List of Prisoners of War

Throughout the period of the 2nd Word War, some 218 members of aircrew, having survived the downing of their aircraft, found themselves captured and made Prisoners of War. Below is record of those individuals, along with details of the events that lead to their internment. I would hope, with time and further research, details and their stories might be added to this record.

A

ALDERSON
Sgt. Robert Alderson
RAFVR 2221636 – Mid Upper Gunner
20th of November 1944 – Attack Against Homberg
Lancaster Mk.III PB520 AA – G
Pilot – Hubert Rees

Twenty eight aircraft took off to attack the Oil Refinery Plant at Homberg. Twenty two aircraft in daylight attacked the target in ten tenths cloud with tops at 23,000 ft. which made formation flying very difficult. They carried 4,000 lb and 500 lb bombs. Results of bombing could not be observed, but it is considered that the raid was unsatisfactory. One aircraft AA/J returned early owing to icing trouble and two aircraft bombed last resort targets at Duisburg and Hamborn. Three aircraft failed to return. These were captained by 185116 F/O R. Gordon, AUS419328 F/O P. McCartin and 152402 F/O H. Rees.

The circumstances of the loss of Lancaster Mk.III PB520 AA – G are unclear, but all seven crew either abandoned the aircraft in flight or escaped unhurt after a crash landing. They were all simply recorded as being captured as Prisoners of War.

P.o.W Number: 1317
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft VI
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known


ALLEN
Sgt. Bernard ‘Bill’ Allen
RAFVR 968734 – Mid Upper Gunner
10th of June 1944 – Attack Against Dreux
Lancaster Mk.1 ME702 AA – Q
Pilot – Lester Lacelles Bonisch

Of the twenty four aircraft detailed to bomb Dreux, twenty two successfully attacked in good weather, the marshalling yards being visually identified until they were obscured by smoke. One aircraft had an inconclusive combat with a JU.88. The aircrafts captained by NZ422098 P/O. L. Bonisch and NZ422267 F/S. Donaghy, T. failed to return.

ME702 was hit at least twice by AA fire over the target area which caused an explosion, and the aircraft began breaking up. The wreckage fell just South West of Dreux. All the crew except Sgt Allen, RAF, who survived the crash, were killed and initially buried at Garnay. Sgt Allen was taken prisoner, after some weeks on the run. He was captured at St. Paire..

P.o.W Number: 380
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft VII
Returned to the United Kingdom: unknown.

For the full diary of Bill Allen’s evasion, capture and internement, click here.


ALLEN
Sgt. Charles ‘Chaz’ Allen
RAFVR 1898556 – Rear Gunner
20th of November 1944 – Attack Against Homberg
Lancaster Mk.III PB520 AA – G
Pilot – Hubert Rees

Twenty eight aircraft took off to attack the Oil Refinery Plant at Homberg. Twenty two aircraft in daylight attacked the target in ten tenths cloud with tops at 23,000 ft. which made formation flying very difficult. They carried 4,000 lb and 500 lb bombs. Results of bombing could not be observed, but it is considered that the raid was unsatisfactory. One aircraft AA/J returned early owing to icing trouble and two aircraft bombed last resort targets at Duisburg and Hamborn. Three aircraft failed to return. These were captained by 185116 F/O R. Gordon, AUS419328 F/O P. McCartin and 152402 F/O H. Rees.

The circumstances of the loss of Lancaster Mk.III PB520 AA – G are unclear, but all seven crew either abandoned the aircraft in flight or escaped unhurt after a crash landing. They were all simply recorded as being captured as prisoners of war.

P.o.W Number: 1218
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft VII
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known


AMPS
Sgt. D.W.S. Amps
RAFVR – – Rear Gunner
25th of February 1945 –
Lancaster Mk.III LM740 AA – B
Pilot – Louis Eldon Bernhardt Klitscher

Eighteen aircraft were detailed to attack Kamen. Thin stratus cloud in layers covered the target area, but at times crews were able to make out the target and report a considerable white smoke followed by thick black smoke rising to a good height. Accurate H/F was experienced. AA”B” captained by F/S Klitscher is missing from this operation

Lancaster Mk.III LM740 AA – B was en route to the target and was seen to leave the stream near Wesel (some 50mls from the target) with the port-inner engine feathered after being hit by heavy flak. The seven crew then apparently abandoned the aircraft after turning for home and landing relatively uninjured in enemy territory. They were all captured as P.o.W’s.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: not known
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


ANDREWS
Sgt. D.E. Andrews
RAFVR 1892914 – Flight Engineer
18th of July 1944 – Attack Against Aulnoye
Lancaster Mk.I LL921 AA – E
Pilot – John William Anthony Myers

Twenty eight aircraft took off to attack the aircraft works at Aulnoye, one of those originally detailed being withdrawn. All crews were successful in attacking the target, and the bombing was well controlled by the Master Bomber. A concentrated raid developed, and several crews were able to identify the target visually. A.A. opposition was very slight, but enemy fighters were more active, and one aircraft (Captain NZ411411 F/O. G. Kennedy), claimed to have shot down two enemy aircraft. One of our aircraft (Captain NZ405801 A/F/L. J. Myers) failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I LL921 AA – E was brought down by a night fighter at Harveng (Hainaut), 3.5 miles South South East of Mons. The fighter had collided with the Lancaster during an attack from below, causing severe damage to the starboard wing and an uncontrollable fire in the outer engine. All crew baled out successfully on the Pilot’s orders while he managed to keep the aircraft relatively stable. It too then plunged into the ground, sadly killing the Pilot. The enemy fighter also crashed nearby.
Of the six who landed safely, three were captured as P.o.W’s while the other three successfully evaded capture.

P.o.W Number: 419
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft VIII/357
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


ARMSTRONG
Sgt. Colin B. Armstrong
RAFVR 2209010 – Mid Upper Gunner
4th of March 1944 – Special Operations – March Moon Period TRAINER 124 (RESULT UNKNOWN)
Stirling Mk.III EF215 AA – M
Pilot – Raymond Johnson Watson

The wreckage of EF215 was found on a mountainside at Rochefort-Montagne, 15 miles West South West of Clermont-Ferrand, where six of the deceased crew were buried. The only survivor was Sgt C. B. Armstrong, who escaped with relatively few injuries. He was taken into custody as a POW.

P.o.W Number: 27446
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag VIII/ 357
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known


ATKIN
Sgt. John William Filda Atkin
RNZAF NZ411057 – Rear Gunner
11th of August 1942 – Attack Against Targets at Mainz
Wellington Mk.III BJ.625 AA – T
Pilot – Thomas Smith Barclay

Nine aircraft were detailed to attack above target. Bomb laod 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.

Little is known of the circumstances that led to the aircraft being brought down near Dusseldorf, although flak damage was considered to be the main cause. All crew except Sgt Atkin, the Rear Gunner, died and were initially buried in the Dusseldorf Cemetery. Sgt Atkin escaped with slight injuries and was taken prisoner.

P.o.W Number: 25659
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft. StalagVIIIB/344.Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 22nd of April 1945.


ATWELL
Sgt. Kenneth John Atwell
RCAF R.87365 – Wireless Operator
17th of December 1942 – Attack Against Targets At Fallersleben
Stirling Mk.I BK.620 AA – A
Pilot – Kenneth John Dunmall

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 BK.620 AA-A was shot down by a combination of flak and night fighters, crash-landing into the Westeinder Plas, South West of Aalsmeer (Noord Holland) and 10 miles South West of Amsterdam. All its crew survived the crash-landing but they later were interned as prisoners. The Captain, P/O Williams, was placed in the German POW camp at Sagan, from where he escaped by way of the famous ‘Wooden Horse’. On his return to the UK he was decorated with the Military Cross.

P.o.W Number: 27336
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIIB/344. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: May 1945.


B

BAKER
F/S Arthur Donald Baker
RNZAF NZ4214043 – Navigator
21st of March 1945 – Attack Against Munster Viaduct
Lancaster Mk.III LM733 AA – R
Pilot – Alfred Errol Brown

Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack the Muster Viaduct. There was hardly any cloud over the target. It is thought that the concentration was good although the formation was broken up just prior to bombing. Three aircraft failed to return from this operation – AA”T”, NZ42451 F/L J. Plummer, AA”R” NZ429139 P/O A. Brown and JN”P” 190947 P/O D.S. Barr. All three aircraft were seen to hit in the target area. Considerable H/F was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.III LM733 AA-R was bombing the target at Munster when it was seen to break into two sections and enter a downward spiral before crashing in flames among trees near Coesfeld at 13.30hrs. The cause of the catastrophic damage was thought to be a combination of flak damage and being struck by a bomb from another 3 Group aircraft flying above. Two crew, the Pilot and Air Bomber, were killed and later buried in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. The other five crew parachuted to safety and were captured as P.o.W’s.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: not known
Returned to the United Kingdom: 21st of April 1945


BAKER
F/O Bernard Charles Baker
RNZAF NZ425447 – Air Bomber
7th of August 1944 – Attack Against Mare De Magne
Lancaster Mk.I HK567 AA – C
Pilot – Godfree Arnold Brunton

The target was enemy troops and armour concentrations at Mare De Magne, being made in direct support of the Allied Armies advance in the Caen area. Seventeen aircraft were detailed, all of which took off and dropped their bombs with the aid of markers, and a concentrated raid developed. Opposition from A.A. fire was very slight, but a few enemy fighters were active. One aircraft had an inconclusive combat and another (Captain 150278 .F/O. G. Brunton) failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I HK567 AA-C was compelled to crash land in the target area, reasons unknown. The two RAF Air Gunners did not survive the crash and were buried in the St-Valery-en-Caux Cemetery. All the remaining five crew survived and either evaded capture, or were caught.

P.o.W Number: 86437
P.o.W Camps: Stalags XIIA and Luft I
Returned to the United Kingdom: 14th of May 1945.


BAKER
SGT. D.C. Baker
RAFVR 574826 – Flight Engineer
2nd of December 1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Frankfurt
Stirling Mk.I BK.618 AA – Q
Pilot – Alexander Scott

Five aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with bomb load of 4lb. Incendiaries, but a series of misfortunes left only two to get away successfully. One of these, Stirling I, BK618 captained by Sergeant Scott, failed to return, so the night was an unhappy one. One aircraft failed to take off, one swung so badly on take-off that after two attempts the sortie was abandoned, and the third unsuccessful aircraft returned early with the port outer engine dead, this being due to hitting the top of a drewm pole shortly after take-off. The one successful aircraft, Stirling I, R.9243 captained by F/O Trott, dropped its bombs in the target area from 10,000 feet and fires were seen to start. Slight heavy A.A. fire was encountered, some searchlights were also seen operating in cones. No enemy aircraft were seen. The weather was hazy to the target, but clear with good visibility in the target area. Navigation was good, the town being identified by the bend in the river.

Stirling Mk.I BK.618 AA-Q was shot down by two enemy night-fighters 10 minutes after bombing the target, Frankfurt. The aircraft crashed in flames at Ida Oberstein, approximately 55 miles South West of the target. Five crew members parachuted to safety and were taken as prisoners. The Pilot and Mid-Upper Gunner died in the crash and were buried at Rheinberg, 10 miles South of Wesel.

P.o.W Number: 905
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft 1 and Luft VI/357. Promoted to F/Sgt whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


BALLARD
Sgt. W.J.S. Ballard
RAFVR 1853215 – Mid Upper Gunner
20th of July 1944 – Attack Against Homberg
Lancaster Mk.III ND915 AA – A
Pilot – Hugh Edward Gilmour

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 ND915 AA-A was brought down by an enemy night-fighter at 01:35hrs between Keldost (Noord-Brabant) and Erp, 3 miles South East of Veghel. Five of the seven crew died and two, the Navigator and Mid UJpper Gunner, escaped uninjured only to be taken as prisoners.
The RAF Rear Gunner, Sgt Stevenson, at 18 years of age was one of the youngest airmen killed while flying with Bomber Command during 1944.

P.o.W Number: 602
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft VII.
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


BARNES
Sgt. James George Barnes
RNZAF NZ405362 – Front Gunner
24th of October 1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Milan
Wellington Mk.III Z.1652 AA – ?
Pilot – Howard James Hugill

Five aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 1,000lb. 500lb. 250lb and incendiaries were dropped in the target area. Some slight A.A. fire was encountered, cloud stopped searchlight activity. No combats with enemy aircraft took place. 10/10ths cloud from the French Coast to the target made identification of the target difficult. Navigation was difficult owing to cloud preventing the use of Astro. Wellington Z1652 captained by Sergt. Hugill and Wellington BK725 captained by Sergt. McConnell failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1652 was shot down over France, crashing at Ville-aur-Retourne (Ardennes) on the south bank of the River Retourne, 13 miles South South East of Rathel. The Pilot and the Navigator were both killed and were buried in the Ville-sur-Retourne churchyard.
Sgt’s Worsdale, Newbold and Barnes survived. The first two evaded capture but Barnes was taken prisoner.

P.o.W Number: 803
P.o.W Camps: not known – Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 16th of May 1945.


BARRACLOUGH
Sgt. H. Barraclough
RAFVR 1590144 – Rear Gunner
21st of March 1945 – Attack Against Munster Viaduct
Lancaster Mk.III LM733 AA – R
Pilot – Alfred Errol Brown

Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack the Muster Viaduct. There was hardly any cloud over the target. It is thought that the concentration was good although the formation was broken up just prior to bombing. Three aircraft failed to return from this operation – AA”T”, NZ42451 F/L J. Plummer, AA”R” NZ429139 P/O A. Brown and JN”P” 190947 P/O D.S. Barr. All three aircraft were seen to hit in the target area. Considerable H/F was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.III LM733 AA – R, was bombing the target at Munster when it was seen to break into two sections and enter a downward spiral before crashing in flames among trees near Coesfeld at 13:30hrs. The cause of the catastrophic damage was thought to be a combination of flak damage and being struck by a bomb from another 3 Group aircraft flying above. Two crew, the pilot and air bomber, were killed and later buried in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. The other five crew parachuted to safety and were captured as POW’s.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: not known
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known


BEVAN
Sgt. Leslie Sydney Bevan RNZAF NZ41565 – Rear Gunner
8th of September 1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Frankfurt
Wellington Mk.III BJ.596 AA – ?
Pilot – Eric William Peter Johnson

Nine aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack. Bomb load of 4,000lb., 500lb and incendiaries were dropped in the target area. Larger fires were seen. A.A. fire was moderate, searchlights were numerous, particularly in target area. A few enemy aircraft were seen, but no attacks were made. The weather was good, with slight ground haze. Navigation was accurate by DR and TR. Wellington captained by Sgt. Johnson failed to return.
BJ.596 was hit by flak in the target area causing catastrophic damage. The crew was forced to abandon the burning aircraft and all successfully reached the ground, only to be taken Prisoners of War.

P.o.W Number: 26976
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIIB/344. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 9th of April 1945


BEAVER
Sgt. T. E. Beaver RAFVR 1276184 – Flight Engineer
29th of May 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Wuppertal
Stirling Mk.III EH881 AA – Z
Pilot – John Henry Roy Carey

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 EH881 AA-Z was brought down at Eilendorf, outside the township of Aachen (35 miles South West of Cologne). The Captain and two gunners died in the crash and are buried in Rheinberg War Cemetery. The other four crew all escaped uninjured, either by parachute or from the wrecked aircraft, and were captured as P.o.W’s.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: not known
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known


BELL
Sgt. H. Bell RAFVR 1159189 – Rear Gunner
26th of October 1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Hamburgh and Cherbourgh
Wellington Mk.Ic Z.1168 AA – H
Pilot – S.J.G. Isherwood

Five Wellington aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. One of these aircraft, Z1168, captained by Sgt. Isherwood failed to return to base. A mixed load was carried consisting of 1000 lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Bombs were dropped on target, but owing to intense cloud, bursts were not observed. One large fire was started which was visible for 35 miles. An enemy aerodrome wa sin use to the north of target, and a large fire was observed buring N.E. of Auster Altern. There was a heavy flak of A.A. fire over target and from the direction of Cuxhaven and Bremerhaven. There were approximately 150 searchlights coned over target area. One enemy aircraft observed landing on aerodrom bombed. CLoud was 10/10th over sea, but very good visibility in breaks over target. Searchlights were observed to be co-operating more with fighters over target.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.1168 AA – H, failed to return to base. The aircraft suffered catastrophic damage from heavy AA fire over Hamburg but all but one of the crew successfully baled out and were subsequently taken prisoners of war. The Front Gunner, Sgt B W Shelnutt, went down with the aircraft and was killed.

P.o.W Number: 24461
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags, VIIIB, Luft III, Luft VI/357. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known


BLACK
F/O John Arthur Black RAAF AUS.425420 – Mid Upper Gunner
4th of November 1943 – Mining in the Baltic Sea
Stirling MK.III BF461 JN – B
Pilot – Gordon Kenneth Williams

Four aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation, with mines of 1500lbs. This wa an unfortunate night as three aircraft failed to return and the other aircraft returned early having jettisoned its mines. This aircraft met an enemy night fighter and sustained damage to the port wing, starboard flap, rear turret and many large holes in the fuselage, the rear gunner, Sgt.W. HURDIE, was killed during the combat. The weather was bad and ten tenths cloud made visibility poor. Navigation was good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings MKIII BF461, Captained by P/O.G.K.WILLIAMS, BK&&* Captained by P/O.W.S.MASTERS and XXXXX Captained by F/O. N.WILSON.

On the night of 4th-5th of November 1943, the RAF launched only minor operations. Thirty-six aircraft were detailed for mining at various places from Lorient to the Kattegat. Four Stirlings failed to return from the night’s operations.. According to the returning crews   from 75 (NZ) Sqn the weather was bad with poor visibility. One of the lost Stirlings was Stirling MK.III BF461 JN-B, which took off from Mepal just after 16:59 hrs. Nothing was heard from it after take-off. Like many of the aircraft BF-461 encountered German night fighters over Denmark, in this instance two Ju.88’s. The damage caused to the Stirling in the ensuing confrontation forced it to jettison its mines and attempt to return early to base. The Stirling crashed at Kallerup in Jutland, Denmark. P/O Champion’s body was found and taken to the German morgue, the Nordre Mole, in Fredrikshavn by a German lorry. Official German documents record the death ‘from burns’. However in a report compiled by a Danish policeman a Danish undertaker questioned this verdict. If Pilot Officer Champion died had died from burns the body would have been taken to the undertaker in a coffin. As this was not the case it may be that P/O Champion was killed in the crash. P/O Champion was buried at Fredrikshavn on the 13th of November, together with seven other British airmen. No military honours were given and the ceremony was performed by a German field padre. A group of Danes attending the the funeral laid wreaths and flowers on each of the coffins, at done at other funerals. The other members of the crew were taken prisoner. Five of them were sent to Germany, but F/S Morice was sent to hospital at Thisyten for treatment. He was helped to escape and was subsequently taken to the vicarage in Biersted. From Frederikshavn he was taken to Sweden. He was repatriated to Britian in accordance with the Geneva Convention. During an earlier tour, with 105 Sqn, Sgt Williams crash-landed and was interned in Portugal 17 July to 14 August 1941.

P.o.W Number: 1766
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft 1 and Luft III
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known


BLACKBEE
Sgt. K.A. Blackbee RAFVR – – Mid Upper Gunner
25th of February 1945 –
Lancaster Mk.III LM740 AA – B
Pilot – Louis Eldon Bernhardt Klitscher

Eighteen aircraft were detailed to attack Kamen. Thin stratus cloud in layers covered the target area, but at times crews were able to make out the target and report a considerable white smoke followed by thick black smoke rising to a good height. Accurate H/F was experienced. AA”B” captained by F/S Klitscher is missing from this operation

Lancaster Mk.III LM740 AA-B was en route to the target and was seen to leave the stream near Wesel (some 50mls from the target) with the port-inner engine feathered after being hit by heavy flak. The seven crew then apparently abandoned the aircraft after turning for home and landing relatively uninjured in enemy territory. They were all captured as P.o.W’s.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: not known
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


BLAKEWAY
Sgt. Robert Boswell Blakeway RNZAF NZ403486 – 2nd Pilot
15th of September 1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Hamburg
Wellington Mk.Ic X.9918 AA – U
Pilot – Anthony Henry Ryder Hawkins

Twelve Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. Two of these aircraft failed to return, one being captained by Sgt J. A. Ward who was awarded the Victoria Cross on 4 August 1941. There was clear weather over the target, and bursts were seen in many parts of the target area. A.A. fire was heavy over and near target area. Searchlights were numerous, working in cones, and co-operating with A.A. fire and night fighters.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9918, AA-U was probably brought down by flak, near Hartenholm, about 24 miles North of Hamburg. Two crew members, Sgt R Robert Blakeway and Sgt W.Mullins RAF, successfully baled out and were taken prisoners of war. The rest of the crew were killed.

P.o.W Number: 39332
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags 9C, Luft VI, Luft IV and Luft I
Returned to the United Kingdom: 1st of May 1945


BOND
Sgt. G. A. A. Bond RAFVR 1801229 – Flight Engineer
31st of August 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Berlin
Stirling Mk.III EF501 AA – K
Pilot – Keith Alexander McGregor

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 emeny 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 tailplane and fin badly damaged. The aircraft captained by F/O Alaexander sighted two Me109’s, the first opened fire from the starboard quarter and the rear gunner replied with a short burst. The emeny 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 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 emeny 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, was shot down by a night-fighter South West 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 P.o.W’s.

P.o.W Number: 43256
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft VI/357
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known


BOX
Sgt. Douglas C. Box RAFVR 1578987 – Mid Upper Gunner
31st of August 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Berlin
Stirling Mk.III EE878 AA – P
Pilot – Douglas Charles Henley

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 emeny 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 tailplane and fin badly damaged. The aircraft captained by F/O Alaexander sighted two Me109’s, the first opened fire from the starboard quarter and the rear gunner replied with a short burst. The emeny 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 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 EE878 AA – P, was badly damaged by flak and by night-fighter action near the target area. With the port inner engine out of action, and the port elevator only partially effective, considerable height was lost evading the fighter before control was regained. They were now almost out of fuel and at low level when the Pilot ordered the crew to bale out. Some of the crew succeeded in clearing the plane before it crash-landed at Ahrbruk, 7miles South West of Ahrweiler. The Navigator and Air Bomber were killed when their parachutes failed to deploy in time. The Pilot died at the controls. Those who died were buried at municipal cemetery at Mayschoss, but later reinterred in the RheinbergWar Cemetery, south of Wesel. The other four crew all survived but were captured as P.o.W’s.

P.o.W Number: 222357
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags IVB, Luft III. Promoted to F/Sgt whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known


BOXELL
F/S R.H. Boxell RAFVR 1331932 – Wireless Operator
30th of July 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Remscheld
Stirling Mk.III BF458 JN – A
Pilot – Alfred John Thomas

Thirteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lb. And 4lb..One aircraft returned early as rear turret was unserviceable and two failed to return. The remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area, large cncentrated fires and some explosions were seen. Moderate heavy and light A.A fire co-operating with searchlight belts were encountered, and one aircraft was slightly damaged in the mid- upper turret. OSme enemy aircraft were seen, the aircraft captained by F/S. O. WHITE sighted an unidentified aircraft which attacked three times. Each time the mid upper and rear gunners fired a burst, and strikes were seen on the enemy aircraft which then fell away and claimed to be damaged. The weather was good with clear visibility except for haze caused by fires. Navigation was very good. On return, one aircraft landed at HARDWICK, due to shortage of petrol. The missing aircraft were Stirling Mk.III BF458 captained by Sgt. A.J. THOMAS and Stirling Mk.III EE915 captianed by F/Sgt. J. DARNEY.

Stirling Mk.III BF458 JN – A, was brought down to the North of Krefeld, near Bockum and Uerdingen. The sole survivors were the Navigator and the Wireless Operator who were captured as P.o.W’s. The Flight Engineer and Mid Upper Gunner were buried in the Reichswald Forest Cemetery. The other three are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

P.o.W Number: 222430
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag IVB
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known


BRADDOCK
Sgt. W.E. Braddock RAFVR 1267404 – Observer
11th of August 1942 – Attack Against Targets at Mainz
Wellington Mk.III BJ.767 AA – V
Pilot – Laurence St.George Dobbin

Nine aircraft were detailed to attack above target. Bomb laod 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 hoeward 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 BJ.767 AA – V, was brought down in the vicinity of Venlo (Limburg), Holland. It is not known how or why the aircraft came down, but the location of the occurrence almost certainly points to it being shot down by an enemy night-fighter while returning to base.
Three of the crew survived the crash and were taken prisoners of war, indicating the captain, F/L Dobbin, had probably attempted a crash landing. Unfortunately he and Sgt Jury both failed to survive and were buried initially at Venlo.

P.o.W Number: 325637
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, StalagVIIIB/344. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 28th of April 1945


BRADY
W/O Maurice Archibald Brady RNZAF NZ39987 – Wireless Operator
29th of May 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Wuppertal
Stirling Mk.III EH881 AA – Z
Pilot – John Henry Roy Carey

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 EH881 AA-Z was brought down at Eilendorf, outside the township of Aachen (35 miles South West of Cologne). The Pilot and two Gunners died in the crash and are buried in Rheinberg War Cemetery. The other four crew all escaped uninjured, either by parachute or from the wrecked aircraft, and were captured as P.o.W’s.

P.o.W Number: 79
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft VI and 357. Promoted to W/O while interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 7th of May 1945


BREWER
Sgt. W.H.H. Brewer RAFVR – – Flight Engineer
25th of February 1945 –
Lancaster Mk.III LM740 AA – B
Pilot – Louis Eldon Bernhardt Klitscher

Eighteen aircraft were detailed to attack Kamen. Thin stratus cloud in layers covered the target area, but at times crews were able to make out the target and report a considerable white smoke followed by thick black smoke rising to a good height. Accurate H/F was experienced. AA”B” captained by F/S Klitscher is missing from this operation

Lancaster Mk.III LM740 AA-B was en route to the target and was seen to leave the stream near Wesel (some 50 miles from the target) with the port-inner engine feathered after being hit by heavy flak. The seven crew then apparently abandoned the aircraft after turning for home and landing relatively uninjured in enemy territory. They were all captured as P.o.W’s.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: not known. Promoted to F/S whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 8th of May 1945.


BRIGHT
Sgt. William Henry Bright RNZAF NZ41567 – Front gunner
28th of July 1942 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Wellington Mk.III X.3452 AA – J
Pilot – Charles Croall

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.

Caught within searchlight cones while bombing Hamburg, Sgt Croall took rapid evasive action by diving his aircraft steeply to a low level, but they were hit by vigorous light AA fire and forced to ditch in the sea. All but the Rear Gunner, Sgt Crarer, evacuated the aircraft successfully. They were picked up and taken prisoners of war. Sgt Crarer’s body was later recovered and buried in the Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery at Tonning.

P.o.W Number: 25628
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIIB/344. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 18th of April 1945.


BROADHEAD
Sgt. Basil Henry Broadhead RNZAF NZ422175 – Wireless Operator
22nd of June 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Mannheim (actually Mülheim)
Stirling Mk.III BK810 AA – G
Pilot – Francis Max McKenzie

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 BK810 AA – G, was brought down at 02.10hrs at Oostrum (Limburg) about a mile East of Venray, Holland from a combination of A.A fire and fighter attack. The fighter pilot was believed to be Hptm Wilhelm Herget of I /NJG1. All five crew except P/O McKenzie and F/S Blank parachuted to safety and were captured as P.o.W’s. McKenzie was buried in Jonkerbos War Cemetery, while Blank is located in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.

What follows is Hub’s presentation of the individuals and events that started on the 21st June 1943 and that were to involve Basil Broadhead and Karel Achten, his Father.

21/6/43 Halifax HR799 crashed at Klein Oirlo, Castenray.
On June 21st 1943,  20 year old pilot Bill Hickson and his crew left Graveleyn airfield in Halifax II HR799 heading for the German city Krefeld. When dropping markers over Krefeld , HR799 was attacked by a German fighter plane, an ME110. Bill and his crew had to bail out. The parachute of 2nd pilot Henry Krohn didn’t open and he lost his life. Rear Gunner Maxie Brown lost his life as well probably because he was trapped in his turret. Bill struggled through the escape hatch before bailing out and one of his boots hooked and was torn off in the slipstream. The boot was found by Piet Martens and ended up in the private ww2 collection from Wies Peeters out of Broekhuizen. On request the of Bill Hickson’s son, Wies returned the boot to New Zealand and on his 87th birthday, in 2009,  Bill got his boot back.

The burning plane crashed in a hamlet called Klein Oirlo. Four airmen from his crew were captured by the Germans, but Bill was able to evade capture. In his RAF uniform, wearing only one boot and with scorched hair, he was on the run for 6 weeks. In Veulen he ended up at a farm and he talked to the farmer’s wife, Miss van Staveren. He was lucky because it appeared that her son Cor was a member of the resistance. Bill stayed at the farm with the family van Staveren where he was hidden for a while until the Gestapo searched the area and he was forced to move to the shelter in a nearby wood in Oirlo where he met Basil Broadhead from  BK810 who had already been there for a while.

22/6/43 Short Stirling BK810 crashed at Oostrum
On  June 22nd 1943 at 23:35 left from Newmarket airfield in England the Short Stirling Bomber Mk.III BK810 from  75(NZ) Squadron RAF.  BK810 was part of a massive raid  heading for the city of Mulheim in the German Ruhr area. Involved in this bomb attack were 242 lancasters, 155 Halifaxes, 93 Stirlings, 55 Wellingtons and 12 spitfires.

The crew of the BK810 consisted of:
P/O. Francis Max McKenzie, 26, Pilot, 41344, RNZAF
F/Sgt. John Frederick Blank, 20, Bomb aimer, 422175, RNZAF
Sgt. A.E. West, Navigator, 421947, RNZAF.
Sgt. E.W. McGonigal, Rear gunner, 421329, RNZAF.
Sgt. R.A.W. Triptree, Flight engineer, 1323983, RAF.
Sgt. J.R.G. Chrystal, Mid upper gunner, 520430, RAF.
Sgt. B.H. Broadhead, Wireless Operator, 415986, RNZAF.

On their way back they were hit by flak. A fire started but was quickly gotten under control by the crew. Shortly after a German fighter pilot slipped underneath the Stirling and fired his 20 mm guns into the wings , which contained the fuel tanks. With a blazing wing and loss of power,  Pilot Officer Max Mckenzie gave the order to bail out. The blazing plane crossed the Dutch border and crashed at Oostrum at 02:10. Max Mckenzie was the last one of the crew who left the plane – but the altitude was too low for the parachute to save his life. His body with his parachute was found one kilometer away from the crash site. John Blank (20 years old) the Air Bomber, did not survive the jump from the plane. He died after the jump but it is unknown what exactly happened.

Navigator Sgt. A.E. West , Flight Engineer Sgt. R.A.W. Triptree and Upper Gunner Sgt. J.R.G. Chrystal survived the parachute jump but were captured by the Germans and sent to a POW camp.

Rear Gunner Sgt. Eric McGonical evaded capture for 2 weeks. The Germans captured him while he was crossing a bridge. He was desperate enough to eat green potatoes.

Wireless Operator Sgt. Basil Broadhead survived the parachute jump and was helped evading capture by a member of the resistance, pilot helper Karel (Kai) Achten out of a nearby village Oirlo. At first Karel hid Basil in his parent’s house and later on in the woods in Oirlo in an underground shelter. In a letter that Basil sent in 1946 to the family Achten he wrote; “I remember the hole in the wood very well”. Later on Basil Broadhead got company in the shelter in Oirlo from Bill (William) Hickson, pilot off the Halifax HR799 of the 35th Squadron Pathfinder Force RNZAF. The Halifax crashed in Klein Oirlo, Castenray.

The escape
From the shelter in Oirlo Basil Broadhead and Bill Hickson were put on an underground escape line to Sittard. There was a new escape line organized by the resistance that runs via the Waddenzee where they would be picked up by an English boat. Later on it turned out that this was a trap put up by traitors and the Germans. This betrayal was part of the notorious “England spiel”. Five airmen and two members of the resistance in Sittard were going to escape to England via this new route. In the beginning of august 1943, the airmen Broadhead, Hickson and Brown from New Zealand and the Englishman Evans were transported to a temporary safe house in Tilburg.

The Group was escorted by Harrie Tobben, a member of the Sittard resistance and Harries fiancée, Jet van Oyen. Jet looked like a schoolgirl and carried a Luger pistol in her handbag. At the address in Tilburg they had to wait for further travel instructions. This small house in Tilburg was located at the Diepenstraat where Coba Hulskens lived. It was a shelter for Jews, resistance people and stranded allied aircrew.

Later on Coba was arrested by the Germans and sent to the Concentration Camp Ravensbruck where she was gassed to death.

The time of waiting came to an end with the message that the Group on august 6th 1943 had to travel by train to Apeldoorn where they would be picked up at the train station. Jet van Oyen decided to travel with Harrie through Holland as far as possible to say goodbye. Paul Gulikers, the second member of the resistance who also wanted to escape to England, was traveling via Venlo because he had to pick up the Polish pilot Morski. He would join the travelling group at the train station in Nijmegen.

The capture
After arriving in Apeldoorn the group were met by  resistance members, Vastenhoudt, Jordens and Van Wesemael. Later on it tramspired that they were infiltrated traitors who worked for the Germans. One of them advised Jet van Oyen to travel immediately back to Coba in Tilburg because the travelling was going to be very dangerous. Transportation was arranged to bring the Group “Englandtravellers” to a shelter where they could stay during the night. After arriving, the five airmen and the two members of the resistance, who were hoping, via an escape line from the Waddenzee, to reach England, were taken by surprise and captured by the Germans. The airmen were taken as Prisoners Of War for interrogation to the Abwehr.

The captivity
Basil Broadhead ended up in POW camp “Stalag 4B” near Dresden. After the war he wrote to Karel Achten; “I was there till the end of the war. However it was not so bad there.”

Bill Hickson was sent to the POW camp “Stalag Luft 3”in Sagan, near Berlin. There he helped in preparations for the escape of 76 airmen through a tunnel. Later on this was the subject of a well known movie called “The Great Escape”.

The two members of the resistance, Paul Gulikers and Harrie Tobben, were taken to the “Untersuchungsgefangnis” in Haaren (Holland) where they stayed for 2 months. They were sentenced to death because of their assistance of allied airmen. The death penalty was later reduced to imprisonment in a German prison. They ended up as “nacht und nebel” prisoners in the discipline prison in Hameln Germany. Nacht und Nebel was a special punitive measure to pick up resistance people without legal proceedings and vanish them without leaving a trace. Harrie Tobben did not survive; he died on March 15 1945 of a disease. Paul Guliker returned after the war to Sittard where he died on June 5 1975.

The capture in Apeldoorn of the 5 airmen and the two resistance members was kept secret because the Germans planned to use this escape line to arrest more airmen and members of the resistance.

The people behind the “Englandspiel” arranged a coded message on “Radio Orange” saying that the group arrived safely in England. This was of course not true, but was done so that the resistance did not know they had been betrayed.

On September 30th 1943 Jet van Oyen was arrested at the train station in Eindhoven when she was traveling with a Polish Pilot to Coba in Tilburg. She was sent home in November and after her release tok no further part in the resistance.

P.o.W Number: 222488
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag IVB. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 26th of May 1945.


BROOKS
AC John Stanley Brooks RAFVR 50392 – Wireless Operator
21st of May 1940 – Bombing Operations over Enemy Territory (Aachen and Dinant)
Wellington Mk.Ic R.3157 AA – H
Pilot – John Noel Collins

Eight aircraft detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks on above targets, six on target AACHEN and two on target DINANT.
All aircraft carried 12 – 250lbs. G.P. fused N.D.T. bombs each.
KCB.248 dropped 12 bombs on Marshalling yeards and scored direct hits, and also KCB.249.
KCB. 252 failed to locate target and returned to base with bomb load.
KCB.253, KCB.256, KCB257 successfullly attacked target, but unable to observe results due to intense searchlight activity. KCB.256 proceeded and attacked Power Station on S.E. of MAASTRICHT dropping three sticks of two bombs each. Two hits seen on railway siding beside station.
KCB.267 attacked road and rail bridge at DINANT, all strikes very near.
KCB.266 also on target failed to return.

While attacking the road/rail bridge at Dinant from a height of approximately 3,000ft, Wellington Mk.Ic R.3157 AA – H, received a direct hit by an AA shell in the starboard engine. The aircraft crashed in flames near the township of Kain (Hainaut), 2-3 miles North North West of Tournai, Belgium. Both pilots were killed in the crash but the other crew-members baled out safely, thanks to courageous efforts by John Collins in controlling the burning aircraft long enough to enable them to escape at low level. They survived and were captured. This was 75(NZ) Squadron’s first operational loss of the war, and the death of F/O. Collins (one of the original members of the New Zealand Flight) was the RNZAF’s first fatal casualty of the war.

P.o.W Number: 50392
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag 357. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


BROWNE
P/O Donald Elgin Browne RCAF R.107928/ J.16846 – Navigator
13th of February 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Lorient
Stirling Mk.I R9316 AA – K
Pilot – Roy Arthur Williams

Eleven aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with bombs of 1,000 lb. and 4 lb. incendiaries. Nine aircraft are known to have successfully attacked the target, of the other two, one returned early owing to the mid upper and front turrets being u/s and the other aircraft failed to return. Fires were burning fiercely in the target area, although they appeared to be scattered. F/Lt. Trott had his aircraft damaged by flak at the target, the number two tank on the port side was holed, the trimming tab was hit and his aerial was shot off. He preceeded to Middle Wallop and landed safely. Both heavy and light flak was encountered which was intense at first but later spasmodic and appeared to be swamped. Searchlights were seen in the early part of the attack but later went out. Some enemy aircraft were seen but no attacks were made. The weather was very good with clear visibility and no cloud. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling 1 R9316 captained by Sgt. R.A. Williams.

Stirling Mk.I R9316 AA – K, was hit by flak over the target and fire broke out. The Pilot ordered the crew to abandon the aircraft and all but himself and the rear gunner parachuted successfully, landing near Plouay, (Finistère), 11 miles North North East of Lorient. Four were captured and taken prisoner but the fifth, Sgt Willis, RCAF, successfully evaded capture.
The deceased, Sgt’s Williams and Harding-Smith, were buried at Guidel, near Lorient. The latter was the son of the Venerable Archdeacon T J Smith, of Nelson, New Zealand.

