K. Halliburton crew 6.4.43 †

Stirling W7513 crew – Sgt. David Church on extreme left, Sgt. Patrick Torre Hunter 2nd left, Sgt. Devinder Singh Sidhu 3rd from left, centre Sgt. Keith Halliburton – remainder awaiting identification. (Photo courtesy of David Church and 75 Squadron Association, England branch)

08/04/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Duisburg
Nine aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks, with bombs of 1000 lb. and incendiaries of 30 lb. and 4 lb. Four of the aircraft however were forced to return early owing to severe icing conditions, which prevented the aircraft from gaining height. Four of the remaining aircraft successfully bombed the target through cloud. Large fires were seen glowing below the clouds. A fair amount of heavy predicted A.A.Fire was encountered, some enemy aircraft were seen, but no combats took place. The weather was 10/10ths cloud, with electrical storms, rain and severe icing. Which prevented this operation from being a complete success. Navigation was very good. Stirling III, BK770, captained by W/O Walsh, was returning to base at 01.10 hours a message was received from him, but this was the last heard of the aircraft until it was reported to have crashed at Bressingham, Norfolk, soon after this time. The aircraft exploded on impact and burnt out, and unfortunately the whole of the crew were killed.

Stirling Mk.I BK619 DNC AA-X

Sgt. Peter John Oswald Buck, RNZAF NZ413377 – Pilot.
Sgt. Keith Halliburton, RNZAF NZ415411 – 2nd Pilot.
F/O Alexander Fielding Minnis, RAFVR 126499 – Navigator.
Sgt. A.P. Sadler, RAFVR 1379771 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Arthur John Wilson Bodley, RNZAF NZ414538 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J.W. Jones, RAFVR 1068491 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. J. Watson, RAFVR 1021021 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Brian Arthur Rogers, RAFVR 1384352 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:30 – Landed 23:15
Flight Time 01:45

10/04/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Frankfurt
Twelve aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1000lb and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb. Three aircraft were forced to return early as they failed to maintain height. Eight of the remaining aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. It was not possible to see the target owing to thick cloud, a large red glow was nevertheless seen. Both light and heavy A.Afire co-operating with searchlights was encountered, although they were ineffective. Several enemy aircraft were seen and two short combats took place. There was 10/10ths cloud in the target area, but it was clear and dark above our aircraft. Navigations was excellent. Stirling III, BF455 captained by F/Sgt. Rothschild was hit over the target by A.A.Fire and also chased by enemy Fighters. This caused him to run short of Petrol over the English Channel on the way home, and he eventually crash landed in the sea, 3 miles off Shoreham. The wireless procedure had been perfect, and Spitfires escorted it over the French coast, and a Walrus Flying Boat was waiting for it to crash land. Dingy drill was perfect and all the crew got in safely after an immaculate landing – the Stirling floating for 25 minutes. The final scene was enacted in the Channel as the Walrus collided with the Dinghy and dropped all the crew in the sea. No Ill-effects except for Sgt. Grainger, the Flight Engineer, who suffered from shock. Stirling III BF456 captained by Sgt. Webb failed to return.

Stirling Mk.I BK619 AA-X

Sgt. Peter John Oswald Buck, RNZAF NZ413377 – Pilot.
Sgt. Keith Halliburton, RNZAF NZ415411 – 2nd Pilot.
F/O Alexander Fielding Minnis, RAFVR 126499 – Navigator.
Sgt. A.P. Sadler, RAFVR 1379771 – Air Bomber.
P/O John Henry Symons, RCAF R.77568/ J.16507 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J.W. Jones, RAFVR 1068491 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. J. Watson, RAFVR 1021021 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Brian Arthur Rogers, RAFVR 1384352 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:05 – Landed 05:50
Flight Time 05:45

06/04/1943 – Mining in the Gironde Estuary
Two aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1500 lbs. Both aircraft successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area, and the majority of the parachutes were seen to open. No A.A. Fire, Searchlights or Enemy Aircraft were encountered. The weather was clear in the target area, with good visibility. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.I BK614 JN-H

Sgt. Keith Haliburton, RNZAF NZ415411 – Pilot.
Sgt. Patrick Torre Hunter, RNZAF NZ42297 – Navigator.
Sgt. Leslie Thomas Scarfe, 1261331 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. D.J. Davis, RAFVR 1074630 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Devinder Singh Sidhu, RAFVR 946455 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Charles Henry George Boxall, RAFVR 1393248 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Alexander Clunie Howell, RNZAF NZ392104 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:05 – Landed 03:45
Flight Time 06:40

14/04/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Stuttgart
Eleven aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with incendiary bombs of 30 lb and 4 lb. One aircraft returned early as the controls were faulty. None of the remaining aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Large fires were seen, together with a great deal of black smoke. There was a moderate amount of heavy A.A. Fire encountered on the way to the target, but very little in the target area. A few searchlights were seen, but they were ineffective. Some enemy aircraft were seen and short combats took place, but our aircraft were not damaged. It was very clear over the target, as there was a bright moon, and visibility was good in spite of slight ground haze. Navigation was very good. Stirling Mark III BF513 captained by P/O. D.J. McCaskill failed to return.

