Mitchell crew 9.5.43

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

Stirling Mk.I BK777 AA-U

P/O Richard Otway French, RNZAF NZ415756 – Pilot.
Sgt. John Lefevre Mitchell, RAFVR 1387449/ 155859 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. F. Richardson, RAFVR 1097879 – Navigator.
Sgt. B. Tregonning, RAFVR 1319088 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Rupert George Moss, RAFVR 1256127/ 147773 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Norman Bartlett, RAF 54290 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Ernest Moss, RNZAF NZ413274 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. J. Moran, RAFVR 1117083 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:48 – Landed 03:20
Flight Time 04:32

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

Stirling Mk.III BK809 JN-T

Sgt. John Lefevre Mitchell, RAFVR 1387449/ 155859 – Pilot.
Sgt. John Gall , RNZAF NZ416476 – Navigator.
Sgt. Sidney Albert Longman, RAFVR 1318852/ 155104 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. R. Boots, RAFVR 1385979 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J. Pinkard, RAFVR 1379916 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. V. Newman, RAFVR 642264 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. G. Shinn, RAFVR 1445155 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:56 – Landed 04:20
Flight Time 06:24

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

Stirling Mk.III BF561 AA-O

Sgt. John Lefevre Mitchell, RAFVR 1387449/ 155859 – Pilot.
Sgt. John Gall , RNZAF NZ416476 – Navigator.
Sgt. Sidney Albert Longman, RAFVR 1318852/ 155104 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. R. Boots, RAFVR 1385979 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J. Pinkard, RAFVR 1379916 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. V. Newman, RAFVR 642264 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. G. Shinn, RAFVR 1445155 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:28 – Landed 05:35
Flight Time 05:07

29/05/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Wuppertal
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 BK778 JN-U

Sgt. John Lefevre Mitchell, RAFVR 1387449/ 155859 – Pilot.
Sgt. John Gall , RNZAF NZ416476 – Navigator.
Sgt. Sidney Albert Longman, RAFVR 1318852/ 155104 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. A.T. Boomsma, RAFVR 1331148 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J. Pinkard, RAFVR 1379916 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. V. Newman, RAFVR 642264 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. G. Shinn, RAFVR 1445155 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:37 – Landed 04:44
Flight Time 05:07

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

Stirling Mk.III BK809 JN-T

Sgt. John Lefevre Mitchell, RAFVR 1387449/ 155859 – Pilot.
Sgt. John Gall , RNZAF NZ416476 – Navigator.
Sgt. Sidney Albert Longman, RAFVR 1318852/ 155104 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. A.T. Boomsma, RAFVR 1331148 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J. Pinkard, RAFVR 1379916 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. V. Newman, RAFVR 642264 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. G. Shinn, RAFVR 1445155 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:25 – Landed 03:48
Flight Time 04:23

19/06/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Krefeld
Fourteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 2,000lb., 1,000lb., and incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb. One aircraft returned early as it was hit by A.A. fire in the fuselage, mainplane and mid upper turret. The Flight Engineer made a really good effort to overcome the damage by hacking his way through the fuselage into the port wing to get at the petrol tank controls, which he then operated by hand. The BREUIL STEEL WORKs was very badly damaged and appeared to have the roof missing. Large fires and huge explosions were seen in the target area. An aircraft captained by P/O Sedunary, lost the outer propeller , just before bombing. He carried out his bombing successfully and returned to base. At the beginning of the attack little light and heavy A.A fire and one searchlight were encountered, but as the attack progressed the defences were thoroughly disorganised. There was no cloud in the target area and visibility was excellent, except for smoke from out flares. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.III BK809 JN-T

Sgt. John Lefevre Mitchell, RAFVR 1387449/ 155859 – Pilot.
Sgt. John Gall , RNZAF NZ416476 – Navigator.
Sgt. Sidney Albert Longman, RAFVR 1318852/ 155104 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. A.T. Boomsma, RAFVR 1331148 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J. Pinkard, RAFVR 1379916 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. V. Newman, RAFVR 642264 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. G. Shinn, RAFVR 1445155 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:58 – Landed 04:36
Flight Time 06:38

21/06/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Krefeld
Fifteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb. bombs in the target area. The operation was very successful, the whole of the town was seething in flames and the smoke from the fires was rising to a height of 8,000ft. On the return the fires could be seen from the Dutch Coast. Heavy, moderate and light A.A. fire. Some enemy aircraft were seen and one short combat took place, but no damage was sustained to our aircraft. The weather was good with clear visibility except in the target area, where there was haze caused by fires. Navigation was excellent.

