A.M.F. Alexander Crew 22.6.43

The crew of AA-U. L to R – William McDonald, Desmond Andersen, Frank Howard, Armstrong Lyon, Allan Alexander, Thomas Mayhew and Philip Pullyn.

F/Lt Allan Mason Forbes Alexander RNZAF NZ41712. Pilot
Citation DFC (19 Oct 1943): In the course of his tour this officer has attacked many targets, including Berlin, Hamburg and important industrial centres in the Ruhr. He has displayed great skill and determination and obtained many successes. One night in August during an attack on Berlin, his aircraft was attacked by several fighters. Flying Officer Alexander skillfully out- manoeuvered the enemy aircraft, thereby enabling his gunner to shoot down one of the attackers. This officer has possessed great courage and devotion to duty.

Whilst looking through the National Archives I discovered the following 3 raid reports relating to 3 separate incidents that the Alexander crew were involved in:

Combat report for 25th June 1943 – Gelsenkirchen. National Archive copyright

Combat report for 13th July 1943 – Aachen. National Archive copyright

Combat report for 31st August 1943 – Berlin. National Archive copyright

The following are Allan’s recollections of his crew and were taken from a transcript from an interview with Sonia Yee of New Zealand Radio (permission for reproduction granted by Radio New Zealand)

P/O Maurice Desmond ‘Des’ Anderson RNZAF NZ415675. Navigator
“Des was an immaculate type of man – and his work was the same – he was the navigator, and his work was immaculate, every figure you could see perfectly – and he was so accurate – the whole time, he was, really was a marvellous navigator. Unfortunately, he did have a breakdown –  after the Berlin trip he  came on another one trip I think and then on the next one he  had a complete breakdown and he was in hospital and he didn’t, he didn’t fly again and I didn’t see him until 1950 – and he came to see us down at Raumati South and he seemed quite good then, but shortly after that he committed suicide, so he must have still been rankling in his mind”.

F/S Philip Hutcheson Pullyn RNZAF NZ416643. Air Bomber
“Phil was,… although he was near enough to my age, he looked about half the age, he looked as if he was too young to be there actually – in fact I don’t think he shaved even at that stage – he looked so young. We sort of wanted to look after him “.

F/S Thomas James Mayhew RNZAF NZ415549. Wireless Operator
“Tom, very quiet, decent bloke. Tom and I would get down to the local pub and stand there and have a few beers – half the time we wouldn’t talk for 5 minutes or so, but we were great companions – I was with him right up until he died in Te Puke a few years ago”.

Sgt. Frank Howard RAFVR 643578. Flight Engineer
“Frank Howard, he came from Birmingham, the Flight Engineer – I think most of the Flight Engineers were from England. We kept in touch for a while, but then, I think he moved and we didn’t hear from him and I’ve tried and tried and tried to get, find out what happened to him – I haven’t had any luck”.

P/O Armstrong ‘Doc’ Lyon RCAF R108340/ J92830. Mid Upper Gunner
“The American, he came out here in 1990, he and his wife came out, for a visit. I heard from him a couple of years later, although we used to keep in touch a bit, but then I haven’t heard anything since and I don’t know, coz he wasn’t very well, even when he was here, he had had trouble with his lungs”.

Distinguished Flying Cross – No.214 Squadron – Award effective 5 February 1945 as per London Gazette dated 16 February 1945 and AFRO 563/45 dated 29 March 1945. American in the RCAF.
No citation other than;
“completed… numerous operations against the enemy in the course of which [he has] invariably displayed the utmost fortitude, courage and devotion to duty.”

Public Records Office Air 2/8830 has recommendation dated 16 November 1944 when he had flown 56 sorties (288 hours 35 minutes). It is a particularly interesting document in that the Station CO, G/C T.C. Dickens, writes on 19 November that Lyon is;
“A really excellent Air Gunner…The personal successes of the Warrant Officer have proved an inspiration to all aircrew on the Station, in that over two operational tours this Air Gunner is officially credited with four enemy night fighters destroyed (one shared) and two damaged.”

Born 7 November 1919, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; home in Marbarth, Pennsylvania
Enlisted Montreal 25 June 1941 and posted to No.5A Manning Depot.
To No.5 SFTS (guard duty), 9 August 1941.
To No.5 ITS, 27 October 1941; to Trenton, 14 November 1941; promoted LAC, 9 December 1941; to No.9 BGS, 13 December 1941; to No.6 BGS, 15 January 1942; graduated and promoted Sergeant, 16 February 1942.
To “Y” Depot, 17 February 1942; to RAF overseas, 23 March 1942.
Promoted WO2, 16 February 1942.
Promoted WO1, 16 August 1943.
Commissioned 24 November 1944.
Promoted Flying Officer, 24 May 1945.
Repatriated 9 February 1945. To No.1 Air Command, 26 February 1945.
To No.16 SFTS, 29 March 1945.
To Mountain View, 22 April 1945.
To AFHQ, 13 May 1945. To Eastern Air Command, 15 July 1945.
To No.10 Explosive Depot, 17 July 1945.
To Western Air Command, 18 September 1945.
Returned to Eastern Air Command, 23 November 1945.
To No.1 PTU, 20 January 1946.
To No.1 Composite Training School, 10 April 1946.
To Air Armament School, 24 September 1946. Retained in RCAF as Gunnery Officer as of 1 October 1946 (20502).

