F.L. Curr crew 27.08.42

The Curr crew:
L-R: Sgt Leslie Kennedy (front gunner), F/Sgt Ken Crankshaw (rear gunner), Sgt Frankie Curr (skipper), P/O Ronald Hull (wireless operator) and Sgt Ivan “Sully” Sullivan (navigator).
With their regular Wellington BJ721 AA-A “Achtung ANZAC”.
NZ Bomber Command Assn. archives, Ken Crankshaw collection. 

27/08/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Kassel
Twelve aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack. Bomb load of 4000 lb. 500 lb. and incendiaries were dropped in the target area. Numerous fires were seen in the whole area. A.A. fire was moderate, very few searchlights were encountered. Wellington BJ.584 captained by Sgt. Burril met JU88 when about 30 miles from target, combat ensued in which Sgt. Burrill’s aircraft was seriously damaged and port engine put out of action. The rear gunner, Sgt. Gorman claims to have shot down the JU88 and to have seen it falling in flames to the ground, the bomb load was jettisoned, and he turned for home. The aircraft failed to maintain height and was down to 700ft at the Dutch Coast, being shot at by light A.A. fire. He crossed the sea still losing height and belly landed at R.A.F. Wattisham on return. The weather was fine, navigation was excellent. Wellington BJ.708 captained by F/Lt Osbourne failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III BJ.721 AA-A

Sgt. Francis Lawrence Curr, RAAF AUS.404005 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ivan Clarence Hugh Sullivan, RNZAF NZ404990 – Observer.
F/S J.E.W. Maconochie, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Leslie William Kennedy, RAFVR NZ41594 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Kenneth Atherton Crankshaw, RNZAF NZ404533 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:55 – Landed 03:00
Flight Time 06:05

01/09/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Saarbrucken
Eleven aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4,000 lb. 1,00lb. 500 lb. 250 lb. and incendiaries were dropped in target area. Large fires were seen in the target area. Light and heavy predicted A.A. fire was accurate but not intense, few searchlights were seen. No enemy aircraft were seen. The weather was good and extra clear over target, navigation was good. Fires were seen by Sgt. Hunting, Captain of Wellington X3794 20 minutes before E.T.A.

Wellington Mk.III BJ.721 AA-A

Sgt. Francis Lawrence Curr, RAAF AUS.404005 – Pilot.
Sgt. George William Sharman, RNZAF NZ412746 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Ivan Clarence Hugh Sullivan, RNZAF NZ404990 – Observer.
F/S Edward Albert Letchford, RNZAF NZ404074 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Leslie William Kennedy, RNZAF NZ41594 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Kenneth Atherton Crankshaw, RNZAF NZ404533 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:35 – Landed 03:00
Flight Time 03:25

02/09/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Karlsruhe
Six aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 1,000lb. 500lb. 250lb. And incendiaries were dropped in the target area. Large fires were seen on the target, concentrated mainly in centre of target area. A.A. fire was moderate, searchlights were few. Wellington BJ.790 captained by Sergt. Blincoe was attacked by a JU88, the front gunner fired a burst at very short range, the enemy aircraft then broke off the attack, no other enemy aircraft was seen. The weather was clear over the target, navigation was very good by T.R. and D.R. A large fire suspected to be a dummy, was seen 30 to 40 miles West of Target.

Wellington Mk.III BJ.721 AA-A

Sgt. Francis Lawrence Curr, RAAF AUS.404005 – Pilot. Sgt George William Sharman, RNZAF NZ412746 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Ivan Clarence Hugh Sullivan, RNZAF NZ404990 – Observer.
Sgt. Frank Arthur Stevens, RAFVR 942319 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Leslie William Kennedy, RAFVR NZ41594 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Kenneth Atherton Crankshaw, RNZAF NZ404533 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:50 – Landed 05:40
Flight Time 06:50

04/09/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Bremen
Twelve aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4,000lb. and incendiaries were dropped in the target area by nine aircraft. Three aircraft were forced to return to base owing to aircraft failures. Large fires were seen with smoke rising up to 8,000feet. Intense light and heavy A.A. fire was encountered on the way to target and in target area, searchlights were concentrated and accurate over a large area. A few enemy aircraft were seen but no attacks were made. The weather was fine over target area, visibility was good. Navigation was by T.R. and D.R.