Stirling Mk.I W7513 AA-G

Sgt. Keith Haliburton, RNZAF NZ415411 – Pilot.
Sgt. Patrick Torre Hunter, RNZAF NZ42297 – Navigator.
Sgt. Leslie Thomas Scarfe, 1261331 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. D.J. Davis, RAFVR 1074630 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Devinder Singh Sidhu, RAFVR 946455 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Charles Henry George Boxall, RAFVR 1393248 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Alexander Clunie Howell, RNZAF NZ392104 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:40 – Landed 04:30
Flight Time 06:50

16/04/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Ludwigshaven
Eleven aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack, with bombs of 2000 lb, 1000 lb and incendiaries of 30 lb and 4 lb. Seven of the aircraft successfully attacked the target. Large fires and one big explosion were seen. Two aircraft returned early owing to engine trouble. Both heavy and light A.A. Fire was encountered co-operation with searchlights. Two of our aircraft were hit and the Navigator of one was hit in the leg. Several enemy aircraft were seen, but no combats took place. The weather was good on the route, but considerable haze was experienced at the target. Navigations was very good. Stirling Mark III BK.664 captained by F/Lt. D.C.Lowe, which experienced some very accurate A.A. Fire whilst overt the target, found on landing, that this throttle controls were jammed open, he was lucky enough to be able to land, but unfortunately he crashed into a semi built hanger on the aerodrome. The aircraft was an absolute wreck, but all the crew got away safely, although not without injuries. Stirling Mark III W 7469 captained by F/Sgt. K.F. Debenham and Stirling Mark I BF451 captained by P/O K.H.G. Groves failed to return.

Stirling Mk.I BF412 AA-Y

Sgt. Keith Haliburton, RNZAF NZ415411 – Pilot.
Sgt. Patrick Torre Hunter, RNZAF NZ42297 – Navigator.
Sgt. Leslie Thomas Scarfe, 1261331 – Air Bomber.
F/S Edward Henry Gray, RNZAF NZ412878 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Devinder Singh Sidhu, RAFVR 946455 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Charles Henry George Boxall, RAFVR 1393248 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Alexander Clunie Howell, RNZAF NZ392104 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:05 – Landed 23:50
Flight Time 01:45

20/04/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Rostock
Nine aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1000 lb and incendiaries of 30 lb and 4 lb. Eight of the aircraft successfully attacked the target area. Some very large scale fires were seen but the attack was spoilt by a smoke screen which partly obscured the target. A.A.Fire was mainly confined to light tracer which was ineffective. Stirling Mk.III BF.518 captained by Sgt. Dalzell, collided with a Lancaster aircraft after leaving the target, and fortunately only slight damage was caused to the rudder and fin. After this hazardous experience he returned to base and made a perfect landing. Some enemy aircraft were seen in the target area, but no combats took place. The weather was very good and visibility was excellent. Navigation was very good. Stirling Mk.III, captained by P/O A.G. Tolley, failed to return.

Stirling Mk.I W7513 AA-G

Sgt. Keith Haliburton, RNZAF NZ415411 – Pilot.
Sgt. Moss ?,   – Navigator. Possibly an erroneous entry – no moss in the Squadron that was a Navigator
Sgt. Leslie Thomas Scarfe, 1261331 – Air Bomber.
F/S Edward Henry Gray, RNZAF NZ412878 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Devinder Singh Sidhu, RAFVR 946455 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Charles Henry George Boxall, RAFVR 1393248 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Alexander Clunie Howell, RNZAF NZ392104 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:15 – Landed 06:00
Flight Time 07:45

22/04/1943 – Mining in the Gironde Estuary
Eight aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation, with Mines of 1500 lbs. All of these aircraft successfully dropped their Mines in the allotted area, and the majority of the parachutes were seen to open. Two A.A. ships were in the mining area and light & heavy A.A.Fire co-operation with searchlights was encountered, but it was inaccurate. No enemy aircraft were seen. Eight tenths cloud was prevalent in the mining area, and patches of cloud provided cover for the aircraft. Navigation was excellent.

Stirling Mk.I W7513 AA-G

Sgt. Keith Haliburton, RNZAF NZ415411 – Pilot.
Sgt. Patrick Torre Hunter, RNZAF NZ42297 – Navigator.
Sgt. Leslie Thomas Scarfe, 1261331 – Air Bomber.
F/S Edward Henry Gray, RNZAF NZ412878 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Devinder Singh Sidhu, RAFVR 946455 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Charles Henry George Boxall, RAFVR 1393248 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Alexander Clunie Howell, RNZAF NZ392104 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:00 – Landed 04:00
Flight Time 07:00

26/04/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Duisburg
Eight aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1000 lb. and incendiaries of 30 lb. and 4 lb. One aircraft however failed to take-off as the pilot was sick. And two aircraft returned early. The remaining five aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area, which was a mass of flames. Large concentrated fires being seen which were spreading. Very heavy A.A.Fire was experienced in the target area, which was mainly predicted and co-operation with cones of searchlights. Some enemy aircraft were seen and one combat took place. The weather was very good in the target area, but visibility was impaired by haze caused by the large fires. Navigation was very good. Stirling Mk.III BF517, captained by F/O P.J. Buck, was attacked by an unseen fighter when about 30 miles North of the target. The rudder and tail of the aircraft was damaged, and the rear gunner was mortally wounded. The fighter was evaded and by jettisoning all moveable objects height was maintained and the aircraft returned to base where a perfect crash landing was made. Besides the rear gunner who lost his like, minor injuries were also received by two other members of the crew.