F/O William Hamish ‘Mac’ MacDonald RNZAF NZ417219/ xxxxxxx. Rear Gunner
Born Wanganui 6 Sep 1922 – son of farmer – father’s farm at Mangamahu.
RNZAF Levin/ITW as Wireless Operator/Air Gunner u/t 27th December 1941.
Embarked for Canada 2nd March 1942.
RCAF 2nd April 1942, 2 M Depôt 5th April 1942, 3WS 12th April 1942, KTS 1st August 1942.
Remustered as Air Gunner u/t 19th August 1942, 9BGS 13th September 1942, Air Gunners Badge & Sgt. 4th December 1942.
1 Y Depot 16th December 1942, att RAF & embarked for UK 29th December 1942,
11PD&RC 8th January 1943.
11OTU (Wellington) 2nd March 1943.
1657HCU (Stirling) 15th May 1943.
75(NZ)Squadron RAF (Stirling) 15th June 1943, Commissioned 8th November 1943.
31 Base for 1653 HCU (Stirling) by 29th November 1943,
11OTU (Wellington) 16th January 1944,
7 Squadron 24th March 1944 [att PFFNTU (Lancaster) c.24 Mar-e.Apr],
Died 20th May 1944. Marquise Communal Cemetery – 1.B. joint grave 23, Pas-de-Calais, France. Son of William Alexander & Marjorie Leila MacDonald.

Raid on radar station ‘E’ at Mont de Couple, Cap Gris-Nez, France (by 44 aircraft – 1 lost)
7 Squadron, RAF (Oakington, Cambridgeshire – 8 [PFF] Group)
Lancaster III ND736/G – took off at 2258 captained by Sqn Ldr I D Oliver, DFC, RAF, hit by flak and exploded in mid-air, the wreckage falling at Landrethun-le-Nord, 7km NE of Marquise. Oliver was thrown out as the bomber blew up, surviving, injured, to be taken prisoner. His seven comrades were buried on the 22nd at Marquise, the RCAF 2nd pilot later being re-interred in the Canadian War Cemetery at Calais.

Mid-upper Gunner: NZ417219 F/O William Hamish MacDonald, RNZAF – Age 21.

I’ll leave the final word to Allan – asked by Sonya Ye, during an interview with Allan for NZ Radio, what would it be like if the boys were here now, he answered:

“They would walk in and it would be just as if we were walking in, then. There wouldn’t be any difference; it would be just the same. We went through a lot together – and you don’t forget something’s – you might forget a hell of a lot in life, but those sort of things, you don’t forget”.

read the full interview here

Allan begins with 2 ‘2nd Dickie’ Ops with the French and Andrews crew.

19/06/1943 – Krefeld
Fourteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 2,000lb., 1,000lb., and incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb. One aircraft returned early as it was hit by A.A. fire in the fuselage, mainplane and mid upper turret. The Flight Engineer made a really good effort to overcome the damage by hacking his way through the fuselage into the port wing to get at the petrol tank controls, which he then operated by hand. The BREUIL STEEL WORKs was very badly damaged and appeared to have the roof missing. Large fires and huge explosions were seen in the target area. An aircraft captained by P/O Sedunary, lost the outer propeller, just before bombing. He carried out his bombing successfully and returned to base. At the beginning of the attack little light and heavy A.A fire and one searchlight were encountered, but as the attack progressed the defences were thoroughly disorganised. There was no cloud in the target area and visibility was excellent, except for smoke from out flares. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.III BK777 AA-U

F/L Richard Otway French, RNZAF NZ415756 – Pilot.
P/O Allan Mason Forbes Alexander, RNZAF NZ41712 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. F. Richardson, RAFVR 1097879 – Navigator.
Sgt. B. Tregonning, RAFVR 1319088 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Rupert George Moss, RAFVR 1256127/ 147773 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Norman Bartlett, RAFVR 54290 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. J. Moran, RAFVR 1117083 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Harold Ernest Moss, RNZAF NZ413274 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:15 – Landed 00:22
Flight Time 02:07

21/06/1943 – Krefeld
Fifteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb. bombs in the target area. The operation was very successful, the whole of the town was seething in flames and the smoke from the fires was rising to a height of 8,000ft. On the return the fires could be seen from the Dutch Coast. Heavy, moderate and light A.A. fire. Some enemy aircraft were seen and one short combat took place, but no damage was sustained to our aircraft. The weather was good with clear visibility except in the target area, where there was haze caused by fires. Navigation was excellent.

Stirling Mk.III EF408 AA-P

S/L Frank Albert Andrews, RNZAF NZ391336 – Pilot.
P/O Allan Mason Forbes Alexander, RNZAF NZ41712 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Hector Bernard Duffett, RAFVR 1176955/ 141020 – Navigator.
F/S David Walker Findlay, RNZAF NZ412217 – Air Bomber.
F/S John Ellis Higgs, RAFVR 1161218/ 155859 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Laurence Riley, RAFVR 994223/ 161701 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. J. Francis, RAFVR 1319643 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. E.M. Shaw, RAFVR 1059434 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:59 – Landed 03:42
Flight Time 03:43

Alexander crew Op History
22/06/1943 – Mining off the Frisian Islands
Two aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with Mines of 1,500lbs., which were successfully dropped in the allotted area and the parachutes were seen to open. No A.A. fire, searchlights or enemy aircraft were encountered. It was hazy in the mining area although visibility was fairly good. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.I BK619 AA-X

P/O Allan Mason Forbes Alexander, RNZAF NZ41712 – Pilot.
F/S Maurice Desmond Andersen, RNZAF NZ415675 – Navigator.
Sgt. Philip Hutcheson Pullyn, RNZAF NZ416643 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Thomas James Mayhew, RNZAF NZ415549 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frank Howard, RAFVR 643578 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Armstrong ‘Doc’ Lyon, RCAF R.108340 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William Hamish ‘Mac’ MacDonald, RNZAF NZ417219 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:45 – Landed 04:03
Flight Time 04:18

