/O Robert Cyril Adair Hunter, RCAF J.3754 – Observer.
Sgt. Ian William Lewis, RAFVR 952538 – Wireless Operator.*
Sgt. David Henry Conibear, RAFVR 932380 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Gywn-Williams, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

The citation for D.F.C. (Immediate) P/O William Jeffrey Rees, RAF 86395  and D.F.M. (Immediate) Sgt. Ian William Lewis, RAFVR 952538 read as follows:

“One night in July 1941 Pilot Officer Rees and Sergeant Lewis were the captain and wireless operator respectively of an aircraft which attacked a target at Duisburg. Although the aircraft was hit by antiaircraft fire, Pilot Officer Rees persisted in his attack and completed a successful run over the target. On the return journey whilst over the Ruhr, the aircraft was held in the beams of a large searchlight belt and subjected to an attack by an enemy fighter which inflicted severe damage. The second pilot was killed and two other members of the crew dangerously wounded, while Sergeant Lewis was badly shocked and rendered temporarily deaf when a cannon shell exploded close to him. Nevertheless, realizing that his captain was without aid and could not leave the controls, Sergeant Lewis tended his wounded comrades, afterwards collecting the navigator’ s log and maps and assisting him in setting out the courses. Pilot Officer Rees, with exceptional skill, finally overcame all navigational difficulties and helped by Sergeant Lewis who had repaired his wireless set and obtained bearings, flew back to this country where a safe landing was made. Pilot Officer Rees displayed outstanding courage and determination in extremely harassing circumstances and was ably assisted by Sergeant Lewis who showed great fortitude and initiative. Both have participated in numerous operational missions.”



COLYER, Gordon William

Sgt. Gordon William Colyer, RAFVR 1809432 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 19 on the 25th of June 1943.
Son of George B. and Hazel W. Colyer, of Kingswood, Surrey.
Buried Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery, Holland..
Grave location – Plot 69. Row B. Coll. grave 14.
‘In loving memory of Gordon.
May he for ever
Rest in peace’

25/06/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Gelsenkirchen
Eleven aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets, with incendiary bombs of 30lb. and 4lbs. One aircraft failed to return and the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Owing to 10/10ths cloud it was difficult to estimate the effectiveness of the attack, although the glow of fires below the cloud, could be seen over a large area. Both moderate and heavy A.A.fire co-operating with searchlights was encountered, but were ineffective. Sergt. Burley’s aircraft sighted an unidentified aircraft from astern, the Stirling corkscrewed and the mid-upper-gunner and rear gunners opened fire. The unidentified aircraft was seen to dive to the ground and a fire and flash were seen. The aircraft was claimed to be destroyed. Some enemy aircraft were seen and three short combats took place but no damage was sustained by our aircraft. It was very cloudy in the target area and visibility was poor. Navigation was good. The missing aircraft was Stirling Mk.III BK768 captained by F/O Perrott.

Stirling Mk.III BK768 AA-L

P/O William Rosser ‘Ross’ Perrott, RNZAF NZ416155 – Pilot.
F/S Gordon Douglas Thompson, RNZAF NZ42317 – Navigator.
F/S Clifford James Whitelaw, RNZAF NZ416188 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Charles Cyril Mould, RAFVR 1314162 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Webster Hilditch, RAFVR 611325 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Gordon William Colyer, RAFVR 1809432 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Harry Squire , RAFVR 1302829 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III BK768 AA-L fell victim to the fearsome German night-fighter defensive system, operating as a radar-controlled ‘box’ along the Netherlands/ Belgium coast. Following a night-fighter attack, the Stirling crashed into the Ijsselmeer. The bodies of both Air Gunners and the Captain were recovered and buried in Amsterdam. The Navigator’s body was washed ashore on the 4th of  July near Harderwijk, where he was buried.

The Flight Engineer, Air Bomber and Wireless-operator are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.



CONNER, Josiah Robert

F/S Josiah Robert Conner, RAF 621339 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 22 on the 31st of May 1942.
Son of Josiah William Mark and Mary Ann Connor, of Streatham, London.
Buried Apeldoorn (Ugchelen-Heidehof) General Cemetery, Holland..
Grave location – Plot 4. Grave 140.
‘You are never forgotten
And will always live In our memory.
Mum, dad and pat’

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.



CONNETT, Ernest Lewis

Sgt. Ernest Lewis Connett, RAFVR 1236363 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 21 on the 25th of June 1944.
Son of Herbert and Elizabeth Connett; husband of Teresa Josephine Connett, of Stretford, Lancashire.
Buried Fruges Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Coll. grave 7. 7
‘From the rising of the sun
Unto the going down thereof
We shall remember him’

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.



COOK, Ernest Desmond

Sgt. Ernest Desmond Cook, RAFVR 1609864 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 19 on the 15th of April 1943.
Son of Ernest and Esther Cook, of Kintbury, Berkshire.
Buried Florennes Communal Cemetery, Belgium.
Grave location – Row 2. Grave 21.
‘Until the day break
And the shadows flee away’

14/04/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Stuttgart
Eleven aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with incendiary bombs of 30 lb and 4 lb. One aircraft returned early as the controls were faulty. None of the remaining aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Large fires were seen, together with a great deal of black smoke. There was a moderate amount of heavy A.A. Fire encountered on the way to the target, but very little in the target area. A few searchlights were seen, but they were ineffective. Some enemy aircraft were seen and short combats took place, but our aircraft were not damaged. It was very clear over the target, as there was a bright moon, and visibility was good in spite of slight ground haze. Navigation was very good. Stirling Mark III BF513 captained by P/O. D.J. McCaskill failed to return.

Stirling Mk.III BF513 AA-E

P/O Donald Gordon McCaskill, RNZAF NZ413573 – Pilot.
P/O James Kennedy Grainger, RNZAF NZ42295 – Navigator.
Sgt. Bertram Elwell, RAFVR 519416 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Reginald Thomas Charles Green, RAFVR 1211032 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Angus McVicar, RAFVR 1371651 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Ernest Desmond Cook, RAFVR 1609864 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ronald Alexander Smith, RNZAF NZ415378 – Rear Gunner.

BF513 was shot down by an enemy night-fighter (Lt Fritz Graef, I. /NJG4) over Belgium at 02.25hrs, crashing at Regniéssart, (Namur), 3 miles SE of Couvin. There were no survivors. All the crew are buried at Florennes’ Communal Cemetery.

