T. Fear crew 3.7.43 †

13/07/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Aachen
Nine aircraft were detailed to attack targets as above, with incendiaries of 30lbs. And 4lbs. All of the aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area, large fires were seen which appeared to be scattered. Some light and heavy A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered. The aircraft captained by P/O CC. Logan, was hit by A.A. fire in the starboard outer engine, fin and elevator, and had to make a landing at FORD, which he did successfully. Some enemy aircraft were encountered. The aircraft captained by P/O. A. Rankin was attacked by a JU.88 and the wireless operator was wounded. The rear gunner returned fire and the enemy aircraft broke away, returning astern and firing a short burst. The Stirling rear gunner then fired a long burst and the enemy aircraft gave a flash, spun half round and disappeared into the cloud , followed by an explosion on the ground. This aircraft was claimed as being destroyed. The aircraft captained by P/O. A.A. ALEXANDER sighted an ME210 on the port beam, 100 yards slightly below. As the enemy aircraft passed below, the front gunner fired a short burst, the Stirling corkscrewed and the enemy aircraft appeared astern, the rear gunner then fired a short burst and the enemy aircraft was seen to dive into the clouds, and is claimed as possibly destroyed. There was 8/10ths. broken cloud at the target, but visibility above that was good. Stirling Mk.III EE886 captained by F/O. C. EDDY on return, crash landed at OAKINGTON, the under carriage collapsed and the aircraft turned over and caught fire. The mid-upper gunner E.C. VICCARS was killed on impact and the remainder of the crew escaped although not without injuries. The captain, navigator, wireless operator and flight engineer were seriously injured, the remainder being slightly injured.

Stirling Mk.III EE891 AA-Q

F/S Gerald Scott Phillips, RNZAF NZ416536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Trevor Fear, RAFVR 1317167 – 2nd Pilot.
F/S Gordon Harry Dodds, RNZAF NZ421929 – Navigator.
Sgt. Burrell Alwyn Tovell Soundy, RNZAF NZ425025 – Air Bomber.
not listed,   – Wireless Operator.
F/S D. White, RAFVR 654224 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. T. Cassidy, RAFVR 1557950 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. L.W. Banks, RAFVR 1315127 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:55 – Landed 04:35
Flight Time 04:40

03/07/1943 – Mining off the Frisian Islands
Five aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operations, with mines of 1500;bs..One aircraft failed to take off, but the remainder successfully dropped their Mines in the allotted area, although the parachutes were not seen to open, due to low cloud. No. A.A. Fire or searchlights were encountered. One unidentified aircraft was seen, but no combat took place. The weather was good, although visibility was poor, owing to cloud at 1,500ft.. Navigation was excellent.

Stirling Mk.I BK619 AA-X

Sgt. 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.

Take Off 23:30 – Landed 03:35
Flight Time 04:05

05/07/1943 – Mining off the Frisian Islands
Four aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1,500lbs., One aircraft failed to return, but the remainder successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area and the parachutes were seen to open. No. A.A. fire or searchlights were encountered. One unidentified aircraft was seen but no combat took place. The weather was clear and visibility was good. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling Mk.III ES436 captained by Sgt. R. Thomas.

Stirling Mk.I BK619 AA-X

Sgt. 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.

Take Off 23:40 – Landed 04:15
Flight Time 04:35

08/07/1943 – Mining in the Gironde Estuary
Six aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1,500lbs., all of which were successfully dropped in the allotted area, and the parachutes were seen to open. Some light A.A. Fire and a few searchlights were encountered, which were ineffective. One unidentified aircraft was seen and a short combat took place, minor damage to the rear turret of our aircraft was sustained, and the unidentified aircraft was probably hit. A sea haze and patchy cloud were experienced in the mining area, but visibility was good. Navigation was good.

Stirling Mk.I BK619 AA-X

Sgt. 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.

Take Off 22:20 – Landed 05:20
Flight Time 07:00

24/07/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Twenty-three aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 2,000lbs., 1,000lbs., and incendiaries of 30lbs., and 4lbs. Of these aircraft, two returned early due to unserviceable W/T and engine trouble respectively, and one aircraft failed to return. The remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. It was a very concentrated and successful attack. Very large spread fires were seen with black smoke rising to height of 1,400ft., some heavy explosions were also seen. A heavy A.A. barrage co-operating with searchlights were encountered and two aircraft were coned in the searchlights but neither were hit. The aircraft captained by F/O. G. TURNER whilst avoiding a searchlight cone, the starboard wing was struck by a JU 88approaching head on. The enemy aircraft turned over and dived to the ground, it was claimed to be destroyed.. The Stirling was badly damaged having more that 4ft. of the starboard main plane torn off, and the aileron and aileron controls being useless. The captain had extreme difficulty in controlling the aircraft, but kept it on an even keel with the assistance of the Air-bomber, and after the 3 hours return flight to base, made a perfect landing. Two other short combats took place, but no damage was sustained to our aircraft. The weather was very good, with clear visibility, except for haze caused by smoke from the fires. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling Mk.III EE890 captained by Sergeant H. Nichol.

Stirling Mk.III EE915 AA-X

Sgt. 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.