Stirling Mk.III BK809 JN-T

Sgt. John Lefevre Mitchell, RAFVR 1387449/ 155859 – Pilot.
Sgt. John Gall , RNZAF NZ416476 – Navigator.
Sgt. Sidney Albert Longman, RAFVR 1318852/ 155104 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. A.T. Boomsma, RAFVR 1331148 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J. Pinkard, RAFVR 1379916 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. V. Newman, RAFVR 642264 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. G. Shinn, RAFVR 1445155 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:52 – Landed 03:26
Flight Time 03:34

22/06/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Mannheim (actually Mülheim)
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 BK809 JN-T

Sgt. John Lefevre Mitchell, RAFVR 1387449/ 155859 – Pilot.
Sgt. John Gall , RNZAF NZ416476 – Navigator.
Sgt. Sidney Albert Longman, RAFVR 1318852/ 155104 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. A.T. Boomsma, RAFVR 1331148 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J. Pinkard, RAFVR 1379916 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. V. Newman, RAFVR 642264 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. G. Shinn, RAFVR 1445155 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:53 – Landed 03:27
Flight Time 03:34

24/06/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Wuppertal
Thirteen aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack with incendiary bombs of 30lns and 4lbs. One aircraft returned early owing to the rear turret being unserviceable and one failed to return. The remaining aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. This was a very good attack, very large concentrated fires being seen, the glow of which was visible 30 miles away from the Dutch Coast. The defences were considerably stronger than the previous attacks, both moderate and heavy A.A.fire was encountered and two aircraft were slightly hit. Some enemy aircraft were seen and one short combat took place but no damage was sustained by our aircraft. The weather was good, although the smoke from the fires obscured ground detail. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling Mk.III EH902 captained by F/S Bluck.

Stirling Mk.III BK809 JN-T

Sgt. John Lefevre Mitchell, RAFVR 1387449/ 155859 – Pilot.
Sgt. John Gall , RNZAF NZ416476 – Navigator.
Sgt. Sidney Albert Longman, RAFVR 1318852/ 155104 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. A.T. Boomsma, RAFVR 1331148 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J. Pinkard, RAFVR 1379916 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. V. Newman, RAFVR 642264 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. G. Shinn, RAFVR 1445155 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:20 – Landed 03:47
Flight Time 04:27

25/06/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Gelsenkirchen
Eleven aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets, with incendiary bombs of 30lb. and 4lbs. One aircraft failed to return and the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Owing to 10/10ths cloud it was difficult to estimate the effectiveness of the attack, although the glow of fires below the cloud, could be seen over a large area. Both moderate and heavy A.A.fire co-operating with searchlights was encountered, but were ineffective. Sergt. Burley’s aircraft sighted an unidentified aircraft from astern, the Stirling corkscrewed and the mid-upper-gunner and rear gunners opened fire. The unidentified aircraft was seen to dive to the ground and a fire and flash were seen. The aircraft was claimed to be destroyed. Some enemy aircraft were seen and three short combats took place but no damage was sustained by our aircraft. It was very cloudy in the target area and visibility was poor. Navigation was good. The missing aircraft was Stirling Mk.III BK768 captained by F/O Perrott.

Stirling Mk.III BK809 JN-T

Sgt. John Lefevre Mitchell, RAFVR 1387449/ 155859 – Pilot.
Sgt. John Gall , RNZAF NZ416476 – Navigator.
Sgt. Sidney Albert Longman, RAFVR 1318852/ 155104 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. A.T. Boomsma, RAFVR 1331148 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J. Pinkard, RAFVR 1379916 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. V. Newman, RAFVR 642264 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. G. Shinn, RAFVR 1445155 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:33 – Landed 03:26
Flight Time 03:53

