F.C. Wood crew 5.8.44

photo-1

The Wood crew, stood in front of NE181 “The Captains Fancy” – ironically, the crew never flew this aircraft operationally – one wonders whether because of the nose art they simply took a photo opportunity?!?
Back row left to right: Arthur Taylor (Wireless Operator), Ron Johnson (Navigator), Frank Wood (Pilot) & Les Hurcombe (Air Bomber)
Front row left to right: Alf Woolley (Mid Upper Gunner), George Mahoney ( Rear Gunner) & ‘Gibby’ Gibbs ( Flight Engineer)

01/08/1944 – Attack Against Le Nieppe
Sixteen aircraft took off to attack the Constructional Works Site at Le Nieppe. All aircraft reached the target area and the ten which were at the head of the bomber stream, bombed with the aim of markers, but later aircraft were instructed not to bomb, and these brought their bombs back. There was slight A.A. opposition but no fighter activity. There was 10/10ths cloud at the target.

Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X “Get Sum Inn”/ “Astra”

F/L Garth Reginald Gunn, RNZAF NZ411397 – Pilot.
F/O Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – 2nd Pilot.
F/O Francis Robert Smith, RAFVR 1457442/ 153453 – Navigator.
F/O Angus Moorcroft Millar, RNZAF NZ428249 – Air Bomber.
F/L C. Stacey?, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. John Henry Bruce, RAFVR 1566967 – Flight Engineer.
F/O Charles Cameron Robertson, RNZAF NZ411708 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/O Stanley Raymond Haynes, RNZAF NZ401519 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:13 – Landed 21:46
Flight Time 02:33

05/08/1944 – Attack Against Bassens
Eighteen aircraft were detailed to attack the Oil Storage at Bordeaux, Bassens. All aircraft successfully identified and bombed the target visually and a very concentrated raid was reported. Several good explosions and much smoke was seen on leaving the target. A.A. opposition was very slight.

Lancaster Mk.I LM544 AA-J

F/O Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ronald James Johnson, RAFVR 1457395 – Navigator.
F/O Leslie Ronald ‘Les’ Hurcombe, RAFVR 153900 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Arthur Albert Charles Taylor, RAFVR 1583883/ 186770 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. ‘Gibby’ Gibbs, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alfred ‘Alf’ Woolley, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Mahoney, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 14:25 – Landed 22:22
Flight Time 07:57

09/08/1944 – Attack Against Fort D’Anglos
Seventeen aircraft took off as detailed to attack the Army Fuel Depot at Fort D’Anglos. All were successful in bombing with the aid of markers. The raid appeared to be scattered but there was indication of a large conflagration. Opposition from A.A. fire was very slight and no enemy fighters were seen.

Lancaster Mk.I HK554 JN-F

F/O Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ronald James Johnson, RAFVR 1457395 – Navigator.
F/O Leslie Ronald ‘Les’ Hurcombe, RAFVR 153900 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Arthur Albert Charles Taylor, RAFVR 1583883/ 186770 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. ‘Gibby’ Gibbs, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alfred ‘Alf’ Woolley, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Mahoney, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:08 – Landed 00:31
Flight Time 02:23

11/08/1944 – Attack Against Lens
Twenty two aircraft set out as detailed to attack the Marshalling Yard at Lens. All aircraft attacked in good weather and an accurate and concentrated raid resulted. No opposition was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I HK601 JN-D

F/O Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ronald James Johnson, RAFVR 1457395 – Navigator.
F/O Leslie Ronald ‘Les’ Hurcombe, RAFVR 153900 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Arthur Albert Charles Taylor, RAFVR 1583883/ 186770 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. ‘Gibby’ Gibbs, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alfred ‘Alf’ Woolley, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Mahoney, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 14:31 – Landed 17:56
Flight Time 03:25

12/08/1944 – Attack Against Russelsheim
Ten aircraft set out to attack Factories at Russelsheim which are engaged in Flying Bomb production. Nine aircraft bombed the target with the aid of markers and good results were reported. A.A. defences were light, but enemy fighters were active on the homeward route, one aircraft having an inconclusive combat with a JU 88. The aircraft captained by NZ428793 .F/S. Mulcahy, C., failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I HK554 JN-F

