|1||08/07/43||Mining in the Gironde Estuary||AA-L||Sgt.||Nichol||07:00|
|2||13/07/43||Attack Against Targets at Aachen||AA-L||F/O||Eddy||05:00|
|Total Op hours||12:00|
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.
Buried Southend on Sea (Sutton Road) Cemetery, Essex, England.
Plot R. Grave 12049.