Ernest Cook cpd for RoH



COOK, George Wood

Sgt. George Wood Cook, RNZAF NZ412514 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 24 on the 3rd of February 1943.
Son of Samuel Arthur and Eva Harriette Cook, of Otorohanga, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Amersfoort (Oud Leusden) General Cemetery, Holland..
Grave location – Plot 13. Row 13. Grave 211.

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/george-wood-cook © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/george-wood-cook © New Zealand War Graves Project



COOK, Peter Jackson

F/S Peter Jackson Cook, RNZAF NZ42708 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 21 on the 16th of June 1944.
Son of Henry Cook and of Ellen Mary Cook (nee Hewson), of Huinga, Taranaki, New Zealand.
Buried Rieux Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Grave 11. 12

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.



COOK, Stephen Astley

F/S Stephen Astley Cook, RNZAF NZ421142 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 21 on the 28th May 1944.
Son of David and Lillias McGregor Cook, of Invercargill, Southland, New Zealand.
Buried Gilze-En-Rijen (Gilze) Roman Catholic Cemetery, Holland.     .
Grave location – Grave 2.

27/05/1944 – Attack Against Aachen
Eighteen aircraft were detailed to attack Aachen, one of which returned early and two failed to return (Captains NZ414971 F/L. S. Fauvel and NZ421105 Sgt. Scott, F.). The remaining fifteen successfully bombed the target in clear weather, one aircraft (Captain NZ40750 F/L. R. Berney) had five successive inconclusive combats with an ME 410 in the Courtrai area.

Lancaster Mk.III ND802 JN-D “The Flying Scotsman’

Sgt. Francis Alexander Jack Scott, RNZAF NZ421105 – Pilot.
W/O Ronald Thomas Clark, RNZAF NZ422369 – 2nd Pilot.
F/S Leslie George Hill, RNZAF NZ426997 – Navigator.
F/S Steven Astley Cook, RNZAF NZ421142 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Ronald Edward Howson, RAFVR 1437112 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. F. Max Harris, RAFVR 1850150 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alan Mantle, RAFVR 925315 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Reginald Dale, RAFVR 1818763 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.III ND802 JN-D “The Flying Scotsman’ was attacked by a night-fighter 25 miles North West of Eindhoven, Netherlands, causing the aircraft to break up in flight then crashing near Gilze, 6 miles West of Tilsburg. The Captain, Air-bomber and W/Op did not survive the crash and were buried at Gilze.

SONY DSC



COOKE, John Peter

Sgt. John Peter Cooke, RAFVR 1816385 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 22 on the 5th of October 1944.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – 8. G. 1.

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

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

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

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



COOKE, Leonard James

Sgt. Leonard James Cooke, RAFVR 3051677 – Rear Gunner.
Lost without trace age 19 on the 1st of January 1945.
Son of Alfred James Cooke and Fanny Elizabeth Cooke, of Alum Rock, Birmingham.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 274.

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.



COOKSEY, James Brett

F/S James Brett Cooksey, RNZAF NZ416460 – Navigator.
Killed age 23 on the 24th of June 1943.
Son of Thomas Brett Farmer Cooksey and of Annie Elizabeth Cooksey (Nee Ball), of Mangawhare, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Bergen-Op-Zoom Canadian War Cemetery, Holland.
Grave location – 14. C. 1.

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/james-brett-cooksey © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/james-brett-cooksey © New Zealand War Graves Project



COOMBRIDGE, Trevor Walter

F/S Trevor Walter Coombridge, RNZAF NZ42653 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 21 on the 27th of December 1944.
Son of Walter John and Matilda Harriet Coombridge, of Hamilton, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 3. E. 23.

27/12/1944 – Attack Against Rheydt
As many crews as possible were required for an attack on Cologne. The target was cancelled and an attack on Rheydt was substituted. Inexperienced and special equipment leaders not being required the offer of 26 was reduced to 20. Aircraft took off carrying 1,000 ANM., 500 ANM., 500 M.C. and 250 G.P. Bombs. Visibility over the target was excellent and crews were able to identify the target, the flares being accurately placed. Clouds of smoke were seen to rise from the target. One aircraft AA”Q” captained by NZ421746 F/O H. Miles failed to return. This aircraft was seen to be hit by bombs and to spiral down.

Lancaster Mk.I NN710 AA-Q

F/O Haddon Shaw Miles, RNZAF NZ421746 – Pilot.
P/O Michael McLoughlin Dowding, RAFVR 165070 – Navigator.
F/O Frederick John Gunn, RAFVR 1586226/ 163631 – Air Bomber.
F/S Trevor Walter Coombridge, RNZAF NZ42653 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. George Frederick Haslam, RAFVR 2219498 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Edward Left, RAFVR 1819854 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Denis Norman Mephan, RAFVR 1843114 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I NN710 AA-Q was officially deemed to have crashed in the target area after being struck by a bomb, dropped from an aircraft above, when approaching the target. Only the air bomber, F/O Gunn, survived the crash but was captured as a prisoner of war.

Other aircraft in the lower stream also were in the firing line from aircraft in the upper stream. HK576, F/O Pearson & crew, witnessed one such aircraft bombing from 23,000ft, that appeared to collide with a Lancaster flying alongside, which went down in a spin. It was later determined that NM710, F/O Miles and crew, was the aircraft going down out of control – possibly hit by falling bombs.

Those who died were buried in the Rheinberg War Cemetery.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/trevor-walter-coombridge © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/trevor-walter-coombridge © New Zealand War Graves Project



COOPER, Edward Roy

Sgt. Edward Roy Cooper, RAFVR 2221308 – Rear Gunner.
Died of injuries 3 weeks later age 20 on the 28th of December 1944.
Son of Albert and Charlotte Cooper, of Stafford.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 14. A. 1.
‘My path to life is free;
My Saviour has my treasure,
And he will walk with me’

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.



COOPER, James Henry

Sgt. James Henry Cooper, RAFVR 1308375 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 33 on the 23rd of May 1944.
Son of James and Florence May Cooper, of Stoke-on-Trent; husband of Florence Alice Cooper, of Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.
Buried Heverlee War Cemetery, Belgium..
Grave location – Coll. grave 6. C. 3-5. 180
‘God has you in
His keeping In
His haven of rest.
Ever remembered.
Loving wife & children’

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.



COPELAND, Arthur Alfred

Sgt. Arthur Alfred Copeland, RAFVR 1166829 – Flight Engineer.
Lost without trace age 23 on the 4th of November 1943.
Son of Alfred Henry and Edith Ellen Copeland; Husband of H. T. Copeland, of Derby.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 146.

