J.A. Couper crew 3.7.43 †

24/06/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Wuppertal
Thirteen aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack with incendiary bombs of 30lns and 4lbs. One aircraft returned early owing to the rear turret being unserviceable and one failed to return. The remaining aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. This was a very good attack, very large concentrated fires being seen, the glow of which was visible 30 miles away from the Dutch Coast. The defences were considerably stronger than the previous attacks, both moderate and heavy A.A.fire was encountered and two aircraft were slightly hit. Some enemy aircraft were seen and one short combat took place but no damage was sustained by our aircraft. The weather was good, although the smoke from the fires obscured ground detail. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling Mk.III EH902 captained by F/S Bluck.

Stirling Mk.III BK768 AA-L

F/O William Rosser Perrott, RNZAF NZ416155 – Pilot.
Sgt. James Arthur Couper RNZAF NZ417027   2nd Pilot.
F/S Gordon Douglas Thompson, RNZAF NZ42317 – Navigator.
F/S Clifford James Whitelaw, RNZAF NZ416188 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Charles Cyril Mould, RAFVR 1314162 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Webster Hilditch, RAFVR 611325 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Gordon William Colyer, RAFVR 1809432 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Harry Squire , RAFVR 1302829 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:30 – Landed 03:59
Flight Time 04:29

25/06/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Gelsenkirchen
Eleven aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets, with incendiary bombs of 30lb. and 4lbs. One aircraft failed to return and the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Owing to 10/10ths cloud it was difficult to estimate the effectiveness of the attack, although the glow of fires below the cloud, could be seen over a large area. Both moderate and heavy A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights was encountered, but were ineffective. Sergt. Burley’s aircraft sighted an unidentified aircraft from astern, the Stirling corkscrewed and the mid-upper-gunner and rear gunners opened fire. The unidentified aircraft was seen to dive to the ground and a fire and flash were seen. The aircraft was claimed to be destroyed. Some enemy aircraft were seen and three short combats took place but no damage was sustained by our aircraft. It was very cloudy in the target area and visibility was poor. Navigation was good. The missing aircraft was Stirling Mk.III BK768 captained by F/O Perrott.

Stirling Mk.III BK778 JN-U

S/L Richard Broadbent, RNZAF NZ391339 – Pilot.
Sgt. James Arthur Couper, RNZAF NZ417027 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O John Charles Kennedy Fabian, RAFVR NZ413720 – Navigator.
P/O Earl Ray Belford, RCAF R.88751/ J.17419 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Terence James Hegarty, RAFVR 1030026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. C.A. Fenn, RAFVR 1085958 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Stanley Richard Kurton, RAFVR 1477334/ 161621 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Harold Percy Jones, RAFVR 1392223/ 149903 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:38 – Landed 03:20
Flight Time 03:42

03/07/1943 – Mining off the Frisian Islands
Five aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operations, with mines of 1500;bs..One aircraft failed to take off, but the remainder successfully dropped their Mines in the allotted area, although the parachutes were not seen to open, due to low cloud. No. A.A. Fire or searchlights were encountered. One unidentified aircraft was seen, but no combat took place. The weather was good, although visibility was poor, owing to cloud at 1,500ft.. Navigation was excellent.

Stirling Mk.III BK778 JN-U

Sgt. James Arthur Couper, RNZAF NZ417027 – Pilot.
Sgt. George Albert Walker, RAFVR 1332840 – Navigator.
Sgt. Geoffrey Scott Corlett, RNZAF NZ42289 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Sydney Cecil Oliver Reeves, RNZAF NZ42339 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. James Wilson Sneddon, RAFVR 1342219 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Thomas Edward Wadeson, RAFVR 1489406 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Alan Ashworth, RAFVR 1529817 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:35 – Landed 05:00
Flight Time 05:25

29/07/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Seventeen aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with incendiary bombs of 30lb. And 4lb. Two aircraft returned early and the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. This was a very successful attack, large concentrated fires with heavy explosions and smoke rising to 15,000ft., were seen. Moderate heavy A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered, which were scattered and unpredictable. One aircraft was held in searchlights cones for periods of 10 and 8 minutes, he avoided them with extreme difficulty and whilst so doing was hit in the fuselage by A.A. fire. Two other aircraft also received slight damage. Some enemy aircraft were seen and the aircraft captained by Sgt. P. Hartstein sighted a JU 88 which came in from astern firing a cannon, the Rear gunner replied and the enemy aircraft broke away. The aircraft captained by F/O. G. DUNCAN sighted a JU 88 on the port quarter , the Mid upper gunner gave a 10 second burst and the enemy aircraft dived away. The aircraft captained by F/S/ E. WILKINSON sighted a JU88 on the port quarter, the enemy aircraft opened fire and the Rear gunner replied, the enemy aircraft then broke away. The aircraft captained by F/S. J. DARNEY encountered an unidentified enemy aircraft which fired from the starboard quarter, the Rear gunner replied and the enemy disappeared. It was clear at the target area and the visibility was good except for haze from the fires. Navigation was excellent. The aircraft captained by P/O. A. SEDUNARY just after bombing, had one of its engines failed. After unsuccessful attempts to start it, he brought the aircraft back to base on three engines and made a perfect landing.

