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KAHLER, Hyman Chaim Mordecai

Sgt. Hyman Chaim Mordecai Kahler, RAFVR 1803280 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 21 on the 19th of April 1944.
Son of Morris and Rachel Kahler, of Stoke Newington, London.
Buried Gram Churchyard, Denmark..
Grave location – Gram Churchyard
‘(inscription in Hebrew)’

18/04/1944 – Mining in Kiel Bay
Seven Stirlings were detailed to lay mines in Kiel Bay, one was withdrawn and one failed to return (Captain NZ415820 F/O. H. Murray). The remaining five successfully completed their mission. On return they landed away.

Stirling Mk.III EH955 AA-K

F/O Henry James Murray, RNZAF NZ415820 – Pilot.
Sgt. John Edward Lithgow ‘Paddy’ McFarland, RAFVR 1503993 – Navigator.
F/S Douglas John Hill, RNZAF NZ415761 – Air Bomber.
F/S Gordon James Irwin, RNZAF NZ415698 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Hyman Chaim Mordecai Kahler, RAFVR 1803280 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. John Mulligan, RCAF R.195834 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Peter Woollam, RAFVR 1890807 – Rear Gunner.

By John McFarland’s own observation the decision to volunteer for the Gardening Op to Kiel in a Stirling was seen as a soft and easy extra trip to their tour…..Perhaps this decision can be understood – the crew had suffered 3 aborted Ops in a month and it probably felt to them as if their time at Mepal was never going to end – add to this a 10 day hiatus for conversion to Lancasters at Feltwell and the soles of their feet may well have been getting itchy…….

Based on the events of that night, it would appear that their aircraft was fired on from underneath by a ‘Schräge Musik‘ equipped aircraft. Typically, the aircrew would get no warning of the attack until it was too late – John recalls his navigators desk exploding as the cannon shells hit.

“We flew from a remote base near Ely in East Anglia and were engaged mainly in sea and French railway yard mining operations as well as drops to the French Resistance. It was during one of these we were shot down. The Germans had the capability to fire vertically upwards. We were over Denmark and it was around midnight when my navigator’s table shattered and I knew we’d been hit from below. Everything happened so fast. We had to bail out and use our parachutes. The parachute wrappers used to put little notes in with the silk saying things like ‘all the best’!  Only three of us survived that night – the rear gunner’s parachute failed to open. That could have been any one of us for you just grabbed a parachute on your way out to board the aircraft…”

Four of the crew were buried at Gram, Denmark – James Murray RNZAF (Pilot), Haymen Kahler RAFVR (Flight Engineer) Jack Mulligan RCAF and Peter Woolham RAFVR (Air Gunners).

Kahler H


KAVANAGH, Stanley Leo

W/O Stanley Leo Kavanagh, RNZAF NZ403579 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 24 on the 30th of MAy 1943.
Son of Edward Francis and Mildred A. Kavanagh, of Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 31. B. 15-17.

29/05/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Wuppertal
Twenty aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with bombs of 2000lb, 1000lb, and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb. One aircraft failed to take-off owing to the rear turret being unserviceable, and two returned early. Four aircraft failed to return. The remaining thirteen aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Very large fires were seen and also some big explosions. Some heavy A.A.Fire was encountered, but it was ineffective. No searchlights were seen. A few enemy aircraft were seen and one short combat took place, but no damage was sustained by our aircraft. The weather was good in the target area, but visibility was impaired by smoke from the fires. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk.III BK776 Captained by P/O. R.F.Bennett, Mk.I EF398, captained by F/O. R.B. Vernazoni, MK.III EH881 captained by Sgt. J.H. Carey and Mk.III Bf561 captained by Sgt. S.R. Thornley.

Stirling Mk.III BK776 AA-R

P/O Raymond Frederick Bennett, RNZAF NZ415282 – Pilot.
Sgt. Raymond Francis Norman RNZAF NZ416145 – 2nd Pilot.
F/S Alan Lloyd Davidson, RNZAF NZ411864 – Navigator.
F/S Frederick Alexander Bandy, RAFVR 1318948 – Air Bomber.
F/S Stanley Leo Kavanagh, RNZAF NZ403579 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J.B. Harrison, RAFVR 1052295 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. James Allan Pirie, RCAF R.108000 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Christopher Patrick Middleton, RNZAF NZ413337 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III BK776 AA-R was brought down at Odenspiel, 12 miles West North West of Siegen (about 35 miles South East of the target). Only the Flight Engineer, Navigator and Rear Gunner survived but were taken as P.o.W’s. The Captain, P/O Bennett, is now at rest in Rheinberg War Cemetery while the four other deceased were reinterred in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/stanley-leo-kavanagh © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/stanley-leo-kavanagh © New Zealand War Graves Project


KAY, Alan Lister

F/S Alan Lister Kay, RNZAF NZ42299 – Air Bomber.
Lost without trace age 35 on the 22nd of May 1944.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 264.

