G.J.E. Thomas crew 02.06.41

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

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.1099 AA-S

P/O John Frederick Kelly Sandys, RCAF J.4814 – Pilot.
Sgt. Godfrey John Evan Thomas, RNZAF NZ404967 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Geoffrey Arnold Bere, RAFVR 63084 – Observer.
Sgt. Henry Charles Hill, 912778, 117845 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Verdun Cecil ‘Mick’ Strickland, RAFVR 956811 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. S.V. Hardman, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:45 – Landed 01:00
Flight Time 07:15

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

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.1091 AA-V

P/O John Frederick Kelly Sandys, RCAF J.4814 – Pilot.
Sgt. Godfrey John Evan Thomas, RNZAF NZ404967 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Geoffrey Arnold Bere, RAFVR 63084 – Observer.
Sgt. Henry Charles Hill, 912778, 117845 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Verdun Cecil ‘Mick’ Strickland, RAFVR 956811 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. S.V. Hardman, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 16:05 – Landed 20:10
Flight Time 04:05

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 enemy 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.1091 AA-V

P/O John Frederick Kelly Sandys, RCAF J.4814 – Pilot.
Sgt. Godfrey John Evan Thomas, RNZAF NZ404967 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Geoffrey Arnold Bere, RAFVR 63084 – Observer.
Sgt. Henry Charles Hill, 912778, 117845 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Verdun Cecil ‘Mick’ Strickland, RAFVR 956811 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. S.V. Hardman, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:55 – Landed 22:15
Flight Time 04:20

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

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.1091 AA-V

P/O John Frederick Kelly Sandys, RCAF J.4814 – Pilot.
Sgt. Godfrey John Evan Thomas, RNZAF NZ404967 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Geoffrey Arnold Bere, RAFVR 63084 – Observer.
Sgt. Henry Charles Hill, 912778, 117845 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Verdun Cecil ‘Mick’ Strickland, RAFVR 956811 – Front Gunner.
P/O Charles William Street, RAFVR 82999 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:40 – Landed 23:25
Flight Time 04:45

23/12/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Brest
Seven wellington Ic aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. Bomb load consisted of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Bomb bursts and fires were seen in the target area. Light, medium and heavy flak was met and searchlights were not very active. Weather was good over the target. Navigation was good. Wellington Z.8834, captained by Sgt. Bentley, crashed at Burner’s Heath on return and Sgt. Bentley was killed, the crew being injured.

Wellington Mk.II Z.8429 AA-V

P/O John Frederick Kelly Sandys, RCAF J.4814 – Pilot.
Sgt. Godfrey John Evan Thomas, RNZAF NZ404967 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Geoffrey Arnold Bere, RAFVR 63084 – Observer.
Sgt. Henry Charles Hill, 912778, 117845 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Verdun Cecil ‘Mick’ Strickland, RAFVR 956811 – Front Gunner.
F/O Charles William Street, RAFVR 82999 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 16:23 – Landed 22:15
Flight Time 05:52

08/03/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Eleven Wellington aircraft carried out an attack against the above target. Bomb load consisted of 500 lbs, 250 lbs and S.B.C’s which were dropped in the target area, fires were seen to be burning in the target area. Weather was clear except for haze over the target. There were many searchlights but these were ineffective. Accurate heavy flak was encountered over the target. No enemy aircraft were seen. Navigation was by D.R. and TR1335 and was good.

Wellington Mk.III X.3451 AA-G

Sgt. Godfrey John Evan Thomas, RNZAF NZ404967 – Pilot.
Sgt. Struan MacIntyre Robertson RNZAF NZ404410 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Patrick Arthur Townsend, RNZAF NZ401218 – Observer.
Sgt. William Hamilton Harris, RNZAF NZ402058 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. S.W. Roynon, RNZAF 1169410 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Philip Dorrell, RAFVR 938765 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 04:10 – Landed 08:05
Flight Time 03:55

09/03/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Eleven Wellington III aircraft carried out an attack against the above target. Bomb load consisted of 500 lbs, 250 lbs and containers of incendiaries, and was dropped in the target area, fires and bomb bursts being seen. A strong flak defence was encountered over the target and searchlights were very active. One Me.110 was seen and one unidentified aircraft was seen to be shot down by an enemy fighter. Weather was good. Navigation was by D.R. and TR1335.

