R.C. Going crew 3.3.43 †

Going-crew-Frank%20with%20crew%20underneath%20the%20nose%20of%20their%20Stirling%20Bomber[5]

Four members of the Going crew with Stirling N6123 AA-Q “Queenie”. L-R: Sgt Francis Barkhouse (Frank) Stewart (M/U/Gnr), Sgt Clarence Sydney (Syd) Burton (R/Gnr), Sgt Kenneth Cedric Eyre (W/Op) and possibly Sgt Emrys Herbert Weaver (F/E)? – Martin Stewart.

Born in 1921, Raymond Cyril Going was the eldest son of Cyril and Irene Going of Maromaku in the Bay of Islands, Northland, New Zealand.

His mother died when he was 14, and his father re-married, the second marriage bearing seven children. Three of these younger siblings were to become famous in New Zealand for their rugby exploits, “the Going brothers”, in particular Sid, the legendary All Black halfback.

After the outbreak of war, Raymond joined the RNZAF, completing his Initial Training in New Zealand, and sailing from Auckland on November 17, 1941 aboard the S.S. Monterey to San Francisco. He graduated from Course 44, No. 6 SFTS, Dunville, Ontario: December 6, 1941 – March 27, 1942, then sailed for England for operational training and heavy bomber conversion.

The Going crew was posted in to 75 (NZ) Squadron on 13 February 1943.

It’s possible that their original Bomb Aimer was F/S Frederick Alexander Bandy RAF, 1318948, who is listed with them on the Form 540 under “A” Movements, however he did not fly their first op’. For whatever reason, that position was taken by Sgt Frederick Arthur William Willis RAF 1382215.

Pilot Raymond Going doesn’t appear to have flown a ‘second-dickie’ before taking his own aircraft and crew on their first op’.

It was only two weeks before they went operational, but fortunately, photos were taken and have survived. They include the Stirling bomber that they flew on their first (and last) op’, Stirling Mk 1 N6123, Q-Queenie. Queenie had arrived on Squadron on 15 January, and this was to be her seventh operational sortie.

Frank%20standing%20under%20nose%20of%20Stirling%20Bomber%20N6123%20AA-Q%20-%2075%20Squadron[7]

Three members of the Going crew with Stirling N6123 AA-Q “Queenie”; Frank Stewart centre. – Martin Stewart.

Francis-Frank-BarkhouseStewart-2-75Squadron[7]

Frank Stewart, and ground crew servicing his “office”. – Martin Stewart.

SgtClarenceSBurton[7]

Sgt. Syd Burton. – Martin Stewart.

03/03/1943 – Mining off the Frisian Islands
Three aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operations, with mines of 1500 lb. Two of the aircraft successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area, the other aircraft failed to return. No A.A. fire or searchlights were encountered. Sergt. French the Captain of Stirling 1 BF398, met a JU88 on the homeward journey, after a short exchange of firing the enemy aircraft disappeared. The weather was very clear and visibility was good. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling 1 N6123, captained by Sgt. R.C.Going.

Stirling Mk.I N6123 AA-Q

Sgt. Raymond Cyril Going, RNZAF NZ414278 – Pilot.
Sgt. Arthur Mervyn Bridgman, RNZAF NZ41866 – Navigator.
Sgt. Frederick Arthur William Willis, RAFVR 1382215 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Kenneth Cedric Eyre, RAFVR 1071970 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Emrys Herbert Weaver, RAFVR 1409013 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Francis Barkhouse Stewart, RAFVR 547841 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Clarence Sydney Burton, RNZAF NZ414493 – Rear Gunner.

Took off from Newmarket to lay mines off the Frisian Islands. Lost without trace. All are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

Take Off 00:43 – Landed –
Flight Time Missing

The crew took off from Newmarket to lay mines off the Frisian Islands, off the coast of Denmark, part of the Squadron’s continuing efforts to disrupt German shipping. Mine-laying operations were often given to rookie crews as they were considered slightly less dangerous. Bomber Command code-named all the waterways after vegetables or fruit, hence these op’s became known as “gardening”. Sadly, on their very first operation, the Going crew was lost without trace.

Sgt. Raymond Cyril Going, RNZAF NZ414278 – Pilot.
Lost without trace age 21.
Son of Cyril Milton Cutforth Going and Irene Margaret Going, of Maromaku, Bay of Islands, Auckland, New Zealand.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 199.

P/O Arthur Mervyn Bridgman, RNZAF NZ41866 – Navigator.
Lost without trace age 26.
Son of Arthur Leslie and Evelyn Bridgman, of Nelson, New Zealand.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 198.

F/S Frederick Arthur William Willis, RAFVR 1382215 – Air bomber.
Lost without trace age 26.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 140.

Sgt. Kenneth Cedric Eyre, RAFVR 1071970 – Wireless Operator.
Lost without trace age 21.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 149.

Sgt. Emrys Herbert Weaver, RAFVR 1409013 – Flight Engineer.
Lost without trace age 20.
Son of Francis Herbert and Mary Hannah Weaver, of Woodchester, Gloucestershire.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 169.

Sgt. Francis Barkhouse Stewart, RAF 547841 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Lost without trace age 23.
Son of Peter Wilson Stewart and Dorothy Isabella Stewart, of Redcar, Yorkshire.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 166.

Sgt. Clarence Sydney Burton, RNZAF NZ414493 – Rear Gunner.
Lost without trace age 22.
Son of Christopher Burton, and of Bertha Burton, of Wanganui, Wellington, New Zealand.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 199.

After the war, Luftwaffe records showed that the aircraft was shot down by a Messerschmitt Bf 110 flown by Ofw. Karl Haisch of 4./NJG3 (Nachtjagdgeschwader 3) night fighter wing, at 22:26 hours, 33 miles North West of Heligoland headed to the Dutch Frisian Islands (Nectarines Region). Karl Haisch had at least eight victories to his name, but was himself killed in a flying accident only a few weeks later.

These are the “missing” notices for four of the crew:

Going crew missing notices4

– Martin Stewart, and the Auckland War Memorial Museum Online Cenotaph (photos from the Weekly News).

Ongoing efforts are being made by relatives and researchers to find out more about the crew, so if anyone has more information, please leave a message in the Comments box below.

Martin Stewart, who very kindly supplied these photos, is keen to find out more about his great-uncle Frank Stewart, and is in touch with the family of the Mid Upper Gunner, Syd Burton.

Weaver and “Mad Taff” Eyre were both Welsh, and most likely came from the same area, Gwent. This article describes efforts to locate their families:  (http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/gwent_at_war/9311430.Search_on_for_families_of_lost_Gwent_airmen/)

– Thanks to Martin Stewart for permission to reproduce these photos, and for sharing his research.

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