03/07/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Cologne
Thirteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiaries of 30lbs and 4lbs. All aircraft, with the exception of one, which returned early owing to engine trouble, successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Very large concentrated fires were seen, the whole area appearing to be in flames. Heavy and medium A.A. fire was encountered, which was ineffective. Some enemy aircraft were seen but no combats took place. The weather was good and clear over the target, although slight ground haze partially obscured ground detail. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.III BK809 JN-T

Sgt. John Lefevre Mitchell, RAFVR 1387449/ 155859 – Pilot.
Sgt. John Gall , RNZAF NZ416476 – Navigator.
Sgt. Sidney Albert Longman, RAFVR 1318852/ 155104 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. A.T. Boomsma, RAFVR 1331148 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J. Pinkard, RAFVR 1379916 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. V. Newman, RAFVR 642264 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. G. Shinn, RAFVR 1445155 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:00 – Landed 04:00
Flight Time 05:00

24/07/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
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 BK809 JN-T

Sgt. John Lefevre Mitchell, RAFVR 1387449/ 155859 – Pilot.
Sgt. John Gall , RNZAF NZ416476 – Navigator.
Sgt. Sidney Albert Longman, RAFVR 1318852/ 155104 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. A.T. Boomsma, RAFVR 1331148 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J. Pinkard, RAFVR 1379916 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. V. Newman, RAFVR 642264 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. G. Shinn, RAFVR 1445155 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:55 – Landed 04:50
Flight Time 06:55

25/07/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Twenty aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 2,000lbs., 1,000lbs., and incendiaries of 30lbs., and 4lbs. One aircraft failed to take off, and two returned early, wing to engine trouble and an intercommunication failure respectively, and one aircraft failed to return. Sixteen aircraft successfully dropped their bombs on target area, which was an absolute mass of flames. Many huge explosions were seen in the midst of the fires. Moderate A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered, one aircraft receiving slight damage. An aircraft was held in a searchlight cone for 3 minutes, but avoided it by making diving turns. Some enemy aircraft were seen. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. H.C. WILLIAMS sighted an unidentified aircraft 400 yds away approaching from astern. The Stirling corkscrewed and the Mid-upper and Rear gunners fired a long burst, the enemy aircraft exploded in the air and dived to the ground. It was claimed to be destroyed. Another aircraft was sighted by them approaching on the port quarter, the Rear gunner fired two short bursts and the enemy aircraft broke away. The weather was hazy to the enemy Coast, but clear over the target. Visibility was good except for haze caused by smoke from the fires, which could be seen west of the DUTCH coast. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling MK.III EE892 captained by Sgt.. M. ASHDOWN

Stirling Mk.III BK809 JN-T

Sgt. John Lefevre Mitchell, RAFVR 1387449/ 155859 – Pilot.
Sgt. Brown, RAF – 2nd Pilot. Not a Squadron member flew as 2nd Pilot as an Observer
Sgt. John Gall , RNZAF NZ416476 – Navigator.
Sgt. Sidney Albert Longman, RAFVR 1318852/ 155104 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. A.T. Boomsma, RAFVR 1331148 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J. Pinkard, RAFVR 1379916 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. V. Newman, RAFVR 642264 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. G. Shinn, RAFVR 1445155 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:15 – Landed 02:30
Flight Time 04:15
27/07/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Twenty two aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with bombs of 2,000lb., 1,000lb., and incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb.. Two aircraft returned early owing to engine trouble, but the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. This attack was more concentrated than the previous one, colossal fires and explosions were seen with smoke rising to 20,000ft. , a ship was also seen to be on fire in a Dock south of the target. Moderate heavy and light A.A. fire co-operating with search lights operating in belts were encountered, although the A.A. fire was heavier than the previous attack, it was ineffective except for slight damage to three aircraft. Some enemy aircraft were seen. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt.E.J.ROBERTS sighted a JU 88 approaching from port beam above and all gunners opened fire, the enemy aircraft broke away firing and then approached on the port beam below. Mid-upper and Rear gunners fired a long burst and the enemy aircraft was claimed to be damaged. The Stirling was also damaged, having a bomb door blown off and a petrol pipe-line pierced, nevertheless the captain brought his aircraft safely back to base. The weather was good except for 3/10th cloud at the target, visibility was good, although smoke haze prevented identification of ground detail. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.III BK809 JN-T

