E.W. Sachtler crew 20.2.44 †

20/02/1944 – Mining off the Frisian Islands
Four aircraft were detailed to lay mines of 1,500 lbs off the island of Borkum in the Frisian Islands. They all successfully completed their sorties without incident.

Stirling Mk.III EF233 AA-L

F/L Euan Wilfred Sachtler, RNZAF NZ41362 – Pilot.
F/O Allan Cleave Heron, RAFVR 133094 – Navigator.
Sgt. Michael Ferdinand Lombard, RAFVR 171913 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Douglas John Mckenzie, RAAF AUS.417211 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Piers Trevor Stevens, RAFVR 1813627 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Thomas Alexander Peevers, RNZAF NZ417232 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Gilbert Pettifer, RAFVR 1247027 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:45 – Landed 22:30
Flight Time 03:45

25/02/1944 – Mining in Baltic Sea
Fifteen aircraft were detailed to lay mines of 1500 lbs, south of Zealand, an island in the Baltic Sea. Thirteen aircraft completed their mission successfully. The weather was good with excellent visibility. One aircraft (Captain NZ421803 F/Sgt. Willis W.) encountered six JU.88s, four of which fired short bursts, our rear gunner and mid-upper gunner returning fire. Our aircraft was not damaged and no claims were made on the enemy aircraft. Two aircraft returned early with engine trouble.

Stirling Mk.III EF454 AA-C

F/L Euan Wilfred Sachtler, RNZAF NZ41362 – Pilot.
F/O Allan Cleave Heron, RAFVR 133094 – Navigator.
Sgt. Michael Ferdinand Lombard, RAFVR 171913 – Air Bomber.
F/S Douglas John Mckenzie, RAAF AUS.417211 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Piers Trevor Stevens, RAFVR 1813627 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Thomas Alexander Peevers, RNZAF NZ417232 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Gilbert Pettifer, RAFVR 1247027 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:40 – Landed 03:05
Flight Time 07:25

03/03/1944 – Mining off Le Havre
Eight aircraft were detailed for mine laying as follows:- two off Morlaix, two off St. Malo, two Cherbourg and two off Le Havre. Seven dropped their mines in the allotted areas, but one was off track and dropped somewhat to the west. All sorties were completely uneventful.

Stirling Mk.III EF233 AA-L

F/L Euan Wilfred Sachtler, RNZAF NZ41362 – Pilot.
F/O Allan Cleave Heron, RAFVR 133094 – Navigator.
Sgt. Michael Ferdinand Lombard, RAFVR 171913 – Air Bomber.
F/S Douglas John Mckenzie, RAAF AUS.417211 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Piers Trevor Stevens, RAFVR 1813627 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Thomas Alexander Peevers, RNZAF NZ417232 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt John Gilbert Pettifer, RAFVR 1247027 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:30 – Landed 22:40
Flight Time 03:10

05/03/1944 – Special Operations – March Moon Period TRAINER 149 (ABORTIVE)
Operation TRAINER 149 (Abortive).
The weather was good with no cloud. No reception lights were seen, but numerous lights were flashing haphazardly all around the target area and the captain thought unjustified under these circumstances in dropping the containers. On the return journey one package of leaflets was dropped in the Limoges area.

Stirling Mk.III AA-R

F/L Euan Wilfred Sachtler, RNZAF NZ41362 – Pilot.
F/O Allan Cleave Heron, RAFVR 133094 – Navigator.
P/O Michael Ferdinand Lombard, RAFVR 171913 – Air Bomber.
F/S Douglas John Mckenzie, RAAF AUS.417211 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Piers Trevor Stevens, RAFVR 1813627 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Thomas Alexander Peevers, RNZAF NZ417232 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Gilbert Pettifer, RAFVR 1247027 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off – – Landed –
Flight Time no record

11/03/1944 – Special Operations – March Moon Period WHEELWRIGHT 63 (ABORTIVE
Operation WHEELWRIGHT 63 (Abortive).
In the target area there was ten tenths cloud with moderate icing and no reception was seen. On return journey, two packages of leaflets were dropped at the estimated position of Auch.

Stirling Mk.III EF233 AA-L

F/L Euan Wilfred Sachtler, RNZAF NZ41362 – Pilot.
F/O Allan Cleave Heron, RAFVR 133094 – Navigator.
P/O Michael Ferdinand Lombard, RAFVR 171913 – Air Bomber.
F/S Douglas John Mckenzie, RAAF AUS.417211 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Piers Trevor Stevens, RAFVR 1813627 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Thomas Alexander Peevers, RNZAF NZ417232 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt John Gilbert Pettifer, RAFVR 1247027 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off – – Landed –
Flight Time no record

15/03/1944 – Special Operations – March Moon Period ARCHDEACON 4 (ABORTIVE)
Operation ARCHDEACON 4 (Abortive).
This aircraft was forced to return early as the port motors were showing no oil pressure and the load was brought back.

Stirling Mk.III AA-E
RETURNED TO BASE – ENGINE U/S – from logbook of Euan Sachtler

F/L Euan Wilfred Sachtler, RNZAF NZ41362 – Pilot.
F/O Allan Cleave Heron, RAFVR 133094 – Navigator.
P/O Michael Ferdinand Lombard, RAFVR 171913 – Air Bomber.
F/S Douglas John Mckenzie, RAAF AUS.417211 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Piers Trevor Stevens, RAFVR 1813627 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Thomas Alexander Peevers, RNZAF NZ417232 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt John Gilbert Pettifer, RAFVR 1247027 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off – – Landed –
Flight Time no record

23/03/1944 – Attack Against Targets at Laon
Five aircraft took off to bomb the marshalling yards at Laon and they all returned safely.

