K.J. Bettles crew 03.09.42

01/09/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Saarbrucken
Eleven aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb laod of 4,000 lb. 1,00lb. 500 lb. 250 lb. and incendiaries were dropped in target area. Large fires were seen in the target area. Light and heavy predicted A.A. fire was accurate but not intense, few searchlights were seen. No enemy aircraft were seen. The weather was good and extra clear over target, navigation was good. Fires were seen by Sgt. Hunting, Captain of Wellington X3794 20 minutes before E.T.A.

Wellington Mk.III X.3986 AA-?

S/L Edgar Bernard Richard Lockwood, RAFVR 89584 – Pilot.
Sgt. Kenneth John Bettles, RAFVR 657229 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Walter Duncan McAlpine, RNZAF NZ403551 – Observer.
Sgt. Wallace Frederick Stokes, RNZAF NZ412362 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Eric Lumley Durham Ashwin, RNZAF NZ41563 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. William George Henry White, RNZAF NZ41717 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:40 – Landed 04:45
Flight Time 05:05

03/09/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Emden
Six aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 500lb. Were dropped in target area by two aircraft. Two failing to reach the target. A.A. fire was slight, searchlights were few. The weather was bad, being heavy cloud all the way to target and 10/10ths cloud over target. Navigation was good. Wellington X.3396 captained by Sergt. Law and Wellington X.3794 captained by Sergt. Hunting, failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III X.3539 AA-T

Sgt. Kenneth John Bettles, RAFVR 657229 – Pilot.
Sgt. Anthony Arlens, RCAF R.84152 – Observer.
Sgt. Frank Arthur Stevens, RAFVR 942319 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Kevin Charles O’Byrne, RNZAF NZ405311 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Leslie Sydney Bevan, RNZAF NZ41565 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:15 – Landed 03:05
Flight Time 03:50

04/09/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Bremen
Twelve aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4,000lb. and incendiaries were dropped in the target area by nine aircraft. Three aircraft were forced to return to base owing to aircraft failures. Large fires were seen with smoke rising up to 8,000feet. Intense light and heavy A.A. fire was encountered on the way to target and in target area, searchlights were concentrated and accurate over a large area. A few enemy aircraft were seen but no attacks were made. The weather was fine over target area, visibility was good. Navigation was by T.R. and D.R.

Wellington Mk.III BJ.707 AA-?

Sgt. Kenneth John Bettles, RAFVR 657229 – Pilot.
Sgt. Arlens, RCAF R.84152 – Observer.
Sgt. Frank Arthur Stevens, RAFVR 942319 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Arden Ivan Ellis, RAFVR R.92690 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Leslie Sydney Bevan, RNZAF NZ41565 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:20 – Landed 03:25
Flight Time 03:05

06/09/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Duisburg
Fifteen aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks. Bomb load of 4,000lb. 1,00lb. 500lb. 250lb. and incendiaries were dropped in the target area, large fires were seen to be growing in intensity. A.A. fire was heavy and intense but was bursting high above aircraft, searchlights were intense, particularly at target area.
Wellington BJ772 captained by F/Lt. Womersley was attacked from rear on return by an enemy aircraft, one bursts was fired by the rear gunner and the enemy aircraft was driven off. No other enemy aircraft was seen. The weather was good, clear over target with slight ground haze. Navigation was good. Wellington BJ.765 captained by Sergt. Sharman G.W> and Wellington X.3867 captained by F/Sgt.Parkes W.R. failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III BJ.707 AA-?

Sgt. Kenneth John Bettles, RAFVR 657229 – Pilot.
Sgt. Arlen A, RCAF R.84152 – Observer.
F/S Frank Arthur Stevens, RAFVR 942319 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Arden Ivan Ellis, RNZAF R.92690 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. William Gould Gillessie, RCAF R.88681 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 01:16 – Landed 05:26
Flight Time 04:10

08/09/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Frankfurt
Nine aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack. Bomb load of 4,000lb., 500lb and incendiaries were dropped in the target area. Larger fires were seen. A.A> fire was moderate, searchlights were numerous, particularly in target area. A few enemy aircraft were seen, but no attacks were made. The weather was good, with slight ground haze. Navigation was accurate by DR and TR. Wellington captained by Sgt. Johnson failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III BJ.707 AA-?