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 BF443 AA-V “Waikato”

P/O Allan Mason Forbes Alexander, RNZAF NZ41712 – Pilot.
F/S Maurice Desmond Andersen, RNZAF NZ415675 – Navigator.
Sgt. Philip Hutcheson Pullyn, RNZAF NZ416643 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Thomas James Mayhew, RNZAF NZ415549 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frank Howard, RAFVR 643578 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Armstrong ‘Doc’ Lyon, RCAF R.108340 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William Hamish ‘Mac’ MacDonald, RNZAF NZ417219 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:36 – Landed 03:50
Flight Time 04:14

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. Sgt. 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.I BF443 AA-V “Waikato”

P/O Allan Mason Forbes Alexander, RNZAF NZ41712 – Pilot.
F/S Maurice Desmond Andersen, RNZAF NZ415675 – Navigator.
Sgt. Philip Hutcheson Pullyn, RNZAF NZ416643 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Thomas James Mayhew, RNZAF NZ415549 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frank Howard, RAFVR 643578 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Armstrong ‘Doc’ Lyon, RCAF R.108340 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William Hamish ‘Mac’ MacDonald, RNZAF NZ417219 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:32 – Landed 03:29
Flight Time 03:57

13/07/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Aachen
Nine aircraft were detailed to attack targets as above, with incendiaries of 30lbs. And 4lbs. All of the aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area, large fires were seen which appeared to be scattered. Some light and heavy A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered. The aircraft captained by P/O CC. Logan, was hit by A.A. fire in the starboard outer engine, fin and elevator, and had to make a landing at FORD, which he did successfully. Some enemy aircraft were encountered. The aircraft captained by P/O. A. Rankin was attacked by a JU.88 and the wireless operator was wounded. The rear gunner returned fire and the enemy aircraft broke away, returning astern and firing a short burst. The Stirling rear gunner then fired a long burst and the enemy aircraft gave a flash, spun half round and disappeared into the cloud , followed by an explosion on the ground. This aircraft was claimed as being destroyed. The aircraft captained by P/O. A.A. ALEXANDER sighted an ME210 on the port beam, 100 yards slightly below. As the enemy aircraft passed below, the front gunner fired a short burst, the Stirling corkscrewed and the enemy aircraft appeared astern, the rear gunner then fired a short burst and the enemy aircraft was seen to dive into the clouds, and is claimed as possibly destroyed. There was 8/10ths. broken cloud at the target, but visibility above that was good. Stirling Mk.III EE886 captained by F/O. C. EDDY on return, crash landed at OAKINGTON, the under carriage collapsed and the aircraft turned over and caught fire. The mid-upper gunner E.C. VICCARS was killed on impact and the remainder of the crew escaped although not without injuries. The captain, navigator, wireless operator and flight engineer were seriously injured, the remainder being slightly injured.

Stirling Mk.III BK777 AA-U “Alexander’s Ragtime Crew”

P/O Allan Mason Forbes Alexander, RNZAF NZ41712 – Pilot.
F/S Maurice Desmond Andersen, RNZAF NZ415675 – Navigator.
F/S Philip Hutcheson Pullyn, RNZAF NZ416643 – Air Bomber.
F/S Thomas James Mayhew, RNZAF NZ415549 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frank Howard, RAFVR 643578 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Armstrong ‘Doc’ Lyon, RCAF R.108340 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William Hamish ‘Mac’ MacDonald, RNZAF NZ417219 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:55 – Landed 04:50
Flight Time 04:55

24/07/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Twenty-three aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 2,000lbs., 1,000lbs., and incendiaries of 30lbs., and 4lbs. Of these aircraft, two returned early due to unserviceable W/T and engine trouble respectively, and one aircraft failed to return. The remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. It was a very concentrated and successful attack. Very large spread fires were seen with black smoke rising to height of 1,400ft., some heavy explosions were also seen. A heavy A.A. barrage co-operating with searchlights were encountered and two aircraft were coned in the searchlights but neither were hit. The aircraft captained by F/O. G. TURNER whilst avoiding a searchlight cone, the starboard wing was struck by a JU 88approaching head on. The enemy aircraft turned over and dived to the ground, it was claimed to be destroyed.. The Stirling was badly damaged having more that 4ft. of the starboard mainplane torn off, and the aileron and aileron controls being useless. The captain had extreme difficulty in controlling the aircraft, but kept it on an even keel with the assistance of the Air-bomber, and after the 3 hours return flight to base, made a perfect landing. Two other short combats took place, but no damage was sustained to our aircraft. The weather was very good, with clear visibility, except for haze caused by smoke from the fires. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling Mk.III EE890 captained by Sergeant H. Nichol.

