F.A. Sandeman crew 09.12.42.

09/12/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Turin
Five aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb loads of 4lb. incendiaries were dropped by all aircraft in the target area. All crews reported that the town was well ablaze and huge columns of smoke were seen. A medium amount of both light and heavy A.A. fire was encountered. No enemy aircraft were seen. There was no cloud at the target, it was very hazy, but visibility was fairly good. Navigation was good. This can be looked upon as our most successful Stirling operation yet.

Stirling Mk.I BK.620 AA-A

F/L Frank Albert Sandeman, RAFVR 741294/ 86686 – Pilot.
Sgt. Roy Arthur Williams, RAFVR 1332658/ 140912 – 2nd Pilot.
W/O William Stuckey, RAFVR 51042 – Navigator.
Sgt. J.M.N. Thornton, RAFVR 1041442 – Air Bomber.
F/S H.W. Rossiter, RAFVR 638839 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Clifford Abbott, RAFVR 1098896 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Raymond Anthony Kennedy, RAFVR 1003148 – Mid Upper Gunner.
P/O Alexander Fielding Minnis, RAFVR 126499 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:30 – Landed 02:30
Flight Time 09:00

16/12/1942 – Operations. Gardening off Bordeaux
Nine aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with 1500lb. vegetables. The take-off was rather cross wind and unfortunately during take-off the wind backed severely so that the flare path was dead cross wind. Three aircraft swung violently on take-off. Then Sergeant Franklin tried to take-off in Stirling I, R9245, it swung as violently as the other aircraft, but went on, straightened and got airborne, only to crash a mile away from the aerodrome. Two mines exploded and all of the crew were killed. It later transpired that the starboard under carriage carried away the oil tank to the starboard inner engine and this is presumed to have seized, causing the aircraft to spin into the ground. No other aircraft took off after this. The three aircraft who successfully took off all planted their vegetables in the allotted area. Some light tracer and a few searchlights were encountered, no enemy aircraft were seen. The weather was variable with heavy rain and hail storms over the garden area, but clear generally. Navigation was good.

Stirling Mk.I BK.620 AA-A

F/L Frank Albert Sandeman, RAFVR 741294/ 86686 – Pilot.
P/O William Stuckey, RAFVR 51042 – Navigator.
Sgt. J.M.N. Thornton, RAFVR 1041442 – Air Bomber.
F/S H.W. Rossiter, RAFVR 638839 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Clifford Abbott, RAFVR 1098896 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Raymond Anthony Kennedy, RAFVR 1003148 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William Gould Gillessie, RCAF R.88681 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:50 – Landed 04:40
Flight Time 06:50

03/02/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Nine aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with 4 lb. incendiaries. The crews were instructed to return if they hit bad weather, which unfortunately they did. Heavy cloud and icing were experienced forcing five aircraft to return early. Two aircraft attacked the target but they were unable to observe results owing to 10/10ths. cloud. Some A.A. fire and a few searchlights were encountered although low cloud prevented accuracy. No enemy aircraft were seen. Navigation was good. Two aircraft failed to return, they were Stirling 1 BK604 captained by P/O J McCullough and Stirling 1 R9280 captained by P/O K.H. Blincoe. This was a sad loss as they were two of the oldest captains in the Squadron, with them was also lost Sergt. Scott and P/O Henderson, two new captains gaining experience as second pilot. This leaving us with two headless crews.

Stirling Mk.I BK624 AA-A

F/L Frank Albert Sandeman, RAFVR 741294/ 86686 – Pilot.
P/O Raymond Frederick Bennett RNZAF NZ415282 – 2nd Pilot.
W/O William Stuckey, RAFVR 51042 – Navigator.
Sgt. J.M.N. Thornton, RAFVR 1041442 – Air Bomber.
F/S H.W. Rossiter, RAFVR 638839 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Clifford Abbott, RAFVR 1098896 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Raymond Anthony Kennedy, RAFVR 1003148 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William Gould Gillessie, RCAF R.88681 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:25 – Landed 21:50
Flight Time 03:25