Sgt. Kenneth John Bettles, RAFVR 657229 – Pilot.
Sgt. Arlen A, RCAF R.84152 – Observer.
F/S Frank Arthur Stevens, RAFVR 942319 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Arden Ivan Ellis, RAFVR R.92690 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. William Gould Gillessie, RCAF R.88681 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:58 – Landed 03:38
Flight Time 06:40

10/09/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Dusseldorf
Thirteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4,000 lb. and incendiaries were dropped in target area, Wellington X.3747 captained by Sgt. Rousseau and Wellington BJ.837 captained by P/O Jacobson were forced to return to base before reaching target area. owing to aircraft failures. Large fires were seen, a few dummy fires were also seen near target. Light and heavy A.A. fire was encountered, particularly in searchlight cones, which covered a large area. The weather was good, slight haze at target area. Navigation was by D.R. and T.R. Wellington BJ.828 captained by Sergt. Lees, Wellington BJ.968 captained by Sgt. Burrill and Wellington BJ.974 captained by Sergt. Metcalf, failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III BJ.707 AA-?

Sgt. Kenneth John Bettles, RAFVR 657229 – Pilot.
Sgt. Arlen A, RCAF R.84152 – Observer.
F/S Frank Arthur Stevens, RAFVR 942319 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Arden Ivan Ellis, RNZAF R.92690 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. William Gould Gillessie, RCAF R.88681 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:25 – Landed 01:20
Flight Time 03:55

13/09/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Bremen
Eight aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4,000lb. And incendiaries were dropped in the target area. Large concentration of fires were seen, numerous dummy fires were also seen, mainly South of the target. Light and heavy A.A. fire was encountered mainly in co-operation with searchlight cones, which were very numerous. Sergt. Rousseau captain of Wellington BJ.898 reported one enemy aircraft was seen over enemy coast but no attack was made, no other enemy aircraft was seen. The weather was good with slight haze over target. Navigation was good.

Wellington Mk.III BJ.707 AA-?

Sgt. Kenneth John Bettles, RAFVR 657229 – Pilot.
Sgt. Arlen A, RCAF R.84152 – Observer.
F/S Frank Arthur Stevens, RAFVR 942319 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Arden Ivan Ellis, RNZAF R.92690 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. William Gould Gillessie, RCAF R.88681 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:45 – Landed 05:20
Flight Time 04:35

14/09/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Wilhelmshaven
Six aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack. Bomb load of 4,000lb. And incendiaries were dropped in target area. A few fires were seen. Light and heavy predicted accurate A.A. fire was encountered, searchlights were in small groups, widely dispersed. No enemy aircraft were seen. The weather was clear over target with moderate ground haze. Navigation was by D.R. and T.R.

Wellington Mk.III BJ.707 AA-?

Sgt. Kenneth John Bettles, RAFVR 657229 – Pilot.
Sgt. Arlen A, RCAF R.84152 – Observer.
F/S Frank Arthur Stevens, RAFVR 942319 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. W.F. Thompson, RAFVR 962902 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. William Gould Gillessie, RCAF R.88681 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:55 – Landed 00:35
Flight Time 04:40

16/09/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Essen
Eight aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4,000lb. And incendiaries were dropped in the target area, large fires were seen. A.A. fire was intense heavy and accurate, searchlights were in heavy concentration. Wellington BJ.790 captained by Sergt. Blincoe K, was hit by A.A. fire in starboard main plain two minutes prior to bombing, which made a big hole between starboard motor and fuselage, making it impossible to turn to port. Near Dutch coast on return, the aircraft was attacked from underneath by an unseen aircraft, being hit several times and the WOP. being wounded in the back. The enemy aircraft was not seen by any of the crew. On return the aircraft belly landed on the aerodrome with hydraulics unserviceable. Wellington BJ.772 captained by F/Sgt. Wright J.L. was attacked by a JU.88 on return from bombing. The enemy aircraft was fired at by the front gunner; after several bursts it was seen by captain WOP and front gunner to explode in the air. A few enemy aircraft were seen by other aircraft but no attacks were made. The target area was covered by 8/10 to 9/10 cloud. Navigation was good by TR and DR.

Wellington Mk.III BJ.707 AA-?