Wellington Mk.III BJ.721 AA-A

Sgt. Francis Lawrence Curr, RAAF AUS.404005 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ivan Clarence Hugh Sullivan, RNZAF NZ404990 – Observer.
Sgt. Christopher James Kendal, RNZAF NZ412342 – Wireless Operator.
F/S Kenneth Atherton Crankshaw, RNZAF NZ404533 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Kenneth John Bettles, RAFVR 657229 – Rear Gunner. Identity unclear – Ken Bettles was a Pilot?

Take Off 00:15 – Landed 05:45
Flight Time 05:30

06/09/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Duisburg
Fifteen aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks. Bomb load of 4,000lb. 1,00lb. 500lb. 250lb. and incendiaries were dropped in the target area, large fires were seen to be growing in intensity. A.A. fire was heavy and intense but was bursting high above aircraft, searchlights were intense, particularly at target area.
Wellington BJ772 captained by F/Lt. Womersley was attacked from rear on return by an enemy aircraft, one bursts was fired by the rear gunner and the enemy aircraft was driven off. No other enemy aircraft was seen. The weather was good, clear over target with slight ground haze. Navigation was good. Wellington BJ.765 captained by Sergt. Sharman G.W> and Wellington X.3867 captained by F/Sgt.Parkes W.R. failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III BJ.721 AA-A

Sgt. Francis Lawrence Curr, RAAF AUS.404005 – Pilot.
F/S Kenneth John Dunmal, RAFVR 1283701 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Ivan Clarence Hugh Sullivan, RNZAF NZ404990 – Observer.
Sgt. Christopher James Kendal, RNZAF NZ412342 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Leslie William Kennedy, RAFVR NZ41594 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Kenneth Atherton Crankshaw, RNZAF NZ404533 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 01:08 – Landed 05:08
Flight Time 04:00

08/09/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Frankfurt
Nine aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack. Bomb load of 4,000lb., 500lb and incendiaries were dropped in the target area. Larger fires were seen. A.A> fire was moderate, searchlights were numerous, particularly in target area. A few enemy aircraft were seen, but no attacks were made. The weather was good, with slight ground haze. Navigation was accurate by DR and TR. Wellington captained by Sgt. Johnson failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III BJ.721 AA-A

Sgt. Francis Lawrence Curr, RAAF AUS.404005 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ivan Clarence Hugh Sullivan, RNZAF NZ404990 – Observer.
Sgt. Michael Bertram St. Louis, RCAF R.69204 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Leslie William Kennedy, RNZAF NZ41594 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Kenneth Atherton Crankshaw, RNZAF NZ404533 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:00 – Landed 03:40
Flight Time 06:40

16/09/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Essen
Eight aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4,000lb. And incendiaries were dropped in the target area, large fires were seen. A.A. fire was intense heavy and accurate, searchlights were in heavy concentration. Wellington BJ.790 captained by Sergt. Blincoe K, was hit by A.A. fire in starboard main plain two minutes prior to bombing, which made a big hole between starboard motor and fuselage, making it impossible to turn to port. Near Dutch coast on return, the aircraft was attacked from underneath by an unseen aircraft, being hit several times and the WOP. being wounded in the back. The enemy aircraft was not seen by any of the crew. On return the aircraft belly landed on the aerodrome with hydraulics unserviceable. Wellington BJ.772 captained by F/Sgt. Wright J.L. was attacked by a JU.88 on return from bombing. The enemy aircraft was fired at by the front gunner; after several bursts it was seen by captain WOP and front gunner to explode in the air. A few enemy aircraft were seen by other aircraft but no attacks were made. The target area was covered by 8/10 to 9/10 cloud. Navigation was good by TR and DR.