Stirling Mk.III BK777 AA-U “Alexander’s Ragtime Crew”

P/O Allan Mason Forbes Alexander, RNZAF NZ41712 – Pilot.
F/S Maurice Desmond Andersen, RNZAF NZ415675 – Navigator.
F/S Philip Hutcheson Pullyn, RNZAF NZ416643 – Air Bomber.
F/S Thomas James Mayhew, RNZAF NZ415549 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frank Howard, RAFVR 643578 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Armstrong ‘Doc’ Lyon, RCAF R.108340 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William Hamish ‘Mac’ MacDonald, RNZAF NZ417219 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:50 – Landed 04:25
Flight Time 06:35

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 haze 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 BK777 AA-U “Alexander’s Ragtime Crew”

P/O Allan Mason Forbes Alexander, RNZAF NZ41712 – Pilot.
F/S Maurice Desmond Andersen, RNZAF NZ415675 – Navigator.
F/S Philip Hutcheson Pullyn, RNZAF NZ416643 – Air Bomber.
F/S Thomas James Mayhew, RNZAF NZ415549 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frank Howard, RAFVR 643578 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Armstrong ‘Doc’ Lyon, RCAF R.108340 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William Hamish ‘Mac’ MacDonald, RNZAF NZ417219 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:10 – Landed 03:10
Flight Time 05:00

27/07/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Twenty two aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with bombs of 2,000lb., 1,000lb., and incendiaries of 30lb. And 4lb. Two aircraft returned early owing to engine trouble, but the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. This attack was more concentrated than the previous one, colossal fires and explosions were seen with smoke rising to 20,000ft., a ship was also seen to be on fire in a Dock south of the target. Moderate heavy and light A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights operating in belts were encountered, although the A.A. fire was heavier than the previous attack, it was ineffective except for slight damage to three aircraft. Some enemy aircraft were seen. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. E.J. ROBERTS sighted a JU 88 approaching from the port beam above and all gunners opened fire, the enemy aircraft broke away firing and then approached on the port beam below. The Mid-upper and Rear gunners fired a long burst and the enemy aircraft was claimed to be damaged. The Stirling was also damaged, having a bomb door blown off and a petrol pipe-line pierced, nevertheless the captain brought his aircraft safely back to base. The weather was good except for 3/10th cloud at the target, visibility was good, although smoke haze prevented identification of ground detail. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.III BK777 AA-U “Alexander’s Ragtime Crew”

P/O Allan Mason Forbes Alexander, RNZAF NZ41712 – Pilot.
F/S Maurice Desmond Andersen, RNZAF NZ415675 – Navigator.
F/S Philip Hutcheson Pullyn, RNZAF NZ416643 – Air Bomber.
F/S Thomas James Mayhew, RNZAF NZ415549 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frank Howard, RAFVR 643578 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Armstrong ‘Doc’ Lyon, RCAF R.108340 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William Hamish ‘Mac’ MacDonald, RNZAF NZ417219 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:15 – Landed 04:45
Flight Time 06:30

29/07/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Seventeen aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with incendiary bombs of 30lb. And 4lb. Two aircraft returned early and the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. This was a very successful attack, large concentrated fires with heavy explosions and smoke rising to 15,000ft., were seen. Moderate heavy A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered, which were scattered and unpredictable. One aircraft was held in searchlights cones for periods of 10 and 8 minutes, he avoided them with extreme difficulty and whilst so doing was hit in the fuselage by A.A. fire. Two other aircraft also received slight damage. Some enemy aircraft were seen and the aircraft captained by Sgt. P. Hartstein sighted a JU 88 which came in from astern firing a cannon, the Rear gunner replied and the enemy aircraft broke away. The aircraft captained by F/O. G. DUNCAN sighted a JU 88 on the port quarter , the Mid upper gunner gave a 10 second burst and the enemy aircraft dived away. The aircraft captained by F/S/ E. WILKINSON sighted a JU88 on the port quarter, the enemy aircraft opened fire and the Rear gunner replied, the enemy aircraft then broke away. The aircraft captained by F/S. J. DARNEY encountered an unidentified enemy aircraft which fired from the starboard quarter, the Rear gunner replied and the enemy disappeared. It was clear at the target area and the visibility was good except for haze from the fires. Navigation was excellent. The aircraft captained by P/O. A. SEDUNARY just after bombing, had one of its engines failed. After unsuccessful attempts to start it, he brought the aircraft back to base on three engines and made a perfect landing.

Stirling Mk.III BK777 AA-U “Alexander’s Ragtime Crew”

P/O Allan Mason Forbes Alexander, RNZAF NZ41712 – Pilot.
F/S Maurice Desmond Andersen, RNZAF NZ415675 – Navigator.
F/S Philip Hutcheson Pullyn, RNZAF NZ416643 – Air Bomber.
F/S Thomas James Mayhew, RNZAF NZ415549 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frank Howard, RAFVR 643578 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Armstrong ‘Doc’ Lyon, RCAF R.108340 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William Hamish ‘Mac’ MacDonald, RNZAF NZ417219 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:00 – Landed 02:25
Flight Time 04:25

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 EE891 ??-Q

F/O Allan Mason Forbes Alexander, RNZAF NZ41712 – Pilot.
F/S Maurice Desmond Andersen, RNZAF NZ415675 – Navigator.
F/S Philip Hutcheson Pullyn, RNZAF NZ416643 – Air Bomber.
F/S Thomas James Mayhew, RNZAF NZ415549 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frank Howard, RAFVR 643578 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. G.T. Buglass, RAFVR 645313 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William Hamish ‘Mac’ MacDonald, RNZAF NZ417219 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:25 – Landed 03:07
Flight Time 04:42

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 BK777 AA-U “Alexander’s Ragtime Crew”

F/O Allan Mason Forbes Alexander, RNZAF NZ41712 – Pilot.
F/S Maurice Desmond Andersen, RNZAF NZ415675 – Navigator.
F/S Philip Hutcheson Pullyn, RNZAF NZ416643 – Air Bomber.
F/S Thomas James Mayhew, RNZAF NZ415549 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frank Howard, RAFVR 643578 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Armstrong ‘Doc’ Lyon, RCAF R.108340 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William Hamish ‘Mac’ MacDonald, RNZAF NZ417219 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:30 – Landed 05:20
Flight Time 05:50

10/08/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Nuremburg
Nineteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lbs. and 4lb. One aircraft failed to take off owing to engine trouble, the remainder however, successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Large fires were seen glowing below the clouds and some heavy explosions were also seen, indicating that the attack was a success. Moderate A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered, but gave little trouble. Some enemy aircraft were seen but no combats took place. The weather was poor at the target, 9/10ths cloud prevailing, which prevented identification  of detail. Navigation was very good. The aircraft captained by P/O C.C.Logan, owing to unserviceable navigation aids on return journey went off track and ran short of petrol. The crew prepared to abandon the aircraft but fortunately the petrol lasted and they landed at R.A.F. Marston, after being airborne for 9 hours and 10 minutes.