F/O Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ronald James Johnson, RAFVR 1457395 – Navigator.
F/O Leslie Ronald ‘Les’ Hurcombe, RAFVR 153900 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Arthur Albert Charles Taylor, RAFVR 1583883/ 186770 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. ‘Gibby’ Gibbs, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alfred ‘Alf’ Woolley, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Mahoney, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:50 – Landed 02:56
Flight Time 05:06

14/08/1944 – Attack Against Hamel
Twenty two aircraft took off as detailed to attack enemy troop concentrations near Hamel, in support of the advancing British and Canadian Armies. Nineteen were successful in bombing the target with the aid of markers and in accordance with the Master Bomber’s instructions. Three aircraft were unable to bomb owing to being too late over the target. A.A. opposition was very slight and no enemy fighters were seen.

Lancaster Mk.I HK597 JN-P “Bad Penny IV”

F/O Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ronald James Johnson, RAFVR 1457395 – Navigator.
F/O Leslie Ronald ‘Les’ Hurcombe, RAFVR 153900 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Arthur Albert Charles Taylor, RAFVR 1583883/ 186770 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. ‘Gibby’ Gibbs, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alfred ‘Alf’ Woolley, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Mahoney, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 14:02 – Landed 17:43
Flight Time 03:41

15/08/1944 – Attack Against The Aerodrome at St. Trond
Nineteen aircraft took off as detailed to attack the Aerodrome at St. Trond. All aircraft made a successful attack and bombing results were confirmed visually, the bomb bursts being well concentrated on the runways. Opposition was almost negligible both over the target and en route.

Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X “Get Sum Inn”/ “Astra”

F/O Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ronald James Johnson, RAFVR 1457395 – Navigator.
F/O Leslie Ronald ‘Les’ Hurcombe, RAFVR 153900 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Arthur Albert Charles Taylor, RAFVR 1583883/ 186770 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. ‘Gibby’ Gibbs, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alfred ‘Alf’ Woolley, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Mahoney, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 09:56 – Landed 13:33
Flight Time 03:37

16/08/1944 – Attack Against Stettin
Twenty three aircraft took off as detailed to attack Stettin. Twenty two were successful in attacking the target with the aid of markers, but the raid appeared scattered and no great concentration of fires was achieved. Slight A.A. fire was encountered in the target area and a few fighters were met en route, two aircraft having inconclusive combats. One aircraft returned early with icing trouble.

From the diary of Ron Johnson:
“On Battle Order. Usual morning, Daily Inspections at aircraft then mid afternoon briefing. Target Stettin- a long flight! But a lot of flying over the sea. Our crew was informed we had a passenger. War correspondent with rank of Army Major. He was a minor problem the first hour, wanting to know what everybody was doing but we got him onto the rest bed when we started climbing and we all need oxygen masks on. We called him as we left Denmark. As I looked out at Stettin as we set course home, it looked like a huge bonfire with bursting A.A. fire as fireworks. For out crew, a good trip and no mishaps but it was a full eight hours flight getting back at 5AM. The following days newspapers had a full report from correspondent over target, much more colourful than our impressions. It stated “target like a colander of bomb craters with fire issuing from the holes”. The local Reading paper picked up that Les Hurcombe was on the raid with a full half page. Somebody got hold of this and pinned it on the mess notice board, much to the embarrassment of Les”.

Lancaster Mk.III ND917 JN-O

F/O Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ronald James Johnson, RAFVR 1457395 – Navigator.
F/O Leslie Ronald ‘Les’ Hurcombe, RAFVR 153900 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Arthur Albert Charles Taylor, RAFVR 1583883/ 186770 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. ‘Gibby’ Gibbs, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alfred ‘Alf’ Woolley, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Mahoney, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:10 – Landed 05:30
Flight Time 08:20

18/08/1944 – Attack Against Bremen
Twenty five aircraft took off as detailed to attack Bremen, twenty four of these contributed to a very successful raid, good concentrated fires being left burning. A moderate A.A. barrage, with numerous searchlights, was encountered between the enemy coast and the target, and three of our aircraft sustained damage. Fighter opposition was weak but one aircraft had an inconclusive combat over the target. One aircraft returned early.

