C. Eddy crew 23.5.43 †

05/03/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Nine aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with bombs of 2,000 lb. 1,00lb. and incendiaries of 30 lb. and 4 lb. Unfortunately, one aircraft crashed one minute after take-off as one of the engines seized, the pilot however, made a good crash landing and he and the crew escaped unhurt. Another aircraft was forced to return early owing to engine trouble. The remaining seven aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. A very large concentration of fires were seen with huge buildings in their midst, leaving no doubt as to the success of the operation. The glow from the fires was seen at the Dutch coast as our aircraft were homeward bound. Both light and heavy intense A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights, were encountered. A few enemy aircraft were seen but no combats took place, There was slight ground haze at the target, although visibility was very good. Navigation was very good. For the success of the operation a message of congratulations was received from the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief.

Stirling Mk.I BK646 AA-N

P/O Douglas Charles Lowe, RAFVR 1312163/ 138661 – Pilot.
F/O Charles ‘Charlie’ Eddy, RNZAF NZ39003 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Francis Campbell Carswell, RNZAF NZ404457 – Navigator.
F/S S. Ellis, RAFVR 1012770 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Arthur John Wilson Bodley, RNZAF NZ414538 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A.G. Warr, RAFVR 1274410 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. K.W. Wilmer, RAFVR 923838 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Brian Desmond Joseph Welch, RNZAF NZ41719 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:15 – Landed 23:45
Flight Time 04:30

08/03/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Nurenburg
Nine aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack with bombs of 2,000 lb. 1,000 lb. 500 lb and incendiaries of 30 lb. and 4 lb. One aircraft returned early owing to engine trouble and another failed to return. The remaining seven aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area, large fires being seen, one large explosion from the centre of target, was seen one hundred miles away as the aircraft were returning. Both light and heavy A.A. fire was encountered co-operating with searchlights, they however, proved to be ineffective. Stirling 1 BK646 captained by P/O Lowe, was attacked by an enemy aircraft near Saarbrucken on the return journey. The enemy aircraft opened fire with cannon and a stream of tracer came into the cockpit, one exploding near the second pilot’s leg. Corkscrew tactics were adopted, but after seven minutes the enemy aircraft was lost. The only casualties were the second pilot, who was wounded in the leg and the Captain, who had slight face cuts. The aircraft successfully returned to base. There was a slight haze at the target, although visibility fairly good. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling 1 BF437, captained by Sergeant C.R. Davey.

Stirling Mk.I BK646 AA-N

P/O Douglas Charles Lowe, RAFVR 1312163/ 138661 – Pilot.
F/O Charles ‘Charlie’ Eddy, RNZAF NZ39003 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Francis Campbell Carswell, RNZAF NZ404457 – Navigator.
F/S S. Ellis, RAFVR 1012770 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Arthur John Wilson Bodley, RNZAF NZ414538 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A.G. Warr, RAFVR 1274410 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. K.W. Wilmer, RAFVR 923838 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Brian Desmond Joseph Welch, RNZAF NZ41719 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:40 – Landed 03:15
Flight Time 07:35

23/05/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Dortmund
Fifteen aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks with bombs of 1000lb and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb. One aircraft returned early owing to engine trouble, and the remaining aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Some very large fires were seen, and the bombs were seen to explode amongst large buildings. Medium and Heavy A.A.Fire co-operating with searchlights was encountered. One aircraft was hit whilst over the target, and the port outer propeller was shot off, but the aircraft successfully returned to base. Some enemy aircraft were seen, and two short combats took place, but no damage was sustained to our aircraft. The weather was good in the target area, but identification was difficult owing to smoke from the fires. Navigation was very good. Stirling Mk.III,BK.783 captained by Sergeant S.M. Tietjens failed to return.

Stirling Mk.I BK817 AA-B

S/L Ronald Hugh Laud, RAF 40625 – Pilot.
F/O Charles ‘Charlie’ Eddy, RNZAF NZ39003 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Hugh Steel McQuade, RAFVR 1349542) – Navigator.
Sgt. Henry Stephen Mulholland, RAFVR 1332768 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Thomas, Whatmough, RAFVR 1059932 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Aubrey Reginald Waite, RAFVR 575638 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. M.K. Matthews, RAFVR 848364 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Frederick John Hawkins, RAFVR 1299618 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:18 – Landed 03:20
Flight Time 04:02

01/06/1943 – Mining off the Frisian Islands
Two aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation, with Mines of 1,500lbs., they both successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area, and parachutes were seen to open. One aircraft had the bad luck to fly over two Flak Ships and received several hits in the fuselage, none of the which were serious. No enemy aircraft or searchlights were encountered. The weather was clear and visibility was good. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.III BK810 AA-G