04/11/1943 – Mining in the Baltic Sea
Four aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation, with mines of 1500lbs. This was an unfortunate night as three aircraft failed to return and the other aircraft returned early having jettisoned its mines. This aircraft met an enemy night fighter and sustained damage to the port wing, starboard flap, rear turret and many large holes in the fuselage, the rear gunner, Sgt.W. HURDIE, was killed during the combat. The weather was bad and ten tenths cloud made visibility poor. Navigation was good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings MKIII BF461, Captained by P/O.G.K.WILLIAMS, BK&&* Captained by P/O.W.S.MASTERS and XXXXX Captained by F/O. N.WILSON.

Stirling Mk.III BK778 JN-U

P/O William Stuart Masters, RNZAF NZ421077 – Pilot.
F/O George Burns Imrie, RNZAF NZ422676 – Navigator.
F/S Charles James, RNZAF NZ426333 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Reginald James Thomas, RAFVR 1316730 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Arthur Alfred Copeland, RAFVR 1166829 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leslie Grimwood, RAFVR 1438024 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Lewis Stanley Crawford-Watson, RNZAF NZ42734 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III BK778 JN-U was shot down by a night-fighter, crashing at Berstedgaard, near Thisted, Denmark. There were no survivors. All but the flight engineer were buried at Frederickshaven Cemetery. Sgt Copeland is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial

AA Copeland



COPPERSMITH, Raymond Patrick

Sgt. Raymond Patrick Coppersmith, RNZAF NZ391697 – Wireless Operator.
Lost without trace age 21 on the 26th of July 1942.
Son of Charles Edward Coppersmith and of Alice Coppersmith (Nee Smith), of Wellington, 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.

RP Coppersmith



COPSEY, Leonard George

Sgt. Leonard George Copsey, RAFVR 1691471 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 20 on the 1st of December 1943.
Son of George and Jessie Hannah Copsey, of Hornchurch.
Buried Hornchurch Cemetery, Essex, England..
Grave location – Sec. A. Grave 1375.

01/12/1943 – Mining off the East Coast of Denmark
Three aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1,500lb. Two of the aircraft successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area, but the parachutes were not seen to open owing to ten tenths cloud. Some heavy A.A. Fire was encountered, but caused negligible opposition. Visibility was poor in the mining area. Navigation was very good. On returning the aircraft captained by SGT. F/SGT.G.J.KERR crashed whilst attempting to land at R.A.F. Station ACKLINGTON. The aircraft crashed into a house and all of the crew were killed, except for the Mid Upper Gunner SGT. K.G.HOOK who was seriously injured. In addition to the crew, five children who were in the house were killed and their parents were admitted to Hospital.

Stirling Mk.III EH880 AA-J

F/S George John Stewart Kerr, RAFVR 1558163 – Pilot.
Sgt. Donald Frank Wort, RAFVR 1585034 – Navigator.
Sgt. Ronald Smith, RAFVR 1239376 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Derek Arthur Holt, RAFVR 1217087 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Leonard George Copsey, RAFVR 1691471 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Kenneth Gordon Hook, RAFVR 1335989 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George William Thomas Lucas, RAFVR 1250557 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 15:16 – Landed 22:40
Flight Time 07:24

Stirling Mk.III EH880 AA-J diverted to RAF Acklington on return from the above task and crashed into a house a short distance from the perimeter during a landing attempt at 22.40hrs. All of the crew were killed except the M/U gunner, Sgt K Hook, who was seriously injured. Five children in the family living in the house were killed. Their parents were pulled from the wreckage alive but badly injured.



CORIN, Henry George

Sgt. Henry George Corin, RNZAF NZ417269 – Navigator.
Lost without trace age 34 on the 28th of April 1943.
Son of George Corin, and of Harriet Mary Corin (Nee Stanton), of Te Kuiti, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 199.

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.



CORLETT, Geoffrey Scott

F/S Geoffrey Scott Corlett, RNZAF NZ42289 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 20 on the 3rd of August 1943.
Son of Thomas William Corlett and of Isabella Scott Corlett (Nee Abraham), of Liverpool, England. His Brother John Norman Also Died On Service.
Buried Hamburg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 4A. D. 9.

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 BF577 JN-M

Sgt. James Arthur Couper, RNZAF NZ417027 – Pilot.
Sgt. George Albert Walker, RAFVR 1332840 – Navigator.
Sgt. Geoffrey Scott Corlett, RNZAF NZ42289 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Sydney Cecil Oliver Reeves, RNZAF NZ42339 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. James Wilson Sneddon, RAFVR 1342219 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Thomas Edward Wadeson, RAFVR 1489406 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Alan Ashworth, RAFVR 1529817 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III BF577 JN-M collided with a German night-fighter (Fw Krauter, II /NJG3), north of the mouth of the River Elbe, crashing on the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Koog. All on board perished. They are buried in Hamburg Cemetery, Ohlsdorf.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/geoffrey-scott-corlett © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/geoffrey-scott-corlett © New Zealand War Graves Project



CORNELL, Bryant Thomas

F/S Bryant Thomas Cornell, RAFVR 1398282 – Navigator.
Died of injuries the following day age 22 on the 18th of January 1945.
Son of Thomas Bryant Cornell and Florence Cornell, of Palmers Green; Husband of Pamela June Cornell, of Fulham, London.
Buried Southgate Cemetery, Middlesex, England..
Grave location – Sec. HB. Grave 561.

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.



CORNISH, Vernon Charles

Sgt. Vernon Charles Cornish, RAFVR 1609419 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 20 on the 21st of July 1944.
Son of Philip Aubrey and Marjorie Edith Cornish, of Bridford, Devon.
Buried Tilburg (Gilzerbaan) General Cemetery, Holland.     .
Grave location – Plot B. Row 2. Grave 60.
‘I will fear no evil:
For Thou art with me.
Psalm XXIII’

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



CORRIS, Douglas

Sgt. Douglas Corris, RAFVR 1501099 – Wireless Operator.
Lost without trace age 21 on the 21st of July 1944.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 227.