Lancaster Mk.I HK554 JN-F

F/O Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ronald James Johnson, RAFVR 1457395 – Navigator.
F/O Leslie Ronald ‘Les’ Hurcombe, RAFVR 153900 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Arthur Albert Charles Taylor, RAFVR 1583883/ 186770 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. ‘Gibby’ Gibbs, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alfred ‘Alf’ Woolley, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Mahoney, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:40 – Landed 03:37
Flight Time 05:57

31/08/1944 – Attack Against Pont Reny
Eighteen aircraft took off as detailed to attack the Flying Bomb Supply Dump at Pont Reny. All were successful in bombing the target, although cloud obscured it to some extent, which caused part of the bombing to be scattered. No enemy fighters were encountered and A.A. opposition was slight, but one aircraft (Captain NZ421488 .F/O. J. Aitken) was damaged and the Air Bomber, NZ429967 .F/O. R. Mayhill received slight injuries.

Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X “Get Sum Inn”/ “Astra”

F/O Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ronald James Johnson, RAFVR 1457395 – Navigator.
F/O Leslie Ronald ‘Les’ Hurcombe, RAFVR 153900 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Arthur Albert Charles Taylor, RAFVR 1583883/ 186770 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. ‘Gibby’ Gibbs, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alfred ‘Alf’ Woolley, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Mahoney, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 16:19 – Landed 19:45
Flight Time 03:26

05/09/1944 – Attack Against Le Havre
Eighteen aircraft were standing by to attack Dortmund, but this operation was postponed and twenty five aircraft took off to attack Le Havre in favourable weather. Opposition was negligible and a very successful raid was carried out, without loss. Most of the bombing was done visually. Reports indicate that the target was well saturated.

Lancaster Mk.I HK597 JN-P “Bad Penny IV”

F/O Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ronald James Johnson, RAFVR 1457395 – Navigator.
F/O Leslie Ronald ‘Les’ Hurcombe, RAFVR 153900 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Arthur Albert Charles Taylor, RAFVR 1583883/ 186770 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. ‘Gibby’ Gibbs, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alfred ‘Alf’ Woolley, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Mahoney, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:37 – Landed 21:16
Flight Time 03:39

06/09/1944 – Attack Against Harqueboc Le Havre
Twenty four aircraft were detailed to attack the German Army Headquarters at Harqueboc, near Le Havre. All aircraft bombed the target according to the Master Bomber’s instructions and a very accurate raid was reported. Fires were seen to be still burning from the previous day’s attack on Le Havre. Once again no opposition was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.III PB430 AA-P

F/O Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ronald James Johnson, RAFVR 1457395 – Navigator.
F/O Leslie Ronald ‘Les’ Hurcombe, RAFVR 153900 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Arthur Albert Charles Taylor, RAFVR 1583883/ 186770 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. ‘Gibby’ Gibbs, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alfred ‘Alf’ Woolley, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Mahoney, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 15:53 – Landed 19:41
Flight Time 03:48

10/09/1944 – Attack Against Montivilliers
Twenty seven aircraft attacked Montivilliers in the Le Havre area, as detailed. All crews dropped their bombs on the target and a very concentrated raid developed. No fighters were encountered and only slight opposition was met from ground defences.

Lancaster Mk.I HK597 JN-P “Bad Penny IV”

F/O Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ronald James Johnson, RAFVR 1457395 – Navigator.
F/O Leslie Ronald ‘Les’ Hurcombe, RAFVR 153900 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Arthur Albert Charles Taylor, RAFVR 1583883/ 186770 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. ‘Gibby’ Gibbs, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alfred ‘Alf’ Woolley, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Mahoney, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 15:36 – Landed 19:31
Flight Time 03:55

