F

FALCONER, Arthur James

P/O Arthur James Falconer, RNZAF NZ39910 – Pilot.
Lost without trace age 23 on the 21st of February 1941.
Son of William Mowat Falconer and Helen Francis Falconer, of Wanganui, Wellington, New Zealand.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 63.

21/02/1941 – Bombing Attacks on Wilhelmshaven
Seven Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above target. One of the aircraft, JAH.124, captained by P/O Falconer, failed to return to base. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 1000lbs. 500lbs. 250 lbs. and containers of incendiaries. JAH.243 bombed docks at EMDEN. Incendiaries not observed; 500lbs. bombs seen to explode in target area. Owing to front and rear turrets being unserviceable, JAH.460 returned to base. Bombs were jettisoned in sea. JAH.598 reports bombs seen to explode on docks. Incendiaries seen to cause large fires. JAH.607 reports one good fire, and three minor fires. JAH.969 dropped in vicinity of target area. JAH.996 bombed on ETA and heaviest flak concentration. Bomb bursts seen under cloud. No observations were made, and no reconnaissance carried out. The A.A. fire encountered was medium and inaccurate. There were few searchlights, mostly operating in cones. No enemy aircraft were seen. There was 10/10 cloud over most of the journey, with severe icing conditions. Navigation was by D/R, W/T, map reading, pin points.

Wellington Mk.Ic T.2503 AA-

P/O Arthur James Falconer, RNZAF NZ39910 – Captain.
S/L Edward Ulric Guerin Solbe, RAFVR 34090 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Anthony Vincent Muir, RNZAF NZ40195 – Observer.
Sgt. William Donald ‘Don’ Morrison, RAFVR 946356 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Harry Thomas Hellier, RAFVR 650057 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Andrew Moore Brodie, RNZAF NZ391378 – Rear Gunner.

All aircraft, except Wellington Mk.Ic T.2503, returned to base safely, landing at approximately 00.30hrs. Wellington T2503 failed to return. Very little information is available to determine the fate of the aircraft, although it became apparent it was brought down in the North Sea. The crew all perished. Two bodies were later washed ashore near Helgoland, north of Wilhelmshaven. Acting as second pilot on this ill-fated sortie, was S/L Solbe, ‘A’ Flight Commander.

AJ Falconer


FALKINER, Philip

F/S Philip Falkiner, RNZAF NZ425140 – Rear Gunner.
Lost without trace age 21 on the 30th of June 1944.
Son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Clifford Falkiner.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 263.

30/07/1944 – Attack Against Amaye Sur Seulles
Seventeen aircraft were detailed to take part in an early morning attack on enemy troops and armoured concentrations near Amaye-Sur-Seulles. All crews successfully attacked from a low level and reports indicate that the bombing was well concentrated and ably controlled with a gradual advance southwards as ordered. No results other than clouds of smoke were seen. One aircraft (Captain NZ42117 F/S. Nairne, C.) failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I HK558 AA-D

F/S Colin George Nairne, RNZAF NZ42117 – Pilot.
P/O Lyndon Clifford Perry, RNZAF NZ428925 – Navigator.
W/O Denis Alfred Kidby, RAFVR 1391158 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Alfred Richard Stannard, RAFVR 1338510 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Raymond Charles Smith, RAFVR 1235250 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Stanley Alfred George Woodford, RAFVR 922095 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Philip Falkiner, RNZAF NZ425140 – Rear Gunner.

Although formally recorded as ‘lost without trace’, the circumstances of the disappearance of HK558 was more accurately explained in ‘For Your Tomorrow’ by author Errol Martyn. A Royal Navy minesweeper on patrol in the Channel observed two Lancasters collide in mid-air at approximately 08.00hrs while HK558 was flying northwards in the base of heavy low cloud. The other aircraft was a 514 Sqn Lancaster, LL733, probably from the same raid. The Minesweeper steamed to where the two aircraft crashed into the sea, a short distance away. After an hour’s search, only the body of an RAF Air Bomber was recovered, who was buried at sea. All seven crew of each aircraft are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.


FARNWORTH, John

F/S John Farnworth, RAFVR 1147012 – Navigator.
Killed age 23 on the 26th of August 1944.
Son of John and Sarah Agnes Farnworth, of Ingol, Lancashire.
Buried Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 5. H. 16-18.
‘Sweet is his memory,
Dear is his name,
Deep in our hearts
He will always ‘

25/08/1944 – Attack Against Russelsheim
Twenty eight aircraft took off as detailed to attack Russelsheim. Of these twenty five attacked the primary target and reported a good concentrated raid. A.A. opposition was slight, but enemy aircraft were active and one of our aircraft had two inconclusive combats. Another was unable to identify the target and jettisoned its load. A further one was caught in searchlights over the target and during evasive action lost both ailerons. This aircraft was captained by NZ424504 .F/S. O’Callaghan, E. The navigator 958564 .F/S. Hartley, R., kept the aircraft on track on the return journey even though his instruments were unserviceable and his chart lost. Two aircraft failed to return, they were captained by NZ422382 .F/O. J. Fleming and NZ421345 .F/S. Barker, R.

Lancaster Mk.I LL866 AA-S “Swingtime”

F/S Richard Stockdale Barker, RNZAF NZ421345 – Pilot.
F/S John Farnworth, RAFVR 1147012 – Navigator.
F/S William George Norton, RNZAF NZ413227 – Air Bomber.
W/O Raymond Firth, RAFVR NZ417203 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Gordon Baden Jones, RAFVR 1892748 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Henry George Baker, RAFVR 1814627 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Clifford George Nash, RAFVR 1654190 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I LL866 AA-S “Swingtime” was brought down over Germany, crashing near Untereisesheim, about a mile North of Heilbronn. There were no survivors. All of the crew were buried in the Durnbach War Cemetery.


FAUVEL, Spencer Francis

F/L Spencer Francis Fauvel, RNZAF NZ414971 – Pilot.
Killed age 21 on the 28th of May 1944.
Son of Francis Enoch Fauvel, and of Violet Annie Fauvel, of Wellington City, New Zealand.
Buried Wevelgem Communal Cemetery, Belgium..
Grave location – Coll. grave E. 473-474. 11

27/05/1944 – Attack Against Aachen
Thirteen aircraft were detailed to attack Aachen and eleven to attack a target at Boulogne. They all were successful in attacking their respective targets and good concentrated bombing was reported. Two aircraft attacking Aachen had combats with enemy aircraft, NZ40750 F/L. R. Berney claiming the destruction of an enemy night fighter and 170664 P/O. T. Buckley claimed strikes on a F.W. 190. There was no opposition from the Boulogne target.

Lancaster Mk.III ND908 AA-M

F/L Spencer Francis Fauvel, RNZAF NZ414971 – Pilot.
F/O Francis Henry Clark Lukey, RNZAF NZ42990 – 2nd Pilot.
F/O Frederick William Clare, RAFVR 144607 – Navigator.
F/S Maurice Isidore Joseph Fitzgerald, RAFVR 1389106/ 176576 – Air Bomber.
F/S Douglas William James Marvin, RAFVR 176037 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Kenneth Clinch, RAFVR 1288144 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Kenneth Wilfred Gower, RNZAF NZ421272 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S James Rooker Mason, RNZAF NZ421307 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.III ND908 AA-M was brought down at Poelkapelle (West-Vlaanderen) 5miles North East of Ypres and 25 miles West of Courtrai, scene of the FW .410 attacks on ND915 in the same raid. There were no survivors and all eight crew members were laid to rest at Wevelgem Communal Cemetery.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/spencer-francis-fauvel © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/spencer-francis-fauvel © New Zealand War Graves Project


FAWCETT, Arnold Goodrick

F/S Arnold Goodrick Fawcett, RNZAF NZ422698 – Rear Gunner.
Lost without trace age 31 on the 4th of November 1943.
Son of George Fawcett and of Annie Fawcett (Nee Goodrick), of Stratford, Taranaki, New Zealand.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 198.