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 HK569 AA-Q

F/S Neil Douglas Davidson, RNZAF NZ422057 – Pilot.
Sgt. Arthur Ernest Goddard, RAFVR 1323147 – Navigator.
Sgt. Thomas Gilbert Little , RAFVR 1459875 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Douglas Corris, RAFVR 1501099 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Robert Gerald Sloman, RAFVR 914220 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Raymond Stanley Lang, RAFVR 1896528 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Henry John Hiscox, RAFVR 928092 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I HK569 AA-Q was attacked by a German night-fighter over Heibloem, Limburg, The Netherlands on its way to the target, the Fischer Tropsch oil refinery in Homberg, Germany

Pilot, F/S Neil Douglas Davidson RNZAF flew the badly damaged and blazing aircraft on over the River Maas towards Reuver, but turned and tried to land it in the river, he succeeded but it hit the river bank and exploded. The bomb aimer, Sgt. T.G. Little RAF, had managed to bail out, however his parachute failled to open fully and he was badly injured when he fell into the garden of a house in the village of Kessel. He was taken to a hospital, subsequently made a prisoner of war (POW No. 52469) in Muhlhausen POW camp and survived World War II, passing away in 1990.

The tail of the aircraft fell away from the fuselage into a field just before impact. F/S Hiscox, Rear Gunner, fell with the turret into a corn field. It is thought he died a day or two afterwards and was found two weeks later by a Dutch farmer’s labourer, Sef Willems, who was a member of the Dutch resistance. F/S Hiscox was buried in the Beesel grave yard. The grave digger had a bunch of flowers with him,but the German soldiers threatened to shoot him if he laid them on completion of the burial, He passed the flowers on to local people who in the dark of night threw them over the cemetery wall onto the grave.



COSTELLO, Michael

F/S Michael Costello, RCAF 123094 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 32 on the 16th of August 1943.
Son of John and Emma Costello, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Husband of Louise Costello. of Toronto.
Buried Les Sables-Dolonne (La Chaume) New Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – The only war grave in the cemetery
‘Beloved son
Of John and Emma Costello R.I.P.’

15/08/1943 – Mining in the Gironde Estuary
Five aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1,500lbs.. One aircraft failed to take-off owing to inter-communication failure and one failed to return. The remaining aircraft successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area, and parachutes were seen to open. Some heavy A.A. fire was encountered and one aircraft was slightly hit in the fuselage. The weather was good with clear visibility. Navigation was very good. One aircraft, whilst returning across FRANCE at 200 feet, shot up four trains, the engine of one was seen to explode and the other three appeared hit. The missing aircraft was Stirling Mk.III EE891 captained by F/Sgt. WHITTA, N.B.

Stirling Mk.III EE891 AA-Q

F/S Neville Bruce Whitta, RNZAF NZ416566 – Pilot.
P/O John George Turnbull, RNZAF NZ42490 – Navigator.
Sgt. Michael Costello, RCAF R.123094 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Reginald Frederick Andrews, RAFVR 1263093 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick David Mason, RAFVR 1230433 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Basil George Crisp, RAFVR 1215484 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Jack Edmond Lovewell, RAFVR 1333957 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EE891 AA-Q was brought down off the French coast either by enemy aircraft action or AA ground fire. The bodies of the Captain, Wireless Operator and Mid Upper Gunner were recovered and buried at Olonne-sur-Mer. The body of the RCAF Air Bomber was also recovered and buried at Les Sables-d ́Olonne. The other missing crew members are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.



COULTER, Barry Herbert

Sgt. Barry Herbert Coulter, RAFVR 1261820 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 19 on the 9th of June 1942.
Son of Herbert Coulter, and of Enid Coulter (Nee Chesson), of Roehampton, London.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 9. F. 14.
‘To sleep; no more;
And, by a sleep, to say
We end the heartache
Of a thousand years’

08/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Twelve aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and 4 lb inc was dropped in the target area. Owing to haze results were not observed. There was a heavy concentration of flak and searchlights in target area. Two unidentified a/c were observed near Dutch Coast by Well.III, X3720 and were eluded. Weather was good no cloud over target but hazy. Navigation was very good. Well.III, X3587, captained by P/O. Smith and Well.III, Z1573, captained by P/O Murdoch failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III X.3587 AA-P/S

P/O Rupert John Smith, RNZAF NZ41950 – Pilot.
Sgt. William Graham Clark, RAFVR 903293 – Observer.
Sgt. William Robertson Ramsay, RNZAF NZ405508 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Barry Herbert Coulter, RAFVR 1261820 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Henry Edward Jones, RAFVR 1192997 – Rear Gunner.

The aircraft was brought down, probably by flak, crashing near Dusseldorf. There were no survivors. All five crew were buried in the Nordfriedhof Cemetery, in Dusseldorf, but later reinterred at Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, South West of Cleve.



COUPER, James Arthur

F/S James Arthur Couper, RNZAF NZ417027 – Pilot.
Killed age 31 on the 3rd of August 1943.
Son of Duncan Thomas Couper and Catherine Jane Couper, of Rangiwahia, Wellington, New Zealand.
Buried Hamburg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 4A. D. 10-12.

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 BF577 JN-M

Sgt. James Arthur Couper, RNZAF NZ417027 – Pilot.
Sgt. George Albert Walker, RAFVR 1332840 – Navigator.
Sgt. Geoffrey Scott Corlett, RNZAF NZ42289 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Sydney Cecil Oliver Reeves, RNZAF NZ42339 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. James Wilson Sneddon, RAFVR 1342219 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Thomas Edward Wadeson, RAFVR 1489406 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Alan Ashworth, RAFVR 1529817 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III BF577 JN-M collided with a German night-fighter (Fw Krauter, II /NJG3), north of the mouth of the River Elbe, crashing on the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Koog. All on board perished. They are buried in Hamburg Cemetery, Ohlsdorf.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/james-arthur-couper © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/james-arthur-couper © New Zealand War Graves Project



COUSINS, Frank William

Sgt. Frank William Cousins, RAFVR 1237485 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 22 on the 11th of June 1944.
Son of Frank Reginald and Annie Cousins; husband of Dorothy Theresa Cousins, of Newport, Monmouthshire.
Buried Bayeux War Cemetery, France.
Grave location – VIII. F. 21. 114
‘My loss is great
But not complete –
His precious memory is left’

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.”



COWIE, James Lindis

F/S James Lindis Cowie, RNZAF NZ42322 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 22 on the 22nd of November 1943.
Son of John Thomas Cowie and Ada Frances Annie Cowie, of Lindis Valley, Otago, New Zealand.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 26. A. 6.

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.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/james-lindis-cowie © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/james-lindis-cowie © New Zealand War Graves Project



CRABTREE, John Calverley

F/S John Calverley Crabtree, RAFVR 1493180 – Wireless Operator.
Lost without trace age 35 on the 21st of November 1944.
Son of Percy J. C. and Ada M. Crabtree, of Sheffield; Husband of Marjorie Crabtree, of Sheffield.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 216.

