K. Southward crew 6.9.44 †

06/09/1944 – Attack Against Harqueboc Le Havre
Twenty four aircraft were detailed to attack the German Army Headquarters at Harqueboc, near Le Havre. All aircraft bombed the target according to the Master Bomber’s instructions and a very accurate raid was reported. Fires were seen to be still burning from the previous day’s attack on Le Havre. Once again no opposition was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I HK576 AA-G

F/O Keith Southward, RNZAF NZ411048 – Pilot.
F/O Arthur Francis Thompson, RNZAF NZ4212803 – Navigator.
F/O Baden Gordon Clare, RNZAF NZ429590 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. E.W. Vero, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. D.J. Roberts, RAFVR 2220435 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. L. Cooper, RAFVR 1585673 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. T. Burnett, RAFVR 1823259 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 15:54 – Landed 19:40
Flight Time 03:46

08/09/1944 – Attack Against Doudenville
Twenty three aircraft took off at dawn to attack enemy defence positions at Doudeneville on the outskirts of Le Havre. Weather conditions were very unfavourable over the target and crews had great difficulty in seeing the markers. Only ten dropped their bombs before the Master Bomber gave instructions to abandon the mission. The remaining thirteen aircraft brought their bombs back to base. Considerable light A.A. fire and machine gun fire was encountered in the target area.

Lancaster Mk.I HK554 JN-F

F/O Keith Southward, RNZAF NZ411048 – Pilot.
F/O Arthur Francis Thompson, RNZAF NZ4212803 – Navigator.
F/O Baden Gordon Clare, RNZAF NZ429590 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. E.W. Vero, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. D.J. Roberts, RAFVR 2220435 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. L. Cooper, RAFVR 1585673 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. T. Burnett, RAFVR 1823259 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 06:16 – Landed 09:40
Flight Time 03:24

11/09/1944 – Attack Against Kamen
Fifteen aircraft were detailed to attack Kamen Oil Refinery. Weather conditions were favourable and some crews were able to bomb visually, under the Master Bomber’s instructions. Clouds of black smoke rising to 15,000 ft. was reported and a very successful raid ensued. Opposition from slight but accurate heavy A.A. fire was met from the defences. No enemy fighters were encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I HK561 AA-Y

F/O Keith Southward, RNZAF NZ411048 – Pilot.
F/O Arthur Francis Thompson, RNZAF NZ4212803 – Navigator.
F/O Baden Gordon Clare, RNZAF NZ429590 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. E.W. Vero, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. D.J. Roberts, RAFVR 2220435 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. L. Cooper, RAFVR 1585673 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. T. Burnett, RAFVR 1823259 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 16:08 – Landed 20:36
Flight Time 04:28

12/09/1944 – Attack Against Frankfurt
Twenty two aircraft were detailed to attack Stuttgart, but during the day the target was changed to Frankfurt. Two aircraft failed to take off for this operation and of the twenty that took off the majority were able to identify the target, by the river and several made out the railway yards. Fighters were fairly active and one aircraft claimed to have destroyed an enemy aircraft, the captain was AUS421308 .F/O. J. Bateman. Another aircraft had an inconclusive encounter. All aircraft returned to base and reported a good and accurate raid.

Lancaster Mk.I HK561 AA-Y

F/O Keith Southward, RNZAF NZ411048 – Pilot.
F/O Arthur Francis Thompson, RNZAF NZ4212803 – Navigator.
F/O Baden Gordon Clare, RNZAF NZ429590 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. E.W. Vero, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. D.J. Roberts, RAFVR 2220435 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. L. Cooper, RAFVR 1585673 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. T. Burnett, RAFVR 1823259 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:41 – Landed 01:44
Flight Time 07:03

14/09/1944 – Attack Against Waasenaar
Ten aircraft attacked Waasenaar in Holland, as detailed without loss. The operation was carried out in good weather and bombing was accurate.