P.o.W Number: 27562
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags VIIIB, 344, Luft VI and 357
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


BUGLASS
Sgt. G. T. Buglass RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner
31st of August 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Berlin
Stirling Mk.III EH905 AA – R
Pilot – George Vincent Helm

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 emeny 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 tailplane and fin badly damaged. The aircraft captained by F/O Alaexander sighted two Me109’s, the first opened fire from the starboard quarter and the rear gunner replied with a short burst. The emeny 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 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 EH905 AA – R was struck by one or more bombs falling from an aircraft flying at a higher level over the target. The partially incapacitated aircraft came down near Ludwigsfelde-Heide, 18 miles South South West of Berlin. All except the two Air Gunners died and were buried initially in a collective grave in the Russian Prisoner of War Cemetery near where the Stirling crashed. They later were reinterred in Berlin.
The two RAF air gunners who survived, Sgt’s Burglass and Harries, were taken as P.o.W’s.

P.o.W Number: 12728
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag 357
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known

BURGESS
F/S John Burgess RNZAF NZ4211008 – Air Bomber
21st of July 1944 – Attack Against Homberg
Lancaster Mk.I ME752 AA – E
Pilot – Gerald Brian Roche

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.

ME752 was brought down by a night-fighter at 01:15hrs at Heythuysen in the Dutch province of Limburg, 7 milesl East of Weert. All crew members, except the Air Bomber and Mid-Upper Gunner, died in the crash and were first buried in the Heythuysen cemetery but are now lying in Jonkerbos War Cemetery. F/S Burgess survived and was captured as a POW. F/S McGee also survived and successfully evaded capture.
Sgt Armstrong, the RAF flight engineer, at 40 years of age was one of the oldest airmen killed on Bomber Command operations during 1944.

P.o.W Number: 442
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft VII. Promoted to W/O whislt interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 26th of May 1945


BURN
Sgt. A.E. Burn RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner
18th of July 1944 – Attack Against Aulnoye
Lancaster Mk.I LL921 AA – E
Pilot – John William Anthony Myers

Twenty eight aircraft took off to attack the aircraft works at Aulnoye, one of those originally detailed being withdrawn. All crews were successful in attacking the target, and the bombing was well controlled by the Master Bomber. A concentrated raid developed, and several crews were able to identify the target visually. A.A. opposition was very slight, but enemy fighters were more active, and one aircraft (Captain NZ411411 F/O. G. Kennedy), claimed to have shot down two enemy aircraft. One of our aircraft (Captain NZ405801 A/F/L. J. Myers) failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I LL921 AA – E was brought down by a night fighter at Harveng (Hainaut), 3.5 miles South South East of Mons. The fighter had collided with the Lancaster during an attack from below, causing severe damage to the starboard wing and an uncontrollable fire in the outer engine. All crew baled out successfully on the Pilot’s’s orders while he managed to keep the aircraft relatively stable. It too then plunged into the ground, sadly killing the pilot. The enemy fighter also crashed nearby.

Of the six who landed safely, three were captured as P.o.W’s while the other three successfully evaded capture.

P.o.W Number: 443
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft VII
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


BURNETT
Sgt. T. Burnett RAFVR 1823259 – Rear Gunner
6th of October 1944 – Attack Against Dortmund
Lancaster Mk.I LM104 JN – K
Pilot – Keith Southward

Twenty nine aircraft were detailed to attack Dortmund, but one of these was withdrawn owing to a technical failure. Twenty six aircraft attacked the target in good weather and a very accurate and concentrated raid was reported, large fires being left burning. A.A. Fire was moderate but fighters were active and the aircraft captained by NZ427798 F/S Farr, W. had a series of combats during which the enemy aircraft was claimed as being destroyed. One aircraft returned early and landed at Woodbridge owing to a technical failure and another (Captain NZ411048 F/O K. Southward) failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I LM104 JN – K, was at 22,000ft, probably en route to the target, when it was brought down by an enemy night-fighter South West of Monchengladbach, 50 miles South West of Dortmund, crashing near Willich. The Pilot was able to control the aircraft long enough to enable his crew to bale out successfully, but was unable to do so himself and he bravely died in the crash. He was buried at Willich but later reinterred at the Rheinberg War Cemetery. All of Southward’s crew were captured as prisoners of war.

P.o.W Number: 1059
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stag Luft VII. Promoted to F/Sgt whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


BURRIDGE
Sgt. Phillip Burridge RAFVR 901810 – Rear Gunner
25th of March 1942 – Attack Against Targets at St.Nazaire and Essen
Wellington Mk.III X.3652 AA – O
Pilot – Allen Bruce Slater

Twelve aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack. Wellington III X3652, captained by P/O Slater failed to return, and two aircraft failed to locate the target. Bomb Load consisted of 500 lbs and 250 lbs, this being dropped in the target area but no results were observed. Slight A.A. fire and a few ineffective searchlights were encountered but no enemy fighters were seen. Weather was fine with slight ground haze. Navigation by TR1335 and D.R. was good.

There appears to be no’ Official’ record or explanation as to the nature of the loss of X.3653 or Sgt. John Addis.

In  “Forever strong: The story of 75 Squadron RNZAF, 1916-1990” by Norman Franks, an account of the events of that night by Phil Burridge, Rear Gunner with the Slater crew that night:
“We flew direct to Essen and on the run in took a pounding from ground fire. We received a direct hit in the bomb bay which was full of flares. As the flares were to be used as a marker for the main stream, it was not possible for us to jettison them. We were unable to put the fire out, so the aircraft was eventually abandoned and I landed in Duisberg where I was given a hostile reception by the natives until taken prisoner by some Ack-Ack gunners…..Our second Pilot and W/Op – Tew Wainwright – had worked out a plan whereby if they ever had to abandon the aircraft and were a parachute short, they would clip the remaining parachute on one hook of each of their respective harnesses and jump together. So on this night, when it happened, they both jumped together, but with his arm through Ted’s harness while Ted held him with one arm. Tragically, when the chute opened, the second Pilot was thrown off…….”

P.o.W Number: 24815
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIIB/344. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


C

CALLAGHAN
Sgt. Ronald Patrick Callaghan RNZAF NZ411739 – Wireless Operator
28th of July 1942 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Wellington Mk.III BJ.661 AA – X
Pilot – John Edward Gilbertson

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
The aircraft was shot down by a German Ju 88 night-fighter at 03.05hrs into the Ijsselmeer, near Amsterdam, while on its way home following the Hamburg raid. The Ju 88 crew of two was Lieutenant Wilfgang Kuthe and his gunner, Unteroffizier Helmut Bonk.

Only Callahan the W/op, and Rutherford the nose gunner, survived the crash and floated free, supported by their life vests. They were later rescued and sent to a P.o.W camp.
The bodies of the captain and navigator were recovered from the wreck and buried in Amsterdam. The rear gunner’s body floated free and was recovered later some distance from the crash site and buried at Harderwijk.

P.o.W Number: 25141
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIIB/344. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 11th of April 1945.


CARTER
P/O Cecil William Phair Carter RNZAF NZ41874 – Pilot
2nd of June 1942 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Wellington Mk.III X.3408 AA – Q
Pilot – Cecil William Phair Carter

Sixteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area but no results were observed. A few small fires were seen near target. A.A. fire was fairly heavy and searchlights operating in cones were numerous. No enemy a/c were seen. Weather marred the operation, there being a heavy ground have. Navigation was excellent. Well, X3408, captained by P/O Carter, failed to return.

The aircraft was struck by flak while flying at 10,500ft but the Pilot was able to maintain control sufficiently to make a crash landing in the target area. All the crew escaped relatively uninjured but were soon captured and made prisoners of war.
It is believed that this was the first all-RNZAF crew of Bomber Command to be taken as Prisoners of War.

P.o.W Number: 545
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft , Stalag Luft III
Returned to the United Kingdom: 4th of May 1945.


CATTERICK
F/S D. Catterick RAFVR 1318470 – Mid Upper Gunner
23rd of August 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Berlin
Stirling Mk.III BF465 AA – K
Pilot – Andrew Rankin

Twenty three aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1,000lb., 500lb., and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb.. Five aircraft returned early owing to failure and three aircraft failed to return. The remainder of the aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area and all of the crews agreed that it had been well and truly hit. The fires were all concentrated and huge columns of smoke together with heavy explosions could be seen. A moderate heavy A.A. barrage co-operating with searchlights were encountered, but only one aircraft received damage. A great number of enemy aircraft were seen and several combats took place. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. WILKINSON sighted a JU88 passing above, the Mid-upper and Rear Gunners fired and strikes were seen on the enemy aircraft which was then lost sight of and is claimed to have been damaged. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. WHITEHEAD whilst over BERLIN sighted an enemy aircraft on the starboard quarter, 300yds away. The Rear Gunner fired a five second burst and the enemy aircraft was seen in flames diving to earth, and was claimed as probably destroyed. The same aircraft encountered another unidentified aircraft 300yds away on the starboard quarter. The Rear Gunner fired another five seconds burst and the enemy aircraft exploded and disintegrated. It was claimed to be destroyed. The aircraft captained by F/O. A. Alexander, whilst over the target sighted a ME110 approaching from the starboard quarter above and firing at his aircraft. The Mid-upper and Rear Gunners replied with long bursts and the enemy aircraft was seen to be in flames. A fire was later seen on the ground and the enemy aircraft was claimed as probably destroyed. Scattered cloud was met on the outward route, but it was clear over the target. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk.III BF465 captained by P/O A. RANKIN, BF564 captained by P/O A. Sedunary and EE938 captained by W/O T. Fear.

The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. WHITE, O.H. whilst approaching the target area was coned by searchlights and repeatedly hit by heavy A.A. fire, sustaining considerable damage to port mainplane. He continued towards the target though still coned by searchlights and was then attacked by a JU88 sustaining hits in the rear of the fuselage which shattered the rear turret and killed Rear Gunner Sgt. Poole, J.. The aircraft was forced into an uncontrollable dive and the captain warned his crew ‘Prepare to abandon the aircraft’. Unfortunately, in the middle of this order the inter-communication failed, and the Navigator, Air Bomber and Wireless Operator abandoned the aircraft, due to the fact that they were unable to contact their Captain. F/Sgt. WHITE jettisoned his bomb load whilst in the dive directly over the target area, managed to regain control of the aircraft when height had been lost down to 6,000ft. The captain and two remaining members of the crew after taking stock of the damage decided to attempt the long and hazardous return journey to base. This they did successfully and made a perfect crash landing at base without lights, flaps or under carriage, as the electrical leads were shot away.

Stirling Mk.III BF465 AA – K was brought down 3 miles South of Lanka, (14 miles North North East of Berlin). All on board were killed except Sgt Catterick, who either parachuted to safety or escaped uninjured from the wreck and was captured as a P.o.W. Those who died were buried in the 1939 – 45 War Cemetery near where the aircraft came down.

P.o.W Number: 222581
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft & Stalag IVB
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


CHALMERS
F/S Henry Edward Chalmers RAFVR 1565986 – Air Bomber
14th of February 1945 – Attack Against Chemnitz
Lancaster Mk.I NG113 AA – D
Pilot – George Stanley Davies

Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack Chemnitz. Nineteen attacked primary. AA”J” F/O R.J. Pearson, returned early through engine failiure. Cloud was ten tenths with tops 16-17000 over the target. Aircraft bombed with the aid of special equipment. No resilts were observed, very slight H/F was met over the target. AA”D”, captained by F/L G.S. Davies failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I NG113 AA – D, was en route to the target over Germany when fire suddenly erupted in one wing aft of an engine. The blaze was thought to have started in a broken oil line. The pilot and engineer were unable to close down the engine or feather the propeller and with the fire continuing to grow, the decision was made to abandon the aircraft hurriedly. All the crew reached the ground uninjured but were soon captured and taken to a POW camp. One of the crew, Air Bomber F/S Chambers, later died when the train in which the prisoners were travelling, was straffed by RAF fighters. He was buried in the Durnbach War Cemetery.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: not known

Died Saturday 3rd March 1945, age 22, whilst a PoW.
Buried Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany.


CHRYSTAL
Sgt. James R.G. Chrystal RAFVR 520340 – Mid Upper Gunner
22nd of June 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Mannheim (actually Mülheim)
Stirling Mk.III BK810 AA – G
Pilot – Francis Max McKenzie

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 BK810 AA – G, was brought down at 02:10hrs at Oostrum (Limburg) about a mile East of Venray, Holland from a combination of AA fire and fighter attack. The latter pilot was believed to be Hptm Wilhelm Herget of I /NJG1. All five crew except P/O McKenzie and F/S Blank parachuted to safety and were captured as P.o.W’s. McKenzie was buried in Jonkerbos War Cemetery, while Blank is located in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.

P.o.W Number: 95
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft VI/357. Promoted to F/Sgt whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


CLARE
F/L Baden Gordon Clare RNZAF NZ429590 – Air Bomber
6th of October 1944 – Attack Against Dortmund
Lancaster Mk.I LM104 JN – K
Pilot – Keith Southward

Twenty nine aircraft were detailed to attack Dortmund, but one of these was withdrawn owing to a technical failure. Twenty six aircraft attacked the target in good weather and a very accurate and concentrated raid was reported, large fires being left burning. A.A. Fire was moderate but fighters were active and the aircraft captained by NZ427798 F/S Farr, W. had a series of combats during which the enemy aircraft was claimed as being destroyed. One aircraft returned early and landed at Woodbridge owing to a technical failure and another (Captain NZ411048 F/O K. Southward) failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I LM104 JN – K, was at 22,000ft, probably en route to the target, when it was brought down by an enemy night-fighter South West of Monchengladbach, 50 miles South West of Dortmund, crashing near Willich. The Pilot was able to control the aircraft long enough to enable his crew to bale out successfully, but was unable to do so himself and he bravely died in the crash. He was buried at Willich but later reinterred at the Rheinberg War Cemetery. All of Southward’s crew were captured as Prisoners of War.

P.o.W Number: 8227
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft III
Returned to the United Kingdom: 10th of May 1945.


CLARK
W/O Ronald Thomas Clark RNZAF NZ422369 – 2nd Pilot
27th of May 1944 – Attack Against Aachen
Lancaster Mk.III ND802 JN – D “The Flying Scotsman”
Pilot – Francis Alexander Jack Scott

Eighteen aircraft were detailed to attack Aachen, one of which returned early and two failed to return (Captains NZ414971 F/L. S. Fauvel and NZ421105 Sgt. Scott, F.). The remaining fifteen successfully bombed the target in clear weather, one aircraft (Captain NZ40750 F/L. R. Berney) had five successive inconclusive combats with an ME 410 in the Courtrai area.

ND802 was attacked by a night-fighter 25 miles North West of Eindhoven, Netherlands, causing the aircraft to break up in flight then crashing near Gilze, 6 miles West of Tilsburg. The Pilot, Air-bomber and Wireless Operator did not survive the crash and were buried at Gilze The other five crew most likely abandoned the aircraft successfully in flight as they were subsequently captured as Prisoners of War.

W/O Clarks debrief on return to the United Kingdom was a follows:
“We were shot down on the 29th of  May 1944 on our way to bomb Aachen. I baled out and landed in a tree on the Dutch-Belgian border somewhere near Wasssau. I was wounded in my leg so I decided to rest awhile and then head West. When I started walking I found I was cut-off by barbed-wire so I turned North with the same result. I turned East and came to more barbed-wire, and then North from there and met a road going North-West. I decided to take cover here so walked about half a mile from the barbed-wire and lay down in a wheat field. Two hours later I heard lots of Germans shouting. I kept well covered and stayed there until midnight that night. I then headed West again and deciding to hunt for water came across a group of houses. Outside one of them I found a milk can with milk in it. I drank this and started out North again, ending up somewhere near Breda two night later. On the 31st of May I was seen by a civilian who spoke to me and took me to his house giving me food and drink and some wooden soled shoes. He told me to go down the Breda-Oostmalle road. So at about midnight that night I started off and reached the road next night. The following day I walked again and that night came to the border at crossed it quite easily at Strijbeck. I spent a day hiding in a ditch by the road where I was seen by school children coming home from school. They all started shouting and pointing at me and then a little boy came up and pulled me by the hand and started running with me across a field and men came along shortly afterwards and gave me something to eat, telling me that they would go in search of someone in the Underground for me. They left the little boy and I crawled out of the ditch and hid behind some trees close-by as I was unsure of their intentions. However, half an hour later a man and a woman came back to the ditch. The woman spoke to me in English telling me that this man would hide me for one or two days and then put me in contact with the Underground. She said that she herself knew nothing about the Underground. I went along with them. The old man took me to his house where he and his wife hid me in the fowl house for two days.On the 4th of June, he took me and hid me in a barn quite near his house. I slept there that morning and later the man returned with cycles and we cycled through some woods where we meet a woman who led us to her house. I stayed there for seven weeks trying all the time to make contact with the Underground through these people but every time something was arranged at the last moment plans had to be cancelled. Finally I decided that I must move and the next day a young man came and said he would take me to Antwerp. He took to a house of the man who was a member of the Underground and a Lieutenant in the Belgian artillery. I stayed there one week but had to leave in a hurry because the Germans were approaching. We started wandering around Antwerp and went into a shop where I stayed that night and the next day. At about 18:00 hours that evening two German soldiers and a Gestapo agent came into the shop to hunt for me but I managed to hide in the cellars whilst they were upstairs.and then sneak out the back way. My guide was still with me and we started walking around Antwerp again for two hours when he took me back to the shop again as the Germans had disappeared by this time. I was then taken by my guide to the damaged hospital at Asheertogen where I stayed for three weeks. He then took me into Antwerp again to a shop where there were three old ladies in charge. Next day another man came and told me that I should get over the border into France and join up with the British troops. He told me exactly how it was going to be done and that we would have to go to the park in Antwerp where we would meet a man who would make arrangements for crossing the border. We walked along to the park in Antwerp and met this man who spoke English with an American accent. He took me to an apartment house in Antwerp where I was interrogated about people who had helped me. I thought that this suspicious and later my suspicions were confirmed as I was led into an office by this English speaking man and confronted by the Gestapo. I was taken to Antwerp Civil Prison by a couple of S.S. men where I stayed from the 23rd of  August to the  4th of September 1944. Then we were marched out of Antwerp to Rotterdam, and left there the next morning for Bocholt. I was imprisoned at Bocholt until the  6th of September 44, Dulag Luft (Frankfurt) 8th to the 14th of  September 44; Bankau 20th of  September 44 till the  19th of  January 1945”.

Marched to Luckenwalds between the 20th of  September 1944 to the 19th of  January 1945. He was liberated by Russian forces on the  22nd of April 1945.

P.o.W Number: 770
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft VII
Returned to the United Kingdom: 14th of May 1945


COEDY
W/O Herbert John Wellington Coedy RCAF 130143/ J.96491 – Air Bomber
20th of July 1944 – Attack Against Homberg
Lancaster Mk.III ND752 AA – O
Pilot – Henry John Burtt

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 ND752 AA – O, was attacked by an enemy aircraft at 01:40hrs and brought down close to Udenhout (Noord-Brabant) and a mile North of Tilburg. Five of the crew died but two survived and were captured as POW’s. The dead were buried in the Gilzerbaan General Cemetery.

P.o.W Number: 562
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft VII
Returned to the United Kingdom: 15th of May 1945.


COLE
Sgt. G.F. Cole RAFVR – Front Gunner
15th of October 1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Cologne and Boulogne
Wellington Mk.Ic W.5663 AA – O
Pilot – Richard Charlwood Barker

Ten Wellington aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. A mixed bomb load was carried consisting of 1,000 lb, 500 lb, 250 lb GP’s and containers of incendiaries. Captains report that bombs were dropped on the target by estimation, but owing to slight haze over the target results were not seen. A considerable amount of heavy AA fire was experienced in and around the target area. Fire was accurate over Aachen. Searchlight activity was intense throughout the route but ineffective in the target area because of the cloud. Weather was fair en route but thick ground haze over all target area. Navigation was by Astro, D/R, QDM. Pinpointing and Lorenz check. Two of these aircraft, Z8945, captained by Sgt Barker, and X9916, captained by Sgt Matetich failed to return to base.

P.o.W Number: 6338
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag 357. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


COLLINS
Sgt. T.J. Collins RAFVR 1583321 – Mid Upper Gunner
23rd of August 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Berlin
Stirling Mk.III EF435 JN – J
Pilot – Osric Hartnell White

Twenty three aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1,000lb., 500lb., and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb.. Five aircraft returned early owing to failure and three aircraft failed to return. The remainder of the aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area and all of the crews agreed that it had been well and truly hit. The fires were all concentrated and huge columns of smoke together with heavy explosions could be seen. A moderate heavy A.A. barrage co-operating with searchlights were encountered, but only one aircraft received damage. A great number of enemy aircraft were seen and several combats took place. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. WILKINSON sighted a JU88 passing above, the Mid-upper and Rear Gunners fired and strikes were seen on the enemy aircraft which was then lost sight of and is claimed to have been damaged. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. WHITEHEAD whilst over BERLIN sighted an enemy aircraft on the starboard quarter, 300yds away. The Rear Gunner fired a five second burst and the enemy aircraft was seen in flames diving to earth, and was claimed as probably destroyed. The same aircraft encountered another unidentified aircraft 300yds away on the starboard quarter. The Rear Gunner fired another five seconds burst and the enemy aircraft exploded and disintegrated. It was claimed to be destroyed. The aircraft captained by F/O. A. Alexander, whilst over the target sighted a ME110 approaching from the starboard quarter above and firing at his aircraft. The Mid-upper and Rear Gunners replied with long bursts and the enemy aircraft was seen to be in flames. A fire was later seen on the ground and the enemy aircraft was claimed as probably destroyed. Scattered cloud was met on the outward route, but it was clear over the target. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk.III BF465 captained by P/O A. RANKIN, BF564 captained by P/O A. Sedunary and EE938 captained by W/O T. Fear.

The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. WHITE, O.H. whilst approaching the target area was coned by searchlights and repeatedly hit by heavy A.A. fire, sustaining considerable damage to port mainplane. He continued towards the target though still coned by searchlights and was then attacked by a JU88 sustaining hits in the rear of the fuselage which shattered the rear turret and killed Rear Gunner Sgt. Poole, J.. The aircraft was forced into an uncontrollable dive and the captain warned his crew ‘Prepare to abandon the aircraft’. Unfortunately, in the middle of this order the inter-communication failed, and the Navigator, Air Bomber and Wireless Operator abandoned the aircraft, due to the fact that they were unable to contact their Captain. F/Sgt. WHITE jettisoned his bombload whilst in the dive directly over the target area, managed to regain control of the aircraft when height had been lost down to 6,000ft. The captain and two remaining members of the crew after taking stock of the damage decided to attempt the long and hazardous return journey to base. This they did successfully and made a perfect crash landing at base without lights, flaps or under carriage, as the electrical leads were shot away.

BF435, F/S White & crew, sustained serious damage. As they approached the target area they were coned by searchlights and then hit repeatedly by AA fire. The port mainplane was holed severely. They continued to the target still coned by searchlights but then came under attack by a Ju 88 night-fighter. The rear fuselage was badly holed by gunfire, which also shattered the rear turret, killing Sgt Poole the gunner. The aircraft then went into an uncontrollable dive and the Captain warned his crew to prepare for an abandonment. At that point the intercom failed and the navigator, air- bomber and wireless operator all baled out believing the pilot was unable to recify the situation.

Meanwhile, still in the dive, F/S White jettisoned their bomb load right over the target and succeeded in regaining control of the Stirling at about 6,000ft. After taking stock of the damage, including disabled electrical systems, he decided to attempt the long and hazardous return flight back to base, with only himself, flight engineer and mid-upper gunner on board (and of course the fatally injured rear gunner). They achieved the seemingly impossible task with a skilful crash landing at Mepal at 03.45hrs, without lights, flaps, or undercarriage.
F/S O H White was later promoted to Flight Lieutenant, but on 22 Sep 1943 was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (CGM) for his outstanding airmanship.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: not known
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


CONNELL
F/S Vivian Connell RAAF 424158 – Navigator
20th of July 1944 – Attack Against Homberg
Lancaster Mk.III ND752 AA – O
Pilot – Henry John Burtt

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 ND752 AA – O,  was attacked by an enemy aircraft at 01:40hrs and brought down close to Udenhout (Noord-Brabant) and a mile North of Tilburg. Five of the crew died but two survived and were captured as POW’s. The dead were buried in the Gilzerbaan General Cemetery.

P.o.W Number: 696
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft VII
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


COOKSLEY
F/S Bernard Laurence Cooksley RNZAF NZ41435 – Rear Gunner
24th of July 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Stirling Mk.III EE880 AA – L
Pilot – Henry Nicol

Twenty-three aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 2,000lbs., 1,000lbs., and incendiaries of 30lbs., and 4lbs. Of these aircraft, two returned early due to unserviceable W/T and engine trouble respectively, and one aircraft failed to return. The remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. It was a very concentrated and successful attack. Very large spread fires were seen with black smoke rising to height of 1,400ft., some heavy explosions were also seen. A heavy A.A. barrage co-operating with searchlights were encountered and two aircraft were coned in the searchlights but neither were hit. The aircraft captained by F/O. G. TURNER whilst avoiding a searchlight cone, the starboard wing was struck by a JU 88approaching head on. The enemy aircraft turned over and dived to the ground, it was claimed to be destroyed.. The Stirling was badly damaged having more that 4ft. of the starboard mainplane torn off, and the aileron and aileron controls being useless. The captain had extreme difficulty in controlling the aircraft, but kept it on an even keel with the assistance of the Air-bomber, and after the 3 hours return flight to base, made a perfect landing. Two other short combats took place, but no damage was sustained to our aircraft. The weather was very good, with clear visibility, except for haze caused by smoke from the fires. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling Mk.III EE890 captained by Sergeant H. Nichol.

Stirling Mk.III EE880 AA – L,  was shot down by a night-fighter (Fw Meissner, II /NJG3), crashing at Neumunster. The Captain, Flight Engineer, W/operator and Mid Upper Gunner died. Sgt Norrington was buried in Hamburg Cemetery, Ohlsdorf. The Navigator, Air Bomber and Rear Gunner probably parachuted to safety as they were captured as POW’s.

P.o.W Number: 222435
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag IVB. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 28th of May 1945.


COOPER
Sgt. L. Cooper RAFVR 1585673 – Mid Upper Gunner
6th of October 1944 – Attack Against Dortmund
Lancaster Mk.I LM104 JN – K
Pilot – Keith Southward

Twenty nine aircraft were detailed to attack Dortmund, but one of these was withdrawn owing to a technical failure. Twenty six aircraft attacked the target in good weather and a very accurate and concentrated raid was reported, large fires being left burning. A.A. Fire was moderate but fighters were active and the aircraft captained by NZ427798 F/S Farr, W. had a series of combats during which the enemy aircraft was claimed as being destroyed. One aircraft returned early and landed at Woodbridge owing to a technical failure and another (Captain NZ411048 F/O K. Southward) failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I LM104 JN – K,  was at 22,000ft, probably en route to the target, when it was brought down by an enemy night-fighter SW of Monchengladbach, 50 miles South West of Dortmund, crashing near Willich. The Pilot was able to control the aircraft long enough to enable his crew to bale out successfully, but was unable to do so himself and he bravely died in the crash. He was buried at Willich but later reinterred at the Rheinberg War Cemetery. All of Southward’s crew were captured as prisoners of war.

P.o.W Number: 1060
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft VII. Promoted to F/Sgt whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


CORMACK
F/O William Edward Cormack RNZAF NZ426166 – Navigator
18th of July 1944 – Attack Against Aulnoye
Lancaster Mk.I LL921 AA – E
Pilot – John William Anthony Myers

Twenty eight aircraft took off to attack the aircraft works at Aulnoye, one of those originally detailed being withdrawn. All crews were successful in attacking the target, and the bombing was well controlled by the Master Bomber. A concentrated raid developed, and several crews were able to identify the target visually. A.A. opposition was very slight, but enemy fighters were more active, and one aircraft (Captain NZ411411 F/O. G. Kennedy), claimed to have shot down two enemy aircraft. One of our aircraft (Captain NZ405801 A/F/L. J. Myers) failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I LL921 AA – E,  was brought down by a night fighter at Harveng (Hainaut), 3.5 miles South South East of Mons. The fighter had collided with the Lancaster during an attack from below, causing severe damage to the starboard wing and an uncontrollable fire in the outer engine. All crew baled out successfully on the Pilot’s orders while he managed to keep the aircraft relatively stable. It too then plunged into the ground, sadly killing the Pilot. The enemy fighter also crashed nearby.

Of the six who landed safely, three were captured as P.o.W’s while the other three successfully evaded capture.

P.o.W Number: 4966
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft. Stalag Luft I. Promoted to F/L whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 17th of May 1945.


COWAN
Frederick Charles Cowan 1387682 – Wireless Operator
27th of September 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hanover
Stirling Mk.III EH877 JN – C
Pilot – Richard Charles Whitmore

Sixteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lb. and 4lb. Two aircraft failed to return and one returned owing to its rear turret being unserviceable. The remainder dropped their bombs in the target area. This was an exceedingly successful and well concentrated attack, considered to be even better than the previous one. Numerous large fires and columns of smoke rising to 12,000ft., were seen, and the fires were again visible at the DUTCH Coast. Very moderate and ineffective heavy A.A. fire, numerous searchlights and flares were encountered. Many enemy aircraft were seen and several combats took place. The air craft captained by F/Sgt. HORGAN, D. had a combat with a JU88 which was claimed to be destroyed. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. BURTON, H., sighted a JU88 and the Rear Gunner fired, it was seen to fall in flames and was claimed as destroyed. Two other short combats took place and one of our aircraft received slight damage. The weather was poor on the outward and return journeys, but good with clear visibility over the target. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirling Mk.III, EF515 captained by Sgt. MARTIN, R., and EH877 captained by F/Sgt. WHITMORE, R.

There is little information regarding the exact cause of loss of EH877. Some, sources report seeing it falling in flames, the aircraft apparently breaking up in the air prior to final impact.

Whilst details are vague, it would be safe to assume that given the reported break up of EH877 prior to final ground impact, Fred Cowan must have successfully exited the aircraft before impact and therefore by baling out. He was subsequently captured and made a P.o.W.

P.o.W Number: 250701
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags IVB, Luft III
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


COY
Sgt. Jack Lawrence Coy RNZAF NZ403616 – Front Gunner
2nd of June 1942 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Wellington Mk.III X.3408 AA – Q
Pilot – Cecil William Phair Carter

Sixteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area but no results were observed. A few small fires were seen near target. A.A. fire was fairly heavy and searchlights operating in cones were numerous. No enemy a/c were seen. Weather marred the operation, there being a heavy ground have. Navigation was excellent. Well, X3408, captained by P/O Carter, failed to return.

The aircraft was struck by flak while flying at 10,500ft but the Captain was able to maintain control sufficiently to make a crash landing in the target area. All the crew escaped relatively uninjured but were soon captured and made prisoners of war.

It is believed that this was the first all-RNZAF crew of Bomber Command to be taken prisoners of war.

P.o.W Number: 402
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft III, Luft VI and 357. Promoted to W/O whil
Returned to the United Kingdom: 25th of April 1945.


CRAVEN
F/O John Duncan Craven RAFVR 1007069/ 157882 – Wireless Operator
25th of February 1945 –
Lancaster Mk.III LM740 AA – B
Pilot – Louis Eldon Bernhardt Klitscher

Eighteen aircraft were detailed to attack Kamen. Thin stratus cloud in layers covered the target area, but at times crews were able to make out the target and report a considerable white smoke followed by thick black smoke rising to a good height. Accurate H/F was experienced. AA”B” captained by F/S Klitscher is missing from this operation.

Lancaster Mk.III LM740 AA – B, was en route to the target and was seen to leave the stream near Wesel (some 50mls from the target) with the port-inner engine feathered after being hit by heavy flak. The seven crew then apparently abandoned the aircraft after turning for home and landing relatively uninjured in enemy territory. They were all captured as P.o.W’s.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: not known
Returned to the United Kingdom: 8th of May 1945.


CROALL
Sgt. Charles Croall RNZAF NZ41627 – Pilot
28th of July 1942 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Wellington Mk.III X.3452 AA – J
Pilot – Charles Croall

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
Caught within searchlight cones while bombing Hamburg, Sgt Croall took rapid evasive action by diving his aircraft steeply to a low level, but they were hit by vigorous light AA fire and forced to ditch in the sea. All but the rear gunner, Sgt Crarer, evacuated the aircraft successfully. They were picked up and taken prisoners of war. Sgt Crarer’s body was later recovered and buried in the Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery at Tonning.

P.o.W Number: 25136
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIIB/344. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 11th of May 1945


CUNNINGHAM
F/O William Cunningham RCAF J.28238 – Air Bomber
18th of July 1944 – Attack Against Aulnoye
Lancaster Mk.I LL921 AA – E
Pilot – John William Anthony Myers

Twenty eight aircraft took off to attack the aircraft works at Aulnoye, one of those originally detailed being withdrawn. All crews were successful in attacking the target, and the bombing was well controlled by the Master Bomber. A concentrated raid developed, and several crews were able to identify the target visually. A.A. opposition was very slight, but enemy fighters were more active, and one aircraft (Captain NZ411411 F/O. G. Kennedy), claimed to have shot down two enemy aircraft. One of our aircraft (Captain NZ405801 A/F/L. J. Myers) failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I LL921 AA – E,  was brought down by a night fighter at Harveng (Hainaut), 3.5 miles South South East of Mons. The fighter had collided with the Lancaster during an attack from below, causing severe damage to the starboard wing and an uncontrollable fire in the outer engine. All crew baled out successfully on the Pilot’s orders while he managed to keep the aircraft relatively stable. It too then plunged into the ground, sadly killing the Pilot. The enemy fighter also crashed nearby.
Of the six who landed safely, three were captured as P.o.W’s while the other three successfully evaded capture.

F/O Cunningham’s debrief on return to the United Kingdom was as follows:
“We left Mepal in a Lancaster at 23:00 hrs on the 19th of  July 1944. After leaving the target we were attacked by a fighter and had to abandon aircraft. I landed at about 01:00 hrs on the 19th of July about 3 miles South East of Mons. My parachute was caught in a tree and I had to leave it there. After walking a short way I hid in some bushes for 20 hours. During the night I walked for some hours then hid during the day. On the evening of the 20th of  July I was found by a woman who took me to her home, providing clothes and an identity card. I left my escape kit there. I was put in touch with an organization which was arranging to take me to Brussels and thence to England.

I was taken to Brussels to a house where I met my wireless operator, F/Sgt Murphy. We were well treated and kept there until the 25th of July when we were turned over to our would-be guides and given a long form to fill in. The details required were :- names, rank, number, home address, religion, squadron number, base, target, etc. I refused to fill in these details as I was suspicious. We then discovered that we were in the hands of the Luftwaffe police and that we had been tricked. We were sent to St. Giles prison in Brussels where, after 31 days we were again interrogated by the same man. I was told that, out of the large number of men who had been taken, I was the only one who had refused to give full details. Anyway they now had our Squadron number and names of our crew. Forty-two of us were put on a train for Germany. After trying to get through the White Army for two days, the Germans gave up and left us, derailing the train. We contacted the British forces and were brought back to the U.K.”.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: St. Giles Prison, Brussels
Returned to the United Kingdom: Put on the ‘Ghost Train’ – after being left by his German captors, made contact with British forces and was returned home.


D

DALE
F/S Reginald Dale RAFVR 1818763 – Rear Gunner
27th of May 1944 – Attack Against Aachen
Lancaster Mk.III ND802 JN – D “The Flying Scotsman”
Pilot – Francis Alexander Jack Scott

Eighteen aircraft were detailed to attack Aachen, one of which returned early and two failed to return (Captains NZ414971 F/L. S. Fauvel and NZ421105 Sgt. Scott, F.). The remaining fifteen successfully bombed the target in clear weather, one aircraft (Captain NZ40750 F/L. R. Berney) had five successive inconclusive combats with an ME 410 in the Courtrai area.

Lancaster Mk.III ND802 JN – D “The Flying Scotsman”,  was attacked by a night-fighter 25mls North West of Eindhoven, Netherlands, causing the aircraft to break up in flight then crashing near Gilze, 6miles West of Tilsburg. The Pilot, Air-bomber and W/Op did not survive the crash and were buried at Gilze The other five crew most likely abandoned the aircraft successfully in flight as they were subsequently captured as prisoners.

P.o.W Number: 111
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft VII
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


DAVIDSON
Sgt. Alan Lloyd Davidson RNZAF NZ411864 – Navigator
29th of May 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Wuppertal
Stirling Mk.III BK776 AA – R
Pilot – Raymond Frederick Bennett

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.

BK776 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 are reinterred in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.

P.o.W Number: 111
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft 1. Luft VI and 357.
Returned to the United Kingdom: 7th of May 1945.


DAVIES
F/L George Stanley Davies RNZAF NZ427262 – Pilot
14th of February 1945 – Attack Against Chemnitz
Lancaster Mk.I NG113 AA – D
Pilot – George Stanley Davies

Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack Chemnitz. Nineteen attacked primary. AA”J” F/O R.J. Pearson, returned early through engine failiure. Cloud was ten tenths with tops 16-17000 over the target. Aircraft bombed with the aid of special equipment. No resilts were observed, very slight H/F was met over the target. AA”D”, captained by F/L G.S. Davies failed to return.

NG113 was en route to the target over Germany when fire suddenly broke out in one wing aft of an engine. The blaze was thought to have started in a broken oil line. The pilot and engineer were unable to close down the engine or feather the propeller and with the fire continuing to grow, the decision was made to abandon the aircraft hurriedly. All the crew reached the ground uninjured but were soon captured and taken to a P.o.W camp. One of the crew, Air Bomber F/S Chambers, later died when the train in which the prisoners were travelling, was straffed by RAF fighters. He was buried in the Durnbach War Cemetery.