04/11/1943 – Mining in the Baltic Sea
Four aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation, with mines of 1500lbs. This was an unfortunate night as three aircraft failed to return and the other aircraft returned early having jettisoned its mines. This aircraft met an enemy night fighter and sustained damage to the port wing, starboard flap, rear turret and many large holes in the fuselage, the rear gunner, Sgt.W. HURDIE, was killed during the combat. The weather was bad and ten tenths cloud made visibility poor. Navigation was good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings MKIII BF461, Captained by P/O.G.K.WILLIAMS, BK778 Captained by P/O.W.S.MASTERS and EE897 Captained by F/O. N.WILSON.

Stirling Mk.III EE897 AA-G

F/O Norman Clarence Bruce Wilson, RNZAF NZ417139 – Pilot.
F/O Thomas Lodge, RNZAF NZ417284 – Navigator.
F/O Alfred Thomas Dance, RNZAF NZ42495 – Air Bomber.
F/S Ronald Charlton, RAFVR 644136 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Walter John Stratton, RAFVR 1166593 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leonard Charles Gaskin, RAFVR 1392668 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Arnold Goodrick Fawcett, RNZAF NZ422698 – Rear Gunner.

EE897 was lost without trace. All seven crew are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.


FAWCETT, Derek Richard

Sgt. Derek Richard Fawcett, RAFVR 755949 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 21 on the 15th of September 1941.
Buried Hamburg War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – Coll. grave 5A. M. 9-12.

15/09/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Hamburg
Twelve Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. Two of these aircraft failed to return, one being captained by Sgt J. A. Ward who was awarded the Victoria Cross on 4 August 1941. There was clear weather over the target, and bursts were seen in many parts of the target area. A.A. fire was heavy over and near target area. Searchlights were numerous, working in cones, and co-operating with A.A. fire and night fighters.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9759 AA-R

Sgt. Anthony Henry Ryder Hawkins, RNZAF NZ40971 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Boswell Blakeway, RNZAF NZ403486 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Hugh MacLachlan Aitchison, RCAF R.54169/ J.4782 – Observer.
Sgt. John Gifford Foulkes, RAFVR 909428 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Edward ‘Ted’ ‘Moon’ Mullins, RCAF R.54981 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Derek Richard Fawcett, RAFVR 1755949 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9918, AA-U was probably brought down by flak, near Hartenholm, about 24 miles North of Hamburg. Two crew members, Sgt R Robert Blakeway and Sgt W.Mullins RAF, successfully baled out and were taken prisoners of war. The rest of the crew were killed.


FEAR, Trevor

W/O Trevor Fear, RAFVR 1317167 – Pilot.
Killed age 21 on the 24th of August 1943.
Son of Miltion John and Margaret May Fear, of Tredegar, Gwent.
Buried Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 1. J. 13.

23/08/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Berlin
Twenty three aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1,000lb., 500lb., and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb.. Five aircraft returned early owing to failure and three aircraft failed to return. The remainder of the aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area and all of the crews agreed that it had been well and truly hit. The fires were all concentrated and huge columns of smoke together with heavy explosions could be seen. A moderate heavy A.A. barrage co-operating with searchlights were encountered, but only one aircraft received damage. A great number of enemy aircraft were seen and several combats took place. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. WILKINSON sighted a JU88 passing above, the Mid-upper and Rear Gunners fired and strikes were seen on the enemy aircraft which was then lost sight of and is claimed to have been damaged. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. WHITEHEAD whilst over BERLIN sighted an enemy aircraft on the starboard quarter, 300yds away. The Rear Gunner fired a five second burst and the enemy aircraft was seen in flames diving to earth, and was claimed as probably destroyed. The same aircraft encountered another unidentified aircraft 300yds away on the starboard quarter. The Rear Gunner fired another five seconds burst and the enemy aircraft exploded and disintegrated. It was claimed to be destroyed. The aircraft captained by F/O. A. Alexander, whilst over the target sighted a ME110 approaching from the starboard quarter above and firing at his aircraft. The Mid-upper and Rear Gunners replied with long bursts and the enemy aircraft was seen to be in flames. A fire was later seen on the ground and the enemy aircraft was claimed as probably destroyed. Scattered cloud was met on the outward route, but it was clear over the target. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk.III BF465 captained by P/O A. RANKIN, BF564 captained by P/O A. Sedunary and EE938 captained by W/O T. Fear.

The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. WHITE, O.H. whilst approaching the target area was coned by searchlights and repeatedly hit by heavy A.A. fire, sustaining considerable damage to port main plane. He continued towards the target though still coned by searchlights and was then attacked by a JU88 sustaining hits in the rear of the fuselage which shattered the rear turret and killed Rear Gunner Sgt. Poole, J.. The aircraft was forced into an uncontrollable dive and the captain warned his crew ‘Prepare to abandon the aircraft’. Unfortunately, in the middle of this order the inter-communication failed, and the Navigator, Air Bomber and Wireless Operator abandoned the aircraft, due to the fact that they were unable to contact their Captain. F/Sgt. WHITE jettisoned his bomb load whilst in the dive directly over the target area, managed to regain control of the aircraft when height had been lost down to 6,000ft. The captain and two remaining members of the crew after taking stock of the damage decided to attempt the long and hazardous return journey to base. This they did successfully and made a perfect crash landing at base without lights, flaps or under carriage, as the electrical leads were shot away.

Stirling Mk.III EE938 AA-X

W/O Trevor Fear, RAFVR 1317167 – Pilot.
Sgt. Brian Hartley Ruddy, RAFVR 1419688 – Navigator.
Sgt. Andrew Bain, RAFVR 658930 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Douglas George Woolcott, RAFVR 1290189 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Charles Munro, RAFVR 1566746 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Joseph Andrew Cletus Holmes, RCAF R.143622 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Alexander Davidson, RCAF R.181120 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EE938 AA-X was brought down at Mahlsdorf, 7 miles East South East of Berlin. There were no survivors. All crew members, except Sgt C Munro, are buried in the Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery. The flight engineer has no known grave.

SONY DSC


FEENAN, Andrew James

Sgt. Andrew James Feenan, RAF 632983 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Lost without trace age 24 on the 8th of March 1943.
Son of Andrew and Mary Ellen Feenan; Husband of Annie Shannley Feenan, of South Queensferry, West Lothian.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 143.

08/03/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Nurenburg
Nine aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack with bombs of 2,000 lb. 1,000 lb. 500 lb and incendiaries of 30 lb. and 4 lb. One aircraft returned early owing to engine trouble and another failed to return. The remaining seven aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area, large fires being seen, one large explosion from the centre of target, was seen one hundred miles away as the aircraft were returning. Both light and heavy A.A. fire was encountered co-operating with searchlights, they however, proved to be ineffective. Stirling 1 BK646 captained by P/O Lowe, was attacked by an enemy aircraft near Saarbrucken on the return journey. The enemy aircraft opened fire with cannon and a stream of tracer came into the cockpit, one exploding near the second pilot’s leg. Corkscrew tactics were adopted, but after seven minutes the enemy aircraft was lost. The only casualties were the second pilot, who was wounded in the leg and the Captain, who had slight face cuts. The aircraft successfully returned to base. There was a slight haze at the target, although visibility fairly good. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling 1 BF437, captained by Sergeant C.R. Davey.

Stirling Mk.I BF437 AA-L

Sgt. Charles Raglan Davey, RNZAF NZ413937 – Pilot.
F/S Anthony Arlen, RCAF R.84152 – Navigator.
Sgt. Ian James Duncan Brodie, RAFVR 1344759/ 147474 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Leighton Mansel Stone, RAFVR 1313099 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Arthur Edgar Howlett, RAFVR 528778 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Andrew James Feenan, RAFVR 632983 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Alfred Bertram Tarrant, RAFVR 1450019 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.I BF437 AA-L was brought down near Philippsburg, 22 miles North North East of Carlsruhe (18 miles south of Mannheim). All seven crew were killed. Sgt’s Davey and Brodie were buried at Mannheim but later reinterred at Durnbach. The other five crew members are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.