11/09/1944 – Attack Against Kamen
Fifteen aircraft were detailed to attack Kamen Oil Refinery. Weather conditions were favourable and some crews were able to bomb visually, under the Master Bomber’s instructions. Clouds of black smoke rising to 15,000 ft. was reported and a very successful raid ensued. Opposition from slight but accurate heavy A.A. fire was met from the defences. No enemy fighters were encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I HK597 JN-P “Bad Penny IV”
HK562 hit by flak 4 times (AC) PB421 ‘K’ once, PB132 ‘Y’ 3 times. HK574 ‘R’ – struck by a packet of Window

F/O Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ronald James Johnson, RAFVR 1457395 – Navigator.
F/O Leslie Ronald ‘Les’ Hurcombe, RAFVR 153900 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Arthur Albert Charles Taylor, RAFVR 1583883/ 186770 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. ‘Gibby’ Gibbs, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alfred ‘Alf’ Woolley, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Mahoney, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 16:07 – Landed 20:37
Flight Time 04:30

17/09/1944 – Attack Against Boulogne
In the morning fourteen aircraft took off to attack Boulogne. Crews were able to identify landmarks and bombing was accurate, although much smoke hid results. The aircraft captained by NZ411397 A/S/L. G. Gunn was severely damaged by light flak, but he managed to fly back across the Channel even though both starboard engines were feathered. On landing at Hawkinge, however, the aircraft overshot the small runway and crashed. The Captain received injuries and was placed on the Dangerously Ill List, the Navigator 153453 F/O F. Smith was slightly injured, the Air Bomber NZ428249 F/O A Millar was placed on the Seriously Ill List, the Flight Engineer 1566967 Sgt Bruce, J was killed, but the remainder of the crew were uninjured, they were WO/AIR 47714 F/L W Naismith, MU/Gnr NZ411708 F/O C. Robertson and R/Gnr NZ402519 F/O S. Haynes. All of those injured were admitted to Kent and Canterbury Hospital, Canterbury and the body of Sgt Bruce was sent to his next of kin for burial.

Lancaster Mk.I HK597 JN-P “Bad Penny IV”

F/O Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ronald James Johnson, RAFVR 1457395 – Navigator.
F/O Leslie Ronald ‘Les’ Hurcombe, RAFVR 153900 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Arthur Albert Charles Taylor, RAFVR 1583883/ 186770 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. ‘Gibby’ Gibbs, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alfred ‘Alf’ Woolley, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Mahoney, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 10:13 – Landed 13:05
Flight Time 02:52

20/09/1944 – Attack Against Calais
Twenty seven aircraft set out as detailed to attack enemy strong points at Calais. They all successfully bombed the target from a low level and an accurate and concentrated raid was reported. Opposition was very slight.

Lancaster Mk.I HK597 JN-P “Bad Penny IV”

F/O Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ronald James Johnson, RAFVR 1457395 – Navigator.
F/O Leslie Ronald ‘Les’ Hurcombe, RAFVR 153900 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Arthur Albert Charles Taylor, RAFVR 1583883/ 186770 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. ‘Gibby’ Gibbs, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alfred ‘Alf’ Woolley, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S George Mahoney, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 14:30 – Landed 18:00
Flight Time 03:30

23/09/1944 – Attack Against Neuss
Twenty six aircraft took off as detailed to attack the Marshalling Yards at Neuss. The target was obscured by ten tenths cloud with tops of 11,000 ft. Most crews bombed below cloud, some explosions and flashes were seen, but results were difficult to assess. One aircraft returned early through the complete failure of the electrical system and a further aircraft bombed the target, but owing to a technical failure, landed at Woodbridge on return. Moderate but inaccurate A.A. Fire was met over the target.

Lancaster Mk.I HK597 JN-P “Bad Penny IV”

F/O Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – Pilot.
F/S Ronald James Johnson, RAFVR 1457395 – Navigator.
F/O Leslie Ronald ‘Les’ Hurcombe, RAFVR 153900 – Air Bomber.
F/S Arthur Albert Charles Taylor, RAFVR 1583883/ 186770 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. ‘Gibby’ Gibbs, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alfred ‘Alf’ Woolley, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Mahoney, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:30 – Landed 23:16
Flight Time 03:46

25/09/1944 – Attack Against Calais
Twenty seven aircraft took off as detailed to carry out an early morning attack on Calais. They all reached the target and found that ten tenths cloud with 2,000 feet tops and less than 1,000 feet base obscured it. The operation, therefore, had to be abandoned.

Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X “Get Sum Inn”/ “Astra”

F/O Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ronald James Johnson, RAFVR 1457395 – Navigator.
F/O Leslie Ronald ‘Les’ Hurcombe, RAFVR 153900 – Air Bomber.
F/S Arthur Albert Charles Taylor, RAFVR 1583883/ 186770 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. ‘Gibby’ Gibbs, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alfred ‘Alf’ Woolley, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Mahoney, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 08:25 – Landed 11:17
Flight Time 02:52

14/10/1944 – Attack Against Duisburg
Twenty nine aircraft were detailed to make a further attack on Duisburg, unfortunately, however, three aircraft had to be withdrawn. One aircraft returned early owing to the rear turret being unserviceable. The remaining twenty five aircraft took part in a very successful attack in excellent visibility and large fires were seen to break out and add to those already burning from the morning attack. AA opposition was negligible and searchlight did not operate until late in the raid. One aircraft had an inconclusive combat with an enemy fighter.

Lancaster Mk.I HK597 JN-P “Bad Penny IV”
Hit by flak once

F/O Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – Pilot.
F/O Eric Frank Butler, RNZAF NZ425558 – 2nd Pilot.
F/S Ronald James Johnson, RAFVR 1457395 – Navigator.
F/O Leslie Ronald ‘Les’ Hurcombe, RAFVR 153900 – Air Bomber.
F/S Arthur Albert Charles Taylor, RAFVR 1583883/ 186770 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. ‘Gibby’ Gibbs, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alfred ‘Alf’ Woolley, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Mahoney, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 06:49 – Landed 11:30
Flight Time 04:41

14/10/1944 – Attack Against Duisburg(2)
Twenty nine aircraft were detailed to make a further attack on Duisburg, unfortunately, however, three aircraft had to be withdrawn. One aircraft returned early owing to the rear turret being unserviceable. The remaining twenty five aircraft took part in a very successful attack in excellent visibility and large fires were seen to break out and add to those already burning from the morning attack. AA opposition was negligible and searchlight did not operate until late in the raid. One aircraft had an inconclusive combat with an enemy fighter.

Lancaster Mk.I HK596 AA-O Oboe

F/O Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – Pilot.
F/S Ronald James Johnson, RAFVR 1457395 – Navigator.
F/O Leslie Ronald ‘Les’ Hurcombe, RAFVR 153900 – Air Bomber.
F/S Arthur Albert Charles Taylor, RAFVR 1583883/ 186770 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. ‘Gibby’ Gibbs, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alfred ‘Alf’ Woolley, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Mahoney, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:41 – Landed 03:35
Flight Time 04:54

18/10/1944 – Attack Against Bonn
Sixteen aircraft were again detailed to attack Bonn and this time they were able to carry out the operation. For the first time the aircraft attacked flying in formation. Some moderate heavy A A fire was met over the target, but no fighter opposition was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I HK563 JN-W “The Paper Doll”

F/O Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – Pilot.
F/S Ronald James Johnson, RAFVR 1457395 – Navigator.
F/O Leslie Ronald ‘Les’ Hurcombe, RAFVR 153900 – Air Bomber.
F/S Arthur Albert Charles Taylor, RAFVR 1583883/ 186770 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. ‘Gibby’ Gibbs, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alfred ‘Alf’ Woolley, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Mahoney, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 08:40 – Landed 13:03
Flight Time 04:23

19/10/1944 – Attack Against Stuttgart
Twenty eight aircraft were detailed to attack Stuttgart. The attack was in two waves. Thirteen aircraft took part in the first wave and successfully dropped their bombs with the aid of markers and flares, in weather conditions of 9/10ths cloud. A.A. opposition was moderate and a few enemy aircraft were active. Fifteen aircraft took part in the second wave five hours later and they all dropped their bombs with the aid of flares through ten tenths cloud. The glow of fires seen, indicated that the fires were concentrated around the aiming point. A A opposition was less than that encountered during the first wave, but more enemy fighters were active. Four of our aircraft had inconclusive combats.