F/O Charles ‘Charlie’ Eddy, RNZAF NZ39003 – Pilot.
P/O Arthur Wilfred Lane, RAFVR 1383885/ 139406 – Navigator.
Sgt. Homer Cecil Hurt, RNZAF NZ41589 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. H. Bourgeois, RAFVR 798662 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. H. Waring, RAFVR 1070627 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. G. Stokes, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H.D. Lucas, RAFVR 778858/ 160135 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:40 – Landed 03:52
Flight Time 03:12

05/06/1943 – Mining off the Frisian Islands
Five aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with Mines of 1500lb. They all successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area and the majority of 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 excellent.

Stirling Mk.III BK810 AA-G

F/O Charles ‘Charlie’ Eddy, RNZAF NZ39003 – Pilot.
P/O Arthur Wilfred Lane, RAFVR 1383885/ 139406 – Navigator.
Sgt. Homer Cecil Hurt, RNZAF NZ41589 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. H. Bourgeois, RAFVR 798662 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. H. Waring, RAFVR 1070627 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. T.R. Kemp, RAFVR 1412409 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H.D. Lucas, RAFVR 778858/ 160135 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:49 – Landed 02:04
Flight Time 03:15

11/06/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Dusseldorf
Sixteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 2,000lb.,1,000lb. and incedaries of 30lb. and 4lb. One aircraft failed to return and two returned early owing to engine trouble. The remainder of the aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Many large fires and huge explosions were seen. Moderate and heavy A.A.fire co-operating with search lights were encountered. One aircraft was coned by searchlights, but violent evasive action eventually avoided them with difficulty. OSme enemy aircraft were seen and two short combats took place, but no damage was sustained by our aircraft. The weather was clear and the visibility was good except for haze caused by the fires. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stiring Mk.III BK817 captained by Squadron Leader R.H. Laud, (“A” Flight Commander).

Stirling Mk.III BK810 AA-G

W/C Michael Wyatt, RAF 37994 – Pilot.
F/O Charles ‘Charlie’ Eddy, RNZAF NZ39003 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Arthur Wilfred Lane, RAFVR 1383885/ 139406 – Navigator.
Sgt. Homer Cecil Hurt, RNZAF NZ41589 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. H. Bourgeois, RAFVR 798662 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. H. Waring, RAFVR 1070627 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Eric Clifford Viccars, RAFVR 649196 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H.D. Lucas, RAFVR 778858/ 160135 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:47 – Landed 03:29
Flight Time 03:42

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.I EE886 AA-L

F/O Charles ‘Charlie’ Eddy, RNZAF NZ39003 – Pilot. Seriously injured
Sgt. Phillip Hartstein, RAFVR 1390001/ 158031 – 2nd Pilot.Injured
P/O Arthur Wilfred Lane, RAFVR 1383885/ 139406 – Navigator. Seriously injured
F/S Homer Cecil Hurt, RNZAF NZ41589 – Air Bomber. Injured
Sgt. H. Bourgeois, RAFVR 798662 – Wireless Operator. Seriously injured
Sgt. H. Waring, RAFVR 1070627 – Flight Engineer. Seriously injured
Sgt. Eric Clifford Viccars, RAFVR 649196 – Mid Upper Gunner. Killed
F/S H.D. Lucas, RAFVR 778858/ 160135 – Rear Gunner. Injured

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

Charles Eddy’s attempts to save his Mid Upper Gunner, Eric Viccars earned the following citation:
“One night in July 1943 this officer was the pilot and captain of an aircraft which crashed when attempting an emergency landing and burst into flames immediately. He received concussion and injuries to his scalp and spine. Despite his injuries, Flying Officer Eddy remained in the aircraft and assisted the bomb aimer from the overturned second pilot;s seat. After getting clear of the aircraft, Flying Officer Eddy, on learning that one member of the crew was absent, reentered the blazing wreckage and assisted a medical officer in a vain attempt to extricate the mid-upper gunner who was trapped in his turret. It was not until the heat, flames and smoke had made a continuance of rescue work impossible that Flying Officer Eddy was persuaded to abandon his efforts. His face was scorched whilst he was attempting to rescue the gunner and he collapsed immediately after leaving the aircraft. Flying Officer Eddy showed gallantry in dangerous circumstances and his unselfishness was instrumental in saving the bomb aimers life.”

Sgt. Eric Clifford Viccars, RAFVR 649196 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Age 22.
Buried Southend on Sea (Sutton Road) Cemetery, Essex, England.
Plot R. Grave 12049.

 

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