21/05/1944 – Attack Against Duisberg
Twenty five aircraft took off to attack Duisburg, of which twenty one attacked the primary target. Three returned early with various technical failures and one failed to return (Captain NZ421803 P/O. W. Willis). Another aircraft (Captain AUS413157 P/O. A. Humphreys) was attacked by an enemy fighter and the navigator 1438903 F/Sgt. Hill, A. was injured, the aircraft also being damaged.

Lancaster Mk.III ND804 AA-K

P/O William Jarvis Willis, RNZAF NZ421803 – Pilot.
F/S Russell Howard Brown, RNZAF NZ425444 – Navigator.
F/S Alan Lister Kay, RNZAF NZ42299 – Air Bomber.
F/S Stanley Albert ‘Hank’ Hancock, RAFVR 1396104 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Donald Rimmer, RAFVR 1495443 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Allister Archibald Ferguson, RNZAF NZ425391 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William Ferguson ‘Billy’ Reid, RCAF R.178421/ J.89732 – Rear Gunner.

ND804 was lost without trace. All crew members are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.


KELCHER, Walter Foch

Sgt. Walter Foch Kelcher, RNZAF NZ411908 – Front Gunner.
Killed age 23 on the 11th of September 1942.
Son of Leonard and Isabella Mary Kelcher, of Maheno, Otago, New Zealand.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 4. A. 22.

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.974 AA-?

Sgt. Thomas Otto Metcalfe, RNZAF NZ414386 – Pilot.
P/O Kevin John Devlin, RNZAF NZ413334 – Observer.
Sgt. Desmond James Walshe, RNZAF NZ412912 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Walter Foch Kelcher, RAFVR NZ411908 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Alexander John Locke, RAFVR 928209 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Mk.III BJ.974 was brought down by flak, crashing near Cologne, 20 miles South of the target Dusseldorf. There were no survivors. All five crew are buried at the Rheinberg War Cemetery.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/walter-foch-kelcher © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/walter-foch-kelcher © New Zealand War Graves Project


KELL, William Robert

P/O William Robert Kell, RNZAF NZ411766 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 23 on the 19th of November 1943.
Son of John Robert Kell and of Isabel Alice Kellnee Goodwin), of Dannevirke, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand.
Buried Chiervres Communal Cemetery, Belgium..
Grave location – Grave 24.

19/11/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Leverkusen
Sixteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with bombs of 2,000lbs, 1,000 lbs and incendiaries of 30 lbs and 4lbs. One aircraft failed to return, but the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Except for one vivid  red flash seen through the clouds, little results were observed. Heavy and medium A.A. Fire co-operating with Searchlights was encountered, but caused negligible damage. Some enemy aircraft were seen and a few combats took place but no damage was sustained by our aircraft. The aircraft  captained be F/S R.Hunt met a J.U.88 which attacked his aircraft, the fire was returned and strikes were seen on the enemy aircraft. Our aircraft was then attacked by a FW190, the first was returned but the enemy aircraft disappeared. The weather was poor, being ten-tenths cloud over the target, there was also a fog at base which necessitated the aircraft landing at BRADWELL BAY on return. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was captained by F/Sgt. N. PARKER.

Stirling Mk.III LJ442 JN-F

F/S Noel Norman Parker , RAAF AUS.413240 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Griffiths, RAFVR 1457278 – Navigator.
F/S Jack Edwin Hyde, RNZAF NZ416637 – Air Bomber.
F/S William Robert Kell, RNZAF NZ411755 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Stanley Watkins, RAFVR 544249 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. William Gilfillan, RAFVR 1569298 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Michael Irvine Ryder Day, RAFVR 1891503 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III LJ442 JN-F came under attack from a night-fighter (Lt Otto Fries, 5 /NJG1) a short time after take-off while en route to the target over the Belgian coast. After a series of attacks by the fighter causing considerable damage, fire broke out in LJ442’s starboard wing and a crash-landing attempt was made by the pilot at Horrues, North West of Soignies, Belgium. Only the Captain, Navigator and Air Bomber survived. Parker and Griffiths evaded capture but Hyde, who was seriously injured, was taken as P.o.W. The four who died were buried at Chievres, 10 miles from Horrues.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/william-robert-kell © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/william-robert-kell © New Zealand War Graves Project


KELLY, Reginald Joseph Stephen

Sgt. Reginald Joseph Stephen Kelly, RNZAF NZ403580 – Wireless Operator.
Lost without trace age 24 on the 22nd of April 1942.
Son of Thomas and Mary Margaret Kelly, of Pukekohe, Auckland, New Zealand.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 117.