Take Off 22:00 – Landed 03:50
Flight Time 05:50

25/07/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Twenty aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 2,000lbs., 1,000lbs., and incendiaries of 30lbs., and 4lbs. One aircraft failed to take off, and two returned early, wing to engine trouble and an intercommunication failure respectively, and one aircraft failed to return. Sixteen aircraft successfully dropped their bombs on target area, which was an absolute mass of flames. Many huge explosions were seen in the midst of the fires. Moderate A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered, one aircraft receiving slight damage. An aircraft was held in a searchlight cone for 3 minutes, but avoided it by making diving turns. Some enemy aircraft were seen. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. H.C. WILLIAMS sighted an unidentified aircraft 400 yds away approaching from astern. The Stirling corkscrewed and the Mid-upper and Rear gunners fired a long burst, the enemy aircraft exploded in the air and dived to the ground. It was claimed to be destroyed. Another aircraft was sighted by them approaching on the port quarter, the Rear gunner fired two short bursts and the enemy aircraft broke away. The weather was hazy to the enemy Coast, but clear over the target. Visibility was good except for haze caused by smoke from the fires, which could be seen west of the DUTCH coast. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling MK.III EE892 captained by Sgt.. M. ASHDOWN

Stirling Mk.III EE915 AA-X

Sgt. 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.

Take Off 22:20 – Landed 02:25
Flight Time 04:05

27/07/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Twenty two aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with bombs of 2,000lb., 1,000lb., and incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb.. Two aircraft returned early owing to engine trouble, but the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. This attack was more concentrated than the previous one, colossal fires and explosions were seen with smoke rising to 20,000ft. , a ship was also seen to be on fire in a Dock south of the target. Moderate heavy and light A.A. fire co-operating with search lights operating in belts were encountered, although the A.A. fire was heavier than the previous attack, it was ineffective except for slight damage to three aircraft. Some enemy aircraft were seen. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. E.J.ROBERTS sighted a JU 88 approaching from port beam above and all gunners opened fire, the enemy aircraft broke away firing and then approached on the port beam below. Mid-upper and Rear gunners fired a long burst and the enemy aircraft was claimed to be damaged. The Stirling was also damaged, having a bomb door blown off and a petrol pipe-line pierced, nevertheless the captain brought his aircraft safely back to base. The weather was good except for 3/10th cloud at the target, visibility was good, although smoke haze prevented identification of ground detail. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.III EE915 AA-X

Sgt. 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. A. Warburton, RAFVR 1624186 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Joseph Andrew Cletus Holmes, RCAF R.143622 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Alexander Davidson, RCAF R.181120 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:45 – Landed 03:00
Flight Time 04:15

10/08/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Nurenburg
Nineteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lbs. and 4lb. One aircraft failed to take off owing to engine trouble, the remainder however, successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Large fires were seen glowing below the clouds and some heavy explosions were also seen, indicating that the attack was a success. Moderate A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered, but gave little trouble. Some enemy aircraft were seen but no combats took place. The weather was poor at the target, 9/10ths cloud prevailing, which prevented identification  of detail. Navigation was very good. The aircraft captained by P/O C.C.Logan, owing to unserviceable navigation aids on return journey went off track and ran short of petrol. The crew prepared to abandon the aircraft but fortunately the petrol lasted and they landed at R.A.F. Marston, after being airborne for 9 hours and 10 minutes.

Stirling Mk.III EE915 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.

Take Off 22:10 – Landed 05:25
Flight Time 07:15

12/08/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Turin
Eighteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1,000lb., 50lb. and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb. All of the aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area, which was an absolute mass of flames, colossal fires and heavy explosions were also seen. Very feeble A.A. fire and a few searchlights were encountered, but were ineffective. Some enemy aircraft were seen and one combat took place. The aircraft captained by P/O A. Burley sighted an unidentified aircraft on the way to the target in the Chartes area, which approached from astern, the rear gunner gave a short burst, the Stirling corkscrewed and the enemy aircraft broke away. The Stirling’s port outer engine was badly damaged and had to be feathered. The captain however, continued to target which was 380 miles distant on three engines, successfully bombed it and returned to base, making a perfect landing. The weather was clear with a bright moon over the target. Navigation was excellent.

Stirling Mk.III EE915 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.

Take Off 21:35 – Landed 05:20
Flight Time 07:45

16/08/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Turin
Twelve aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1,000lb. and incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb.. All of the aircraft successfully bombed the target except one which jettisoned its bombs 10 miles N.W. of Turin owing to an electrical equipment failure. Some huge explosions and very large fires were seen, which appeared to be spreading. Slight A.A. fire and a few searchlights were encountered, which were ineffective except for one aircraft that received negligible damage. Some enemy aircraft were seen and two short combats took place, but no damage was sustained to our aircraft. The weather was good except for ground haze. Navigation was very good. All the aircraft were diverted to other aerodromes on return, owing to fog at base.

Stirling Mk.III EE915 AA-X
details in Mepal log regarding fog at base and alternate return destinations for aircraft – try to sort out which went where

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.

Take Off 20:20 – Landed 03:55
Flight Time 07:35

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.

Take Off – – Landed –
Flight Time – Missing

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.

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

Sgt. Brian Hartley Ruddy, RAFVR 1419688 – Navigator.
Killed age 21.
Buried Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 1. A. 1.

Sgt. Andrew Bain, RAF 658930 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 27.
Son of Alexander and Helen Cumming Bain; Husband of Isabella Dougall Bain, of Burnside, Glasgow. A.C.1.I.
Buried Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 4. K. 13.

Sgt. Douglas George Woolcott, RAFVR 1290189 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 23.
Son of George and Isabel Woolcott, of Barking, Essex; Husband of Iris Woolcott, of Barking.
Buried Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 1. J. 7.
‘As we loved him So we miss him. Farewell Doug., Till we meet again’

Sgt. Charles Munro, RAFVR 1566746 – Flight Engineer.
Lost without trace age 20.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 160.

Sgt. Joseph Andre Cletus Holmes, RCAF 143622 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 21.
Buried Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 1. D. 17.

F/S Alexander Davidson, RCAF 181120 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 19.
Son of Alexander Davidson, and of A.D. Davidson, of New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada.
Buried Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 1. J. 8.

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