F.J. Lucas crew 11.6.41

Popeye Lucas crew 2nd tour:
L-R: S/L ‘Popeye’ Lucas (skipper), Sgt Ralph Tye (2nd pilot), Sgt Frank Green (navigator), Sgt Len Gould (wireless operator), Sgt Burgess (front gunner), Sgt Wally Fenton (rear gunner).
Operational Lucas crew, September 1941, with Popeye’s regular Wellington Z8834 AA-P, carrying second version “Popeye” nose art.
Popeye Lucas collection, courtesy of the Lucas family.
“Popeye” nose art, 2nd tour:
The “Popeye” nose art applied to Popeye Lucas’s regular Welington on his second tour, Z8834, AA-P. The “V” of bombs marked his achievement of 50 op’s. This photo appeared in the newspapers back home at the time.
Popeye Lucas collection, courtesy of the Lucas family.

11/06/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Dusseldorf and Boulogne
Five Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. All bombs were dropped and fires were started. A.A fire was moderate in target areas, and searchlights were intense and accurate, working in cones. The weather was fine, but there was a layer of cloud over the target areas. Navigation was by D/R, map reading, W/T.

Wellington Mk.Ic R.1177 AA-C

F/L Frederick John ‘Popeye’ Lucas, RNZAF NZ1056 – Pilot.
P/O Timothy John Wilder Williams, RNZAF NZ401797 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O David Stewart Florence, RCAF J.2834 – Observer.
Sgt. W. Mason, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Leslie Gore, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. McMillan, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:31 – Landed 04:35
Flight Time 05:04

24/06/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Kiel and Dusseldorf
Eighteen Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks. Two of these aircraft jettisoned bombs. The others reached the targets and bombs were dropped. Bursts were seen. A.A. fire and searchlights were intense, but no enemy aircraft were encountered. The weather was fine but there was thick ground haze at some parts. Navigation was by D/R, astro, W/T, map reading.

Wellington Mk.Ic R.1518 AA-X

S/L Frederick John ‘Popeye’ Lucas, RNZAF NZ1056 – Pilot.
P/O Robert Cyril Adair Hunter, RCAF J.3754 – Observer.
F/S Sills, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
F/S Ian McDonald McLauchlin, RAFVR 755135/ 100538 – Front Gunner.
F/O Brown, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:15 – Landed 03:00
Flight Time 03:45

27/06/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Bremen
Sixteen Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above target. The bomb load consisted of 1000 lbs; 500 lbs; 250 lbs; and containers of incendiaries.
TYF.138 bombed fire in target area, but failed to observe results owing to cloud.
TYF.200 reports that fires started.
TYF.226 was unable to pinpoint target owing to cloud, but bombs were dropped east of river just south of target.
TYF.393 observed bursts in target area.
TYF.447 dropped bombs on west side of river in town through gap in clouds. Bursts not observed but fire was seen in town area.
TYF.501 bombed target and observed bursts. No fires started.
TYF.571 bombed target and observed three fires started.
TYF.602 reports target obscured by cloud, but bombed flak concentrations.
TYF.617 bombed fire and enlarged it.
TYF.716 saw bombs burst in Southern part of the town.
TYF.741 reports incendiaries started fire about one mile S.E. of aiming point.
S/L. Lucas saw bombs burst across centre of city.
Results were not observed by P/O Scott.
F/Lt. Fletcher bombed factory in Bremen area, believed to be Focke Wolfe factory. Large fires seen after bombing.
F/Lt. Gill dropped bombs on town.
P/O Hamlin saw bombs burst and reports that two small fires started.
Several large fires were seen in target area. A number of dummy fires were seen on outskirts of City.
There was fairly accurate and intense heavy and light A.A. fire.
Searchlights were active, but hampered by cloud.
A few enemy aircraft were seen over the target area, but no attacks made. There was fairly heavy cloud on parts of route end in target area.
Navigation was by D/R, loop, astro, map reading, W/T.

Wellington Mk.Ic L.7818 AA-R

S/L Frederick John ‘Popeye’ Lucas, RNZAF NZ1056 – Pilot.
Sgt. Norman Harrison, RAFVR 759028/ 116554 – Observer.
Sgt. Sharp, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
F/S Ian McDonald McLauchlin, RAFVR 755135/ 100538 – Front Gunner.
P/O Charles Stokes, RAFVR 44224 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:15 – Landed 04:45
Flight Time 05:30

24/07/1941 – Daylight Attacks Against Battleship Gneisenau at Brest
Six Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out daylight attacks against the above target. One of these aircraft, N.2854 captained by SGT. Streeter failed to return to base. The bomb load consisted of 24 500lbs. S.A.P.
Results were unobserved by DNS.772.
DNS.329 reports bombs overshot aiming point. Direct hits on sheds or warehouses about half mile S.E. of aiming point were observed.
DNS.411 reports that one and possibly two hits were observed on north end of No.1 graving dock.
Results were not observed by P/). Ashworth.
S/L. Lucas reports that bombs were dropped in target area.
Balloons were observed in the harbour.
A.A. fire was very intense and accurate.
Enemy aircraft were numerous and our aircraft were attacked.
The weather was excellent and visibility was good.
Navigation was by D/R, and map reading.