P.o.W Number: 10553
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft III
Returned to the United Kingdom: 13th of May 1945


DEVINE
Sgt. Leslie Sydney Devine RNZAF NZ41565 – Wireless Operator
8th of September 1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Frankfurt
Wellington Mk.III BJ.596 AA – ?
Pilot – Eric William Peter Johnson

Nine aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack. Bomb load of 4,000lb., 500lb and incendiaries were dropped in the target area. Larger fires were seen. A.A. fire was moderate, searchlights were numerous, particularly in target area. A few enemy aircraft were seen, but no attacks were made. The weather was good, with slight ground haze. Navigation was accurate by DR and TR. Wellington captained by Sgt. Johnson failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III BJ.596, was hit by flak in the target area causing catastrophic damage. The crew was forced to abandon the burning aircraft and all successfully reached the ground, only to be taken Prisoners of War.

P.o.W Number: 26976
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIIB/344. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 9th of April 1945


DIXON
Sgt. J. Dixon RAFVR 613966 – Rear Gunner
26th of July 1942 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Wellington Mk.III Z.1596 AA – K
Pilot – Ian James Shepherd

Fifteen a/c were detailed to carry out an attack against the above target. Bomb load of 34000lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs and incedaries was dropped on target area. Numerous fires and bomb bursts were seen. A.A. fire was accurate. Seven searchlights destroyed and others damaged and one m/c gun post silenced by Well.III, X3396, captained by Sgt. Kearns. Searchlights were ineffective owing to moon. One JU88 was seen 30 miles from enemy coast but did not attack. Weather was clear over target but cloudy on route. Navigation was very good by TR and DR

The aircraft was shot down by AA fire when flying away from the target at low altitude. After dropping its bombs the aircraft was ‘coned’ by searchlights and the pilot carried out a steep dive to escape the beams, leveling out at approximately 500ft  but still in the midst of heavy light flak. The aircraft crashed near the village of Dose and all but the rear gunner, Sgt Dixon, who survived the crash relatively uninjured, were killed. Dixon was taken prisoner of war and later able to relate the circumstances of the loss of his crew- mates.

P.o.W Number: 15165
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIIB/344. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


DONALDSON
Sgt. A. Donaldson RAFVR 751866 – Wireless Operator
22nd of December 1940 – Bombing Attacks Against targets D.55 and Flushing
Wellington Mk.Ic T.2474 AA – W
Pilot – Rex Chuter

Twelve Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. One of these aircraft,DMU.692, captained SGT. Chuter, failed to return. DMU.936 failed to locate target and bombs were bought back. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 1000lbs. N.D.T., 500lbs. N.D.T. and delayed action, 250lbs. delayed action, and containers of incendiaires.
DMU.288 reports explosions and fires seen, but damage was unobserved.
DMU.303 reports numerous fires started by incendiairies in target area. Two other bomb loads dropped near by.
DMU.444 reports 1000lbs. bomb seen to land on or very near railway. Incendiary bombs not dropped.
DMU.494 reports several large fires caused, still burning when area was left.
DMU.515 dropped bombs on south perimeter of target along railway. Small fires started. Several large white explosions 3-5 mins after leaving target.
DMU.588 reports bimbs and incendiairies seen to burst in the target area. Two fires persisting from the incendiairies, and one large fire, visible 17 mins after leaving, from the bomb bursts obscured in cloud after this time.
DMU.738 reports centre of town bombed and a large fire observed with six white explsions some minutes afterwards.
DMU.781 dropped bombs in two sticks over city causing one large line of fires quater of a mile long. From these fires 15 to 20 large explosions were observed.
DMU.804 failed to locate target owing to low cloud, but bombed an aerodrome in France, RHEIMS AREA. Seven fires started. Six large explosions five mins later, presumably aircraft.
DMU.943 reports bombs seen to burst in target area amongst other fires, causing explosions.
Severla flarepaths were bserved at various parts of route. Large dummy town 30 miles S.E. of MANNHEIM and dummy fire seen in middle of town. Blackout very bad over ANTWERP and Belgium. Much snow in Germany.
Fairly intense A.A. fire experienced over MANNHEIM. Very little experienced elsewhere.
There was not much searchlight activity.
DMU.804 reports being attacked by one ME.110 five mins. after bombing. This machine was hit but not brought down (60 rounds fired by front gunner).
Low cloud was experienced at various parts and target areas.
Navigation was by D/R. W/T.Q.D.M’s, and astro.

The circumstances of the loss  of Wellington Mk.Ic T.2474 AA – W, are unclear, but it is assumed that the crew were returning to base when the aircraft was brought down over France near Therouldeville, 42 km North East of Le Havre, probably as a result of ground fire or enemy night fighter action. Luckily, five crew members survived the crash landing, some with serious injuries, and were taken prisoners of war. The rear gunner, Sgt Alfred Henry Ritchie, unfortunately was killed and is now buried at Therouldeville.

The Pilot, Sgt Chuter, who was badly injured, was repatriated in 1944, Sgt Falcon- Scott escaped from a French prison in 1941 and got back to the United Kingdon, as did Sgt E. G. Willis.

Sgts McG. English and A. Donaldson were repatriated in 1943 and 1945 respectively.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: not known
Returned to the United Kingdom: 4th of March 1944


DORRELL
Sgt. Philip Dorrell RAFVR 938765 – Rear Gunner
5th April 1942 – Operations – Attack Against Targets Cologne
Wellington Mk.III X.3661 AA – Q
Pilot – Godreffy John Evan Thomas

Nine Wellington Aircraft from this unit were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, and 250lbs and 4lb incendiaries was dropped but results were not observed. There was intense heavy flak and many searchlights were active but ineffective owing to the bright moonlight. One Ju.88 aircraft was seen near the target and Wellington III X3705 was attacked by a Me.110 near Liege without result. Weather was good and navigation by TR1335 and D.R was also good. One aircraft did not carry out it’s mission and two are missing. Wellington III X3489, captained by W/Cdr Sawrey-Cookson the C.O. of the squadron, and Wellington III X3661 captained by F/S Thomas.

Bomber Command records indicate the aircraft was hit by flak at 10,500 feet and suffered a catasrophic structural failiure. Despite this, all crew successfully exited the aircraft, were captured and made Prisoners of War.

P.o.W Number: 24847
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIIB344
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


DUFFY
Sgt. Thomas Patrick Duffy RNZAF NZ40789 – Wireless Operator
7th of November 1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Berlin and Ostend
Wellington Mk.Ic X.9951 AA – L
Pilot – William Reginald Methven

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, failled 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 ver 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.

X9951 was brought down by enemy flak at 23.00hrs, crashing at Werdohl, about 45 miles East of Dusseldorf. All but one of the crew survived.

P.o.W Number: 24549
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft III, Luft VI and 357. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 10th of May 1945.


DUMMETT
Sgt. G. F. Dummett RAFVR 1377778 – Mid Upper Gunner
31st of August 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Berlin
Stirling Mk.III EF501 AA – K
Pilot – Keith Alexander McGregor

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 emeny 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 tailplane and fin badly damaged. The aircraft captained by F/O Alaexander sighted two Me109’s, the first opened fire from the starboard quarter and the rear gunner replied with a short burst. The emeny 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 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 emeny 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 was shot down by a night-fighter South West 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 P.o.W’s.

P.o.W Number: 12730
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft VI and Luft IV
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


DUNMALL
P/O Kenneth John Dunmall RAFVR 1283701 – Pilot
17th of December 1942 – Attack Against Targets At Fallersleben
Stirling Mk.I BK.620 AA – A
Pilot – Kenneth John Dunmall

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 BK.620 AA – Awas shot down by a combination of flak and night fighters, crash-landing into the Westeinder Plas, SW of Aalsmeer (Noord Holland) and 10 miles South West of Amsterdam. All its crew survived the crash-landing but they later were interned as prisoners. The Pilot, P/O Williams, was placed in the German P.o.W camp at Sagan, from where he escaped by way of the famous ‘Wooden Horse’. On his return to the UK he was decorated with a Military Cross.

P.o.W Number: 27301
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIIB/344. Promoted to W/O whilst interred.
“This airman has taken part in numerous sorties and has displayed much skill, great coolness and determination. On one occasion his aircraft was very badly damaged by enemy action. Later it became necessary to leave by parachute as the aircraft could no longer be flown. Although the bomber was down to a very low level, Flight Sergeant Dunmall ensured that his crew were all clear before he himself left the aircraft. His action was characteristic of this fine captain.”

Returned to the United Kingdom:  not known.


DUNNETT
Sgt. Eric Gaul Dunnett RNZAF NZ42380 – Navigator
14th of June 1943 – Mining in the Gironde Estuary
Stirling Mk.I BK646 AA – N
Pilot – John Lloyd Edwards

Six aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with Mines of 1500lb., two aircraft returned early, one owing to intercommunication failiure and the other owing to engine trouble and one aircraft failed to return. The remaining three aircraft successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area and the parachutes were seen to open. Some light A.A. fire and a few searchlights were encountered, but they were ineffective. A few enemy aircraft were seen, but no combats took lace. There was thick cloud in the mining area although visibility was fairly good. Navigation was very good. Stirling Mk.I BK646 captained by F/O J.L. Edwards failed to return.

Stirling Mk.I BK646 AA – N,  was shot down by a combination of flak and a Me.109 night fighter, attempting a crash landing at Moulines-la-Marche, South South West of Brettville-sur-Laize, France. With a loss of one engine and damaged ailerons, the Pilot ordered the crew to abandon the aircraft. All except Edwards got down safely, with Sgt’s Dunnet, Rawlinson, Jones, and Maxwell being captured as prisoners, and P/O Kirby and Sgt Sansoucy successfully evading capture. F/O Edwards did not survive and was laid to rest in the Canadian War Cemetery.

P.o.W Number: 83697
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags VIIA and IVB
Returned to the United Kingdom: 23rd of May 1945.


DWIGHT
F/S , Harold Clarke Dwight RNZAF NZ421930 – Navigator
27th of September 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hanover
Stirling Mk.III EF515 AA – F
Pilot – Ralph Egerton Martin

Sixteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lb. and 4 lb. Two aircraft failed to return and one returned early owing to its rear turret being unserviceable. The remainder dropped their bombs in the target area. This was an exceedingly successful and well concentrated attack, considered to be even better than the previous one. Numerous large fires and columns of smoke rising to 12,000ft., were seen and the fires were again visible at the DUTCH coast. Very moderate, ineffective heavy A.A. Fire numerous searchlights and flares were encountered. Many enemy aircraft were seen and several combats took place. The aircraft captained by F.Sgt. HORGAN, D. had a combat with a JU88 which was claimed to be destroyed. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. BURTON, H., sighted a JU88 and the Rear Gunner fired, it was then seen to fall in flames and was claimed as destroyed. Two other short combats took place and one of our aircraft received slight damage. The weather was poor on the outward and return journeys, but good with clear visibility over the target. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk.III, EF515 captained by Sgt. Martin, R., and EH877 captained by F/Sgt. WHITMORE, R.

Stirling Mk.III EF515 AA – F,  was brought down, probably by enemy night-fighter action, in the vicinity of Haverbeck-Hamelin. The Pilot succeeded in making a crash landing, allowing all but one of the crew to escape uninjured. The Mid Upper Gunner, Sgt A R Bangs, did not survive the crash and was buried in Hannover War Cemetery. The remaining crew were captured as P.o.W’s.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: not known. Promoted to Warrant Officer whilst interred.
Returned to the United Kingdom: 27th of April 1945.


E

EGGAR
Sgt. L.G. Eggar RAFVR 914800 – Front gunner
7th of November 1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Essen
Wellington Mk.Ic X.9628 AA – A
Pilot – K.M. Smith

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, captianed 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 enely 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.

It appeared that the aircraft was hit by flak, crashing near Krefeld. The Rear Gunner, Sgt Thain, was killed. The remainder of the crew survived, with only Sgt Rugg receiving serious injuries from which he later died on the 15th of November 1941. Sgt Thain was initially buried at the Haupt Friedhof, but later reinterred at Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, close to the grave of Sgt Rugg. The other survivors were taken as Prisoners of War.

P.o.W Number: 24505
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags VIIIB, Luft VI and Luft IV
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


ELLIOT
Sgt. J. Elliot RAFVR 1515956 – Mid Upper Gunner
23rd of September 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Mannheim
Stirling Mk.III EH935 JN – K
Pilot – Laurence John Kirkpatrick

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,  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, then later re-interred at Rheinberg, South of Wesel.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: not known
Returned to the United Kingdom: 6th of February 1945, via the Arundel Castle

ELSON
Sgt. A. Elson RAFVR 751538 – Rear Gunner
11th of August 1942 – Attack Against Targets at Mainz
Wellington Mk.III BJ.767 AA – V
Pilot – Laurence St.George Dobbin

Nine aircraft were detailed to attack above target. Bomb laod 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 hoeward 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 BJ.767 AA – V,  was brought down in the vicinity of Venlo (Limburg), Holland. It is not known how or why the aircraft came down, but the location of the occurrence almost certainly points to it being shot down by an enemy night-fighter while returning to base.
Three of the crew survived the crash and were taken prisoners of war, indicating the Pilot, F/L Dobbin, had probably attempted a crash landing. Unfortunately he and Sgt Jury both failed to survive and were buried initially at Venlo.

P.o.W Number: 25696
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIIB/344.
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


ENGLISH
Sgt. Herbert Malcolm English RNZAF NZ3912878 – Observer
22nd of December 1940 – Bombing Attacks Against targets D.55 and Flushing
Wellington Mk.Ic T.2474 AA – W
Pilot – Rex Chuter

Twelve Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. One of these aircraft,DMU.692, captained SGT. Chuter, failed to return. DMU.936 failed to locate target and bombs were bought back. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 1000lbs. N.D.T., 500lbs. N.D.T. and delayed action, 250lbs. delayed action, and containers of incendiaires.
DMU.288 reports explosions and fires seen, but damage was unobserved.
DMU.303 reports numerous fires started by incendiairies in target area. Two other bomb loads dropped near by.
DMU.444 reports 1000lbs. bomb seen to land on or very near railway. Incendiary bombs not dropped.
DMU.494 reports several large fires caused, still burning when area was left.
DMU.515 dropped bombs on south perimeter of target along railway. Small fires started. Several large white explosions 3-5 mins after leaving target.
DMU.588 reports bimbs and incendiairies seen to burst in the target area. Two fires persisting from the incendiairies, and one large fire, visible 17 mins after leaving, from the bomb bursts obscured in cloud after this time.
DMU.738 reports centre of town bombed and a large fire observed with six white explsions some minutes afterwards.
DMU.781 dropped bombs in two sticks over city causing one large line of fires quater of a mile long. From these fires 15 to 20 large explosions were observed.
DMU.804 failed to locate target owing to low cloud, but bombed an aerodrome in France, RHEIMS AREA. Seven fires started. Six large explosions five mins later, presumably aircraft.
DMU.943 reports bombs seen to burst in target area amongst other fires, causing explosions.
Severla flarepaths were bserved at various parts of route. Large dummy town 30 miles S.E. of MANNHEIM and dummy fire seen in middle of town. Blackout very bad over ANTWERP and Belgium. Much snow in Germany.
Fairly intense A.A. fire experienced over MANNHEIM. Very little experienced elsewhere.
There was not much searchlight activity.
DMU.804 reports being attacked by one ME.110 five mins. after bombing. This machine was hit but not brought down (60 rounds fired by front gunner).
Low cloud was experienced at various parts and target areas.
Navigation was by D/R. W/T.Q.D.M’s, and astro.

The circumstances of the loss are unclear, but it is assumed that the crew were returning to base when the aircraft was brought down over France near Therouldeville, 42 km NE of Le Havre, probably as a result of ground fire or enemy night fighter action.

Luckily, five crew members survived the crash landing, some with serious injuries, and were taken prisoners of war. The rear gunner, Sgt Alfred Henry Ritchie, unfortunately was killed and is now buried at Therouldeville.

The Pilot, Sgt Chuter, who was badly injured, was repatriated in 1944; Sgt Falcon- Scott escaped from a French prison in 1941 and got back to England, as did Sgt E G Willis. Sgts English and A Donaldson were repatriated in 1943 and 1945 respectively.

After crash-landing, the aircraft broke in half after hitting some trees. Sgt English was catapulted out of the aircraft landing on a hay stack by the side of a forest road. After being hospitalised in France he was transported to Germay on the 18th of February 1941. Medically repatriated to England via Marseilles and Barcelona on the 15th of October 1943.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: not known
Returned to the United Kingdom: 15th of October 1943


EVANS
Sgt. I.R.H. Evans RAFVR  – Flight Engineer
14th of February 1945 – Attack Against Chemnitz
Lancaster Mk.I NG113 AA – D
Pilot – George Stanley Davies

Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack Chemnitz. Nineteen attacked primary. AA”J” F/O R.J. Pearson, returned early through engine failiure. Cloud was ten tenths with tops 16-17000 over the target. Aircraft bombed with the aid of special equipment. No resilts were observed, very slight H/F was met over the target. AA”D”, captained by F/L G.S. Davies failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I NG113 AA – Dwas en route to the target over Germany when fire suddenly erupted in one wing aft of an engine. The blaze was thought to have started in a broken oil line. The Pilot and Flight Engineer were unable to close down the engine or feather the propeller and with the fire continuing to grow, the decision was made to abandon the aircraft hurriedly. All the crew reached the ground uninjured but were soon captured and taken to a P.o.W camp. One of the crew, Air Bomber F/S Chambers, later died when the train in which the prisoners were travelling, was straffed by RAF fighters. He was buried in the Durnbach War Cemetery.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: not known
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


F

FELL
Sgt. Maurice Fell RAFVR – Flight Engineer
21st of March 1945 – Attack Against Munster Viaduct
Lancaster Mk.I NG449 AA – T
Pilot – Jack Plummer

Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack the Muster Viaduct. There was hardly any cloud over the target. It is thought that the concentration was good although the formation was broken up just prior to bombing. Three aircraft failed to return from this operation – AA”T”, NZ42451 F/L J. Plummer, AA”R” NZ429139 P/O A. Brown and JN”P” 190947 P/O D.S. Barr. All three aircraft were seen to hit in the target area. Considerable H/F was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I NG449 AA – T, came under heavy AA fire over the target area and received hits in two engines, then began breaking up. Four of the crew were virtually thrown from the disintegrating aircraft and parachuted to safety, however all were captured as Prisoners of War. Both Sgt Fell and F/S McDonald were badly injured. P/O Humphries implored the Germans to arrange medical treatment for them. They were sent to a semi-medical centre where they remained for a short period until the arrival of allied forces.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: Stalag XIB
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


FENN
Sgt. M.C. Fenn RAFVR 909269 – Front Gunner
29th of December 1940 – Bombing Attacks Against Hamm and M.434.
Wellington Mk.Ic R.3211 AA – J
Pilot – Herbert Douglas Newman

Three Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 500lbs. Bombs fused N.D.T., 500lbs. Bombs delayed action and containers of incendiairies..
SCK.363 reports no results observed owing to 10/10 cumulus cloud up to 12,000 feet.
SCX.412 reports bomb bursts seen through clouds. S.B.C. caused further explosions.. No observations or reconnaissance were made. A moderate amount of A.A. fire was experienced, but searchlights were few.
No enemy aircraft were encountered.
Weather was not good, 10/10 cloud being experienced over whole of route and in target areas.
Navigation was by D/R and W/T.
One of these aircraft, MSI.596, captained by P/O. Newman, failed to return.
Three Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 500lbs. Bombs fused N.D.T., 500lbs. Bombs delayed action and containers of incendiairies..
SCK.363 reports no results observed owing to 10/10 cumulus cloud up to 12,000 feet.
SCX.412 reports bomb bursts seen through clouds. S.B.C. caused further explosions.. No observations or reconnaissance were made. A moderate amount of A.A. fire was experienced, but searchlights were few.
No enemy aircraft were encountered.
Weather was not good, 10/10 cloud being experienced over whole of route and in target areas.
Navigation was by D/R and W/T.
One of these aircraft, MSI.596, captained by P/O. Newman, failed to return.

P.o.W Number: 429
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft 1, Luft VI and 357
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


FLETCHER
Sgt. James Douglas Fletcher RNZAF NZ404546 – Observer
25th of March 1942 – Attack Against Targets at St.Nazaire and Essen
Wellington Mk.III X.3652 AA – O
Pilot – Allen Bruce Slater

Twelve aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack. Wellington III X3652, captained by P/O Slater failed to return, and two aircraft failed to locate the target. Bomb Load consisted of 500 lbs and 250 lbs, this being dropped in the target area but no results were observed. Slight A.A. fire and a few ineffective searchlights were encountered but no enemy fighters were seen. Weather was fine with slight ground haze. Navigation by TR1335 and D.R. was good.

There appears to be no’ Official’ record or explanation as to the nature of the loss of X.3653 or Sgt. John Addis. In  “Forever strong: The story of 75 Squadron RNZAF, 1916-1990” by Norman Franks, contains an account of the events of that night by Phil Burridge, Rear Gunner with the Slater crew that night:
“We flew direct to Essen and on the run in took a pounding from ground fire. We received a direct hit in the bomb bay which was full of flares. As the flares were to be used as a marker for the main stream, it was not possible for us to jettison them. We were unable to put the fire out, so the aircraft was eventually abandoned and I landed in Duisberg where I was given a hostile reception by the natives until taken prisoner by some Ack-Ack gunners…..Our second Pilot and W/Op – Ted Wainwright – had worked out a plan whereby if they ever had to abandon the aircraft and were a parachute short, they would clip the remaining parachute on one hook of each of their respective harnesses and jump together. So on this night, when it happened, they both jumped together, but with his arm through Ted’s harness while Ted held him with one arm. Tragically, when the chute opened, the second Pilot was thrown off…….”

P.o.W Number: 24809
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft. Stalag VIIIB/344
Returned to the United Kingdom: 16th of April 1945.


FRENCH
Sgt. W.F. French RAFVR 1152939 – 2nd Pilot
7th of November 1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Essen
Wellington Mk.Ic X.9628 AA – A
Pilot – K.M. Smith

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, captianed 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 enely 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.

It appeared that the aircraft was hit by flak, crashing near Krefeld. The Rear Gunner, Sgt Thain, was killed. The remainder of the crew survived, with only Sgt Rugg receiving serious injuries from which he later died on the 15th of November 1941. Sgt Thain was initially buried at the Haupt Friedhof, but later reinterred at Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, close to the grave of Sgt Rugg. The other survivors were taken prisoners-of-war.

P.o.W Number: 9008
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags 383, and Luft VII
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


FRISBY
Sgt. A.B. Frisby RAFVR 1255606 – Front Gunner
7th of November 1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Berlin and Ostend
Wellington Mk.Ic X.9951 AA – L
Pilot – William Reginald Methven

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, failled 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 ver 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 X.9951 AA – L, was brought down by enemy flak at 23:00hrs, crashing at Werdohl, about 45 miles East of Dusseldorf. All but one of the crew survived.

P.o.W Number: 24481
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags VIIIB, Luft III, Luft VI and 357
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


G

GARRETT
Sgt. John Middleton Garrett RNZAF NZ391349 – 2nd Pilot
29th of December 1940 – Bombing Attacks Against Hamm and M.434.
Wellington Mk.Ic R.3211 AA – J
Pilot – Herbert Douglas Newman

Three Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 500lbs. Bombs fused N.D.T., 500lbs. Bombs delayed action and containers of incendiairies..
SCK.363 reports no results observed owing to 10/10 cumulus cloud up to 12,000 feet.
SCX.412 reports bomb bursts seen through clouds. S.B.C. caused further explosions.. No observations or reconnaissance were made. A moderate amount of A.A. fire was experienced, but searchlights were few.
No enemy aircraft were encountered.
Weather was not good, 10/10 cloud being experienced over whole of route and in target areas.
Navigation was by D/R and W/T.
One of these aircraft, MSI.596, captained by P/O. Newman, failed to return.
Three Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 500lbs. Bombs fused N.D.T., 500lbs. Bombs delayed action and containers of incendiairies..
SCK.363 reports no results observed owing to 10/10 cumulus cloud up to 12,000 feet.
SCX.412 reports bomb bursts seen through clouds. S.B.C. caused further explosions.. No observations or reconnaissance were made. A moderate amount of A.A. fire was experienced, but searchlights were few.
No enemy aircraft were encountered.
Weather was not good, 10/10 cloud being experienced over whole of route and in target areas.
Navigation was by D/R and W/T.
One of these aircraft, MSI.596, captained by P/O. Newman, failed to return.

P.o.W Number: 597
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft I, Luft III, Luft VI, and 357
Returned to the United Kingdom: 10th of May 1945.


GIBBES
P/O William Edmund Gibbes RNZAF NZ404535 – Navigator
3rd of February 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Stirling Mk.I BK.604 AA – S
Pilot – John McCullough

Nine aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with 4 lb. incendiaries. The crews were instructed to return if they hit bad weather, which unfortunately they did. Heavy cloud and icing were experienced forcing five aircraft to return early. Two aircraft attacked the target but they were unable to observe results owing to 10/10ths. cloud. Some A.A. fire and a few searchlights were encountered although low cloud prevented accuracy. No enemy aircraft were seen. Navigation was good. Two aircraft failed to return, they were Stirling 1 BK604 captained by P/O J McCullough and Stirling 1 R9280 captained by P/O K.H. Blincoe. This was a sad loss as they were two of the oldest captains in the Squadron, with them was also lost Sergt. Scott and P/O Henderson, two new captains gaining experience as second pilot. This leaving us with two headless crews.

Stirling Mk.I BK.604 AA – S,  was shot down by a night-fighter (Hptm WolfgangThimmig, III.NJG1) while attempting to penetrate the highly effective German defensive sector along the Netherlands coastline. The bomber crashed at 20:13hrs near the township Enter (Overjissel), seven miles South West of Wierden, Holland. Three of the crew were killed in the crash – the Pilot, Flight Engineer and Rear gunner. The remaining five succeeded in baling out, four of whom landed unhurt but were taken as prisoners. The Air Bomber’s parachute failed to deploy fully before he impacted the ground and he died as a result. The deceased were buried in the Wierden General Cemetery.

P.o.W Number: 27516
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags VIIIB, Luft III
Returned to the United Kingdom: 27th of May 1945.


GLEN
Sgt. Kenneth David Glen RCAF R.79353 – Navigator
17th of December 1942 – Attack Against Targets At Fallersleben
Stirling Mk.I BK.620 AA – A
Pilot – Kenneth John Dunmall

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 BK.620 AA – A, was shot down by a combination of flak and night fighters, crash-landing into the Westeinder Plas, South West of Aalsmeer (Noord Holland) and 10 miles South West of Amsterdam. All its crew survived the crash-landing but they later were interned as prisoners. The Pilot, P/O Williams, was placed in the German P.o.W camp at Sagan, from where he escaped by way of the famous ‘Wooden Horse’. On his return to the UK he was decorated with a Military Cross.

P.o.W Number: 27310
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalg VIIIB/344. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


GORE
Sgt. Donald W. Gore, RAFVR 1624691 – Flight Engineer
20th of July 1944 – Attack Against Homberg
Lancaster Mk.I ME691 AA – R
Pilot – Harold Whittington

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.I ME691 AA – R, was brought down by an enemy aircraft at 01:33hrs beside a road near Veghel (Noord Brabant), 4 miles South West of Uden. All but the Flight Engineer perished in the crash and were buried in the local War Cemetery, Uden. Sgt Gore, the flight engineer, survived but was taken as a P.o.W.

P.o.W Number: 455
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft VII
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


GRANT
Sgt. James Sutherland Grant RNZAF NZ421274 – Rear Gunner
31st of August 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Berlin
Stirling Mk.III EE878 AA – P
Pilot – Douglas Charles Henley

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 emeny 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 tailplane and fin badly damaged. The aircraft captained by F/O Alaexander sighted two Me109’s, the first opened fire from the starboard quarter and the rear gunner replied with a short burst. The emeny 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 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 emeny 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 EE878 AA – P,  was badly damaged by flak and by night-fighter action near the target area. With the port inner engine out of action, and the port elevator only partially effective, considerable height was lost evading the fighter before control was regained. They were now almost out of fuel and at low level when the Pilot ordered the crew to bale out. Some of the crew succeeded in clearing the plane before it crash-landed at Ahrbruck, 7 miles South West of Ahrweiler. The Navigator and Ar Bomber were killed when their parachutes failed to deploy in time. The Pilot died at the controls. Those who died were buried at municipal cemetery at Mayschoss, but later re interred in the Rheinberg War Cemetery, South of Wesel. The other four crew all survived but were captured as P.o.W’s.

P.o.W Number: 43260
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft VI and 357. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 8th of May 1945.


GRATTON
F/S James Richard Gratton RNZAF NZ402996 – Wireless Operator
28th of July 1942 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Wellington Mk.III X.3452 AA – J
Pilot – Charles Croall

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
Caught within searchlight cones while bombing Hamburg, Sgt Croall took rapid evasive action by diving his aircraft steeply to a low level, but they were hit by vigorous light AA fire and forced to ditch in the sea. All but the rear gunner, Sgt Crarer, evacuated the aircraft successfully. They were picked up and taken prisoners of war. Sgt Crarer’s body was later recovered and buried in the Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery at Tonning.

P.o.W Number: 25157
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIIB/344. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 21st of April 1945.


GRAY
Sgt. John Gray RAFVR  – Rear Gunner
20th of November 1944 – Attack Against Homberg
Lancaster MK.III ND911 JN – V
Pilot – Patrick Leo McCartin

Twenty eight aircraft took off to attack the Oil Refinery Plant at Homberg. Twenty two aircraft in daylight attacked the target in ten tenths cloud with tops at 23,000 ft. which made formation flying very difficult. They carried 4,000 lb and 500 lb bombs. Results of bombing could not be observed, but it is considered that the raid was unsatisfactory. One aircraft AA/J returned early owing to icing trouble and two aircraft bombed last resort targets at Duisburg and Hamborn. Three aircraft failed to return. These were captained by 185116 F/O R. Gordon, AUS419328 F/O P. McCartin and 152402 F/O H. Rees.

Lancaster ND911 took off from Mepal, Cambridgeshire at 12:47 hrs, as part of 3 Group with a force of 183 Lancaster’s, to bomb Homberg (Oil Refinery Plant).   Weather was stormy and many of the bomber stream were not able to maintain formation with the G-H (Radar aided aircraft) on the bombing run and the bombing was believed to have been scattered.   The force met little resistance from Luftwaffe fighters, but suffered very heavy flak.

On the bomb run at about 15:00 hrs, the Pilot was forced to lose height as the starboard outer engine failed and he decided to feather it.   The aircraft was forced to leave the formation, however at 15:15 hrs they bombed the target.   At 15:17 hrs they then received a direct hit in the port wing area from flak and is thought that the fuel tanks exploded.   The Lancaster broke up in mid-air and a very violent spin developed.   F/S Gray, the Rear Gunner, was knocked unconscious. When he came to the entire tail unit had broken away during the mid-air explosion and he was able to rotate the turret to enable him to bail out at 10,000 ft.

He stated that he saw no other parachutes during his descent. During his parachute drop at around 2,000 ft. he was shot at by German ground troops but was not hit.

Recent information (Oct 2015) has come to light that in fact the aircraft might have in fact been hit form falling debris from the Gordon crew/ PB689 AA-X. This is only postulation but is based on discussions between the Grandson of Mick Weston, F/E with the Gordon crew and John Gray. John felt that it was not implausible, having learned that both aircraft crashed in the same spot, that what he initially took for flak might have indeed been the other aircraft. He recalled that there was no warning, simply a sudden and massive jolt. This might also explain the separation of the tail unit from the rest of the aircraft.

P.o.W Number: 1241
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft VII
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


GREENHOUGH
F/S Claude Cuthbert Greenhough RNZAF NZ429069 – Navigator
14th of February 1945 – Attack Against Chemnitz
Lancaster Mk.I NG113 AA – D
Pilot – George Stanley Davies

Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack Chemnitz. Nineteen attacked primary. AA”J” F/O R.J. Pearson, returned early through engine failiure. Cloud was ten tenths with tops 16-17000 over the target. Aircraft bombed with the aid of special equipment. No resilts were observed, very slight H/F was met over the target. AA”D”, captained by F/L G.S. Davies failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I NG113 AA – D was en route to the target over Germany when fire suddenly erupted in one wing aft of an engine. The blaze was thought to have started in a broken oil line. The Pilot and FLight Engineer were unable to close down the engine or feather the propeller and with the fire continuing to grow, the decision was made to abandon the aircraft hurriedly. All the crew reached the ground uninjured but were soon captured and taken to a P.o.W camp. One of the crew, Air Bomber F/S Chambers, later died when the train in which the prisoners were travelling, was straffed by RAF fighters. He was buried in the Durnbach War Cemetery.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: not known
Returned to the United Kingdom: 11th of May 1945.


GREIG
F/S Colin Frederick Johnson Greig RNZAF 422281 – Navigator
28th of July 1944 – Attack Against Stuttgart
Lancaster Mk.III ND756 AA – M
Pilot – Ian Edward Blance

Twenty two aircraft set out as detailed to attack Stuttgart. Twenty aircraft successfully bombed the target with the aid of markers, but it is thought that several aircraft undershot, as they appeared to be two concentration of fires 2-3 miles apart. Fighters were very active in the target area and also en route, several aircraft having combats. The aircraft captained by NZ413043 A/S/L. L. Drummond, was attacked five times by a JU88, all of which were indecisive, followed by an attack by an unidentified enemy aircraft which is claimed as destroyed, being seen to go down in flames. At the same time as this our aircraft was also being attacked by two JU88s, one of which was damaged by fire from our aircraft. Two aircraft failed to return, they were captained by NZ421403 A/F/L. N. Stokes & NZ421469 F/O. I. Blance.

Lancaster Mk.III ND756 AA – M, was shot down in flames by a night-fighter over France, crashing at 01:25hrs close to Millery village, 3 miles North of Pompey. All but the Flight Engineer, Navigator and Rear Gunner died and were buried at the Millery cemetery. The surviving three crew members had baled out of the burning aircraft successfully. Sgt Hyde (F/E) and F/S Kirk (R/G), evaded capture and escaped but F/S Grieg (Nav) was captured as Prisoner of War.
It was revealed that 1,500 local inhabitants of Millery Village turned out for the funeral of the four airmen who died. Two large rooms in the church were overflowing with flowers.

P.o.W Number: 25136
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft VIII
Returned to the United Kingdom: 14th of May 1945.


GRIERSON
Sgt. J Grierson RAFVR 1593931 – Mid Upper Gunner
21st of March 1945 – Attack Against Munster Viaduct
Lancaster Mk.III LM733 AA – R
Pilot – Alfred Errol Brown

Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack the Muster Viaduct. There was hardly any cloud over the target. It is thought that the concentration was good although the formation was broken up just prior to bombing. Three aircraft failed to return from this operation – AA”T”, NZ42451 F/L J. Plummer, AA”R” NZ429139 P/O A. Brown and JN”P” 190947 P/O D.S. Barr. All three aircraft were seen to hit in the target area. Considerable H/F was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.III LM733 AA – R, was bombing the target at Munster when it was seen to break into two sections and enter a downward spiral before crashing in flames among trees near Coesfeld at 13:30hrs. The cause of the catastrophic damage was thought to be a combination of flak damage and being struck by a bomb from another 3 Group aircraft flying above. Two crew, the Pilot and Air Bomber, were killed and later buried in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. The other five crew parachuted to safety and were captured as P.o.W’s.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: not known
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


GUDMUNSEN
Sgt. K. Gudmunsen RAFVR 569992 – Flight Engineer
13th of February 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Lorient
Stirling Mk.I R9316 AA – K
Pilot – Roy Arthur Williams

Eleven aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with bombs of 1,000 lb. and 4 lb. incendiaries. Nine aircraft are known to have successfully attacked the target, of the other two, one returned early owing to the mid upper and front turrets being u/s and the other aircraft failed to return. Fires were burning fiercely in the target area, although they appeared to be scattered. F/Lt. Trott had his aircraft damaged by flak at the target, the number two tank on the port side was holed, the trimming tab was hit and his aerial was shot off. He preceeded to Middle Wallop and landed safely. Both heavy and light flak was encountered which was intense at first but later spasmodic and appeared to be swamped. Searchlights were seen in the early part of the attack but later went out. Some enemy aircraft were seen but no attacks were made. The weather was very good with clear visibility and no cloud. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling 1 R9316 captained by Sgt. R.A. Williams.

Stirling Mk.I R9316 AA – K was hit by flak over the target and fire broke out. The Pilot ordered the crew to abandon the aircraft and all but himself and the Rear Gunner parachuted successfully, landing near Plouay, (Finistere), 11 miles North North East of Lorient. Four were captured and taken prisoner but the fifth, Sgt Willis, RCAF, successfully evaded capture.
The deceased, Sgt’s Williams and Harding-Smith, were buried at Guidel, near Lorient. The latter was the son of the Venerable Archdeacon T J Smith, of Nelson, New Zealand.

P.o.W Number: 27568
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIIB/344
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


GUNN
F/O Frederick John Gunn RAFVR 1586226/ 163631 – Air Bomber
27th of December 1944 – Attack Against Rheydt
Lancaster Mk.I NN710 AA – Q
Pilot – Haddon Shaw Miles

As many crews as possible were required for an attack on Cologne. The target was cancelled and an attack on Rheydt was substituted. Inexperienced and special equipment leaders not being required the offer of 26 was reduced to 20. Aircraft took off carrying 1,000 ANM., 500 ANM., 500 M.C. and 250 G.P. Bombs. Visibility over the target was excellent and crews were able to identify the target, the flares being accurately placed. Clouds of smoke were seen to rise from the target. One aircraft AA”Q” captained by NZ421746 F/O H. Miles failed to return. This aircraft was seen to be hit by bombs and to spiral down.

Lancaster Mk.I NN710 AA – Q, was officially deemed to have crashed in the target area after being struck by a bomb, dropped from an aircraft above, when approaching the target. Only the air bomber, F/O Gunn, survived the crash but was captured as a prisoner of war.