Lancaster Mk.III NE181 JN-M “The Captains Fancy”

F/O Keith Southward, RNZAF NZ411048 – Pilot.
F/O Arthur Francis Thompson, RNZAF NZ4212803 – Navigator.
F/O Baden Gordon Clare, RNZAF NZ429590 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. E.W. Vero, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. D.J. Roberts, RAFVR 2220435 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. L. Cooper, RAFVR 1585673 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. T. Burnett, RAFVR 1823259 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 13:00 – Landed 15:36
Flight Time 02:36

04/10/1944 – Mining in the Kattegat Area
Five aircraft took off to lay mines in the Kattegat area. They all successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area in good weather. Apart from a little AA fire encountered from Flak ships all crews had an uneventful trip.

Lancaster Mk.I NF981 JN-Y

P/O Keith Southward, RNZAF NZ411048 – Pilot.
F/O Arthur Francis Thompson, RNZAF NZ4212803 – Navigator.
F/O Baden Gordon Clare, RNZAF NZ429590 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. E.W. Vero, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. D.J. Roberts, RAFVR 2220435 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. L. Cooper, RAFVR 1585673 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. T. Burnett, RAFVR 1823259 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 16:55 – Landed 00:56
Flight Time 08:01

06/10/1944 – Attack Against Dortmund
Twenty nine aircraft were detailed to attack Dortmund, but one of these was withdrawn owing to a technical failure. Twenty six aircraft attacked the target in good weather and a very accurate and concentrated raid was reported, large fires being left burning. A.A. Fire was moderate but fighters were active and the aircraft captained by NZ427798 F/S Farr, W. had a series of combats during which the enemy aircraft was claimed as being destroyed. One aircraft returned early and landed at Woodbridge owing to a technical failure and another (Captain NZ411048 F/O K. Southward) failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I LM104 JN-K

F/O Keith Southward, RNZAF NZ411048 – Pilot.
F/O Arthur Francis Thompson, RNZAF NZ4212803 – Navigator.
F/O Baden Gordon Clare, RNZAF NZ429590 – Air Bomber.
Sgt E.W. Vero, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. D.J. Roberts, RAFVR 2220435 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. L. Cooper, RAFVR 1585673 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. T. Burnett, RAFVR 1823259 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off – – Landed missing
Flight Time – Missing

Lancaster Mk.I LM104 JN-K was at 22,000ft, probably en route to the target, when it was brought down by an enemy night-fighter South West of Monchengladbach, 50 miles South West of Dortmund, crashing near Willich. The Captain was able to control the aircraft long enough to enable his crew to bale out successfully, but was unable to do so himself and he bravely died in the crash. He was buried at Willich but later reinterred at the Rheinberg War Cemetery. All of Southward’s crew were captured as prisoners of war.

F/O Keith Southward, RNZAF NZ411048 – Pilot.
Killed age 28.
Son of William Henry and Janet Sneddon Southward, of Runanga, Westland, New Zealand.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 11. B. 10.

F/O Arthur Francis Thompson, RNZAF NZ4212803 – Navigator.
P.o.W
Prisoner of War Number: 8244
Prison Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft III
Date of return to United Kingdom: 7th of May 1945

F/L Baden Gordon Clare, RNZAF NZ429590 – Air Bomber.
P.o.W
Prisoner of War Number: 8227
Prison Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft III
Date of return to United Kingdom: 10th of May 1945

Sgt. E.W. Vero, RAFVR –  Wireless Operator.
P.o.W
Prisoner of War Number: 1086
Prison Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft III
Date of return to United Kingdom: not known

Sgt. D.J. Roberts, RAFVR 2220435 – Flight Engineer.
P.o.W
Prisoner of War Number: 1040
Prison Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft VII
Date of return to United Kingdom: not known

Sgt. L. Cooper, RAFVR 1585673 – Mid Upper Gunner.
P.o.W
Prisoner of War Number: 1060
Prison Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft VII. Promoted to F/Sgt whilst interred
Date of return to United Kingdom: not known

Sgt. T. Burnett, RAFVR 1823259 – Rear Gunner.
P.o.W
Prisoner of War Number: 1059
Prison Camps: Dulag Luft, Stag Luft VII. Promoted to F/Sgt whilst interred
Date of return to United Kingdom: not known