Wellington Mk.Ic R.1648 AA-K

S/L Frederick John ‘Popeye’ Lucas, RNZAF NZ1056 – Pilot.
Sgt. Anthony Henry Ryder Hawkins, RNZAF NZ40971 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Francis William Green, RAFVR 581283 – Observer.
Sgt. Leonard Roy Gould, RAFVR 552462/ 49001 – Wireless Operator.
P/O Ian McDonald McLauchlin, RAFVR 755135/ 100538 – Front Gunner.
P/O Charles Stokes, RAFVR 44224 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 10:54 – Landed 17:25
Flight Time 06:31

03/08/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Hanover
Ten Wellington Aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. One of these aircraft, YAM.189 captained by SGT. Matetich was intercepted by fighters and bombs were jettisoned. The aircraft was damaged and a landing was made at Newmarket. The remaining aircraft all dropped bombs and fires were started. The aircraft met heavy and light A.A. fire which was fairly accurate, but searchlights were ineffective owing to cloud. Three enemy aircraft were seen but no attacks were made. Heavy cloud was experienced over most of the route and in target area.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9767 AA-S

S/L Frederick John ‘Popeye’ Lucas, RNZAF NZ1056 – Pilot.
Sgt. Peter Simpson Dickson Johnston, RAFVR 776002 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Francis William Green, RAFVR 581283 – Observer.
Sgt. Leonard Roy Gould, RAFVR 552462/ 49001 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond George Butt, RAFVR 930644 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Herrold Raymond Corrin, RNZAF NZ401224 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:50 – Landed 04:55
Flight Time 06:05

06/08/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Mannheim and Calais
Thirteen Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. One of these aircraft, R.1648 captained by SGT. Millet, failed to return to base. The bomb load was mixed and consisted of 1000lbs; 500lbs; 250lbs; and containers of incendiaries.

GHC.170 sighted river near target but had to bomb through 10/10 cloud. Glow of a fire was seen through clouds. Bomb bursts were observed in target area by GHC.231. GNC.265 observed bomb bursts in dock area. GHC.279 bombed target area but was unable to pinpoint target on account of haze. GHC.324 saw bombs burst across outer harbour of Ostend. Unable to reach primary target owing to loss of time and petrol in extensive thunder cloud on East Coast. GHC.470 dropped bombs in target area but results were not observed. GHC.535 bombed target through 9/10 cloud. Fire observed on departure. GHC.688 failed to attack target. GHC.719 bombed flak and searchlight concentrations on E.T.A. through 10/10 cloud. Results were not observed by GHC.750.

P/O. Williams reports direct hit on lock gates. Results were not observed by P/O. Scott owing to heavy cloud.

A fair amount of activity was observed on enemy aerodromes in Brussels-liege area.
A.A. fire was slight but accurate.
Searchlights were ineffective owing to cloud.
GHC.279 reports encounter with probable JU.88. Three attacks were made but the enemy was driven off by return fire. Rear gunner believes he scored hit with third burst, causing aircraft to break away.
Weather was not favourable, there being heavy cloud, thunder, electric storms, and bad icing conditions.
Navigation was by W/T, D/R, astro and loop.

Wellington Mk.Ic T.2747 AA-J

S/L Frederick John ‘Popeye’ Lucas, RNZAF NZ1056 – Pilot.
Sgt. William Bennett Megarry Smyth, RAFVR 1053919 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Francis William Green, RAFVR 581283 – Observer.
Sgt. Leonard Roy Gould, RAFVR 552462/ 49001 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Norman George Errington, RAFVR 942763/ 115638) – Front Gunner.
Sgt. James, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:45 – Landed 04:15
Flight Time 05:30

26/08/1942 – Bombing Attacks Against Cologne and Boulogne
Fourteen Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. SWU.567 failed to identify the target and bombs were jettisoned over the sea when petrol gauges had been showing zero for approximately one hour. Another aircraft, captained by Sgt Curlewis, failed to identify the target owing to 10/10 cloud and bombs were returned. All other aircraft dropped their bombs, but heavy cloud in the target area prevented observation of results. A.A. fire was moderate and predicted. Searchlights were ineffective owing to cloud. A few enemy aircraft were seen, but no attacks made