Other aircraft in the lower stream also were in the firing line from aircraft in the upper stream. HK576, F/O Pearson & crew, witnessed one such aircraft bombing from 23,000ft, that appeared to collide with a Lancaster flying alongside, which went down in a spin. It was later determined that NM710, F/O Miles and crew, was the aircraft going down out of control – possibly hit by falling bombs.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: not known
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


H

HARRIES
Sgt. F.T.J. Harries RAFVR 1358765 – Rear Gunner
31st of August 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Berlin
Stirling Mk.III EH905 AA – R
Pilot – George Vincent Helm

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 emeny 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 tailplane and fin badly damaged. The aircraft captained by F/O Alaexander sighted two Me109’s, the first opened fire from the starboard quarter and the rear gunner replied with a short burst. The emeny 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 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 emeny 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 EH905 AA – R,  was struck by one or more bombs falling from an aircraft flying at a higher level over the target. The partially incapacitated aircraft came down near Ludwigsfelde-Heide, 18miles South South West of Berlin. All except the two Air Gunners died and were buried initially in a collective grave in the Russian Prisoner of War Cemetery near where the Stirling crashed. They later were reinterred in Berlin.
The two RAF Air Gunners who survived, Sgt’s Burglass and Harries, were taken as P.o.W’s.

P.o.W Number: 12729
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft , Stalag IVB. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


HARRIES
Sgt. W.V. Harries RAFVR 1358765 – Wireless Operator
27th of September 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hanover
Stirling Mk.III EF515 AA – F
Pilot – Ralph Egerton Martin

Sixteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lb. and 4 lb. Two aircraft failed to return and one returned early owing to its rear turret being unserviceable. The remainder dropped their bombs in the target area. This was an exceedingly successful and well concentrated attack, considered to be even better than the previous one. Numerous large fires and columns of smoke rising to 12,000ft., were seen and the fires were again visible at the DUTCH coast. Very moderate, ineffective heavy A.A. Fire numerous searchlights and flares were encountered. Many enemy aircraft were seen and several combats took place. The aircraft captained by F.Sgt. HORGAN, D. had a combat with a JU88 which was claimed to be destroyed. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. BURTON, H., sighted a JU88 and the Rear Gunner fired, it was then seen to fall in flames and was claimed as destroyed. Two other short combats took place and one of our aircraft received slight damage. The weather was poor on the outward and return journeys, but good with clear visibility over the target. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk.III, EF515 captained by Sgt. Martin, R., and EH877 captained by F/Sgt. WHITMORE, R.

Stirling Mk.III EF515 AA – F,  was brought down, probably by enemy night-fighter action, in the vicinity of Haverbeck-Hamelin. The Pilot succeeded in making a crash landing, allowing all but one of the crew to escape uninjured. The Mid Upper Gunner, Sgt A. R. Bangs, did not survive the crash and was buried in Hannover War Cemetery. The remaining crew were captured as P.o.W’s.

P.o.W Number: 250731
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag VIB
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


HARRIS
Sgt. F. Max Harris RAFVR 1850150 – Flight Engineer
27th of May 1944 – Attack Against Aachen
Lancaster Mk.III ND802 JN – D “The Flying Scotsman”
Pilot – Francis Alexander Jack Scott

Eighteen aircraft were detailed to attack Aachen, one of which returned early and two failed to return (Captains NZ414971 F/L. S. Fauvel and NZ421105 Sgt. Scott, F.). The remaining fifteen successfully bombed the target in clear weather, one aircraft (Captain NZ40750 F/L. R. Berney) had five successive inconclusive combats with an ME 410 in the Courtrai area.

P.o.W Number: 300
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft VII. (Attempted to evade but was betrayed and captured in Antwerp on the 28th of  June 1944.)
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


HARRIS
Sgt. William Hamilton Harris NZ402058 – Wireless Operator
5th April 1942 – Operations – Attack Against Targets Cologne
Wellington Mk.III X.3661 AA – Q
Pilot – Raymond John Newton

Nine Wellington Aircraft from this unit were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, and 250lbs and 4lb incendiaries was dropped but results were not observed. There was intense heavy flak and many searchlights were active but ineffective owing to the bright moonlight. One Ju.88 aircraft was seen near the target and Wellington III X3705 was attacked by a Me.110 near Liege without result. Weather was good and navigation by TR1335 and D.R was also good. One aircraft did not carry out it’s mission and two are missing. Wellington III X3489, captained by W/Cdr Sawrey-Cookson the C.O. of the squadron, and Wellington III X3661 captained by F/S Thomas.

Bomber Command records indicate the aircraft was hit by flak at 10,500 feet and suffered a catasrophic structural failiure. Despite this, all crew successfully exited the aircraft, were captured and made Prisoners of War. Prisoner of War No. 24836. Bill Harris was interred in the following camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft III and Luft IV. Godfrey Thomas returned to the United Kingdom on the 10th of May 1945.

P.o.W Number: 24836
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft III and Luft IV
Returned to the United Kingdom: 10th of May 1945.


HARRISON
Sgt. J. B. Harrison RAFVR 1052295 – Flight Engineer
29th of May 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Wuppertal
Stirling Mk.III BK776 AA – R
Pilot – Raymond Frederick Bennett

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,  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.

P.o.W Number: 10646
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft III.
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


HARVEY
Sgt. Ronald Stewart Harvey RNZAF NZ404538 – Observer
28th of July 1942 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Wellington Mk.III X.3452 AA – J
Pilot – Charles Croall

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
Caught within searchlight cones while bombing Hamburg, Sgt Croall took rapid evasive action by diving his aircraft steeply to a low level, but they were hit by vigorous light AA fire and forced to ditch in the sea. All but the rear gunner, Sgt Crarer, evacuated the aircraft successfully. They were picked up and taken prisoners of war. Sgt Crarer’s body was later recovered and buried in the Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery at Tonning.

P.o.W Number: 25130
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag 344. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 9th of April 1945.


HAYDON
F/O Jack Henry Haydon RAAF AUS.408400 – Mid Upper Gunner
31st of August 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Berlin
Stirling Mk.III EE918 AA – D
Pilot – Eric John Roberts

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 emeny 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 tailplane and fin badly damaged. The aircraft captained by F/O Alaexander sighted two Me109’s, the first opened fire from the starboard quarter and the rear gunner replied with a short burst. The emeny 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 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 emeny 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.

EE918 was brought down over Germany, crashing at Derental, 5 miles South South East of Hoxter. All except the mid upper gunner, P/O Haydon, RAAF, died and were buried at Hoxter, but later reinterred at Hanover. Haydon, the only survivor, was captured as a POW.

The following information was supplied by Jack’s Daugther, Dianne, regarding the details of that tragic night and the events that followed it;
On the night of 31 August, 1943 he was mid-upper gunner  in Stirling Mk.111 EE918 AA-D and was returning home, having dropped bombs on Berlin, when the aircraft was hit by enemy fire. The aircraft sustained damage but continued to fly for possibly 10 – 15 minutes. Eric, the pilot radioed Jack (as mid upper gunner he was the closest to the rear gun turret) and requested that he go back and check on Darcy (rear gunner) because he had heard nothing from him since the attack. Jack discovered that he was dead and was returning to his position when there was an explosion which broke the plane into two pieces.

Jack, the only member of the crew not in his position, was not in his harness and therefore fell out of the plane which went down with the rest of the crew all still harnessed in. Upon landing, Jack only suffered a badly injured foot, which caused him trouble for the rest of his life. He began walking to habitation, where he was captured.

After  being given medical treatment for his , Jack was now a Prisoner of War and was first moved to Dulag Luft.

Dulag Luft was the abbreviated name given to Prisoner of War (POW) transit camps for Air Force prisoners captured by Germany during the Second World War. Their main purpose was to act as collection and interrogation centres for newly captured aircrew, before being transferred in batches to the permanent camps. Dulag Luft derives from the German Durchgangslager der Luftwaffe (Transit Camp – Air Force). Several camps where set up throughout Germany and the occupied countries, however the main centre used throughout the war was at Oberursel near Frankfurt. A satellite camp at Wetzlar was set up later in the war to help cope with the large numbers of aircrew captured as the bombing campaign intensified against Germany. Allegations of interrogation under torture have been made by numerous POWs who passed through the camps.
Wikipedia

Jack was next moved to the now (in)famous  Stalag Luft III.

Stalag Luft III (Stammlager Luft, or main camp for aircrew) was a Luftwaffe-run prisoner-of-war camp during World War II that housed captured air force servicemen. It was in the German province of Lower Silesia near the town of Sagan (now Żagań in Poland), 100 miles (160 km) southeast of Berlin. The site was selected because it would be difficult to escape by tunneling. The camp is best known for two famous prisoner escapes that took place there by tunneling, which were depicted in the films The Great Escape (1963) and The Wooden Horse (1950), and the books by former prisoners Paul Brickhill and Eric Williams from which these films were adapted.
Wikipedia

During his incarceration, Jack “celebrated” his 21st birthday and the birth of his first daughter.

One of the activities he participated in was stacking wood on the back of a truck. The instructions were to put a nail in every 5th /6th log to secure the load for travel. The prisoners placed a nail in every log so that the logs were absolutely solid wood when they came to be unloaded. Apparently, every PoW took very seriously the order to hinder the enemy in any way possible!

Jack  was involved in the preparations for the Great Escape. His skill as a cabinetmaker was useful to maintain the stability of the bunks which were depleted of wood and he also had gold fillings in his teeth which were removed to make compasses.

On the night of the escape Jack  was waiting to go when the alarm was raised. Like others, he was placed in solitary confinement for at least 3 week and on 5 days running was dragged out and actually lined up in front of a firing squad. No one knows why he was not shot, but one theory was that he was young and good-looking and as Hitler wanted a pure Aryan race he may have been spared for that. He was also given a photograph of a young, pretty blonde woman, maybe to encourage his willingness.

Towards the end of the War, when defeat was inevitable, the Germans removed the prisoners and they began “The March”.

“The March” refers to a series of forced marches during the final stages of the Second World War in Europe. From a total of 257,000 western Allied prisoners of war held in German military prison camps, over 80,000 POWs were forced to march westward across Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Germany in extreme winter conditions, over about four months between January and April 1945. This series of events has been called various names: “The Great March West”, “The Long March”, “The Long Walk”, “The Long Trek”, “The Black March”, “The Bread March”, but most survivors just called it “The March”. As the Soviet Army was advancing, German authorities decided to evacuate POW camps, to delay liberation of the prisoners. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of German civilian refugees, most of them women and children, as well as civilians of other nationalities, were also making their way westward on foot, in hazardous weather conditions.
Wikipedia

Jack Haydon was returned to England and later embarked on a ship headed for the war against Japan, but peace was declared while he was en route – Dianne does not know if he was returned to England or Australia at that stage.

On his return home he spent many weeks in rehabilitation and in truth, she believes he suffered from PTSD for the rest of his life. He apparently did manage to write to the families of at least 2 of the 3 NZ members of his crew.

Jack Henry Haydon died at the age of 48, in 1971.

P.o.W Number: 2366
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft III
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


HEARD
Sgt. A.H. Heard RAFVR 960717 – Rear Gunner
17th of September 1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Karlsruhe
Wellington Mk.Ic X.9834 AA – ?
Pilot – William Bennett Megarry Smyth

Eight Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks on the above targets. One of these aircraft failed to return. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 1,000 lb, 500 lb, 250 lb and containers of incendiaries. A.A. fire and searchlights were slight in the target area. Weather was hazy over the target.
X9834 was not heard from and thus it must be assumed it was either hit by flak or by a night fighter. It would appear that the Pilot was forced to crash-land the aircraft, on fire, at Holsthum on the river Prüm, seven miles South South West of Bitburg, Germany.

Sgt. Smyth, P/O Savage and Sgt. McL Hazelden died in the crash and were buried in the Rheinberg War Cemetery. P/O Smith, Sgt. Reid and Sgt. Heard escaped unhurt from the aircraft and were taken Prisoners of War. When under confinement at Lamsdorf P.o.W camp, Sgt Reid was shot by a prison guard and killed on the 29th of December  1941. It was reported that Sgt. Reid was shot whilst trying to remove fence panels for heating, other reports indicate that he was trying to escape. He is buried in the Cracow Military Cemetery.

P.o.W Number: 9653
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIIB, Luft I. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


HENDERSON
P/O Raymond William Henderson RNZAF NZ411894 – 2nd Pilot
3rd of February 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Stirling Mk.I BK.604 AA – S
Pilot – John McCullough

Nine aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with 4 lb. incendiaries. The crews were instructed to return if they hit bad weather, which unfortunately they did. Heavy cloud and icing were experienced forcing five aircraft to return early. Two aircraft attacked the target but they were unable to observe results owing to 10/10ths. cloud. Some A.A. fire and a few searchlights were encountered although low cloud prevented accuracy. No enemy aircraft were seen. Navigation was good. Two aircraft failed to return, they were Stirling 1 BK604 captained by P/O J McCullough and Stirling 1 R9280 captained by P/O K.H. Blincoe. This was a sad loss as they were two of the oldest captains in the Squadron, with them was also lost Sergt. Scott and P/O Henderson, two new captains gaining experience as second pilot. This leaving us with two headless crews.

Stirling Mk.I BK.604 AA – S,  was shot down by a night-fighter (Hptm WolfgangThimmig, III.NJG1) while attempting to penetrate the highly effective German defensive sector along the Netherlands coastline. The bomber crashed at 20:13hrs near the township Enter (Overjissel), seven miles South West of Wierden, Holland. Three of the crew were killed in the crash – the Pilot, Flight Engineer and Rear gunner. The remaining five succeeded in baling out, four of whom landed unhurt but were taken as prisoners. The Air Bomber’s parachute failed to deploy fully before he impacted the ground and he died as a result. The deceased were buried in the Wierden General Cemetery.

P.o.W Number: 161
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Oflag XXIB, Stalag Luft III. Promoted to F/L whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 11th of May 1945.


HILL
F/S Douglas John Hill NZ415761 – Air Bomber
18th of April 1944 – Mining in Kiel Bay
Stirling Mk.III EH955 AA – K
Pilot – Henry James Murray

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 was shot down by a night-fighter over Denmark on the return flight to base at 14,000ft. The aircraft crashed at Jenning, about a mile south of Gram. The Pilot, Flight Engineer, Mid Uupper and Rear Gunners died and were later buried at Gram, but the Navigator, Air bomber and Wireless Operator succeeded in baling out and were captured as prisoners of war.

P.o.W Number: 3550
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft VI and 357
Returned to the United Kingdom: 6th of May 1945.


HILL
F/S Leslie George Hill RNZAF NZ426997 – Navigator
27th of May 1944 – Attack Against Aachen
Lancaster Mk.III ND802 JN – D “The Flying Scotsman”
Pilot – Francis Alexander Jack Scott

Eighteen aircraft were detailed to attack Aachen, one of which returned early and two failed to return (Captains NZ414971 F/L. S. Fauvel and NZ421105 Sgt. Scott, F.). The remaining fifteen successfully bombed the target in clear weather, one aircraft (Captain NZ40750 F/L. R. Berney) had five successive inconclusive combats with an ME 410 in the Courtrai area.

Lancaster Mk.III ND802 JN – D “The Flying Scotsman”,  was attacked by a night-fighter 25 miles North West of Eindhoven, Netherlands, causing the aircraft to break up in flight then crashing near Gilze, 6 miles West of Tilsburg. The Pilot, Air Bomber and Wireless Operator did not survive the crash and were buried at Gilze The other five crew most likely abandoned the aircraft successfully in flight as they were subsequently captured as prisoners.

P.o.W Number: 170
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft VII. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 25th of May 1945.


HOCKEY
P/O Leonard Phillip Redcliff Hockey RAF 76011 – Rear Gunner
21st of May 1940 – Bombing Operations over Enemy Territory (Aachen and Dinant)
Wellington Mk.Ic R.3157 AA – H
Pilot – John Noel Collins

Eight aircraft detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks on above targets, six on target AACHEN and two on target DINANT.
All aircraft carried 12 – 250lbs. G.P. fused N.D.T. bombs each.
KCB.248 dropped 12 bombs on Marshalling yeards and scored direct hits, and also KCB.249.
KCB. 252 failed to locate target and returned to base with bomb load.
KCB.253, KCB.256, KCB257 successfullly attacked target, but unable to observe results due to intense searchlight activity. KCB.256 proceeded and attacked Power Station on S.E. of MAASTRICHT dropping three sticks of two bombs each. Two hits seen on railway siding beside station.
KCB.267 attacked road and rail bridge at DINANT, all strikes very near.
KCB.266 also on target failed to return.

While attacking the road/rail bridge at Dinant from a height of approximately 3,000ft, the Wellington received a direct hit by an AA shell in the starboard engine. The aircraft crashed in flames near the township of Kain (Hainaut), 2-3 miles North North West of Tournai, Belgium. Both Pilots were killed in the crash but the other crew-members baled out safely, thanks to courageous efforts by John Collins in controlling the burning aircraft long enough to enable them to escape at low level. They survived and were captured. This was 75(NZ) Squadron’s first operational loss of the war, and the death of F/O. Collins (one of the original members of the New Zealand Flight) was the RNZAF’s first fatal casualty of the war.

P.o.W Number: 410
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft III. Promoted to F/L whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


HOPE
W/O Lawrence Beresford Hamilton Hope RNZAF NZ40940 – Rear Gunner
8th of November 1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Essen
Wellington Mk.Ic Z.8942 AA – J
Pilot – John Stephen Wilson

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, captianed 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 enely 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.

The aircraft was hit by flak and crashed at 22.15hrs, at Zuidland (Zuid Holland), 13 miles Sout West of Rotterdam. All except the Rear Gunner, Sgt Hope, were killed. They were buried in Rotterdam City’s General Cemetery. Sgt Hope was taken a Prisoner of Wr and imprisoned at Stalag 357.

W/O Hope was killed on Thursday 19th of April 1945 at Heydekrug, near Lauenberg, Germany. In the face of the advancing Russian Army W/O Hope, along with some 500 other prisoners were being marched westwards from Stalag 357 (Fallingbostel) to Lubeck, when the column was strafed by Allied Typhoon aircraft. Thirty prisoners, including W/O Hope were killed. Initially buried at Gresse but later reinterred at the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. The fighter pilots had mistaken the column of prisoners as reinforcements for the German western front against the advancing British and American armies.

W/O Lawrence Beresford Hamilton Hope, RNZAF NZ40940 – Rear Gunner.
Killed by Allied fighter aircraft, age 28.

Son of Percy Douglas and Martha Harriet Hope, of French Pass, Nelson, New Zealand.

Buried Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 6. B. 8.

P.o.W Number: 24510
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags VIIIB, Luft III, Luft VI and 357. Promoted to W/O whilst interred.


HOWARD
F/S Phillip Newbury Howard RNZAF NZ391384 – Rear Gunner
2nd of June 1942 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Wellington Mk.III X.3408 AA – Q
Pilot – Cecil William Phair Carter

Sixteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area but no results were observed. A few small fires were seen near target. A.A. fire was fairly heavy and searchlights operating in cones were numerous. No enemy a/c were seen. Weather marred the operation, there being a heavy ground have. Navigation was excellent. Well, X3408, captained by P/O Carter, failed to return.
The aircraft was struck by flak while flying at 10,500ft but the Captain was able to maintain control sufficiently to make a crash landing in the target area. All the crew escaped relatively uninjured but were soon captured and made prisoners of war.

It is believed that this was the first all-RNZAF crew of Bomber Command to be taken prisoners of war.

P.o.W Number: 419
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft III, Luft 1, Luft VI and Luft IV. Took part in the forced march from Luft IV (Gross Tychow) to Stalag XIB (Fallingbostel) 6 Feb to 2 May 1945
Returned to the United Kingdom: 10th of May 1945.


HOWE
Sgt. L.C. Howe RAFVR 924915 – Observer
7th of November 1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Essen
Wellington Mk.Ic X.9628 AA – A
Pilot – K.M. Smith

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, captianed 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 enely 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.

It appeared that the aircraft was hit by flak, crashing near Krefeld. The Rear Gunner, Sgt Thain, was killed. The remainder of the crew survived, with only Sgt Rugg receiving serious injuries from which he later died on the 15th of  November 1941. Sgt Thain was initially buried at the Haupt Friedhof, but later reinterred at Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, close to the grave of Sgt Rugg. The other survivors were taken prisoners of war.

P.o.W Number: 24507
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags VIIIB, Luft III, Luft VI and 357
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


HUMPHRIES
F/O Arthur Leonard ‘Tiny’ Humphries RNZAF NZ428244 – Navigator
21st of March 1945 – Attack Against Munster Viaduct
Lancaster Mk.I NG449 AA – T
Pilot – Jack Plummer

Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack the Muster Viaduct. There was hardly any cloud over the target. It is thought that the concentration was good although the formation was broken up just prior to bombing. Three aircraft failed to return from this operation – AA”T”, NZ42451 F/L J. Plummer, AA”R” NZ429139 P/O A. Brown and JN”P” 190947 P/O D.S. Barr. All three aircraft were seen to hit in the target area. Considerable H/F was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I NG449 AA – T,  came under heavy A.A fire over the target area and received hits in two engines, then began breaking up. Four of the crew were virtually thrown from the disintegrating aircraft and parachuted to safety, however all were captured as Prisoners of War. Both Sgt Fell and F/S McDonald were badly injured. P/O Humphries implored the Germans to arrange medical treatment for them. They were sent to a semi-medical centre where they remained for a short period until the arrival of allied forces.

P.o.W Number: 65026
P.o.W Camps: Stalag VIF and XIB
Returned to the United Kingdom: 11th of May 1945.


HUNTER
P/O Robert Cyril Adair Hunter RCAF J.3754 – Observer
15th of July 1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Duisburg
Wellington Mk.Ic W.5663 AA – O
Pilot – William Jeffrey Rees

Nine Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. One of these aircraft, R.3171 captained by SGT. Fotheringham, failed to return to base. Another, W.5663, captained P/O Rees, (RJT.533) was attacked by unidentified enemy fighter over the target. The aircraft was badly damages and the 2nd Pilot Sgt. Joyce was killed. SGT. Conibear, the Front Gunner, was seriously injured and died in hospital; and SGT. Gwyn-Williams was injured (Rear gunner). The aircraft returned to base where a landing was made. P/O Rees was awarded the D.F.C.; and the wireless operator, SGT. Lewis, was awarded the D.F.M.

RJT.147 bombed marshalling yard south of aiming point.
RJT.319 Observed bomb bursts in target area.
RJT.385 Attacked target area and saw bomb bursts.
RJT.445 bombed target area.
RJT.533 bombed target area, but thin cloud prevented accurate pin-point.
RJT.570 reports big fire started by bombs on target area.
RJT.683 located target, but it was not clearly pinpointed. A fix was obtained from Rhine and autobahn. Bombs dropped in salvo on large fire within radius of 3 miles of target.

P/O Ashworth reports that results were not observed over Ruhr, but a fire was started and a building blown up on an aerodrome 6 miles southof Hague. HEavy accurate predicted A.A. fire was encountered in target area. Searchlights were very active and accurate. The weather was good, but there was a layer of cloud over target. Navigation was by map reading, D/R, W/T, astro
A number of enemy aircraft were seen, One of these, an unidentified night-fighter, carried out an attack on W5663, captained by P/O W J Rees, RAF, scoring direct hits with cannon shells in the cockpit area and crew stations.

Three of the crew suffered injuries in the attack – the 2nd pilot, Sgt D C Joyce, RNZAF, dying almost immediately. The Navigator, P/O Hunter, fell from the aircraft as he went aft to attend the wounded, but safely parachuted to earth and was taken prisoner.

Two others, Front Gunner, Sgt Conibear and Rear Gunner, Sgt Gwyn-Williams, lay seriously wounded in the aircraft, the former later dying in hospital.

The Wireless Operator, Sgt J W Lewis, although deafened by exploding shells, later recovered and looked after the wounded while fixing his damaged radio equipment; collecting scattered maps; assisting P/O Rees the Pilot and then calculating a course for home. . . Both Rees and Lewis were later awarded the DFC and DFM respectively for their actions that night.

P.o.W Number:  1633
P.o.W Camps:  Dulag Luft, Stalag
Returned to the United Kingdom: 11th of May 1945.


HYDE
F/S Jack Edwin Hyde RNZAF NZ416637 – Air Bomber
19th of November 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Leverkusen
Stirling Mk.III LJ442 JN – F
Pilot – Noel Norman Parker

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,  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 LJ.442’s starboard wing and a crash-landing attempt was made by the Pilot at Horrues, North West of Soignies, Belgium. Only the Pilot, Navigator and Air Bomber survived. Parker and Griffiths evaded capture but Hyde, who was seriously injured, was taken as a P.o.W. The four who died were buried at Chièvres, 10 miles from Horrues.

P.o.W Number: 1102
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft VI and Luft JV. Took part in the forced march from Stalag IV (Gross Tychow) to Stalag XIB (Fallingbostel) – 6 Feb to 2 May 1945. Promoted to W/O whilst interred.
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


I

INGREY
Sgt. Reginald Ingrey RAFVR 1504520 – Rear Gunner
4th of November 1943 – Mining in the Baltic Sea
Stirling MK.III BF461 JN – B
Pilot – Gordon Kenneth Williams

Four aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation, with mines of 1500lbs. This wa an unfortunate night as three aircraft failed to return and the other aircraft returned early having jettisoned its mines. This aircraft met an enemy night fighter and sustained damage to the port wing, starboard flap, rear turret and many large holes in the fuselage, the rear gunner, Sgt.W. HURDIE, was killed during the combat. The weather was bad and ten tenths cloud made visibility poor. Navigation was good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings MKIII BF461, Captained by P/O.G.K.WILLIAMS, BK&&* Captained by P/O.W.S.MASTERS and XXXXX Captained by F/O. N.WILSON.

On the night of 4-5 Nov 1943, the RAF launched only minor operations. Thirty-six aircraft were detailed for mining at various places from Lorient to the Kattegat. Four Stirlings faled to return from the night’s operations.. According to the crews of rwturn from 75 Sqn the weather was bad with poor visibility. One of the lost Stirlings was BF.461, which took off from Mepal just after 1659 hrs. Nothing was heard from it after take-off. Like many of the aircraft BF.461 encountered German night fighters over Denmark, in this instance two JU..88’s. The damage caused to the Stirling in the ensuing confrontation forced it to jettison its mines and attempt to return early to base. The Stirling crashed at Kallerup in Jutland, Denmark. P/O Champion’s body was found and taken to the German morgue, the Nordre Mole, in Fredrikshavn by a German lorry. Official German documents record the death ‘from burns’. However in a report compiled by a Danish policeman a Danish undertaker questioned this verdict. If Pilot Officer Champion died had died from burns the body would have been taken to the undertaker in a coffin. As this was not the case it may be that P/O Champion was killed in the crash. P/O Champion was buried at Fredrikshavn on 13th November, together with seven other British airmen. No military honours were given and the ceremony was performed by a German field padre. A group of Danes attending the the funeral laid wreaths and flowers on each of the coffins, at done at other funerals. The other members of the crew were taken prisoner. Five of them were sent to Germany, but F/S Morice was sent to hospital at Thisyten for treatment. He was helped to escape and was subsequently taken to the vicarage in Biersted. From Frederikshavn he was taken to Sweden. He was repatriated to Britian in accordance with the Geneva Convention. During an earlier tour, with 105 Sqn, Sgt Williams crash-landed and was interned in Portugal 17 July to 14 August 1941.

P.o.W Number: 261509
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag IVB
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


IRWIN
F/S Gordon James Irwin NZ415698 – Wireless Operator
18th of April 1944 – Mining in Kiel Bay
Stirling Mk.III EH955 AA – K
Pilot – Henry James Murray
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 – Kwas shot down by a night-fighter over Denmark on the return flight to base at 14,000ft. The aircraft crashed at Jenning, about a mile south of Gram. The Captain, Flight Engineer, Mid Upper and Rear gunners died and were later buried at Gram, but the Navigator, Air bomber and Wireless Ooperator succeeded in baling out and were captured as Prisoners of War.

P.o.W Number: 4188
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft III. Promoted to W/O whil
Returned to the United Kingdom: 14th of May 1945.


ISHERWOOD
Sgt. S.J.G. Isherwood RAFVR 776066 – Pilot
26th of October 1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Hamburgh and Cherbourgh
Wellington Mk.Ic Z.1168 AA – H
Pilot – S.J.G. Isherwood

Five Wellington aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. One of these aircraft, Z1168, captained by Sgt. Isherwood failed to return to base. A mixed load was carried consisting of 1000 lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Bombs were dropped on target, but owing to intense cloud, bursts were not observed. One large fire was started which was visible for 35 miles. An enemy aerodrome wa sin use to the north of target, and a large fire was observed buring N.E. of Auster Altern. There was a heavy flak of A.A. fire over target and from the direction of Cuxhaven and Bremerhaven. There were approximately 150 searchlights coned over target area. One enemy aircraft observed landing on aerodrom bombed. CLoud was 10/10th over sea, but very good visibility in breaks over target. Searchlights were observed to be co-operating more with fighters over target.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.1168 AA – H,  failed to return to base. The aircraft suffered catastrophic damage from heavy A.A fire over Hamburg but all but one of the crew successfully baled out and were subsequently taken prisoners of war. The Front Gunner, Sgt B. W. Shelnutt, went down with the aircraft and was killed.

P.o.W Number: 24462
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags VIIIB, Luft III, Luft VI and 357. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


IVES
Sgt. Herbert Ives RNZAF NZ402192 – Observer
2nd of June 1942 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Wellington Mk.III X.3408 AA – Q
Pilot – Cecil William Phair Carter

Sixteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area but no results were observed. A few small fires were seen near target. A.A. fire was fairly heavy and searchlights operating in cones were numerous. No enemy a/c were seen. Weather marred the operation, there being a heavy ground have. Navigation was excellent. Well, X3408, captained by P/O Carter, failed to return.

The aircraft was struck by flak while flying at 10,500ft but the Pilot was able to maintain control sufficiently to make a crash landing in the target area. All the crew escaped relatively uninjured but were soon captured and made prisoners of war.

It is believed that this was the first all-RNZAF crew of Bomber Command to be taken prisoners of war.

P.o.W Number: 423
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft III and 357. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 10th of May 1945.


J

JOHNSON
Sgt. Eric William Peter Johnson RNZAF NZ413423 – Pilot
8th of September 1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Frankfurt
Wellington Mk.III BJ.596 AA – ?
Pilot – Eric William Peter Johnson

Nine aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack. Bomb load of 4,000lb., 500lb and incendiaries were dropped in the target area. Larger fires were seen. A.A. fire was moderate, searchlights were numerous, particularly in target area. A few enemy aircraft were seen, but no attacks were made. The weather was good, with slight ground haze. Navigation was accurate by DR and TR. Wellington captained by Sgt. Johnson failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III BJ.596, was hit by flak in the target area causing catastrophic damage. The crew was forced to abandon the burning aircraft and all successfully reached the ground, only to be taken Prisoners of War.

P.o.W Number: 27040
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags VIIIB/344 and Luft III. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 14th of April 1945


JONES
Sgt. E.A.F. Jones RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner
14th of June 1943 – Mining in the Gironde Estuary
Stirling Mk.I BK646 AA – N
Pilot – John Lloyd Edwards

Six aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with Mines of 1500lb., two aircraft returned early, one owing to intercommunication failiure and the other owing to engine trouble and one aircraft failed to return. The remaining three aircraft successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area and the parachutes were seen to open. Some light A.A. fire and a few searchlights were encountered, but they were ineffective. A few enemy aircraft were seen, but no combats took lace. There was thick cloud in the mining area although visibility was fairly good. Navigation was very good. Stirling Mk.I BK646 captained by F/O J.L. Edwards failed to return.

Stirling Mk.I BK646 AA – N,  was shot down by a combination of flak and a Me.109 night fighter, attempting a crash landing at Moulines-la-Marche, South South West of Brettville-sur-Laize, France. With a loss of one engine and damaged ailerons, the Pilot ordered the crew to abandon the aircraft. All except Edwards got down safely, with Sgt’s Dunnet, Rawlinson, Jones, and Maxwell being captured as prisoners, and P/O Kirby and Sgt Sansoucy successfully evading capture. F/O Edwards did not survive and was laid to rest in the Canadian War Cemetery.

P.o.W Number: 403
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft VI and 357
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


K

KIMBERLEY
Sgt. K.E. Kimberley RAFVR 1576231 – Mid Upper Gunner
3rd of February 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Stirling Mk.I BK.604 AA – S
Pilot – John McCullough

Nine aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with 4 lb. incendiaries. The crews were instructed to return if they hit bad weather, which unfortunately they did. Heavy cloud and icing were experienced forcing five aircraft to return early. Two aircraft attacked the target but they were unable to observe results owing to 10/10ths. cloud. Some A.A. fire and a few searchlights were encountered although low cloud prevented accuracy. No enemy aircraft were seen. Navigation was good. Two aircraft failed to return, they were Stirling 1 BK604 captained by P/O J McCullough and Stirling 1 R9280 captained by P/O K.H. Blincoe. This was a sad loss as they were two of the oldest captains in the Squadron, with them was also lost Sergt. Scott and P/O Henderson, two new captains gaining experience as second pilot. This leaving us with two headless crews.

Stirling Mk.I BK.604 AA – S,  was shot down by a night-fighter (Hptm WolfgangThimmig, III.NJG1) while attempting to penetrate the highly effective German defensive sector along the Netherlands coastline, as was R9280 above. The bomber crashed at 20:13hrs near the township Enter (Overjissel), seven miles South West of Wierden, Holland. Three of the crew were killed in the crash – the pilot, Flight Engineer and Rear Gunner. The remaining five succeeded in baling out, four of whom landed unhurt but were taken as prisoners. The Air Bomber’s parachute failed to deploy fully before he impacted the ground and he died as a result. The deceased were buried in the Wierden General Cemetery.

P.o.W Number: 27453
P.o.W Camps: DulagLuft, Stalag VIIIB/344
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


KING
F/O David Walter King RAFVR 1603821/ 164563 – Navigator
25th of February 1945 –
Lancaster Mk.III LM740 AA – B
Pilot – Louis Eldon Bernhardt Klitscher

Eighteen aircraft were detailed to attack Kamen. Thin stratus cloud in layers covered the target area, but at times crews were able to make out the target and report a considerable white smoke followed by thick black smoke rising to a good height. Accurate H/F was experienced. AA”B” captained by F/S Klitscher is missing from this operation.

Lancaster Mk.III LM740 AA – B,  was en route to the target and was seen to leave the stream near Wesel (some 50 miles from the target) with the port-inner engine feathered after being hit by heavy flak. The seven crew then apparently abandoned the aircraft after turning for home and landing relatively uninjured in enemy territory. They were all captured as P.o.W’s.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: not known
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


KLITSCHER
F/O Louis Eldon Bernhardt Klitscher RNZAF NZ415262 – Pilot
25th of February 1945 – Attack Against Kamen
Lancaster Mk.III LM740 AA – B
Pilot – Louis Eldon Bernhardt Klitscher

Eighteen aircraft were detailed to attack Kamen. Thin stratus cloud in layers covered the target area, but at times crews were able to make out the target and report a considerable white smoke followed by thick black smoke rising to a good height. Accurate H/F was experienced. AA”B” captained by F/S Klitscher is missing from this operation.

Lancaster Mk.III LM740 AA – B,  was en route to the target and was seen to leave the stream near Wesel (some 50 miles from the target) with the port-inner engine feathered after being hit by heavy flak. The seven crew then apparently abandoned the aircraft after turning for home and landing relatively uninjured in enemy territory. They were all captured as P.o.W’s.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: not known
Returned to the United Kingdom: 11th of May 1945.


KNIGHT
Sgt. Percy Gibson Knight RNZAF NZ417282 – Air Bomber
29th of May 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Wuppertal
Stirling Mk.III EH881 AA – Z
Pilot – John Henry Roy Carey

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 EH881 AA – Z,  was brought down at Eilendorf, outside the township of Aachen (35 miles South West of Cologne). The Pilot and the two Air Gunners died in the crash and are buried in Rheinberg War Cemetery. The other four crew all escaped uninjured, either by parachute or from the wrecked aircraft, and were captured as P.o.W’s.

P.o.W Number: 192
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft III, and 357. Promoted to W/O whilst interred.
Returned to the United Kingdom: 8th of May 1945.


KNOX
F/S Albert John Knox RNZAF NZ416006 – Rear Gunner
23rd of September 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Mannheim
Stirling Mk.III BF459 JN – E
Pilot – Clifford Charles Pownall Logan

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 BF459 JN – E, was brought down at Lampertheim, 7 miles North of Mannheim. All but two of the crew died in the crash, The Mid Upper Gunner, who was seriously injured, died 10 days later. The only survivor was the Rear Gunner, F/S A J Knox, RNZAF, who was captured as a P.o.W. All who died were buried at Lampertheim and later reinterred at Durnbach War Cemetery, East of Bad Tolz.

P.o.W Number: 580
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft VI and Stalag 357. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 11th of May 1945.


L

LAWRENCE
F/S R.H. Lawrence RAFVR 1607264 – Flight Engineer
21st of March 1945 – Attack Against Munster Viaduct
Lancaster Mk.III LM733 AA – R
Pilot – Alfred Errol Brown

Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack the Muster Viaduct. There was hardly any cloud over the target. It is thought that the concentration was good although the formation was broken up just prior to bombing. Three aircraft failed to return from this operation – AA”T”, NZ42451 F/L J. Plummer, AA”R” NZ429139 P/O A. Brown and JN”P” 190947 P/O D.S. Barr. All three aircraft were seen to hit in the target area. Considerable H/F was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.III LM733 AA – R,  was bombing the target at Munster when it was seen to break into two sections and enter a downward spiral before crashing in flames among trees near Coesfeld at 13:30hrs. The cause of the catastrophic damage was thought to be a combination of flak damage and being struck by a bomb from another 3 Group aircraft flying above. Two crew, the pilot and air bomber, were killed and later buried in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. The other five crew parachuted to safety and were captured as Po.oW’s.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: not known
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


LITTLE
Sgt. Thomas Gilbert Little RAFVR 1459875 – Air Bomber
20th of July 1944 – Attack Against Homberg
Lancaster Mk.I HK569 AA – Q
Pilot – Neil Douglas Davidson

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.I HK569 AA-Q was attacked by a German night-fighter over Heibloem, Limburg, The Netherlands on its way to the target, the Fischer Tropsch oil refinery in Homberg, Germany

Pilot, F/S Neil Douglas Davidson RNZAF flew the badly damaged and blazing aircraft on over the River Maas towards Reuver, but turned and tried to land it in the river, he succeeded but it hit the river bank and exploded. The Air Bomber, Sgt. T.G. Little RAF, had managed to bail out, however his parachute failled to open fully and he was badly injured when he fell into the garden of a house in the village of Kessel. He was taken to a hospital, subsequently made a prisoner of war (POW No. 52469) in Muhlhausen POW camp and survived World War II, passing away in 1990.