Wellington Mk.III BJ.756 AA-

Sgt. Francis Lawrence Curr, RAAF AUS.404005 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ivan Clarence Hugh Sullivan, RNZAF NZ404990 – Observer.
Sgt. John Robert Smith, RNZAF NZ412907 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Leslie William Kennedy, RAFVR NZ41594 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Kenneth Atherton Crankshaw, RNZAF NZ404533 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:35 – Landed 22:20
Flight Time 01:45

19/09/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Saarbrucken
Eight aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack. Bomb load of 4000lb and incendiaries were dropped in the target area. Results could not be entirely observed owing to considerable ground haze, Light and heavy A.A. fire was encountered, which was ineffective. No searchlights were seen at target area. A few enemy aircraft were seen but no attacks were made. The weather was good on way to target, visibility was poor at target area. Navigation was by T.R. and D.R.

Wellington Mk.III X.3597 AA-C

Sgt. Francis Lawrence Curr, RAAF AUS.404005 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ivan Clarence Hugh Sullivan, RNZAF NZ404990 – Observer.
Sgt. John Robert Smith, RNZAF NZ412907 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Leslie William Kennedy, RNZAF NZ41594 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Kenneth Atherton Crankshaw, RNZAF NZ404533 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:16 – Landed 01:46
Flight Time 05:30

24/09/1942 – Operations. Gardening off Texel
Five aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation. 1500lb. Vegetables were successfully planted. No A.A. fire searchlights or enemy aircraft were seen. Heavy Thunder storms and a low cloud was encountered. Navigation was good.

Wellington Mk.III X.3597 AA-C

Sgt. Francis Lawrence Curr, RAAF AUS.404005 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ivan Clarence Hugh Sullivan, RNZAF NZ404990 – Observer.
P/O Ronald Arthur Lex Hull, RCAF R.87943/ J.15403 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Leslie William Kennedy, RCAF NZ41594 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Kenneth Atherton Crankshaw, RNZAF NZ404533 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:30 – Landed 22:15
Flight Time 02:45

26/09/1942 – Operations. Gardening in Baltic
Seven aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation. 1500lb. Vegetables and 500lb. Bombs were successfully dropped by two aircraft, who failed to hear a recall signal which was broadcast to all aircraft at approximately 2300hrs. No A.A. fire searchlights or enemy aircraft were seen. The weather was very cloudy with ground haze at base. Navigation was accurate by D.R. and T.R. Wellington BK207 captained by F/Sgt. Dunmall crashed at base on return due to bad visibility.

Wellington Mk.III X.3597 AA-C

Sgt. Francis Lawrence Curr, RAAF AUS.404005 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ivan Clarence Hugh Sullivan, RNZAF NZ404990 – Observer.
P/O Ronald Arthur Lex Hull, RCAF R.87943/ J.15403 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Leslie William Kennedy, RNZAF NZ41594 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Kenneth Atherton Crankshaw, RNZAF NZ404533 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:10 – Landed 03:50
Flight Time 06:40

28/09/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Lingen
Three aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 500lb. Was carried. All aircraft were forced to return to base owing to lack of cloud cover. A.A. fire was NIL. Two aircraft had short combats with ME109’s but results could not be observed. The weather was very cloudy to enemy coast, but then cloud broke and was clear. Navigation was good by T.R. and D.R.

Wellington Mk.III X.3931 dnc AA-?

