E.F. Butler crew 19.10.44

14/10/1944 – Attack Against Duisburg
Twenty nine aircraft were detailed to make a further attack on Duisburg, unfortunately, however, three aircraft had to be withdrawn. One aircraft returned early owing to the rear turret being unserviceable. The remaining twenty five aircraft took part in a very successful attack in excellent visibility and large fires were seen to break out and add to those already burning from the morning attack. AA opposition was negligible and searchlight did not operate until late in the raid. One aircraft had an inconclusive combat with an enemy fighter.

Lancaster Mk.I HK597 JN-P “Bad Penny IV”
Hit by flak once

F/O Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – Pilot.
F/O Eric Frank Butler, RNZAF NZ425558 – 2nd Pilot.
F/S Percival McDowell Johnson, RNZAF NZ4215865 – Navigator.
F/O Leslie Ronald Hurcombe, RAFVR 153900 – Air Bomber.
F/S Arthur Albert Charles Taylor, RAFVR 1583883/ 186770 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. Gibbs, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. A. Woolley, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. G. Mahoney, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 06:49 – Landed 11:30
Flight Time 04:41

19/10/1944 – Attack Against Stuttgart
Twenty eight aircraft were detailed to attack Stuttgart. The attack was in two waves. Thirteen aircraft took part in the first wave and successfully dropped their bombs with the aid of markers and flares, in weather conditions of 9/10ths cloud. A.A. opposition was moderate and a few enemy aircraft were active. Fifteen aircraft took part in the second wave five hours later and they all dropped their bombs with the aid of flares through ten tenths cloud. The glow of fires seen, indicated that the fires were concentrated around the aiming point. A A opposition was less than that encountered during the first wave, but more enemy fighters were active. Four of our aircraft had inconclusive combats.

Lancaster Mk.I ME751 AA-M Mother

F/O Eric Frank Butler, RAFVR NZ425558 – Pilot.
F/S Herbert Ronald ‘Ron’ Holliday, RAAF AUS.434602 – Navigator.
F/S Hilray Hubert ‘Ray’ Stratford, RNZAF NZ4213296 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Daniel ‘Dan’ Brazier, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Charles ‘Charlie’ Payne, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Jack Heaton, RAFVR 982650/ 196880 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Jack Messer, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:45 – Landed 23:55
Flight Time 06:10

21/10/1944 – Attack Against Flushing
Twenty five aircraft took off to attack Flushing. All crews were able to identify the target visually and bombing was reported as being very accurate. A.A. opposition was moderate. One aircraft (Captain 176437 F/O J. Johnson) failed to return, but was seen to be shot down over the target by heavy A A fire.

Lancaster Mk.III ND917 JN-O

F/O Eric Frank Butler, RAFVR NZ425558 – Pilot.
F/S Herbert Ronald ‘Ron’ Holliday, RAAF AUS.434602 – Navigator.
F/S Hilray Hubert ‘Ray’ Stratford, RNZAF NZ4213296 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Daniel ‘Dan’ Brazier, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Charles ‘Charlie’ Payne, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Jack Heaton, RAFVR 982650/ 196880 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Jack Messer, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:18 – Landed 14:12
Flight Time 02:54

23/10/1944 – Attack Against Essen
Twenty seven aircraft took off as detailed to attack Essen. Ten tenths cloud prevailed over the target but all aircraft were successful in attacking with the aid of marker flares. A A opposition was moderate but no enemy fighters were seen.

Lancaster Mk.III ND917 JN-O

F/O Eric Frank Butler, RAFVR NZ425558 – Pilot.
F/S Herbert Ronald ‘Ron’ Holliday, RAAF AUS.434602 – Navigator.
F/S Hilray Hubert ‘Ray’ Stratford, RNZAF NZ4213296 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Daniel ‘Dan’ Brazier, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Charles ‘Charlie’ Payne, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Jack Heaton, RAFVR 982650/ 196880 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Jack Messer, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:03 – Landed 21:58
Flight Time 04:55

25/10/1944 – Attack Against Essen
Twenty six aircraft took off as detailed to attack Essen. Twenty three of these attacked the target and bombing was good, built up areas and factories being identified visually. One aircraft brought its bombs back owing to the failure of the bombing equipment when over the target and two other aircraft returned early owing to technical failures.

