R.H. Laud crew 4.5.43 †

26/04/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Duisburg
Eight aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1000 lb. and incendiaries of 30 lb. and 4 lb. One aircraft however failed to take-off as the pilot was sick. And two aircraft returned early. The remaining five aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area, which was a mass of flames. Large concentrated fires being seen which were spreading. Very heavy A.A.Fire was experienced in the target area, which was mainly predicted and co-operation with cones of searchlights. Some enemy aircraft were seen and one combat took place. The weather was very good in the target area, but visibility was impaired by haze caused by the large fires. Navigation was very good. Stirling Mk.III BF517, captained by F/O P.J. Buck, was attacked by an unseen fighter when about 30 miles North of the target. The rudder and tail of the aircraft was damaged, and the rear gunner was mortally wounded. The fighter was evaded and by jettisoning all moveable objects height was maintained and the aircraft returned to base where a perfect crash landing was made. Besides the rear gunner who lost his like, minor injuries were also received by two other members of the crew.

Stirling Mk.I BF467 AA-W

P/O Desmond Lewis Thompson, RNZAF NZ413152 – Pilot.
F/L Ronald Hugh Laud, RAF 40625 – 2nd Pilot.
F/S James Alexander Ramsay, RCAF R.93418 – Navigator.
Sgt. John Muir Williams, RAAF AUS.401341 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Ernest Roy Jenkins, RNZAF NZ405780 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Clifford Abbott, RAFVR 1098896 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. George Phillips, RAFVR 930235 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Thomas Glendinning, RAFVR 1070166 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:10 – Landed 02:30
Flight Time 02:20

04/05/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Dortmund
Ten aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets, with bombs of 2000lb 1000lb and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb. One aircraft, however, failed to take-off owing to engine trouble. The remaining aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area, with the exception of two which returned early owing to engine trouble. Large fires and explosions were seen, which appeared to come from the centre of the target area. Some A.A.Fire and searchlights were encountered, but they were ineffective. A few enemy aircraft were seen, but no combats took place. No cloud was prevalent in the target area, and visibility was good, ground detail was obscured by the smoke from the fires. Navigation was excellent.

Stirling Mk.III BK810 AA-G

Sgt. Herbert James Dalzell, RNZAF NZ414263 – Pilot.
F/L Ronald Hugh Laud, RAF 40625 – 2nd Pilot.
F/O Roy Reginald Rayner, RNZAF NZ41399 – Navigator.
Sgt. G A Carvell, RAFVR 1322753 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. W.E. Hopely, RAFVR 1071316 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. W.F. Mesley, RAFVR 752390 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. J. Lamonby, RAFVR 947546 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. A. Brown, RAFVR 1358025 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:37 – Landed 03:45
Flight Time 05:08

05/05/1943 – Mining off the Frisian Islands
Six aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack with Mines of 1500lb. One aircraft, however, failed to take-off and one failed to return. The remaining four aircraft successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area, and all the parachutes were seen to open. Some light A.A.Fire was encountered, but it was ineffective. No enemy aircraft were seen. There was broken cloud in the mining area, although visibility was fairly good. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling Mk.I. EF.340, captained by Sgt. R.F. Westwood.

Stirling Mk.I BF377 AA-J

F/L Ronald Hugh Laud, RAF 40625 – Pilot.
Sgt. Hugh Steel McQuade, RAFVR 1349542) – Navigator.
Sgt. Henry Stephen Mulholland, RAFVR 1332768 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. A. T. Boomsma, RAFVR 1331148 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Aubrey Reginald Waite, RAFVR 575638 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. M.K. Matthews, RAFVR 848364 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Frederick John Hawkins, RAFVR 1299618 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:52 – Landed 03:02
Flight Time 05:10

09/05/1943 – Mining in the Ile De Re Area
Six aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation, with Mines of 1500lb. All of the Mines were dropped in the allotted area and the parachutes were seen to open. One aircraft met heavy A.A.Fire, but it was ineffective , a few enemy aircraft were seen, but no combats took place. The weather was good in the mining area and visibility was also good. Navigation was excellent.

