D.V. Hamer crew 10.4.43 †

10/04/1943 – Mining off the Frisian Islands
Two aircraft were detailed to carry out this operation with mines of 1500 lbs, which were successfully dropped in the allotted area. Ten tenths cloud was encountered, but visibility was moderate. Navigations was good.

Stirling Mk.I EF340 AA-Q

P/O Douglas Vincent Hamer, RAFVR 963403/ 141713 – Pilot.
Sgt. Desmond Ray Ross, RNZAF NZ42341 – Navigator.
Sgt. Ross Cameron Buckley, RNZAF NZ411206 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. William Leslie Fred Brian, RNZAF NZ411737 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. George Len Lennox, RAFVR 950013 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harry Pears Holme, RAFVR 1301281 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Malcolm Edward John Shogren, RNZAF NZ415375 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:22 – Landed 01:06
Flight Time 03:44

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 BF412 AA-Y

P/O Douglas Vincent Hamer, RAFVR 963403/ 141713 – Pilot.
Sgt. Desmond Ray Ross, RNZAF NZ42341 – Navigator.
Sgt. Ross Cameron Buckley, RNZAF NZ411206 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. William Leslie Fred Brian, RNZAF NZ411737 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. George Len Lennox, RAFVR 950013 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harry Pears Holme, RAFVR 1301281 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Malcolm Edward John Shogren, RNZAF NZ415375 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:35 – Landed 05:00
Flight Time 07:25

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 BK619 AA-X

P/O Douglas Vincent Hamer, RAFVR 963403/ 141713 – Pilot.
Sgt. Desmond Ray Ross, RNZAF NZ42341 – Navigator.
Sgt. Ross Cameron Buckley, RNZAF NZ411206 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. William Leslie Fred Brian, RNZAF NZ411737 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. George Len Lennox, RAFVR 950013 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harry Pears Holme, RAFVR 1301281 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Malcolm Edward John Shogren, RNZAF NZ415375 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:50 – Landed 00:15
Flight Time 02:25
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.III BF465 AA-K

P/O Douglas Vincent Hamer, RAFVR 963403/ 141713 – Pilot.
Sgt. Desmond Ray Ross, RNZAF NZ42341 – Navigator.
Sgt. Ross Cameron Buckley, RNZAF NZ411206 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. William Leslie Fred Brian, RNZAF NZ411737 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. George Len Lennox, RAFVR 950013 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harry Pears Holme, RAFVR 1301281 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Malcolm Edward John Shogren, RNZAF NZ415375 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:55 – Landed 05:45
Flight Time 07:50

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 BK614 JN-H

P/O Douglas Vincent Hamer, RAFVR 963403/ 141713 – Pilot.
Sgt. Desmond Ray Ross, RNZAF NZ42341 – Navigator.
Sgt. Ross Cameron Buckley, RNZAF NZ411206 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. William Leslie Fred Brian, RNZAF NZ411737 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. George Len Lennox, RAFVR 950013 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harry Pears Holme, RAFVR 1301281 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Malcolm Edward John Shogren, RNZAF NZ415375 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:55 – Landed 04:05
Flight Time 07:10

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.III BF777 AA-F

P/O Douglas Vincent Hamer, RAFVR 963403/ 141713 – Pilot.
Sgt. Desmond Ray Ross, RNZAF NZ42341 – Navigator.
Sgt. Ross Cameron Buckley, RNZAF NZ411206 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. William Leslie Fred Brian, RNZAF NZ411737 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. George Len Lennox, RAFVR 950013 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harry Pears Holme, RAFVR 1301281 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Malcolm Edward John Shogren, RNZAF NZ415375 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 01:00 – Landed 05:05
Flight Time 04:05

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, Mk.III BK664 – P/O. D.V. Hamer, failed to return.

Stirling Mk.III BK664 AA-M

P/O Douglas Vincent Hamer, RAFVR 963403/ 141713 – Pilot.
Sgt. Desmond Ray Ross, RNZAF NZ42341 – Navigator.
Sgt. Ross Cameron Buckley, RNZAF NZ411206 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. William Leslie Fred Brian, RNZAF NZ411737 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. George Len Lennox, RAFVR 950013 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harry Pears Holme, RAFVR 1301281 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Malcolm Edward John Shogren, RNZAF NZ415375 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off – – Landed –
Flight Time Missing

Stirling Mk.III BK664 AA-M was brought down by A/A fire from a Kreigsmarine (flak ship), battery MAA508, positioned between the Fehmarn-Belt and Lolland Island, in the Baltic. It crashed at 00:23hrs on the western side of Lolland Island and the crew all perished.

The bodies of both air gunners were recovered and are buried in the Svino Churchyard. All other crew are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

P/O Douglas Vincent Hamer, RAFVR 141713 – Pilot.
Lost without trace age 24.
Son of John Hugh and Constance Winifred Hamer, of Balham, London.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 131.

Sgt. Desmond Ray Ross, RNZAF NZ411451 – Navigator.
Lost without trace age 23.
Son of Magnus Montgomery Ross and of Margaret Ross (Nee Clarkson), of Sulphur Point, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 199.

F/S Ross Cameron Buckley, RNZAF NZ411206 – Air Bomber.
Lost without trace age 29.
Son of William Joseph Buckley and of Mabel Bernice Richards Buckley (Nee Muklejohn), of Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 198.

F/S William Leslie Fred Brian, RNZAF NZ411737 – Wireless Operator.
Lost without trace age 23.
Son of William Brian and of Rita Brian (Nee Pearse); Husband of Rona Brian, of Wellington, New Zealand.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 198.

Sgt. George Len Lennox, RAFVR 950013 – Flight Engineer.
Lost without trace age 25.
Son of Eccles and Jeannie Lennox, of Glasgow.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 156.

Sgt. Harry Pears Holme, RAFVR 1301281 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 35.
Son of Thomas and Sarah Holme, of Lower Ince, Wigan, Lancashire; Husband of Eveline Holme, of Lower Ince.
Buried Svino Churchyard, Denmark.
Grave location – Grave 37.
‘Nobly he
His life for us
That we might still live’

Sgt. Malcolm Edward John Shogren, RNZAF NZ415375 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 29.
Son of Norman and Alice Shogren, of Glen Eden, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Svino Churchyard, Denmark.
Grave location – Grave 27.

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