22/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against Targets at Cologne
Ten Well.III a\c were detailed attack the above targets. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 100lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs, 30lb and 4lb incendiaries was dropped in the target area but no results seen owing to cloud. There were only a few searchlights active and A.A. fire was slight. Well.III, X3487 captained by P/O Jarman was attacked by a JU.88 which attacked once and broke away to port. The results of this short attack were however serious the second pilot, P/O Nicol being mortally wounded, the rear gunner Sgt. Harris being killed and the Navigator Sgt. Taylor and W/Op. Sgt. Fernie were wounded. The bomb load was not dropped on the target but was dropped in the sea. The a/c was brought back to base and crash landed. Well.III, X3705, captained by F/S. McLachlan, was also attacked and the second pilot killed (P/O. Fountain) and Sgt. Tutty was wounded. F/Sgt. McLachlan managed to reach base and crash land.

Wellington Mk.III X.3667 AA-J – ? check this designator

F/S Thomas Stanley Mahood, RNZAF NZ404916 – Pilot.
Sgt. Cyril Charles Wrightson RNZAF NZ411998 2nd Pilot.
F/S Sydney Houston Dromgoole, RNZAF NZ402172 – Observer.
Sgt. Reginald Joseph Stephen Kelly, RNZAF NZ403580 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Henry Thomas Owen McMahon, RNZAF NZ403019 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. John Frederick McLinden, RAFVR 611555 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington X3667 failed to return. Little is known of the circumstances leading to its disappearance, except that it was brought down in the sea near Le Havre. Only the body of the RAF rear gunner was later washed ashore, the remainder of the crew (all RNZAF) being lost without trace.

RJS Kelly


KENDAL, Christopher James

Sgt. Christopher James Kendal, RNZAF NZ412342 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 21 on the 17th of December 1942.
Son of Christopher and Edith Maude Kendal, of Napier, Hawke’S Bay, New Zealand.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – Coll. grave 8. L. 15-18.

17/12/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Fallersleben
Five aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with bombs of 1,000lb. This was to be a low level flight all the way climbing to 5,000feet to bomb. Four out of the five aircraft unfortunately failed to return. They were the Squadron Commander, Wing Commander V. Mitchell, D.F.C., captain of Stirling I BF396 who took W/O Bagnall and crew who had only arrived a few days previously. Stirling I,BF400 captained by F/O Jacobson, Stirling 1, BK620 captained by P/O R.E. Williams, and Stirling I, R9247 captained by F/Sgt. Rousseau. The one aircraft to return was captained by P/O McCullough who could not find the target owing to rain and bad visibility, and bombed an alternative. This was an aerodrome, the bombs were seen to explode on the flare path and hangars. A.A. fore was fairly heavy and a few searchlights were seen. The aircraft was twice attacked by fighters but they were driven off on each occasion, on return the aircraft was found to have four holes believed due to combat with one of the fighters. The weather was clear to the target but developed to rain and 7/10th cloud on return. Navigation was good.

Stirling Mk.I R.9247 AA-W

F/S Henry Edwin Rousseau, RAFVR 1026535 – Pilot.
Sgt Mervyn Oliver Clark, RNZAF NZ404895 – Navigator.
Sgt. Reginald Crosby Mocock , RAFVR 1168876 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Christopher James Kendall , RNZAF NZ412342 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Wilson Morton, RAF 621322 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. John Fellows, RAFVR R.78046 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Pullar Henry Welsh Pullar , RNZAF NZ411777 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.I R.9247 AA-W was brought down near Vechta airfield, 30 miles South West of Bremen, Germany, while en route to or from the target. None of the crew survived the crash. All are buried in the Reinberg Cemetery.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/christopher-james-kendal © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/christopher-james-kendal © New Zealand War Graves Project


KENDLAN, Michael

Sgt. Michael Kendlan, RAFVR 1072258 – Wireless Operator .
Killed age 23 on the 24th of June 1943.
Son of Mary Anne Kendlan, of West Hartlepool, Co. Durham, England.
Buried Bergen-Op-Zoom Canadian War Cemetery, Holland.
Grave location – 7. AA. 6.
‘God rest you, my dearest son,
Your duty nobly
And courageously done
R.I.P.’

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.I EH902 AA-K
Form 541 for this Op lists a/c as  EH902 (above in diary report), but as BK619 (AA-X) against crew list.

F/S Norman Bradford Bluck, RNZAF NZ40364 – Pilot.
F/S James Brett Cooksey, RNZAF NZ416460 – Navigator.
F/S Geoffrey Walter Strong, RNZAF NZ413905 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Michael Kendlan, RAFVR 1072258 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. John William Gillard, RAFVR 938834 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Douglas Armitage, RAFVR 1434609 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Leslie Ronald Cant, RAFVR 1397680 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.I EH902 AA-K was brought down either by AA fire or a night-fighter, crashing into the sea off Wissenkerke on the Dutch island of Beveland. There were no survivors. The bodies were all recovered and four of the crew buried in Vlissingen Northern Cemetery. The other three were buried at Bergen op Zoom War Cemetery.