Stirling Mk.III BF465 AA-K

F/L Ronald Hugh Laud, RAF 40625 – Pilot.
Sgt. Hugh Steel McQuade, RAFVR 1349542) – Navigator.
Sgt. Henry Stephen Mulholland, RAFVR 1332768 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Thomas, Whatmough, RAFVR 1059932 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Aubrey Reginald Waite, RAFVR 575638 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. William Alfred Maxwell Hardy, RNZAF NZ401226 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Frederick John Hawkins, RAFVR 1299618 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:55 – Landed 04:03
Flight Time 06:08

12/05/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Duisburg
Nine aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 2000lb, 1000lb and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb. Stirling Mk.III. BK.721 captained by F/Lt. E.R.M. Appleton, whilst taking off failed to clear an obstruction at the end of the runway and crashed almost immediately afterwards, all the crew with the exception of the captain and the wireless operator, F/Sgt. Cocks, S.G. were killed. The captain received severe injuries and the wireless was also injured, both were admitted to hospital. As a result of this crash two aircraft were unable to take-off. One aircraft returned early owing to the Captain being sick. The remaining five aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area, and large concentrated fires and some explosions were seen. Some heavy A.A.Fire, co-operating with searchlights was encountered, but it was ineffective. A few enemy aircraft were seen but no combats took place. The weather was very clear in the target area with good visibility except for ground haze which prevented identification. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.III BF465 AA-K

F/L Ronald Hugh Laud, RAF 40625 – Pilot.
Sgt. Hugh Steel McQuade, RAFVR 1349542) – Navigator.
Sgt. Henry Stephen Mulholland, RAFVR 1332768 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Thomas, Whatmough, RAFVR 1059932 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Aubrey Reginald Waite, RAFVR 575638 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. M.K. Matthews, RAFVR 848364 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Frederick John Hawkins, RAFVR 1299618 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:29 – Landed 04:25
Flight Time 03:56

13/05/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Bochum
Twelve aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 2000lb, 1000lb, and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb. Three aircraft, however, were forced to return early owing to engine trouble. The remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area, and very large concentrated fires were seen, together with explosions. This is considered to have been a very successful raid. Heavy predicted A.A.Fire co-operation with searchlights was encountered. Several enemy aircraft were seen and some short combats took place. Stirling Mk.I. BK619, captained by Sgt. J.L. Mitchell was attacked by an ME110 and opened fire at 400 yards slightly below our aircraft. The mod-upper gunner fired a medium burst and the enemy aircraft was seen to burst into flames and passed beneath the Stirling. The rear gunner fired a further long burst at 300 yards and the enemy aircraft was seen to turn on its back and dive, hit the ground and explode. The weather was very clear in the target area, but visibility was impaired by slight ground haze. Navigation was good.

Stirling Mk.III BF465 AA-K

F/L Ronald Hugh Laud, RAF 40625 – Pilot.
Sgt. Hugh Steel McQuade, RAFVR 1349542) – Navigator.
Sgt. Henry Stephen Mulholland, RAFVR 1332768 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Thomas, Whatmough, RAFVR 1059932 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Aubrey Reginald Waite, RAFVR 575638 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. M.K. Matthews, RAFVR 848364 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Frederick John Hawkins, RAFVR 1299618 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:42 – Landed 05:32
Flight Time 04:50

23/05/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Dortmund
Fifteen aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks with bombs of 1000lb and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb. One aircraft returned early owing to engine trouble, and the remaining aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Some very large fires were seen, and the bombs were seen to explode amongst large buildings. Medium and Heavy A.A.Fire co-operating with searchlights was encountered. One aircraft was hit whilst over the target, and the port outer propeller was shot off, but the aircraft successfully returned to base. Some enemy aircraft were seen, and two short combats took place, but no damage was sustained to our aircraft. The weather was good in the target area, but identification was difficult owing to smoke from the fires. Navigation was very good. Stirling Mk.III,BK.783 captained by Sergeant S.M. Tietjens failed to return.