Sgt. Francis Lawrence Curr, RAAF AUS.404005 – Pilot.
Sgt Ivan Clarence Hugh Sullivan, RNZAF NZ404990 – Observer.
P/O Ronald Arthur Lex Hull, RCAF R.87943/ J.15403 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Leslie William Kennedy, RNZAF NZ41594 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Kenneth Atherton Crankshaw, RNZAF NZ404533 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 14:10 – Landed 17:00
Flight Time 02:50

05/10/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Aachen
Fifteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 30lb. and 4lb. incendiaries were dropped in the target area, large fires were seen in built up area, which appeared to spread between MAASTRICH and AACHEN. Heavy and Light A.A. fire was moderate, with a few scattered searchlights. A few enemy aircraft were seen but no attacks were made. The weather over target was good with slight ground haze. Navigation was by D.R. T.R. and visual.

Wellington Mk.III X.3636 AA-R

F/S Francis Lawrence Curr, RAAF AUS.404005 – Pilot.
Sgt Ivan Clarence Hugh Sullivan, RNZAF NZ404990 – Observer.
P/O Ronald Arthur Lex Hull, RCAF R.87943/ J.15403 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Leslie William Kennedy, RNZAF NZ41594 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Kenneth Atherton Crankshaw, RNZAF NZ404533 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:20 – Landed 01:20
Flight Time 06:00

06/10/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Osnabruck
Fourteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4,000 lb. and incendiaries were dropped in the target area. Scattered fires were seen, flares were lighting up the whole area. Considerable light and heavy A.A. fire was encountered. Searchlights were numerous and operating mainly in cones. The weather was good with low cloud and slight haze at target area. Navigation was good by D.R. , T.R. visual, pinpoints, loop and fixes. Wellington DF639 captained by Sgt. Rhodes G.W. failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III X.3636 AA-R

F/S Francis Lawrence Curr, RAAF AUS.404005 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ivan Clarence Hugh Sullivan, RNZAF NZ404990 – Observer.
P/O Ronald Arthur Lex Hull, RCAF R.87943/ J.15403 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Leslie William Kennedy, RAFVR NZ41594 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Kenneth Atherton Crankshaw, RNZAF NZ404533 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:20 – Landed 00:20
Flight Time 05:00

11/10/1942 – Operations. Gardening in the Kattegat and Little Belt
Nine aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation. 1500lb. vegetables were successfully planted in the allotted area. Wellington X.3597 captained by F/Sgt. Curr bombed a bridge near Middlefort with three 500lb. G.P. bombs, the first bomb was just short, others very close and might have hit the edge of the bridge. Light A.A. fire was encountered at Middlefort Bridge. No searchlights or enemy aircraft were seen.
There was no cloud, visibility was good. Navigation was good by D.R. T.R., and visual pin point. Wellington BK341 captained by Sergt. Shalfoon failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III X.3597 AA-C

F/S Francis Lawrence Curr, RAAF AUS.404005 – Pilot.
Sgt. Walter Duncan McAlpine, RNZAF NZ403551 – Observer.
P/O Ronald Arthur Lex Hull, RCAF R.87943/ J.15403 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Leslie William Kennedy, RCAF NZ41594 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Kenneth Atherton Crankshaw, RNZAF NZ404533 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:10 – Landed 01:45
Flight Time 07:35

13/10/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Kiel
Thirteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4,000 lb and incendiaries were dropped in the target area. Large fires were seen particularly on West side of Fiord. Light, medium and heavy A.A. fire was encountered over a large area, searchlights were also seen on the way to the target. No enemy aircraft were seen. The weather was clear, with no cloud over the target, visibility was good by the light of flares. Navigation was D.R, T.R. visual and pin-points. Wellington X3954 captained by Sergt. Watters failed to return. Wellington BJ837 captained by Sergt. Davey crashed at R.A.F. Station Lakenheath on return owing to shortage of petrol, four of the crew were injured. All taking part considered this to be a very successful raid.