Stirling Mk.I EE881 JN-G

Sgt. James Arthur Couper, RNZAF NZ417027 – Pilot.
Sgt. George Albert Walker, RAFVR 1332840 – Navigator.
Sgt. Geoffrey Scott Corlett, RNZAF NZ42289 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Sydney Cecil Oliver Reeves, RNZAF NZ42339 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. James Wilson Sneddon, RAFVR 1342219 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Thomas Edward Wadeson, RAFVR 1489406 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Alan Ashworth, RAFVR 1529817 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:10 – Landed 04:10
Flight Time 06:00

30/07/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Remscheld
Thirteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lb. And 4lb..One aircraft returned early as rear turret was unserviceable and two failed to return. The remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area, large concentrated fires and some explosions were seen. Moderate heavy and light A.A fire co-operating with searchlight belts were encountered, and one aircraft was slightly damaged in the mid- upper turret. Some enemy aircraft were seen, the aircraft captained by F/S. O. WHITE sighted an unidentified aircraft which attacked three times. Each time the mid upper and rear gunners fired a burst, and strikes were seen on the enemy aircraft which then fell away and claimed to be damaged. The weather was good with clear visibility except for haze caused by fires. Navigation was very good. On return, one aircraft landed at HARDWICK, due to shortage of petrol. The missing aircraft were Stirling Mk.III BF458 captained by Sgt. A.J. THOMAS and Stirling Mk.III EE915 captained by F/Sgt. J. DARNEY.

Stirling Mk.I EE881 JN-G

Sgt. James Arthur Couper, RNZAF NZ417027 – Pilot.
Sgt. George Albert Walker, RAFVR 1332840 – Navigator.
Sgt. Geoffrey Scott Corlett, RNZAF NZ42289 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Sydney Cecil Oliver Reeves, RNZAF NZ42339 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. James Wilson Sneddon, RAFVR 1342219 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Thomas Edward Wadeson, RAFVR 1489406 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Alan Ashworth, RAFVR 1529817 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:40 – Landed 03:10
Flight Time 04:30

02/08/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Seventeen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lb and 4lb. Six of the aircraft returned early owing to severe icing and engine trouble, two failed to return. The remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Large fires and columns of smoke were seen although this attack was not considered to be a successful as the previous one. Moderate heavy and light A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered, which proved to be ineffective. Some enemy aircraft were seen but no combats took place. The weather was good at the beginning of outward journey, but cloud gathered and was 10/10ths at the target, icing and electrical storms were also encountered. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk. III EH928 captained by Sgt. Baille, P. and BF 557 captained by F/Sgt. Couper, J.A.

Stirling Mk.III BF577 JN-M

Sgt. James Arthur Couper, RNZAF NZ417027 – Pilot.
Sgt. George Albert Walker, RAFVR 1332840 – Navigator.
Sgt. Geoffrey Scott Corlett, RNZAF NZ42289 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Sydney Cecil Oliver Reeves, RNZAF NZ42339 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. James Wilson Sneddon, RAFVR 1342219 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Thomas Edward Wadeson, RAFVR 1489406 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Alan Ashworth, RAFVR 1529817 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off – – Landed –
Flight Time – Missing

Stirling Mk.III BF577 JN-M collided with a German night-fighter (Fw Krauter, II /NJG3), north of the mouth of the River Elbe, crashing on the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Koog. All on board perished. They are buried in Hamburg Cemetery, Ohlsdorf.

F/S James Arthur Couper, RNZAF NZ417027 – Pilot.
Killed age 31.
Son of Duncan Thomas Couper and Catherine Jane Couper, of Rangiwahia, Wellington, New Zealand.
Buried Hamburg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 4A. D. 10-12.

Sgt. George Albert Walker, RAFVR 1332840 – Navigator.
Killed age 21.
Son of G. A. and Rosetta F. Walker, of Acton, Middlesex.
Buried Hamburg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 4A. D. 13.
‘Gone from us
But always in our thoughts’

F/S Geoffrey Scott Corlett, RNZAF NZ42289 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 20.
Son of Thomas William Corlett and of Isabella Scott Corlett (Nee Abraham), of Liverpool, England. His Brother John Norman Also Died On Service.
Buried Hamburg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 4A. D. 9.

F/S Sydney Cecil Oliver Reeves, RNZAF NZ42339 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 21.
Son of John Henry Reeves and of Olive Reeves (Nee Groves), of Balclutha, Otago, New Zealand.
Buried Hamburg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 4A. D. 10-12.

Sgt. James Wilson Sneddon, RAFVR 1342219 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 31.
Son of The Late James Gorman Sneddon and Elizabeth Wilson Sneddon. of Kilmaurs, Kilmarnock, Ayrshire.
Buried Hamburg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 4A. D. 10-12.

Sgt. Thomas Edward Wadeson, RAFVR 1489406 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 21.
Son of John R. and Georgina Wadeson, of Appleby, Westmorland.
Buried Hamburg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 4A. D. 10-12.

Sgt. Alan Ashworth, RAFVR 1529817 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 21.
Grandson of Sarah E. Ashworth, of Spotland, Rochdale, Lancashire.
Buried Hamburg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 4A. D. 10-12.
‘Memories linger
Deep in the hearts
That never forget’

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