Lancaster Mk.I HK597 JN-P “Bad Penny IV”

F/O Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – Pilot.
F/S Ronald James Johnson, RAFVR 1457395 – Navigator.
F/O Leslie Ronald ‘Les’ Hurcombe, RAFVR 153900 – Air Bomber.
F/S Arthur Albert Charles Taylor, RAFVR 1583883/ 186770 – Wireless Operator .
F/O Norman Bartlett, RAFVR 54290 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alfred ‘Alf’ Woolley, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Mahoney, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:12 – Landed 03:59
Flight Time 05:47

21/10/1944 – Attack Against Flushing
Twenty five aircraft took off to attack Flushing. All crews were able to identify the target visually and bombing was reported as being very accurate. A.A. opposition was moderate. One aircraft (Captain 176437 F/O J. Johnson) failed to return, but was seen to be shot down over the target by heavy A A fire.

Lancaster Mk.I HK597 JN-P “Bad Penny IV”

F/O Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – Pilot.
F/S Ronald James Johnson, RAFVR 1457395 – Navigator.
F/O Leslie Ronald ‘Les’ Hurcombe, RAFVR 153900 – Air Bomber.
F/S Arthur Albert Charles Taylor, RAFVR 1583883/ 186770 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. ‘Gibby’ Gibbs, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alfred ‘Alf’ Woolley, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Mahoney, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:15 – Landed 14:09
Flight Time 02:54

23/10/1944 – Attack Against Essen
Twenty seven aircraft took off as detailed to attack Essen. Ten tenths cloud prevailed over the target but all aircraft were successful in attacking with the aid of marker flares. A A opposition was moderate but no enemy fighters were seen.

Lancaster Mk.I HK597 JN-P “Bad Penny IV”

F/O Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – Pilot.
F/S Ronald James Johnson, RAFVR 1457395 – Navigator.
F/O Leslie Ronald ‘Les’ Hurcombe, RAFVR 153900 – Air Bomber.
F/S Arthur Albert Charles Taylor, RAFVR 1583883/ 186770 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. ‘Gibby’ Gibbs, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alfred ‘Alf’ Woolley, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Mahoney, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 16:52 – Landed 21:48
Flight Time 04:56

25/10/1944 – Attack Against Essen
Twenty six aircraft took off as detailed to attack Essen. Twenty three of these attacked the target and bombing was good, built up areas and factories being identified visually. One aircraft brought its bombs back owing to the failure of the bombing equipment when over the target and two other aircraft returned early owing to technical failures.

Lancaster Mk.I HK597 JN-P “Bad Penny IV”

F/S Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – Pilot.
F/S Ronald James Johnson, RAFVR 1457395 – Navigator.
F/O Leslie Ronald ‘Les’ Hurcombe, RAFVR 153900 – Air Bomber.
F/S Arthur Albert Charles Taylor, RAFVR 1583883/ 186770 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. ‘Gibby’ Gibbs, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alfred ‘Alf’ Woolley, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Mahoney, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 13:17 – Landed 17:18
Flight Time 04:01

29/10/1944 – Attack Against West Kapelle
Fourteen aircraft took off to attack a target at West Kappelle. They all bombed as instructed by the Master Bomber and bombing was reported as concentrated, although it was thought to be slightly away from the correct aiming point. No opposition was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I NF980 JN-K

F/O Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – Pilot.
F/S Ronald James Johnson, RAFVR 1457395 – Navigator.
F/O Leslie Ronald ‘Les’ Hurcombe, RAFVR 153900 – Air Bomber.
F/S Arthur Albert Charles Taylor, RAFVR 1583883/ 186770 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. ‘Gibby’ Gibbs, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alfred ‘Alf’ Woolley, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Davies, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 10:02 – Landed 12:59
Flight Time 02:57

30/10/1944 – Attack Against Cologne
Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack Cologne during daylight, but the operation was postponed until the evening. All aircraft attacked the target and although a good concentration of markers was achieved results were unobserved owing to ten tenths cloud. Moderate A.A. opposition was encountered and one aircraft received slight damage. There was no fighter opposition.