KENNEDY, Raymond Anthony

Sgt. Raymond Anthony Kennedy, RAFVR 1033748 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 28 on the 23rd of June 1943.
Son of Patrick Michael and Florence Ann Kennedy, of St. Marylebone, London.
Buried Wieringermeer (Middenmeer) General Cemetery, Holland.     .
Grave location – Grave 1448.
‘In loving memory of my son,
Who gave his life
That we might live.
Rest in peace’

22/06/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Mannheim (actually Mülheim)
Fifteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lbs and 4lbs. Four aircraft failed to return and the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Large concentrated fires and some explosions were seen the whole RUHR area was smoke palled. A very heavy A.A. barrage co-operating with searchlights was encountered and five aircraft were slightly hit by A.A.fire, some enemy aircraft were seen and three short combats took place, but no damage was sustained by our aircraft. There was 3/10ths cloud on the target area but visibility was fairly good, except for smoke haze. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirling Mk.I EF399 captained by F/S Burbidge, Mk.III EF408 captained by Sgt. Wood, MK.III BK810 captained by W/O McKenzie and Mk.III EH889 captained by F/O McCrorie.

Stirling Mk.III EH889 AA-Z

F/O Thomas Fraser McCrorie, 1365093/ 68770 – Pilot.
P/O William Stuckey, RAF 51042 – Navigator.
F/S James Leonard Richards, RNZAF NZ404946 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Richard Douglas Tod, RCAF R.91741 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Eric Grainger, RAFVR 625045 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Robert Ernest Tod, RCAF R.91742 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Raymond Anthony Kennedy, RAFVR 1003148 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EH889 AA-Z was shot down by a night-fighter (Oblt Lothar Linke, IV /NJG1) at 01:58hrs, crashing into the Ijsselmeer. All on board died, their bodies later washing ashore. F/L McCrorie was buried in Hemelumer-Oldeferd (Molkwerum) Protestant Churchyard. P/O Stuckey rests in Wonseradeel (Makkum) Churchyard. The Todd twins lie in Medemblik General Cemetery. Sgt Kennedy is buried at Wieringermeer (Middenmeer) General Cemetery. The others are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

SONY DSC


KERR, George John Stewart

W/O George John Stewart Kerr, RAFVR 1558163 – Pilot.
Killed age 22 on the 1st of december 1943.
Son of John and Georgina Kerr, of High Ongar, Essex.
Buried Chevington Cemetery, Northumberland, England..
Grave location – Sec. H. Grave 293.

01/12/1943 – Mining off the East Coast of Denmark
Three aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1,500lb. Two of the aircraft successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area, but the parachutes were not seen to open owing to ten tenths cloud. Some heavy A.A. Fire was encountered, but caused negligible opposition. Visibility was poor in the mining area. Navigation was very good. On returning the aircraft captained by SGT. F/SGT.G.J.KERR crashed whilst attempting to land at R.A.F. Station ACKLINGTON. The aircraft crashed into a house and all of the crew were killed, except for the Mid Upper Gunner SGT. K.G.HOOK who was seriously injured. In addition to the crew, five children who were in the house were killed and their parents were admitted to Hospital.

Stirling Mk.III EH880 AA-J

F/S George John Stewart Kerr, RAFVR 1558163 – Pilot.
Sgt. Donald Frank Wort, RAFVR 1585034 – Navigator.
Sgt. Ronald Smith, RAFVR 1239376 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Derek Arthur Holt, RAFVR 1217087 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Leonard George Copsey, RAFVR 1691471 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Kenneth Gordon Hook, RAFVR 1335989 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George William Thomas Lucas, RAFVR 1250557 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 15:16 – Landed 22:40
Flight Time 07:24

Stirling Mk.III EH880 AA-J diverted to RAF Acklington on return from the above task and crashed into a house a short distance from the perimeter during a landing attempt at 22.40hrs. All of the crew were killed except the M/U gunner, Sgt K Hook, who was seriously injured. Five children in the family living in the house were killed. Their parents were pulled from the wreckage alive but badly injured.

kerr


KIDBY, Dennis Alfred

W/O Dennis Alfred Kidby, RAFVR 1391158 – Air Bomber.
Lost without trace age 22 on the 30th of July 1944.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 214.