Stirling Mk.I BK817 AA-B

S/L Ronald Hugh Laud, RAF 40625 – Pilot.
F/O Charles ‘Charlie’ Eddy, RNZAF NZ39003 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Hugh Steel McQuade, RAFVR 1349542) – Navigator.
Sgt. Henry Stephen Mulholland, RAFVR 1332768 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Thomas, Whatmough, RAFVR 1059932 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Aubrey Reginald Waite, RAFVR 575638 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. M.K. Matthews, RAFVR 848364 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Frederick John Hawkins, RAFVR 1299618 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:18 – Landed 03:20
Flight Time 04:02

11/06/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Dusseldorf
Sixteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 2,000lb.,1,000lb. and incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb. One aircraft failed to return and two returned early owing to engine trouble. The remainder of the aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Many large fires and huge explosions were seen. Moderate and heavy A.A.fire co-operating with search lights were encountered. One aircraft was coned by searchlights, but violent evasive action eventually avoided them with difficulty. Some enemy aircraft were seen and two short combats took place, but no damage was sustained by our aircraft. The weather was clear and the visibility was good except for haze caused by the fires. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stiring Mk.III BK817 captained by Squadron Leader R.H. Laud, (“A” Flight Commander).

Stirling Mk.III BK817 AA-B

S/L Ronald Hugh Laud, RAF 40625 – Pilot.
Sgt. John Herbert Russell, RAFVR 1338131 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Hugh Steel McQuade, RAFVR 1349542) – Navigator.
Sgt. Henry Stephen Mulholland, RAFVR 1332768 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Thomas, Whatmough, RAFVR 1059932 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Aubrey Reginald Waite, RAFVR 575638 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Frederick John Hawkins, RAFVR 1299618 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. M.K. Matthews, RAFVR 848364 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:48 – Landed –
Flight Time – Missing

Stirling Mk.III BK817 AA-B was shot down en route to the target at 01:35hrs by a night-fighter (Oblt Wilhelm Telge, Stab II/ NJG1), crashing at Frodthier (Liège), 6 miles North of Verviers, Belgium. All but the Rear Gunner died and they are buried at Heverlee War Cemetery. Sgt Matthews survived and was taken as a POW.

(S/L Laud was a New Zealander, from Campbells Bay, Auckland, who joined the RAF prior to the outbreak of war)

S/Ldr. Ronald Hugh Laud, RAF 40625 – Pilot.
Killed age 27.
Son of Norman Charles and Mabel Laud, of Auckland City, New Zealand; Husband of Doris Laud (Nee Wilson), of Campbell’S Bay, Auckland.
Buried Heverlee War Cemetery, Belgium..
Grave location – 9. D. 1.
‘Love deep as thine
Lays here its broken flower’

Sgt. John Herbert Russell, RAFVR 1338131 – 2nd Pilot.
Killed age 21.
Son of Herbert and Bertha Millie Russell, of Crayford, Kent.
Buried Heverlee War Cemetery, Belgium..
Grave location – Coll. grave 9. D. 2-7.
‘In loving memory
Of our dear son.
Always in our thoughts.
Mum and dad’

Sgt. Hugh Steel Mcquade, RAFVR 1349542 – Navigator.
Killed age 21.
Buried Heverlee War Cemetery, Belgium..
Grave location – Coll. grave 9. D. 2-7.

Sgt. Henry Stephen Mulholland, RAFVR 1332768 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 20.
Son of James Alex and Louisa Mulholland, of Holloway, London.
Buried Heverlee War Cemetery, Belgium..
Grave location – Coll. grave 9. D. 2-7.
‘Farewell, in hope and love
Till He whose home
Is ours above
Unites us there’

F/S Thomas Whatmough, RAFVR 1059932 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 30.
Son of Thomas and Mercer E. Whatmough; Husband of Alice Mary Whatmough, of Patchway, Gloucestershire.
Buried Heverlee War Cemetery, Belgium..
Grave location – Coll. grave 9. D. 2-7.
‘He died
That we might live
Too dearly loved to be forgotten’

Sgt. Aubrey Reginald Waite, RAF 575638 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 20.
Son of Reginald John and Minnie Rhoda Waite, of Reading, Berkshire.
Buried Heverlee War Cemetery, Belgium..
Grave location – Coll. grave 9. D. 2-7.
‘Always remembered
With greatest love
Mother and dad’

Sgt. Frederick John Hawkins, RAFVR 1299618 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 22.
Son of Charles Gerard and Fanny Elizebeth Hawkins, of Ringwood, Hampshire.
Buried Heverlee War Cemetery, Belgium..
Grave location – Coll. grave 9. D. 2-7.
‘Remembered by all’

Sgt. M.K. Matthews, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.
P.o.W
Prisoner of War Number: not known
Prison Camps: not known
Date of return to United Kingdom: not known

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