Gerald Lane arrived at Newmarket as Acting Wing Commander on the 1st of January 1943, staying until the 10th of May 1943. His 2 Ops with the Squadron were both to provide introductory ops to 2 new crews to the Squadron, Doug Lowe’s crew on the 25th of February and Alf Lewis’s crew on the 20th April.
25/02/1943 – Nurenburg
Seven aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with bombs of 1,00 lb. 500 lb. and incendiaries of 30 lb. and 4 lb. Two of the aircraft returned early, one owing to the aircraft failing to maintain height and the other owing to the navigator being ill. Four aircraft successfully attacked the target although results could not be seen owing to ground haze. F/Lt. Trott had his aircraft damaged by flak in the Rhine area, and had to jettison his bombs. He went on to the target , however, and reported that fires were fairly well concentrated. A few enemy aircraft were seen but no attacks made. Both light and heavy A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights, was encountered. It proved to be very inaccurate. There was 8/10ths cloud and ground haze in the target area. Visibility was fairly good. Navigation was excellent.
Stirling Mk.I BK624 AA-A
W/Cdr Gerald Arthur Lane, RAF 39595 – Pilot.
P/O Douglas Charles Lowe, RAFVR 1312163/ 138661 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Francis Campbell Carswell, RNZAF NZ404457 – Navigator.
F/S William Henry Ellis, RAFVR 1021328 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Arthur John Wilson Bodley, RNZAF NZ414538 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A.G. Warr, RAFVR 1274410 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. K.W. Wilmer, RAFVR 923838 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Brian Desmond Joseph Welch, RNZAF NZ41719 – Rear Gunner.
Take Off 19:55 – Landed 03:25
Flight Time 07:30
20/04/1943 – Rostock
Nine aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1000 lb and incendiaries of 30 lb and 4 lb. Eight of the aircraft successfully attacked the target area. Some very large scale fires were seen but the attack was spoilt by a smoke screen which partly obscured the target. A.A.F ire was mainly confined to light tracer which was ineffective. Stirling Mk.III BF.518 captained by Sgt. Dalzell, collided with a Lancaster aircraft after leaving the target, and fortunately only slight damage was caused to the rudder and fin. After this hazardous experience he returned to base and made a perfect landing. Some enemy aircraft were seen in the target area, but no combats took place. The weather was very good and visibility was excellent. Navigation was very good. Stirling Mk.III, captained by P/O A.G. Tolley, failed to return.
Stirling Mk.III BF517 AA-O
W/C Gerald Arthur Lane, RAF 39595 – Pilot.
Sgt. Alfred Edward Lewis, RAAF AUS.412458 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Henry George Corin, RNZAF NZ417269 – Navigator.
P/O Charles John Bickman, RAFVR 49977 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Frederick Arthur Moulton, RNZAF 1292879 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Andrew Graham, RAFVR 1369996 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. John Herbert Whitehart, RAFVR 964185 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Victor Charles Howes, RNZAF NZ413418 – Rear Gunner.
Take Off 22:05 – Landed 06:40
Flight Time 08:35