D.W. Thomson crew 28.1.45

28/01/1945 – Attack Against Cologne (Gremberg)
Twenty aircraft attacked Cologne (Gremberg) as ordered, carrying 4,000 H.C., 500 ANM., 500 M.C. “50 G.P. and Munro bombs. Cloud broke to nil just before the target and crews were able to identify the marshalling yard. Accurate slight to moderate H/F was met over the target. No fighters were seen. Bursts were seen on the marshalling yard. All returned to base.

Lancaster Mk.I HK601 JN-D

F/L Donald Winter Thomson, RNZAF NZ428168 – Pilot.
F/S Herbert Ronald Holliday, RAAF AUS.434602 – Navigator. ?
F/S Hilray Hubert Stratford, RNZAF NZ4213296 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. D. Brazier, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
F/S C. Payne, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S Jack Heaton, RAFVR 982650/ 196880 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S J. Messer, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.
,   – .

Take Off 10:33 – Landed 16:02
Flight Time 05:29

29/01/1945 – Attack Against Krefeld M/Y
Nineteen aircraft attacked Krefeld marshalling yard in ten tenths cloud, carrying 4,000 H.C., 500 ANM., 500 M.C., and 250 G.P. Bombs. Aircraft bombed in formation with the aid of instruments. A good concentration was reported. Slight H/F over the target was the only opposition encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I HK562 AA-L

F/L Donald Winter Thomson, RNZAF NZ41613 – Pilot.
F/S Herbert Ronald Holliday, RAAF AUS.434602 – Navigator.
F/S Hilray Hubert Stratford, RNZAF NZ4213296 – Air Bomber.
W/O D. Brazier, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
F/S C. Payne, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S Jack Heaton, RAFVR 982650/ 196880 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S J. Messer, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.
,   – .

Take Off 10:15 – Landed 15:45
Flight Time 05:30
09/02/1945 – Attack Against Hohenbudburg
Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack Lutskendorf, but the target was changed during the afternoon to Hohenbudberg. This operation was carried out in 8/10th cloud with tops about 10,000. Flak was slight to moderate and S/L effective. A scattered raid was reported.

Lancaster Mk.I PB820 JN-V

F/L Donald Winter Thomson, RNZAF NZ41613 – Pilot.
F/S Herbert Ronald Holliday, RAAF AUS.434602 – Navigator.
F/S Hilray Hubert Stratford, RNZAF NZ4213296 – Air Bomber.
F/S D. Brazier, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
F/S C. Payne, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Jack Heaton, RAFVR 982650/ 196880 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. J. Messer, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.
,   – .

Take Off 03:44 – Landed 08:14
Flight Time 04:30

13/02/1945 – Attack Against Dresden
Twenty aircraft attacked Dresden as detailed. Very slight H/F was only opposition. The first aircraft over the target reported thin cloud which had cleared for later aircraft. Some aircraft were able to bomb visually. Crews reported the whole town was well alight and could see the glow of fires 100 miles away on return A highly successful raid.

Lancaster Mk.I PB820 JN-V

F/L Donald Winter Thomson, RNZAF NZ41613 – Pilot.
F/S Herbert Ronald Holliday, RAAF AUS.434602 – Navigator.
F/L Grant Alan ‘Russ’ Russell*, RNZAF NZ411729 – Air Bomber.
*Hilray Hubert Stratford, the crew’s regular A/B is listed in the Form 541, however, the position of A/B was in fact taken by the Squadron Bombing leader Grant Alan Russell, Hilary Stratford being ill for this Op – from AG Russell’s book ‘Dying for Democracy’
F/S D. Brazier, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. C. Payne, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S Jack Heaton, RAFVR 982650/ 196880 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S J. Messer, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:08 – Landed 07:08
Flight Time 09:00

16/02/1945 – Attack Against Wesel
Twenty one aircraft attacked Wesel as detailed. Slight accurate H/F was encountered over the target but no fighters were seen. A concentrated raid was reported.

