K.F. Debenham crew 26.2.43 †

08/03/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Nurenburg
Nine aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack with bombs of 2,000 lb. 1,000 lb. 500 lb and incendiaries of 30 lb. and 4 lb. One aircraft returned early owing to engine trouble and another failed to return. The remaining seven aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area, large fires being seen, one large explosion from the centre of target, was seen one hundred miles away as the aircraft were returning. Both light and heavy A.A. fire was encountered co-operating with searchlights, they however, proved to be ineffective. Stirling 1 BK646 captained by P/O Lowe, was attacked by an enemy aircraft near Saarbrucken on the return journey. The enemy aircraft opened fire with cannon and a stream of tracer came into the cockpit, one exploding near the second pilot’s leg. Corkscrew tactics were adopted, but after seven minutes the enemy aircraft was lost. The only casualties were the second pilot, who was wounded in the leg and the Captain, who had slight face cuts. The aircraft successfully returned to base. There was a slight haze at the target, although visibility fairly good. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling 1 BF437, captained by Sergeant C.R. Davey.

Stirling Mk.I BK619 AA-X

Sgt. Peter John Oswald Buck, RNZAF NZ413377 – Pilot.
F/S Kevin Frederick Debenham
P/O Alexander Fielding Minnis, RAFVR 126499 – Navigator.
Sgt. A.P. Sadler, RAFVR 1379771 – Air Bomber.
P/O John Henry Symons, RCAF R.77568/ J.16507 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J.W. Jones, RAFVR 1068491 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. J. Watson, RAFVR 1021021 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Brian Arthur Rogers, RAFVR 1384352 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:40 – Landed 03:15
Flight Time 07:35

26/02/1943 – Mining off the Frisian Islands
Four aircraft were detailed to carry out this operation with mines of 1500lb. All of the aircraft successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area and the parachutes were seen to open. No enemy aircraft, A.A. fire or searchlights were encountered. The weather was clear but hazy, visibility was fairly good. Navigation was excellent.

Stirling Mk.I BK604 AA-S
This is clearly an error in identification. This aircraft was lost on the 3rd February, Piloted by John McCullough

F/S Kevin Frederick Debenham, RNZAF NZ412211 – Pilot.
F/S Raymond James Barnes, RCAF R.87330 – Navigator.
Sgt. David Michael Turner Watts, RAFVR 1312572 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Peter Braithwaite Pearson, RAFVR 1377412 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. D. Wainwright, RAFVR 1193816 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. John Leslie Marlow, RAFVR 1353768 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Jim Jack Davis, RAFVR 629241 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:30 – Landed 22:20
Flight Time 03:50

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 BK604 AA-S
This is clearly an error in identification. This aircraft was lost on the 3rd February, Piloted by John McCullough

F/S Kevin Frederick Debenham, RNZAF NZ412211 – Pilot.
F/S Raymond James Barnes, RCAF R.87330 – Navigator.
Sgt. David Michael Turner Watts, RAFVR 1312572 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Peter Braithwaite Pearson, RAFVR 1377412 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. D. Wainwright, RAFVR 1193816 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. John Leslie Marlow, RAFVR 1353768 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Jim Jack Davis, RAFVR 629241 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:40 – Landed 22:25
Flight Time 03:45

03/03/1943 – Mining off the Frisian Islands
Three aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operations, with mines of 1500 lb. Two of the aircraft successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area, the other aircraft failed to return. No A.A. fire or searchlights were encountered. Sergt. French the Captain of Stirling 1 BF398, met a JU88 on the homeward journey, after a short exchange of firing the enemy aircraft disappeared. The weather was very clear and visibility was good. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling 1 N6123, captained by Sergt. R.C.Going.