30/07/1944 – Attack Against Amaye Sur Seulles
Seventeen aircraft were detailed to take part in an early morning attack on enemy troops and armoured concentrations near Amaye-Sur-Seulles. All crews successfully attacked from a low level and reports indicate that the bombing was well concentrated and ably controlled with a gradual advance southwards as ordered. No results other than clouds of smoke were seen. One aircraft (Captain NZ42117 F/S. Nairne, C.) failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I HK558 AA-D

F/S Colin George Nairne, RNZAF NZ42117 – Pilot.
P/O Lyndon Clifford Perry, RNZAF NZ428925 – Navigator.
W/O Denis Alfred Kidby, RAFVR 1391158 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Alfred Richard Stannard, RAFVR 1338510 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Raymond Charles Smith, RAFVR 1235250 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Stanley Alfred George Woodford, RAFVR 922095 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Philip Falkiner, RNZAF NZ425140 – Rear Gunner.

Although formally recorded as ‘lost without trace’, the circumstances of the disappearance of HK558 was more accurately explained in ‘For Your Tomorrow’ by author Errol Martyn. A Royal Navy minesweeper on patrol in the Channel observed two Lancasters collide in mid-air at approximately 08.00hrs while HK558 was flying northwards in the base of heavy low cloud. The other aircraft was a 514 Sqn Lancaster, LL733, probably from the same raid. The Minesweeper steamed to where the two aircraft crashed into the sea, a short distance away. After an hour’s search, only the body of an RAF Air Bomber was recovered, who was buried at sea. All seven crew of each aircraft are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.


KILBY, William Adam

F/S William Adam Kilby, RNZAF NZ415261 – Air Bomber.
Lost without trace age 40 on the 1st of September 1943.
Son of Henry John Kilby, and of Christina Kilby, of Ngaio, Wellington, New Zealand; Husband of Alice Kilby.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 199.

31/08/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Berlin
Eighteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1,000lb., 500lb. and incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb. Two aircraft failed to take-off and four did not return, the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Large fires were seen, although rather scattered they appeared to be progressing very well. Moderate heavy A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered and one air craft received slight damage. Enemy night-fighters were in great prominence, the aircraft piloted by F/Sgt. Wilkinson, G encountered a JU88 approaching from astern 500yds away. The rear gunner fired a long burst, the enemy aircraft replied and stalled. The mid-upper gunner then fired three long bursts. The enemy aircraft was seen to fall away and is claimed as probably destroyed. Our aircraft received damage to the rear of the fuselage and had part of the tail plane and fin badly damaged. The aircraft captained by F/O Alexander sighted two Me109’s, the first opened fire from the starboard quarter and the rear gunner replied with a short burst. The enemy aircraft stalled and the mid-upper gunner fired a short burst. The enemy aircraft then dived to the ground and exploded, it was claimed to be destroyed. The second Me109 opened fire with a short burst from the port bow to the port quarter. The rear gunner then fired a short burst and tracer was seen to enter the enemy aircraft, which dived. It was claimed as possible destroyed. The aircraft captained by W/O Moseley, P. sighted a Me110 on the port quarter, the mid upper and rear gunner fired a long burst and the enemy aircraft turned over and dived with smoke pouring from its starboard side. It was claimed as probably destroyed. The aircraft captained by P/O C.Logan sighted a Me109 sixty yards astern, the mid-upper and rear gunner  fired and tracer from the rear gunner was seen to hit the aircraft. The Stirling then corkscrewed and the Me109 disappeared. It was claimed to be damaged. Two other aircraft crash landed away from base due to damage caused by enemy fighters, none of the crews were injured however. 8/10ths cloud was encountered on the outward journey and 9’10ths at the target, visibility, nevertheless, was good. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings MK.III EE918 captained by F/Sgt. Roberts,E, EE878 captained by F/Sgt. Henley, D, EE905 captained by F/Sgt. Helm,G. and EF501 captained by F/S McGregor, K.

Stirling Mk.III EF501 AA-K

F/S Keith Alexander McGregor, RNZAF NZ415770 – Pilot.
F/O James Benjamin Lovelock, RNZAF NZ416324 – Navigator.
F/S William Adam Kilby, RNZAF NZ415261 – Air Bomber.
F/S James Guthrie Baker, RNZAF NZ41142 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. G.A.A. Bond, RAFVR 1801229 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. G.F. Dummett, RAFVR 1377778 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Terence Grange, RAFVR 1323448 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EF501 AA-K was shot down by a night-fighter SW of Berlin, crashing at Potsdam. All crew except the flight engineer and mid upper gunner were killed and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. The two survivors, Sgt Bond and Sgt Dummett, were captured as POW’s.


KIMBER, Ronald Ernest

S/Ldr. Ronald Ernest Kimber, RAF 45956 – Observer.
Lost without trace age 31 on the 11th of August 1942.
Son of Ernest and Lilian Kimber; Husband of Gwendoline Mary Kimber, of Farnham, Surrey.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 65.