Lancaster Mk.I NN747 JN-O

F/L Donald Winter Thomson, RNZAF NZ41613 – Pilot.
F/S Herbert Ronald Holliday, RAAF AUS.434602 – Navigator.
F/S Hilray Hubert Stratford, RNZAF NZ4213296 – Air Bomber.
F/S D. Brazier, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
F/S C. Payne, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Jack Heaton, RAFVR 982650/ 196880 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. J. Messer, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:38 – Landed 17:58
Flight Time 05:20

23/02/1945 – Attack Against Gelsenkirchen
Sixteen aircraft attacked Gelsenkirchen as detailed. There was ten tenths thin cloud over the target with horizontal visibility between 500/ 1000 yds. Formation keeping was very difficult in these conditions, but crews reported quite a good bombing concentration on special equipment and leaders. Opposition from flak was very slight and no fighters were seen. F/S Barr, D. landed at Warboys.

Lancaster Mk.I RF129 JN-M

F/L Donald Winter Thomson, RNZAF NZ41613 – Pilot.
F/S Herbert Ronald Holliday, RAAF AUS.434602 – Navigator.
F/S Hilray Hubert Stratford, RNZAF NZ4213296 – Air Bomber.
F/S D. Brazier, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. C. Payne, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Jack Heaton, RAFVR 982650/ 196880 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S J. Messer, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:58 – Landed 17:37
Flight Time 05:39

26/02/1945 – Attack Against Dortmund
Eighteen aircraft attacked Dortmund as detailed. Cloud was ten tenths over the target with tops 5-6,000 ft. No results were seen but bombing is thought to be concentrated. NZ428168 F/O N.H. Thorpe crashed in this country after passing over base in formation. Four members of the crew were killed.

Lancaster Mk.I RF129 JN-M

F/L Donald Winter Thomson, RNZAF NZ41613 – Pilot.
F/S Herbert Ronald Holliday, RAAF AUS.434602 – Navigator.
F/S Hilray Hubert Stratford, RNZAF NZ4213296 – Air Bomber.
F/S D. Brazier, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. C. Payne, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S Jack Heaton, RAFVR 982650/ 196880 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S J. Messer, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 10:53 – Landed 16:11
Flight Time 05:18

27/02/1945 – Attack Against Gelsenkirchen
Eighteen aircraft were detailed to attack Gelsenkirchen, carrying 4000 HC 500 ANM 500 MC bombs. NZ426904 F/O M.Adamson and NZ425292 F/L D.Sadgrove returned early through engine trouble. Cloud was ten tenths. Leaders met slight to moderate H/F. No results were seen.

Lancaster Mk.I RF129 JN-M

F/L Donald Winter Thomson, RNZAF NZ41613 – Pilot.
F/S Herbert Ronald Holliday, RAAF AUS.434602 – Navigator.
F/S Hilray Hubert Stratford, RNZAF NZ4213296 – Air Bomber.
F/S D. Brazier, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. C. Payne, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S Jack Heaton, RAFVR 982650/ 196880 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S J. Messer, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:26 – Landed 16:36
Flight Time 05:10

01/03/1945 – Attack Against Kamen
Seventeen aircraft were detailed to attack Kamen, carrying 4,000 H.C., 500ANM., 500 M.C. and Munro bombs. F/O D. Barr in AA”C” jettisoned and returned early through engine trouble. Crews bombed on special equipment as the target was obscured by ten tenth cloud. Flak was negligible.

Lancaster Mk.I RF129 JN-M

F/L Donald Winter Thomson, RNZAF NZ41613 – Pilot.
F/S Herbert Ronald Holliday, RAAF AUS.434602 – Navigator.
F/S Hilray Hubert Stratford, RNZAF NZ4213296 – Air Bomber.
F/S D. Brazier, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. C. Payne, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
P/O D. Jones, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S J. Messer, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:50 – Landed 17:29
Flight Time 05:39

02/03/1945 – Attack Against Cologne
Twenty aircraft were detailed to attack Cologne. No aircraft bombed owing to special equipment failiure. Three aircraft jettisoned due to flak damage to engines, the remainder bringing their bombs back. F/O Woodcock was wounded in the neck and his engineer F/Sgt. Gibb in the legs but landed safely at base.