Stirling Mk.I R9200 AA-S

F/S Kevin Frederick Debenham, RNZAF NZ412211 – Pilot.
F/S Raymond James Barnes, RCAF R.87330 – Navigator.
Sgt. David Michael Turner Watts, RAFVR 1312572 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Peter Braithwaite Pearson, RAFVR 1377412 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. D. Wainwright, RAFVR 1193816 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. John Leslie Marlow, RAFVR 1353768 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Jim Jack Davis, RAFVR 629241 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:45 – Landed 23:45
Flight Time 04:00

09/03/1943 – Mining in the Gironde Estuary
Three aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1500 lb. One of the aircraft, however, returned early owing to engine trouble , the remaining two aircraft successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area and the parachutes were seen to open. Some A.A. fire was encountered near BLAYE and Stirling 1 BF398, captained by Sgt. French was hit, but he safely returned to base. Visibility was poor in the mining area, 10/10ths. Cloud being prevalent. Navigation was good.

Stirling Mk.I R9200 AA-S

F/S Kevin Frederick Debenham, RNZAF NZ412211 – Pilot.
F/S Raymond James Barnes, RCAF R.87330 – Navigator.
Sgt. David Michael Turner Watts, RAFVR 1312572 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Peter Braithwaite Pearson, RAFVR 1377412 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. D. Wainwright, RAFVR 1193816 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. John Leslie Marlow, RAFVR 1353768 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Jim Jack Davis, RAFVR 629241 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:25 – Landed 21:20
Flight Time 01:55

11/03/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Stuttgart
Nine aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks with bombs of 30 lb. and 4 lb. incendiaries. One of the aircraft, however, failed to take off as it proved to be unserviceable. The remaining eight aircraft successfully dropped their incendiaries in the target area. There were heavy fires, which were well concentrated in the centre of the town. There was a moderate amount of heavy A.A. fire which was co-operating with searchlights, one aircraft being coned for two minutes but he escaped unscathed. Some enemy aircraft were seen but no combats took place. There was slight have over the target area although visibility was good and ground detail could be seen. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.I BF451 AA-Z

F/S Kevin Frederick Debenham, RNZAF NZ412211 – Pilot.
F/S Raymond James Barnes, RCAF R.87330 – Navigator.
Sgt. David Michael Turner Watts, RAFVR 1312572 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Peter Braithwaite Pearson, RAFVR 1377412 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. D. Wainwright, RAFVR 1193816 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. John Leslie Marlow, RAFVR 1353768 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Jim Jack Davis, RAFVR 629241 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:00 – Landed 03:30
Flight Time 07:30

12/03/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Seven aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack with bombs of 2,000 lb. 1,000 lb. and incendiaries of 30 lb. and 4 lb. One aircraft, however, returned early owing to the rear turret being unserviceable, the remaining six aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Large fire were seen, which lit up the whole of the area, one crew reported that they saw two large explosions which appeared to come from the Krupps works. Both heavy and light A.A. fire was encountered. It was intense, although not too bad considering the target, the searchlights however, proved to be troublesome. Some enemy aircraft were seen, but no combats took place. There was smoke and haze over the target, although visibility was fairly good. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.I BF451 AA-Z

F/S Kevin Frederick Debenham, RNZAF NZ412211 – Pilot.
F/S Raymond James Barnes, RCAF R.87330 – Navigator.
Sgt. David Michael Turner Watts, RAFVR 1312572 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Peter Braithwaite Pearson, RAFVR 1377412 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. D. Wainwright, RAFVR 1193816 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. John Leslie Marlow, RAFVR 1353768 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Jim Jack Davis, RAFVR 629241 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:55 – Landed 23:55
Flight Time 04:00

22/03/1943 – Attack Against Targets at St. Nazaire
Nine aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack with 30 lb. 4 lb. incendiary bombs. One aircraft however, failed to take off as it was found to be unserviceable. A general recall, however, was broadcast when the aircraft were about twenty minutes from the target. They all brought their bombs back with the exception of one, which was forced to jettison them.

