R.E. Martin crew 21.9.43 †

15/09/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Montlucon
Seventeen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1,000lb and incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb..One aircraft failed to take-off, but the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. This was a good concentrated attack, large fires and heavy explosions being observed, smoke from fires and heavy explosions being observed, smoke from fires was rising to a height of 12,000ft.. Inaccurate A.A.fire from a few guns was the only opposition, no enemy aircraft were encountered. There was 5/10th cloud over the target but visibility was nevertheless good. Navigation was excellent.

Stirling Mk.III EH880 AA-J

S/L Jack ‘Jacky’ Joll, RNZAF NZ40234 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ralph Egerton Martin, RNZAF NZ416415 – 2nd Pilot.2
F/O Thomas Cameron Graham, RAFVR 125622 – Navigator.
Sgt. William Barron Kane, RAFVR 1312222/ 158333 – Air Bomber.
F/S R. V. Weavers, RAFVR 1290831 – Wireless Operator.
P/O George Hugh Falloon, RCAF C.18262 – Flight Engineer.
F/S L.C. Soreson, RCAF R.86749/ J.89823 – Mid Upper Gunner.
P/O William Joffre Reid, RNZAF NZ411779 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:15 – Landed 02:20
Flight Time 06:05

16/09/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Modane
Nineteen aircraft wee detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of  1,000lb.,and incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb. One aircraft returned early, but the remainder dropped their bombs in the target area. This was a very successful and well concentrated attack. Large fires which appeared to be spreading and heavy explosions were seen. Some A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered, they were ineffective except for one aircraft which received damage. The port inner engine caught fire but what put out with the aid of a fire extinguisher, the propeller was then feathered and the aircraft continued its journey on three engines. A few enemy aircraft were seen, the aircraft captained by P/O. G.K.WILLIAMS had a combat with a JU 88 which was claimed as destroyed. One other short combat took place, but no damage was sustained to our aircraft. It was clear over the target and visibility was good. Navigation was good.

Stirling Mk.III EF514 AA-?

P/O John Milward Mee, RNZAF NZ416518 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ralph Egerton Martin, RNZAF NZ416415 – 2nd Pilot.
F/S David Percy Bain, RNZAF NZ415814 – Navigator.
F/S David Newbury Luxton, RNZAF NZ414310 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. R. Haydon, RAFVR 1384978 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. S. Allan, RAFVR 1558635 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. J.D. Sofrin, RAFVR 1493880 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Richard Arthur Webb, RAFVR 1473046 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:50 – Landed 03:30
Flight Time 07:40

21/09/1943 – Mining in the Frisian Islands
Two aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1,500lb., which were successfully dropped in the allotted area and the parachutes were seen to open. No A.A. fire, searchlights, or enemy aircraft were encountered. there was three tenths cloud in the mining area but visibility was good. Navigation was excellent.

Stirling Mk.III – –

Sgt. Ralph Egerton Martin, RNZAF NZ416415 – Pilot.
Sgt. Harold Clarke Dwight, RNZAF NZ421930 – Navigator.
Sgt. Eric McKay, RNZAF NZ415230 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. W.V. Harries, RAFVR 1198898 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Charles Arthur Smith, RAFVR 917722 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Archibald Robert Bangs, RAFVR 1891699 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ronald Frederick Summerhays, RNZAF NZ425003 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:30 – Landed 23:45
Flight Time 04:15

22/09/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hanover
Twenty aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks with bombs of 1,000lb. and incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb.. Three aircraft returned early, but the remainder dropped their bombs in the target area. This was a very successful and concentrated attack. Numerous fires which appeared to be merging into one large fire were seen, and were still visible as the aircraft were returning over the DUTCH Coast. Heavy A.A. fire and a great number of searchlights were encountered, but proved ineffective. Several enemy aircraft were seen and one of our Stirlings was hit, but the attacker was not seen, damage was received to the tail and main plane, and the port petrol tanks were punctured. The aircraft, however, was safely flown back to base and a crash landing was made with three engines. It was clear over the target and visibility was excellent. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.III EH880 AA-J

S/L Jack ‘Jacky’ Joll, RNZAF NZ40234 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ralph Egerton Martin, RNZAF NZ416415 – 2nd Pilot.
F/O Thomas Cameron Graham, RAFVR 125622 – Navigator.
Sgt. William Barron Kane, RAFVR 1312222/ 158333 – Air Bomber.
F/S R. V. Weavers, RAFVR 1290831 – Wireless Operator.
P/O George Hugh Falloon, RCAF C.18262 – Flight Engineer.
P/O L.C. Soreson, RCAF R.86749/ J.89823 – Mid Upper Gunner.
P/O William Joffre Reid, RNZAF NZ411779 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:05 – Landed 00:15
Flight Time 05:10

27/09/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hanover
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

Sgt. Ralph Egerton Martin, RNZAF NZ416415 – Pilot.
Sgt. Harold Clarke Dwight, RNZAF NZ421930 – Navigator.
Sgt. Eric McKay, RNZAF NZ415230 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. W.V. Harries, RAFVR 1198898 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Charles Arthur Smith, RAFVR 917722 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Archibald Robert Bangs, RAFVR 1891699 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ronald Frederick Summerhays, RNZAF NZ425003 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off – – Landed –
Flight Time – Missing

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.

F/S Ralph Egerton Martin, RNZAF NZ416415 – Pilot.
P.o.W
Prisoner of War Number: 250736
Prison Camps: Dulag Luft Stalag IVB. Promotedro Warrant Officer whilst interred. Member of the Catepillar Club.
Date of return to United Kingdom: 16th of May 1945

F/S , Harold Clarke Dwight , RNZAF NZ421930 – Navigator.
P.o.W
Prisoner of War Number: not known
Prison Camps: not known. Promoted to Warrant Officer whilst interred.
Date of return to United Kingdom: 27th of April 1945

Sgt. Eric Mckay, RNZAF NZ415230 – Air Bomber.
P.o.W
Prisoner of War Number: 250738
Prison Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags IVB and IVA
Date of return to United Kingdom: 6th of February 1945, via the Arundel Castle (medically repatriated via Switzerland and Spain

Sgt. W.V. Harries, RAFVR 1358765 – Wireless Operator.
P.o.W
Prisoner of War Number: 250731
Prison Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag VIB
Date of return to United Kingdom: not known

Sgt. Charles Arthur Smith, RAFVR 917722 – Flight Engineer.
P.o.W – died in captivity age 36.
Son of Walter Guy and Sarah Louise Smith.
Buried Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 6. G. 11.
‘A well loved son
And brother,
Greatly missed.
He did his duty’

Sgt. Archibald Robert Bangs, RAFVR 1891699 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 19.
Son of Harry and Florence Bangs, of Kingston-On-Thames, Surrey.
Buried Hanover War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 3. E. 18.
‘Deep in our hearts
Your memory is kept
We who loved you
Can never forget’

Sgt. Ronald Frederick Summerhays, RNZAF NZ425003 – Rear Gunner.
P.o.W
Prisoner of War Number: not known
Prison Camps: not known. Promoted to Warrant Officer whilst interred.
Date of return to United Kingdom: 6th of February 1945, Liverpool, onboard the ‘Arundel Castle’ (medically repatriated)

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