F.T. Miniken crew 16.6.41 †

15/01/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Wilhelmshaven
Seven Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above target. One of these aircraft, JSK.150, failed to attack target owing to wireless failure on outward journey and jettisoned bombs in North Sea.
The bomb load carried consisted of 500lbs. N.D.T., 250lbs. N.D.T. and containers of incendiaries.
As aiming point was already well alight, JSK.148 laid one stick from East to West just North of aiming mark starting fresh fires.
JSK.252 reports N.E. burst just by target. Incendiaries round target, starting large fires.
JSK.325 reports hits registered within target area. Exact position not visible owing to extensive fires previously caused. Further fires observed by rear gunner.
JSK.525 reports many fires seen in, and around target. Own results could not be defined owing to these fires.
JSK.600 dropped H.E. from 10,000 feet. Results unobserved owing to intense fires in target area. Incendiaries dropped on course of 110* from 10,000 feet in a position 300yds. south of railway station. Burned until aircraft was out of sight of target area.
JSK.696 dropped bombs in one stick running east to west. H.E. bursts observed. Incendiaries seen to cause large fire visible 15-20 mins after leaving target.
To large ships, presumed Bremen and Europa, in BREMERHAVEN. Dummy town in position 20 miles West of target area 52*45’N. 04*45’E. Dummy target bearing 190* 15 miles from target.
Intense light and heavy tracer and some heavy flak in target area. Intense heavy flak at OLDENBURG and BREMERHAVEN.
Several searchlights in target area; hampered by moonlight.
JSK.148 reports being attacked by enemy aircraft, probably ME.109, south of BREMERSHAVEN but the attack was not pressed home. One other enemy aircraft, presumed ME.109, seen at BREMERHAVEN, but no attack made.
Weather was very good, there being little or no cloud. Visibility good.
Navigation was by D/R, map reading, and astro.

Wellington Mk.Ic T.2835 AA-C
Raid No. JSK.150 WILHELMSHAVEN (did not bomb primary target

Sgt. Neate, RAFVR – Pilot.
Sgt. Frederick Thomas Minikin, RAFVR 903047 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Revitt, RAFVR – Observer.
Sgt. Erskine, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. John James Joseph Mylod, RAFVR 935925 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. McKinna, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:00 – Landed 23:05
Flight Time 04:05

16/06/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Dusseldorf
Fifteen Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks. All bombes were dropped and bursts and fires were observed in target areas. Fairly accurate heavy and light A.A. fire was encountered, and searchlights, working in cones, were very active. FKU.846 reports being attacked by JU.88 on return journey. Cannon shells entered fuselage near elevator and machine gun bullets hit rear turret. There were no casualties. The weather was fine. Navigation was by D/R, W/T, map reading, astro, loop, lorenz

Wellington Mk.Ic X.3194 AA-S

Sgt. Frederick Thomas Miniken, RAFVR 903047 – Pilot.
P/O John Trelawney Leacock, RAFVR 62295 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Gilding, RAFVR – Navigator.
Sgt. Ernest Fox, RAFVR 957199 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Joseph Edward Price, RAFVR 1355067 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Henry Paul Clarkson, RAFVR 1376787 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:30 – Landed 03:10
Flight Time 03:40

18/06/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Brest
Seventeen Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. One aircraft, MFW.819 was unable to locate the target on account of low cloud and smoke screen and bombs were bought back. Bombs were dropped by the remaining aircraft, but owing to smoke screen, bursts were not observed. Moderate light and heavy A.A. fire was encountered, and searchlights were active. The weather was fine but there was slight haze over target area. Navigation was by D/R, W/T, map reading, astro.

Wellington Mk.Ic R.1163 AA-?

Sgt. Frederick Thomas Miniken, RAFVR 903047 – Pilot.
P/O John Trelawney Leacock, RAFVR 62295 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Gilding, RAFVR – Navigator.
Sgt. Ernest Fox, RAFVR 957199 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Joseph Edward Price, RAFVR 1355067 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Henry Paul Clarkson, RAFVR 1376787 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:30 – Landed 05:30
Flight Time 07:00

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.1409 AA-N

Sgt. Frederick Thomas Miniken, RAFVR 903047 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ralph Norman Allen, RNZAF NZ401247 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Gilding, RAFVR – Navigator.
Sgt. Ernest Fox, RAFVR 957199 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Joseph Edward Price, RAFVR 1355067 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Henry Paul Clarkson, RAFVR 1376787 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:16 – Landed 04:30
Flight Time 05:14