21/11/1944 – Mining in Oslo Fjord
Three aircraft took off to lay mines in the Oslo Fjord. Two aircraft planted their mines in good visibility and without opposition. One aircraft captained by NZ417082 A/F/L L. Martyn, failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I NN745 AA-A

F/L Leslie Arthur Martyn, RNZAF NZ417082 – Pilot.
F/O Thomas Issac Elliot, RNZAF NZ421364 – Navigator.
F/O Allan Roy Frank Dunkerley, RAAF AUS.423083 – Air Bomber.
F/S John Calverley Crabtree, RAFVR 1492180 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Charles Ronald Starkey, RAFVR 1863956 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. George Lindsay, RAFVR 1624589 – Mid Upper Gunner.
P/O Andrew Roy Wright, RCAF J.88789 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I NN745 AA-A was lost without trace. All seven crew are commemorated on the Runnymeade Memorial.



CRAIG, Robert Gerald

Sgt. Robert Gerald Craig, RCAF 69832 – Observer.
Killed age 20 on the 22nd of September 1941.
Son of Robert B. Craig and Elizabeth E. Craig, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Buried Scottow Cemetery, Norfolk, England..
Grave location – Grave 258.
‘He paid the debt
To his country.
Thou faithful son, well done’

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

Wellington Mk.Ic T.2805 AA-E

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

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



CRAIG, Robert Samuel Carson

Sgt. Robert Samuel Carson Craig, RAFVR 1947814 – Front Gunner.
Lost without trace age 26 on the 24th of July 1941.
Son of Samuel Alexander Craig and Sarah Thomson Craig, of Netherlee, Glasgow.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 41.

24/07/1941 – Daylight Attacks Against Battleship Gneisenau at Brest
Six Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out daylight attacks against the above target. One of these aircraft, N.2854 captained by SGT. Streeter failed to return to base. The bomb load consisted of 24 500lbs. S.A.P.
Results were unobserved by DNS.772.
DNS.329 reports bombs overshot aiming point. Direct hits on sheds or warehouses about half mile S.E. of aiming point were observed.
DNS.411 reports that one and possibly two hits were observed on north end of No.1 graving dock.
Results were not observed by P/). Ashworth.
S/L. Lucas reports that bombs were dropped in target area.
Balloons were observed in the harbour.
A.A. fire was very intense and accurate.
Enemy aircraft were numerous and our aircraft were attacked.
The weather was excellent and visibility was good.
Navigation was by D/R, and map reading.

Wellington Mk.Ic N.2854 AA-U

Sgt. Desmond Frederick Streeter, RNZAF NZ401033 – Pilot.
Sgt. William Owen, RCAF R.58067 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Rodney Patrick Carling, RAFVR 950217 – Navigator.
Sgt. Reginald James Turner, RAFVR 913804 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Robert Samuel Carson Craig, RAFVR 947814 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Graham Stuart Walker, RNZAF NZ401817 – Rear Gunner.

There was no report from Sgt Streeter’s crew. Their aircraft, Wellington Mk.Ic N.2854 AA-U, failed to return and was officially classified as ‘lost without trace’. Numerous enemy aircraft were operating in the area and Squadron aircraft were among those coming under attack. It became clear that these attacks had a profound bearing on the loss of R2854.

One of the other Wellington crews in the same formation as Streeter’s, witnessed the latter’s aircraft being targeted by a number of Me109’s and receiving several cannon shell bursts that caused an engine to fail. They last saw the Wellington going down steeply with two or three Me109’s still attacking it. Their chances of escaping would have been very slim, and it was concluded the aircraft had crashed out of control into the sea.

RSC Craig



CRAN, Franklyn Bertram

Sgt. Franklyn Bertram Cran, RNZAF NZ405237 – 2nd Pilot.
Killed age 21 on the 29th of March 1942.
Son of Thomas Francis Bertram Cran and of Mary Rosetta Cran (Nee Clough), of Invercargill, Southland, 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, perhps 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/franklyn-bertram-cran © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/franklyn-bertram-cran © New Zealand War Graves Project



CRARER, Thomas Eric

Sgt. Thomas Eric Crarer, RNZAF NZ405475 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 21 29th of July 1942
Son of Thomas Stewart Crarer and Barbara Elizabeth Crarer, of Wairoa, Hawke’S Bay, New Zealand.
Buried Hamburg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 4A. H. 1-7.

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.3452 AA-J

Sgt. Charles Croall, RNZAF NZ41627 – Pilot.
F/S Ronald Stewart Harvey, RNZAF NZ404538 – Observer.
F/S James Richard Gratton, RNZAF NZ402996 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Henry Bright, RNZAF NZ41567 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Eric Crarer, RNZAF NZ405475 – Rear Gunner.

Caught within searchlight cones while bombing Hamburg, Sgt Croall took rapid evasive action by diving his aircraft steeply to a low level, but they were hit by vigorous light AA fire and forced to ditch in the sea. All but the rear gunner, Sgt Crarer, evacuated the aircraft successfully. They were picked up and taken prisoners of war. Sgt Crarer’s body was later recovered and buried in the Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery at Tönning.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/thomas-eric-crarer © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/thomas-eric-crarer © New Zealand War Graves Project



CRAWFORD, Henry Varley Gibb

Sgt. Henry Varley Gibb Crawford, RNZAF NZ404339 – Observer.
Killed age 28 on the 7th of September 1942.
Son of Matthew Henry and Annie Crawford Crawford, of Mount Albert, Auckland City, New Zealand.
Buried Tilburg (Gilzerbaan) General Cemetery, Holland.
Grave location – Plot A. Row 1. Coll. grave 27-28.