Lancaster Mk.I RF129 DNC JN-M

F/L Donald Winter Thomson, RNZAF NZ41613 – Pilot.
F/S Herbert Ronald Holliday, RAAF AUS.434602 – Navigator.
F/S Hilray Hubert Stratford, RNZAF NZ4213296 – Air Bomber.
F/S D. Brazier, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. C. Payne, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S Jack Heaton, RAFVR 982650/ 196880 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S J. Messer, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 13:02 – Landed 18:33
Flight Time 05:31

06/03/1945 – Attack Against Salzbergen
Sixteen aircraft attacked Salzbergen in 10/10ths cloud up to 11,000ft. with nil clouds below. The formation was well packed over the target and released simultaneously. A slight upheaval of the cloud a minute later was all that could be seen. Slight H/F was the only opposition.

Lancaster Mk.I HK563 JN-W

F/L Donald Winter Thomson, RNZAF NZ41613 – Pilot.
F/S Herbert Ronald Holliday, RAAF AUS.434602 – Navigator.
F/S Hilray Hubert Stratford, RNZAF NZ4213296 – Air Bomber.
F/S D. Brazier, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. C. Payne, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S Jack Heaton, RAFVR 982650/ 196880 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S J. Messer, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.
F/S T. Dewsbury, Mid Under Gunner RAFVR – 1533969.

Take Off 08:33 – Landed 14:28
Flight Time 05:55

07/03/1945 – Attack Against Dessau
Thirteen aircraft attacked Dessau as ordered. Aircraft bombed in 10/10ths haze and thin cloud. Crews were given instructions by M/B to bomb on Skymarkers but some were able to make out T.I’s and in two cases identify the street. Fires were burning over a wide area when aircraft left the target. Flak practically nil in target area. Some E/A were seen and AA”S” F/L Spilman had a short inconclusive encounter. A satisfactory operation.

Lancaster Mk.I NG600? -F

F/L Donald Winter Thomson, RNZAF NZ41613 – Pilot.
F/S Herbert Ronald Holliday, RAAF AUS.434602 – Navigator.
F/S Hilray Hubert Stratford, RNZAF NZ4213296 – Air Bomber.
F/S D. Brazier, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. C. Payne, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S Jack Heaton, RAFVR 982650/ 196880 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S J. Messer, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:25 – Landed 02:06
Flight Time 08:41

10/03/1945 – Attack Against Gelsenkirchen Buer
Twenty one aircraft attacked Gelsenkirchen as detailed. Aircraft bombed in light formation and all bombs were dropped together. Cloud was ten tenths. Slight H/F was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I RF129 JN-M

F/L Donald Winter Thomson, RNZAF NZ41613 – Pilot.
F/S Herbert Ronald Holliday, RAAF AUS.434602 – Navigator.
F/S Hilray Hubert Stratford, RNZAF NZ4213296 – Air Bomber.
F/S D. Brazier, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. C. Payne, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S Jack Heaton, RAFVR 982650/ 196880 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S J. Messer, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:22 – Landed 17:23
Flight Time 05:01

11/03/1945 – Attack Against Essen
Twenty one aircraft were again detailed for operations, tis time against Essen. Very slight H/F was the only opposition. Cloud was 10/10ths. A gradual blackening of the cloud tops was all that could be seen

Lancaster Mk.I RF129 JN-M

F/L Donald Winter Thomson, RNZAF NZ41613 – Pilot.
F/S Herbert Ronald Holliday, RAAF AUS.434602 – Navigator.
F/S Hilray Hubert Stratford, RNZAF NZ4213296 – Air Bomber.
F/S D. Brazier, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. C. Payne, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S Jack Heaton, RAFVR 982650/ 196880 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S J. Messer, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:57 – Landed 17:09
Flight Time 05:12

23/03/1945 – Attack Against Wesel
Eight aircraft were detailed to attack Wesel carrying 1,000 M65 (RT), 1,000 M65 (B.T.) and Munro bombs. The target was attacked with the aid of special equipment. There was no cloud over the target but the visibility was poor owing to smoke. All crews reported a good concentration of bombs on the A/P. Very slight H/F was experienced.