04/02/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Turin
Seven aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with bombs of 1,000 lb. 500 lb., and 4 lb. incendiaries. Only five aircraft attacked the target, two returning early, one due to turret and inter comm., trouble and the other as the aircraft failed to climb over the Alps, he therefore bombed and objective in occupied France. The five aircraft attacking the target successfully did so on P.F.F. markers, large fires were seen from their own and other incendiaries. Light and heavy A.A. fire was encountered, which was inaccurate. A few searchlights were also operating. Some enemy aircraft were seen, but no combat took please. Heavy cloud was hit in France but the weather was good with clear visibility at the target area. Navigation was very good, by D.R. T.H., and visual. This /is considered to be a very good and concentrated operation.

Stirling Mk.I BK624 AA-A

F/L Frank Albert Sandeman, RAFVR 741294/ 86686 – Pilot.
P/O Raymond Frederick Bennett RNZAF NZ415282 – 2nd Pilot.
W/O William Stuckey, RAFVR 51042 – Navigator.
Sgt. J.M.N. Thornton, RAFVR 1041442 – Air Bomber.
F/S H.W. Rossiter, RAFVR 638839 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Clifford Abbott, RAFVR 1098896 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Raymond Anthony Kennedy, RAFVR 1003148 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William Gould Gillessie, RCAF R.88681 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:50 – Landed 19:50
Flight Time 01:00

05/02/1943 – Mining off the Frisian Islands
Four aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with 1500 lb. mines. Three of the aircraft successfully planted their mines in the allotted area. All aircraft flew in cloud which was 10/10ths. from the English coast to the mining area. No A.A. fire, searchlights or enemy aircraft were seen. Navigation was very good. Stirling 1 BK617 captained by Sgt. R.E. Redding failed to return. This aircraft took off at 18.10 and at 19.43 a message was received XXXX that they had something to communicate to base, but this was never received. It was later reported that the aircraft was seen to crash in flames just off Cromer. Nothing further was heard of the crew, or the aircraft although a search was made by Air Sea Rescue.

Stirling Mk.I BK624 AA-A

F/L Frank Albert Sandeman, RAFVR 741294/ 86686 – Pilot.
W/O William Stuckey, RAFVR 51042 – Navigator.
Sgt. J.M.N. Thornton, RAFVR 1041442 – Air Bomber.
F/S H.W. Rossiter, RAFVR 638839 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Clifford Abbott, RAFVR 1098896 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Raymond Anthony Kennedy, RAFVR 1003148 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William Gould Gillessie, RCAF R.88681 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:55 – Landed 21:05
Flight Time 03:10

07/02/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Lorient
Nine aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with bombs of 1,000 lb. and 4 lb. incendiaries. Eight of the aircraft attacked the target, the other aircraft returning early as the inter comm. became u/s. All bombs were successfully dropped in the target area, large fires were seen which lit up the whole of the town. The smoke from these fires was rising to a height of 8,000 feet. This operation is considered to have been an exceedingly good show. Some A.A. fire and searchlights were encountered but they were very accurate. Enemy aircraft were also seen but none of them attacked. The weather was excellent with clear visibility. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.I BK624 AA-A

F/L Frank Albert Sandeman, RAFVR 741294/ 86686 – Pilot.
W/O William Stuckey, RAFVR 51042 – Navigator.
Sgt. J.M.N. Thornton, RAFVR 1041442 – Air Bomber.
F/S H.W. Rossiter, RAFVR 638839 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Clifford Abbott, RAFVR 1098896 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Raymond Anthony Kennedy, RAFVR 1003148 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William Gould Gillessie, RCAF R.88681 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:05 – Landed 23:05
Flight Time 05:00

16/02/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Lorient
Seven aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks with bombs of 2,000 lb. 500 lb. and 4 lb. incendiaries. All the aircraft successfully bombed in the target area, large fires were seen in the whole area. Both heavy and light A.A. fire was encountered, which was very intense during the early part of the attack, but was dying down when later aircraft arrived. Searchlights were very accurate and coned several aircraft, one aircraft being held for 8 minutes, the pilot took very violent evasive action but eventually got clear after great difficulty. Several enemy aircraft were seen but no attacks were made. Over the target area there was very dispersed low cloud, although visibility was very good. Navigation was excellent.