The tail of the aircraft fell away from the fuselage into a field just before impact. F/S Hiscox, Rear Gunner, fell with the turret into a corn field. It is thought he died a day or two afterwards and was found two weeks later by a Dutch farmer’s labourer, Sef Willems, who was a member of the Dutch resistance. F/S Hiscox was buried in the Beesel grave yard. The grave digger had a bunch of flowers with him, but the German soldiers threatened to shoot him if he laid them on completion of the burial, He passed the flowers on to local people who in the dark of night threw them over the cemetery wall onto the grave.

P.o.W Number: 52469
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag IXC
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


LONDON
Sgt. J.E. London RAFVR 953137 – Rear Gunner
11th of August 1942 – Attack Against Targets at Mainz
Wellington Mk.III X.3646 AA – M
Pilot – George Edward Francis Bradey

Nine aircraft were detailed to attack above target. Bomb laod 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 hoeward 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.

The aircraft was struck by flak on the return flight, severely wounding the Pilot 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 only survivor was the Rear Gunner, Sgt London, who escaped with minor injuries but then taken prisoner. The bodies of some crew members were later recovered by the Royal Navy, but all four are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

P.o.W Number: 25650
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIIB/344. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


M

MAGNUS
Sgt. Alden Lyle Magnus RCAF C.96104 – Flight Engineer
17th of December 1942 – Attack Against Targets At Fallersleben
Stirling Mk.I BK.620 AA – A
Pilot – Kenneth John Dunmall

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 BK.620 AA – A, was shot down by a combination of flak and night fighters, crash-landing into the Westeinder Plas, South West of Aalsmeer (Noord Holland) and 10 miles South West of Amsterdam. All its crew survived the crash-landing but they later were interned as prisoners. The Pilot, P/O Williams, was placed in the German P.o.W camp at Sagan, from where he escaped by way of the famous ‘Wooden Horse’. On his return to the UK he was decorated with a Military Cross.

P.o.W Number: 27339
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIIB/344. Promoted to P/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 18th of April 1945.


MAHER
Sgt. J.J. Maher RAFVR 1434090 – Mid Upper Gunner
14th of February 1945 – Attack Against Chemnitz
Lancaster Mk.I NG113 AA – D
Pilot – George Stanley Davies

Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack Chemnitz. Nineteen attacked primary. AA”J” F/O R.J. Pearson, returned early through engine failiure. Cloud was ten tenths with tops 16-17000 over the target. Aircraft bombed with the aid of special equipment. No resilts were observed, very slight H/F was met over the target. AA”D”, captained by F/L G.S. Davies failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I NG113 AA – D, was en route to the target over Germany when fire suddenly erupted in one wing aft of an engine. The blaze was thought to have started in a broken oil line. The Pilot and Flight Engineer were unable to close down the engine or feather the propeller and with the fire continuing to grow, the decision was made to abandon the aircraft hurriedly. All the crew reached the ground uninjured but were soon captured and taken to a P.o.W camp. One of the crew, Air Bomber F/S Chambers, later died when the train in which the prisoners were travelling, was straffed by RAF fighters. He was buried in the Durnbach War Cemetery.

P.o.W Number: 206
P.o.W Camps: not known
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


MANSELL
P/O Edgar John Mansell RAFVR 1339755/ 132097 – Air Bomber
24th of July 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Stirling Mk.III EE880 AA – L
Pilot – Henry Nicol

Twenty-three aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 2,000lbs., 1,000lbs., and incendiaries of 30lbs., and 4lbs. Of these aircraft, two returned early due to unserviceable W/T and engine trouble respectively, and one aircraft failed to return. The remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. It was a very concentrated and successful attack. Very large spread fires were seen with black smoke rising to height of 1,400ft., some heavy explosions were also seen. A heavy A.A. barrage co-operating with searchlights were encountered and two aircraft were coned in the searchlights but neither were hit. The aircraft captained by F/O. G. TURNER whilst avoiding a searchlight cone, the starboard wing was struck by a JU 88approaching head on. The enemy aircraft turned over and dived to the ground, it was claimed to be destroyed.. The Stirling was badly damaged having more that 4ft. of the starboard mainplane torn off, and the aileron and aileron controls being useless. The captain had extreme difficulty in controlling the aircraft, but kept it on an even keel with the assistance of the Air-bomber, and after the 3 hours return flight to base, made a perfect landing. Two other short combats took place, but no damage was sustained to our aircraft. The weather was very good, with clear visibility, except for haze caused by smoke from the fires. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling Mk.III EE890 captained by Sergeant H. Nichol.

Stirling Mk.III EE880 AA – L, was shot down by a night-fighter (Fw Meissner, II /NJG3), crashing at Neumunster. The Pilot, Flight Engineer, Wireless Operator and Mid Upper Gunner died. Sgt Norrington was buried in Hamburg Cemetery, Ohlsdorf. The Navigator, Air Bomber and Rear Gunner probably parachuted to safety as they were captured as POW’s.

P.o.W Number: 1780
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft Stalag Luft III
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


MANTLE
F/S Alan Mantle RAFVR 925315 – Mid Upper Gunner
27th of May 1944 – Attack Against Aachen
Lancaster Mk.III ND802 JN – D “The Flying Scotsman”
Pilot – Francis Alexander Jack Scott

Eighteen aircraft were detailed to attack Aachen, one of which returned early and two failed to return (Captains NZ414971 F/L. S. Fauvel and NZ421105 Sgt. Scott, F.). The remaining fifteen successfully bombed the target in clear weather, one aircraft (Captain NZ40750 F/L. R. Berney) had five successive inconclusive combats with an ME 410 in the Courtrai area.

Lancaster Mk.III ND802 JN – D “The Flying Scotsman”, was attacked by a night-fighter 25 miles North West of Eindhoven, Netherlands, causing the aircraft to break up in flight then crashing near Gilze, 6 miles west of Tilsburg. The Pilot, Air Bomber and Wireless Operator did not survive the crash and were buried at Gilze The other five crew most likely abandoned the aircraft successfully in flight as they were subsequently captured as prisoners.

P.o.W Number: 469
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft VII
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


MARTIN
F/S Ralph Egerton Martin RNZAF NZ416415 – Pilot
27th of September 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hanover
Stirling Mk.III EF515 AA – F
Pilot – Ralph Egerton Martin

Sixteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lb. and 4 lb. Two aircraft failed to return and one returned early owing to its rear turret being unserviceable. The remainder dropped their bombs in the target area. This was an exceedingly successful and well concentrated attack, considered to be even better than the previous one. Numerous large fires and columns of smoke rising to 12,000ft., were seen and the fires were again visible at the DUTCH coast. Very moderate, ineffective heavy A.A. Fire numerous searchlights and flares were encountered. Many enemy aircraft were seen and several combats took place. The aircraft captained by F.Sgt. HORGAN, D. had a combat with a JU88 which was claimed to be destroyed. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. BURTON, H., sighted a JU88 and the Rear Gunner fired, it was then seen to fall in flames and was claimed as destroyed. Two other short combats took place and one of our aircraft received slight damage. The weather was poor on the outward and return journeys, but good with clear visibility over the target. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk.III, EF515 captained by Sgt. Martin, R., and EH877 captained by F/Sgt. WHITMORE, R.

Stirling Mk.III EF515 AA – F,  was brought down, probably by enemy night-fighter action, in the vicinity of Haverbeck-Hamelin. The Pilot succeeded in making a crash landing, allowing all but one of the crew to escape uninjured. The Mid Upper Gunner, Sgt A. R. Bangs, did not survive the crash and was buried in Hannover War Cemetery. The remaining crew were captured as P.o.W’s.

P.o.W Number: 250736
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft Stalag IVB. Promotedro Warrant Officer whilst interred. Member of the Catepillar Club.
Returned to the United Kingdom: 16th of May 1945.


MASON
F/O William Richard Allan Mason RNZAF NZ416865 – Air Bomber
23rd of September 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Mannheim
Stirling Mk.III EH935 JN – K
Pilot – Laurence John Kirkpatrick

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, 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.

P.o.W Number: 2627
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft III
Returned to the United Kingdom: 14th of May 1945.


MATTHEWS
Sgt. M.K. Matthews RAFVR – Rear Gunner
11th of June 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Dusseldorf
Stirling Mk.III BK817 AA – B
Pilot – Ronald Hugh Laud

Sixteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 2,000lb.,1,000lb. and incedaries 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. OSme 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,  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 P.o.W.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: not known
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


MAXWELL
Sgt. T. Maxwell RAFVR 1698372 – Rear Gunner
14th of June 1943 – Mining in the Gironde Estuary
Stirling Mk.I BK646 AA – N
Pilot – John Lloyd Edwards

Six aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with Mines of 1500lb., two aircraft returned early, one owing to intercommunication failiure and the other owing to engine trouble and one aircraft failed to return. The remaining three aircraft successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area and the parachutes were seen to open. Some light A.A. fire and a few searchlights were encountered, but they were ineffective. A few enemy aircraft were seen, but no combats took lace. There was thick cloud in the mining area although visibility was fairly good. Navigation was very good. Stirling Mk.I BK646 captained by F/O J.L. Edwards failed to return.

Stirling Mk.I BK646 AA – N,  was shot down by a combination of flak and a Me.109 night fighter, attempting a crash landing at Moulines-la-Marche, South South West of Brettville-sur-Laize, France. With a loss of one engine and damaged ailerons, the Pilot ordered the crew to abandon the aircraft. All except Edwards got down safely, with Sgt’s Dunnet, Rawlinson, Jones, and Maxwell being captured as prisoners, and P/O Kirby and Sgt Sansoucy successfully evading capture. F/O Edwards did not survive and was laid to rest in the Canadian War Cemetery.

P.o.W Number: 411
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft VI and 357
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


MAYALL
Sgt. Jack Robert Mayall RNZAF NZ404081 – Wireless Operator
2nd of June 1942 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Wellington Mk.III X.3408 AA – Q
Pilot – Cecil William Phair Carter

Sixteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area but no results were observed. A few small fires were seen near target. A.A. fire was fairly heavy and searchlights operating in cones were numerous. No enemy a/c were seen. Weather marred the operation, there being a heavy ground have. Navigation was excellent. Well, X3408, captained by P/O Carter, failed to return.

The aircraft was struck by flak while flying at 10,500ft but the Pilot was able to maintain control sufficiently to make a crash landing in the target area. All the crew escaped relatively uninjured but were soon captured and made Prisoners of War.

It is believed that this was the first all-RNZAF crew of Bomber Command to be taken prisoners of war.

P.o.W Number: 435
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft III and 357. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 22nd of April 1945.


McFARLAND
Sgt. John Edward Lithgow Mcfarland 1503993 – Navigator
18th of April 1944 – Mining in Kiel Bay
Stirling Mk.III EH955 AA – K
Pilot – Henry James Murray

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,  was shot down by a night-fighter over Denmark on the return flight to base at 14,000ft. The aircraft crashed at Jenning, about a mile south of Gram. The Pilot, Flight Engineer, Mid Upper and Rear Gunners died and were later buried at Gram, but the Navigator, Air Bomber and Wireless Operator succeeded in baling out and were captured as prisoners of war.

P.o.W Number: 4193
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft III. Promoted to F/Sgt whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


McGONIGAL
Sgt. Eric William McGonigal RNZAF NZ421329 – Rear Gunner
22nd of June 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Mannheim (actually Mülheim)
Stirling Mk.III BK810 AA – G
Pilot – Francis Max McKenzie

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 BK810 AA – G, was brought down at 02.10hrs at Oostrum (Limburg) about a mile East of Venray, Holland from a combination of A.A fire and fighter attack. The fighter pilot was believed to be Hptm Wilhelm Herget of I /NJG1. All five crew except P/O McKenzie and F/S Blank parachuted to safety and were captured as P.o.W’s. McKenzie was buried in Jonkerbos War Cemetery, while Blank is located in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.

P.o.W Number: 334
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft VI and 357. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 8th of May 1945.


McGREGOR
Sgt. Francis Edward Mcgregor RNZAF NZ415338 – Air Bomber
4th of November 1943 – Mining in the Baltic Sea
Stirling MK.III BF461 JN – B
Pilot – Gordon Kenneth Williams

Four aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation, with mines of 1500lbs. This wa an unfortunate night as three aircraft failed to return and the other aircraft returned early having jettisoned its mines. This aircraft met an enemy night fighter and sustained damage to the port wing, starboard flap, rear turret and many large holes in the fuselage, the rear gunner, Sgt.W. HURDIE, was killed during the combat. The weather was bad and ten tenths cloud made visibility poor. Navigation was good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings MKIII BF461, Captained by P/O.G.K.WILLIAMS, BK&&* Captained by P/O.W.S.MASTERS and XXXXX Captained by F/O. N.WILSON.

On the night of 4-5 Nov 1943, the RAF launched only minor operations. Thirty-six aircraft were detailed for mining at various places from Lorient to the Kattegat. Four Stirlings faled to return from the night’s operations.. According to the crews of rwturn from 75 Sqn the weather was bad with poor visibility. One of the lost Stirlings was BF-461, which took off from Mepal just after 1699 hrs. Nothing was heard from it after take-off. Like many of the aircraft BF-461 encountered German night fighters over Denmark, in this instance two Ju.88’s. The damage caused to the Stirling in the ensuing confrontation forced it to jettison its mines and attempt to return early to base. The Stirling crashed at Kallerup in Jutland, Denmark. P/O Champion’s body was found and taken to the German morgue, the Nordre Mole, in Fredrikshavn by a German lorry. Official German documents record the death ‘from burns’. However in a report compiled by a Danish policeman a Danish undertaker questioned this verdict. If Pilot Officer Champion died had died from burns the body would have been taken to the undertaker in a coffin. As this was not the case it may be that P/O Champion was killed in the crash. P/O Champion was buried at Fredrikshavn on 13th November, together with seven other British airmen. No military honours were given and the ceremony was performed by a German field padre. A group of Danes attending the the funeral laid wreaths and flowers on each of the coffins, at done at other funerals. The other members of the crew were taken prisoner. Five of them were sent to Germany, but F/S Morice was sent to hospital at Thisyten for treatment. He was helped to escape and was subsequently taken to the vicarage in Biersted. From Frederikshavn he was taken to Sweden. He was repatriated to Britian in accordance with the Geneva Convention. During an earlier tour, with 105 Sqn, Sgt Williams crash-landed and was interned in Portugal 17 July to 14 August 1941.

P.o.W Number: 263492
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft III, IVB and IVG. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 31st of May 1945.


McKAY
Sgt. Eric Mckay RNZAF NZ415230 – Air Bomber
27th of September 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hanover
Stirling Mk.III EF515 AA – F
Pilot – Ralph Egerton Martin

Sixteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lb. and 4 lb. Two aircraft failed to return and one returned early owing to its rear turret being unserviceable. The remainder dropped their bombs in the target area. This was an exceedingly successful and well concentrated attack, considered to be even better than the previous one. Numerous large fires and columns of smoke rising to 12,000ft., were seen and the fires were again visible at the DUTCH coast. Very moderate, ineffective heavy A.A. Fire numerous searchlights and flares were encountered. Many enemy aircraft were seen and several combats took place. The aircraft captained by F.Sgt. HORGAN, D. had a combat with a JU88 which was claimed to be destroyed. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. BURTON, H., sighted a JU88 and the Rear Gunner fired, it was then seen to fall in flames and was claimed as destroyed. Two other short combats took place and one of our aircraft received slight damage. The weather was poor on the outward and return journeys, but good with clear visibility over the target. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk.III, EF515 captained by Sgt. Martin, R., and EH877 captained by F/Sgt. WHITMORE, R.

Stirling Mk.III EF515 AA – F,  was brought down, probably by enemy night-fighter action, in the vicinity of Haverbeck-Hamelin. The Pilot succeeded in making a crash landing, allowing all but one of the crew to escape uninjured. The Mid Upper Gunner, Sgt A. R. Bangs, did not survive the crash and was buried in Hannover War Cemetery. The remaining crew were captured as P.o.W’s.

P.o.W Number: 250738
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags IVB and IVA
Returned to the United Kingdom: 6th of February 1945, via the Arundel Castle (medically repatriated via Switzerland and Spain.


McQUEEN
Sgt. James Mcqueen RNZAF NZ404466 – Wireless Operator
11th of August 1942 – Attack Against Targets at Mainz
Wellington Mk.III BJ.767 AA – V
Pilot – Laurence St.George Dobbin

Nine aircraft were detailed to attack above target. Bomb laod 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 hoeward 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 BJ.767 AA – V, was brought down in the vicinity of Venlo (Limburg), Holland. It is not known how or why the aircraft came down, but the location of the occurrence almost certainly points to it being shot down by an enemy night-fighter while returning to base.

Three of the crew survived the crash and were taken prisoners of war, indicating the Pilot, F/L Dobbin, had probably attempted a crash landing. Unfortunately he and Sgt Jury both failed to survive and were buried initially at Venlo.

P.o.W Number: 25680
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, StalagVIIIB/344. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 9th April 1945.


METHVEN
P/O William Reginald Methven RAFVR 67072 – Pilot
7th of November 1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Berlin and Ostend
Wellington Mk.Ic X.9951 AA – L
Pilot – William Reginald Methven

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, failled 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 ver 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 X.9951 AA – L,  was brought down by enemy flak at 23:00hrs, crashing at Werdohl, about 45 miles East of Dusseldorf. All but one of the crew survived.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: not known
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


MIDDLETON
F/S Christopher Patrick Middleton RNZAF NZ413337 – Rear Gunner
29th of May 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Wuppertal
Stirling Mk.III BK776 AA – R
Pilot – Raymond Frederick Bennett

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,  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 Pilot, P/O Bennett, is now at rest in Rheinberg War Cemetery while the four other deceased were reinterred in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.

P.o.W Number: 212
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags VI then 357
Returned to the United Kingdom: 7th of May 1945.


MILLET
Sgt. Leopold Ian Adrian Millet Millet RAFVR 1164817 – Pilot
6th of August 1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Mannheim and Calais
Wellington Mk.Ic R.1648 AA – K
Pilot – Leopold Ian Adrian Millett

Thirteen Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. One of these aircraft, R.1648 captained by SGT. Millet, failed to return to base. The bomb load was mixed and consisted of 1000lbs; 500lbs; 250lbs; and containers of incendiaries.

GHC.170 sighted river near target but had to bomb through 10/10 cloud. Glow of a fire was seen through clouds. Bomb bursts were observed in target area by GHC.231. GNC.265 observed bomb bursts in dock area. GHC.279 bombed target area but was unable to pinpoint target on account of haze. GHC.324 saw bombs burst across outer harbour of Ostend. Unable to reach primary target owing to loss of time and petrol in extensive thunder cloud on East Coast. GHC.470 dropped bombs in target area but results were not observed. GHC.535 bombed target through 9/10 cloud. Fire observed on departure. GHC.688 failed to attack target. GHC.719 bombed flak and searchlight concentrations on E.T.A. through 10/10 cloud. Results were not observed by GHC.750.
P/O. Williams reports direct hit on lock gates. Results were not observed by P/O. Scott owing to heavy cloud.
A fair amount of activity was observed on enemy aerodromes in Brussels-liege area.
A.A. fire was slight but accurate.
Searchlights were ineffective owing to cloud.
GHC.279 reports encounter with probable JU.88. Three attacks were made but the enemy was driven off by return fire. Rear gunner believes he scored hit with third burst, causing aircraft to break away.
Weather was not favourable, there being heavy cloud, thunder, electric storms, and bad icing conditions.
Navigation was by W/T, D/R, astro and loop

I was, of course, flying a Wellington 1C. Our mission that night was to bomb the tank works at Mannheim. I was the captain, Derrick Polley was the navigator, Simpson was the wireless operator, there was a fellow called Morgan, a New Zealander, who was the second pilot, Bottomley was the front gunner, and the rear gunner was Mellon, a replacement for our regular gunner, Oddie. Derrick and I were all out to get our names in print, so we volunteered that night to carry a camera, which was a foolish thing because after we had done our bomb run, we had to go back and do a couple more runs for filming, so we were late getting off the target.

We circled, the guy came by, he came right up alongside of us on the right hand front, which was a stupid thing to do because Bottomley raked him from end to end, and it was a Messerschmitt 110, and they had no armour on the side anyway, and he pulled away in a dive.
We were, of course, in bad shape. The good old Wellington caught fire in the fuselage, not anywhere else, and eventually it was put out, by Derrick Polley with the use of a fire extinguisher. I decided we would head for home, even though we had been badly hit.

The instrument panel was non-existent, and of course, in the Wellington, once your hydraulics were hit, your undercarriage tended to hang down. So I did a long sloping dive, trying to get out of altitude and down to ground level where I thought we would be somewhat safer than if we sat up top at 18,000 feet and let the anti aircraft guns have at us. Well, Derrick threw all the spare ammunition out, the oxygen bottle, everything except his astro-compass, which was a Mark 8, and he wanted to keep it.

We plodded on, and I guess we got fairly close to the English coast. Unfortunately, we ran into the fog, and without any instruments, and precious little but a compass, I just ended up flying it into the sea.

There was a terrific crash – the Wellington has a big belly, of course, and it took it. And when it was all over, four of us climbed out. Derrick Polley, Simpson, Mellon and I were the four who made it. Bottomley had gone back to get his little mascot out of the front turret, but the front turret had snapped when we hit the water. I pulled the release handle over the pilot’s cockpit, jumped out only to be pulled back again because I had forgotten to unhook the pipe that brings the oxygen to the oxygen mask. So I threw my helmet away, swam round to the left engine, put my foot up on the spinner, grabbed the prop and climbed up onto the wing. By this time, Simpson, who had his wits about him, had released the large round dinghy, which was stowed in the wing, and the four of us climbed in. The rear gunner appeared to be jammed in his turret, and we couldn’t get him out. So we just drifted away, watching the Wellington sink. “

Excerpt from: “Into The Drink; By A Member Of The Goldfish Club, Ian A Millett; The Memoirs Of A Royal Air Force Bomber Pilot 1940-1945”, Publisher: Ian A. Millett (2000).

P.o.W Number: 106
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags IIIE, Luft III, Luft VI and 357. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


MOFFAT
Sgt. H.N. Moffat RAFVR 1682621 – Flight Engineer
4th of November 1943 – Mining in the Baltic Sea
Stirling MK.III BF461 JN – B
Pilot – Gordon Kenneth Williams

Four aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation, with mines of 1500lbs. This wa an unfortunate night as three aircraft failed to return and the other aircraft returned early having jettisoned its mines. This aircraft met an enemy night fighter and sustained damage to the port wing, starboard flap, rear turret and many large holes in the fuselage, the rear gunner, Sgt.W. HURDIE, was killed during the combat. The weather was bad and ten tenths cloud made visibility poor. Navigation was good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings MKIII BF461, Captained by P/O.G.K.WILLIAMS, BK&&* Captained by P/O.W.S.MASTERS and XXXXX Captained by F/O. N.WILSON.

On the night of 4-5 Nov 1943, the RAF launched only minor operations. Thirty-six aircraft were detailed for mining at various places from Lorient to the Kattegat. Four Stirlings faled to return from the night’s operations.. According to the crews of rwturn from 75 Sqn the weather was bad with poor visibility. One of the lost Stirlings was BF-461, which took off from Mepal just after 1699 hrs. Nothing was heard from it after take-off. Like many of the aircraft BF-461 encountered German night fighters over Denmark, in this instance two Ju.88’s. The damage caused to the Stirling in the ensuing confrontation forced it to jettison its mines and attempt to return early to base. The Stirling crashed at Kallerup in Jutland, Denmark. P/O Champion’s body was found and taken to the German morgue, the Nordre Mole, in Fredrikshavn by a German lorry. Official German documents record the death ‘from burns’. However in a report compiled by a Danish policeman a Danish undertaker questioned this verdict. If Pilot Officer Champion died had died from burns the body would have been taken to the undertaker in a coffin. As this was not the case it may be that P/O Champion was killed in the crash. P/O Champion was buried at Fredrikshavn on 13th November, together with seven other British airmen. No military honours were given and the ceremony was performed by a German field padre. A group of Danes attending the the funeral laid wreaths and flowers on each of the coffins, at done at other funerals. The other members of the crew were taken prisoner. Five of them were sent to Germany, but F/S Morice was sent to hospital at Thisyten for treatment. He was helped to escape and was subsequently taken to the vicarage in Biersted. From Frederikshavn he was taken to Sweden. He was repatriated to Britian in accordance with the Geneva Convention. During an earlier tour, with 105 Sqn, Sgt Williams crash-landed and was interned in Portugal 17 July to 14 August 1941.

P.o.W Number: 261523
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft and Stalag IVB
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


MORGAN
Sgt. Richard Grosvenor Morgan RNZAF NZ402239 – 2nd Pilot
6th of August 1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Mannheim and Calais
Wellington Mk.Ic R.1648 AA – K
Pilot – Leopold Ian Adrian Millett

Thirteen Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. One of these aircraft, R.1648 captained by SGT. Millet, failed to return to base. The bomb load was mixed and consisted of 1000lbs; 500lbs; 250lbs; and containers of incendiaries.

GHC.170 sighted river near target but had to bomb through 10/10 cloud. Glow of a fire was seen through clouds. Bomb bursts were observed in target area by GHC.231. GNC.265 observed bomb bursts in dock area. GHC.279 bombed target area but was unable to pinpoint target on account of haze. GHC.324 saw bombs burst across outer harbour of Ostend. Unable to reach primary target owing to loss of time and petrol in extensive thunder cloud on East Coast. GHC.470 dropped bombs in target area but results were not observed. GHC.535 bombed target through 9/10 cloud. Fire observed on departure. GHC.688 failed to attack target. GHC.719 bombed flak and searchlight concentrations on E.T.A. through 10/10 cloud. Results were not observed by GHC.750.
P/O. Williams reports direct hit on lock gates. Results were not observed by P/O. Scott owing to heavy cloud.
A fair amount of activity was observed on enemy aerodromes in Brussels-liege area.
A.A. fire was slight but accurate.
Searchlights were ineffective owing to cloud.
GHC.279 reports encounter with probable JU.88. Three attacks were made but the enemy was driven off by return fire. Rear gunner believes he scored hit with third burst, causing aircraft to break away.
Weather was not favourable, there being heavy cloud, thunder, electric storms, and bad icing conditions.
Navigation was by W/T, D/R, astro and loop.”

” I was, of course, flying a Wellington 1C. Our mission that night was to bomb the tank works at Mannheim. I was the captain, Derrick Polley was the navigator, Simpson was the wireless operator, there was a fellow called Morgan, a New Zealander, who was the second pilot, Bottomley was the front gunner, and the rear gunner was Mellon, a replacement for our regular gunner, Oddie. Derrick and I were all out to get our names in print, so we volunteered that night to carry a camera, which was a foolish thing because after we had done our bomb run, we had to go back and do a couple more runs for filming, so we were late getting off the target.

We circled, the guy came by, he came right up alongside of us on the right hand front, which was a stupid thing to do because Bottomley raked him from end to end, and it was a Messerschmitt 110, and they had no armour on the side anyway, and he pulled away in a dive.
We were, of course, in bad shape. The good old Wellington caught fire in the fuselage, not anywhere else, and eventually it was put out, by Derrick Polley with the use of a fire extinguisher. I decided we would head for home, even though we had been badly hit.

The instrument panel was non-existent, and of course, in the Wellington, once your hydraulics were hit, your undercarriage tended to hang down. So I did a long sloping dive, trying to get out of altitude and down to ground level where I thought we would be somewhat safer than if we sat up top at 18,000 feet and let the anti aircraft guns have at us. Well, Derrick threw all the spare ammunition out, the oxygen bottle, everything except his astro-compass, which was a Mark 8, and he wanted to keep it.

We plodded on, and I guess we got fairly close to the English coast. Unfortunately, we ran into the fog, and without any instruments, and precious little but a compass, I just ended up flying it into the sea.

There was a terrific crash – the Wellington has a big belly, of course, and it took it. And when it was all over, four of us climbed out. Derrick Polley, Simpson, Mellon and I were the four who made it. Bottomley had gone back to get his little mascot out of the front turret, but the front turret had snapped when we hit the water. I pulled the release handle over the pilot’s cockpit, jumped out only to be pulled back again because I had forgotten to unhook the pipe that brings the oxygen to the oxygen mask. So I threw my helmet away, swam round to the left engine, put my foot up on the spinner, grabbed the prop and climbed up onto the wing. By this time, Simpson, who had his wits about him, had released the large round dinghy, which was stowed in the wing, and the four of us climbed in. The rear gunner appeared to be jammed in his turret, and we couldn’t get him out. So we just drifted away, watching the Wellington sink. “

Excerpt from: “Into The Drink; By A Member Of The Goldfish Club, Ian A Millett; The Memoirs Of A Royal Air Force Bomber Pilot 1940-1945”, Publisher: Ian A. Millett (2000).

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: not known
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


MUIR
F/S R. Muir RAFVR 0 – Rear Gunner
14th of February 1945 – Attack Against Chemnitz
Lancaster Mk.I NG113 AA – D
Pilot – George Stanley Davies

Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack Chemnitz. Nineteen attacked primary. AA”J” F/O R.J. Pearson, returned early through engine failiure. Cloud was ten tenths with tops 16-17000 over the target. Aircraft bombed with the aid of special equipment. No resilts were observed, very slight H/F was met over the target. AA”D”, captained by F/L G.S. Davies failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I NG113 AA – D, was en route to the target over Germany when fire suddenly erupted in one wing aft of an engine. The blaze was thought to have started in a broken oil line. The Pilot and Flight Engineer were unable to close down the engine or feather the propeller and with the fire continuing to grow, the decision was made to abandon the aircraft hurriedly. All the crew reached the ground uninjured but were soon captured and taken to a P.o.W camp. One of the crew, Air Bomber F/S Chambers, later died when the train in which the prisoners were travelling, was straffed by RAF fighters. He was buried in the Dürnbach War Cemetery.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: not known
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


MULHALL
Sgt. James Edward ‘Jim’ Mulhall RAFVR 2202223 – Flight Engineer
20th of November 1944 – Attack Against Homberg
Lancaster Mk.III PB520 AA – G
Pilot – Hubert Rees

Twenty eight aircraft took off to attack the Oil Refinery Plant at Homberg. Twenty two aircraft in daylight attacked the target in ten tenths cloud with tops at 23,000 ft. which made formation flying very difficult. They carried 4,000 lb and 500 lb bombs. Results of bombing could not be observed, but it is considered that the raid was unsatisfactory. One aircraft AA/J returned early owing to icing trouble and two aircraft bombed last resort targets at Duisburg and Hamborn. Three aircraft failed to return. These were captained by 185116 F/O R. Gordon, AUS419328 F/O P. McCartin and 152402 F/O H. Rees.

The circumstances of the loss of Lancaster Mk.III PB520 AA – G,  are unclear, but all seven crew either abandoned the aircraft in flight or escaped unhurt after a crash landing. They were all simply recorded as being captured as prisoners of war.

P.o.W Number: 1252
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft III
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


MULLINS
Sgt. William Edward Mullins RCAF R.54981 – Wireless Operator
15th of September 1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Hamburg
Wellington Mk.Ic X.9918 AA – U
Pilot – Anthony Henry Ryder Hawkins

Twelve Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. Two of these aircraft failed to return, one being captained by Sgt J. A. Ward who was awarded the Victoria Cross on 4 August 1941. There was clear weather over the target, and bursts were seen in many parts of the target area. A.A. fire was heavy over and near target area. Searchlights were numerous, working in cones, and co-operating with A.A. fire and night fighters.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9918, AA-U was probably brought down by flak, near Hartenholm, about 24 miles North of Hamburg. Two crew members, Sgt R Robert Blakeway and Sgt W.Mullins RAF, successfully baled out and were taken prisoners of war. The rest of the crew were killed.

P.o.W Number: 18334
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags VIIIB, Luft VI and 357
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


MURRAY
F/O John Stephen Murray RNZAF NZ417093 – Air Bomber
23rd of August 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Berlin
Stirling Mk.III EF435 JN – J
Pilot – Osric Hartnell White

“Twenty three aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1,000lb., 500lb., and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb.. Five aircraft returned early owing to failure and three aircraft failed to return. The remainder of the aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area and all of the crews agreed that it had been well and truly hit. The fires were all concentrated and huge columns of smoke together with heavy explosions could be seen. A moderate heavy A.A. barrage co-operating with searchlights were encountered, but only one aircraft received damage. A great number of enemy aircraft were seen and several combats took place. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. WILKINSON sighted a JU88 passing above, the Mid-upper and Rear Gunners fired and strikes were seen on the enemy aircraft which was then lost sight of and is claimed to have been damaged. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. WHITEHEAD whilst over BERLIN sighted an enemy aircraft on the starboard quarter, 300yds away. The Rear Gunner fired a five second burst and the enemy aircraft was seen in flames diving to earth, and was claimed as probably destroyed. The same aircraft encountered another unidentified aircraft 300yds away on the starboard quarter. The Rear Gunner fired another five seconds burst and the enemy aircraft exploded and disintegrated. It was claimed to be destroyed. The aircraft captained by F/O. A. Alexander, whilst over the target sighted a ME110 approaching from the starboard quarter above and firing at his aircraft. The Mid-upper and Rear Gunners replied with long bursts and the enemy aircraft was seen to be in flames. A fire was later seen on the ground and the enemy aircraft was claimed as probably destroyed. Scattered cloud was met on the outward route, but it was clear over the target. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk.III BF465 captained by P/O A. RANKIN, BF564 captained by P/O A. Sedunary and EE938 captained by W/O T. Fear.

The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. WHITE, O.H. whilst approaching the target area was coned by searchlights and repeatedly hit by heavy A.A. fire, sustaining considerable damage to port mainplane. He continued towards the target though still coned by searchlights and was then attacked by a JU88 sustaining hits in the rear of the fuselage which shattered the rear turret and killed Rear Gunner Sgt. Poole, J.. The aircraft was forced into an uncontrollable dive and the captain warned his crew ‘Prepare to abandon the aircraft’. Unfortunately, in the middle of this order the inter-communication failed, and the Navigator, Air Bomber and Wireless Operator abandoned the aircraft, due to the fact that they were unable to contact their Captain. F/Sgt. WHITE jettisoned his bombload whilst in the dive directly over the target area, managed to regain control of the aircraft when height had been lost down to 6,000ft. The captain and two remaining members of the crew after taking stock of the damage decided to attempt the long and hazardous return journey to base. This they did successfully and made a perfect crash landing at base without lights, flaps or under carriage, as the electrical leads were shot away.

BF435, F/S White & crew, sustained serious damage. As they approached the target area they were coned by searchlights and then hit repeatedly by AA fire. The port mainplane was holed severely. They continued to the target still coned by searchlights but then came under attack by a Ju 88 night-fighter. The rear fuselage was badly holed by gunfire, which also shattered the rear turret, killing Sgt Poole the gunner. The aircraft then went into an uncontrollable dive and the Captain warned his crew to prepare for an abandonment. At that point the intercom failed and the navigator, air- bomber and wireless operator all baled out believing the pilot was unable to recify the situation.

Meanwhile, still in the dive, F/S White jettisoned their bomb load right over the target and succeeded in regaining control of the Stirling at about 6,000ft. After taking stock of the damage, including disabled electrical systems, he decided to attempt the long and hazardous return flight back to base, with only himself, flight engineer and mid-upper gunner on board (and of course the fatally injured rear gunner). They achieved the seemingly impossible task with a skilful crash landing at Mepal at 03.45hrs, without lights, flaps, or undercarriage.
F/S O H White was later promoted to Flight Lieutenant, but on 22 Sep 1943 was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (CGM) for his outstanding airmanship.

P.o.W Number: 2278
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft III
Returned to the United Kingdom: 7th of May 1945.


N

NAISMITH
F/L William French Morrison Naismith RAFVR 47714 – Wireless Operator
20th of November 1944 – Attack Against Homberg
Lancaster Mk.III PB520 AA – G
Pilot – Hubert Rees

Twenty eight aircraft took off to attack the Oil Refinery Plant at Homberg. Twenty two aircraft in daylight attacked the target in ten tenths cloud with tops at 23,000 ft. which made formation flying very difficult. They carried 4,000 lb and 500 lb bombs. Results of bombing could not be observed, but it is considered that the raid was unsatisfactory. One aircraft AA/J returned early owing to icing trouble and two aircraft bombed last resort targets at Duisburg and Hamborn. Three aircraft failed to return. These were captained by 185116 F/O R. Gordon, AUS419328 F/O P. McCartin and 152402 F/O H. Rees.

The circumstances of the loss of Lancaster Mk.III PB520 AA – G,  are unclear, but all seven crew either abandoned the aircraft in flight or escaped unhurt after a crash landing. They were all simply recorded as being captured as prisoners of war.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft I
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


NEWMAN
P/O Herbert Douglas Newman RAF/RNZAF 36271, NZ2508 – Pilot
29th of December 1940 – Bombing Attacks Against Hamm and M.434.
Wellington Mk.Ic R.3211 AA – J
Pilot – Herbert Douglas Newman

Three Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 500lbs. Bombs fused N.D.T., 500lbs. Bombs delayed action and containers of incendiairies..
SCK.363 reports no results observed owing to 10/10 cumulus cloud up to 12,000 feet.
SCX.412 reports bomb bursts seen through clouds. S.B.C. caused further explosions.. No observations or reconnaissance were made. A moderate amount of A.A. fire was experienced, but searchlights were few.
No enemy aircraft were encountered.
Weather was not good, 10/10 cloud being experienced over whole of route and in target areas.
Navigation was by D/R and W/T.
One of these aircraft, MSI.596, captained by P/O. Newman, failed to return.
Three Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 500lbs. Bombs fused N.D.T., 500lbs. Bombs delayed action and containers of incendiairies..
SCK.363 reports no results observed owing to 10/10 cumulus cloud up to 12,000 feet.
SCX.412 reports bomb bursts seen through clouds. S.B.C. caused further explosions.. No observations or reconnaissance were made. A moderate amount of A.A. fire was experienced, but searchlights were few.
No enemy aircraft were encountered.
Weather was not good, 10/10 cloud being experienced over whole of route and in target areas.
Navigation was by D/R and W/T.
One of these aircraft, MSI.596, captained by P/O. Newman, failed to return.