Stirling Mk.III BK777 AA-U “Alexander’s Ragtime Crew”

F/O Allan Mason Forbes Alexander, RNZAF NZ41712 – Pilot.
Sgt. C. Lunsdaine, RAFVR – 2nd Pilot. Not a member of 75(NZ) Squadron RAF – but crewed with Alexander crew for this Op
F/S Maurice Desmond Andersen, RNZAF NZ415675 – Navigator.
F/S Philip Hutcheson Pullyn, RNZAF NZ416643 – Air Bomber.
F/S Thomas James Mayhew, RNZAF NZ415549 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frank Howard, RAFVR 643578 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Armstrong ‘Doc’ Lyon, RCAF R.108340 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William Hamish ‘Mac’ MacDonald, RNZAF NZ417219 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:20 – Landed 06:20
Flight Time 08:00

12/08/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Turin
Eighteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1,000lb., 50lb. and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb. All of the aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area, which was an absolute mass of flames, colossal fires and heavy explosions were also seen. Very feeble A.A. fire and a few searchlights were encountered, but were ineffective. Some enemy aircraft were seen and one combat took place. The aircraft captained by P/O A. Burley sighted an unidentified aircraft on the way to the target in the Chartes area, which approached from astern, the rear gunner gave a short burst, the Stirling corkscrewed and the enemy aircraft broke away. The Stirling’s port outer engine was badly damaged and had to be feathered. The captain however, continued to target which was 380 miles distant on three engines, successfully bombed it and returned to base, making a perfect landing. The weather was clear with a bright moon over the target. Navigation was excellent.

Stirling Mk. BF465 AA-K

F/O Allan Mason Forbes Alexander, RNZAF NZ41712 – Pilot.
F/S Neville Bruce Whitta, RNZAF NZ416566 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Walter Frank Morice, RNZAF NZ415708 – Navigator.
Sgt. Philip Hutcheson Pullyn, RNZAF NZ416643 – Air Bomber.
F/S Thomas James Mayhew, RNZAF NZ415549 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frank Howard, RAFVR 643578 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Armstrong ‘Doc’ Lyon, RCAF R.108340 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William Hamish ‘Mac’ MacDonald, RNZAF NZ417219 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:15 – Landed 06:30
Flight Time 09:15

17/08/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Peenemunde
Twelve aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 2,000lb., 1,000lb., 500lb. and incendiaries of 30lb., and 4lb. One aircraft returned early owing to the rear turret being unserviceable, but the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. This attack to be well concentrated, large fires and huge explosions being seen. Moderate heavy A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered, but caused no trouble. A few enemy aircraft were seen, but no combats took place. The weather was good and visibility was clear except for a smoke screen which partially obscured the target. Navigation was excellent. On the return journey the fires could be seen 50 miles from the target.

Stirling Mk.III BF938 ??-?

F/O Allan Mason Forbes Alexander, RNZAF NZ41712 – Pilot.
F/S Maurice Desmond Andersen, RNZAF NZ415675 – Navigator.
F/S Philip Hutcheson Pullyn, RNZAF NZ416643 – Air Bomber.
F/S Thomas James Mayhew, RNZAF NZ415549 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frank Howard, RAFVR 643578 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Armstrong ‘Doc’ Lyon, RCAF R.108340 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William Hamish ‘Mac’ MacDonald, RNZAF NZ417219 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:00 – Landed 04:25
Flight Time 07:25

23/08/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Berlin
Twenty three aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1,000lb., 500lb., and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb.. Five aircraft returned early owing to failure and three aircraft failed to return. The remainder of the aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area and all of the crews agreed that it had been well and truly hit. The fires were all concentrated and huge columns of smoke together with heavy explosions could be seen. A moderate heavy A.A. barrage co-operating with searchlights were encountered, but only one aircraft received damage. A great number of enemy aircraft were seen and several combats took place. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. WILKINSON sighted a JU88 passing above, the Mid-upper and Rear Gunners fired and strikes were seen on the enemy aircraft which was then lost sight of and is claimed to have been damaged. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. WHITEHEAD whilst over BERLIN sighted an enemy aircraft on the starboard quarter, 300yds away. The Rear Gunner fired a five second burst and the enemy aircraft was seen in flames diving to earth, and was claimed as probably destroyed. The same aircraft encountered another unidentified aircraft 300yds away on the starboard quarter. The Rear Gunner fired another five seconds burst and the enemy aircraft exploded and disintegrated. It was claimed to be destroyed. The aircraft captained by F/O. A. Alexander, whilst over the target sighted a ME110 approaching from the starboard quarter above and firing at his aircraft. The Mid-upper and Rear Gunners replied with long bursts and the enemy aircraft was seen to be in flames. A fire was later seen on the ground and the enemy aircraft was claimed as probably destroyed. Scattered cloud was met on the outward route, but it was clear over the target. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk.III BF465 captained by P/O A. RANKIN, BF564 captained by P/O A. Sedunary and EE938 captained by W/O T. Fear. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. WHITE, O.H. whilst approaching the target area was coned by searchlights and repeatedly hit by heavy A.A. fire, sustaining considerable damage to port mainplane. He continued towards the target though still coned by searchlights and was then attacked by a JU88 sustaining hits in the rear of the fuselage which shattered the rear turret and killed Rear Gunner Sgt. Poole, J.. The aircraft was forced into an uncontrollable dive and the captain warned his crew ‘Prepare to abandon the aircraft’. Unfortunately, in the middle of this order the inter-communication failed, and the Navigator, Air Bomber and Wireless Operator abandoned the aircraft, due to the fact that they were unable to contact their Captain. F/Sgt. WHITE jettisoned his bomb load whilst in the dive directly over the target area, managed to regain control of the aircraft when height had been lost down to 6,000ft. The captain and two remaining members of the crew after taking stock of the damage decided to attempt the long and hazardous return journey to base. This they did successfully and made a perfect crash landing at base without lights, flaps or under carriage, as the electrical leads were shot away.