Lancaster Mk.I HK597 JN-P “Bad Penny IV”

F/O Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – Pilot.
F/S Ronald James Johnson, RAFVR 1457395 – Navigator.
F/O Leslie Ronald ‘Les’ Hurcombe, RAFVR 153900 – Air Bomber.
F/S Arthur Albert Charles Taylor, RAFVR 1583883/ 186770 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. ‘Gibby’ Gibbs, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alfred ‘Alf’ Woolley, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Mahoney, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:56 – Landed 22:49
Flight Time 04:53

31/10/1944 – Attack Against Cologne
Eighteen aircraft took off in the evening to make a further attack on Cologne. Ten tenths cloud prevailed over the target area, but markers were well placed and a good glow from fires beneath the clouds was observed on leaving. A.A. opposition was slight and no enemy fighters were seen.

Lancaster Mk.I HK597 JN-P “Bad Penny IV”

F/O Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – Pilot.
F/S Ronald James Johnson, RAFVR 1457395 – Navigator.
F/S Leslie Ronald ‘Les’ Hurcombe, RAFVR 153900 – Air Bomber.
F/S Arthur Albert Charles Taylor, RAFVR 1583883/ 186770 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. ‘Gibby’ Gibbs, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alfred ‘Alf’ Woolley, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Mahoney, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:10 – Landed 22:45
Flight Time 04:35

04/11/1944 – Attack Against Solingen
Twenty one aircraft took off to attack Solingen in daylight, carrying 8,000 lb, 4,000 lb, 1,000 lb, 500 lb, 4 lb incendiaries and No.17 Clusters. All crews dropped their bombs in the target area, but the raid appeared to be scattered. Flak opposition was moderate. One aircraft captained by NZ428797 F/O J. Scott, failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I HK597 JN-P “Bad Penny IV”

F/O Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – Pilot.
F/S Ronald James Johnson, RAFVR 1457395 – Navigator.
P/O Leslie Ronald ‘Les’ Hurcombe, RAFVR 153900 – Air Bomber.
F/S Arthur Albert Charles Taylor, RAFVR 1583883/ 186770 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. ‘Gibby’ Gibbs, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alfred ‘Alf’ Woolley, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Mahoney, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:31 – Landed 16:04
Flight Time 04:33

16/11/1944 – Attack Against Heinsberg
Twenty five aircraft were detailed to attack an Oil Refinery target at Sterkrade but this operation was cancelled, and the 25 aircraft later took off to attack Heinsberg in support of the advancing American Army, carrying 8,000 lb, 4,000 lb, 1,000 lb and 500 lb bombs. All crews were successful in bombing the town which was identified visually. On leaving, the whole town appeared to be covered in a thick pall of smoke. Flak was fairly intense but only two of our aircraft received minor damage.

Lancaster Mk.I HK597 JN-P “Bad Penny IV”

F/O Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – Pilot.
F/S Ronald James Johnson, RAFVR 1457395 – Navigator.
F/O Leslie Ronald ‘Les’ Hurcombe, RAFVR 153900 – Air Bomber.
F/S Arthur Albert Charles Taylor, RAFVR 1583883/ 186770 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. ‘Gibby’ Gibbs, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alfred ‘Alf’ Woolley, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Mahoney, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 13:38 – Landed 17:30
Flight Time 03:52

20/11/1944 – Attack Against Homberg
Twenty eight aircraft took off to attack the Oil Refinery Plant at Homberg. Twenty two aircraft in daylight attacked the target in ten tenths cloud with tops at 23,000 ft. which made formation flying very difficult. They carried 4,000 lb and 500 lb bombs. Results of bombing could not be observed, but it is considered that the raid was unsatisfactory. One aircraft AA/J returned early owing to icing trouble and two aircraft bombed last resort targets at Duisburg and Hamborn. Three aircraft failed to return. These were captained by 185116 F/O R. Gordon, AUS419328 F/O P. McCartin and 152402 F/O H. Rees.