06/09/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Duisburg
Fifteen aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks. Bomb load of 4,000lb. 1,00lb. 500lb. 250lb. and incendiaries were dropped in the target area, large fires were seen to be growing in intensity. A.A. fire was heavy and intense but was bursting high above aircraft, searchlights were intense, particularly at target area.
Wellington BJ772 captained by F/Lt. Womersley was attacked from rear on return by an enemy aircraft, one bursts was fired by the rear gunner and the enemy aircraft was driven off. No other enemy aircraft was seen. The weather was good, clear over target with slight ground haze. Navigation was good. Wellington BJ.765 captained by Sergt. Sharman G.W> and Wellington X.3867 captained by F/Sgt.Parkes W.R. failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III X.3867 AA-P

F/S William Ronald Parkes, RNZAF NZ403822 – Pilot.
Sgt. Henry Varley Gibb Crawford, RNZAF NZ404339 – Observer.
Sgt. George Heerbert Rose, RNZAF NZ391713 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Alpheus Leslie Groves, RNZAF NZ403574 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Eric Glover Wilson, RNZAF NZ404035 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Mk.III X.3867 AA-P was shot down by an enemy night-fighter (Hptm Walter Ehle, Stab II /NJG2), crashing at Riel (Nord Brabant), 5 miles South West of Tilburg, Holland. There were no survivors. All are buried in the Tilburg (Gilzerbaan) General Cemetery.



CRAWFORD-WATSON, Lewis Stanley

F/S Lewis Stanley Crawford-Watson, RNZAF NZ42734 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 21 on the 4th of November 1943.
Son of Lewis and Elsie Ruth Crawford-Watson, of Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Frederikshavn Cemetery, Denmark..
Grave location – Allied Plot. grave 50.

04/11/1943 – Mining in the Baltic Sea
Four aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation, with mines of 1500lbs. This was an unfortunate night as three aircraft failed to return and the other aircraft returned early having jettisoned its mines. This aircraft met an enemy night fighter and sustained damage to the port wing, starboard flap, rear turret and many large holes in the fuselage, the rear gunner, Sgt.W. HURDIE, was killed during the combat. The weather was bad and ten tenths cloud made visibility poor. Navigation was good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings MKIII BF461, Captained by P/O.G.K.WILLIAMS, BK&&* Captained by P/O.W.S.MASTERS and XXXXX Captained by F/O. N.WILSON.

Stirling Mk.III BK778 JN-U

P/O William Stuart Masters, RNZAF NZ421077 – Pilot.
F/O George Burns Imrie, RNZAF NZ422676 – Navigator.
F/S Charles James, RNZAF NZ426333 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Reginald James Thomas, RAFVR 1316730 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Arthur Alfred Copeland, RAFVR 1166829 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leslie Grimwood, RAFVR 1438024 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Lewis Stanley Crawford-Watson, RNZAF NZ42734 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III BK778 JN-U was shot down by a night-fighter, crashing at Berstedgaard, near Thisted, Denmark. There were no survivors. All but the flight engineer were buried at Frederickshaven Cemetery. Sgt Copeland is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/lewis-stanley-crawford-watson © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/lewis-stanley-crawford-watson © New Zealand War Graves Project



CRISP, Basil George

Sgt. Basil George Crisp, RAFVR 1215484 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 22 on the 16th of August 1943.
Buried Olonne-Sur-Mer Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Row 5. Grave 7.

15/08/1943 – Mining in the Gironde Estuary
Five aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1,500lbs.. One aircraft failed to take-off owing to inter-communication failure and one failed to return. The remaining aircraft successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area, and parachutes were seen to open. Some heavy A.A. fire was encountered and one aircraft was slightly hit in the fuselage. The weather was good with clear visibility. Navigation was very good. One aircraft, whilst returning across FRANCE at 200 feet, shot up four trains, the engine of one was seen to explode and the other three appeared hit. The missing aircraft was Stirling Mk.III EE891 captained by F/Sgt. WHITTA, N.B.

Stirling Mk.III EE891 AA-Q

F/S Neville Bruce Whitta, RNZAF NZ416566 – Pilot.
P/O John George Turnbull, RNZAF NZ42490 – Navigator.
Sgt. Michael Costello, RCAF R.123094 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Reginald Frederick Andrews, RAFVR 1263093 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick David Mason, RAFVR 1230433 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Basil George Crisp, RAFVR 1215484 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Jack Edmond Lovewell, RAFVR 1333957 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EE891 AA-Q was brought down off the French coast either by enemy aircraft action or AA ground fire. The bodies of the Captain, Wireless Operator and Mid Upper Gunner were recovered and buried at Olonne-sur-Mer. The body of the RCAF Air Bomber was also recovered and buried at Les Sables-d ́Olonne. The other missing crew members are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.



CROSS, Thomas Richard

Sgt. Thomas Richard Cross, RAFVR 917809 – Front Gunner.
Killed age 35 on the 29th of March 1942.
Son of Thomas and Elizabeth Cross, of Reading, Berkshire; Husband of Irene Olive Cross, of Reading.
Buried Kiel War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – Coll. grave 2. A. 4-6.
‘God’s greatest gift,
Remembrance’

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.



CROWTHER, Frederick Edward William

Sgt. Frederick Edward William Crowther, RAFVR 1339159 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Died of injuries 10 days later age 20 on the 3rd of October 1943.
Buried Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 2. C. 24.

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 BF459 JN-E

P/O Clifford Charles Pownall Logan, RAAF AUS.405918 – Pilot.
F/S Geoffrey Phillips Sowerby, RNZAF NZ417243 – Navigator.
F/O John Paul Ingham, RAFVR 132331 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Terence James Hegarty, RAFVR 1030026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Thomas Stewart, RAFVR 1117389 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Frederick Edward William Crowther, RAFVR 1339159 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Albert John Knox, RNZAF NZ416006 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III BF459 JN-E was brought down at Lampertheim, 7 miles North of Mannheim. All but two of the crew died in the crash, The M/U gunner, who was seriously injured, died 10 days later. The only survivor was the rear gunner, F/S A J Knox, RNZAF, who was captured as a P.o.W. All who died were buried at Lampertheim and later reinterred at Durnbach War Cemetery, East of Bad Tolz.



CROXON, Kenneth Eric

Sgt. Kenneth Eric Croxon, RAFVR 1893473 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 31 on the 24th of August 1944.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 8. K. 8-10.

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 LM593 AA-N

F/O James Allan Fleming, RNZAF NZ422382 – Pilot.
F/O James Atkinson Dale, RNZAF NZ425562 – Navigator.
F/S Frank Arthur Vincent, RAFVR 1395910 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Eric Garforth, RAFVR 2206796 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Kenneth Eric Croxon, RAFVR 1893473 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Edwin Slater, RAFVR 2210570 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Alan Raymond Bryce Stewart, 1344346 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I LM593 AA-N was brought down over Germany, crashing near Neunkirchen; 38 miles North West of the target. There were no survivors. All seven crew are now buried in the Rheinberg War Cemetery.