Stirling Mk.III BK777 AA-U “Alexander’s Ragtime Crew”

F/O Allan Mason Forbes Alexander, RNZAF NZ41712 – Pilot.
F/S Maurice Desmond Andersen, RNZAF NZ415675 – Navigator.
F/S Philip Hutcheson Pullyn, RNZAF NZ416643 – Air Bomber.
F/S Thomas James Mayhew, RNZAF NZ415549 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. N. A. Bevans, RAFVR 1216099 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Armstrong ‘Doc’ Lyon, RCAF R.108340 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S William Hamish ‘Mac’ MacDonald, RNZAF NZ417219 – Rear Gunner.

A/F/L William Edward McAlpine, RAVR 115790 – Front Gunner (Gunnery Leader)

Take Off 20:30 – Landed 04:30
Flight Time 08:00

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 BK777 AA-U “Alexander’s Ragtime Crew”

F/O Allan Mason Forbes Alexander, RNZAF NZ41712 – Pilot.
Sgt. Desmond George Geddes Horgan, RNZAF NZ39012 – 2nd Pilot.
F/S Maurice Desmond Andersen, RNZAF NZ415675 – Navigator.
F/S Philip Hutcheson Pullyn, RNZAF NZ416643 – Air Bomber.
F/S Thomas James Mayhew, RNZAF NZ415549 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frank Howard, RAFVR 643578 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Armstrong ‘Doc’ Lyon, RCAF R.108340 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S William Hamish ‘Mac’ MacDonald, RNZAF NZ417219 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:30 – Landed 05:30
Flight Time 08:00

30/08/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Munchen-Gladbach
18 Aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lbs. and 4lbs. All aircraft with the exception of one which failed to return, successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Very large fires which were well concentrated and spreading, were seen. All crews were of the opinion that this was a good attack. Moderate heavy A.A. fire and a few searchlights were encountered, which were ineffective. A great number of enemy aircraft were seen and some short combats took place. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. Batger, H. sighted an enemy aircraft 600 yards away, ahead and the front gunner fired a long and short burst, the enemy aircraft then disappeared and was claimed as possibly destroyed. . The aircraft captained by F/S McGregor,K. sighted an Me110 astern, the rear gunner fired a long burst. The enemy aircraft replied and dived away with smoke pouring from its engines. It is claimed as a possible destroyed. There was 8/10ths cloud at the target approaches although it was clear in the target area. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was  Stirling MK.III EH938 captained by Sgt. Parkin, T.

Stirling Mk.III EF434 ??-?

F/O Allan Mason Forbes Alexander, RNZAF NZ41712 – Pilot.
F/S Maurice Desmond Andersen, RNZAF NZ415675 – Navigator.
F/S Philip Hutcheson Pullyn, RNZAF NZ416643 – Air Bomber.
F/S Thomas James Mayhew, RNZAF NZ415549 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frank Howard, RAFVR 643578 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Armstrong ‘Doc’ Lyon, RCAF R.108340 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S William Hamish ‘Mac’ MacDonald, RNZAF NZ417219 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:25 – Landed 04:25
Flight Time 04:00

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

Stirling Mk.III EH880 AA-J

F/O Allan Mason Forbes Alexander, RNZAF NZ41712 – Pilot.
F/S Maurice Desmond Andersen, RNZAF NZ415675 – Navigator.
F/S Philip Hutcheson Pullyn, RNZAF NZ416643 – Air Bomber.
F/S Thomas James Mayhew, RNZAF NZ415549 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frank Howard, RAFVR 643578 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Armstrong ‘Doc’ Lyon, RCAF R.108340 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S William Hamish ‘Mac’ MacDonald, RNZAF NZ417219 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:25 – Landed 03:55
Flight Time 07:30

08/09/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Bouolgne
Seventeen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets. The carried their maximum bomb load in bombs of 1,000lb., and 500lb.. One aircraft crashed whilst taking off and two returned early. The remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Not many fires were seen but numerous huge explosions were observed. Some heavy and light predicted A.A. Fire and a few searchlights were encountered but caused no trouble. A few enemy aircraft were seen, but no combats took place. The weather was good and visibility was clear  except for slight ground haze. Navigation was excellent.