Sgt. Kenneth John Bettles, RAFVR 657229 – Pilot.
Sgt. Arlen A, RCAF R.84152 – Observer.
F/S Frank Arthur Stevens, RAFVR 942319 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Tom Pascoe, RNZAF 1308491 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. William Gould Gillessie, RCAF R.88681 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:35 – Landed 01:35
Flight Time 05:00

18/09/1942 – Operations. Gardening of St. Nazaire
Five aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation 1500lb. Vegetables were successfully planted. Light tracer was encountered over St.Nazaire which appeared to come from the town. A few searchlights were seen operation independently. No enemy aircraft were seen, the weather was very clear at target area, navigation was by D.R. and T.R.

Wellington Mk.III BJ.758 AA-?

Sgt. Kenneth John Bettles, RAFVR 657229 – Pilot. Sgt. Howard James Hughill, RNZAF NZ414293 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Kenneth David Glenn, RCAF R.79353 – Observer.
F/S Frank Arthur Stevens, RAFVR 942319 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Earl Ray Belford, RNZAF R.88751/ J.17419 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. William Gould Gillessie, RCAF R.88681 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:02 – Landed 00:44
Flight Time 05:42

02/10/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Krefeld
Thirteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4,000 lb and incendiaries were dropped in the target area. Fires were seen, which appeared to be mainly in open country. Heavy and light A.A. fire was encountered, mainly on enemy coast. Searchlights were considerable, operating in cones over the target area. A few enemy aircraft were seen but no attacks were made. The weather was fine at target, with considerable ground haze, Navigation was good.

Wellington Mk.III BJ.707 AA-?

Sgt. Kenneth John Bettles, RAFVR 657229 – Pilot.
Sgt W. McIntyre, RAFVR 1073152 – Observer.
F/S Frank Arthur Stevens, RAFVR 942319 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Earl Ray Belford, RNZAF R.88751/ J.17419 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Dudley Harding Smith, RNZAF NZ405265 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:10 – Landed 23:30
Flight Time 04:20

06/10/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Osnabruck
Fourteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4,000 lb. and incendiaries were dropped in the target area. Scattered fires were seen, flares were lighting up the whole area. Considerable light and heavy A.A. fire was encountered. Searchlights were numerous and operating mainly in cones. The weather was good with low cloud and slight haze at target area. Navigation was good by D.R. , T.R. visual, pinpoints, loop and fixes. Wellington DF639 captained by Sgt. Rhodes G.W. failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III BJ.707 AA-?

Sgt. Kenneth John Bettles, RAFVR 657229 – Pilot.
Sgt. Raymond Herbert John Broady, RNZAF NZ39691 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. W. McIntyre, RAFVR 1073152 – Observer.
F/S Frank Arthur Stevens, RAFVR 942319 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Earl Ray Belford, RNZAF R.88751/ J.17419 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Dudley Harding Smith, RNZAF NZ405265 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:10 – Landed 00:35
Flight Time 05:25

09/10/1942 – Operations. Gardening off East Frisian Islands
Seven aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation. 1500lb. vegetables were planted in the allotted area. No A.A. fire was encountered, one searchlight was seen to be sweeping the sea in the area. 10/10th. Cloud was over the allotted area, visibility was poor. Navigation was by D.R., T.R. loops, fixes and map reading.

Wellington Mk.III X.3954 AA-?

Sgt. Kenneth John Bettles, RAFVR 657229 – Pilot.
Sgt W. McIntyre, RAFVR 1073152 – Observer.
Sgt. Frank Arthur Stevens, RAFVR 942319 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Earl Ray Belford, RNZAF R.88751/ J.17419 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Dudley Harding Smith, RNZAF NZ405265 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:05 – Landed 21:55
Flight Time 03:50

06/12/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Manheim
Three aircraft were detailed to attack the above target, with bombs of 1,000lb. And 4lb. Incendiaries. The operation itself was not a success as two returned early, one with a dead starboard inner and another because the aircraft failed to gain height. One aircraft reached the target and dropped its bombs in the target area, a hot welcome was given, so hot that the aircraft needed a new fin on return, the A.A. fire and searchlights being very accurate. No enemy aircraft were seen. The weather was 10/10th. cloud over the target area, the only means of recognition of the target being one large fire. Navigation was good.