FELLOWS, John

F/S John Fellows, RCAF 78046 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 23 on the 17th of December 1942.
Son of James Percy and Ethel May Fellows, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – Coll. grave 8. L. 15-18.
‘He died
That we might live’

17/12/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Fallersleben
Five aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with bombs of 1,000lb. This was to be a low level flight all the way climbing to 5,000feet to bomb. Four out of the five aircraft unfortunately failed to return. They were the Squadron Commander, Wing Commander V. Mitchell, D.F.C., captain of Stirling I BF396 who took W/O Bagnall and crew who had only arrived a few days previously. Stirling I,BF400 captained by F/O Jacobson, Stirling 1, BK620 captained by P/O R.E. Williams, and Stirling I, R9247 captained by F/Sgt. Rousseau. The one aircraft to return was captained by P/O McCullough who could not find the target owing to rain and bad visibility, and bombed an alternative. This was an aerodrome, the bombs were seen to explode on the flare path and hangars. A.A. fore was fairly heavy and a few searchlights were seen. The aircraft was twice attacked by fighters but they were driven off on each occasion, on return the aircraft was found to have four holes believed due to combat with one of the fighters. The weather was clear to the target but developed to rain and 7/10th cloud on return. Navigation was good.

Stirling Mk.I R.9247 AA-W

F/S Henry Edwin Rousseau, RAFVR 1026535 – Pilot.
Sgt Mervyn Oliver Clark, RNZAF NZ404895 – Navigator.
Sgt. Reginald Crosby Mocock , RAFVR 1168876 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Christopher James Kendall , RNZAF NZ412342 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Morton W.W., RAFVR  – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Fellows, RAFVR R.78046 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Pullar Henry Welsh Pullar , RNZAF NZ411777 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.I R.9247 AA-W was brought down near Vechta airfield, 30 miles South West of Bremen, Germany, while en route to or from the target. None of the crew survived the crash. All are buried in the Reinberg Cemetery.


FERGUSSON, Allister Archibald

F/S Allister Archibald Fergusson, RNZAF NZ425391 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Lost without trace age 22 on the 22nd of May 1944.
Son of Hugh Archibald and Olive Muriel Fergusson, of Titoki, Auckland, New Zealand.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 264.

21/05/1944 – Attack Against Duisberg
Twenty five aircraft took off to attack Duisburg, of which twenty one attacked the primary target. Three returned early with various technical failures and one failed to return (Captain NZ421803 P/O. W. Willis). Another aircraft (Captain AUS413157 P/O. A. Humphreys) was attacked by an enemy fighter and the navigator 1438903 F/Sgt. Hill, A. was injured, the aircraft also being damaged.

Lancaster Mk.III ND804 AA-K

P/O William Jarvis Willis, RNZAF NZ421803 – Pilot.
F/S Russell Howard Brown, RNZAF NZ425444 – Navigator.
F/S Alan Lister Kay, RNZAF NZ42299 – Air Bomber.
F/S Stanley Albert ‘Hank’ Hancock, RAFVR 1396104 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Donald Rimmer, RAFVR 1495443 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Allister Archibald Ferguson, RNZAF NZ425391 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William Ferguson ‘Billy’ Reid, RCAF R.178421/ J.89732 – Rear Gunner.

ND804 was lost without trace. All crew members are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.


FINLAYSON, William John

P/O William John Finlayson, RNZAF NZ39911 – 2nd Pilot.
Lost without trace age 23 on the 24th of October 1940.
Son of John Herbert Mcwilliam Finlayson and Hilda Kathleen Finlayson (Nee Benton), of Opoho, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 27.

23/10/1940 – Bombing Attacks on Berlin, Potsdam Station, D.148.
Five Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks. One, CB.362, captained by P/O Sanderson, failed to return. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 1000lbs. Bomb, delayed action, 500lbs. Bombs delayed action, 500lbs. Nombs fused N.D.T., 250lbs delayed action, 250lbs. bombs fused N.D.T., containers of incendiaries, while CB.359 carried one flash bomb.
CB.358 reports results were not observed owing to two layers of cloud.
CB.359 attacked flarepath probably east of Berlin, bursts unobserved, but incendiaries observed burning 300 yards short of flarepath.
CB361 reports bombs seen to burst in vicinity of NEURUPPIN Aerodrome. No fires started.
NO results were observed by CB.368 due to intensity of searchlights.
EELDE Aerodrome lit with electric flare path and boundary lights. Red beacon at decoy aerodrome. Beacon flashing C.F. 530 3N 0450E. White beacon flashing 5 secs. approximately AMELAND.
A.A. fire was heavy and accurate.
Searchlights were few, and not very accurate owing to cloud. No enemy aircraft were seen. Heavy cloud was experienced in all areas. Navigation was by D/R, Astro and Q.D.M’s.

Wellington Mk.1c P.9292 AA-C
Raid No. CB.-

P/O Rex Martyn Sanderson, RAF 42727 – Pilot.
P/O William John Finlayson, RNZAF NZ39911 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. White, RAF – Observer.
Sgt. Jack Gibbs, RAFVR 625697 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Grice Hitchmough, RAFVR 653978 – Front Gunner.
P/O Frederick Bernard Cleak, RAF 77961 – Rear Gunner .

Wellington Mk.Ic P.9292 AA-C is known to have crashed into the North Sea off the Danish Coast. Returning from Berlin, it appears that the aircraft might have fallen prey to a number of German night-fighters that were known to be operating in this airspace. All of the crew, with the exception of P/O Frederick Cleak, were lost without trace and are remembered on the Runneymede Memorial. P/O Cleak, whose body was recovered was buried in Esbjerg (Fourfelt) Cemetery in Denmark.

WJ FInlayson


FIRTH, Ellison George

Sgt. Ellison George Firth, RNZAF NZ412218 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 19 on the 13th of October 1942.
Son of Ernest John Firth and of Gladys Mary Firth (Nee Collins), of Wellington City, New Zealand.
Buried Kiel War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 3. F. 3.

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.3954 AA-?

Sgt. Ventry Watters, RNZAF NZ413522 – Pilot.
Sgt. Lewis Harry Parkinson, RNZAF NZ412518 – Observer.
Sgt. Ellison George Firth, RNZAF NZ412218 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Albert Cyril Orr, RAFVR 1145143 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Henry Edward Goldsack, RAFVR 1250808 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Mk.III X.3954 was disabled by AA fire in the target area at Kiel, then crashed 6 miles North West of Tonning, a town 50 miles due West of Kiel. All five crew were killed. They were initially buried at Brunsbüttelkoog Cemetery, but later reinterred at Kiel.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/ellison-george-firth © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/ellison-george-firth © New Zealand War Graves Project


FIRTH, Raymond

W/O Raymond Firth, RNZAF NZ417203 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 28 on the 26th of August 1944.
Son of Alexander Charles and Julia Annie Firth, of Wanganui, Wellington, New Zealand.
Buried Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 5. H. 14.

25/08/1944 – Attack Against Russelsheim
Twenty eight aircraft took off as detailed to attack Russelsheim. Of these twenty five attacked the primary target and reported a good concentrated raid. A.A. opposition was slight, but enemy aircraft were active and one of our aircraft had two inconclusive combats. Another was unable to identify the target and jettisoned its load. A further one was caught in searchlights over the target and during evasive action lost both ailerons. This aircraft was captained by NZ424504 .F/S. O’Callaghan, E. The navigator 958564 .F/S. Hartley, R., kept the aircraft on track on the return journey even though his instruments were unserviceable and his chart lost. Two aircraft failed to return, they were captained by NZ422382 .F/O. J. Fleming and NZ421345 .F/S. Barker, R.