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.8834 AA-P

S/L Frederick John ‘Popeye’ Lucas, RNZAF NZ1056 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ralph Holland Tye, RNZAF NZ404002 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Francis William Green, RAFVR 581283 – Observer.
Sgt. Leonard Roy Gould, RAFVR 552462/ 49001 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Burgess, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. David Alexander Abbott, RNZAF NZ401219 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:45 – Landed 05:20
Flight Time 05:35

29/08/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Mannheim
Nine Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. One of these aircraft, BRO.345 failed to identify the target owing to 10/10 cloud and bombs were brought back. All bombs were dropped by the remaining aircraft, but heavy cloud made observations of results difficult. A.A. fire was heavy and accurate. No enemy aircraft were seen.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.8834 AA-P

S/L Frederick John ‘Popeye’ Lucas, RNZAF NZ1056 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ralph Holland Tye, RNZAF NZ404002 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Francis William Green, RAFVR 581283 – Observer.
Sgt. Leonard Roy Gould, RAFVR 552462/ 49001 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Burgess, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. David Alexander Abbott, RNZAF NZ401219 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:12 – Landed 04:20
Flight Time 06:08

06/09/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Huls
Thirteen Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks. One of these aircraft, X9767 captained by P/O Johnson, failed to return to base. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 1,000 lb GP, 500 lb GP, 250 lb GP, and SBC’s of 4lb incendiaries. One aircraft was seen under attack on the Dutch-German frontier. Another aircraft was observed possibly being shot down by dual AA fire/searchlight action about 15 miles west or south-west of the target. An enemy aircraft was seen taking off from Schipol, but no attacks occurred Bombs were dropped in the target area and numerous fires were started. A.A. fire was light over the target area, but heavy en route, while searchlights were working in cones around target. Three enemy  aircraft seen but no attacks made. The weather was good over the whole journey.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.8834 AA-P

S/L Frederick John ‘Popeye’ Lucas, RNZAF NZ1056 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ralph Holland Tye, RNZAF NZ404002 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Francis William Green, RAFVR 581283 – Observer.
Sgt. Leonard Roy Gould, RAFVR 552462/ 49001 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Burgess, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Walter Gordon Fenton, RNZAF NZ391838 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:55 – Landed 01:20
Flight Time 05:25

11/09/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Kiel
Twelve Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks. One of these aircraft, R1038 captained by Sgt Roe, failed to return to base. Four aircraft failed to locate the targets, but the remainder all dropped bombs and fires were started. A.A. fire was intense and working in co-operation with searchlights which were working in cones. The weather was clear over the target.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z8834 AA-P

S/L Frederick John ‘Popeye’ Lucas, RNZAF NZ1056 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ralph Holland Tye, RNZAF NZ404002 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Francis William Green, RAFVR 581283 – Observer.
Sgt. Leonard Roy Gould, RAFVR 552462/ 49001 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Burgess, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Walter Gordon Fenton, RNZAF NZ391838 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:15 – Landed 03:30
Flight Time 06:15

29/09/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Genoa and Frankfurt
Nine Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks. Target areas were bombed, bursts were seen, and fires started. Heavy and light A.A. fire was ineffective, and very few searchlights operated in target areas. Weather was not too good, there being cloud on route and in target areas. Navigation was by D/R, QDM, pinpoints, loop, Lorenz, astro.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.8834 AA-P

S/L Frederick John ‘Popeye’ Lucas, RNZAF NZ1056 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ralph Holland Tye, RNZAF NZ404002 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Francis William Green, RAFVR 581283 – Observer.
Sgt. Leonard Roy Gould, RAFVR 552462/ 49001 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Burgess, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Walter Gordon Fenton, RNZAF NZ391838 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:50 – Landed 04:15
Flight Time 09:25

12/10/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Bremen and Nurenburg
Nine Wellington aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out these attacks. One of these aircraft, X9981 captained by S/Ldr Chamberlain, failed to return to base. Wellington IC X9975, captained by P/O Fisher returned to base owing to over heating of an engine. Direct hits were observed on the docks at Ostend and large fires were started which were visible for 90 miles. Incendiary bombs were dropped on a large factory and fires left burning. Other machines were dropping loads within 50 mile radius. A.A. fire was nil at primary, but there was a heavy flak after dropping bombs on Ostend. Searchlights were active to the East and West of target area. Weather was good.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9628 AA-A

