E. Perks crew 15.8.42 †

Crew arrived on the 15th of August 1942 – the same day the Squadron moved from Feltwell to Mildenhall.

27/08/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Kassel
Twelve aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack. Bomb load of 4000 lb. 500 lb. and incendiaries were dropped in the target area. Numerous fires were seen in the whole area. A.A. fire was moderate, very few searchlights were encountered. Wellington BJ.584 captained by Sgt. Burril met JU88 when about 30 miles from target, combat ensued in which Sgt. Burrill’s aircraft was seriously damaged and port engine put out of action. The rear gunner, Sgt. Gorman claims to have shot down the JU88 and to have seen it falling in flames to the ground, the bomb load was jettisoned, and he turned for home. The aircraft failed to maintain height and was down to 700ft at the Dutch Coast, being shot at by light A.A. fire. He crossed the sea still losing height and belly landed at R.A.F. Wattisham on return. The weather was fine, navigation was excellent. Wellington BJ.708 captained by F/Lt Osbourn failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III BJ.837 AA-F

Sgt. Neville John Netscher Hockaday, RAFVR 1376051 – Pilot.
Sgt. Eric Perks, RNZAF NZ411934 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Alfred Sydney Drew, RNZAF NZ404560 – Observer.
Sgt. M.H. Hughes, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Donald Gordon, RNZAF NZ402995, 70159 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Percy Oaten, RAFVR 959151 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:05 – Landed 02:35
Flight Time 05:30

28/08/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Nuremburg
Ten aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lb. And 1000lb. 500lb. And incendiaries were dropped in the target area. Large fires were seen, A.A. fire was heavy but inaccurate, there were large concentrations of searchlights, enemy aircraft were very accurate. Wellington BJ.837, captained by Sgt. Hockaday reported that the whole town was ablaze and fires were observed 70 miles from the target. Four bomber and one presumed to be fighter were seen falling in flames. The nacelle tanks were pulled in the Amiens region, approximately 60 miles from the coast. Aircraft landed at Tangmere owing to shortage of petrol. On landing one tyre was discovered to be burst. Wellington X.3936 captained by P/O Trott, was attacked by ME.110 fire was returned and the rear gunner, Sgt. Hamerton, reported that the enemy aircraft was hit, no further fire was exchanged. the weather was excellent being clear moonlight over the target, navigation was very good by D/R and T/R. Wellington BJ.673 captained by Sgt. Davis and Wellington X.3389 captained by Sgt. Perks failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III X.3389 AA-? (a/c designator not known)

Sgt. Eric Perks, RNZAF NZ411934 – Pilot.
Sgt. Reginald George Arthur Lee, RAFVR 1218848 – Navigator/ Observer.
Sgt. Walter Harrison Irvine, RCAF R.75436 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. John David Robert McGillivary, RAFVR 922684 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Percy Oaten, RAFVR 959151 – Rear Gunner.

Flight Time missing

The aircraft was shot down by flak on the outskirts of Frankfurt, about 150miles from the target. There were no survivors. They were possibly on their return flight to base after leaving Nuremberg. Their bodies were initially buried in the Okerrad Cemetery, but later reinterred at Durnbach.

F/S Eric Perks, RNZAF NZ411934 – Pilot.
Killed age 29.
Son of Leonard and Lilian Perks, of Onehunga, Auckland, New Zealand; Husband of Ruby Perks, of Devonport, Auckland.
Buried Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 9. K. 18.

Sgt. Reginald George Arthur Lee, RAFVR 1218848 – Observer.
Killed age 20.
Son of Reginald Daniel and Daisy Lee, of Grimsby, Lincolnshire.
Buried Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Joint grave 9. K. 21-22.
‘To live in hearts
We leave behind Is not to die’

Sgt. John David Robert Macgillivary, RAFVR 922684 – Front Gunner.
Killed age 24.
Son of David Young Macgillivray and Lillian Macgillivray, of Tarring, Worthing, Sussex.
Buried Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Joint grave 9. K. 21-22.
‘For where our treasure is,
There will our hearts
Be also’

F/S Walter Harrison Irvine, RCAF 75436 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 25.
Son of Joseph Christopher and Mary F. Irvine, of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Buried Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 9. K. 19.
‘In loving memory
Of our onlt son Walter’

Sgt. Percy Oaten, RAFVR 959151 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 24.
Buried Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 9. K. 20.