Lancaster Mk.I LL866 AA-S “Swingtime”

F/S Richard Stockdale Barker, RNZAF NZ421345 – Pilot.
F/S John Farnworth, RAFVR 1147012 – Navigator.
F/S William George Norton, RNZAF NZ413227 – Air Bomber.
W/O Raymond Firth, RAFVR NZ417203 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Gordon Baden Jones, RAFVR 1892748 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Henry George Baker, RAFVR 1814627 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Clifford George Nash, RAFVR 1654190 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I LL866 AA-S “Swingtime” was brought down over Germany, crashing near Untereisesheim, about a mile North of Heilbronn. There were no survivors. All of the crew were buried in the Durnbach War Cemetery.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/raymond-firth © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/raymond-firth © New Zealand War Graves Project


FISK, Joseph George Arkless

F/S Joseph George Arkless Fisk, RNZAF NZ412874 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 28 on the 1st of September 1943.
Son of Joseph Fisk and of Fanny Fisk (Nee Shannon), of Wanganui, Wellington, New Zealand; Husband of Amelia Fisk, of Wanganui.
Buried Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 8. L. 7-17.

31/08/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Berlin
Eighteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1,000lb., 500lb. and incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb. Two aircraft failed to take-off and four did not return, the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Large fires were seen, although rather scattered they appeared to be progressing very well. Moderate heavy A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered and one air craft received slight damage. Enemy night-fighters were in great prominence, the aircraft piloted by F/Sgt. Wilkinson, G encountered a JU88 approaching from astern 500yds away. The rear gunner fired a long burst, the enemy aircraft replied and stalled. The mid-upper gunner then fired three long bursts. The enemy aircraft was seen to fall away and is claimed as probably destroyed. Our aircraft received damage to the rear of the fuselage and had part of the tailplane and fin badly damaged. The aircraft captained by F/O Alexander sighted two Me109’s, the first opened fire from the starboard quarter and the rear gunner replied with a short burst. The enemy aircraft stalled and the mid-upper gunner fired a short burst. The enemy aircraft then dived to the ground and exploded, it was claimed to be destroyed. The second Me109 opened fire with a short burst from the port bow to the port quarter. The rear gunner then fired a short burst and tracer was seen to enter the enemy aircraft, which dived. It was claimed as possible destroyed. The aircraft captained by W/O Moseley, P. sighted a Me110 on the port quarter, the mid upper and rear gunner fired a long burst and the enemy aircraft turned over and dived with smoke pouring from its starboard side. It was claimed as probably destroyed. The aircraft captained by P/O C.Logan sighted a Me109 sixty yards astern, the mid-upper and rear gunner  fired and tracer from the rear gunner was seen to hit the aircraft. The Stirling then corkscrewed and the Me109 disappeared. It was claimed to be damaged. Two other aircraft crash landed away from base due to damage caused by enemy fighters, none of the crews were injured however. 8/10ths cloud was encountered on the outward journey and 9’10ths at the target, visibility, nevertheless, was good. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings MK.III EE918 captained by F/Sgt. Roberts,E, EE878 captained by F/Sgt. Henley, D, EE905 captained by F/Sgt. Helm,G. and EF501 captained by F/S McGregor, K.

Stirling Mk.III EH905 AA-R

F/S George Vincent Helm, RNZAF NZ416113 – Pilot.
F/S Donald Mackay Stewart, RNZAF NZ421366 – Navigator.
F/S Joseph George Arkless Fisk, RNZAF NZ412874 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Arthur John Bishop, RAFVR 1271480 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Oliver McCoo, RAFVR 1365426 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. G.T. Buglass, RAFVR 645313 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Frederick Thomas John Harries, RAFVR 1358765 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EH905, AA-R was reported to have been struck by at least one bomb, dropped from an aircraft flying at a higher level over the target area.

The damaged aircraft came down near Ludwigsfelde-Heide, 18 miles south-south-west of Berlin. All crew except the two Air Gunners died and were buried initially in a collective grave in the Russian Prisoner of War Cemetery near where the aircraft crashed. They later were re-interred in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery.

Sergeants Moore and Harries were captured and spent the rest of the War as Prisoners of War.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/joseph-george-arkless-fisk © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/joseph-george-arkless-fisk © New Zealand War Graves Project


FITZGERALD, John

F/S John Fitzgerald, RNZAF NZ424777 – Air Bomber.
Lost without trace age 23 on the 30th of August 1944.
Son of James and Margaret Woodburn Fitzgerald, of Port Chalmers, Otago, New Zealand.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 264.

29/08/1944 – Attack Against Stettin
Fourteen aircraft took off as detailed to attack Stettin and thirteen of these successfully bombed the target with the aid of markers. A good concentration of fires developed and all crews reported a successful raid. A.A. opposition was moderate and enemy fighters were active on the outward route. Three of our aircraft had combats, two being inconclusive but the third (Captain NZ428797 .P/O. J. Scott) claimed one enemy aircraft as probably destroyed. The aircraft captained by 1323677 .F/S. King, D., failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I HK594 AA-G

F/S Douglas Arthur Severn King, RAFVR 1323677/ 183954 – Pilot.
F/S Walter Davis Watson, RNZAF NZ428918 – Navigator.
F/S John Fitzgerald, RNZAF NZ424777 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Charles Burton Hill, RAFVR 1372387 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. John Patrick Callan, RAFVR 1777282 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Derrick Leonard Desmond Moon, RAFVR 1626105 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Herbert William Causley, RAFVR 1199994 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I HK594 AA-G was attacked by a night-fighter at 6,500ft while flying on a South East heading over the Swedish coastline, tracking toward Stettin. Cannon shells shattered the tail and rear turret, killing the gunner instantly. The pilot ordered the crew to bale out when the aircraft became uncontrollable and five of them came down in the Baltic but failed to survive. King left the aircraft shortly after and parachuted down not far from Tollarp Village, while the Lancaster plunged into the ground near Svenskop Village, all its bombs exploding on impact causing substantial damage throughout the neighbourhood. A badly injured F/S King was interrogated by the Swedish Military and later interned at Koranas until being repatriated on 10 October 44. Two bodies from the crew were later found in the water and the rear gunner was still in the aircraft wreckage. They were buried at the Hälsingborg (Palsjo) Municipal Cemetery. The remaining crew members were never found and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial


FITZGERALD, Maurice Isidore Joseph

P/O Maurice Isidore Joseph Fitzgerald, RAFVR 176576 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 20 on the 28th of May 1944.
Son of Maurice and Mary Fitzgerald, of Bitterne, Southampton.
Buried Wevelgem Communal Cemetery, Belgium..
Grave location – Coll. grave E. 473-474. 12
‘Loving memories of Maurice
Our dearly beloved son
R.I.P.
Mother and father’

27/05/1944 – Attack Against Aachen
Thirteen aircraft were detailed to attack Aachen and eleven to attack a target at Boulogne. They all were successful in attacking their respective targets and good concentrated bombing was reported. Two aircraft attacking Aachen had combats with enemy aircraft, NZ40750 F/L. R. Berney claiming the destruction of an enemy night fighter and 170664 P/O. T. Buckley claimed strikes on a F.W. 190. There was no opposition from the Boulogne target.

Lancaster Mk.III ND908 AA-M

F/L Spencer Francis Fauvel, RNZAF NZ414971 – Pilot.
F/O Francis Henry Clark Lukey, RNZAF NZ42990 – 2nd Pilot.
F/O Frederick William Clare, RAFVR 144607 – Navigator.
F/S Maurice Isidore Joseph Fitzgerald, RAFVR 1389106/ 176576 – Air Bomber.
F/S Douglas William James Marvin, RAFVR 176037 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Kenneth Clinch, RAFVR 1288144 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Kenneth Wilfred Gower, RNZAF NZ421272 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S James Rooker Mason, RNZAF NZ421307 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.III ND908 AA-M was brought down at Poelkapelle (West-Vlaanderen) 5miles North East of Ypres and 25 miles West of Courtrai, scene of the FW .410 attacks on ND915 in the same raid. There were no survivors and all eight crew members were laid to rest at Wevelgem Communal Cemetery.