Stirling Mk.I BK.619 AA-X

P/O Kenneth John Bettles, RAFVR 657229 – Pilot.
Sgt. John Charles Kennedy Fabian, RNZAF NZ413720 – Navigator.
Sgt. Earl Ray Belford, RCAF R.88751/ J.17419 – Air Bomber.
F/S Frank Arthur Stevens, RAFVR 942319 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. C.A. Fenn, RAFVR 1085958 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Stanley Richard Kurton, RAFVR 1477334/ 161621 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Dudley Harding Smith, RNZAF NZ405265 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:40 – Landed 21:20
Flight Time 03:40

09/12/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Turin
Five aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb loads of 4lb. incendiaries were dropped by all aircraft in the target area. All crews reported that the town was well ablaze and huge columns of smoke were seen. A medium amount of both light and heavy A.A. fire was encountered. No enemy aircraft were seen. There was no cloud at the target, it was very hazy, but visibility was fairly good. Navigation was good. This can be looked upon as our most successful Stirling operation yet.

Stirling Mk.I R.9250 AA-C

P/O Kenneth John Bettles, RAFVR 657229 – Pilot.
Sgt. G.A. Cozens, RAFVR 1176846 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. John Charles Kennedy Fabian, RNZAF NZ413720 – Navigator.
Sgt. Earl Ray Belford, RCAF R.88751/ J.17419 – Air Bomber.
F/S Frank Arthur Stevens, RAFVR 942319 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. C.A. Fenn, RAFVR 1085958 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Stanley Richard Kurton, RAFVR 1477334/ 161621 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Dudley Harding Smith, RNZAF NZ405265 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:25 – Landed 01:25
Flight Time 08:00

12/01/1943 – Mining in the Gironde Estuary
Four aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with 1500lb vegetables. All aircraft successfully planted their vegetables and the majority of the parachutes were seen to open. Some A.A. fire and searchlights were encountered on the way to the target, the flak being very accurate although none of the aircraft were holed. The weather on route both ways was poor but reasonable conditions in the gardening area itself.

Stirling Mk.I BK619 AA-X

P/O Kenneth John Bettles, RAF 657229 – Pilot.
Sgt. John Charles Kennedy Fabian, RNZAF NZ413720 – Navigator.
Sgt. Earl Ray Belford, RCAF R.88751/ J.17419 – Air Bomber.
F/S Frank Arthur Stevens, RAFVR 942319 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. C.A. Fenn, RAFVR 1085958 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Stanley Richard Kurton, RAFVR 1477334/ 161621 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. T. Smith,   – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:55 – Landed 06:35
Flight Time 06:40

15/01/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Lorient
Three aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with bomb loads of 1,000lb. and 4 lb. incendiaries. This attack was very successful, crews bombing from 10,000 feet from large gaps in the cloud. All bombs were seen to explode in the target area and fires were seen to start. Some light and heavy A.A. fire was encountered, which was inaccurate, a few searchlights were also operating. No enemy aircraft were encountered . The weather was very good, with little cloud. Navigation was excellent and was mainly visual.

Stirling Mk.I BK619 AA-X

P/O Kenneth John Bettles, RAF 657229 – Pilot.
Sgt. John Charles Kennedy Fabian, RNZAF NZ413720 – Navigator.
Sgt. Earl Ray Belford, RCAF R.88751/ J.17419 – Air Bomber.
F/S Frank Arthur Stevens, RAFVR 942319 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. C.A. Fenn, RAFVR 1085958 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Stanley Richard Kurton, RAFVR 1477334/ 161621 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Dudley Harding-Smith, RNZAF NZ405265 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:45 – Landed 22:45
Flight Time 05:00

27/02/1943 – Mining off the Frisian Islands
Four aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation, with mines of 1500 lb. All of the aircraft successfully planted their mines in the allotted area, and the majority of the parachutes were seen to open. Some very heavy A.A. fire was encountered near the mining area which was mainly predicted and very accurate. A few enemy aircraft were seen, but no attacks were made. The weather was fairly clear although it was hazy and visibility was not very good. Navigation was good.

Stirling Mk.I BK619 AA-X

P/O Kenneth John Bettles, RAF 657229 – Pilot.
Sgt. John Charles Kennedy Fabian, RNZAF NZ413720 – Navigator.
Sgt. Earl Ray Belford, RCAF R.88751/ J.17419 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. D.J. McIver, RAFVR 1059993 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. C.A. Fenn, RAFVR 1085958 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Stanley Richard Kurton, RAFVR 1477334/ 161621 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Harry Leister Burt, RNZAF NZ411789 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:32 – Landed 22:38
Flight Time 04:06