Wellington Mk.III X.3597 AA-C

F/S Francis Lawrence Curr, RAAF AUS.404005 – Pilot.
Sgt Walter Duncan McAlpine, RNZAF NZ403551 – Observer.
P/O Ronald Arthur Lex Hull, RCAF R.87943/ J.15403 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Leslie William Kennedy, RCAF NZ41594 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Kenneth Atherton Crankshaw, RNZAF NZ404533 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:35 – Landed 01:10
Flight Time 06:35

15/10/1942 – Activities of “A” Flight at Mildenhall. Operations. Attacks Against Targets at Cologne
Seven aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb loads of 4lb. incendiaries were dropped in target area. Large fires were seen, which clearly lit up the town on both sides of the river. Several dummy fires were seen, light and heavy A.A. fore was encountered, searchlights were numerous but poorly predictable. A few enemy aircraft were seen, but no combats took place. There was no cloud and visibility was good, except for slight ground haze. Navigation was good.

Wellington Mk.III X.3597 AA-C

F/S Francis Lawrence Curr, RAAF AUS.404005 – Pilot.
Sgt. Walter Duncan McAlpine, RNZAF NZ403551 – Observer.
P/O Ronald Arthur Lex Hull, RCAF R.87943/ J.15403 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Leslie William Kennedy, RAFVR NZ41594 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Kenneth Atherton Crankshaw, RNZAF NZ404533 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:15 – Landed 00:00
Flight Time 04:45

22/10/1942 – Operations. Daylight Attack on Targets At Lingen
Two aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with bombs of 500lb. 250lb. and 30 lb. incendiaries. The bombs were successfully dropped in target area from a low altitude. One of the aircraft claimed successful hits on a railroad station. No A.A. fire was encountered and no enemy aircraft were seen. The cloud cover was good having a ceiling of 700ft. Navigation was good.

Wellington Mk.III X.3597 AA-C

F/S Francis Lawrence Curr, RAAF AUS.404005 – Pilot.
Sgt. Walter Duncan McAlpine, RNZAF NZ403551 – Observer.
P/O Ronald Arthur Lex Hull, RCAF R.87943/ J.15403 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Leslie William Kennedy, RAFVR NZ41594 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Kenneth Atherton Crankshaw, RNZAF NZ404533 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:30 – Landed 16:30
Flight Time 04:00

23/10/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Genoa
Eight aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 1,000 lb. 500lb. and 250lb. and incendiaries were dropped in the target area, some aircraft claimed to have also bombed Savona. A few light A.A guns and one or two searchlights were encountered. No combats took place. The cloud base at target was down to 3 to 4,000 feet. The aircraft came below this cloud to bomb. Navigation was good by D.R., T.R., loops and fixes.

Wellington Mk.III X.3597 AA-C

F/S Francis Lawrence Curr, RAAF AUS.404005 – Pilot.
Sgt Walter Duncan McAlpine, RNZAF NZ403551 – Observer.
P/O Ronald Arthur Lex Hull, RCAF R.87943/ J.15403 – Wireless Operator.
F/S Leslie William Kennedy, RAF NZ41594 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Kenneth Atherton Crankshaw, RNZAF NZ404533 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:15 – Landed 02:45
Flight Time 08:30

24/10/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Milan
Five aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 1,000lb. 500lb. 250lb and incendiaries were dropped in the target area. Some slight A.A. fire was encountered, cloud stopped searchlight activity. No combats with enemy aircraft took place. 10/10ths cloud from the French Coast to the target made identification of the target difficult. Navigation was difficult owing to cloud preventing the use of Astro. Wellington Z1652 captained by Sergt. Hugill and Wellington BK725 captained by Sergt. McConnell failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III X.3597 AA-C

F/S Francis Lawrence Curr, RAAF AUS.404005 – Pilot.
Sgt Ivan Clarence Hugh Sullivan, RNZAF NZ404990 – Observer.
P/O Ronald Arthur Lex Hull, RCAF R.87943/ J.15403 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Leslie William Kennedy, RAFVR NZ41594 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Kenneth Atherton Crankshaw, RNZAF NZ404533 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:55 – Landed 03:05
Flight Time 08:10