FLEMING, James Allan

F/O James Allan Fleming, RNZAF NZ422382 – Pilot.
Killed age 27 on the 25th of August 1944.
Son of Thomas and Eva Fleming, of Opotiki, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 8. K. 8-10.

25/08/1944 – Attack Against Russelsheim
Twenty eight aircraft took off as detailed to attack Russelsheim. Of these twenty five attacked the primary target and reported a good concentrated raid. A.A. opposition was slight, but enemy aircraft were active and one of our aircraft had two inconclusive combats. Another was unable to identify the target and jettisoned its load. A further one was caught in searchlights over the target and during evasive action lost both ailerons. This aircraft was captained by NZ424504 .F/S. O’Callaghan, E. The navigator 958564 .F/S. Hartley, R., kept the aircraft on track on the return journey even though his instruments were unserviceable and his chart lost. Two aircraft failed to return, they were captained by NZ422382 .F/O. J. Fleming and NZ421345 .F/S. Barker, R.

Lancaster Mk.I LM593 AA-N

F/O James Allan Fleming, RNZAF NZ422382 – Pilot.
F/O James Atkinson Dale, RNZAF NZ425562 – Navigator.
F/S Frank Arthur Vincent, RAFVR 1395910 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Eric Garforth, RAFVR 2206796 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Kenneth Eric Croxon, RAFVR 1893473 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Edwin Slater, RAFVR 2210570 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Alan Raymond Bryce Stewart, 1344346 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I LM593 AA-N was brought down over Germany, crashing near Neunkirchen; 38 miles North West of the target. There were no survivors. All seven crew are now buried in the Rheinberg War Cemetery.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/james-allan-fleming © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/james-allan-fleming © New Zealand War Graves Project


FLETCHER, Andrew Crawford

F/S Andrew Crawford Fletcher, RNZAF NZ42675 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 24 on the 21st Of July 1944.
Son of Daniel Fletcher and of Jeanie Fletcher (nee McNeill), of Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand; husband of Dorothy May Fletcher, of Devonport, Auckland.
Buried Uden War Cemetery, Holland.     .
Grave location – 5. A. 1. 101

20/07/1944 – Attack Against Homberg
Twenty six aircraft took off, as detailed, to attack the oil refinery at Homberg. Nineteen aircraft were successful in bombing the target, with the aid of markers, which seemed well concentrated. Two good explosions were seen and smoke came up from the target area. Heavy A.A. fire was moderate, but fighters were very active, eight combats taking place. Seven aircraft failed to return, the captains were AUS22776 W/O. Gilmour, H., NZ428819 F/S. Howell, E., NZ421829 F/S. Mackay, K., NZ422057 F/S. Davidson, N., NZ42488 W/O. Whittington, H., NZ413219 F/S. Roche, G. & NZ414560 P/O. Burtt, H.

Lancaster Mk.I ME691 AA-R

W/O Harold Whittington, RNZAF NZ42488 – Pilot.
F/O Joseph Stevens, RAFVR 125607 – Navigator.
Sgt. Alfred Alexander Simpson, RNZAF NZ425112 – Air Bomber.
P/O Phillip Edwin Tompkins, RAFVR 157922 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. D. W. Gore, RAFVR 1624691 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Ronald John Morton Batty*, RAFVR 548542 – Mid Upper Gunner.
* ORB for this Op lists Sgt. Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR as Mid Upper Gunner, however the recorded loss of Sgt. Batty clearly identifies this as an error.
F/S Andrew Crawford Fletcher, RNZAF NZ42675 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I ME691 AA-R was brought down by an enemy aircraft at 01:33hrs beside a road near Veghel (Noord Brabant), 4 miles South West of Uden. All but the flight engineer perished in the crash and were buried in the local War Cemetery, Uden. Sgt Gore, the flight engineer, survived but was taken as a P.o.W.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/andrew-crawford-fletcher © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/andrew-crawford-fletcher © New Zealand War Graves Project


FORBES, John

Sgt. John Forbes, RAFVR 1314891 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 21 on the 6th of October 1942.
Son of Edward Morris Forbes and Mabel Harriett Forbes, of Wandsworth, London.
Buried Hardenberg Protestant Cemetery, Holland.
Grave location – Row A. Grave 12.
‘Let us resolve, that war
Shall not come again
So his life Be not lost in vain’

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 bt D.R. , T.R. visual, pinpoints, loop and fixes. Wellington DF639 captained by Sgt. Rhodes G.W. failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III DF.639 AA-?

Sgt. George William Rhodes, RAFVR 1331658 – Pilot.
Sgt. Walter John Howes, RAFVR 1378338 – Observer.
Sgt. John Foreman, RCAF R.80334 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Geoffrey Slater, RNZAF 1287890 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. John Forbes, RAFVR 1314891 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Mk.III DF.639 was shot down by an enemy night-fighter at 23:30hrs near the small town of Hardenberg (Overijssel), 70 miles East of Amsterdam, Holland, while returning to base following the raid on Osnabruck. The crew were all killed. They are buried in the Protestant Cemetery, at Hardenberg.

FORBES J


FORMAN, John

F/S John Forman, RCAF.80334 – Front Gunner.
Killed age 21 on the 6th of October 1042.
Buried Hardenberg Protestant Cemetery, Holland.
Grave location – Row A. Grave 11.

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 bt D.R. , T.R. visual, pinpoints, loop and fixes. Wellington DF639 captained by Sgt. Rhodes G.W. failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III DF.639 AA-?

Sgt. George William Rhodes, RAFVR 1331658 – Pilot.
Sgt. Walter John Howes, RAFVR 1378338 – Observer.
Sgt. John Foreman, RCAF R.80334 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Geoffrey Slater, RNZAF 1287890 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. John Forbes, RAFVR 1314891 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Mk.III DF.639 was shot down by an enemy night-fighter at 23:30hrs near the small town of Hardenberg (Overijssel), 70 miles East of Amsterdam, Holland, while returning to base following the raid on Osnabruck. The crew were all killed. They are buried in the Protestant Cemetery, at Hardenberg.

FORMAN J


FORRESTER, James Leonard

Sgt. James Leonard Forrester, RAFVR 3010665 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 19 on the 20th of November 1944.
Son of James Edward and Gladys Forrester, of Bootle, Lancashire.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 25. G. 3.
‘Safe in the arms of Jesus’

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 PB689 AA-X
Missing – Heavy Flak

F/O Ronald Gordon, RAFVR 1580245/ 185116 – Pilot.
P/O John Robson Bell, RAFVR 173943 – Navigator.
F/S Albert John ‘Mick’ Weston, RAFVR 1115103 – Air Bomber.
F/O Louis David Sampson, RAFVR 186413 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Carl Robert Freeman, RAFVR 189608 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Sidney George Hone, RAFVR 2221190 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. James Leonard Forrester, RAFVR 3010665 – Rear Gunner.

PB609 encountered heavy flak after bombing, when approximately 8mls NE of Moers and the aircraft was seen to explode and crash. There were no survivors. All the crew were buried in the Reichswald Forest Cemetery

J L Forrester


FOSTER, Ralph Owen

P/O Ralph Owen Foster, RNZAF NZ402443 – 2nd Pilot.
Killed age 29 on the 8th of November 1941.
Son of Ralph and Gladys Foster, of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand.
Buried Rotterdam (Crooswijk) General Cemetery, Holland.     .
Grave location – Plot LL. Row 1. Joint grave 14.

