EE878

 

Date Target Notes Code Pilot Duration
1 22/06/43 Mannheim (actually Mülheim) AA-P F/L Joll 04:02
2 24/06/43 Wuppertal AA-P S/L Andrews 04:33
3 25/06/43 Gelsenkirchen AA-P F/L French 03:47
4 03/07/43 Mining off the Frisian Islands AA-P Sgt. Moseley 04:00
5 04/07/43 Mining off Ille de RE AA-P F/O Turner 06:55
6 05/07/43 Mining off the Frisian Islands AA-P Sgt. Moseley 04:05
7 08/07/43 Mining in the Gironde Estuary AA-P Sgt. Moseley 07:00
8 13/07/43 Aachen AA-P P/O Logan 04:25
9 24/07/43 Hamburg AA-P S/L Andrews 05:35
10 25/07/43 Essen AA-P F/S Darney 04:05
11 27/07/43 Hamburg AA-P S/L Andrews 05:45
12 29/07/43 Hamburg AA-P P/O Burley 05:50
13 02/08/43 Hamburg AA-P S/L Andrews 05:20
14 10/08/43 Nurenburg AA-P S/L Andrews 07:40
15 23/08/43 Berlin AA-P S/L Andrews 07:50
16 27/08/43 Nurenbburg AA-P P/O Burley 07:05
17 31/08/43 Berlin AA-P F/S Henley Missing
Total Op hours 87:57

 

31/08/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Berlin
Eighteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1,000lb., 500lb. and incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb. Two aircraft failed to take-off and four did not return, the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Large fires were seen, although rather scattered they appeared to be progressing very well. Moderate heavy A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered and one air craft received slight damage. Enemy night-fighters were in great prominence, the aircraft piloted by F/Sgt. Wilkinson, G encountered a JU88 approaching from astern 500yds away. The rear gunner fired a long burst, the enemy aircraft replied and stalled. The mid-upper gunner then fired three long bursts. The enemy aircraft was seen to fall away and is claimed as probably destroyed. Our aircraft received damage to the rear of the fuselage and had part of the tail plane and fin badly damaged. The aircraft captained by F/O Alexander sighted two Me109’s, the first opened fire from the starboard quarter and the rear gunner replied with a short burst. The enemy aircraft stalled and the mid-upper gunner fired a short burst. The enemy aircraft then dived to the ground and exploded, it was claimed to be destroyed. The second Me109 opened fire with a short burst from the port bow to the port quarter. The rear gunner then fired a short burst and tracer was seen to enter the enemy aircraft, which dived. It was claimed as possible destroyed. The aircraft captained by W/O Moseley, P. sighted a Me110 on the port quarter, the mid upper and rear gunner fired a long burst and the enemy aircraft turned over and dived with smoke pouring from its starboard side. It was claimed as probably destroyed. The aircraft captained by P/O C.Logan sighted a Me109 sixty yards astern, the mid-upper and rear gunner  fired and tracer from the rear gunner was seen to hit the aircraft. The Stirling then corkscrewed and the Me109 disappeared. It was claimed to be damaged. Two other aircraft crash landed away from base due to damage caused by enemy fighters, none of the crews were injured however. 8/10ths cloud was encountered on the outward journey and 9’10ths at the target, visibility, nevertheless, was good. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings MK.III EE918 captained by F/Sgt. Roberts,E, EE878 captained by F/Sgt. Henley, D, EE905 captained by F/Sgt. Helm,G. and EF501 captained by F/S McGregor, K.

Stirling Mk.III EE878 AA-P

F/S Douglas Charles Henley, RNZAF NZ414622 – Pilot.
F/O Clifford Arnold Watson, RNZAF NZ421946 – Navigator.
F/S Ian Hector Ross Smith, RNZAF NZ421614 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Robert N. Quelch, RAFVR 1319114 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Lewis Patrick ‘Lew’ Parsons, RAFVR 1455528 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Douglas C. Box, RAFVR 1578987 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. James Sutherland Grant, RNZAF NZ421274 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off – – Landed –
Flight Time Missing

Stirling Mk.III EE878 AA-P was badly damaged by flak and by night-fighter action near the target area. With the port inner engine out of action, and the port elevator only partially effective, considerable height was lost evading the fighter before control was regained. They were now almost out of fuel and at low level when the captain ordered the crew to bale out. Some of the crew succeeded in clearing the plane before it crash-landed at Ahrbruck, 7miles SW of Ahrweiler. The navigator and air bomber were killed when their parachutes failed to deploy in time. The pilot died at the controls. Those who died were buried at municipal cemetery at Mayschoss, but later re-interred in the Rheinberg War Cemetery, south of Wesel. The other four crew all survived but were captured as POW’s.

P/O Douglas Charles Henley, RNZAF NZ414622 – Pilot.
Killed age 23.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 10. E. 24.

F/O Clifford Arnold Watson, RNZAF NZ421946 – Navigator.
Killed age 34.
Son of William James Watson and Janet Watson, of Invercargill, Southland, New Zealand; Husband of Ivy Mavis Watson, of Nelson, New Zealand.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 10. E. 25.

F/S Ian Hector Ross Smith, RNZAF NZ421614 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 34.
Son of Hector John and Gertrude Mary Smith, of Napier, Hawke’S Bay, New Zealand.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 10. E. 23.

Sgt. Robert N. Quelch, RAFVR 1319114 – Wireless Operator.
P.o.W
Prisoner of War Number: 222631
Prison Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag IVB
Date of return to United Kingdom: not known

Sgt. Lewis Patrick Parsons, RAFVR 1455528 – Flight Engineer.
P.o.W
Prisoner of War Number: 222626
Prison Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag IVB. Freed by Soviet troops 25th of April 1945 but held by them until he walked out of his PoW camps on 11th of May 1945
Date of return to United Kingdom: 15th of May 1945

Sgt. Douglas C. Box, RAFVR 1578987 – Mid Upper Gunner.
P.o.W
Prisoner of War Number: 222357
Prison Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags IVB, Luft III. Promoted to F/Sgt whilst interred
Date of return to United Kingdom: not known

Sgt. James Sutherland Grant, RNZAF NZ421274 – Rear Gunner.
P.o.W
Prisoner of War Number: 43260
Prison Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft VI and 357. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Date of return to United Kingdom: 8th of May 1945