P.o.W Number: 459
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft I and Luft III. Promoted to Flight Lieutenant whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: May 1945.


NICOLSON
Sgt. Uila Nicolson RNZAF NZ405310 – Observer
8th of September 1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Frankfurt
Wellington Mk.III BJ.596 AA – ?
Pilot – Eric William Peter Johnson

Nine aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack. Bomb load of 4,000lb., 500lb and incendiaries were dropped in the target area. Larger fires were seen. A.A. fire was moderate, searchlights were numerous, particularly in target area. A few enemy aircraft were seen, but no attacks were made. The weather was good, with slight ground haze. Navigation was accurate by DR and TR. Wellington captained by Sgt. Johnson failed to return.
BJ.596 was hit by flak in the target area causing catastrophic damage. The crew was forced to abandon the burning aircraft and all successfully reached the ground, only to be taken Prisoners of War.

P.o.W Number: 26996
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIIB/344. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 26th of April 1945.


O

O’BYRNE
Sgt. William Kevin Charles O’Byrne RNZAF NZ405311 – Front Gunner
8th of September 1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Frankfurt
Wellington Mk.III BJ.596 AA – ?
Pilot – Eric William Peter Johnson

Nine aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack. Bomb load of 4,000lb., 500lb and incendiaries were dropped in the target area. Larger fires were seen. A.A. fire was moderate, searchlights were numerous, particularly in target area. A few enemy aircraft were seen, but no attacks were made. The weather was good, with slight ground haze. Navigation was accurate by DR and TR. Wellington captained by Sgt. Johnson failed to return.
BJ.596 was hit by flak in the target area causing catastrophic damage. The crew was forced to abandon the burning aircraft and all successfully reached the ground, only to be taken Prisoners of War.

P.o.W Number: 27001
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIIB/344. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 26th of April 1945.


ORR
Sgt. Albert Gladstone Orr RNZAF NZ403627 – Front gunner
25th of March 1942 – Attack Against Targets at St.Nazaire and Essen
Wellington Mk.III X.3652 AA – O
Pilot – Allen Bruce Slater

Twelve aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack. Wellington III X3652, captained by P/O Slater failed to return, and two aircraft failed to locate the target. Bomb Load consisted of 500 lbs and 250 lbs, this being dropped in the target area but no results were observed. Slight A.A. fire and a few ineffective searchlights were encountered but no enemy fighters were seen. Weather was fine with slight ground haze. Navigation by TR1335 and D.R. was good.

There appears to be no’ Official’ record or explanation as to the nature of the loss of X.3653 or Sgt. John Addis. In  “Forever strong: The story of 75 Squadron RNZAF, 1916-1990” by Norman Franks, contains an account of the events of that night by Phil Burridge, Rear Gunner with the Slater crew that night:
“We flew direct to Essen and on the run in took a pounding from ground fire. We received a direct hit in the bomb bay which was full of flares. As the flares were to be used as a marker for the main stream, it was not possible for us to jettison them. We were unable to put the fire out, so the aircraft was eventually abandoned and I landed in Duisberg where I was given a hostile reception by the natives until taken prisoner by some Ack-Ack gunners…..Our second Pilot and W/Op – Ted Wainwright – had worked out a plan whereby if they ever had to abandon the aircraft and were a parachute short, they would clip the remaining parachute on one hook of each of their respective harnesses and jump together. So on this night, when it happened, they both jumped together, but with his arm through Ted’s harness while Ted held him with one arm. Tragically, when the chute opened, the second Pilot was thrown off…….”

Sgt. John Henry Addis had in fact been given his own crew prior to this Op, but had said he would fly this last one Op with Allen Slater’s crew.

P.o.W Number: 24811
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIIB/344. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 26th of April 1945.


P

PARSONS
Sgt. Lewis Patrick Parsons RAFVR 1455528 – Flight Engineer
31st of August 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Berlin
Stirling Mk.III EE878 AA – P
Pilot – Douglas Charles Henley

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 emeny 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 tailplane and fin badly damaged. The aircraft captained by F/O Alaexander sighted two Me109’s, the first opened fire from the starboard quarter and the rear gunner replied with a short burst. The emeny 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 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 emeny 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 EE878 AA – P was badly damaged by flak and by night-fighter action near the target area. With the port inner engine out of action, and the port elevator only partially effective, considerable height was lost evading the fighter before control was regained. They were now almost out of fuel and at low level when the Pilot ordered the crew to bale out. Some of the crew succeeded in clearing the plane before it crash-landed at Ahrbruck, 7 miles South West of Ahrweiler. The Navigator and Air Bomber were killed when their parachutes failed to deploy in time. The Pilot died at the controls. Those who died were buried at municipal cemetery at Mayschoss, but later reinterred in the RheinbergWar Cemetery, South of Wesel. The other four crew all survived but were captured as P.o.W’s.

P.o.W Number: 222626
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag IVB. Freed by Soviet troops 25th of April 1945 but held by them until he walked out of his PoW camps on 11th of May 1945
Returned to the United Kingdom: 15th of May 1945.


PATTINSON
Sgt. R Pattinson RAFVR – Rear Gunner
7th of November 1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Berlin and Ostend
Wellington Mk.Ic X.9951 AA – L
Pilot – William Reginald Methven

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, failled 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 ver 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 X.9951 AA – L, was brought down by enemy flak at 23:00hrs, crashing at Werdohl, about 45 miles East of Dusseldorf. All but one of the crew survived.

P.o.W Number: 90118
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags VIIA, 383, Luft VII
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


PETERSON
Sgt. L.E. Peterson RAFVR – Observer
15th of September 1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Hamburg
Wellington Mk.Ic X.3205 AA – L
Pilot – James Allen Ward

Twelve Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. Two of these aircraft failed to return, one being captained by Sgt J. A. Ward who was awarded the Victoria Cross on 4 August 1941. There was clear weather over the target, and bursts were seen in many parts of the target area. A.A. fire was heavy over and near target area. Searchlights were numerous, working in cones, ans co-operating with A.A. fire and night fighters.

Sgt Ward’s aircraft, Wellington Wellington Mk.Ic X.3205 AA – L, was hit repeatedly by flak which resulted in catastrophic damage causing the aircraft to come down in flames in the target area. All but two of the crew (the W/op and Nav who both baled out) perished.

P.o.W Number: 9630
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags VIIIB, Luft VI, 357
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


PILKINGTON
Sgt. W.C.F. Pilkington RAFVR – – Air Bomber
25th of February 1945 –
Lancaster Mk.III LM740 AA – B
Pilot – Louis Eldon Bernhardt Klitscher

Eighteen aircraft were detailed to attack Kamen. Thin stratus cloud in layers covered the target area, but at times crews were able to make out the target and report a considerable white smoke followed by thick black smoke rising to a good height. Accurate H/F was experienced. AA”B” captained by F/S Klitscher is missing from this operation

Lancaster Mk.III LM740 AA – Bwas en route to the target and was seen to leave the stream near Wesel (some 50 miles from the target) with the port-inner engine feathered after being hit by heavy flak. The seven crew then apparently abandoned the aircraft after turning for home and landing relatively uninjured in enemy territory. They were all captured as P.o.W’s.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: not known. Promoted to F/S whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


POLLEY
Sgt. Deryck Polley RAFVR 977080 – Observer
6th of August 1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Mannheim and Calais
Wellington Mk.Ic R.1648 AA – K
Pilot – Leopold Ian Adrian Millett

Thirteen Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. One of these aircraft, R.1648 captained by SGT. Millet, failed to return to base. The bomb load was mixed and consisted of 1000lbs; 500lbs; 250lbs; and containers of incendiaries.

GHC.170 sighted river near target but had to bomb through 10/10 cloud. Glow of a fire was seen through clouds. Bomb bursts were observed in target area by GHC.231. GNC.265 observed bomb bursts in dock area. GHC.279 bombed target area but was unable to pinpoint target on account of haze. GHC.324 saw bombs burst across outer harbour of Ostend. Unable to reach primary target owing to loserved on enemy aerodromes in Brussels-liege area.
A.A. fire was slight but accurate.
Searchlights were ineffective owing to cloud.
GHC.279 reports encounter withs of time and petrol in extensive thunder cloud on East Coast. GHC.470 dropped bombs in target area but results were not observed. GHC.535 bombed target through 9/10 cloud. Fire observed on departure. GHC.688 failed to attack target. GHC.719 bombed flak and searchlight concentrations on E.T.A. through 10/10 cloud. Results were not observed by GHC.750.
P/O. Williams reports direct hit on lock gates. Results were not observed by P/O. Scott owing to heavy cloud.
A fair amount of activity was obs probable JU.88. Three attacks were made but the enemy was driven off by return fire. Rear gunner believes he scored hit with third burst, causing aircraft to break away.
Weather was not favourable, there being heavy cloud, thunder, electric storms, and bad icing conditions.
Navigation was by W/T, D/R, astro and loop.

” I was, of course, flying a Wellington 1C. Our mission that night was to bomb the tank works at Mannheim. I was the captain, Derrick Polley was the navigator, Simpson was the wireless operator, there was a fellow called Morgan, a New Zealander, who was the second pilot, Bottomley was the front gunner, and the rear gunner was Mellon, a replacement for our regular gunner, Oddie. Derrick and I were all out to get our names in print, so we volunteered that night to carry a camera, which was a foolish thing because after we had done our bomb run, we had to go back and do a couple more runs for filming, so we were late getting off the target.

We circled, the guy came by, he came right up alongside of us on the right hand front, which was a stupid thing to do because Bottomley raked him from end to end, and it was a Messerschmitt 110, and they had no armour on the side anyway, and he pulled away in a dive.
We were, of course, in bad shape. The good old Wellington caught fire in the fuselage, not anywhere else, and eventually it was put out, by Derrick Polley with the use of a fire extinguisher. I decided we would head for home, even though we had been badly hit.

The instrument panel was non-existent, and of course, in the Wellington, once your hydraulics were hit, your undercarriage tended to hang down. So I did a long sloping dive, trying to get out of altitude and down to ground level where I thought we would be somewhat safer than if we sat up top at 18,000 feet and let the anti aircraft guns have at us. Well, Derrick threw all the spare ammunition out, the oxygen bottle, everything except his astro-compass, which was a Mark 8, and he wanted to keep it.

We plodded on, and I guess we got fairly close to the English coast. Unfortunately, we ran into the fog, and without any instruments, and precious little but a compass, I just ended up flying it into the sea.

There was a terrific crash – the Wellington has a big belly, of course, and it took it. And when it was all over, four of us climbed out. Derrick Polley, Simpson, Mellon and I were the four who made it. Bottomley had gone back to get his little mascot out of the front turret, but the front turret had snapped when we hit the water. I pulled the release handle over the pilot’s cockpit, jumped out only to be pulled back again because I had forgotten to unhook the pipe that brings the oxygen to the oxygen mask. So I threw my helmet away, swam round to the left engine, put my foot up on the spinner, grabbed the prop and climbed up onto the wing. By this time, Simpson, who had his wits about him, had released the large round dinghy, which was stowed in the wing, and the four of us climbed in. The rear gunner appeared to be jammed in his turret, and we couldn’t get him out. So we just drifted away, watching the Wellington sink. “

Excerpt from: “Into The Drink; By A Member Of The Goldfish Club, Ian A Millett; The Memoirs Of A Royal Air Force Bomber Pilot 1940-1945”, Publisher: Ian A. Millett (2000).

P.o.W Number: 104
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags IIIE, Luft III, Luft VI, and 357
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


PRESTON
F/O Raymond Charles Preston RAFVR 1494143/ 153457 – Navigator
20th of November 1944 – Attack Against Homberg
Lancaster Mk.III PB520 AA – G
Pilot – Hubert Rees

Twenty eight aircraft took off to attack the Oil Refinery Plant at Homberg. Twenty two aircraft in daylight attacked the target in ten tenths cloud with tops at 23,000 ft. which made formation flying very difficult. They carried 4,000 lb and 500 lb bombs. Results of bombing could not be observed, but it is considered that the raid was unsatisfactory. One aircraft AA/J returned early owing to icing trouble and two aircraft bombed last resort targets at Duisburg and Hamborn. Three aircraft failed to return. These were captained by 185116 F/O R. Gordon, AUS419328 F/O P. McCartin and 152402 F/O H. Rees.

The circumstances of the loss of Lancaster Mk.III PB520 AA – G, are unclear, but all seven crew either abandoned the aircraft in flight or escaped unhurt after a crash landing. They were all simply recorded as being captured as Prisoners of War.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft I
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


PROTHEROE
Sgt. David Garrick Branscombe Protheroe RNZAF NZ401231 – Rear Gunner
29th of December 1940 – Bombing Attacks Against Hamm and M.434.
Wellington Mk.Ic R.3211 AA – J
Pilot – Herbert Douglas Newman

Three Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 500lbs. Bombs fused N.D.T., 500lbs. Bombs delayed action and containers of incendiairies..
SCK.363 reports no results observed owing to 10/10 cumulus cloud up to 12,000 feet.
SCX.412 reports bomb bursts seen through clouds. S.B.C. caused further explosions.. No observations or reconnaissance were made. A moderate amount of A.A. fire was experienced, but searchlights were few.
No enemy aircraft were encountered.
Weather was not good, 10/10 cloud being experienced over whole of route and in target areas.
Navigation was by D/R and W/T.
One of these aircraft, MSI.596, captained by P/O. Newman, failed to return.
Three Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 500lbs. Bombs fused N.D.T., 500lbs. Bombs delayed action and containers of incendiairies..
SCK.363 reports no results observed owing to 10/10 cumulus cloud up to 12,000 feet.
SCX.412 reports bomb bursts seen through clouds. S.B.C. caused further explosions.. No observations or reconnaissance were made. A moderate amount of A.A. fire was experienced, but searchlights were few.
No enemy aircraft were encountered.
Weather was not good, 10/10 cloud being experienced over whole of route and in target areas.
Navigation was by D/R and W/T.
One of these aircraft, MSI.596, captained by P/O. Newman, failed to return.

P.o.W Number: 446
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft I, Luft III, Luft VI and 357. To W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 24th of April 1945.


PYMAN
Sgt. Desmond Joseph Pyman RNZAF NZ403473 – 2nd Pilot
26th of October 1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Hamburgh and Cherbourgh
Wellington Mk.Ic Z.1168 AA – H
Pilot – S.J.G. Isherwood

Five Wellington aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. One of these aircraft, Z1168, captained by Sgt. Isherwood failed to return to base. A mixed load was carried consisting of 1000 lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Bombs were dropped on target, but owing to intense cloud, bursts were not observed. One large fire was started which was visible for 35 miles. An enemy aerodrome wa sin use to the north of target, and a large fire was observed buring N.E. of Auster Altern. There was a heavy flak of A.A. fire over target and from the direction of Cuxhaven and Bremerhaven. There were approximately 150 searchlights coned over target area. One enemy aircraft observed landing on aerodrom bombed. CLoud was 10/10th over sea, but very good visibility in breaks over target. Searchlights were observed to be co-operating more with fighters over target.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.1168 AA – H, failed to return to base. The aircraft suffered catastrophic damage from heavy AA fire over Hamburg but all but one of the crew successfully baled out and were subsequently taken prisoners of war. The Front Gunner, Sgt B W Shelnutt, went down with the aircraft and was killed.

P.o.W Number: 24469
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags VIIIB, Luft III, Luft VI and 357. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 24th of April 1945.


Q

QUELCH
Sgt. Robert N. Quelch RAFVR 1319114 – Wireless Operator
31st of August 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Berlin
Stirling Mk.III EE878 AA – P
Pilot – Douglas Charles Henley

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 emeny 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 tailplane and fin badly damaged. The aircraft captained by F/O Alaexander sighted two Me109’s, the first opened fire from the starboard quarter and the rear gunner replied with a short burst. The emeny 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 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 emeny 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 EE878 AA – P,  was badly damaged by flak and by night-fighter action near the target area. With the port inner engine out of action, and the port elevator only partially effective, considerable height was lost evading the fighter before control was regained. They were now almost out of fuel and at low level when the captain ordered the crew to bale out. Some of the crew succeeded in clearing the plane before it crash-landed at Ahrbruck, 7 miles South West of Ahrweiler. The Navigator and Air Bomber were killed when their parachutes failed to deploy in time. The Pilot died at the controls. Those who died were buried at municipal cemetery at Mayschoss, but later reinterred in the RheinbergWar Cemetery, south of Wesel. The other four crew all survived but were captured as P.o.W’s.

P.o.W Number: 222631
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag IVB
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


R

RAWLINSON
Sgt. Basil William Rawlinson RNZAF NZ415558 – Wireless Operator
14th of June 1943 – Mining in the Gironde Estuary
Stirling Mk.I BK646 AA – N
Pilot – John Lloyd Edwards

Six aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with Mines of 1500lb., two aircraft returned early, one owing to intercommunication failiure and the other owing to engine trouble and one aircraft failed to return. The remaining three aircraft successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area and the parachutes were seen to open. Some light A.A. fire and a few searchlights were encountered, but they were ineffective. A few enemy aircraft were seen, but no combats took lace. There was thick cloud in the mining area although visibility was fairly good. Navigation was very good. Stirling Mk.I BK646 captained by F/O J.L. Edwards failed to return.

Stirling Mk.I BK646 AA – N,  was shot down by a combination of flak and a Me.109 night fighter, attempting a crash landing at Moulines-la-Marche, South South West of Brettville-sur-Laize, France. With a loss of one engine and damaged ailerons, the Pilot ordered the crew to abandon the aircraft. All except Edwards got down safely, with Sgt’s Dunnet, Rawlinson, Jones, and Maxwell being captured as prisoners, and P/O Kirby and Sgt Sansoucy successfully evading capture. F/O Edwards did not survive and was laid to rest in the Canadian War Cemetery.

P.o.W Number: 426
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft VI and 357. Promoted to W/O while interred.
Returned to the United Kingdom: 22nd of April 1945.


REAY
Sgt. Wilfred George Reay NZ405455 – Observer
5th April 1942 – Operations – Attack Against Targets Cologne
Wellington Mk.III X.3661 AA – Q
Pilot – Godfrey John Evan Thomas

Nine Wellington Aircraft from this unit were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, and 250lbs and 4lb incendiaries was dropped but results were not observed. There was intense heavy flak and many searchlights were active but ineffective owing to the bright moonlight. One Ju.88 aircraft was seen near the target and Wellington III X3705 was attacked by a Me.110 near Liege without result. Weather was good and navigation by TR1335 and D.R was also good. One aircraft did not carry out it’s mission and two are missing. Wellington III X3489, captained by W/Cdr Sawrey-Cookson the C.O. of the squadron, and Wellington III X3661 captained by F/S Thomas.

Bomber Command records indicate the aircraft was hit by flak at 10,500 feet and suffered a catasrophic structural failiure. Despite this, all crew successfully exited the aircraft, were captured and made Prisoners of War. Prisoner of War No. 24799. Wilfred Reay was interred in the following camps:Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIIB.344. He was promoted to W/O while interred. Returned to the United Kingdom on the 9th of April 1945.

P.o.W Number:
P.o.W Camps:
Returned to the United Kingdom:


REES
F/O Hubert Rees RAFVR 152402 – Pilot
20th of November 1944 – Attack Against Homberg
Lancaster Mk.III PB520 AA – G
Pilot – Hubert Rees

Twenty eight aircraft took off to attack the Oil Refinery Plant at Homberg. Twenty two aircraft in daylight attacked the target in ten tenths cloud with tops at 23,000 ft. which made formation flying very difficult. They carried 4,000 lb and 500 lb bombs. Results of bombing could not be observed, but it is considered that the raid was unsatisfactory. One aircraft AA/J returned early owing to icing trouble and two aircraft bombed last resort targets at Duisburg and Hamborn. Three aircraft failed to return. These were captained by 185116 F/O R. Gordon, AUS419328 F/O P. McCartin and 152402 F/O H. Rees.

The circumstances of the loss of Lancaster Mk.III PB520 AA – G, are unclear, but all seven crew either abandoned the aircraft in flight or escaped unhurt after a crash landing. They were all simply recorded as being captured as prisoners of war.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft I
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


REID
Sgt. Jeffrey Walter Reid RAFVR 920054 – Wireless Operator
17th of September 1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Karlsruhe
Wellington Mk.Ic X.9834 AA – ?
Pilot – William Bennett Megarry Smyth

Eight Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks on the above targets. One of these aircraft failed to return. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 1,000 lb, 500 lb, 250 lb and containers of incendiaries. A.A. fire and searchlights were slight in the target area. Weather was hazy over the target.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9834 was not heard from and thus it must be assumed it was either hit by flak or by a night fighter. It would appear that the Pilot was forced to crash-land the aircraft, on fire, at Holsthum on the river Prum, seven miles South South West of Bitburg, Germany.

Sgt. Smyth, P/O Savage and Sgt. McL Hazelden died in the crash and were buried in the Rheinberg War Cemetery. P/O Smith, Sgt. Reid and Sgt. Heard escaped unhurt from the plane and were taken prisoners of war. When under confinement at Lamsdorf P.o.W camp, Sgt Reid was shot by a prison guard and killed on the 29th of  December 1941. It was reported that Sgt. Reid was shot whilst trying to remove fence panels for heating, other reports indicate that he was trying to escape. He is buried in the Cracow Military Cemetery.

P.o.W Number:
P.o.W Camps:
Returned to the United Kingdom:


REY
SGT. Albert Edward Rey RCAF R.93319/ J.96501 – Navigator
2nd of December 1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Frankfurt
Stirling Mk.I BK.618 AA – Q
Pilot – Alexander Scott

Five aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with bomb load of 4lb. Incendiairies, but a series of misfortunes left only two to get away successfully. One of these, Stirling I, BK618 captained by Sergeant Scott, failed to return, so the night was an unhappy one. One aircraft failed to take off, one swung so badly on take-off that after two attempts the sortie was abandoned, and the third unsuccessful aircraft returned early with the port outer engine dead, this being due to hitting the top of a drewm pole shortly after take-off. The one successful aircraft, Stirling I, R.9243 captained by F/O Trott, dropped its bombs in the target area from 10,000 feet and fires were seen to start. Slight heavy A.A. fire was encountered, some searchlights were also seen operationg in cones. No enemy aircraft were seen. The weather was hazy to the target, but clear with good visibility in the target area. Navigation was good, the town being identified by the bend in the river.

Stirling Mk.I BK.618 AA – Q,  was shot down by two enemy night-fighters 10 minutes after bombing the target, Frankfurt. The aircraft crashed in flames at Ida Oberstein, approximately 55 miles South West of the target. Five crewmembers parachuted to safety and were taken as prisoners. The Pilot and Mid Upper Gunner died in the crash and are buried at Rheinberg, 10 miles south of Wesel.

P.o.W Number: 42849
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft VI and Luft IV. Commissioned whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 26th of April.


RITCHIE
Sgt. J. Ritchie RAFVR 1037955 – Mid Upper Gunner
17th of December 1942 – Attack Against Targets At Fallersleben
Stirling Mk.I BK.620 AA – A
Pilot – Kenneth John Dunmall

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 BK.620 AA – A,  was shot down by a combination of flak and night fighters, crash-landing into the Westeinder Plas, SW of Aalsmeer (Noord Holland) and 10 miles South West of Amsterdam. All its crew survived the crash-landing but they later were interned as prisoners. The Air Bomber, P/O Williams, was placed in the German POW camp at Sagan, from where he escaped by way of the famous ‘Wooden Horse’. On his return to the UK he was decorated with a Military Cross.

P.o.W Number: 2733?
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIIB/344
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


ROBERTS
Sgt. D.J. Roberts RAFVR 2220435 – Flight Engineer
6th of October 1944 – Attack Against Dortmund
Lancaster Mk.I LM104 JN – K
Pilot – Keith Southward

Twenty nine aircraft were detailed to attack Dortmund, but one of these was withdrawn owing to a technical failure. Twenty six aircraft attacked the target in good weather and a very accurate and concentrated raid was reported, large fires being left burning. A.A. Fire was moderate but fighters were active and the aircraft captained by NZ427798 F/S Farr, W. had a series of combats during which the enemy aircraft was claimed as being destroyed. One aircraft returned early and landed at Woodbridge owing to a technical failure and another (Captain NZ411048 F/O K. Southward) failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I LM104 JN – K, was at 22,000ft, probably en route to the target, when it was brought down by an enemy night-fighter South West of Monchengladbach, 50 miles South West of Dortmund, crashing near Willich. The Pilot was able to control the aircraft long enough to enable his crew to bale out successfully, but was unable to do so himself and he bravely died in the crash. He was buried at Willich but later reinterred at the Rheinberg War Cemetery. All of Southward’s crew were captured as P.o.W’s

P.o.W Number: 1040
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft VII
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


ROBERTS
F/S John Lewes Roberts RNZAF NZ411593 – Navigator
29th of May 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Wuppertal
Stirling Mk.III EH881 AA – Z
Pilot – John Henry Roy Carey

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 EH881 AA – Z,  was brought down at Eilendorf, outside the township of Aachen (35 miles South West of Cologne). The Pilot and two Gunners died in the crash and are buried in Rheinberg War Cemetery. The other four crew all escaped uninjured, either by parachute or from the wrecked aircraft, and were captured as P.o.W’s.

P.o.W Number: 236
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft VI and 357. Promoted to W/O while interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 8th of May 1945.


ROBERTSON
F/S Struan MacIntyre Robertson RNZAF NZ404410 – 2nd Pilot
5th April 1942 – Operations – Attack Against Targets Cologne
Wellington Mk.III X.3661 AA – Q
Pilot – Godfrey John Evan Thomas

Nine Wellington Aircraft from this unit were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, and 250lbs and 4lb incendiaries was dropped but results were not observed. There was intense heavy flak and many searchlights were active but ineffective owing to the bright moonlight. One Ju.88 aircraft was seen near the target and Wellington III X3705 was attacked by a Me.110 near Liege without result. Weather was good and navigation by TR1335 and D.R was also good. One aircraft did not carry out it’s mission and two are missing. Wellington III X3489, captained by W/Cdr Sawrey-Cookson the C.O. of the squadron, and Wellington III X3661 captained by F/S Thomas.

Bomber Command records indicate the aircraft was hit by flak at 10,500 feet and suffered a catasrophic structural failiure. Despite this, all crew successfully exited the aircraft, were captured and made Prisoners of War.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft III.
Returned to the United Kingdom: 9th of May 1945.


ROBINSON
F/S Alan James Robinson RNZAF NZ42308 – Navigator
24th of July 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Stirling Mk.III EE880 AA – L
Pilot – Henry Nicol

Twenty-three aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 2,000lbs., 1,000lbs., and incendiaries of 30lbs., and 4lbs. Of these aircraft, two returned early due to unserviceable W/T and engine trouble respectively, and one aircraft failed to return. The remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. It was a very concentrated and successful attack. Very large spread fires were seen with black smoke rising to height of 1,400ft., some heavy explosions were also seen. A heavy A.A. barrage co-operating with searchlights were encountered and two aircraft were coned in the searchlights but neither were hit. The aircraft captained by F/O. G. TURNER whilst avoiding a searchlight cone, the starboard wing was struck by a JU 88approaching head on. The enemy aircraft turned over and dived to the ground, it was claimed to be destroyed.. The Stirling was badly damaged having more that 4ft. of the starboard mainplane torn off, and the aileron and aileron controls being useless. The captain had extreme difficulty in controlling the aircraft, but kept it on an even keel with the assistance of the Air-bomber, and after the 3 hours return flight to base, made a perfect landing. Two other short combats took place, but no damage was sustained to our aircraft. The weather was very good, with clear visibility, except for haze caused by smoke from the fires. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling Mk.III EE890 captained by Sergeant H. Nichol.

Stirling Mk.III EE880 AA – L, was shot down by a night-fighter (Fw Meissner, II /NJG3), crashing at Neumünster. The Pilot, Flight Engineer, Wireless Operator and Mid Upper Gunner died. Sgt Norrington was buried in Hamburg Cemetery, Ohlsdorf. The Navigator, Air Bomber and Rear Gunner probably parachuted to safety as they were captured as P.o.W’s.

P.o.W Number: 222434
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft III and IVB, Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 26th of May 1945.


ROBSON
W/O Arthur Elliot Robson RNZAF NZ4210853 – Wireless Operator
21st of March 1945 – Attack Against Munster Viaduct
Lancaster Mk.III LM733 AA – R
Pilot – Alfred Errol Brown

Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack the Muster Viaduct. There was hardly any cloud over the target. It is thought that the concentration was good although the formation was broken up just prior to bombing. Three aircraft failed to return from this operation – AA”T”, NZ42451 F/L J. Plummer, AA”R” NZ429139 P/O A. Brown and JN”P” 190947 P/O D.S. Barr. All three aircraft were seen to hit in the target area. Considerable H/F was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.III LM733 AA – R,  was bombing the target at Munster when it was seen to break into two sections and enter a downward spiral before crashing in flames among trees near Coesfeld at 13:30hrs. The cause of the catastrophic damage was thought to be a combination of flak damage and being struck by a bomb from another 3 Group aircraft flying above. Two crew, the pilot and air bomber, were killed and later buried in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. The other five crew parachuted to safety and were captured as POW’s.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: Stalag XIB
Returned to the United Kingdom: 21st of April 1945.


ROBSON
Sgt. E.S. Robson RAFVR 1810690 – Mid Upper Gunner
5th of September 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Mannheim
Stirling Mk.III EE893 JN – N
Pilot – Ernest Stanley Wilkinson

Nineteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lb. and 4lb. One aircraft had trouble shortly after take-off and was forced to jettison its bombs four miles north of CAMBRIDGE. The attack was well concentrated and large fires together with heavy explosions were seen. Moderate heavy A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered, which were ineffective. One aircraft on the return journey when near the FRENCH Coast was hit by A.A. fire. It received considerable damage and two of its engines were made unserviceable. The ENGLISH Coast was reached however, it belly-landed at Hunsden. Many fighters were seen and some combats took, place. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. H.BATGER sighted an enemy aircraft on the port quarter which opened fire on them and our aircraft corkscrewed. The Mid-upper and Rear Gunner then opened fire and the enemy aircraft was seen to dive to the ground in flames. It was claimed as destroyed. Our aircraft received considerable damage and the Flight Engineer Sgt. R. DALKINS was seriously wounded. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. R. WHITMORE sighted an enemy aircraft 100yds. astern, the Mid-upper and Rear Gunners opened fire, the enemy aircraft was seen to turn over and spin into the ground afire. It was claimed as destroyed. This was flowed by another enemy aircraft approaching from starboard to port astern, the Mid-upper and Rear Gunners again fired and the enemy aircraft broke away. One minute later an unidentified aircraft was seen firing at a Lancaster aircraft, which was afire. F/Sgt. WHITMORE’s Mid-Upper and Rear Gunners opened fire on the enemy aircraft, which disappeared. The Lancaster was then seen to break up. Some cloud was encountered on the way to the target, but there was a clear sky and visibility was good in the target area. Navigation was very good. One aircraft failed to return, it was captained by F/Sgt. WILKINSON, E.S.

Stirling Mk.III EE893 JN – N, was brought down at Schwanheim, 2.5 miles West North West of Bensheim. Only the Navigator, Air Bomber and Mid Upper Gunner survived but were captured as P.o.W’s. The Pilot, Flight Engineer, Wireless Operator and rear gunner were buried initially at Schwanheim, but later reinterred at Rheinberg War Cemetery.

P.o.W Number: 222770
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag IVB
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


ROGERSON
F/S Reginald William Rogerson RNZAF NZ415787 – Navigator
23rd of August 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Berlin
Stirling Mk.III EF435 JN – J
Pilot – Osric Hartnell White

Twenty three aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1,000lb., 500lb., and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb.. Five aircraft returned early owing to failure and three aircraft failed to return. The remainder of the aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area and all of the crews agreed that it had been well and truly hit. The fires were all concentrated and huge columns of smoke together with heavy explosions could be seen. A moderate heavy A.A. barrage co-operating with searchlights were encountered, but only one aircraft received damage. A great number of enemy aircraft were seen and several combats took place. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. WILKINSON sighted a JU88 passing above, the Mid-upper and Rear Gunners fired and strikes were seen on the enemy aircraft which was then lost sight of and is claimed to have been damaged. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. WHITEHEAD whilst over BERLIN sighted an enemy aircraft on the starboard quarter, 300yds away. The Rear Gunner fired a five second burst and the enemy aircraft was seen in flames diving to earth, and was claimed as probably destroyed. The same aircraft encountered another unidentified aircraft 300yds away on the starboard quarter. The Rear Gunner fired another five seconds burst and the enemy aircraft exploded and disintegrated. It was claimed to be destroyed. The aircraft captained by F/O. A. Alexander, whilst over the target sighted a ME110 approaching from the starboard quarter above and firing at his aircraft. The Mid-upper and Rear Gunners replied with long bursts and the enemy aircraft was seen to be in flames. A fire was later seen on the ground and the enemy aircraft was claimed as probably destroyed. Scattered cloud was met on the outward route, but it was clear over the target. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk.III BF465 captained by P/O A. RANKIN, BF564 captained by P/O A. Sedunary and EE938 captained by W/O T. Fear.

The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. WHITE, O.H. whilst approaching the target area was coned by searchlights and repeatedly hit by heavy A.A. fire, sustaining considerable damage to port mainplane. He continued towards the target though still coned by searchlights and was then attacked by a JU88 sustaining hits in the rear of the fuselage which shattered the rear turret and killed Rear Gunner Sgt. Poole, J.. The aircraft was forced into an uncontrollable dive and the captain warned his crew ‘Prepare to abandon the aircraft’. Unfortunately, in the middle of this order the inter-communication failed, and the Navigator, Air Bomber and Wireless Operator abandoned the aircraft, due to the fact that they were unable to contact their Captain. F/Sgt. WHITE jettisoned his bombload whilst in the dive directly over the target area, managed to regain control of the aircraft when height had been lost down to 6,000ft. The captain and two remaining members of the crew after taking stock of the damage decided to attempt the long and hazardous return journey to base. This they did successfully and made a perfect crash landing at base without lights, flaps or under carriage, as the electrical leads were shot away.

Stirling Mk.III EF435 JN – J, F/S White & crew, sustained serious damage. As they approached the target area they were coned by searchlights and then hit repeatedly by AA fire. The port mainplane was holed severely. They continued to the target still coned by searchlights but then came under attack by a Ju 88 night-fighter. The rear fuselage was badly holed by gunfire, which also shattered the rear turret, killing Sgt Poole the Rear Gunner. The aircraft then went into an uncontrollable dive and the Pilot warned his crew to prepare for an abandonment. At that point the intercom failed and the navigator, air- bomber and wireless operator all baled out believing the pilot was unable to rectify the situation.

Meanwhile, still in the dive, F/S White jettisoned their bomb load right over the target and succeeded in regaining control of the Stirling at about 6,000ft. After taking stock of the damage, including disabled electrical systems, he decided to attempt the long and hazardous return flight back to base, with only himself, Flight Engineer and Mid Upper Gunner on board (and of course the fatally injured Rear Gunner). They achieved the seemingly impossible task with a skilful crash landing at Mepal at 03.45hrs, without lights, flaps, or undercarriage.
F/S O H White was later promoted to Flight Lieutenant, and on the 22nd of September 1943, he was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (CGM) for his outstanding airmanship.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag IVB
Returned to the United Kingdom: 18th of May 1945.


ROYNON
Sgt. S.W. Roynon RAFVR 1169410 – Front Gunner
5th April 1942 – Operations – Attack Against Targets Cologne
Wellington Mk.III X.3661 AA – Q
Pilot – Godfrey John Evan Thomas

Nine Wellington Aircraft from this unit were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, and 250lbs and 4lb incendiaries was dropped but results were not observed. There was intense heavy flak and many searchlights were active but ineffective owing to the bright moonlight. One Ju.88 aircraft was seen near the target and Wellington III X3705 was attacked by a Me.110 near Liege without result. Weather was good and navigation by TR1335 and D.R was also good. One aircraft did not carry out it’s mission and two are missing. Wellington III X3489, captained by W/Cdr Sawrey-Cookson the C.O. of the squadron, and Wellington III X3661 captained by F/S Thomas.

Bomber Command records indicate the aircraft was hit by flak at 10,500 feet and suffered a catasrophic structural failiure. Despite this, all crew successfully exited the aircraft, were captured and made Prisoners of War.

P.o.W Number: 24834
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIIB/344
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


RUTHERFORD
Sgt. Alan Walter Rutherford RNZAF NZ404572 – Front Gunner
28th of July 1942 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Wellington Mk.III BJ.661 AA – X
Pilot – John Edward Gilbertson

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 BJ.661 AA – X, was shot down by a German Ju 88 night-fighter at 03:05hrs into the Ijsselmeer, near Amsterdam, while on its way home following the Hamburg raid. The JU. 88 crew of two was Lieutenant Wilfgang Kuthe and his gunner, Unteroffizier Helmut Bonk.

Only Callahan the Wireless OPerator, and Rutherford the Front Gunner, survived the crash and floated free, supported by their life vests. They were later rescued and sent to a P.o.W camp.
The bodies of the captain and navigator were recovered from the wreck and buried in Amsterdam. The rear gunner’s body floated free and was recovered later some distance from the crash site and buried at Harderwijk.

P.o.W Number: 25149
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIIB/344. Promoted to W/O whilst interred. During a forced march at the end of the War he suffered severe frostbites to his toes
Returned to the United Kingdom: 13th of April 1945.


S

SANGSTER
P/O Edward Miller Sangster RCAF J.5079 – Observer
26th of October 1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Hamburgh and Cherbourgh
Wellington Mk.Ic Z.1168 AA – H
Pilot – S.J.G. Isherwood

Five Wellington aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. One of these aircraft, Z1168, captained by Sgt. Isherwood failed to return to base. A mixed load was carried consisting of 1000 lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Bombs were dropped on target, but owing to intense cloud, bursts were not observed. One large fire was started which was visible for 35 miles. An enemy aerodrome wa sin use to the north of target, and a large fire was observed buring N.E. of Auster Altern. There was a heavy flak of A.A. fire over target and from the direction of Cuxhaven and Bremerhaven. There were approximately 150 searchlights coned over target area. One enemy aircraft observed landing on aerodrom bombed. CLoud was 10/10th over sea, but very good visibility in breaks over target. Searchlights were observed to be co-operating more with fighters over target.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.1168 AA – H, failed to return to base. The aircraft suffered catastrophic damage from heavy AA fire over Hamburg but all but one of the crew successfully baled out and were subsequently taken prisoners of war. The Front Gunner, Sgt B. W. Shelnutt, went down with the aircraft and was killed.