Stirling Mk.I R9200 AA-S

F/S Kevin Frederick Debenham, RNZAF NZ412211 – Pilot.
F/S Raymond James Barnes, RCAF R.87330 – Navigator.
Sgt. Frederick Alexander Bandy, RAFVR 1318948 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Peter Braithwaite Pearson, RAFVR 1377412 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. D. Wainwright, RAFVR 1193816 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. John Leslie Marlow, RAFVR 1353768 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Jim Jack Davis, RAFVR 629241 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:55 – Landed 23:25
Flight Time 04:30

27/03/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Berlin
Eleven aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks with bombs of 1,000lb. And incendiaries of 30lb. And 4lb. One of the aircraft returned early, as it failed to maintain height . The remaining ten aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. It was difficult to judge the effectiveness of our bombs, as there was thick ground haze. Two aircraft were hit by A.A. fire, which was intense. But not effective. Many searchlights were also seen, which were co-operating with the A.A. defences. A few enemy aircraft were seen, but no combats took place. The weather was not very good, although it was fairly clear over the target except for ground haze. Navigation was good.

Stirling Mk.I R9200 AA-S

F/S Kevin Frederick Debenham, RNZAF NZ412211 – Pilot.
F/S Raymond James Barnes, RCAF R.87330 – Navigator.
Sgt. David Michael Turner Watts, RAFVR 1312572 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Peter Braithwaite Pearson, RAFVR 1377412 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. D. Wainwright, RAFVR 1193816 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. John Leslie Marlow, RAFVR 1353768 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Jim Jack Davis, RAFVR 629241 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:50 – Landed 03:55
Flight Time 08:05

29/03/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Berlin
Ten aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks, with bombs of 1000 lb. and incendiaries of 30 lb. and 4 lb. Two of the aircraft failed to takeoff, as they were found to be unserviceable and three returned early. The remaining five aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Very large fires were seen, which were well concentrated and spreading. The glow from these fires was seen 100 miles away on the homeward journey. Intense heavy and light A.A. fire was encountered, with many searchlights co-operation all round the city. One aircraft was slightly damaged by A.A. fire. Some enemy aircraft were seen but no combats took place. The weather was clear, although hazy. Visibility however, was fairly good. Navigation was good.

Stirling Mk.I BF398 AA-F

F/S Kevin Frederick Debenham, RNZAF NZ412211 – Pilot.
F/S Raymond James Barnes, RCAF R.87330 – Navigator.
Sgt. David Michael Turner Watts, RAFVR 1312572 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Peter Braithwaite Pearson, RAFVR 1377412 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. D. Wainwright, RAFVR 1193816 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. John Leslie Marlow, RAFVR 1353768 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Jim Jack Davis, RAFVR 629241 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:10 – Landed 23:05
Flight Time 01:55

04/04/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Kiel
Ten aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets, with incendiaries of 30 lb. and 4 lb. Four of the aircraft however returned early owing to engine trouble and one of the aircraft failed to take-off. The remaining five aircraft successfully bombed the target, although it was impossible to accurately assess results owing to heavy cloud, but nevertheless red glows were seen silhouetted against the clouds. Both light and heavy A.A. Fire was encountered, with searchlights co-operating. Some enemy aircraft were seen, but no combats took place. There was ten tenths cloud in the target area and visibility was not very good. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.I R9200 AA-S

F/S Kevin Frederick Debenham, RNZAF NZ412211 – Pilot.
F/S Raymond James Barnes, RCAF R.87330 – Navigator.
Sgt. David Michael Turner Watts, RAFVR 1312572 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Peter Braithwaite Pearson, RAFVR 1377412 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. D. Wainwright, RAFVR 1193816 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. John Leslie Marlow, RAFVR 1353768 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Jim Jack Davis, RAFVR 629241 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:40 – Landed 03:00
Flight Time 06:20

14/04/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Stuttgart
Eleven aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with incendiary bombs of 30 lb and 4 lb. One aircraft returned early as the controls were faulty. None of the remaining aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Large fires were seen, together with a great deal of black smoke. There was a moderate amount of heavy A.A. Fire encountered on the way to the target, but very little in the target area. A few searchlights were seen, but they were ineffective. Some enemy aircraft were seen and short combats took place, but our aircraft were not damaged. It was very clear over the target, as there was a bright moon, and visibility was good in spite of slight ground haze. Navigation was very good. Stirling Mark III BF513 captained by P/O. D.J. McCaskill failed to return.