Lancaster Mk.I NF980 JN-K

F/O Eric Frank Butler, RAFVR NZ425558 – Pilot.
F/S Herbert Ronald ‘Ron’ Holliday, RAAF AUS.434602 – Navigator.
F/S Hilray Hubert ‘Ray’ Stratford, RNZAF NZ4213296 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Daniel ‘Dan’ Brazier, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Charles ‘Charlie’ Payne, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Jack Heaton, RAFVR 982650/ 196880 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Jack Messer, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 13:20 – Landed 17:26
Flight Time 04:06

26/10/1944 – Attack Against Leverkusen
Ten aircraft were detailed to attack Leverkusen. They all bombed the target in formation and a successful raid was reported. A.A. opposition was very slight.

Lancaster Mk.I HK601 JN-D

F/O Eric Frank Butler, RAFVR NZ425558 – Pilot.
F/S Herbert Ronald ‘Ron’ Holliday, RAAF AUS.434602 – Navigator.
F/S Hilray Hubert ‘Ray’ Stratford, RNZAF NZ4213296 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Daniel ‘Dan’ Brazier, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Charles ‘Charlie’ Payne, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Jack Heaton, RAFVR 982650/ 196880 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Jack Messer, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 13:06 – Landed 17:30
Flight Time 04:24

28/10/1944 – Attack Against Cologne
Seven aircraft took off a few hours later to participate in an attack on Cologne. They all bombed in clear weather and identified the target visually. Bombing was concentrated and a large smoke pall was seen on leaving. A.A. opposition was moderate, but no enemy fighters were seen.

Lancaster Mk.I HK554 JN-Z
Hit by flak 30 times (AC)

F/O Eric Frank Butler, RAFVR NZ425558 – Pilot.
F/S Herbert Ronald ‘Ron’ Holliday, RAAF AUS.434602 – Navigator.
F/O Graham Coull, RNZAF NZ425883 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Daniel ‘Dan’ Brazier, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Charles ‘Charlie’ Payne, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Jack Heaton, RAFVR 982650/ 196880 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Jack Messer, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 13:21 – Landed 17:45
Flight Time 04:24

30/10/1944 – Attack Against Cologne
Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack Cologne during daylight, but the operation was postponed until the evening. All aircraft attacked the target and although a good concentration of markers was achieved results were unobserved owing to ten tenths cloud. Moderate A.A. opposition was encountered and one aircraft received slight damage. There was no fighter opposition.

Lancaster Mk.III NE181 JN-M “The Captains Fancy”

F/O Eric Frank Butler, RAFVR NZ425558 – Pilot.
F/S Herbert Ronald ‘Ron’ Holliday, RAAF AUS.434602 – Navigator.
F/S Hilray Hubert ‘Ray’ Stratford, RNZAF NZ4213296 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Daniel ‘Dan’ Brazier, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Charles ‘Charlie’ Payne, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Jack Heaton, RAFVR 982650/ 196880 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Jack Messer, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:03 – Landed 23:18
Flight Time 05:15

31/10/1944 – Attack Against Cologne
Eighteen aircraft took off in the evening to make a further attack on Cologne. Ten tenths cloud prevailed over the target area, but markers were well placed and a good glow from fires beneath the clouds was observed on leaving. A.A. opposition was slight and no enemy fighters were seen.

Lancaster Mk.I NF981 JN-Y

F/O Eric Frank Butler, RAFVR NZ425558 – Pilot.
F/S Herbert Ronald ‘Ron’ Holliday, RAAF AUS.434602 – Navigator.
F/S Hilray Hubert ‘Ray’ Stratford, RNZAF NZ4213296 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Daniel ‘Dan’ Brazier, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Charles ‘Charlie’ Payne, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Jack Heaton, RAFVR 982650/ 196880 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Jack Messer, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:11 – Landed 22:36
Flight Time 04:25

11/11/1944 – Attack Against Castrop Rauxel
Twenty five aircraft were detailed to make an early morning attack on Heinsberg in support of the American Army, but this was postponed and 6 aircraft were detailed for an attack on Castrop Rauxel. All aircraft reached the target area and dropped their bombs, but the results seemed unsatisfactory. Weather was ten tenths cloud with tops 8/9,000 ft and aircraft were seen to drop their bombs on many divergent headings. Flak was very slight and no fighters were seen. The bombs carried were 4,000 lb and 500 lb.

Lancaster Mk.I NN747? JN-O

F/O Eric Frank Butler, RAFVR NZ425558 – Pilot.
F/S Herbert Ronald ‘Ron’ Holliday, RAAF AUS.434602 – Navigator.
F/S Hilray Hubert ‘Ray’ Stratford, RNZAF NZ4213296 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Daniel ‘Dan’ Brazier, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Charles ‘Charlie’ Payne, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Jack Heaton, RAFVR 982650/ 196880 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Jack Messer, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 08:26 – Landed 12:46
Flight Time 04:20