Wellington Mk.III X.3664 AA-X/Q/V

Sgt. Godfrey John Evan Thomas, RNZAF NZ404967 – Pilot.
Sgt. Struan MacIntyre Robertson RNZAF NZ404410 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Patrick Arthur Townsend, RNZAF NZ401218 – Observer.
Sgt. William Hamilton Harris, RNZAF NZ402058 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. S.W. Roynon, RNZAF 1169410 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Philip Dorrell, RAFVR 938765 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:45 – Landed 21:55
Flight Time 01:10

12/03/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Kiel
Eight Wellington aircraft carried out an attack against the above target, one aircraft, captained by Sgt Bell did not carry out an attack. Three aircraft captained by S/L Kitchin, F/O Sandys and Sgt Parnham failed to return to base. Bomb load consisted of 1,000 lbs, 500 lbs and 250 lbs was dropped in the target area, bomb bursts being observed. There was heavy and light predicted flak and large cones of searchlights in the target area and one twin engined enemy aircraft made one unsuccessful attack on Wellington III X3586 captained by S/L Newton. Weather was clear over the target with 5/10 cloud over North Sea. Navigation was by D.R. and TR1335.

Wellington Mk.III X.3664 AA-X/Q/V

F/S Godfrey John Evan Thomas, RNZAF NZ404967 – Pilot.
Sgt. Struan MacIntyre Robertson RNZAF NZ404410 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Patrick Arthur Townsend, RNZAF NZ401218 – Observer.
Sgt. William Hamilton Harris, RNZAF NZ402058 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. S.W. Roynon, RNZAF 1169410 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Philip Dorrell, RAFVR 938765 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:30 – Landed 00:55
Flight Time 05:25

25/03/1942 – Attack Against Targets at St.Nazaire and Essen
Twelve aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack. Wellington III X3652, captained by P/O Slater failed to return, and two aircraft failed to locate the target. Bomb Load consisted of 500 lbs and 250 lbs, this being dropped in the target area but no results were observed. Slight A.A. fire and a few ineffective searchlights were encountered but no enemy fighters were seen. Weather was fine with slight ground haze. Navigation by TR1335 and D.R. was good.

Wellington Mk.III X.3664 AA-X/Q/V

F/S Godfrey John Evan Thomas, RNZAF NZ404967 – Pilot.
F/S Struan MacIntyre Robertson RNZAF NZ404410 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Patrick Arthur Townsend, RNZAF NZ401218 – Observer.
Sgt. Stanley Leo Kavanagh, RNZAF NZ403579 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. S.W. Roynon, RAFVR 1169410 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Philip Dorrell, RAFVR 938765 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:55 – Landed 22:05
Flight Time 02:10

26/03/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Essen and Le Havre
Eight Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack. Bomb load consisted of 500 lbs, 250 lbs and containers of incendiaries, were dropped in the target area. Accurate, intense flak was encountered, searchlights were ineffective. One single engined aircraft was seen near Le Havre but no attack was made. Weather was fair with haze over target. Navigation by TR1335 and D.R. was good.