S/L Frederick John ‘Popeye’ Lucas, RNZAF NZ1056 – Pilot.
Sgt. Frederick Lionel Roy Wood, RNZAF NZ404439 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Francis William Green, RAFVR 581283 – Observer.
Sgt. Leonard Roy Gould, RAFVR 552462/ 49001 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Burgess, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Walter Gordon Fenton, RNZAF NZ391838 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:10 – Landed 02:40
Flight Time 07:30

22/10/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets Mannheim
*Six Wellington aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. A mixed load was carried and consisted of 1000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Owing to the weather conditions operations were marred, but a fire was bombed in a town on the Rhine, probably Mannheim and bomb bursts seen. There was slight A.A. activity and searchlights were ineffective where seen. Electrical storms, thunder cloud and snow storms were met throughout operations. Navigation was good. D.R. and special beam No.6 used. Icing (black) was experienced over Continent. Unable to see through windscreens owing to accumulated snow, from Belgian coast onwards. Severe weather conditions made accuracy impossible. One of these aircraft, X.9914, captained by Sgt. Taylor, failed to return to base.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.8942 AA-J

S/L Frederick John ‘Popeye’ Lucas, RNZAF NZ1056 – Pilot.
Sgt. Watson, RAFVR – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Francis William Green, RAFVR 581283 – Observer.
Sgt. Leonard Roy Gould, RAFVR 552462/ 49001 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Sharp, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Walter Gordon Fenton, RNZAF NZ391838 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:10 – Landed 00:20
Flight Time 06:10

01/11/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Kiel
Eleven Wellington Ic Aircraft from this Unit were detailed to attack the above targets. The whole Operation was marred by bad weather there being 10/10th. Cloud throughout the trip and no results were observed. Bomb load consisting of 1000lbs, 50lbs, 250lbs and incendiaries was dropped on un-identified town, and on area to the West of the target. Very heavy predicted A.A. fire was encountered over target area together with 75m.m. tracers. Searchlights were isolated and ineffective owing to cloud. One M.E. 110 enemy aircraft was seen but no attack was made. Navigation was good, Astro and D.R. loop being used. A convoy fifteen miles off the Wash fired at the aircraft until the colours were fired. There was a surprising lack of enemy fighters.

Wellington Mk.Ic T.2747 AA-J

S/L Frederick John ‘Popeye’ Lucas, RNZAF NZ1056 – Pilot.
Sgt. Talbot , RAFVR – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Francis William Green, RAFVR 581283 – Observer.
F/S Leonard Roy Gould, RAFVR 552462/ 49001 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Burgess, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Henderson, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:40 – Landed 22:10
Flight Time 04:30

04/11/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Essen
Nine Wellington IC aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. Heavy cloud was experienced throughout the whole trip and although bombs were dropped in target area no results were observed. Accurate Heavy Flak was met over the target area and searchlights were active, but ineffective owing to cloud. No enemy aircraft were met. Weather was very poor with 10/10th cloud which completely marred the whole operation.

Wellington Mk.Ic T.2747 AA-J

S/L Frederick John ‘Popeye’ Lucas, RNZAF NZ1056 – Pilot.
Sgt. Talbot , RAFVR – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Francis William Green, RAFVR 581283 – Observer.
F/S Leonard Roy Gould, RAFVR 552462/ 49001 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Burgess, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Walter Gordon Fenton, RNZAF NZ391838 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:10 – Landed 22:25
Flight Time 04:15

26/11/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Emden and Ostend
Seventeen Wellington Ic aircraft were detailed from this Unit to attack the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried consisting of 4000,lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs. 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Very bad weather prevented the target being identified and results were not observed. A few bombs were however dropped in target area and one flash was seen. The remainder were brought back to base. Heavy and light predicted A.A. fire was met over target area and cones of searchlights were active. One single engine aircraft and one Junkers 88 enemy aircraft were seen but were successfully evaded. Weather was extremely bad and marred the whole operation. 10/10th cloud was met throughout the journey to and from the target. Navigation was D.R. and Q.D. M.s. One of these aircraft, Z.1114, captained by Sgt. Evans, returned to base with engine trouble.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.8995 AA-?

S/L Frederick John ‘Popeye’ Lucas, RNZAF NZ1056 – Pilot.
Sgt. Mclaughlin, RAFVR – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Francis William Green, RAFVR 581283 – Observer.
F/S Leonard Roy Gould, RAFVR 552462/ 49001 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Burgess, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Walter Gordon Fenton, RNZAF NZ391838 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:50 – Landed 22:50
Flight Time 05:00