I.E. Blance crew 18.7.44 †

18/07/1944 – Attack Against Aulnoye
Twenty eight aircraft took off to attack the aircraft works at Aulnoye, one of those originally detailed being withdrawn. All crews were successful in attacking the target, and the bombing was well controlled by the Master Bomber. A concentrated raid developed, and several crews were able to identify the target visually. A.A. opposition was very slight, but enemy fighters were more active, and one aircraft (Captain NZ411411 F/O. G. Kennedy), claimed to have shot down two enemy aircraft. One of our aircraft (Captain NZ405801 A/F/L. J. Myers) failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I ME691 AA-R

P/O Ian Edward Blance, RNZAF NZ421496 – Pilot.
F/S Colin Frederick Johnson Grieg, RNZAF NZ422281 – Navigator.
F/S Ronald Howard Spencer, RAFVR 1575186 – Air Bomber.
F/S Frederick Walter Percival Climo, RNZAF NZ4210148 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. W.J. Hyde, RAFVR 1895228 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Frederick Francis Arthur Jenkins, RNZAF NZ429888 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Aubrey Charles Kirk, RNZAF NZ425845 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:00 – Landed 02:35
Flight Time 03:35

28/07/1944 – Attack Against Stuttgart
Twenty two aircraft set out as detailed to attack Stuttgart. Twenty aircraft successfully bombed the target with the aid of markers, but it is thought that several aircraft undershot, as they appeared to be two concentration of fires 2-3 miles apart. Fighters were very active in the target area and also en route, several aircraft having combats. The aircraft captained by NZ413043 A/S/L. L. Drummond, was attacked five times by a JU88, all of which were indecisive, followed by an attack by an unidentified enemy aircraft which is claimed as destroyed, being seen to go down in flames. At the same time as this our aircraft was also being attacked by two JU88s, one of which was damaged by fire from our aircraft. Two aircraft failed to return, they were captained by NZ421403 A/F/L. N. Stokes & NZ421469 F/O. I. Blance.

Lancaster Mk.III ND756 AA-M

P/O Ian Edward Blance, RNZAF NZ421496 – Pilot.
F/S Colin Frederick Johnson Grieg, RNZAF NZ422281 – Navigator.
F/S Ronald Howard Spencer, RAFVR 1575186 – Air Bomber.
F/S Frederick Walter Percival Climo, RNZAF NZ4210148 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. W.J. Hyde, RAFVR 1895228 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Frederick Francis Arthur Jenkins, RNZAF NZ429888 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Aubrey Charles Kirk, RNZAF NZ425845 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:00 – Landed –
Flight Time – Missing

Lancaster Mk.III ND756 AA-M was shot down in flames by a night-fighter over France, crashing at 01:25hrs close to Millery village, 3 miles North of Pompey. All but the Flight Engineer, Navigator and Rear Gunner died and were buried at the Millery cemetery. The surviving three crew members had baled out of the burning aircraft successfully. Sgt Hyde (F/E) and F/S Kirk (R/G), evaded capture and escaped but F/S Grieg (Nav) was captured as prisoner of war.

It was revealed that 1,500 local inhabitants of Millery Village turned out for the funeral of the four airmen who died. Two large rooms in the church were overflowing with flowers.

P/O Ian Edward Blance, RNZAF NZ421496 – Pilot.
Killed age 21.
Son of John William and Ivy Bertha Blance, of New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand.
Buried Millery Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Grave 4.

F/S Colin Frederick Johnson Greig, RNZAF 422281 – Navigator.
P.o.W
Prisoner of War Number: 25136
Prison Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft VIII
Date of return to United Kingdom: 14th of May 1945

W/O Ronald Howard Spencer, RAFVR 1575186 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 21.
Son Of William H. Spencer And Elsie Spencer, Of Bescot, Staffordshire.
Buried Millery Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Grave 1.
‘Dearly beloved son
Of William and Elsie Specer
“O rest in the Lord” R.I.P.’

F/S Frederick Walter Percival Climo, RNZAF NZ4310148 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 22.
Son of Frederick Linton Climo and Alice Mary Climo, of Timaru, Canterbury, New Zealand; Husband of Margaret Eva Climo (Nee Ireland), of Timaru.
Buried Millery Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Grave 2.

Sgt. W.J. Hyde, RAFVR 1895228 – Flight Engineer.
Evader
Date of return to United Kingdom: not known

F/S Frederick Francis Arthur Jenkins, RNZAF NZ429888 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 30.
Son of Frederick Charles Jenkins and of Marie Jenkins, (Nee Ashley), of Okato, Taranaki, New Zealand; Husband of Joan Jenkins, of New Plymouth, Taranaki.
Buried Millery Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Grave 3.

F/S Aubrey Charles Kirk, RNZAF 425845 – Rear Gunner.
Evader
Date of return to United Kingdom: 2nd of September 1944