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 T.2805 AA-E “D for Donald”

Sgt. Frederick Thomas Miniken, RAFVR 903047 – Pilot.
P/O John Trelawney Leacock, RAFVR 62295 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Gilding, RAFVR – Navigator.
Sgt. Ernest Fox, RAFVR 957199 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Joseph Edward Price, RAFVR 1355067 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Henry Paul Clarkson, RAFVR 1376787 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:03 – Landed 05:20
Flight Time 06:17

03/07/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Essen
Sixteen Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. One of these aircraft , W,5621, captained by SGT. Reid, failed to return to base. Bombs were dropped by the remaining aircraft and fires were started. Heavy and light A.A. fire was intense and accurate, as also were searchlights which were working in cones. A few enemy aircraft were seen, but no attacks were made. The weather was fine with cloud in some places. There was haze over the target. Navigation was by D/R, W/T, astro, loop, map reading

Wellington Mk.Ic T.2805 AA-E “D for Donald”

Sgt. Frederick Thomas Miniken, RAFVR 903047 – Pilot.
P/O John Trelawney Leacock, RAFVR 62295 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Smalley, RAFVR – Navigator.
Sgt. Ernest Fox, RAFVR 957199 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Joseph Edward Price, RAFVR 1355067 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Henry Paul Clarkson, RAFVR 1376787 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:00 – Landed 05:10
Flight Time 06:10

07/07/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Munster
Ten Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. One of these aircraft, CNF.994, captained by S/Ldr. Widdowson, was attacked by one Me.110 over the middle of the Zuider Zee and was badly damaged. The rear gunner attacked the enemy aircraft which fell away and dived into the sea with heavy smoke pouring from the port engine. On the journey back to base, fire broke out on the Wellington and the 2nd Pilot, SGT. Ward, climbed out on to the starboard wing and attempted to smother the fire, but with only partial success. The fire eventually burned itself out and a landing was made at Newmarket. For his courageous action SGT. Ward was awarded the Victoria Cross; while S/Ldr. Widdowson and Sgt. Box the rear gunner received immediate awards of the D.F.C. and D.F.M. respectively. (For fuller story see “SUMMARY OF OUTSTANDING EVENTS” at end of Forms 540).
CNF.240 reports bombs fell right on aiming point; 1000lbs. caused red glow which sprang into two fires, afterwards running into one.
CNF.260 reports bombs fell across target.
CNF.401 bomber centre of target area. Several large fires within target area seen as well as numerous scattered small fire in other parts of town.

CNF.477 reports S.B.C.’s started good fire near target.
CNF.523 was unable to pinpoint Munster.
CNF.605 bombed target.
CNF.708 bombed target and added to fires already there.
CNF719 reports G.P. bombs seen to burst in target. Incendiaries fell close to bursts.
CNF.994 saw bombs burst on target.
F/Lt. Gill bombed target.
Many large fire were observed on aiming point. Dummy fire and explosion seen 10 miles N.E. of target.
There was very slight medium light A.A. fire.
Searchlight activity was very slight.
The weather was fine and clear.
Navigation was by D/R, pinpoints, beacons, astro, W/T. map reading.

Wellington Mk.Ic T.2805 AA-E “D for Donald”

Sgt. Frederick Thomas Miniken, RAFVR 903047 – Pilot.
P/O John Trelawney Leacock, RAFVR 62295 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Gilding, RAFVR – Navigator.
Sgt. Ernest Fox, RAFVR 957199 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Joseph Edward Price, RAFVR 1355067 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Henry Paul Clarkson, RAFVR 1376787 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:14 – Landed 04:28
Flight Time 05:14

08/07/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Munster
Seven Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 1000lbs; 500lbs; 250lbs; and incendiaries.
RJT.131 reports bombs were seen to burst in target area.
RJT.292 saw bombs burst along railway tracks.
RJT.356 reports S.B.C’s started fire in town.
RJT.607 reports that target area was bombed.
RJT.812 bombed target area.
Target area was bombed by RJT.972.
P/O. Scott reports that fires were started in target area. Large fires were seen in target area. A number of dummy fires were observed.
Slight but inaccurate heavy A.A. fire was encountered. Few searchlights were in operation.
A few enemy aircraft were seen but no attacks made. The weather was fine, but there was slight ground haze in target area. Navigation was by D/R, astro, W/T, map reading

Wellington Mk.Ic T.2805 AA-E “D for Donald”