11/08/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Mainz
Nine aircraft were detailed to attack above target. Bomb load of 4000lb, 1000lb, 500lb and incendiaries were dropped in target area. A.A. fire was light, searchlights were scarce and ineffective. One fighter was seen by P/O Horne in Wellington B.J.765 as he was crossing the Dutch Coast homeward bound, no attack was made. The weather was moderate, being cloudy near target. Navigation was good by D.R. and T.R. Wellington BJ837 captain Sgt. Hockaday.N.J., five minutes from the English coast on way to target, fabric stripped off nose of aircraft to port and starboard, the Bomb load was jettisoned and the aircraft returned to base. Three aircraft failed to return, Wellington B.J.767 captained by F/O Dobbin, Wellington B.J.625, Sgt Barclay.T.S., captain, Wellington X.3646 captain Sgt Bradey.G.E.

Wellington Mk.III X.3646 AA-?

Sgt. George Edward Francis Bradey, RNZAF NZ401954 – Pilot.
F/O Thomas Henry William Baker, RAFVR 107286 – 2nd Pilot.
S/L Ronald Ernest Kimber, RAF 45956 – Observer.
Sgt. Arden Ivan Ellis, RCAF R.92690 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Cyril Vincent Green, RNZAF NZ402997 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. J. E. London, RAFVR 953137 – Rear Gunner.

On the 12th of August 1942 Wellington Mk.III X3646 crashed into the North Sea. Piloting the aircraft that night was George Edward Francis Bradey, who had earlier been severely wounded in the abdomen by flak, whilst attacking the target of Mainz with 8 other aircraft from 75(NZ) Squadron RAF.

The aircraft was struck by flak on the return flight, severely wounding the Captain in the abdomen. He was able to keep the aircraft on a westerly course till they were over the Dutch coast. A descent was made to 2,000ft and the crew was ordered to bale out but soon after, the aircraft ditched in the sea.

The remaining details of the incident do not seem that clear. Of the crew of 6, 5 were killed. The only survivor being the Rear Gunner Sgt. J. E. London, who was captured and spent the remainder of the War as a Prisoner.

Of the remaining 5 airmen who were killed, Pilot Officer George Bradey, Squadron Leader Ronald Ernest Kimber, the Navigator, Flight Sergeant Arden Ivan Ellis, Wireless Operator and Front Gunner, Flight Sergeant Cyril Vincent Green have no known resting place and are remembered on the Runnymede Memorial.

Perhaps strangely in this case then, the body of 2nd Pilot Flying Officer Thomas Henry William Baker was recovered and now lays in Wilmslow Cemetery.

RE Kimber


KINROSS, Colin John

P/O Colin John Kinross, RNZAF NZ417069 – Pilot.
Killed age 30 on the 16th of December 1943.
Son of Lewis James Kinross and Alice Kinross; Husband of Ellie Amina Kinross, of Tauranga, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Cambridge City Cemetery, Cambridgeshire, England..
Grave location – Grave 14548.

16/12/1943 – Mining off the Frisian Islands
Four aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1500lbs. One aircraft returned early and one crashed on return. The remaining two aircraft successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area, but the parachutes were not seen to open. No opposition was met. The weather was very poor, low cloud and fog impairing visibility. Navigation was good. The aircraft which crashed wa captained by F/SGT.KINROSS C.J. The pilot F/SGT KINROSS C.J, Nav.F/O R.F.JENKIN, A/B. SGT. EMMERSON R.H., WO/AIR SGT. SAVAGE W.A, F/ENG. SGT. ASKEW R. and R.GUNNER SGT. WARNER J.A. were killed. The Mid Upper Gunner SGT. NEWMAN S.T. was slightly injured.

Stirling Mk.III EF163 JN-L

F/S Colin John Kinross, RNZAF NZ417069 – Pilot.
F/O Ralph Francis Jenkin, RNZAF NZ416119 – Navigator.
Sgt. Ronald Harry Emmerson, RAAF AUS.410330 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Willis Arthur Savage, RAFVR 1503913 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Askew, RAFVR 1477972 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. S. Newman, RAFVR 928207 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Albert Warner, RAFVR 2209337 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EF163 JN-L was attempting to land in poor weather conditions when the pilot lost visual reference at low level and crashed at Biddington Farm, Sutton. The aircraft burst into flames. All crew members, except an injured mid-upper gunner, died.

The cause of the crash may have been due to the aircraft’s centre of gravity being effected by a mine that had failed to release.

This was one of 41 other crashes occurring that night by aircraft returning to England in extremely poor weather conditions. This scale of losses by aircraft in these circumstances was the heaviest ever experienced by Bomber Command in a single night.

KINROSS, Colin John RNZAF


KIRKPATRICK, Laurence John

F/O Laurence John Kirkpatrick, RNZAF NZ414990 – Pilot.
Killed age 20 on the 23rd of September 1943.
Son of Matthew Kirkpatrick, and of Grace Kirkpatrick (Nee Woodruffe), of Gore-Waikaka, Southland, New Zealand.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 18. B. 1.