P.o.W Number: 658
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft I and Luft III
Returned to the United Kingdom: 8th of May 1945.


Sawyer
Sgt. H. Sawyer RAFVR 657922 – Air Bomber
13th of February 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Lorient
Stirling Mk.I R9316 AA – K
Pilot – Roy Arthur Williams

Eleven aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with bombs of 1,000 lb. and 4 lb. incendiaries. Nine aircraft are known to have successfully attacked the target, of the other two, one returned early owing to the mid upper and front turrets being u/s and the other aircraft failed to return. Fires were burning fiercely in the target area, although they appeared to be scattered. F/Lt. Trott had his aircraft damaged by flak at the target, the number two tank on the port side was holed, the trimming tab was hit and his aerial was shot off. He preceeded to Middle Wallop and landed safely. Both heavy and light flak was encountered which was intense at first but later spasmodic and appeared to be swamped. Searchlights were seen in the early part of the attack but later went out. Some enemy aircraft were seen but no attacks were made. The weather was very good with clear visibility and no cloud. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling 1 R9316 captained by Sgt. R.A. Williams.

Stirling Mk.I R9316 AA – K, was hit by flak over the target and fire broke out. The Pilot ordered the crew to abandon the aircraft and all but himself and the Rear Gunner parachuted successfully, landing near Plouay, (Finistere), 11 miles North North East of Lorient. Four were captured and taken prisoner but the fifth, Sgt Willis, RCAF, successfully evaded capture.

The deceased, Sgt’s Williams and Harding-Smith, were buried at Guidel, near Lorient. The latter was the son of the Venerable Archdeacon T J Smith, of Nelson, New Zealand.

P.o.W Number: 27584
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIIB/344
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


SCOTT
Sgt. Christopher Falcon Scott RNZAF NZ391847 – 2nd Pilot
22nd of December 1940 – Bombing Attacks Against targets D.55 and Flushing
Wellington Mk.Ic T.2474 AA – W
Pilot – Rex Chuter

Twelve Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. One of these aircraft,DMU.692, captained SGT. Chuter, failed to return. DMU.936 failed to locate target and bombs were bought back. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 1000lbs. N.D.T., 500lbs. N.D.T. and delayed action, 250lbs. delayed action, and containers of incendiaires.
DMU.288 reports explosions and fires seen, but damage was unobserved.
DMU.303 reports numerous fires started by incendiairies in target area. Two other bomb loads dropped near by.
DMU.444 reports 1000lbs. bomb seen to land on or very near railway. Incendiary bombs not dropped.
DMU.494 reports several large fires caused, still burning when area was left.
DMU.515 dropped bombs on south perimeter of target along railway. Small fires started. Several large white explosions 3-5 mins after leaving target.
DMU.588 reports bimbs and incendiairies seen to burst in the target area. Two fires persisting from the incendiairies, and one large fire, visible 17 mins after leaving, from the bomb bursts obscured in cloud after this time.
DMU.738 reports centre of town bombed and a large fire observed with six white explsions some minutes afterwards.
DMU.781 dropped bombs in two sticks over city causing one large line of fires quater of a mile long. From these fires 15 to 20 large explosions were observed.
DMU.804 failed to locate target owing to low cloud, but bombed an aerodrome in France, RHEIMS AREA. Seven fires started. Six large explosions five mins later, presumably aircraft.
DMU.943 reports bombs seen to burst in target area amongst other fires, causing explosions.
Severla flarepaths were bserved at various parts of route. Large dummy town 30 miles S.E. of MANNHEIM and dummy fire seen in middle of town. Blackout very bad over ANTWERP and Belgium. Much snow in Germany.
Fairly intense A.A. fire experienced over MANNHEIM. Very little experienced elsewhere.
There was not much searchlight activity.
DMU.804 reports being attacked by one ME.110 five mins. after bombing. This machine was hit but not brought down (60 rounds fired by front gunner).
Low cloud was experienced at various parts and target areas.
Navigation was by D/R. W/T.Q.D.M’s, and astro.

The circumstances of the loss are unclear, but it is assumed that the crew were returning to base when the aircraft was brought down over France near Therouldeville, 42 km North East of Le Havre, probably as a result of ground fire or enemy night fighter action. Luckily, five crew members survived the crash landing, some with serious injuries, and were taken as prisoners of war. The Rear Gunner, Sgt Alfred Henry Ritchie, unfortunately was killed and is now buried at Therouldeville.

Sgt Falcon- Scott was medically repatriated in 1941

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: not known
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


SHARPE
SGT. Robert William Sharpe RAFVR 1496472 – 2nd Pilot
2nd of December 1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Frankfurt
Stirling Mk.I BK.618 AA – Q
Pilot – Alexander Scott

Five aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with bomb load of 4lb. Incendiairies, but a series of misfortunes left only two to get away successfully. One of these, Stirling I, BK618 captained by Sergeant Scott, failed to return, so the night was an unhappy one. One aircraft failed to take off, one swung so badly on take-off that after two attempts the sortie was abandoned, and the third unsuccessful aircraft returned early with the port outer engine dead, this being due to hitting the top of a drewm pole shortly after take-off. The one successful aircraft, Stirling I, R.9243 captained by F/O Trott, dropped its bombs in the target area from 10,000 feet and fires were seen to start. Slight heavy A.A. fire was encountered, some searchlights were also seen operationg in cones. No enemy aircraft were seen. The weather was hazy to the target, but clear with good visibility in the target area. Navigation was good, the town being identified by the bend in the river.

Stirling Mk.I BK.618 AA – Q was shot down by two enemy night-fighters 10 minutes after bombing the target, Frankfurt. The aircraft crashed in flames at Ida Oberstein, approximately 55 miles South West of the target. Five crew members parachuted to safety and were taken as prisoners. The Pilot and Mid Upper Gunner died in the crash and are buried at Rheinberg, 10 miles south of Wesel.

P.o.W Number: 947
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft,Stalags Luft I, Luft VI and Luft IV. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


SIMES
F/S Gordon Noel Simes RNZAF NZ415376 – Navigator
5th of September 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Mannheim
Stirling Mk.III EE893 JN – N
Pilot – Ernest Stanley Wilkinson

Nineteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lb. and 4lb. One aircraft had trouble shortly after take-off and was forced to jettison its bombs four miles north of CAMBRIDGE. The attack was well concentrated and large fires together with heavy explosions were seen. Moderate heavy A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered, which were ineffective. One aircraft on the return journey when near the FRENCH Coast was hit by A.A. fire. It received considerable damage and two of its engines were made unserviceable. The ENGLISH Coast was reached however, it belly-landed at Hunsden. Many fighters were seen and some combats took, place. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. H.BATGER sighted an enemy aircraft on the port quarter which opened fire on them and our aircraft corkscrewed. The Mid-upper and Rear Gunner then opened fire and the enemy aircraft was seen to dive to the ground in flames. It was claimed as destroyed. Our aircraft received considerable damage and the Flight Engineer Sgt. R. DALKINS was seriously wounded. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. R. WHITMORE sighted an enemy aircraft 100yds. astern, the Mid-upper and Rear Gunners opened fire, the enemy aircraft was seen to turn over and spin into the ground afire. It was claimed as destroyed. This was flowed by another enemy aircraft approaching from starboard to port astern, the Mid-upper and Rear Gunners again fired and the enemy aircraft broke away. One minute later an unidentified aircraft was seen firing at a Lancaster aircraft, which was afire. F/Sgt. WHITMORE’s Mid-Upper and Rear Gunners opened fire on the enemy aircraft, which disappeared. The Lancaster was then seen to break up. Some cloud was encountered on the way to the target, but there was a clear sky and visibility was good in the target area. Navigation was very good. One aircraft failed to return, it was captained by F/Sgt. WILKINSON, E.S.

Stirling Mk.III EE893 JN – N, was brought down at Schwanheim, 2.5miles West North West of Bensheim. Only the Navigator, Air Bomber and Mid Upper Gunner survived but were captured as P.o.W’s. The Pilot, Flight Engineer, Wireless Operator and Rear Gunner were buried initially at Schwanheim, but later reinterred at Rheinberg War Cemetery.

P.o.W Number: 43292
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Obermasseld Hospital, Stalags IXC and 357. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


SIMPSON
Sgt. Simpson RAFVR 943822 – Wireless Operator
6th of August 1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Mannheim and Calais
Wellington Mk.Ic R.1648 AA – K
Pilot – Leopold Ian Adrian Millett

Thirteen Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. One of these aircraft, R.1648 captained by SGT. Millet, failed to return to base. The bomb load was mixed and consisted of 1000lbs; 500lbs; 250lbs; and containers of incendiaries.
GHC.170 sighted river near target but had to bomb through 10/10 cloud. Glow of a fire was seen through clouds. Bomb bursts were observed in target area by GHC.231. GNC.265 observed bomb bursts in dock area. GHC.279 bombed target area but was unable to pinpoint target on account of haze. GHC.324 saw bombs burst across outer harbour of Ostend. Unable to reach primary target owing to loss of time and petrol in extensive thunder cloud on East Coast. GHC.470 dropped bombs in target area but results were not observed. GHC.535 bombed target through 9/10 cloud. Fire observed on departure. GHC.688 failed to attack target. GHC.719 bombed flak and searchlight concentrations on E.T.A. through 10/10 cloud. Results were not observed by GHC.750.
P/O. Williams reports direct hit on lock gates. Results were not observed by P/O. Scott owing to heavy cloud.
A fair amount of activity was observed on enemy aerodromes in Brussels-liege area.
A.A. fire was slight but accurate.
Searchlights were ineffective owing to cloud.
GHC.279 reports encounter with probable JU.88. Three attacks were made but the enemy was driven off by return fire. Rear gunner believes he scored hit with third burst, causing aircraft to break away.
Weather was not favourable, there being heavy cloud, thunder, electric storms, and bad icing conditions.
Navigation was by W/T, D/R, astro and loop.

” I was, of course, flying a Wellington 1C. Our mission that night was to bomb the tank works at Mannheim. I was the captain, Derrick Polley was the navigator, Simpson was the wireless operator, there was a fellow called Morgan, a New Zealander, who was the second pilot, Bottomley was the front gunner, and the rear gunner was Mellon, a replacement for our regular gunner, Oddie. Derrick and I were all out to get our names in print, so we volunteered that night to carry a camera, which was a foolish thing because after we had done our bomb run, we had to go back and do a couple more runs for filming, so we were late getting off the target.

We circled, the guy came by, he came right up alongside of us on the right hand front, which was a stupid thing to do because Bottomley raked him from end to end, and it was a Messerschmitt 110, and they had no armour on the side anyway, and he pulled away in a dive.
We were, of course, in bad shape. The good old Wellington caught fire in the fuselage, not anywhere else, and eventually it was put out, by Derrick Polley with the use of a fire extinguisher. I decided we would head for home, even though we had been badly hit.

The instrument panel was non-existent, and of course, in the Wellington, once your hydraulics were hit, your undercarriage tended to hang down. So I did a long sloping dive, trying to get out of altitude and down to ground level where I thought we would be somewhat safer than if we sat up top at 18,000 feet and let the anti aircraft guns have at us. Well, Derrick threw all the spare ammunition out, the oxygen bottle, everything except his astro-compass, which was a Mark 8, and he wanted to keep it.

We plodded on, and I guess we got fairly close to the English coast. Unfortunately, we ran into the fog, and without any instruments, and precious little but a compass, I just ended up flying it into the sea.

There was a terrific crash – the Wellington has a big belly, of course, and it took it. And when it was all over, four of us climbed out. Derrick Polley, Simpson, Mellon and I were the four who made it. Bottomley had gone back to get his little mascot out of the front turret, but the front turret had snapped when we hit the water. I pulled the release handle over the pilot’s cockpit, jumped out only to be pulled back again because I had forgotten to unhook the pipe that brings the oxygen to the oxygen mask. So I threw my helmet away, swam round to the left engine, put my foot up on the spinner, grabbed the prop and climbed up onto the wing. By this time, Simpson, who had his wits about him, had released the large round dinghy, which was stowed in the wing, and the four of us climbed in. The rear gunner appeared to be jammed in his turret, and we couldn’t get him out. So we just drifted away, watching the Wellington sink. “

Excerpt from: “Into The Drink; By A Member Of The Goldfish Club, Ian A Millett; The Memoirs Of A Royal Air Force Bomber Pilot 1940-1945”, Publisher: Ian A. Millett (2000).

P.o.W Number: 150
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags IIIE, Luft VI and 357
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


SLATER
P/O Allen Bruce Slater RAAF AUS.402550 – Pilot
25th March 1942 – Attack Against Targets at St.Nazaire and Essen
Wellington Mk.III X.3652 AA – O
Pilot – Allen Bruce Slater

Twelve aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack. Wellington III X3652, captained by P/O Slater failed to return, and two aircraft failed to locate the target. Bomb Load consisted of 500 lbs and 250 lbs, this being dropped in the target area but no results were observed. Slight A.A. fire and a few ineffective searchlights were encountered but no enemy fighters were seen. Weather was fine with slight ground haze. Navigation by TR1335 and D.R. was good.

There appears to be no’ Official’ record or explanation as to the nature of the loss of X.3653 or Sgt. John Addis. In “Forever strong: The story of 75 Squadron RNZAF, 1916-1990” by Norman Franks, contains an account of the events of that night by Phil Burridge, Rear Gunner with the Slater crew that night:
“We flew direct to Essen and on the run in took a pounding from ground fire. We received a direct hit in the bomb bay which was full of flares. As the flares were to be used as a marker for the main stream, it was not possible for us to jettison them. We were unable to put the fire out, so the aircraft was eventually abandoned and I landed in Duisberg where I was given a hostile reception by the natives until taken prisoner by some Ack-Ack gunners…..Our second Pilot and W/Op – Tew Wainwright – had worked out a plan whereby if they ever had to abandon the aircraft and were a parachute short, they would clip the remaining parachute on one hook of each of their respective harnesses and jump together. So on this night, when it happened, they both jumped together, but with his arm through Ted’s harness while Ted held him with one arm. Tragically, when the chute opened, the second Pilot was thrown off…….”

Sgt. John Henry Addis had in fact been given his own crew prior to this Op, but had said he would fly this last one Op with Allen Slater’s crew.

P.o.W Number: 29(incomplete?)
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft III.
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


SMITH
Sgt. A.E.G. Smith RAFVR 1386088 – Wireless Operator
23rd of August 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Berlin
Stirling Mk.III EF435 JN – J
Pilot – Osric Hartnell White

Twenty three aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1,000lb., 500lb., and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb.. Five aircraft returned early owing to failure and three aircraft failed to return. The remainder of the aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area and all of the crews agreed that it had been well and truly hit. The fires were all concentrated and huge columns of smoke together with heavy explosions could be seen. A moderate heavy A.A. barrage co-operating with searchlights were encountered, but only one aircraft received damage. A great number of enemy aircraft were seen and several combats took place. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. WILKINSON sighted a JU88 passing above, the Mid-upper and Rear Gunners fired and strikes were seen on the enemy aircraft which was then lost sight of and is claimed to have been damaged. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. WHITEHEAD whilst over BERLIN sighted an enemy aircraft on the starboard quarter, 300yds away. The Rear Gunner fired a five second burst and the enemy aircraft was seen in flames diving to earth, and was claimed as probably destroyed. The same aircraft encountered another unidentified aircraft 300yds away on the starboard quarter. The Rear Gunner fired another five seconds burst and the enemy aircraft exploded and disintegrated. It was claimed to be destroyed. The aircraft captained by F/O. A. Alexander, whilst over the target sighted a ME110 approaching from the starboard quarter above and firing at his aircraft. The Mid-upper and Rear Gunners replied with long bursts and the enemy aircraft was seen to be in flames. A fire was later seen on the ground and the enemy aircraft was claimed as probably destroyed. Scattered cloud was met on the outward route, but it was clear over the target. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk.III BF465 captained by P/O A. RANKIN, BF564 captained by P/O A. Sedunary and EE938 captained by W/O T. Fear.

The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. WHITE, O.H. whilst approaching the target area was coned by searchlights and repeatedly hit by heavy A.A. fire, sustaining considerable damage to port mainplane. He continued towards the target though still coned by searchlights and was then attacked by a JU88 sustaining hits in the rear of the fuselage which shattered the rear turret and killed Rear Gunner Sgt. Poole, J.. The aircraft was forced into an uncontrollable dive and the captain warned his crew ‘Prepare to abandon the aircraft’. Unfortunately, in the middle of this order the inter-communication failed, and the Navigator, Air Bomber and Wireless Operator abandoned the aircraft, due to the fact that they were unable to contact their Captain. F/Sgt. WHITE jettisoned his bombload whilst in the dive directly over the target area, managed to regain control of the aircraft when height had been lost down to 6,000ft. The captain and two remaining members of the crew after taking stock of the damage decided to attempt the long and hazardous return journey to base. This they did successfully and made a perfect crash landing at base without lights, flaps or under carriage, as the electrical leads were shot away.

Stirling Mk.III EF435 JN – J, F/S White & crew, sustained serious damage. As they approached the target area they were coned by searchlights and then hit repeatedly by AA fire. The port mainplane was holed severely. They continued to the target still coned by searchlights but then came under attack by a Ju 88 night-fighter. The rear fuselage was badly holed by gunfire, which also shattered the rear turret, killing Sgt Poole the Rear Gunner. The aircraft then went into an uncontrollable dive and the Captain warned his crew to prepare for an abandonment. At that point the intercom failed and the navigator, air- bomber and wireless operator all baled out believing the pilot was unable to rectify the situation.

Meanwhile, still in the dive, F/S White jettisoned their bomb load right over the target and succeeded in regaining control of the Stirling at about 6,000ft. After taking stock of the damage, including disabled electrical systems, he decided to attempt the long and hazardous return flight back to base, with only himself, flight engineer and mid-upper gunner on board (and of course the fatally injured rear gunner). They achieved the seemingly impossible task with a skilful crash landing at Mepal at 03.45hrs, without lights, flaps, or undercarriage.
F/S O H White was later promoted to Flight Lieutenant, and on the 22nd of  September 1943 was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (CGM) for his outstanding airmanship.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: not known
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


SMITH
Sgt. Charles Arthur Smith RAFVR 917722 – Flight Engineer
27th of September 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hanover
Stirling Mk.III EF515 AA – F
Pilot – Ralph Egerton Martin

Sixteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lb. and 4 lb. Two aircraft failed to return and one returned early owing to its rear turret being unserviceable. The remainder dropped their bombs in the target area. This was an exceedingly successful and well concentrated attack, considered to be even better than the previous one. Numerous large fires and columns of smoke rising to 12,000ft., were seen and the fires were again visible at the DUTCH coast. Very moderate, ineffective heavy A.A. Fire numerous searchlights and flares were encountered. Many enemy aircraft were seen and several combats took place. The aircraft captained by F.Sgt. HORGAN, D. had a combat with a JU88 which was claimed to be destroyed. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. BURTON, H., sighted a JU88 and the Rear Gunner fired, it was then seen to fall in flames and was claimed as destroyed. Two other short combats took place and one of our aircraft received slight damage. The weather was poor on the outward and return journeys, but good with clear visibility over the target. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk.III, EF515 captained by Sgt. Martin, R., and EH877 captained by F/Sgt. WHITMORE, R.

Stirling Mk.III EF515 AA – F was brought down, probably by enemy night-fighter action, in the vicinity of Haverbeck-Hamelin. The Pilot succeeded in making a crash landing, allowing all but one of the crew to escape uninjured. The Mid Upper Gunner, Sgt A R Bangs, did not survive the crash and was buried in Hannover War Cemetery. The remaining crew were captured as POW’s.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: not known
Returned to the United Kingdom:


SMITH
SGT. John Robert Smith RNZAF NZ412907 – Wireless Operator
2nd of December 1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Frankfurt
Stirling Mk.I BK.618 AA – Q
Pilot – Alexander Scott

Five aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with bomb load of 4lb. Incendiairies, but a series of misfortunes left only two to get away successfully. One of these, Stirling I, BK618 captained by Sergeant Scott, failed to return, so the night was an unhappy one. One aircraft failed to take off, one swung so badly on take-off that after two attempts the sortie was abandoned, and the third unsuccessful aircraft returned early with the port outer engine dead, this being due to hitting the top of a drewm pole shortly after take-off. The one successful aircraft, Stirling I, R.9243 captained by F/O Trott, dropped its bombs in the target area from 10,000 feet and fires were seen to start. Slight heavy A.A. fire was encountered, some searchlights were also seen operationg in cones. No enemy aircraft were seen. The weather was hazy to the target, but clear with good visibility in the target area. Navigation was good, the town being identified by the bend in the river.

Stirling Mk.I BK.618 AA – Q,  was shot down by two enemy night-fighters 10 minutes after bombing the target, Frankfurt. The aircraft crashed in flames at Ida Oberstein, approximately 55 miles South West of the target. Five crew members parachuted to safety and were taken as prisoners. The Pilot and Mid Upper Gunner died in the crash and are buried at Rheinberg, 10 miles South of Wesel.

P.o.W Number: 948
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft I, Luft VI, and 357. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 8th of May 1945.


SMITH
Sgt. K.M. Smith RAFVR 930868 – Pilot
7th of November 1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Essen
Wellington Mk.Ic X.9628 AA – A
Pilot – K.M. Smith

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, captianed 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 enely 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.

It appeared that the aircraft was hit by flak, crashing near Krefeld. The Rear Gunner, Sgt Thain, was killed. The remainder of the crew survived, with only Sgt Rugg receiving serious injuries from which he later died on the 15th of  November 1941. Sgt Thain was initially buried at the Haupt Friedhof, but later reinterred at Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, close to the grave of Sgt Rugg. The other survivors were taken prisoners of war.

P.o.W Number: 24508
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags VIIIB, Luft III, Luft VI and 357
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


SMITH
Sgt. Keith James Stockley Smith RNZAF NZ411783 – Wireless Operator
3rd of February 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Stirling Mk.I BK.604 AA – S
Pilot – John McCullough

Nine aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with 4 lb. incendiaries. The crews were instructed to return if they hit bad weather, which unfortunately they did. Heavy cloud and icing were experienced forcing five aircraft to return early. Two aircraft attacked the target but they were unable to observe results owing to 10/10ths. cloud. Some A.A. fire and a few searchlights were encountered although low cloud prevented accuracy. No enemy aircraft were seen. Navigation was good. Two aircraft failed to return, they were Stirling 1 BK604 captained by P/O J McCullough and Stirling 1 R9280 captained by P/O K.H. Blincoe. This was a sad loss as they were two of the oldest captains in the Squadron, with them was also lost Sergt. Scott and P/O Henderson, two new captains gaining experience as second pilot. This leaving us with two headless crews.

Stirling Mk.I BK.604 AA – S, was shot down by a night-fighter (Hptm WolfgangThimmig, III.NJG1) while attempting to penetrate the highly effective German defensive sector along the Netherlands coastline. The bomber crashed at 20:13hrs near the township Enter (Overjissel), seven miles South West of Wierden, Holland. Three of the crew were killed in the crash – the Pilot, Flight Engineer and Rear gunner. The remaining five succeeded in baling out, four of whom landed unhurt but were taken as prisoners. The Air Bomber’s parachute failed to deploy fully before he impacted the ground and he died as a result. The deceased were buried in the Wierden General Cemetery.

P.o.W Number: 27557
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIIB/344
Returned to the United Kingdom: 12th of April 1945.


SMITH
Sgt. T.H. Smith RAFVR 1178766 – Wireless Operator
13th of February 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Lorient
Stirling Mk.I R9316 AA – K
Pilot – Roy Arthur Williams

Eleven aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with bombs of 1,000 lb. and 4 lb. incendiaries. Nine aircraft are known to have successfully attacked the target, of the other two, one returned early owing to the mid upper and front turrets being u/s and the other aircraft failed to return. Fires were burning fiercely in the target area, although they appeared to be scattered. F/Lt. Trott had his aircraft damaged by flak at the target, the number two tank on the port side was holed, the trimming tab was hit and his aerial was shot off. He preceeded to Middle Wallop and landed safely. Both heavy and light flak was encountered which was intense at first but later spasmodic and appeared to be swamped. Searchlights were seen in the early part of the attack but later went out. Some enemy aircraft were seen but no attacks were made. The weather was very good with clear visibility and no cloud. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling 1 R9316 captained by Sgt. R.A. Williams.

Stirling Mk.I R9316 AA – Kwas hit by flak over the target and fire broke out. The Pilot ordered the crew to abandon the aircraft and all but himself and the Rear Gunner parachuted successfully, landing near Plouay, (Finistère), 11 miles North North East of Lorient. Four were captured and taken prisoner but the fifth, Sgt Willis, RCAF, successfully evaded capture.

The deceased, Sgt’s Williams and Harding-Smith, were buried at Guidel, near Lorient. The latter was the son of the Venerable Archdeacon T J Smith, of Nelson, New Zealand.

P.o.W Number: 27585
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIIB/344
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


SMITH
P/O Walter John S. Smith RAFVR 1058110/ 67704 – 2nd Pilot
17th of September 1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Karlsruhe
Wellington Mk.Ic X.9834 AA – ?
Pilot – William Bennett Megarry Smyth

Eight Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks on the above targets. One of these aircraft failed to return. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 1,000 lb, 500 lb, 250 lb and containers of incendiaries. A.A. fire and searchlights were slight in the target area. Weather was hazy over the target.

X9834 was not heard from and thus it must be assumed it was either hit by flak or by a night fighter. It would appear that the Pilot was forced to crash-land the aircraft, on fire, at Holsthum on the river Prüm, seven miles South South West of Bitburg, Germany.

Sgt. Smyth, P/O Savage and Sgt. McL Hazelden died in the crash and were buried in the Rheinberg War Cemetery. P/O Smith, Sgt. Reid and Sgt. Heard escaped unhurt from the plane and were taken prisoners of war. When under confinement at Lamsdorf POW camp, Sgt Reid was shot by a prison guard and killed on 29 Dec 41. It was reported that Sgt. Reid was shot whilst trying to remove fence panels for heating, other reports indicate that he was trying to escape. He is buried in the Cracow Military Cemetery.

P.o.W Number: 3796
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags XC and Luft III
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


SPITTLE
Sgt. S.L. Spittle RAFVR 968421 – Wireless Operator
29th of December 1940 – Bombing Attacks Against Hamm and M.434.
Wellington Mk.Ic R.3211 AA – J
Pilot – Herbert Douglas Newman

Three Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 500lbs. Bombs fused N.D.T., 500lbs. Bombs delayed action and containers of incendiairies..
SCK.363 reports no results observed owing to 10/10 cumulus cloud up to 12,000 feet.
SCX.412 reports bomb bursts seen through clouds. S.B.C. caused further explosions.. No observations or reconnaissance were made. A moderate amount of A.A. fire was experienced, but searchlights were few.

No enemy aircraft were encountered.
Weather was not good, 10/10 cloud being experienced over whole of route and in target areas.
Navigation was by D/R and W/T.
One of these aircraft, MSI.596, captained by P/O. Newman, failed to return.
Three Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 500lbs. Bombs fused N.D.T., 500lbs. Bombs delayed action and containers of incendiairies..
SCK.363 reports no results observed owing to 10/10 cumulus cloud up to 12,000 feet.
SCX.412 reports bomb bursts seen through clouds. S.B.C. caused further explosions.. No observations or reconnaissance were made. A moderate amount of A.A. fire was experienced, but searchlights were few.
No enemy aircraft were encountered.
Weather was not good, 10/10 cloud being experienced over whole of route and in target areas.
Navigation was by D/R and W/T.
One of these aircraft, MSI.596, captained by P/O. Newman, failed to return.

P.o.W Number: 447
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft 1, Luft VI and Luft IV. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


STANLEY
Sgt. Harold Arthur Dagwell Stanley RCAF R.69657/ J.96212 – Wireless Operator
26th of October 1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Hamburgh and Cherbourgh
Wellington Mk.Ic Z.1168 AA – H
Pilot – S.J.G. Isherwood

Five Wellington aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. One of these aircraft, Z1168, captained by Sgt. Isherwood failed to return to base. A mixed load was carried consisting of 1000 lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Bombs were dropped on target, but owing to intense cloud, bursts were not observed. One large fire was started which was visible for 35 miles. An enemy aerodrome wa sin use to the north of target, and a large fire was observed buring N.E. of Auster Altern. There was a heavy flak of A.A. fire over target and from the direction of Cuxhaven and Bremerhaven. There were approximately 150 searchlights coned over target area. One enemy aircraft observed landing on aerodrom bombed. CLoud was 10/10th over sea, but very good visibility in breaks over target. Searchlights were observed to be co-operating more with fighters over target.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.1168 AA – H, failed to return to base. The aircraft suffered catastrophic damage from heavy AA fire over Hamburg but all but one of the crew successfully baled out and were subsequently taken prisoners of war. The Front Gunner, Sgt B W Shelnutt, went down with the aircraft and was killed.

P.o.W Number: 24459
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags VIIIB, Luft III, Luft VI, and 357
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


STARK
P/O Robert Garth Stark RNZAF NZ40631 – Observer
29th of December 1940 – Bombing Attacks Against Hamm and M.434.
Wellington Mk.Ic R.3211 AA – J
Pilot – Herbert Douglas Newman

Three Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 500lbs. Bombs fused N.D.T., 500lbs. Bombs delayed action and containers of incendiairies..
SCK.363 reports no results observed owing to 10/10 cumulus cloud up to 12,000 feet.
SCX.412 reports bomb bursts seen through clouds. S.B.C. caused further explosions.. No observations or reconnaissance were made. A moderate amount of A.A. fire was experienced, but searchlights were few.
No enemy aircraft were encountered.
Weather was not good, 10/10 cloud being experienced over whole of route and in target areas.
Navigation was by D/R and W/T.
One of these aircraft, MSI.596, captained by P/O. Newman, failed to return.
Three Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 500lbs. Bombs fused N.D.T., 500lbs. Bombs delayed action and containers of incendiairies..
SCK.363 reports no results observed owing to 10/10 cumulus cloud up to 12,000 feet.
SCX.412 reports bomb bursts seen through clouds. S.B.C. caused further explosions.. No observations or reconnaissance were made. A moderate amount of A.A. fire was experienced, but searchlights were few.
No enemy aircraft were encountered.
Weather was not good, 10/10 cloud being experienced over whole of route and in target areas.
Navigation was by D/R and W/T.
One of these aircraft, MSI.596, captained by P/O. Newman, failed to return.

P.o.W Number: 414
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft I and Luft III. Promoted to F/L whislt interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 5th of May 1945.


STEPHENSON
Sgt. James Blake Stephenson RCAF – Rear Gunner
15th of October 1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Cologne and Boulogne
Wellington Mk.Ic W.5663 AA – O
Pilot – Richard Charlwood Barker

Ten Wellington aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. A mixed bomb load was carried consisting of 1,000 lb, 500 lb, 250 lb GP’s and containers of incendiaries. Captains report that bombs were dropped on the target by estimation, but owing to slight haze over the target results were not seen. A considerable amount of heavy AA fire was experienced in and around the target area. Fire was accurate over Aachen. Searchlight activity was intense throughout the route but ineffective in the target area because of the cloud. Weather was fair en route but thick ground haze over all target area. Navigation was by Astro, D/R, QDM. Pinpointing and Lorenz check. Two of these aircraft, Z8945, captained by Sgt Barker, and X9916, captained by Sgt Matetich failed to return to base.

P.o.W Number: 24396
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags VIIIB, Luft III, Luft VI and 357
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


STEWART
Sgt. Hector Alistair Stewart RAFVR 1029882 – Navigator
30th of July 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Remscheld
Stirling Mk.III BF458 JN – A
Pilot – Alfred John Thomas

Thirteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lb. And 4lb..One aircraft returned early as rear turret was unserviceable and two failed to return. The remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area, large cncentrated fires and some explosions were seen. Moderate heavy and light A.A fire co-operating with searchlight belts were encountered, and one aircraft was slightly damaged in the mid- upper turret. OSme enemy aircraft were seen, the aircraft captained by F/S. O. WHITE sighted an unidentified aircraft which attacked three times. Each time the mid upper and rear gunners fired a burst, and strikes were seen on the enemy aircraft which then fell away and claimed to be damaged. The weather was good with clear visibility except for haze caused by fires. Navigation was very good. On return, one aircraft landed at HARDWICK, due to shortage of petrol. The missing aircraft were Stirling Mk.III BF458 captained by Sgt. A.J. THOMAS and Stirling Mk.III EE915 captianed by F/Sgt. J. DARNEY.

Stirling Mk.III BF458 JN – A,  was brought down to the North of Krefeld, near Bockum and Uerdingen. The sole survivors were the Navigator and the Wireless Operator who were captured as P.o.W’s. The Flight Engineer and Mid Upper Gunner were buried in the Reichswald Forest Cemetery. The other three are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

P.o.W Number: 222432
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags IVB and Luft III
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


SUMMERHAYS
Sgt. Ronald Frederick Summerhays RNZAF NZ425003 – Rear Gunner
27th of September 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hanover
Stirling Mk.III EF515 AA – F
Pilot – Ralph Egerton Martin

Sixteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lb. and 4 lb. Two aircraft failed to return and one returned early owing to its rear turret being unserviceable. The remainder dropped their bombs in the target area. This was an exceedingly successful and well concentrated attack, considered to be even better than the previous one. Numerous large fires and columns of smoke rising to 12,000ft., were seen and the fires were again visible at the DUTCH coast. Very moderate, ineffective heavy A.A. Fire numerous searchlights and flares were encountered. Many enemy aircraft were seen and several combats took place. The aircraft captained by F.Sgt. HORGAN, D. had a combat with a JU88 which was claimed to be destroyed. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. BURTON, H., sighted a JU88 and the Rear Gunner fired, it was then seen to fall in flames and was claimed as destroyed. Two other short combats took place and one of our aircraft received slight damage. The weather was poor on the outward and return journeys, but good with clear visibility over the target. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk.III, EF515 captained by Sgt. Martin, R., and EH877 captained by F/Sgt. WHITMORE, R.

Stirling Mk.III EF515 AA – F, was brought down, probably by enemy night-fighter action, in the vicinity of Haverbeck-Hamelin. The Pilot succeeded in making a crash landing, allowing all but one of the crew to escape uninjured. The Mid Upper Gunner, Sgt A R Bangs, did not survive the crash and was buried in Hannover War Cemetery. The remainding crew were captured as P.o.W’s.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: not known. Promoted to Warrant Officer whilst interred.
Returned to the United Kingdom: 6th of February 1945, Liverpool, onboard the ‘Arundel Castle’ (medically repatriated).


T

THOMAS
F/S Godfrey John Evan Thomas NZ404967 – Pilot
5th April 1942 – Operations – Attack Against Targets Cologne
Wellington Mk.III X.3661 AA – Q
Pilot – Godfrey John Evan Thomas

Nine Wellington Aircraft from this unit were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, and 250lbs and 4lb incendiaries was dropped but results were not observed. There was intense heavy flak and many searchlights were active but ineffective owing to the bright moonlight. One Ju.88 aircraft was seen near the target and Wellington III X3705 was attacked by a Me.110 near Liege without result. Weather was good and navigation by TR1335 and D.R was also good. One aircraft did not carry out it’s mission and two are missing. Wellington III X3489, captained by W/Cdr Sawrey-Cookson the C.O. of the squadron, and Wellington III X3661 captained by F/S Thomas.

Bomber Command records indicate the aircraft was hit by flak at 10,500 feet and suffered a catasrophic structural failiure. Despite this, all crew successfully exited the aircraft, were captured, and made Prisoners of War. Prisoner of War No. 24800. Godfrey Thomas was interred in the following camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags VIIIB, and Luft IV. It is reported that at some point F/S Thomas swapped identities with Private B.H. Bowley in order to assist his atempts at escape.Godfrey Thomas returned to the United Kingdom on the 9th of April 1945.

P.o.W Number:
P.o.W Camps:
Returned to the United Kingdom:


THOMPSON
F/O Arthur Francis Thompson RNZAF NZ4212803 – Navigator
6th of October 1944 – Attack Against Dortmund
Lancaster Mk.I LM104 JN – K
Pilot – Keith Southward

Twenty nine aircraft were detailed to attack Dortmund, but one of these was withdrawn owing to a technical failure. Twenty six aircraft attacked the target in good weather and a very accurate and concentrated raid was reported, large fires being left burning. A.A. Fire was moderate but fighters were active and the aircraft captained by NZ427798 F/S Farr, W. had a series of combats during which the enemy aircraft was claimed as being destroyed. One aircraft returned early and landed at Woodbridge owing to a technical failure and another (Captain NZ411048 F/O K. Southward) failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I LM104 JN – K, was at 22,000ft, probably en route to the target, when it was brought down by an enemy night-fighter South West of Monchengladbach, 50 miles South West of Dortmund, crashing near Willich. The Pilot was able to control the aircraft long enough to enable his crew to bale out successfully, but was unable to do so himself and he bravely died in the crash. He was buried at Willich but later reinterred at the Rheinberg War Cemetery. All of Southward’s crew were captured as prisoners of war.

P.o.W Number: 8244
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft III
Returned to the United Kingdom: 7th of May 1945.


THORPE
Sgt. G. Thorpe RAFVR 523426 – Observer
21st of May 1940 – Bombing Operations over Enemy Territory (Aachen and Dinant)
Wellington Mk.Ic R.3157 AA – H
Pilot – John Noel Collins

Eight aircraft detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks on above targets, six on target AACHEN and two on target DINANT.
All aircraft carried 12 – 250lbs. G.P. fused N.D.T. bombs each.
KCB.248 dropped 12 bombs on Marshalling yeards and scored direct hits, and also KCB.249.
KCB. 252 failed to locate target and returned to base with bomb load.
KCB.253, KCB.256, KCB257 successfullly attacked target, but unable to observe results due to intense searchlight activity. KCB.256 proceeded and attacked Power Station on S.E. of MAASTRICHT dropping three sticks of two bombs each. Two hits seen on railway siding beside station.
KCB.267 attacked road and rail bridge at DINANT, all strikes very near.
KCB.266 also on target failed to return.