CULLEN, Herbert Sidney George

Sgt. Herbert Sidney George Cullen, RAFVR 926722 – Observer.
Lost without trace age 22 on the 12th of March 1942.
Son of Sidney William and Emily Cullen, of Bleadon, Somerset.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England.
Grave location – Panel 81.

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.3588 AA-U

S/L Peter James Robert Kitchin, RAF 39539 – Pilot.
P/O William James Parton, RNZAF NZ41932 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Herbert Sidney George Cullen, RAFVR 926722 – Observer.
Sgt. William Clezy, RAFVR 1365054 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Henry James Carter, RAFVR 929289/ 104474 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Lloyd Montgomery Chamberlain, RNZAF NZ40914 – Rear Gunner.

The aircraft was recorded as lost without trace. All crew members are commemorated on the Runneymede Memorial

HSG Cullen



CULSHAW, John Richard

Sgt. John Richard Culshaw, RAFVR 1437100 – Navigator.
Killed age 21 on the 28th of August 1943.
Son of Reuben and Kate Culshaw, of Embsay, Yorkshire.
Buried Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 9. C. 21.

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.



CUMMING, Gordon Murry

Sgt. Gordon Murry Cumming, RAFVR 743076 – Observer.
Killed age 27 on the 20th of July 1940.
Son of Hugh and Lucy Bygrove Cumming, of Glasgow.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 21. F. 1.
‘Always remembered’

20/07/1940 – Bombing Attacks on Targets A.70 and A.71
Nine aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out individual attacks on targets above. The Squadron suffered its second loss, since the beginning of Operations in March 1940, when CB.650 (F/O. Watson, Captain) failed to return.

CB.639 reports, two attacks, consisting of two sticks of 5 bombs each were dropped over the target at 00.33 hours. Height 5,000 feet. Previously to this another aircraft had dropped incendiaries in same area. Fires and explosions from other aircraft’s bombs, on target, but few from incendiaries which dropped little to West of actual area. EINDHAVEN flare path bombed with stick of 3 – 250lbs. bombs at 22.35 hours by CB.640. Flare path extinguished and remained so. Target A.70 located and bombed at 00.25hrs. Bursts observed and fires observed to break out and gradually increased.

CB.641 reports, being unable to identify target, bombs were dropped from 9,500ft in one stick on railway junction at KAMEN. Last two bombs observed to burst in railway yards.

CB.648 located target after waiting for cloud to disperse and doing several dummy runs. Believed bombed successfully as four bursts observed on N.E. corner of works and fires started across railway line.

CB.649 reports, the incendiaries seen to burst on Southern extremity of target. The 250lbs bombs were not observed owing to cloud over target.

Level attack from 10,800ft made by CB.651 from N.E. to S.W. on target A.71. Three hits obtained on N side of target, remaining bombs appeared to undershoot. Several small fires started followed by minor explosions.

A high level attack carried out from 14,000ft by CB.652. One large flash observed and number of small fires. One red and two green.

CB.653 reports, the target located without difficulty, being made so by light of moon and excellent landmarks. Bombed from 11,000ft in one stick on straight run over target. Results unobserved.

Balloons seen up to 14,000 feet in many towns over RUHR. Heavy flak experienced over WESEL and all target areas, accurate for height etc./ Searchlights over whole area.

Three H.E. 113’s attacked CB639 over WESEL. (i) above and astern (ii)Starboard qtr and below. (iii) below and astern. No.(ii) shot down in flames, No. 3 assumed disabled. No.1 attacked 3 times afterwards.

Weather fair, visibility good, throughout whole of journey. Navigation by D/R, visual fixes and homing bearings. The moon was quite advantageous in helping to locate the target.

Wellington Mk.1c R.3165 AA-L
Raid No. CB.650 A.70

F/O Samuel Miles Mackenzie Watson, RAF 77026 – Pilot.
P/O Edward Colin Joseph Cameron, RAF 36237 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Gordon Murray Cumming, RAFVR 743076 – Observer.
F/S Ronald Alexander John Anderson, RNZAF NZ36139 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. John Lewis Owen, RNZAF NZ391332 – Rear Gunner .

There is no record, regarding the details of the loss of Wellington Mk. 1c R.3165 AA-L. The aircraft came down near Weseke, approximately 40 miles North North West of Horst airfield, near Gelsenkirchen. Other crews on the Op noted the presence of three Me.109’s, seen in the moonlight over the target area. Thus, it would be reasonable to conjecturise that the Watson crew succumbed to at least one of these aircraft.



CUMPSTY, Frederic William Raukawa

P/O Frederic William Raukawa Cumpsty, RNZAF NZ413386 – Air Bomber.
Lost without trace age 25 on the 31st of July 1943.
Son of Charles Edwin and Mary Cumpsty, of Greytown, Wellington, New Zealand.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 198.

30/07/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Remscheld
Thirteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lb. And 4lb..One aircraft returned early as rear turret was unserviceable and two failed to return. The remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area, large concentrated fires and some explosions were seen. Moderate heavy and light A.A fire co-operating with searchlight belts were encountered, and one aircraft was slightly damaged in the mid- upper turret. Some enemy aircraft were seen, the aircraft captained by F/S. O. WHITE sighted an unidentified aircraft which attacked three times. Each time the mid upper and rear gunners fired a burst, and strikes were seen on the enemy aircraft which then fell away and claimed to be damaged. The weather was good with clear visibility except for haze caused by fires. Navigation was very good. On return, one aircraft landed at HARDWICK, due to shortage of petrol. The missing aircraft were Stirling Mk.III BF458 captained by Sgt. A.J. THOMAS and Stirling Mk.III EE915 captained by F/Sgt. J. DARNEY.

Stirling Mk.III BF458 JN-A

Sgt. Alfred John Thomas, RAFVR 1394123/ 149999 – Pilot.
Sgt. Hector Alisdair ‘Paddy’ Stewart , RAFVR 1029882 – Navigator.
F/S Frederick William Raukawa Cumpsty, RNZAF NZ413386 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. R.H. Boxell, RAFVR 1331932 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. John William Gale, RAFVR 1271102 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. John Hubert O’Farrell, RAFVR 1796043 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ernest Frank Henry, RCAF R.139159 – Rear Gunner.

BF458 was brought down to the north of Krefeld, near Bockum and Uerdingen. The sole survivors were the Navigator and the Wireless Operator who were captured as POW’s. The Flight Engineer and M/U gunner were buried in the Reichswald Forest Cemetery. The other three are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.