Wellington Mk.III X.3664 AA-X/Q/V

F/S Godfrey John Evan Thomas, RNZAF NZ404967 – Pilot.
F/S Struan MacIntyre Robertson RNZAF NZ404410 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Philip Frederick Hoare, RAFVR 1375896/ 123493 – Observer.
Sgt. Stanley Leo Kavanagh, RNZAF NZ403579 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. S.W. Roynon, RAFVR 1169410 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Philip Dorrell, RAFVR 938765 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:10 – Landed 00:25
Flight Time 04:15

01/04/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Hanau and Le Havre
Eleven Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out an attack against the above targets. Bomb load consisting of 4000lbs, 500lbs, and 25 lbs was dropped in the target area but results were not seen except for bomb bursts on the docks at Le Havre and in the marshalling yards at Hanau. Wellington III X3714 returned with it’s bomb load. There was very little flak and only a few searchlights were active. Wellington III Z1566 was chased from Brussels for about 30 miles by a night fighter which was successfully evaded in the clouds. Weather was poor and there were severe icing conditions which handicapped the whole operation. TR1335 and D.R. were used as aids to navigation.

Wellington Mk.III X.3661 AA-Q

F/S Godfrey John Evan Thomas, RNZAF NZ404967 – Pilot.
F/S Struan MacIntyre Robertson RNZAF NZ404410 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Wilfred George Reay, RNZAF NZ405455 – Observer.
Sgt. Stanley Leo Kavanagh, RNZAF NZ403579 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. S.W. Roynon, RAFVR 1169410 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Philip Dorrell, RAFVR 938765 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:05 – Landed 00:10
Flight Time 04:05

05/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against Targets Cologne
Nine Wellington Aircraft from this unit were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, and 250lbs and 4lb incendiaries was dropped but results were not observed. There was intense heavy flak and many searchlights were active but ineffective owing to the bright moonlight. One Ju.88 aircraft was seen near the target and Wellington III X3705 was attacked by a Me.110 near Liege without result. Weather was good and navigation by TR1335 and D.R was also good. One aircraft did not carry out it’s mission and two are missing. Wellington III X3489, captained by W/Cdr Sawrey-Cookson the C.O. of the squadron, and Wellington III X3661 captained by F/S Thomas.

Wellington Mk.III X.3661 AA-Q

F/S Godfrey John Evan Thomas, RNZAF NZ404967 – Pilot.
F/S Struan MacIntyre Robertson RNZAF NZ404410 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Wilfred George Reay, RNZAF NZ405455 – Observer.
Sgt. William Hamilton Harris, RNZAF NZ402058 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. S.W. Roynon, RAFVR 1169410 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Philip Dorrell, RAFVR 938765 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off – /Landed –
Flight Time missing

Bomber Command records indicate the aircraft was hit by flak at 10,500 feet and suffered a catastrophic structural failure. Despite this, all crew successfully exited the aircraft, were captured and made Prisoners of War.

F/S Godfrey John Evan Thomas, RNZAF NZ404967 – P.o.W.
Prisoner of War No. 24800. Godfrey Thomas was interred in the following camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags VIIIB, and Luft IV. It is reported that at some point F/S Thomas swapped identities with Private B.H. Bowley in order to assist his attempts at escape. Godfrey Thomas returned to the United Kingdom on the 9th of April 1945.

F/S Struan MacIntyre Robertson RNZAF NZ404410 – P.o.W.
Struan Robertson was interred in the following camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft III. F/S Robertson returned to the United Kingdom on the 9th of May 1945.

Sgt. Wilfred George Reay, RNZAF NZ405455 – P.o.W.
Prisoner of War No. 24799. Wilfred Reay was interred in the following camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIIB.344. He was promoted to W/O while interred. Returned to the United Kingdom on the 9th of April 1945.

Sgt. William Hamilton Harris, RNZAF NZ402058 – P.o.W.
Prisoner of War No. 24836. Bill Harris was interred in the following camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft III and Luft IV. Godfrey Thomas returned to the United Kingdom on the 10th of May 1945.

Sgt. S.W. Roynon, RAFVR 1169410 – P.o.W.
Prisoner of War No. 24834. Sgt. Roynon was interred in the following camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIIB/344. Date of return to the United Kingdom, not known.

Sgt. Philip Dorrell, RAFVR 938765 – P.o.W.
Prisoner of War No. 24847. Phillip Dorrell was interred in the following camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIIB344. Date of return to United Kingdom not known.