While attacking the road/rail bridge at Dinant from a height of approximately 3,000ft, the Wellington received a direct hit by an AA shell in the starboard engine. The aircraft crashed in flames near the township of Kain (Hainaut), 2-3 miles North North West of Tournai, Belgium. Both Pilots were killed in the crash but the other crew-members baled out safely, thanks to courageous efforts by John Collins in controlling the burning aircraft long enough to enable them to escape at low level. They survived and were captured. This was 75 (NZ) Squadron’s first operational loss of the war, and the death of F/O. Collins (one of the original members of the New Zealand Flight) was the RNZAF’s first fatal casualty of the war.

P.o.W Number: 5399
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft III
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


TIPTREE
Sgt. R.A.W. Tiptree RAFVR 1323983 – Flight Engineer
22nd of June 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Mannheim (actually Mülheim)
Stirling Mk.III BK810 AA – G
Pilot – Francis Max McKenzie

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.

P.o.W Number: 358
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft VI and 357
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


TREACHER
F/S Neil Gordon Ray Treacher RNZAF NZ416418 – Air Bomber
5th of September 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Mannheim
Stirling Mk.III EE893 JN – N
Pilot – Ernest Stanley Wilkinson

Nineteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lb. and 4lb. One aircraft had trouble shortly after take-off and was forced to jettison its bombs four miles north of CAMBRIDGE. The attack was well concentrated and large fires together with heavy explosions were seen. Moderate heavy A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered, which were ineffective. One aircraft on the return journey when near the FRENCH Coast was hit by A.A. fire. It received considerable damage and two of its engines were made unserviceable. The ENGLISH Coast was reached however, it belly-landed at Hunsden. Many fighters were seen and some combats took, place. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. H.BATGER sighted an enemy aircraft on the port quarter which opened fire on them and our aircraft corkscrewed. The Mid-upper and Rear Gunner then opened fire and the enemy aircraft was seen to dive to the ground in flames. It was claimed as destroyed. Our aircraft received considerable damage and the Flight Engineer Sgt. R. DALKINS was seriously wounded. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. R. WHITMORE sighted an enemy aircraft 100yds. astern, the Mid-upper and Rear Gunners opened fire, the enemy aircraft was seen to turn over and spin into the ground afire. It was claimed as destroyed. This was flowed by another enemy aircraft approaching from starboard to port astern, the Mid-upper and Rear Gunners again fired and the enemy aircraft broke away. One minute later an unidentified aircraft was seen firing at a Lancaster aircraft, which was afire. F/Sgt. WHITMORE’s Mid-Upper and Rear Gunners opened fire on the enemy aircraft, which disappeared. The Lancaster was then seen to break up. Some cloud was encountered on the way to the target, but there was a clear sky and visibility was good in the target area. Navigation was very good. One aircraft failed to return, it was captained by F/Sgt. WILKINSON, E.S.

Stirling Mk.III EE893 JN – N was brought down at Schwanheim, 2.5miles West North West of Bensheim. Only the Navigator, Air Bomber and Mid Upper Gunner survived but were captured as P.o.W’s. The Pilot, Flight Engineer, Wireless Operator and Rear Gunner were buried initially at Schwanheim, but later reinterred at Rheinberg War Cemetery.

P.o.W Number: 222548
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag IVB. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 17th of May 1945.


TREACHER
F/S Neil Gordon Roy Treacher RNZAF NZ416418 – Air Bomber
5th of September 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Mannheim
Stirling Mk.III EE893 JN – N
Pilot – Ernest Stanley Wilkinson

Nineteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lb. and 4lb. One aircraft had trouble shortly after take-off and was forced to jettison its bombs four miles north of CAMBRIDGE. The attack was well concentrated and large fires together with heavy explosions were seen. Moderate heavy A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered, which were ineffective. One aircraft on the return journey when near the FRENCH Coast was hit by A.A. fire. It received considerable damage and two of its engines were made unserviceable. The ENGLISH Coast was reached however, it belly-landed at Hunsden. Many fighters were seen and some combats took, place. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. H.BATGER sighted an enemy aircraft on the port quarter which opened fire on them and our aircraft corkscrewed. The Mid-upper and Rear Gunner then opened fire and the enemy aircraft was seen to dive to the ground in flames. It was claimed as destroyed. Our aircraft received considerable damage and the Flight Engineer Sgt. R. DALKINS was seriously wounded. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. R. WHITMORE sighted an enemy aircraft 100yds. astern, the Mid-upper and Rear Gunners opened fire, the enemy aircraft was seen to turn over and spin into the ground afire. It was claimed as destroyed. This was flowed by another enemy aircraft approaching from starboard to port astern, the Mid-upper and Rear Gunners again fired and the enemy aircraft broke away. One minute later an unidentified aircraft was seen firing at a Lancaster aircraft, which was afire. F/Sgt. WHITMORE’s Mid-Upper and Rear Gunners opened fire on the enemy aircraft, which disappeared. The Lancaster was then seen to break up. Some cloud was encountered on the way to the target, but there was a clear sky and visibility was good in the target area. Navigation was very good. One aircraft failed to return, it was captained by F/Sgt. WILKINSON, E.S.

Stirling Mk.III EE893 JN – N was brought down at Schwanheim, 2.5miles West North West of Bensheim. Only the Navigator, Air Bomber and Mid Upper Gunner survived but were captured as P.o.W’s. The Pilot, Flight Engineer, Wireless Operator and Rear Gunner were buried initially at Schwanheim, but later reinterred at Rheinberg War Cemetery.

P.o.W Number: 222548
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag IVB. Promoted to Warrant Officer whilst interred.
Returned to the United Kingdom: 17th of May 1945.


TRIPTREE
Sgt. R.A.W. Triptree RAFVR 1323983 – Flight Engineer
22nd of June 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Mannheim (actually Mülheim)
Stirling Mk.III BK810 AA – G
Pilot – Francis Max McKenzie

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 BK810 AA – G, was brought down at 02:10hrs at Oostrum (Limburg) about a mile East of Venray, Holland from a combination of AA fire and fighter attack. The fighter pilot was believed to be Hptm Wilhelm Herget of I /NJG1. All five crew except P/O McKenzie and F/S Blank parachuted to safety and were captured as P.0.W’s. McKenzie was buried in Jonkerbos War Cemetery, while Blank is located in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.

P.o.W Number: 358
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft VI and 357
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


V

VALE
Sgt. Leslie R. Vale RAFVR – Rear Gunner
25th of May 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Dortmund
Stirling Mk.III BK.783 AA – Q
Pilot – Stephen Muir Tietjens

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.III BK.783 AA – Q, was shot down by an enemy night-fighter over the Netherlands on the return flight home. The aircraft came down in a ditch at Beesd, (Gelderland), 5 miles South South West of Culemborg, All but the Rear Gunner, Sgt L R Vale, died in the crash. They were buried in a collective grave at Beesd General Cemetery. Vale miraculously survived the major crash with an injured leg and temporary memory loss. He was later taken prisoner by German soldiers.

P.o.W Number: 272
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft VI and 357
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


VERO
Sgt. E.W. Vero RAFVR – – Wireless Operator
6th of October 1944 – Attack Against Dortmund
Lancaster Mk.I LM104 JN – K
Pilot – Keith Southward

Twenty nine aircraft were detailed to attack Dortmund, but one of these was withdrawn owing to a technical failure. Twenty six aircraft attacked the target in good weather and a very accurate and concentrated raid was reported, large fires being left burning. A.A. Fire was moderate but fighters were active and the aircraft captained by NZ427798 F/S Farr, W. had a series of combats during which the enemy aircraft was claimed as being destroyed. One aircraft returned early and landed at Woodbridge owing to a technical failure and another (Captain NZ411048 F/O K. Southward) failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I LM104 JN – K, was at 22,000ft, probably en route to the target, when it was brought down by an enemy night-fighter South West of Monchengladbach, 50 miles South West of Dortmund, crashing near Willich. The Pilot was able to control the aircraft long enough to enable his crew to bale out successfully, but was unable to do so himself and he bravely died in the crash. He was buried at Willich but later reinterred at the Rheinberg War Cemetery. All of Southward’s crew were captured as prisoners of war.

P.o.W Number: 1086
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft III
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


VOICE
Sgt. William James Stanley Voice RNZAF NZ41708 – Rear Gunner
17th of December 1942 – Attack Against Targets At Fallersleben
Stirling Mk.I BK.620 AA – A
Pilot – Kenneth John Dunmall

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 BK.620 AA – A, was shot down by a combination of flak and night fighters, crash-landing into the Westeinder Plas, South West of Aalsmeer (Noord Holland) and 10 miles South West of Amsterdam. All its crew survived the crash-landing but they later were interned as prisoners. The Air Bomber, P/O Williams, was placed in the German P.o.W camp at Sagan, from where he escaped by way of the famous ‘Wooden Horse’. On his return to the UK he was decorated with a Military Cross.

P.o.W Number: 27305
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIIB/344. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 21st of April 1945.


W

WADDINTON-ALLWRIGHT
F/S G.J. Waddinton-Allwright RAFVR 751360 – Rear Gunner
30th of May 1942 – Bombing Attacks Against Cologne
Wellington Mk.Ic N.2894 AA – ?
Pilot – David Malcolm Johnson

Twenty-three Wellington aircraft, including IA, IC,III, were detailed to carry out the above attacks. One of these aircraft, Wellington IA T.2894, captained by P/O Johnson (attached to this Unit from C.G.S. Suton Bridge) failed to return to base. Another aircraft X.3751 captained by P/O Jarman, was badly damaged by flak, both fuel tanks being holed and both port and starboard airspeed indicators rendered unserviceable. The bomb load consisted of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs and 30lbs. and 4lbs incendiaries. The weather conditions were excellent, and the target was bombed successfully many fires being started in all parts of the town. A.A. fire was very erratic and searchlights were working in cones. A large number of enemy aircraft were seen but no attacks resulted. Navigation was by D/R, TR, Q.D.M., Loop.

Of the 23 Wellingtons from 75 Sqn, Feltwell, that took part in the raid (a Squadron record) two had to return with mechanical problems. One other, a ‘borrowed’ Wellington Mk IA, T2894, from Central Gunnery School, Sutton Bridge, was shot down by a night-fighter over Holland. It was crewed by P/O D M Johnson RAF, (P1), W/O O Jambor, RAF, (P2), F/L H A C Batten, RAF, (Nav),
The only survivor was the rear gunner, who was taken prisoner of war. All other crew members died.

P.o.W Number: 451
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft III, Luft VI and 357
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


WAINWRIGHT
Sgt. D. Wainwright RAFVR 1193816 – Flight Engineer
16th of April 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Ludwigshaven
Stirling Mk.I W7469 AA – O
Pilot – Kevin Frederick Debenham

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.

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.W Number: 1108
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft 1, Luft VI and Luft IV
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


WAINWRIGHT
Sgt. Edward Wainwright RAFVR 1355493 – Wireless Operator
25th of March 1942 – Attack Against Targets at St.Nazaire and Essen
Wellington Mk.III X.3652 AA – O
Pilot – Allen Bruce Slater

Twelve aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack. Wellington III X3652, captained by P/O Slater failed to return, and two aircraft failed to locate the target. Bomb Load consisted of 500 lbs and 250 lbs, this being dropped in the target area but no results were observed. Slight A.A. fire and a few ineffective searchlights were encountered but no enemy fighters were seen. Weather was fine with slight ground haze. Navigation by TR1335 and D.R. was good.

There appears to be no’ Official’ record or explanation as to the nature of the loss of X.3653 or Sgt. John Addis. In “Forever strong: The story of 75 Squadron RNZAF, 1916-1990” by Norman Franks, contains an account of the events of that night by Phil Burridge, Rear Gunner with the Slater crew that night:
“We flew direct to Essen and on the run in took a pounding from ground fire. We received a direct hit in the bomb bay which was full of flares. As the flares were to be used as a marker for the main stream, it was not possible for us to jettison them. We were unable to put the fire out, so the aircraft was eventually abandoned and I landed in Duisberg where I was given a hostile reception by the natives until taken prisoner by some Ack-Ack gunners…..Our second Pilot and W/Op – Tew Wainwright – had worked out a plan whereby if they ever had to abandon the aircraft and were a parachute short, they would clip the remaining parachute on one hook of each of their respective harnesses and jump together. So on this night, when it happened, they both jumped together, but with his arm through Ted’s harness while Ted held him with one arm. Tragically, when the chute opened, the second Pilot was thrown off…….”

Sgt. John Henry Addis had in fact been given his own crew prior to this Op, but had said he would fly this last one Op with Allen Slater’s crew.

P.o.W Number: 24813
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, StalagsVIIIB/344 and Luft III
Returned to the United Kingdom: 11th of July 1944.


WAKERLEY
F/O Joseph James ‘Joe’ Wakerley RAFVR 1325219/ 169159 – Wireless Operator
21st of March 1945 – Attack Against Munster Viaduct
Lancaster Mk.I NG449 AA – T
Pilot – Jack Plummer

Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack the Muster Viaduct. There was hardly any cloud over the target. It is thought that the concentration was good although the formation was broken up just prior to bombing. Three aircraft failed to return from this operation – AA”T”, NZ42451 F/L J. Plummer, AA”R” NZ429139 P/O A. Brown and JN”P” 190947 P/O D.S. Barr. All three aircraft were seen to hit in the target area. Considerable H/F was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I NG449 AA – T, came under heavy AA fire over the target area and received hits in two engines, then began breaking up. Four of the crew were virtually thrown from the disintegrating aircraft and parachuted to safety, however all were captured as prisoners of war. Both Sgt Fell and F/S McDonald were badly injured. P/O Humphries implored the Germans to arrange medical treatment for them. They were sent to a semi-medical centre where they remained for a short period until the arrival of allied forces.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: not known
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


WATSON
Sgt. H.C. Watson RAFVR – Wireless Operator
15th of September 1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Hamburg
Wellington Mk.Ic X.3205 AA – L
Pilot – James Allen Ward

Twelve Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. Two of these aircraft failed to return, one being captained by Sgt J. A. Ward who was awarded the Victoria Cross on 4 August 1941. There was clear weather over the target, and bursts were seen in many parts of the target area. A.A. fire was heavy over and near target area. Searchlights were numerous, working in cones, ans co-operating with A.A. fire and night fighters.

Sgt Ward’s aircraft, Wellington Wellington Mk.Ic X.3205 AA – L, was hit repeatedly by flak which resulted in catastrophic damage causing the aircraft to come down in flames in the target area. All but two of the crew (the Wireless Operator and Navigator who both baled out) perished.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: not known
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


WEBSTER
P/O Donald Arthur Webster RCAF J.5308 – Observer
7th of November 1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Berlin and Ostend
Wellington Mk.Ic X.9951 AA – L
Pilot – William Reginald Methven

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, failled 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.
X9951 was brought down by enemy flak at 23.00hrs, crashing at Werdohl, about 45 miles east of Dusseldorf. All but one of the crew survived.

P.o.W Number: 688
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft I, Luft III, XXIB and Luft III. Escaped via a tunnel at Oflag XXIB. Promoted to F/Lt whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 18th of May 1945.


WEST
Sgt. Albert Edgar West RNZAF NZ421947 – Navigator
22nd of June 1943 – Attack Against Targets at Mannheim (actually Mülheim)
Stirling Mk.III BK810 AA – G
Pilot – Francis Max McKenzie

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.

P.o.W Number: 6475
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft VI, and 357. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 27th of April 1945.


WESTWOOD
F/O Douglas Cooper ‘Westy’ Westwood RNZAF NZ427483 – Air Bomber
20th of November 1944 – Attack Against Homberg
Lancaster Mk.III PB520 AA – G
Pilot – Hubert Rees

Twenty eight aircraft took off to attack the Oil Refinery Plant at Homberg. Twenty two aircraft in daylight attacked the target in ten tenths cloud with tops at 23,000 ft. which made formation flying very difficult. They carried 4,000 lb and 500 lb bombs. Results of bombing could not be observed, but it is considered that the raid was unsatisfactory. One aircraft AA/J returned early owing to icing trouble and two aircraft bombed last resort targets at Duisburg and Hamborn. Three aircraft failed to return. These were captained by 185116 F/O R. Gordon, AUS419328 F/O P. McCartin and 152402 F/O H. Rees.

The circumstances of the loss of Lancaster Mk.III PB520 AA – G are unclear, but all seven crew either abandoned the aircraft in flight or escaped unhurt after a crash landing. They were all simply recorded as being captured as Prisoners of War.

P.o.W Number: 6799
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft I
Returned to the United Kingdom: 13th of May 1945.


WHITE
F/S T.M. White RAFVR – Wireless Operator
14th of February 1945 – Attack Against Chemnitz
Lancaster Mk.I NG113 AA – D
Pilot – George Stanley Davies

Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack Chemnitz. Nineteen attacked primary. AA”J” F/O R.J. Pearson, returned early through engine failiure. Cloud was ten tenths with tops 16-17000 over the target. Aircraft bombed with the aid of special equipment. No resilts were observed, very slight H/F was met over the target. AA”D”, captained by F/L G.S. Davies failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I NG113 AA – D, was en route to the target over Germany when fire suddenly erupted in one wing aft of an engine. The blaze was thought to have started in a broken oil line. The Pilot and Flight Engineer were unable to close down the engine or feather the propeller and with the fire continuing to grow, the decision was made to abandon the aircraft hurriedly. All the crew reached the ground uninjured but were soon captured and taken to a P.o.W camp. One of the crew, Air Bomber F/S Chambers, later died when the train in which the prisoners were travelling, was straffed by RAF fighters. He was buried in the Dürnbach War Cemetery.

P.o.W Number: not known
P.o.W Camps: not known
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


WILCOX
F/S David John Robert Wilcox NZ421244 – Air Bomber
11th of September 1944 – Mining in the Baltic Sea
Lancaster Mk.I LM268 AA – D
Pilot – Wilson Orchard Hadley

Eight aircraft were detailed to lay mines in the Baltic area, and they all dropped their mines as ordered. No opposition was met on the mining area, but fighters were thought to be active on the homeward route, and one aircraft had an inconclusive combat with a JU.88. Another aircraft (Captain NZ426041 F/O. W. Hadley) failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I LM268 AA – D, was brought down at 00:15hrs by a night-fighter near the Southern end of Sjælland Island, Denmark. The aircraft crashed onto a farmhouse near the township of Orslev, killing five members of the family. Only two of the crew, the Fight Engineer and Air Bomber, succeeded in baling out, the former evading capture and the latter, although badly hurt, was aided by locals and hospitalized before being turned over to the authorities.

Of those in the crew who died, the Pilot and Rear Gunner were buried in the local Churchyard at Orslev while the other three were buried at the Svino Churchyard.

P.o.W Number: 966
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft VII
Returned to the United Kingdom: 26th of May 1945.


WILLIAMS
P/O Gordon Kenneth Williams RNZAF NZ401796 – Pilot
4th of November 1943 – Mining in the Baltic Sea
Stirling MK.III BF461 JN – B
Pilot – Gordon Kenneth Williams

Four aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation, with mines of 1500lbs. This wa an unfortunate night as three aircraft failed to return and the other aircraft returned early having jettisoned its mines. This aircraft met an enemy night fighter and sustained damage to the port wing, starboard flap, rear turret and many large holes in the fuselage, the rear gunner, Sgt.W. HURDIE, was killed during the combat. The weather was bad and ten tenths cloud made visibility poor. Navigation was good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings MKIII BF461, Captained by P/O.G.K.WILLIAMS, BK&&* Captained by P/O.W.S.MASTERS and XXXXX Captained by F/O. N.WILSON.

On the night of 4-5 Nov 1943, the RAF launched only minor operations. Thirty-six aircraft were detailed for mining at various places from Lorient to the Kattegat. Four Stirlings faled to return from the night’s operations.. According to the crews of rwturn from 75 Sqn the weather was bad with poor visibility. One of the lost Stirlings was BF-461, which took off from Mepal just after 1699 hrs. Nothing was heard from it after take-off. Like many of the aircraft BF-461 encountered German night fighters over Denmark, in this instance two Ju.88’s. The damage caused to the Stirling in the ensuing confrontation forced it to jettison its mines and attempt to return early to base. The Stirling crashed at Kallerup in Jutland, Denmark. P/O Champion’s body was found and taken to the German morgue, the Nordre Mole, in Fredrikshavn by a German lorry. Official German documents record the death ‘from burns’. However in a report compiled by a Danish policeman a Danish undertaker questioned this verdict. If Pilot Officer Champion died had died from burns the body would have been taken to the undertaker in a coffin. As this was not the case it may be that P/O Champion was killed in the crash. P/O Champion was buried at Fredrikshavn on 13th November, together with seven other British airmen. No military honours were given and the ceremony was performed by a German field padre. A group of Danes attending the the funeral laid wreaths and flowers on each of the coffins, at done at other funerals. The other members of the crew were taken prisoner. Five of them were sent to Germany, but F/S Morice was sent to hospital at Thisyten for treatment. He was helped to escape and was subsequently taken to the vicarage in Biersted. From Frederikshavn he was taken to Sweden. He was repatriated to Britian in accordance with the Geneva Convention. During an earlier tour, with 105 Sqn, Sgt Williams crash-landed and was interned in Portugal 17 July to 14 August 1941.

P.o.W Number: 1454
P.o.W Camps: Stalag Luft I. Promoted to F/L whilst interred
Returned to the United Kingdom: 12th of May 1945.


WILLIAMSON
Sgt. Douglas Bannerman Williamson, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.

4th of April 1945 – Attack on Meresburg
Lancaster Mk.I HK601 JN – D
Pilot – John Henry Thomas Wood

21 aircraft were detailed to make a night attack on MERSEBURG.. (AA’R’ F/O C Stevens) returned early through technical trouble. (JN’D’ F/O J. Wood) was hit by flak before reaching the target, the B/ Aimer (F/S Hooper) was burned about the face and the Pilot’s hands were slightly burned, the F/Engineer (Sgt. Williamson) apparently fell through the M.U.G Turret. Crews bomber glows of fires on Master Bomber’s instructions. Fires were fairly concentrated though reports indicate a rather scattered raid. Flak moderate to light.

HK601 (F/O Wood & crew) was hit by moderate to light flak in the target area. Shrapnel pierced the de-icing tank causing fire to break out which destroyed several electrical circuits, including the ASI heating. The pilot received slight burns to his hands and F/S Hooper, air bomber, received slight burns to the face. The F/E, Sgt Williamson, was reported as having fallen through the lower turret hatch – fortunately with his harness and parachute on . . .

Their bomb load was jettisoned from 19,000ft at 51° 51’ N 11° 03’ E at 22.30hrs. On return to England, an emergency landing was carried out at RAF Manston at 02.02hrs.

Over the target Sgt. Williamsons’s aircraft, JN-D, was hit by flak and the antifreeze tank at the step of the bomb aimers nacelle burst open. He had just previously removed his oxygen mask to eat some chocolate – after the impact of the flak shrapnel, Doug mistook the spilt antifreeze on his face for blood – the shock of this was compounded by a first low fire on the floor of the plane turning into a roaring blowtorch as the bomb aimer opened the emergency escape hatch in the nose of the Lancaster. Now beginning to slowly asphyxiate, Doug turned and fell over the central wing spar that passes through the inside of the plane and fearing the plane was about to explode, dragged himself to the open gap were an underside ventral gun was occasionally fitted. As he drifted slowly to earth, he watched JN-D fly away from him…….expecting it to explode, his feelings changed when it did not and slowly disappeared over the horizon……..

Unknown to Doug, the Air Bomber and Pilot had managed to control and then extinguish the fire and in fact return to base.

Upon landing, he avoided immediate attention from a German civilian who had watched him come down. Free of this threat he made off down a country lane, away from the allotments he had landed in.

“The allotments must have been at the edge of town, as I was soon on a narrow country lane. I followed this until it came to a railway on one side and a pond on the other. I wondered if I should try to sabotage the railway somehow in order to do something useful towards the war effort, but figured it too difficult, as there was nothing that I could put on the line. Presently the lane ended in the distance at a bridge surrounded by trees and here, (I must have seen too many wartime movies,) I imagined Germans guarding the bridge. Should I proceed and risk capture? No, I decided to wade across the pond. I must confess it was a really stupid thing to do. I had no idea how deep the pond was, and would have been an easy target, and quite visible in the star light if there had been any guards. Fortunately, the pond was only knee deep, but my flying boots were now sodden.       

I was now in open country, and continued walking for several hours until it started to get light. I spotted a large haystack and determined to spend the day hidden there. It was composed of bales of straw and no doubt children had been playing in it, as there was a cavity in the middle that I could crawl into. I settled down to await nightfall and assessed my situation.

I occasionally heard voices in the distance from whence I had come but no one came near the stack. I opened one of my escape packages and ate a barley sugar. The escape package was a small plastic box with an assortment of oatmeal bars, sweets and cloth maps, which were much- prized by women at home for silk headscarves. I looked at the cloth map. It was not much use to me, as I hadn’t a clue where I was.

I spent a long chilly day longing for nightfall, and when at last I figured it was safe to proceed, I decided to walk in a Southwest direction guided by the North Star. There was no moon. The stars gave sufficient light to see by. I plodded on for the rest of that night over fields without any incident.

As daybreak came I looked for another place to conceal myself. It was getting quite bright when I decided to camp down in a small copse in the middle of a large ploughed field. I was lucky there were few people about: in fact, I had not seen or heard anyone since leaving the stack. I was also lucky with the weather. Although it was chilly, it was dry and if I had not foolishly waded that pond might have been quite comfortable.

I spent another long day dozing in the long grass of the copse. Becoming impatient. Because I had not seen or heard anyone, I started again just before dusk. I continued marching and saw flashes of gunfire in the distance in the direction I was going. I was wondering how I was going to pass through the front line. What would it be like? It certainly would not be like the barren muddy barbwire expanse of the movie All Quiet on the Western Front. But how to get past the Germans and be accepted by the trigger-happy Americans? I was pondering this when I came across a deep ditch and a roadway. I was clambering up the side of the ditch to the road and looked up to see a figure clad in a long overcoat down to his ankles carrying a suitcase. He was standing in the middle of the road looking down at me. He grunted something at me. I just stood there, grunted myself, and let him make the next move. He stepped towards me, grabbed m) sleeve and peered at my stripes. He grunted again, nodded his head, pointed in the direction he had come from and scuttled off down the road. I assumed he was a German making good his escape in the middle of the night.

After this encounter I thought it best not to use the road he had indicated, but to keep to the open country. Again it was getting bright, and I had not found any place of concealment. In front of me was a forest and 1 hoped to find something there. I climbed up amongst the trees until I came to a small kiosk into which I climbed. It was narrow and had a counter a little above waist height. Lots of paper targets hung on the wall ; it was a rifle range. I took some of the targets and broke up some little sticks and soon had a cheery blaze going to warm my feet and to try and dry my inner soles of my boots. Presently I heard a noise, and looking up I saw a German, about a hundred yards away, in a green uniform looking up in the air about him. I ducked down, and after he had turned around a few times he shrugged and went away. Presumably he had seen the initial smoke from my fire and had come to investigate. Fortunately, my little blaze was not giving off any smoke at that time and did not alert him. However I decided that a firing range was not be the best place to be discovered, and climbed out and was on my way again.

I had two choices ; one way was to keep to the forest, which I did not fancy, remembering fairy tales about wolves and bears and of course coming across fleeing Germans soldiers escaping from the Allies. The other way looked more like the deserted country side I had been travelling. The only snag was that I had to cross a short stretch of hillside sparsely dotted with trees but in view of a small village in the distance. l decided to risk it and crept on hands and knees from tree to tree when suddenly two burley farmers with long hoes raised above their heads came over the top of the hill towards me. Feeling rather foolish, I got to my feet. The two astonished far farmers lowered their hoes and indicated for me to follow them. Feeling fed up and disappointed but resigned, I trudged along behind them. Looking back from the road we were on to where I had been discovered. I saw that I must have stood out like a fly on a Pavlova; no wonder they saw me!

Our little band was marching along. The two yokels leading and jabbering
excitedly to one another. I followed some distance behind, downcast and fed up, when suddenly they both stopped. Turned and silently waited for me to catch up. Then one of them pointing two lingers at me and wiggling his thumb enquired with an alarmed look “Pistol?” I could not conceal a grin as I shook my head. And we continued our journey, the yokels much less voluble.

Presently we arrived at a farmhouse, and I was led in to await the arrival of the green-uniformed German. While we were waiting, an elderly farmer whose house it was took a look at me then brought out a loaf and cut a thick slice of dark German bread. 1 took one bile. But it was dam difficult to swallow. Nice of him, though.

The officer arrived, along with a small crowd of onlookers. He searched me, showing my escape kits to the crowd with a superior smile as they all oohed and aahed. I was led off and shut in the local police cell, but that was not much more than a broom cupboard. I was there about an hour when I was led out in the company of two armed guards, and marched away with them shouting “Rouse : Schnell !”

We soon arrived at a building, and I was ushered into an office where several Germans in black uniforms were studying maps and papers on a desk. The officer behind the desk snapped some questions at me in English. He took my identity card, but was obviously too preoccupied to be bothered with me. I was dismissed and was marched off, this time to the town jail. I was led into a small cell containing an iron bed with two biscuit mattresses. a wash stand and basin, and a window above head height. I spent a cold, miserable night, curled o11 one mattress with the other over me to try to keep warm. In the morning, [ was given some cold water to wash with in the basin, and, as I had heard of prisoners getting lousy. I washed myself thoroughly, sponging myself all over in spite of the cold. It also occupied my time, which dragged as I only had four cigarettes left and they were menthol. There was nothing to read except the toilet paper, which was in illegible German script. I climbed up on the bed to look out of the window and removed one of the louvers, wondering how anyone could possibly escape from three stories up,

Later in the day I was given a small loaf of hard bread and a bowl of ersatz coffee. It was welcome ; it was hot and not bad tasting and helped the bread to go down. In the afternoon, I was led out to a courtyard and told to march round it. There were other civilian prisoners of various ages seated at little desks around the courtyard, making what looked like some kind of spring by twisting wire round pegs on a board. There was one old fellow in the corner engaged in this simple task, and every time I passed him he would wink and say ”Bloody bastards” and I would nod and grin back at him. After an hour, I was returned to my cell and given a threadbare blanket, under which I spent another cold night. The next day, I again marched round the courtyard and had my conversation with the old bloke in the corner, “Bloody bastards,” and again returned to my cell with the threadbare blanket exchanged for a better one. The meal that day was a thin slice of meat in watery gravy. I suspected it was horse meat but tasty. The next day was the same. I was finding it difficult to pass the time, and took as long as I could on routine activities, washing myself, eeking out my meagre meals. That day I was given a raw onion with my meal and decided to eat it in case I began to suffer malnutrition. A big mistake, as I suffered horribly with indigestion. To this day, my stomach will not accept any kind of raw onion.

I appeared to be a celebrity in the jail as a prisoner of war, and the spy hole was repeatedly lifted and I felt myself inspected. That night I heard gunfire not too far away, and I was presented with an extra blanket.

On the fifth day. I heard one loud explosion, and instead of the usual march round the courtyard I was taken to another cell in the basement. Here, I was separated from all the other prisoners in an adjoining cell by iron bars. I don’t know what they were inside for : they may have been petty criminals. They ranged from quite elderly to a couple who must have been less than fifteen. Every one looked pretty harmless. I would not have been surprised if they had fallen foul of the authorities saying things against the war, because they were all in a jolly mood and gathered round the bars of my cell, repeating “Allis kaput.” I enjoyed the company but the conversation was limited.  In less than an hour the old jailer appeared in his best uniform and led me outside. “I take you to the commandant,” he informed me, and led me through the streets of Eislaben, as it turned out to be, a small village south west of Leipzig. There were people milling about in some sort of disorder.

We came across a British soldier POW. We approached him and my jailer asked. “Where is the commandant?” The Tommy gave him an old-fashioned look and asked me who I was and what I was doing. We decided to return to his camp, which had just been liberated by the Americans. I said goodbye to the old jailer. He seemed somewhat disappointed that his moment of glory in handing over a prisoner of war to the enemy commandant had evaporated in a most unmilitary manner, and wandered off rather dejectedly.

We strolled around the village. The soldier, what was his name? Harry? Housewives were queuing up outside a baker shop ; they did not take kindly to our curiosity. Harry told me that shortly after the Americans had liberated him he wandered into the village. While he was there, a German shot himself and had all the Yanks pulling out their guns and diving for cover. Surprisingly though, on the whole, things looked normal enough. There were many people wandering about. I suppose they had all been under cover while the Yanks took over. There was little damage to the village, and, as I said, housewives were going about their business. The only sign of the war was a small convoy of jeeps and trucks that roared through the winding streets. Harry took me to his billet. where I met other British POW’s who were celebrating with the last of their Red Cross parcels and some K rations acquired from the Americans. They had cans of rice pudding, but my stomach was in turmoil with the effects of the raw onion, so I just sat and relaxed with a mug of tea in welcome company.

The other ex-POW’s had two German girls in the sleeping quarters and were making up for lost time. I was intrigued by the various reactions of the soldiers as they came out of there. Some had silly grins on their faces. One was full of remorse and in full repentance thinking of his wife at home. Yet another made disparaging remarks about the girls. After a while one of the girls came out in a distressed state looking and acting as if she had been in a double marathon, which I suppose she more or less had been. She was comforted by the soldiers who were actually basically decent types, and given a cup of tea. When she saw me she, noticed my uniform and said “Luft Gangster : Gerfligerbandit!” Which amused the rest of the POW’s. The other girl was securely ensconced in bed with one of the men and it seemed that she hoped he would be taking her back to Britain with him.

That evening it was suggested we make a friendship call to the nearby Russian POW camp. When we got there the scene was bacchanalian. The Russians were all seated round a long trestle table. singing and drinking something they called schnapps ; bottles of bright red and bright green liquids, both of which looked lethal. I felt rather sorry for two elderly grey-haired Germans in black uniforms, who were obviously the ex- jailers, seated amongst the Russians. They were periodically slapped on the back and offered schnapps to drink. They both sat stock-still, staring at the center of the table with haggard expressions, their hands clasped between their knees. I wondered what kind of treatment they had dealt with the Russians. I can only suppose they escaped to the Americans when the Russians became completely paralytic. As it was, when we left the party, one Russian was on his hands and knees, on top of the table, rushing at and butting the wall with his head.

I spent the night at the British camp and in the morning was offered a breakfast of bergoo, as they called a kind of porridge. I was enjoying this with a cup of tea when one of the men said, “Oh look at this poor bloke!”. Walking very gingerly up the road from his camp was a young Russian, nineteen or twenty at the most, and obviously with a very heavy hangover.”Give’im a cup of tea.” The very subdued lad who had come to return our visit thanked us and sipped his tea. He thanked us again and wished us well, then slowly returned towards his camp. Half way down the road, watched in sympathy by all of us, he suddenly stopped. Then his legs became rigid his left leg rose in the air out from his side, and he performed a perfect three-hundred-and-sixty-degree pirouette before collapsing in the ditch. He clambered out, only to repeat the previous performance. Apparently, the hot tea had stimulated his alcohol sodden body and he was again drunk as a lord.

Later that day, some American army trucks came and we were all taken to an airport near Liege and given packets of American K rations. We spent the night in the open air, which was quite mild. And in the morning were flown back to Britain. There I was liberally dusted with DDT along with the other P.o.W’s, who had spent several years in grim prisons. I was given a new uniform, a fortnight’s leave on double rations, and what turned out to be a most prized possession ; a deficiency chit. This deficiency chit listed all the equipment like kit bag, webbing, ground sheet and other equipment that was not immediately essential. I was able to carry this little piece of paper about with me in my wallet instead of a large heavy kit bag, for the rest of my stay in the RAF. It was there that I learnt to my relief that the rest of the crew had returned safely.

I had had a great adventure, but still regret to this day the stupidity of removing my oxygen mask to eat that chocolate. Probably it was as well that I had not remained in the Lancaster, as soaked in de-icing fluid I might have been incinerated.”
Extract from ‘The Nazi & The Luftgangster’ – by D.B. Williamson and Lutz Dille.Elgin Press 2012

Returned to the United Kingdom: not known


WOODWARD
W/O Lindsay Arthur Woodward RAAF AUS.417257 – Navigator
20th of July 1944 – Attack Against Homberg
Lancaster Mk.III ND915 AA – A
Pilot – Hugh Edward Gilmour

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 ND915 AA – A, was brought down by an enemy night-fighter at 01:35hrs between Keldost (Noord-Brabant) and Erp, 3 miles South East of Veghel. Five of the seven crew died and two, the Navigator and Mid Upper Gunner, escaped uninjured only to be taken as prisoners.

The RAF Rear Gunner, Sgt Stevenson, at 18 years of age was one of the youngest airmen killed while flying with Bomber Command during 1944.

P.o.W Number: 726
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft VII.
Returned to the United Kingdom: not known.


WRIGHT
SGT. Walter Keith Wright RNZAF NZ413310 – Air Bomber
2nd of December 1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Frankfurt
Stirling Mk.I BK.618 AA – Q
Pilot – Alexander Scott

Five aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with bomb load of 4lb. Incendiairies, but a series of misfortunes left only two to get away successfully. One of these, Stirling I, BK618 captained by Sergeant Scott, failed to return, so the night was an unhappy one. One aircraft failed to take off, one swung so badly on take-off that after two attempts the sortie was abandoned, and the third unsuccessful aircraft returned early with the port outer engine dead, this being due to hitting the top of a drewm pole shortly after take-off. The one successful aircraft, Stirling I, R.9243 captained by F/O Trott, dropped its bombs in the target area from 10,000 feet and fires were seen to start. Slight heavy A.A. fire was encountered, some searchlights were also seen operationg in cones. No enemy aircraft were seen. The weather was hazy to the target, but clear with good visibility in the target area. Navigation was good, the town being identified by the bend in the river.

Stirling Mk.I BK.618 AA – Q, was shot down by two enemy night-fighters 10 minutes after bombing the target, Frankfurt. The aircraft crashed in flames at Ida Oberstein, approximately 55 miles South West of the target. Five crewmembers parachuted to safety and were taken as prisoners. The Pilot and Mid Upper Gunner died in the crash and are buried at Rheinberg, 10 miles South of Wesel.

P.o.W Number: 955
P.o.W Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft I, Luft VI and Luft IV
Returned to the United Kingdom: 6th of May 1945.