Lancaster Mk.I PB763 AA-A

F/L Donald Winter Thomson, RNZAF NZ41613 – Pilot.
F/S Herbert Ronald Holliday, RAAF AUS.434602 – Navigator.
F/L Grant Alan ‘Russ’ Russell*, RNZAF NZ411729 – Air Bomber.
F/S D. Brazier, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. C. Payne, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S Jack Heaton, RAFVR 982650/ 196880 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S J. Messer, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 15:11 – Landed 19:13
Flight Time 04:02

29/03/1945 – Attack Against Salzgitter
Twenty one aircraft attacked Saltzgitter as detailed. Cloud was ten tenths, tops up to 19,000 ft and thin cloud and contrails persisting above, reducing visibility to 500yds. No results were observed and a scattered raid is reported. Flak moderate.

Lancaster Mk.I PP663 JN-Z

F/L Donald Winter Thomson, RNZAF NZ41613 – Pilot.
F/S Herbert Ronald Holliday, RAAF AUS.434602 – Navigator.
F/S Hilray Hubert Stratford, RNZAF NZ4213296 – Air Bomber.
F/S D. Brazier, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. C. Payne, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S Jack Heaton, RAFVR 982650/ 196880 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S J. Messer, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:31 – Landed 19:24
Flight Time 06:53

09/04/1945 – Attack on Kiel
Nineteen aircraft were detailed to attack Kiel, carrying 8,000 H.C., 4,000 H.C.N. AND 500 A.N.M. A good concentration of bombing was carried out which appeared to have been a good prang. Many fires and explosions were seen. There was no fighter opposition. Flak was moderate.

Lancaster Mk.III PB424 JN-O

F/L Donald Winter Thomson, RNZAF NZ41613 – Pilot. F/S Eric Lloyd Kennedy Meharry, RNZAF NZ425280 – 2nd Pilot.
F/S Herbert Ronald Holliday, RAAF AUS.434602 – Navigator.
F/S Hilray Hubert Stratford, RNZAF NZ4213296 – Air Bomber.
F/S D. Brazier, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. C. Payne, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S Jack Heaton, RAFVR 982650/ 196880 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S J. Messer, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:48 – Landed 01:48
Flight Time 06:00

18/04/1945 – Attack on Heligoland
25 aircraft were detailed to attack the target HELIGOLAND. Weather was good with good visibility. Crews were able to identify northern top of Island and also western edge. The rest of the Island was obliterated by smoke. Bomb bursts on fires. The crews bombed as ordered by the Master Bomber and bombing was thought to be well concentrated, but there was some overshooting as well as undershooting.

Lancaster Mk.I RF129 JN-M

F/L Donald Winter Thomson, RNZAF NZ41613 – Pilot. F/S Barry Leonard David Anderson, RNZAF NZ429127 – 2nd Pilot.
– -,   – Navigator.
F/S Hilray Hubert Stratford, RNZAF NZ4213296 – Air Bomber.
F/L Alan John Rhodes, RNZAF NZ42340 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. C. Payne, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S Jack Heaton, RAFVR 982650/ 196880 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S J. Messer, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 10:18 – Landed 15:10
Flight Time 04:52

01/05/1945 – Supply Dropping at Delft
21 Aircraft were detailed for Supply Dropping at Delft. The population were very excited. There was a great deal of flag waving and thanks messages were seen painted on roof tops.

Lancaster Mk.I RF129 JN-M

F/L Donald Winter Thomson, RNZAF NZ41613 – Pilot.
F/S Herbert Ronald Holliday, RAAF AUS.434602 – Navigator.
F/S Hilray Hubert Stratford, RNZAF NZ4213296 – Air Bomber.
P/O Stanley Graham Watson, RAFVR 1124508/ 195948 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. C. Payne, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S Jack Heaton, RAFVR 982650/ 196880 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S J. Messer, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 14:01 – Landed 16:27
Flight Time 02:26