Stirling Mk.III BK777 AA-U “Alexander’s Ragtime Crew”

F/O Allan Mason Forbes Alexander, RNZAF NZ41712 – Pilot.
Sgt. W.R. Tate, RAFVR – 2nd Pilot. Not a member of 75(NZ) Squadron RAF – but crewed with Alexander crew for this Op
F/S Maurice Desmond Andersen, RNZAF NZ415675 – Navigator.
F/S Philip Hutcheson Pullyn, RNZAF NZ416643 – Air Bomber.
F/S Thomas James Mayhew, RNZAF NZ415549 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. C. Dickinson, RAFVR 812100 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Armstrong ‘Doc’ Lyon, RCAF R.108340 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S William Hamish ‘Mac’ MacDonald, RNZAF NZ417219 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:00 – Landed 23:50
Flight Time 02:50

15/09/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Montlucon
Seventeen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1,000lb and incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb..One aircraft failed to take-off, but the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. This was a good concentrated attack, large fires and heavy explosions being observed, smoke from fires and heavy explosions being observed, smoke from fires was rising to a height of 12,000ft.. Inaccurate A.A.fire from a few guns was the only opposition, no enemy aircraft were encountered. There was 5/10th cloud over the target but visibility was nevertheless good. Navigation was excellent.

Stirling Mk.III BK777 AA-U “Alexander’s Ragtime Crew”

F/O Allan Mason Forbes Alexander, RNZAF NZ41712 – Pilot.
F/S Alfred George Humphreys, RAAF AUS.413157 – 2nd Pilot.
F/S Maurice Desmond Andersen, RNZAF NZ415675 – Navigator.
F/S Philip Hutcheson Pullyn, RNZAF NZ416643 – Air Bomber.
F/S Thomas James Mayhew, RNZAF NZ415549 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frank Howard, RAFVR 643578 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Armstrong ‘Doc’ Lyon, RCAF R.108340 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S William Hamish ‘Mac’ MacDonald, RNZAF NZ417219 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:30 – Landed 03:10
Flight Time 06:40

16/09/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Modene
Nineteen aircraft wee detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of  1,000lb.,and incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb. One aircraft returned early, but the remainder dropped their bombs in the target area. This was a very successful and well concentrated attack. Large fires which appeared to be spreading and heavy explosions were seen. Some A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered, they were ineffective except for one aircraft which received damage. The port inner engine caught fire but what put out with the aid of a fire extinguisher, the propeller was then feathered and the aircraft continued its journey on three engines. A few enemy aircraft were seen, the aircraft captained by P/O. G.K.WILLIAMS had a combat with a JU 88 which was claimed as destroyed. One other short combat took place, but no damage was sustained to our aircraft. It was clear over the target and visibility was good. Navigation was good.

Stirling Mk.III BK777 AA-U “Alexander’s Ragtime Crew”

F/O Allan Mason Forbes Alexander, RNZAF NZ41712 – Pilot.
F/S Alfred George Humphreys, RAAF AUS.413157 – 2nd Pilot.
F/S Maurice Desmond Andersen, RNZAF NZ415675 – Navigator.
F/S Philip Hutcheson Pullyn, RNZAF NZ416643 – Air Bomber.
F/S Thomas James Mayhew, RNZAF NZ415549 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frank Howard, RAFVR 643578 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Armstrong ‘Doc’ Lyon, RCAF R.108340 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S William Hamish ‘Mac’ MacDonald, RNZAF NZ417219 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:00 – Landed 03:50
Flight Time 07:50

22/09/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hanover
Twenty aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks with bombs of 1,000lb. and incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb.. Three aircraft returned early, but the remainder dropped their bombs in the target area. This was a very successful and concentrated attack. Numerous fires which appeared to be merging into one large fire were seen, and were still visible as the aircraft were returning over the DUTCH Coast. Heavy A.A. fire and a great number of searchlights were encountered, but proved ineffective. Several enemy aircraft were seen and one of our Stirlings was hit, but the attacker was not seen, damage was received to the tail and mainplane, and the port petrol tanks were punctured. The aircraft, however, was safely flown back to base and a crash landing was made with three engines. It was clear over the target and visibility was excellent. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.III BK777 AA-U “Alexander’s Ragtime Crew”

F/O Allan Mason Forbes Alexander, RNZAF NZ41712 – Pilot.
F/S Maurice Desmond Andersen, RNZAF NZ415675 – Navigator.
F/S Philip Hutcheson Pullyn, RNZAF NZ416643 – Air Bomber.
F/S Thomas James Mayhew, RNZAF NZ415549 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frank Howard, RAFVR 643578 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Armstrong ‘Doc’ Lyon, RCAF R.108340 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S William Hamish ‘Mac’ MacDonald, RNZAF NZ417219 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:05 – Landed 00:55
Flight Time 05:50

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 BK777 AA-U “Alexander’s Ragtime Crew”

F/O Allan Mason Forbes Alexander, RNZAF NZ41712 – Pilot.
Sgt. Thomas Gregson Buckley, RAFVR 170664 – 2nd Pilot.
F/S Maurice Desmond Andersen, RNZAF NZ415675 – Navigator.
F/S Philip Hutcheson Pullyn, RNZAF NZ416643 – Air Bomber.
F/S Thomas James Mayhew, RNZAF NZ415549 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frank Howard, RAFVR 643578 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Armstrong ‘Doc’ Lyon, RCAF R.108340 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S William Hamish ‘Mac’ MacDonald, RNZAF NZ417219 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:30 – Landed 02:00
Flight Time 06:30

03/10/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Kassel
Fifteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lbs. and 4lbs. One aircraft returned early as the Navigator was ill, but the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. This was a good concentrated attack, large fires and heavy explosions being seen. Moderate A.A. Fire was encountered, which was ineffective except for one aircraft which received damage. This aircraft was captained by F/Sgt. N. PARKER, damage was received to the starboard elevator , starboard tail plane and the rear turret war partly shot away. The rear gunner Sgt. S.W. RIDDLER was lost over the target when the rear turret was damaged. It is considered that he may have baled out as the escape hatch was found to be open. The aircraft successfully landed at WING. Very few enemy aircraft were seen. It was clear at the target, but slight haze was encountered on the return journey. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.III BK777 AA-U “Alexander’s Ragtime Crew”

