L.L Bentley crew 23.11.41 †

07/11/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Berlin and Ostend
Fourteen Wellington Ic aircraft were detailed from this Unit to attack the above targets. Two of these aircraft, X.9951, captained by F/O Methven and X.9976, captained by Sgt. Black, failed to return to base. A mixed bomb load was carried consisting of 1000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Bombs were dropped in target area and some large fires were started, but results were not clearly observed owing to heavy cloud over target area. A considerable amount of heavy flak was met over target area but searchlights, where seen, were ineffective. No enemy aircraft were met throughout the trip. Weather was poor with 10/10th cloud over target area. Navigation was good, Astro and D/R loops being used. Wellington Z.1091, captained by P/O Sandys returned to base owing to engine trouble. Wellington Z.1068, captained by Sgt. Parham returned to base owing to Navigator being sick.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.1077 AA-?

Sgt. Harry Machin, RAFVR 1166970 – Pilot.
Sgt. Loch Lomond Bentley, RNZAF NZ403936 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Wallace Edward Buckley, RNZAF NZ391379 – Observer.
Sgt. Gordon Stewart Bolshaw, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Clements, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Bourne, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:39 – Landed 00:05
Flight Time 03:26

08/11/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Essen
Eleven Wellington Ic aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks from this Unit. Three aircraft, X.9628, captained by Sgt. Smith, X.9977, captained by Sgt. Nunn, and Z.8942 captained by Sgt. Wilson failed to return to base. Many large fires were started with resultant explosions and bursts were observed across a built up area. A railway junction south of target was also successfully attacked. Much heavy and light flak was experienced and heavy concentrations of searchlights were active in target area. Several enemy aircraft were seen at target but no attacks were made. Weather was moderately clear to target but haze 5/10ths to 9/10ths over target area. Navigation was very good.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.1077 AA-?

Sgt. Harry Machin, RAFVR 1166970 – Pilot.
Sgt. Loch Lomond Bentley, RNZAF NZ403936 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Wallace Edward Buckley, RNZAF NZ391379 – Observer.
Sgt. Gordon Stewart Bolshaw, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Aitchison, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Bourne, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:47 – Landed 23:05
Flight Time 05:18

23/11/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Dunkirk
Seven Wellington Ic aircraft were detailed from this Unit to attack the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried consisting of 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Bombs were dropped on target area and flashes seen but full results were not seen. Heavy A.A. fire was met over target area and searchlights in large cones were active. No enemy aircraft were met. Weather was fair with 7/10th. Cloud over target area and freezing level was at 9,000ft. Navigation was good.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.8977 AA-N

Sgt. Loch Lomond Bentley, RNZAF NZ403936 – Pilot.
Sgt. Trevor William Burke, RNZAF NZ402515 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Herbert Ives, RNZAF NZ402192 – Observer.
Sgt. Wiles, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. W.H. Olrod, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Rains, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:30 – Landed 21:10
Flight Time 03:40

26/11/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Emden and Ostend
Seventeen Wellington Ic aircraft were detailed from this Unit to attack the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried consisting of 4000,lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs. 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Very bad weather prevented the target being identified and results were not observed. A few bombs were however dropped in target area and one flash was seen. The remainder were brought back to base. Heavy and light predicted A.A. fire was met over target area and cones of searchlights were active. One single engine aircraft and one Junkers 88 enemy aircraft were seen but were successfully evaded. Weather was extremely bad and marred the whole operation. 10/10th cloud was met throughout the journey to and from the target. Navigation was D.R. and Q.D. M.s. One of these aircraft, Z.1114, captained by Sgt. Evans, returned to base with engine trouble.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.1149 AA-B

Sgt. Loch Lomond Bentley, RNZAF NZ403936 – Pilot.
Sgt. Trevor William Burke, RNZAF NZ402515 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Herbert Ives, RNZAF NZ402192 – Observer.
Sgt. Wiles, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. S.V. Hardman, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Olrod, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:30 – Landed 23:20
Flight Time 04:50

11/12/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Le Havre
Four Wellington Ic aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. Bomb load consisted of 250lbs and containers of incendiaries, but as the target was not identified the bomb load was returned. A.A. fire was moderate and searchlights were isolated. Navigation was satisfactory. The operation was marred by 10/10th cloud over target area.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.1149 AA-B

Sgt. Loch Lomond Bentley, RNZAF NZ403936 – Pilot.
Sgt. Trevor William Burke, RNZAF NZ402515 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Herbert Ives, RNZAF NZ402192 – Observer.
Sgt. Wiles, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. S.V. Hardman, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Olrod, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 16:40 – Landed 22:30
Flight Time 05:50

12/12/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Brest
Nine Wellington Ic aircraft from this Unit were detailed to attack the above targets. A mixed bomb load consisting of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, and 500lbs was carried, and was dropped in the target area, bomb bursts being observed. An accurate barrage of light and heavy flak was encountered. There was a large number of searchlights operating in cones. Weather was good with 2/10 to 4/10 cloud over target. Navigation was good.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.8978 AA-G

Sgt. Loch Lomond Bentley, RNZAF NZ403936 – Pilot.
Sgt. Trevor William Burke, RNZAF NZ402515 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Herbert Ives, RNZAF NZ402192 – Observer.
Sgt. Wiles, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. S.V. Hardman, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Olrod, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 16:10 – Landed 21:36
Flight Time 05:26

17/12/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Brest and Le Havre
Seven Wellington Ic aircraft were detailed from this Unit to carry out the above attacks. Bomb load consisted of 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Bombs were dropped in the target area but results were not observed. Light and heavy flak was encountered and many searchlights were active but ineffective owing to low cloud. Visibility was fair but 10/10 cloud over target area. Navigation was good. Wellington Z.1083, captained by Sgt. Climie, landed at Exeter on return to get medical aid to P/O Gunning who was injured whilst the aircraft was over target.

Wellington Mk.Ic – AA-

Sgt. Loch Lomond Bentley, RNZAF NZ403936 – Pilot.
Sgt. Trevor William Burke, RNZAF NZ402515 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Herbert Ives, RNZAF NZ402192 – Observer.
Sgt. Wiles, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. S.V. Hardman, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Olrod, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 16:55 – Landed 20:39
Flight Time 03:44

23/12/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Brest
Seven Wellington Ic aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. Bomb load consisted of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Bomb bursts and fires were seen in the target area. Light, medium and heavy flak was met and searchlights were not very active. Weather was good over the target. Navigation was good. Wellington Z.8834, captained by Sgt. Bentley, crashed at Burner’s Heath on return and Sgt. Bentley was killed, the crew being injured.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.8834 AA-P

F/S Loch Lomond Bentley, RNZAF NZ403936 – Pilot.

Take Off – – Landed 23:45
Flight Time crashed on return

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.8834 AA-P, captained by F/Sgt L L Bentley, RNZAF, arrived in the circuit at base awaiting landing clearance but inexplicably flew into the ground near Burner’s Heath, some 5mls SW of Thetford. Although all his crew escaped the crash with non-life threatening injuries, Bentley’s were more severe and he failed to recover. He is buried at RAF Feltwell.

F/S Loch Lomond Bentley, RNZAF NZ403936 – Pilot.
Killed age 28.
Son of Harry and Margaret Daziel Bentley, of Waitoms Caves, Auckland, New Zealand, Husband of Winifred Kathleen Bentley.
Buried Feltwell (St. Nicholas) Churchyard, Norfolk, England..
Grave location – Row B. Grave 6.