CUNNINGHAM, George

Sgt. George Cunningham, RAFVR 1365361 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 30 on the 25th of July 1944.
Son of William and Mary Cunningham, of Dundee; Husband of Helen Cunningham, of Dundee.
Buried Chateau-Voue Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Coll. grave 1-3.
‘Dearly loved Husband’

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.



CUNNINGHAM, Leonard Roy

Sgt. Leonard Roy Cunningham, RAF 643601 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 23 on the 11th of April 1943.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 18. E. 3-7.

10/04/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Frankfurt
Twelve aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1000lb and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb. Three aircraft were forced to return early as they failed to maintain height. Eight of the remaining aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. It was not possible to see the target owing to thick cloud, a large red glow was nevertheless seen. Both light and heavy A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights was encountered, although they were ineffective. Several enemy aircraft were seen and two short combats took place. There was 10/10ths cloud in the target area, but it was clear and dark above our aircraft. Navigations was excellent. Stirling III, BF455 captained by F/Sgt. Rothschild was hit over the target by A.A. Fire and also chased by enemy Fighters. This caused him to run short of Petrol over the English Channel on the way home, and he eventually crash landed in the sea, 3 miles off Shoreham. The wireless procedure had been perfect, and Spitfires escorted it over the French coast, and a Walrus Flying Boat was waiting for it to crash land. Dingy drill was perfect and all the crew got in safely after an immaculate landing – the Stirling floating for 25 minutes. The final scene was enacted in the Channel as the Walrus collided with the Dinghy and dropped all the crew in the sea. No Ill-effects except for Sgt. Grainger, the Flight Engineer, who suffered from shock. Stirling III BF456 captained by Sgt. Webb failed to return.

Stirling Mk.III BF456 AA-J

Sgt. John Webb, RAFVR 657412 – Pilot.
Sgt. David Vernon Jones, RAFVR 1337506 – Navigator.
Sgt. Daniel Thomas Anthony, RAFVR 1315996 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Richard William Lowther, RAFVR 1380534 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. James Robertson Inglis, RAFVR 979322 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leonard Roy Cunningham, RAFVR 643601 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Edward John Letherbarrow , RAFVR 1315524 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III BF456 AA-J crashed some 200 miles South East of Frankfurt near Steeg, a small village at 8,700ft in the Lechtaller Alps, Austria. The aircraft was clearly heading in the wrong direction and flying well below safety height in this mountainous region.



CURLEWIS, Raymond Fullerton

Sgt. Raymond Fullerton Curlewis, RAAF AUS.402230 – Pilot.
Killed age 25 on the 11th of October 1941.
Son of Leslie Graham and Laura Fullerton Curlewis, of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 1. B. 4.

10/10/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at CologneEight Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. One of these aircraft, Z8969, captained by Sgt Curlewis, failed to return to base. Another, X9825, captained by S/Ldr Chamberlain, jettisoned bombs on a road WSW of Cologne, as owing to damage to hydraulics, the aircraft was unable to maintain height with bombs on. Centre of town was successfully attacked and bombs were seen to burst. large fires were started and were seen to be burning twenty minutes later. One aircraft was seen to crash and explode in the city area. A.A. fire was intense at all heights from 12,000 feet, to 4,000 feet. Searchlights were active in two cones, one each side of target. Visibility was good, with large clearing in low cloud over the target area.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.8969 AA-R?

Sgt. Raymond Fullerton Curlewis, RAAF AUS.402230 – Pilot.
Sgt. Colin Maurice Thompson, RNZAF NZ4044237 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Alan Clifford Edwards, RAFVR 1163977 – Navigator.
Sgt. Frederick Garde, RAFVR 993802 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Robert Lea Warburton, RAFVR 978776 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Timothy Rowley Murphy, RNZAF NZ404037 – Rear Gunner.

One aircraft was seen to crash and explode in the city area. It is possible that this may have been 75 Sqn’s Z.8969, which failed to return. Two other Wellingtons, from No 57 (Sister) squadron, Feltwell, also were shot down at or near Cologne.

All these crew members perished. Their bodies were recovered and buried at the British WW 1 cemetery in the Zollstock district, South Cologne. At the end of the war, their remains were disinterred and taken to the Rheinberg.War Cemetery, eight miles south of Wessel.

1797540_10152882575108712_3316226360908373143_n



CURTIS, Stanley Arthur

Sgt. Stanley Arthur Curtis, RAFVR 1386838 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 28on the 9th of April 1943.
Son of Samuel and Martha Curtis; Husband of Rose Winifred Alice Curtis.
Buried Newmarket Cemetery, Suffolk, England..
Grave location – Plot O. Grave 397.
‘At rest’

08/04/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Duisburg
Nine aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks, with bombs of 1000 lb. and incendiaries of 30 lb. and 4 lb. Four of the aircraft however were forced to return early owing to severe icing conditions, which prevented the aircraft from gaining height. Four of the remaining aircraft successfully bombed the target through cloud. Large fires were seen glowing below the clouds. A fair amount of heavy predicted A.A.Fire was encountered, some enemy aircraft were seen, but no combats took place. The weather was 10/10ths cloud, with electrical storms, rain and severe icing. Which prevented this operation from being a complete success. Navigation was very good. Stirling III, BK770, captained by W/O Walsh, was returning to base at 01.10 hours a message was received from him, but this was the last heard of the aircraft until it was reported to have crashed at Bressingham, Norfolk, soon after this time. The aircraft exploded on impact and burnt out, and unfortunately the whole of the crew were killed.

Stirling Mk.III BK770 AA-L

W/O John Arthur Ernest Walsh, RNZAF NZ401294 – Pilot.
F/S Bertram Augustus Moffatt, RCAF R.802237 – Navigator.
Sgt. Francis Henry Reddicliffe, RAFVR 1030797 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. John William Scudder, RAFVR 1291875 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Jack Herbert Worthington, RAFVR 574819 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Stanley Arthur Curtis, RAFVR 1386838 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Phillip Gordon Stuart, RCAF R.93568 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III BK770 AA-L was returning to base when at 01:10hrs, a brief W/T distress signal was received from the aircraft but nothing more. A ground report was later received advising an aircraft had crashed at Valley Farm, Bressingham, Norfolk. Soon after impact an explosion was observed and the aircraft burst into flames. None of the crew survived. The three Commonwealth airmen, along with Sgt’s Reddicliffe and Curtis, are buried in the Newmarket cemetery.

This was the first Mk III Stirling written off in 75(NZ) Squadron.

CURTIS, Stanley Arthur RAFVR

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s