F/O Allan Mason Forbes Alexander, RNZAF NZ41712 – Pilot.
F/S Maurice Desmond Andersen, RNZAF NZ415675 – Navigator.
F/S Philip Hutcheson Pullyn, RNZAF NZ416643 – Air Bomber.
F/S Thomas James Mayhew, RNZAF NZ415549 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frank Howard, RAFVR 643578 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Armstrong ‘Doc’ Lyon, RCAF R.108340 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S William Hamish ‘Mac’ MacDonald, RNZAF NZ417219 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:00 – Landed 22:00
Flight Time 03:00

04/10/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Frankfurt
Thirteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lb. and 4lbs. Three aircraft returned early and one failed to return. This was a good attack, ten aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Very good concentrated fires and enormous explosions being seen, the fires were still visible on the homeward journey. A.A. Fire was negligible, there were many search lights which were cooperating with enemy night-fighters. The aircraft captained by S/Ldr. J.JOLL had a combat with a M.E. 109, which was claimed as possibly damaged. The weather was poor on the outward and return journeys, but clear over the target, visibility was good except for smoke haze. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was captained by SGT. H.J. MIDDLETON.

Stirling Mk.III EJ108 AA-O

F/O Allan Mason Forbes Alexander, RNZAF NZ41712 – Pilot.
F/O Thomas Lodge, RNZAF NZ417284 – Navigator.
F/S Philip Hutcheson Pullyn, RNZAF NZ416643 – Air Bomber.
F/S Thomas James Mayhew, RNZAF NZ415549 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frank Howard, RAFVR 643578 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Armstrong ‘Doc’ Lyon, RCAF R.108340 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S William Hamish ‘Mac’ MacDonald, RNZAF NZ417219 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:45 – Landed 00:45
Flight Time 05:00

08/10/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Bremen
Twelve aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1,000lbs., 500lbs., and incendiaries of 30lbs. And 4lbs. All of the aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Results were rather disappointing as owing to thick cloud, it was not possible to assess the damage. Very few fires were seen and only ne large explosion was observed. Slight ineffective A.A. Fire was encountered. Searchlights were active but hampered by cloud. Several combats with enemy aircraft took place. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. SPIERS,R. claimed a M.E.109 as probably destroyed and a M.E.110, as damaged. Another M.E.109, was claimed as damaged by the aircraft captain by P/O. O. White. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.III EJ108 AA-O

F/O Allan Mason Forbes Alexander, RNZAF NZ41712 – Pilot.
Sgt. Alan Roy Single, RAAF AUS.413144 – 2nd Pilot.
F/O Harold Sidney Frank Daborn, RNZAF NZ415675 – Navigator.
F/S Philip Hutcheson Pullyn, RNZAF NZ416643 – Air Bomber.
F/S Thomas James Mayhew, RNZAF NZ415549 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frank Howard, RAFVR 643578 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Armstrong ‘Doc’ Lyon, RCAF R.108340 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S William Hamish ‘Mac’ MacDonald, RNZAF NZ417219 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:50 – Landed 03:50
Flight Time 05:00

10 thoughts on “A.M.F. Alexander Crew 22.6.43

  1. Pamela Lyon

    Thank you so much for making this information available. I am the daughter of Armstrong ‘Doc’ Lyon, now living in Australia. My father passed away in the USA 17 years ago almost to the day. I was privileged to meet Captain Alexander and crew member Tom Mayhew in 1984. Great guys. Pamela Lyon

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    1. Andrew Martin

      Hello Pamela,

      My name is Andrew Martin, my father is James Francis Armstrong Martin his father’s name was Armstrong Lyon, we Live in Canada and have been searching the family tree if you have a contact email it would be great to see you guys re-connect.

      Andrew

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      Reply
  2. 75nzsquadron Post author

    Hello Pamela
    It’s so wonderful to hear from you. Even though I feel that every crew I learn about, I carry a little bit of, the Alexander crew were the first crew I came across when I started my research in to my father, so its doubly special to hear from you. If you have and would like to share anything more about your father, I would love to share it on the blog.

    I wonder, do you know why he was called ‘Doc’ ?

    I’ll email you when I get some more time – it’s a little busy for me at work at the moment.

    Thanks again for making contact

    Simon

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  3. 75nzsquadron Post author

    Sorry Richard – I just reread your post and you say ‘watch’ – this must be something else and certainly not the NZ Radio interview I meant – I would be very interested to see it, as I am sure would everybody else!

    Simon

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    1. Richard C

      Hi. Yes, it is a video interview done some years ago by a film-maker working with us on an oral history project and NZ and WWII. When I can set it up, I’ll post the link here. R

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  4. Richard C

    Hi. Yes, it is a video interview done some years ago by a film-maker working with us on an oral history project about NZ and WWII. When I can set it up online, I’ll post the link here. R

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  5. Graham (son)

    What a treasure to be directed to this site. My late father Phil was the Bomb Aimer on Alexanders Ragtime Crew. Dad died in 1999 and Allan joined us as a pall bearer at his farewell. Then the information started flowing including receiving a copy of Allan’s wartime diary – which had sat in a bottom drawer for decades. I wish I had my eyes open while Dad was alive as it wasn’t until after his death that I began to realise the staggering bravery and courage of the aircrew of Bomber Command. I hold them in awe.
    Graham Pullyn
    Nelson

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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