23/09/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Mannheim
Eighteen aircraft were detailed to carry the above operation with incendiary bombs of 30lb. and 4lb.. Three aircraft failed to return, but the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. This was, undoubtedly, a good attack, concentrated fires which were spreading to the West, and large heavy explosions were seen. Moderate heavy A.A. fire and a large curtain of searchlights were encountered, but caused no trouble. Enemy aircraft were very active and several combats took place. The aircraft captained by W/O. P. MOSELEY had a combat with a JU88 which was claimed as a probably destroyed. In the action our aircraft received damage the Pilot W/O. P. MOSELEY and the Mid Upper Sgt. C(?) MIDDLETON were slightly injured. The aircraft captained by P/O A. BURLEY had three combats with enemy aircraft, one of which was claimed as destroyed, the two as  damaged. The weather was good with clear visibility. Navigation was excellent. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk.111 EF459 captained by P/O C.C. LOGAN, EH946 captained by F/Lt. G. TURNER , and EH935 captained by F/O L. KIRKPATRICK.

Stirling Mk.III EH935 JN-K

F/O Laurence John Kirkpatrick, RNZAF NZ414990 – Pilot.
F/O Hugh Powell Sands, RNZAF NZ403287 – Navigator.
F/O William Richard Allan Mason, RNZAF NZ416865 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Joseph Edwards Hoey, RAFVR 656134 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Charles Percival Ellins, RAFVR 1509658 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. J. Elliot, RAFVR 1515956 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S William Louis Jarvis, RAAF AUS.414691 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EH935 JN-K was brought down between Edesheim and Knoringen, just south of Neustadt. The only two to survive the crash were the Mid Upper Gunner and the Air Bomber, who were captured as P.o.W’s. Those who died were buried at Knoringen, and later reinterred at Rheinberg, south of Wesel.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/laurence-john-kirkpatrick © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/laurence-john-kirkpatrick © New Zealand War Graves Project


KITCHIN, Peter James Robert   DFC

S/Ldr. Peter James Robert Kitchin, RAF 39539 – Pilot.
Lost without trace age 24 on the 12th of March 1942.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England.
Grave location – Panel 65.

12/03/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Kiel
Eight Wellington aircraft carried out an attack against the above target, one aircraft, captained by Sgt. Bell did not carry out an attack. Three aircraft captained by S/L. Kitchin, F/O. Sandys and Sgt. Parnham failed to return to base. Bomb load consisted of 1,000 lbs, 500 lbs and 250 lbs was dropped in the target area, bomb bursts being observed. There was heavy and light predicted flak and large cones of searchlights in the target area and one twin engined enemy aircraft made one unsuccessful attack on Wellington III X3586 captained by S/L. Newton. Weather was clear over the target with 5/10 cloud over North Sea. Navigation was by D.R. and TR1335.

Wellington Mk.III X.3588 AA-U

S/L Peter James Robert Kitchin, RAF 39539 – Pilot.
P/O William James Parton, RNZAF NZ41932 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Herbert Sidney George Cullen, RAFVR 926722 – Observer.
Sgt. William Clezy, RAFVR 1365054 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Henry James Carter, RAFVR 929289/ 104474 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Lloyd Montgomery Chamberlain, RNZAF NZ40914 – Rear Gunner.

The aircraft was recorded as lost without trace. All crew members are commemorated on the Runneymede Memorial

PJR Kitchin


KITCHING, Stephen Tom

Sgt. Stephen Tom Kitching, RAFVR 1215487 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Lost without trace age 22 on the 7th of August 1943.
Son of Gerald Currie Kitching and of Lily Kitching (Nee Copnell), of Leeds, Yorkshire.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England.
Grave location – Panel 156.

06/08/1943 – Mining in the Gironde Estuary
Five aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1,500lb. One aircraft returned early owing to inter-communication failure and bought its mines back and one aircraft failed to return. The remaining aircraft successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area and the parachutes were seen to open. Slight heavy A.A. fire and one searchlight were encountered, but were ineffective. A few enemy aircraft were seen, one short combat took place, but no damage was sustained by our aircraft. The weather was good above 1,000ft. and visibility was fair to good. On the return journey, F/Sgt. Mayfields aircraft fired at a locomotive and the engine was seen to blow up with a brilliant flash. The missing aircraft was a Stirling Mk.I HK614 captained by F/Sgt. Mayo, J.R.