Stirling Mk.I W7513 AA-G

Sgt. Keith Haliburton, RNZAF NZ415411 – Pilot.
Sgt. Leslie Charles Wright, RAFVR 1294453 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Patrick Torre Hunter, RNZAF NZ42297 – Navigator.
Sgt. Leslie Thomas Scarfe, 1261331 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. D.J. Davis, RAFVR 1074630 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Devinder Singh Sidhu, RAFVR 946455 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Charles Henry George Boxall, RAFVR 1393248 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Alexander Clunie Howell, RNZAF NZ392104 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:57 – Landed 05:10
Flight Time 04:13

28/04/1943 – Mining in Kiel Bay
Eight aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1500 lbs. One of these aircraft returned early owing to its compass being faulty and four failed to return. The remaining three aircraft successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area and the parachutes were seen to open. A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights was encountered which is believed to have come from an A.A. ship in the mining area. No enemy aircraft were seen. Visibility was fairly good, with scattered cloud in the mining area. Navigation was very good. Stirlings Mk.1 R9290, Sgt. A. Lewis, W.7513 – Sgt. K. Halliburton, BF.467 – P/O D. Thompson, <k.III BK664 – P/O. D.V. Hamer, failed to return.

Stirling Mk.I W7513 AA-G

Sgt. Keith Haliburton, RNZAF NZ415411 – Pilot.
Sgt. Patrick Torre Hunter, RNZAF NZ42297 – Navigator.
Sgt. Leslie Thomas Scarfe, 1261331 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. David Church, RAFVR 1196564 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Devinder Singh Sidhu, RAFVR 946455 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Charles Henry George Boxall, RAFVR 1393248 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Alexander Clunie Howell, RNZAF NZ392104 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off – – Landed –
Flight Time Missing

Took off at 20.42 hrs from R.A.F. Newmarket in Suffolk. Part of a huge 207 aircraft force on a “Gardening” (Mine laying) operation. A total of 593 mines were laid off Heligoland, in the river Elbe and in the Great and Little Belts. Low cloud base forced the aircraft to fly very low over the German and Danish coasts. Because of this they took very heavy flak and also attacks from Luftwaffe night fighters.
Although this was the largest mine laying operation in one night of the whole war it came at a price. A total of 22 aircraft were lost (75 (NZ) Squadron RAF lost 4 aircraft alone, with a total of 28 crew members killed) – 9 aircraft were lost by the night fighters and the remainder from the flak.

There are no known details regarding the loss of W7513 and her crew, all being lost without trace. Stirling W7513 is not on the Luftwaffe claims list for this raid so it is thought that it had been taken down by flak All crew are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

Sgt. Keith Halliburton, RNZAF NZ415411 – Pilot.
Lost without trace age 23.
Son of William Francis and Susan Halliburton, of Ashburton, Canterbury, New Zealand.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 199.

Sgt. Patrick Torre Hunter, RNZAF NZ42297 – Navigator.
Lost without trace age 29.
Son of Patrick Hunter and of Helena Hunter (Nee Torre), of Havelock North, Hawke’S Bay, New Zealand.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 199.

Sgt. Leslie Thomas Scarfe, RAFVR 1261331 – Air Bomber.
Lost without trace age 21.
Son of Edward Tevelin Scarfe and Sarah Grace Scarfe, of Hornsey, Middlesex.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 164.

Sgt. David Church, RAFVR 1196564 – Wireless Operator.
Lost without trace age 29.
Son of James Arnold and Alice Mary Church; Husband of J. Church, of Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 145.

The Wireless Operator on the crew’s final Op was Sgt. David Church. David had arrived at Newmarket as a member of Ron Laud’s crew. With the continuing absence of a regular W/Op for the crew, David found himself joining the Halliburton crew, not even getting the chance to fly with his own crew. Tragically, this was to be Sgt. David Church’s only Op with 75(NZ) Squadron RAF. The Laud crew would be lost 2 months later on an Op to Dusseldorf.

Sgt. Devinder Singh Sidhu, RAFVR 946455 – Flight Engineer.
Lost without trace age 24.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 147.

Sgt. Charles Henry George Boxall, RAFVR 1393248 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Lost without trace age 19.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 143.

Sgt. Alexander Clunie Howell, RNZAF NZ392104 – Rear Gunner.
Lost without trace age 22.
Son of William James Stanley Howell and Ella Isabell Howell, of Wairoi, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 199.

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