08/11/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Essen
Eleven Wellington Ic aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks from this Unit. Three aircraft, X.9628, captained by Sgt. Smith, X.9977, captained by Sgt. Nunn, and Z.8942 captained by Sgt. Wilson failed to return to base. Many large fires were started with resultant explosions and bursts were observed across a built up area. A railway junction south of target was also successfully attacked. Much heavy and light flak was experienced and heavy concentrations of searchlights were active in target area. Several enely aircraft were seen at target but no attacks were made. Weather was moderately clear to target but haze 5/10ths to 9/10ths over target area. Navigation was very good.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.8942 AA-J

Sgt. John Stephen Wilson, RNZAF NZ402530 – Pilot.
P/O Ralph Owen Foster, RNZAF NZ402443 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Robert Leslie Owen Ryder, RAAF AUS.404626 – Observer.
Sgt. James Henry Reid, RAFVR 997006 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Sir Charles Thomas Hewitt Mappin, RAFVR 1380356 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Lawrence Beresford Hamilton Hope, RNZAF NZ40940 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.8942 AA-J was hit by flak and crashed at 22:15hrs, at Zuidland (Zuid Holland), 13 miles South West of Rotterdam. All except the rear gunner, Sgt Hope, were killed. They were buried in Rotterdam City’s General Cemetery. Sgt Hope was taken Prisoner of War and imprisoned at Stalag 357

Foster Ralph Owen


FOTHERINGHAM, Robert Ewen Ernest

Sgt. Robert Ewen Ernest Fotheringham, RNZAF NZ391833 – Pilot.
Killed age 29 on the 16th of July 1941.
Son of John and May Fotheringham, of Takapuna, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Bergen-Op-Zoom Canadian War Cemetery, Holland..
Grave location – 30. A. 3.

15/07/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Duisburg
Nine Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. One of these aircraft, R.3171 captained by SGT. Fotheringham, failed to return to base. Another, W.5663, captianed P/O Rees, (RJT.533) was attacked by unidentified enemy fighter over the target. The aircraft was badly damages and the 2nd Pilot Sgt. Joyce was killed. SGT. Conibear, the front gunner, was seriously injured and died in hospital; and SGT. Gwyn-Williams was injured (Rear gunner). The aircraft returned to basewhere a landing was made. P/O Rees was awarded the D.F.C.; and the wireless operator, SGT. Lewis, was awarded the D.F.M.

RJT.147 bombed marshalling yard south of aiming point.
RJT.319 Observed bomb bursts in target area.
RJT.385 Attacked target area and saw bomb bursts.
RJT.445 bombed target area.
RJT.533 bombed target area, but thin cloud prevented accurate pin-point.
RJT.570 reports big fire started by bombs on target area.
RJT.683 located target, but it was not clearly pinpointed. A fix was obtained from Rhine and autobahn. Bombs dropped in salvo on large fire within radius of 3 miles of target.
P/O Ashworth reports that results were not observed over Ruhr, but a fire was started and a building blown up on an aerodrome 6 miles south of Hague. Heavy accurate predicted A.A. fire was encountered in target area. Searchlights were very active and accurate. The weather was good, but there was a layer of cloud over target. Navigation was by map reading, D/R, W/T, astro

Wellington Mk.Ic R.3171 AA-E

Sgt. Robert Ewen Ernest Fotheringham, RNZAF NZ391833 – Pilot.
Sgt. Eric Vincent Keiran Higgins, RAAF AUS.400277 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Harold Campbell Roberts, RCAF R.54910 – Observer.
Sgt. Sydney Allan Dyer, RNZAF NZ40101 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Phillip Edgar Hare, RNZAF NZ401227 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Douglas Malcolm MacKinnon, RNZAF NZ40923 – Rear Gunner.

Sgt Fotheringham’s crew failed tio return from the operation – the aircraft was officially recorded as lost without trace. The circumstances were unclear, as no evidence, signals or reports came to light. It seems certain, however, that R3171 came down off the Dutch coast, since two bodies were later washed ashore, one being identified as the captain.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/robert-ewen-ernest-fotheringham © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/robert-ewen-ernest-fotheringham © New Zealand War Graves Project


FOULKES, John Gifford

Sgt. John Gifford Foulkes, RAFVR 909428 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 20 on the 15th of September 1941.
Son of Peter Gifford Foulkes and Violet Agnes Foulkes, of Sidmouth, Devon.
Buried Hamburg War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – Coll. grave 5A. M. 9-12.
‘The Lord bless thee
And keep thee’

15/09/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Hamburg
Twelve Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. Two of these aircraft failed to return, one being captained by Sgt J. A. Ward who was awarded the Victoria Cross on 4 August 1941. There was clear weather over the target, and bursts were seen in many parts of the target area. A.A. fire was heavy over and near target area. Searchlights were numerous, working in cones, and co-operating with A.A. fire and night fighters.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9759 AA-R

Sgt. Anthony Henry Ryder Hawkins, RNZAF NZ40971 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Boswell Blakeway, RNZAF NZ403486 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Hugh MacLachlan Aitchison, RCAF R.54169/ J.4782 – Observer.
Sgt. John Gifford Foulkes, RAFVR 909428 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Edward ‘Ted’ ‘Moon’ Mullins, RCAF R.54981 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Derek Richard Fawcett, RAFVR 1755949 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9918, AA-U was probably brought down by flak, near Hartenholm, about 24 miles North of Hamburg. Two crew members, Sgt R Robert Blakeway and Sgt W.Mullins RAF, successfully baled out and were taken prisoners of war. The rest of the crew were killed.


FOUNTAIN, Cedric Niel

P/O Cedric Niel Fountain, RNZAF NZ41981 – 2nd Pilot.
Killed age 23 on the 23rd of April 1942.
Son of Victor Stagg Fountain and Annie Fountain, of Napier, Hawke’S Bay, New Zealand; Husband of Betty Louise Fountain, of Napier.
Buried Feltwell (St. Nicholas) Churchyard, Norfolk, England..
Grave location – Row C. Grave 10.

22/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against Targets at Cologne
Ten Well.III a\c were detailed attack the above targets. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 100lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs, 30lb and 4lb incendiaries was dropped in the target area but no results seen owing to cloud. There were only a few searchlights active and A.A. fire was slight. Well.III, X3487 captained by P/O Jarman was attacked by a JU.88 which attacked once and broke away to port. The results of this short attack were however serious the second pilot, P/O Nicol being mortally wounded, the rear gunner Sgt. Harris being killed and the Navigator Sgt. Taylor and W/Op. Sgt. Fernie were wounded. The bomb load was not dropped on the target but was dropped in the sea. The a/c was brought back to base and crash landed.

Wellington Mk.III X.3705 AA-F

F/S Ivor John McLachlan, RNZAF NZ404390 – Pilot.
P/O Cedric Niel Fountain, RNZAF NZ41981 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Philip Frederick Hoare,   – Observer.
Sgt. Jack William Walters, RNZAF NZ404106 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Alfred George Edward ‘Butch’ Pugh, RNZAF NZ404096 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Desmond Stewart Tutty, NZ404576 – Rear Gunner.

Well.III, X3705, captained by F/S. McLachlan, was also attacked and the second pilot killed (P/O. Fountain) and Sgt. Tutty was wounded. F/Sgt. McLachlan managed to reach base and crash land.

FOUNTAIN, Cedric Niel RNZAF


FOWLER, Peter Douglas

Sgt. Peter Douglas Fowler, RAFVR 1320278 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 19 on the 23rd of January 1943.
Son of George Alfred and Kathleen Ann Fowler, of Tolworth, Surbiton, Surrey.
Buried St.Thegonnec Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Plot 2. Row 1. Grave 4.
‘At rest’

23/01/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Lorient
Nine aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with bombs of 1,000 lb. 500 lb. and 4 lb. incendiaries. This was a very successful and concentrated attack. All aircraft reported that their bombs were seen to fall in the target area. Large fires were seen to be lighting up the whole area. A fair amount of heavy, medium and light flak was encountered, only a few searchlights were seen. A few enemy aircraft were seen, but no combats took place. The weather was very clear at the target and good visibility. Navigation was by D.R., T.R., pinpoints and visual. Stirling I R9248 captained by Sergt. R.M.Kidd failed to return.