Stirling Mk.I BK624 AA-A

F/L Frank Albert Sandeman, RAFVR 741294/ 86686 – Pilot.
W/O William Stuckey, RAFVR 51042 – Navigator.
Sgt. J.M.N. Thornton, RAFVR 1041442 – Air Bomber.
F/S H.W. Rossiter, RAFVR 638839 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Clifford Abbott, RAFVR 1098896 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Raymond Anthony Kennedy, RAFVR 1003148 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William Gould Gillessie, RCAF R.88681 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:40 – Landed 23:40
Flight Time 05:00

18/02/1943 – Mining in the Gironde Estuary
Seven aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation, with mines of 1500 lb. six of the aircraft successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area and the majority of the parachutes were seen to open. One aircraft met flak at Cherbourg which proved to be quite accurate, but the aircraft was not hit. No searchlights were seen. Three enemy aircraft were seen but no attacks were made. The weather over the mining area was hazy, with visibility fair to good. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.I BK624 AA-A

F/L Frank Albert Sandeman, RAFVR 741294/ 86686 – Pilot.
W/O William Stuckey, RAFVR 51042 – Navigator.
Sgt. J.M.N. Thornton, RAFVR 1041442 – Air Bomber.
F/S H.W. Rossiter, RAFVR 638839 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Clifford Abbott, RAFVR 1098896 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Raymond Anthony Kennedy, RAFVR 1003148 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William Gould Gillessie, RCAF R.88681 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:40 – Landed 01:14
Flight Time 06:34

25/02/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Nurenburg
Seven aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with bombs of 1,00 lb. 500 lb. and incendiaries of 30 lb. and 4 lb. Two of the aircraft returned early, one owing to the aircraft failing to maintain height and the other owing to the navigator being ill. Four aircraft successfully attacked the target although results could not be seen owing to ground haze. F/Lt. Trott had his aircraft damaged by flak in the Rhine area, and had to jettison his bombs. He went on to the target , however, and reported that fires were fairly well concentrated. A few enemy aircraft were seen but no attacks made. Both light and heavy A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights, was encountered. It proved to be very inaccurate. There was 8/10ths cloud and ground haze in the target area. Visibility was fairly good. Navigation was excellent.

Stirling Mk.I BK624 AA-A

F/L Frank Albert Sandeman, RAFVR 741294/ 86686 – Pilot.
W/O William Stuckey, RAFVR 51042 – Navigator.
Sgt. J.M.N. Thornton, RAFVR 1041442 – Air Bomber.
F/S H.W. Rossiter, RAFVR 638839 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Clifford Abbott, RAFVR 1098896 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Raymond Anthony Kennedy, RAFVR 1003148 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Basil Edward Lindsay, RCAF R.84482 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:00 – Landed 22:30
Flight Time 02:30

26/02/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Cologne
Seven aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1,000lb and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb., two of these aircraft were forced to abandon the mission owing to engine trouble. The remaining five aircraft successfully attacked the target. The whole of the target was well alight, the bombing also appeared to be accurate. The fires were seen by crews fifty to sixty miles away as they were returning. Heavy and light A.A. fire was encountered, varying from moderate to intense. Some searchlights were also co-operating, but none of our aircraft were coned. A few enemy aircraft were seen, two attacks were made against our aircraft but no damage was sustained. The weather was good with fair visibility although there was a good deal of haze. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.I BK624 AA-A