Stirling Mk.III EF233 AA-L

F/L Euan Wilfred Sachtler, RNZAF NZ41362 – Pilot.
F/O Allan Cleave Heron, RAFVR 133094 – Navigator.
P/O Michael Ferdinand Lombard, RAFVR 171913 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Douglas John Mckenzie, RAAF AUS.417211 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Piers Trevor Stevens, RAFVR 1813627 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Thomas Alexander Peevers, RNZAF NZ417232 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt John Gilbert Pettifer, RAFVR 1247027 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:40 – Landed 00:05
Flight Time 04:25

26/03/1944 – Attack against Targets at Courtrai
Seven aircraft were detailed to attack Courtrai, six bombed the target successfully and the other aircraft brought its bombs back.

Stirling Mk.III EF233 AA-L

F/L Euan Wilfred Sachtler, RNZAF NZ41362 – Pilot.
F/O Allan Cleave Heron, RAFVR 133094 – Navigator.
P/O Michael Ferdinand Lombard, RAFVR 171913 – Air Bomber.
F/S Douglas John Mckenzie, RAAF AUS.417211 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Piers Trevor Stevens, RAFVR 1813627 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Thomas Alexander Peevers, RNZAF NZ417232 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt John Gilbert Pettifer, RAFVR 1247027 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:45 – Landed 23:10
Flight Time 03:25

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.I ME689 AA-Y

F/L Euan Wilfred Sachtler, RNZAF NZ41362 – Pilot.
F/O Allan Cleave Heron, RAFVR 133094 – Navigator.
P/O Michael Ferdinand Lombard, RAFVR 171913 – Air Bomber.
F/S Douglas John Mckenzie, RAAF AUS.417211 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Piers Trevor Stevens, RAFVR 1813627 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Thomas Alexander Peevers, RNZAF NZ417232 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Gilbert Pettifer, RAFVR 1247027 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:05 – Landed 06:05
Flight Time 08:00

01/05/1944 – Attack Against Chambly
Sixteen aircraft were detailed to attack the marshalling yards at Chambly. Fifteen of these successfully attacked in clear weather, bombing being accurate. Two brief encounters with enemy aircraft took place and resulted in one being possibly damaged. One of our aircraft (Captain NZ41362 F/L. A/S/L. E.W. Sachtler) failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I ME689 AA-Y

F/L Euan Wilfred Sachtler, RNZAF NZ41362 – Pilot.
F/O Allan Cleave Heron, RAFVR 133094 – Navigator.
P/O Michael Ferdinand Lombard, RAFVR 171913 – Air Bomber.
F/S Douglas John Mckenzie, RAAF AUS.417211 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Piers Trevor Stevens, RAFVR 1813627 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Thomas Alexander Peevers, RNZAF NZ417232 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Gilbert Pettifer, RAFVR 1247027 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:44 – Landed –
Flight Time – Missing

ME689 was shot down over France, crashing at St Arnault, 12miles South West of Poix-de-la- Somme. There were no survivors and all seven crew were buried in a collective grave.

S/Ldr. Euan Wilfred Sachtler, RNZAF NZ41362 – Pilot.
Killed age 24.
Son of Wilfred Sachtler, and of Janet Louisa Sachtler (Nee Brown), of Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand.
Buried Poix-de-Picardie Churchyard, France..
Grave location – Row A. Coll. grave 15-17.

F/O Allan Gleave Heron, RAFVR 133094 – Navigator.
Killed age 22.
Son of Frank Reginald and Nellie Heron, of Leeds, Yorkshire; Husband of F. R. Heron.
Buried Poix-de-Picardie Churchyard, France..
Grave location – Row A. Coll. grave 15-17.

P/O Michael Ferdinand Lombard, RAFVR 171913 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 29.
Son of Borisfield Swan Lombard and Marian Alice Lombard, of Markyate, Hertfordshire; Husband of Sybil Agnes Lombard.
Buried Poix-de-Picardie Churchyard, France..
Grave location – Row A. Coll. grave 15-17.

F/S Douglas John Mackenzie, RAAF AUS.417211 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 27.
Son of Walter James Mackenzie and Vera Mackenzie; Husband of Mary Elizabeth Mackenzie, of Hackney, South Australia.
Buried Poix-de-Picardie Churchyard, France..
Grave location – Row A. Coll. grave 15-17.

Sgt. Piers Trevor Stevens, RAFVR 1813627 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 23.
Son of Charles James Henry and Lilian Mary Stevens, of Welling, Kent.
Buried Poix-de-Picardie Churchyard, France..
Grave location – Row A. Coll. grave 15-17.

F/S Thomas Alexander Peevers, RNZAF NZ417232 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 29.
Buried Poix-de-Picardie Churchyard, France..
Grave location – Row A. Coll. grave 15-17.

Sgt. John Gilbert Pettifer, RAFVR 1247027 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 38.
Son of Ernest Gilbert and Florence Margret Pettifer; Husband of Eveleyn Dorothy Pettifer, of West Dulwich, London.
Buried Poix-de-Picardie Churchyard, France..
Grave location – Row A. Coll. grave 15-17.