Stirling Mk.I R9248 AA-H

Sgt. Robert Miln Kidd, RNZAF NZ412700 – Pilot.
Sgt. James William Schofield, RAFVR 1088089 – Navigator.
Sgt. Bernard Torrance, RAFVR 1319178 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Eric Berry, RAFVR 1380078 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Gilbert Frank Mitchell, RAFVR 1479975 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. James Edward Brewster, RAFVR 1035972 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Peter Douglas Fowler, RAFVR 1320278 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.I R9248 AA-H was hit by AA fire shortly after bombing, causing catastrophic damage. The captain attempted a crash landing at St Thégonnec (Finistère), about 8 miles South East of Morlaix, France. All but one of the crew died in the crash and were laid to rest in St Thegonnec Communal Cemetery. Sgt Kidd escaped slightly injured from the wreck and managed to evade capture.


FOX, Ernest

Sgt. Ernest Fox, RAFVR 957199 – Wireless Operator.
Lost without trace age 20 on the 14th of July 1941.
Son of John and Lillian Emily Fox, of Erdington, Birmingham.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 43.

13/07/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Bremen
Eleven Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out the above targets. One of the aircraft, X.9634, captained by Sgt. Miniken was climbing on course when, apparently without warning, the starboard engine cut at 6000 feet. He turned for base but lost height rapidly and force landed near the beach off Corton near Lowestoft. Sgt. Miliken and Sgt. Gilding (Navigator) were rescued but the others are missing. The weather was poor, there being 10/10 cloud over 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 target area. Few searchlights were 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.

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.

E Fox


FRAMPTON, Laurie Albert

Sgt. Laurie Albert Frampton, RNZAF NZ411753 – Front Gunner.
Killed age 20 on the 29th of July 1942.
Son of Harold Albert and Helen Frampton, of Invercargill, Southland, New Zealand.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Joint grave 15. E. 8-9.

28/07/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Seventeen a/c were detailed to carry out an attack on the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 30lb and 4lb incendiaries was dropped in target area and bursts were seen in dock area. A.A. fire was very accurate, light and heavy predicted. There were many accurate searchlight cones in parts but clear over target. Navigation was good by TR and DR. Six a/c failed to return to base

Wellington Mk.III Z.1570 AA-B

Sgt. Arthur Grahame Johns, RNZAF NZ41907 – Pilot.
Sgt. Mark Kraljevich, RNZAF NZ403458 – Observer.
Sgt. Ronald Ellis, RAFVR 1186850 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Laurie Albert Frampton, RNZAF NZ411753 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Leslie Ian Stewart, RNZAF NZ411785 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1570 AA-B crashed near the small town of Lingen, 130 miles South West of Hamburg and close to the Netherlands border. It may have been attacked by a night- fighter either en route to the target or on its way back to base. Whatever the situation, Sgt. Johns the captain, was unable to maintain control and a crash landing became inevitable. It was not survivable and all crew members died. They were initially buried at Lingen- on-Ems, but later transferred to Reichswald Forest Cemetery.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/laurie-albert-frampton © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/laurie-albert-frampton © New Zealand War Graves Project


FRANCIS, Alan John

Sgt. Alan John Francis, RAFVR 1815847 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 19 on the 17th of May 1943.
Son of Edwin John and Clara Winifred Francis, of Shrewsbury.
Buried Shrewsbury General Cemetery, Shropshire, England..
Grave location:  Extn. Plot 10. Grave 297.
‘Greater love
Hath no man than this,
That a man lay down
His life for his friends’

17/5/1943 – Training Flight
At 01.00 hours on the 17th May 1943, Sergeant L.C.Wright was carrying out a cross country fight in Stirling Mk.1 BF398, when the starboard outer and port outer engines failed. The aircraft lost height and the Captain ordered the crew to bale out, this included a passenger AC1 BAILEY, R.G. Of the crew who baled out, all landed safely with the exception of Sergeant A.J.Francis, who was reported missing and found four days later. The Captain remained at the controls, as the aircraft was in the vicinity of the Town of STOKE-UPON-TRENT and it appears that rather than crash land over the town, he attempted to land in the nearest field, the aircraft crashed however, and he was killed. The MAYOR of STOKE-UPON-TRENT has been in communication with the Squadron, and expressed his admiration, shared also by the townspeople, for the gallantry displayed by Sergeant L.C. WRIGHT.


FRANKLIN, Benjamin Allan

Sgt. Benjamin Allan Franklin, RNZAF NZ414277 – Pilot.
Killed age 21 on the 16th of December 1942.
Son of Philip and Henretta Franklin, of Mount Eden, Auckland City, New Zealand.
Buried Newmarket Cemetery, Suffolk, England..
Grave location – Plot P. Grave 434.

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 R.9245 AA-?

Sgt. Benjamin Allan Franklin, RNZAF NZ414277 – Pilot.
Sgt William Henry Whitcombe, RNZAF NZ41561 – Navigator.
Sgt. Edgar William Harvey, RNZAF NZ41902 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Harold Rangi Welch, RNZAF NZ41709 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Joseph Lawrence, RCAF R.70294 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Eric James Burbridge, RAFVR 1392526 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Tom Pascoe, RAFVR 1308491 – Rear Gunner.

During take-off at 21:45hrs, three aircraft swung badly but this was promptly rectified and they became airborne. Then R9245 (Sgt Franklin) experienced similar wind effect causing it to swing dangerously, but Franklin kept power on to counter it and continued the take-off attempt. The aircraft became airborne briefly but crashed a mile away from the airfield. Two mines exploded and all the crew were killed. It was later established that the starboard undercarriage had hit Devil’s Dyke (a mound around the perimeter) and broke off the oil tank to the starboard inner engine, causing it to seize.

FRANKLIN, Benjamin Allan RNZAF


FRASER, Allen Armistice

F/O Allen Armistice Fraser, RNZAF NZ405030 – Pilot.
Killed age 23 on the 21st of June 1942.
Son of Alexander Errol Millar Fraser and Mary Agnes Fraser, of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand; Husband of Elizabeth Joan Fraser, of Wairoa, Hawke’S Bay, New Zealand.
Buried Schiermonnikoog (Vredenhof) Cemetery, Holland.     .
Grave location – Grave 74.

20/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Emden
Twelve a/c were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 250lbs and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area. Results were not observed. There was intense flak and searchlights were few. A JU88 attacked Well.III, X3539 without result. Weather was hazy with 5/10 cloud. Visibility very bad. Nav was good. Well.III, X3760 P/O Fraser failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III X.3760 AA-L

P/O Allen Armistice Fraser, RNZAF NZ405030 – Pilot.
P/O Wallace Edward Buckley, RNZAF NZ391379 – Navigator.
F/S Arthur Stafford Christie, RNZAF NZ402982 – .Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Clifton Robert Brailley, RNZAF NZ404587 – Front Gunner.
P/O Raymond Wickliffe John Trengrove, RNZAF NZ40927 – Rear Gunner.

Whilst the exact fate of X.3760 is not known, it is almost certain that the aircraft was shot down by a German night-fighter, crashing into the sea west of Ameland, near the Frisians. There were no survivors. The front gunner, Sgt Brailey, was lost without trace and is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. The bodies of the other four were eventually washed ashore and are buried near where they were found.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/allen-armistice-fraser © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/allen-armistice-fraser © New Zealand War Graves Project


FRASER, Myles Frederick Gordon

F/S Myles Frederick Gordon Fraser, RNZAF NZ403437 – Pilot.
Killed age 22 on the 16th of May 1942.
Son of Mrs. R. T. Fraser, of Auckland City, New Zealand.
Buried Kiel War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 3. E. 10.