F/L Frank Albert Sandeman, RAFVR 741294/ 86686 – Pilot.
Sgt. John Charles Kennedy Fabian, RNZAF NZ413720 – Navigator.
Sgt. J.M.N. Thornton, RAFVR 1041442 – Air Bomber.
F/S H.W. Rossiter, RAFVR 638839 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Clifford Abbott, RAFVR 1098896 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Raymond Anthony Kennedy, RAFVR 1003148 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William Gould Gillessie, RCAF R.88681 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:00 – Landed 23:40
Flight Time 04:40

28/02/1943 – Attack Against Targets at St. Nazaire
Seven aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1,000 lb. and incendiaries of 30 lb. and 4 lb. One of the aircraft failed to take off however, owing to extractor trouble. The remaining six aircraft successfully attacked the target, their bombs being seen to explode in the target area (which was well alight) and very well concentrated, the fires being seen forty miles away. There was moderate and heavy A.A, fire co-operation with searchlights. This was accurate. One aircraft was hit by flak and landed at Castle Camps. A few enemy aircraft were seen but no attacks were made. The weather was clear, although visibility was only fair, owing to haze. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.I BK624 AA-A

F/L Frank Albert Sandeman, RAFVR 741294/ 86686 – Pilot.
F/S Hector Bernard Duffett, RAFVR 1176955/ 141020 – Navigator.
Sgt. J.M.N. Thornton, RAFVR 1041442 – Air Bomber.
F/S H.W. Rossiter, RAFVR 638839 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Clifford Abbott, RAFVR 1098896 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Basil Edward Lindsay, RCAF R.84482 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William Gould Gillessie, RCAF R.88681 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:40 – Landed 00:20
Flight Time 05:40

01/03/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Berlin
Eight aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks with bombs of 1,000 lb. 500 lb. and incendiaries of 30 lb. and 4 lb. Two aircraft, however, were forced to return early owing to inter-comm,, and rear turret trouble, their bombs being jettisoned. The remaining six aircraft successfully attacked the target. This is considered to be a first class effort, colossal fires were seen, which were well concentrated and were seen up to 150 miles away as the aircraft were returning. Three aircraft were hit by A.A. fire in the Ruhr area but they returned safely. The defences in the target area were very poor, little A.A. fire and few searchlights being encountered. Some enemy aircraft were seen but no combats took place. There was slight cloud in the target area, although visibility was very good and ground detail could be seen very clearly. Navigation was excellent.

Stirling Mk.I BK624 AA-A

F/L Frank Albert Sandeman, RAFVR 741294/ 86686 – Pilot.
Sgt. John Charles Kennedy Fabian, RNZAF NZ413720 – Navigator.
Sgt. J.M.N. Thornton, RAFVR 1041442 – Air Bomber.
F/S H.W. Rossiter, RAFVR 638839 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Clifford Abbott, RAFVR 1098896 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Raymond Anthony Kennedy, RAFVR 1003148 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Basil Edward Lindsay, RCAF R.84482 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:40 – Landed 21:50
Flight Time 03:10

03/03/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Nine aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks with bombs of 2,000 lb. 500 lb. and incendiaries of 30 lb. and 4 lb. One of the aircraft, however, failed to start owing to a burst tail tyre wheel and another returned early owing to the rear turret being unserviceable. The remaining seven aircraft all successfully dropped their bombs in the target area, large fires were seen, which were lighting up the whole of the area. Both heavy and light intense A.A. fire was encountered, two aircraft being slightly hit. Searchlights were operation, mainly in cones. Very few enemy aircraft were seen and no combats took place. There was some haze at the target area, visibility was fairly good. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.I BK624 AA-A

F/L Frank Albert Sandeman, RAFVR 741294/ 86686 – Pilot.
Sgt. John Charles Kennedy Fabian, RNZAF NZ413720 – Navigator.
Sgt. EarL Ray Belford, RCAF R.88751/ J.17419 – Air Bomber.
F/S H.W. Rossiter, RAFVR 638839 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Clifford Abbott, RAFVR 1098896 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Raymond Anthony Kennedy, RAFVR 1003148 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William Gould Gillessie, RCAF R.88681 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:25 – Landed 00:35
Flight Time 06:10