Stirling Mk.III BK664 AA-M

F/S Kevin Frederick Debenham, RNZAF NZ412211 – Pilot. Sgt. James Oscar Way RCAF R.102353 2nd Pilot.
F/S Raymond James Barnes, RCAF R.87330 – Navigator.
Sgt. David Michael Turner Watts, RAFVR 1312572 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Peter Braithwaite Pearson, RAFVR 1377412 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. D. Wainwright, RAFVR 1193816 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. John Leslie Marlow, RAFVR 1353768 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Jim Jack Davis, RAFVR 629241 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:40 – Landed 04:10
Flight Time 06:30

16/04/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Ludwigshaven
Eleven aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack, with bombs of 2000 lb, 1000 lb and incendiaries of 30 lb and 4 lb. Seven of the aircraft successfully attacked the target. Large fires and one big explosion were seen. Two aircraft returned early owing to engine trouble. Both heavy and light A.A. Fire was encountered co-operation with searchlights. Two of our aircraft were hit and the Navigator of one was hit in the leg. Several enemy aircraft were seen, but no combats took place. The weather was good on the route, but considerable haze was experienced at the target. Navigations was very good. Stirling Mark III BK.664 captained by F/Lt. D.C.Lowe, which experienced some very accurate A.A. Fire whilst overt the target, found on landing, that this throttle controls were jammed open, he was lucky enough to be able to land, but unfortunately he crashed into a semi built hanger on the aerodrome. The aircraft was an absolute wreck, but all the crew got away safely, although not without injuries. Stirling Mark III W 7469 captained by F/Sgt. K.F. Debenham and Stirling Mark I BF451 captained by P/O K.H.G. Groves failed to return.

Stirling Mk.I W7469 AA-O

F/S Kevin Frederick Debenham, RNZAF NZ412211 – Pilot.
Sgt. Raymond James Barnes, RCAF R.87330 – Navigator.
Sgt. David Michael Turner Watts, RAFVR 1312572 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Peter Braithwaite Pearson, RAFVR 1377412 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. D. Wainwright, RAFVR 1193816 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. John Leslie Marlow, RAFVR 1353768 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Jim Jack Davis, RAFVR 629241 – Rear Gunner.

t/o 2217 Newmarket. Crashed at Katzenbach. Those who died are buried in Rheinberg Cemetery.

Take Off 22:17 – Landed –
Flight Time – Missing

The circumstances surrounding the loss of Stirling Mk.I W7469 AA-O are unclear. It crashed at Katzenbach, south of Frankfurt, and all but the Flight Engineer, Sgt Wainwright, were killed. The sole survivor was listed as a P.o.W, suggesting he either baled out or escaped from the wrecked aircraft and was captured. The crew members who died are buried in the Rheinberg War Cemetery, south of Wesel.

P/O Kevin Frederick Debenham, RNZAF NZ412211 – Pilot.
Killed age 26.
Son of Frederick and Elizabeth Ellen Debenham, of Oxford, Canterbury, New Zealand.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 20. A. 10.

W/O Raymond James Barnes, RCAF 2 R/87330 – Navigator.
Killed age 26.
Son of Edward Wilson Barnes and Millicent Kate Barnes, of Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 20. A. 13-14.
‘Rest in peace’

Sgt. Peter Braithwaite Pearson, RAFVR 1377412 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 22.
Son of Geoffrey Lockington Pearson and Anne Winifred Pearson, of Ventnor, Isle of Wight.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 20. A. 12.
‘In our hearts’

Sgt. David Michael Turner Watts, RAFVR 1312572 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 26.
Husband of Joan Watts, of Cody’S, Queen’S Co., New Brunswick, Canada.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 20. A. 13-14.

Sgt. D. Wainwright, RAFVR 1193816 – Flight Engineer.
P.o.W
Prisoner of War Number: 1108
Prison Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft 1, Luft VI and Luft IV
Date of return to United Kingdom: not known

Sgt. John Leslie Marlow, RAFVR 1353768 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 22.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 20. A. 13-14.

Sgt. Jim Jack Davis, RAF 629241 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 26.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 20. A. 11.