13/05/1942 – Gardening – Kiel Bay
Eight Wellington aircraft were detailed from this Unit to carry out the above operations. One aircraft, X.3482, captained by F/S. Fraser, failed to return to base. Vegetables were sown successfully and bombs were dropped on shipping in the vicinity. In accurate flak from flak ships was encountered. The weather was fine throughout the whole operation. Navigation was by D/R. Astro, TR, loop.

Wellington Mk.III X.3482 AA-J

F/S Myles Frederick Gordon Fraser, RNZAF NZ403437 – Pilot.
F/S Albert Ivan Smith, RNZAF NZ402221 – Observer.
Sgt. John Owen Henry Nichols, RAFVR 1257377 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Stanley Alfred George Shaw, RNZAF 1166184 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Norman Edward Whiting, RNZAF NZ404107 – Rear Gunner.

The presence of enemy ‘flak’ shipping in Kiel Bay was a clear indication that Wellington Mk.III X.3482 AA-J probably received AA fire of sufficient intensity to cause serious handling difficulties for the pilot and crew. The aircraft subsequently came down in the sea off the North Frisian Islands, near the Island of Sylt. All the crew perished.

Their bodies were later recovered and laid to rest in Westerland Friedhof. After the war their bodies were taken to the Kiel War Cemetery.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/myles-frederick-gordon-fraser © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/myles-frederick-gordon-fraser © New Zealand War Graves Project


FREEMAN, Carl Robert

Sgt. Carl Robert Freeman, RAFVR 1896087 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 33 on the 20th of November 1944.
Son of Charles Lewis Freeman and Anne Freeman; Husband of Rosa May Freeman. of Streatham, London.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 25. G. 5.
‘In loving memory
Rest in peace’

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 PB689 AA-X
Missing – Heavy Flak

F/O Ronald Gordon, RAFVR 1580245/ 185116 – Pilot.
P/O John Robson Bell, RAFVR 173943 – Navigator.
F/S Albert John ‘Mick’ Weston, RAFVR 1115103 – Air Bomber.
F/O Louis David Sampson, RAFVR 186413 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Carl Robert Freeman, RAFVR 189608 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Sidney George Hone, RAFVR 2221190 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. James Leonard Forrester, RAFVR 3010665 – Rear Gunner.

PB609 encountered heavy flak after bombing, when approximately 8mls NE of Moers and the aircraft was seen to explode and crash. There were no survivors. All the crew were buried in the Reichswald Forest Cemetery

C R Freeman


FREEMAN, Frank Morris

Sgt. Frank Morris Freeman, RAFVR 1575231 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 33 on the 24tth of August 1943.
Son of George and Lily Freeman; Husband of Phyllis Rose Freeman, of Kettering, Northamptonshire.
Buried Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 6. B. 28.
‘In loving memory’

23/08/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Berlin
Twenty three aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1,000lb., 500lb., and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb.. Five aircraft returned early owing to failure and three aircraft failed to return. The remainder of the aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area and all of the crews agreed that it had been well and truly hit. The fires were all concentrated and huge columns of smoke together with heavy explosions could be seen. A moderate heavy A.A. barrage co-operating with searchlights were encountered, but only one aircraft received damage. A great number of enemy aircraft were seen and several combats took place. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. WILKINSON sighted a JU88 passing above, the Mid-upper and Rear Gunners fired and strikes were seen on the enemy aircraft which was then lost sight of and is claimed to have been damaged. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. WHITEHEAD whilst over BERLIN sighted an enemy aircraft on the starboard quarter, 300yds away. The Rear Gunner fired a five second burst and the enemy aircraft was seen in flames diving to earth, and was claimed as probably destroyed. The same aircraft encountered another unidentified aircraft 300yds away on the starboard quarter. The Rear Gunner fired another five seconds burst and the enemy aircraft exploded and disintegrated. It was claimed to be destroyed. The aircraft captained by F/O. A. Alexander, whilst over the target sighted a ME110 approaching from the starboard quarter above and firing at his aircraft. The Mid-upper and Rear Gunners replied with long bursts and the enemy aircraft was seen to be in flames. A fire was later seen on the ground and the enemy aircraft was claimed as probably destroyed. Scattered cloud was met on the outward route, but it was clear over the target. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk.III BF465 captained by P/O A. RANKIN, BF564 captained by P/O A. Sedunary and EE938 captained by W/O T. Fear.

The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. WHITE, O.H. whilst approaching the target area was coned by searchlights and repeatedly hit by heavy A.A. fire, sustaining considerable damage to port main plane. He continued towards the target though still coned by searchlights and was then attacked by a JU88 sustaining hits in the rear of the fuselage which shattered the rear turret and killed Rear Gunner Sgt. Poole, J.. The aircraft was forced into an uncontrollable dive and the captain warned his crew ‘Prepare to abandon the aircraft’. Unfortunately, in the middle of this order the inter-communication failed, and the Navigator, Air Bomber and Wireless Operator abandoned the aircraft, due to the fact that they were unable to contact their Captain. F/Sgt. WHITE jettisoned his bomb load whilst in the dive directly over the target area, managed to regain control of the aircraft when height had been lost down to 6,000ft. The captain and two remaining members of the crew after taking stock of the damage decided to attempt the long and hazardous return journey to base. This they did successfully and made a perfect crash landing at base without lights, flaps or under carriage, as the electrical leads were shot away.

Stirling Mk.III BF465 AA-K
From RAF Mepal Station Log AIR28/532 lists aircraft as ‘C’ Flight JN

P/O Andrew Rankin, RAFVR 1345194/ 146332 – Pilot.
P/O Mervyn Arthur Ericksen, RNZAF NZ416103 – Navigator.
F/S James Third, RNZAF NZ422671 – Air Bomber.
F/S Frederick William Thorstenson, RNZAF NZ414529 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frank Morris Freeman, RAFVR 1575231 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. D. Catterick, RAFVR 1318470 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Ogden, RAFVR 1573298 – Rear Gunner.

BF465 was brought down 3 miles South of Lanka, (14 miles North North East of Berlin). All on board were killed except Sgt Catterick, who either parachuted to safety or escaped uninjured from the wreck and was captured as a POW. Those who died were buried in the 1939 – 45 Berlin War Cemetery near where the aircraft came down.

SONY DSC


FREEMAN, Patrick Paul Deane

Sgt. Patrick Paul Deane Freeman, RNZAF NZ413305 – Rear Gunner.
Lost without trace age 22 on the 5th of February 1943.
Son of George Herbert Freeman and of Patricia Freeman (Nee Pryce).
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England.
Grave location – Panel 119

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  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 BK617 AA-D

Sgt. Randolph Ernest Redding, RNZAF NZ414678 – Pilot.
Sgt. Arthur James Douglas Barton, RNZAF NZ413700 – Navigator.
Sgt. Harry Dennis, RAFVR 659116 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Cyril George Phillips, RAFVR 1201720 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Robert Colin Legge, RCAF R.64510 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Wesley William Wilson, RCAF R.113265 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Patrick Paul Deane Freeman, RNZAF NZ413305 – Rear Gunner.

t/o 1943 Newmarket for mine laying duties off the Frisians. Outbound, caught fire in the air at 1,500 ft and dived into the sea some 2 miles off Cromer, Norfolk. All are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

At 19.42hrs – 1hr 32mins after take-off – the crew of the third aircraft, Stirling Mk.I BK617 AA-D, despatched a signal to base indicating they had a further message to report, but none was received. It was later reported that the aircraft was seen to crash in flames just off Cromer, on the Norfolk Coast, on track for base. Nothing further was heard of the crew or the aircraft, although a thorough search was conducted by the Air Sea Rescue service. The circumstances seemed to indicate the likelihood of a catastrophic on-board fire resulting from a possible enemy air attack about 50 miles from the South West end of the Frisian Islands, necessitating an emergency return to base.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s