ME702

 

Air Historical Branch: Air Movement Cards

Air Historical Branch: Air Movement Cards – ME702

 

Date Target Notes Code Pilot Duration
1 09/04/44 Villeneuve St. George A/c damaged on outbound flight resulting   in loss of lmaterial from port wing and large hole in port trailing edge. Successfully returned to and landed at Ford. AA-Q P/O Wainwright 04:10
2 22/05/44 Dortmund AA-Q P/O Bonisch 04:05
3 24/05/44 Boulogne AA-Q P/O Bonisch 01:30
4 28/05/44 Angers AA-Q P/O Bonisch 07:00
5 31/05/44 Trappes AA-Q P/O Bonisch 04:11
6 03/06/44 Calais AA-Q F/S Perfrement 02:10
7 05/06/44 Ouistreham AA-Q F/S Bateson 03:05
8 08/06/44 Fougeres AA-Q P/O Bonisch 05:10
9 10/06/44 Dreux AA-Q P/O Bonisch missing
? 12/06/44 Gelsenkirchen  erroneous reference – clearly a typo as a/c had been lost 2 days before. AA-Q F/O Brumwell 03:40
Total Op hours 31:21

 

10/06/1944 – Attack Against Dreux
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.

Lancaster Mk.I ME702 AA-Q

P/O Lester Lascelles Bonisch, RNZAF NZ422098 – Pilot.
F/S James Murdoch Thomas McKenzie, RNZAF NZ427217 – Navigator.
F/S James Stuart Millar, RNZAF NZ427220 – Air Bomber.
F/O Henry Herbert Marsh, RAFVR 145303 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. William Thomas Reaveley, RAFVR 1892370 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt Bernard ‘Bill’ Allen, RAFVR 968734 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Frank William Cousins, RAFVR 1237485 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:05 – Landed –
Flight Time – missing

Shortly after target, ME702, AA-Q was hit twice by flak, before breaking up in the air. All the crew was killed, except for Bernard ‘Bill’ Allen, the crew’s Mid Upper Gunner. From Bill Allen’s War Log, the following is his memory of this event:

“The bomb aimer directed the plane on to the target, and gave the words “bombs gone” to the skipper, to which the skipper replied “bomb doors closing”. No sooner had he got the words from his mouth than there was a terrific crash, me seat collapsed, my intercom went dead, I felt terrific pain in my left leg, and the aircraft was filled with flame and smoke. I scrambled for my parachute which was lying near the main entrance of the aircraft, up this end the smoke and flames were most dense. At first I couldn’t find my chute in the smoke, my eyes were running and sore, and the aircraft was swinging from side to side so that I fell to the floor and had to claw my way along by clutching at the hydraulic pipes along the sides of the fuselage. I got to my chute and hooked it on, simultaneously there was another crash, the plane gave a lurch and the next thing I knew I was sailing through space. I grabbed the rip cord and pulled it, the chute opened quite easily and I floated down to earth wondering what had happened, and listening to the second wave of Lanc’s bombing the target.”

P/O Lester Lascelles Bonisch, RNZAF NZ422098 – Pilot.
Killed age 21.
Son of Ernest Joseph and Clara Adelaide Bonisch, of Gisborne, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Bayeux War Cemetery, France.
Grave location – XI. K. 2. 167

F/S John Murdoch Thomas Mckenzie, RNZAF NZ427217 – Navigator.
Killed age 27.
Son of Pte. John Murdock McKenzie, Wellington Regt., N.Z.E.F. (killed in France, 19th October, 1916) and Ivy Winifred McKenzie, of Levin, Wellington, New Zealand.
Buried Bayeux War Cemetery, France.
Grave location – XI. K. 3. 168

F/S James Stuart Miller, RNZAF NZ427220 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 33.
Son of James White Miller and of Ida Miller (nee Campbell), of Broad Bay, Otago, New Zealand.
Buried Bayeux War Cemetery, France..
Grave location – XI. K. 4. 169

F/O Henry Herbert Marsh, RAFVR 145303 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 23.
Son of Harry Herbert and Catherine Florence Marsh, of Boscombe, Hampshire.
Buried Bayeux War Cemetery, France.
Grave location – XI. K. 1. 166
‘Till me meet again’

Sgt. William Thomas Reaveley, RAFVR 1892370 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 39.
Son of William Terrott Reaveley and Mary Ann Reaveley; husband of Lilian Violet Reaveley, of Ilford, Essex.
Buried Bayeux War Cemetery, France.
Grave location – XI. K. 5. 170
‘Only good-night beloved
Not good-bye’