Stirling Mk.III BK614 JN-N

F/S John Russell Mayo, RNZAF NZ417085 – Pilot.
Sgt. Albert Edward Turner, RAFVR 1316391 – Navigator.
Sgt. Irvine Sydney Rothstein, RCAF R.123638 – Air Bomber.
F/S Thomas Henry Gittens, RAFVR 1067871 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ronald Booth, RAFVR 1096896 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Raymond Henry Amstell, RAFVR 1455709 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Stephen Tom Kitching, RAFVR 1215487 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III BK614 JN-N was lost without trace. All seven crew are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.


KNAPTON, Ronald

F/S Ronald Knapton, RAFVR 1681317 – Flight Engineer.
Lost without trace age 22 on the 21st of July 1944.
Son Of Harry And Dora C. Knapton, Of South Crosland, Yorkshire.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England.
Grave location – Panel 219.

20/07/1944 – Attack Against Homberg
Twenty six aircraft took off, as detailed, to attack the oil refinery at Homberg. Nineteen aircraft were successful in bombing the target, with the aid of markers, which seemed well concentrated. Two good explosions were seen and smoke came up from the target area. Heavy A.A. fire was moderate, but fighters were very active, eight combats taking place. Seven aircraft failed to return, the captains were AUS22776 W/O. Gilmour, H., NZ428819 F/S. Howell, E., NZ421829 F/S. Mackay, K., NZ422057 F/S. Davidson, N., NZ42488 W/O. Whittington, H., NZ413219 F/S. Roche, G. & NZ414560 P/O. Burtt, H.

Lancaster Mk.III ND800 AA-J

F/S Kenneth McIndoe Mackay, RNZAF NZ421829 – Pilot.
F/S Eric James Quinn, RNZAF NZ4210077 – Navigator.
F/O Roy King Jones, RNZAF NZ425611 – Air Bomber.
W/O William John. Davies, RAFVR 616191 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Ronald Knapton, RAFVR 1681317 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. William Joseph Dunn, RAFVR 1520456 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S JIm Worth, RNZAF NZ425510 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.III ND800 AA-J was lost without trace. All seven crew members are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.


KNIGHT, Leon Gaston

Sgt. Leon Gaston Knight, RNZAF NZ405494 – Front Gunner.
Lost without trace age 22 on the 9th of June 1942.
Son of Francis and Juanita Dallinghoe Knight, of Mount Roskill, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England.
Grave location – Panel 117.

08/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Twelve aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and 4 lb inc was dropped in the target area. Owing to haze results were not observed. There was a heavy concentration of flak and searchlights in target area. Two unidentified a/c were observed near Dutch Coast by Well.III, X3720 and were eluded. Weather was good no cloud over target but hazy. Navigation was very good. Well.III, X3587, captained by P/O. Smith and Well.III, Z1573, captained by P/O Murdoch failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1573 AA-T

P/O Graham Edward ‘Stinker’ Murdoch, RNZAF NZ411927 – Pilot.
Sgt. Albert William O’Dowd, RNZAF NZ41544 – Observer.
P/O Robert Weston, RAFVR 111532 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Leon Gaston Knight, RNZAF NZ405494 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. John Lewis Morris, RAFVR 617843 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1573 AA-T was shot down, possibly by a night fighter over the Netherlands. It crashed into the Krabbenkreek between St. Philipsland and the Anna Jacobapolder (Zeeland), 20km North West of Bergen-op-Zoom.

LG Knight


KRALJEVICH, Mark

Sgt. Mark Kraljevich, RNZAF NZ403458 – Observer.
Killed age 25 on the 29th of July 1942.
Son of Steve Kraljevich, and of Ivy Kraljevich (Nee Royal), of Waiuku, Auckland, New Zealand; Husband of Margaret Kraljevich, of Waiuku.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Joint grave 15. E. 8-9.

28/07/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Seventeen a/c were detailed to carry out an attack on the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 30lb and 4lb incendiaries was dropped in target area and bursts were seen in dock area. A.A. fire was very accurate, light and heavy predicted. There were many accurate searchlight cones in parts but clear over target. Navigation was good by TR and DR. Six a/c failed to return to base

Wellington Mk.III Z.1570 AA-B

Sgt. Arthur Grahame Johns, RNZAF NZ41907 – Pilot.
Sgt. Mark Kraljevich, RNZAF NZ403458 – Observer.
Sgt. Ronald Ellis, RAFVR 1186850 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Laurie Albert Frampton, RNZAF NZ411753 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Leslie Ian Stewart, RNZAF NZ411785 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1570 AA-B crashed near the small town of Lingen, 130 miles South West of Hamburg and close to the Netherlands border. It may have been attacked by a night- fighter either en route to the target or on its way back to base. Whatever the situation, Sgt. Johns the captain, was unable to maintain control and a crash landing became inevitable. It was not survivable and all crew members died. They were initially buried at Lingen- on-Ems, but later transferred to Reichswald Forest Cemetery.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/mark-kraljevich © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/mark-kraljevich © New Zealand War Graves Project

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