Sgt. Frederick Thomas Miniken, RAFVR 903047 – Pilot.
P/O John Trelawney Leacock, RAFVR 62295 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Gilding, RAFVR – Navigator.
Sgt. Ernest Fox, RAFVR 957199 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Joseph Edward Price, RAFVR 1355067 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Henry Paul Clarkson, RAFVR 1376787 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:12 – Landed 05:00
Flight Time 05:48

10/07/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Cologne
Ten Wellington aircraft of 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.
The target was bombed by JDS.276
JDS.629 reports bombs were seen to burst in what was believed to be the Southern part of Cologne.
JDS.723 dropped bombs near fire in town of Bonn. Incendiaries started a good fire.
JDS.727 reports bombs dropped in target area and bursts seen in estimated position of aiming point.
JDS.871 saw bombs burst in target area.
JDS.972 reports firs were seen to start after bombing.
P/O. Scott reports that small fires were started in small town south of Cologne.
P/O. Hamlin reports that a fire was started in target area.
SGT. Breckon bombed target area.
P/O Hobbs saw bombs burst near a small red fire in the centre of a heavy flak concentration.
A number of dummy fires were observed on route.
A.A. fire was slight.
Few searchlights were in operation.
A few enemy aircraft were seen, but no attack made.
The weather was fine but there was haze over route and in target area. Navigation was by D/R, map reading, astro, W/T.

Wellington Mk.Ic T.2805 AA-E “D for Donald”

Sgt. Frederick Thomas Miniken, RAFVR 903047 – Pilot.
P/O John Trelawney Leacock, RAFVR 62295 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Gilding, RAFVR – Navigator.
Sgt. Ernest Fox, RAFVR 957199 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Joseph Edward Price, RAFVR 1355067 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Henry Paul Clarkson, RAFVR 1376787 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:06 – Landed 04:50
Flight Time 05:44

13/07/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Bremen
Eleven Wellington aircraft of were detailed to carry out the above attacks. One of these aircraft, X.9634 captained by SGT Miniken, was climbing on course when, apparently without warning, the starboard engine cut at 6,000 feet. He turned for base but lost height rapidly and force landed near the beach off Corton near Lowestoff. SGT. Miniken and SGT. Gilding (Navigator) were rescued but the others are missing. The weather was poor, there being 10/10 cloud over the target and results were not observed. Severe icing conditions were also experienced. Fairly heavy and accurate A.A. fire was encountered on route and in the target area. Few searchlights in operation.
Wellington Mk.Ic X.9634 AA-

Sgt. Frederick Thomas Miniken, RAFVR 903047 – Pilot.
P/O John Trelawney Leacock, RAFVR 62295 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Gilding, RAFVR – Navigator.
Sgt. Ernest Fox, RAFVR 957199 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Joseph Edward Price, RAFVR 1355067 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Henry Paul Clarkson, RAFVR 1376787 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off – – Landed –
Flight Time missing

Wellington X9634, flown by Sgt Miniken, suffered a failure of the starboard engine without warning at 6,000ft, when climbing out on course after take off. The captain levelled out and reversed heading for base but the heavy aircraft lost height rapidly. He carried out an emergency ditching in the sea off Corton, near Lowestoft. Only Sgt Miniken and his second pilot, Sgt Gilding, were rescued from the water two hours later. All other crew members remained missing, feared drowned.

Sgt. Frederick Thomas Miniken, RAFVR 903047 – Pilot.
Injured

P/O John Trelawney Leacock, RAFVR 62295 – 2nd Pilot.
Lost without trace age 24.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 33.

Sgt. Gilding, RAFVR – Observer.
Injured

Sgt. Frederick Joseph Edward Price, RAFVR 1355067 – Front Gunner.
Killed age 24.
Son of Joseph Edward and Ella Price; Stepson of Mrs. E. M. Price, of West Bromwich.
Buried West Bromwich Cemetery, Staffordshire, England..
Grave location – Sec. H. Grave 6090.
‘Rest in peace’

Sgt. Ernest Fox, RAFVR 957199 – Wireless Operator.
Lost without trace age 20.
Son of John and Lillian Emily Fox, of Erdington, Birmingham.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 43.

Sgt. Henry Paul Clarkson, RAFVR 1376787 – Rear Gunner.
Lost without trace age 22.
Son of Henry Watson Clarkson and of Emily Frances Clarkson (Nee Mccarthy), of Santiago, Chile.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 41.