Lancaster Mk.I HK597 JN-P “Bad Penny IV”

F/O Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – Pilot.
F/S Ronald James Johnson, RAFVR 1457395 – Navigator.
P/O Leslie Ronald ‘Les’ Hurcombe, RAFVR 153900 – Air Bomber.
F/S Arthur Albert Charles Taylor, RAFVR 1583883/ 186770 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. ‘Gibby’ Gibbs, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
W/O Robert John Torbitt, RAFVR 1033159 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Mahoney, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:40 – Landed 17:10
Flight Time 04:30

21/11/1944 – Mining in Oslo Fjord
Three aircraft took off to lay mines in the Oslo Fjord. Two aircraft planted their mines in good visibility and without opposition. One aircraft captained by NZ417082 A/F/L L. Martyn, failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X “Get Sum Inn”/ “Astra”

P/O Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – Pilot.
F/S Ronald James Johnson, RAFVR 1457395 – Navigator.
F/O Leslie Ronald ‘Les’ Hurcombe, RAFVR 153900 – Air Bomber.
F/S Arthur Albert Charles Taylor, RAFVR 1583883/ 186770 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. ‘Gibby’ Gibbs, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
W/O Robert John Torbitt, RAFVR 1033159 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Mahoney, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 16:09 – Landed 23:34
Flight Time 07:25

23/11/1944 – Attack Against Gelsenkirchen
Twenty five aircraft took off as detailed to attack Nordstern Oil Refinery Plant at Gelsenkirchen carrying 4,000 lb and 500 lb bombs. All aircraft attacked in formation bombing on navigational aids as the cloud was 10/10 with tops at 8000 ft. The attack was thought to be well concentrated, though it was impossible to observe the results. Flak opposition was moderate, but no fighter opposition was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I HK597 JN-P “Bad Penny IV”

F/O Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – Pilot.
F/S Ronald James Johnson, RAFVR 1457395 – Navigator.
F/O Leslie Ronald ‘Les’ Hurcombe, RAFVR 153900 – Air Bomber.
P/O Arthur Albert Charles Taylor, RAFVR 1583883/ 186770 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. ‘Gibby’ Gibbs, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alfred ‘Alf’ Woolley, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Mahoney, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:48 – Landed 17:29
Flight Time 04:41

27/11/1944 – Attack Against Cologne Marshalling Yard
Twenty three aircraft carried out a successful attack on Cologne Marshalling Yard with 4,000 lb and 500 lb bombs. Flak over the target was moderate but accurate. One aircraft captained by F/O D.P. Leadley landed away at Manston. The crew were unhurt, but the aircraft was damaged.

Lancaster Mk.I NN747 JN-O
Hit by flak twice

F/O Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – Pilot.
F/S Ronald James Johnson, RAFVR 1457395 – Navigator.
P/O Leslie Ronald ‘Les’ Hurcombe, RAFVR 153900 – Air Bomber.
P/O Arthur Albert Charles Taylor, RAFVR 1583883/ 186770 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. ‘Gibby’ Gibbs, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alfred ‘Alf’ Woolley, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Mahoney, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:25 – Landed 16:50
Flight Time 04:25

28/11/1944 – Attack Against Neuss
Twenty one aircraft took off as detailed to participate in a night attack on Neuss, carrying 8,000 lb, 4,000 lb, 1,000 lb, 500 lb and Incendiary bombs, together with one 12,000 lb bomb. Twenty aircraft were successful in dropping their bombs using navigational aids and a good concentration of fires was reported. Flak was very slight, the enemy defences appearing to be completely foxed. One aircraft captained by W/C R.J.A. Leslie, D.S.O., A.F.C. carrying the 12,000 lb bomb got in the wrong stream of bombers and bombed Essen.

Lancaster Mk.I HK597 JN-P “Bad Penny IV”

F/O Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – Pilot.
F/S Ronald James Johnson, RAFVR 1457395 – Navigator.
F/O Leslie Ronald ‘Les’ Hurcombe, RAFVR 153900 – Air Bomber.
P/O Arthur Albert Charles Taylor, RAFVR 1583883/ 186770 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. ‘Gibby’ Gibbs, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alfred ‘Alf’ Woolley, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Mahoney, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 02:59 – Landed 07:05
Flight Time 04:06