Sgt. John Lefevre Mitchell, RAFVR 1387449/ 155859 – Pilot.
Sgt. John Gall , RNZAF NZ416476 – Navigator.
Sgt. Sidney Albert Longman, RAFVR 1318852/ 155104 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. A.T. Boomsma, RAFVR 1331148 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J. Pinkard, RAFVR 1379916 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. V. Newman, RAFVR 642264 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. G. Shinn, RAFVR 1445155 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:15 – Landed 03:55
Flight Time 05:40

29/07/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Seventeen aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with incendiary bombs of 30lb. And 4lb. Two aircraft returned early and the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. This was a very successful attack, large concentrated fires with heavy explosions and smoke rising to 15,000ft., were seen. Moderate heavy A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered, which were scattered and unpredictable. One aircraft was held in searchlights cones for periods of 10 and 8 minutes, he avoided them with extreme difficulty and whilst so doing was hit in the fuselage by A.A. fire. Two other aircraft also received slight damage. Some enemy aircraft were seen and the aircraft captained by Sgt. P. Hartstein sighted a JU 88 which came in from astern firing a cannon, the Rear gunner replied and the enemy aircraft broke away. The aircraft captained by F/O. G. DUNCAN sighted a JU 88 on the port quarter , the Mid upper gunner gave a 10 second burst and the enemy aircraft dived away. The aircraft captained by F/S/ E. WILKINSON sighted a JU88 on the port quarter, the enemy aircraft opened fire and the Rear gunner replied, the enemy aircraft then broke away. The aircraft captained by F/S. J. DARNEY encountered an unidentified enemy aircraft which fired from the starboard quarter, the Rear gunner replied and the enemy disappeared. It was clear at the target area and the visibility was good except for haze from the fires. Navigation was excellent. The aircraft captained by P/O. A. SEDUNARY just after bombing, had one of its engines failed. After unsuccessful attempts to start it, he brought the aircraft back to base on three engines and made a perfect landing.

Stirling Mk.III BK809 JN-T

Sgt. John Lefevre Mitchell, RAFVR 1387449/ 155859 – Pilot.
Sgt. Drayton, RAF – 2nd Pilot. Not a Squadron member flew as 2nd Pilot as an Observer
Sgt. John Gall , RNZAF NZ416476 – Navigator.
Sgt. Sidney Albert Longman, RAFVR 1318852/ 155104 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. A.T. Boomsma, RAFVR 1331148 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J. Pinkard, RAFVR 1379916 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. V. Newman, RAFVR 642264 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. G. Shinn, RAFVR 1445155 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:55 – Landed 02:05
Flight Time 04:10

02/08/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Seventeen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lb and 4lb. Six of the aircraft returned early owing to severe icing and engine trouble, two failed to return. The remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Large fires and columns of smoke were seen although this attack was not considered to be a successful as the previous one. Moderate heavy and light A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered, which proved to be ineffective. Some enemy aircraft were seen but no combats took place. The weather was good at the beginning of outward journey, but cloud gathered and was 10/10ths at the target, icing and electrical storms were also encountered. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk. III EH928 captained by Sgt. Baille, P. and BF 557 captained by F/Sgt. Couper, J.A.

Stirling Mk.III BK809 JN-T

Sgt. John Lefevre Mitchell, RAFVR 1387449/ 155859 – Pilot.
F/S Warwick Harold Batger, RNZAF NZ421003 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. John Gall , RNZAF NZ416476 – Navigator.
Sgt. Sidney Albert Longman, RAFVR 1318852/ 155104 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. A.T. Boomsma, RAFVR 1331148 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J. Pinkard, RAFVR 1379916 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. V. Newman, RAFVR 642264 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. G. Shinn, RAFVR 1445155 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:15 – Landed 05:45
Flight Time 06:30

10/08/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Nuremburg
Nineteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lbs. and 4lb. One aircraft failed to take off owing to engine trouble, the remainder however, successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Large fires were seen glowing below the clouds and some heavy explosions were also seen, indicating that the attack was a success. Moderate A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered, but gave little trouble. Some enemy aircraft were seen but no combats took place. The weather was poor at the target, 9/10ths cloud prevailing, which prevented identification  of detail. Navigation was very good. The aircraft captained by P/O C.C.Logan, owing to unserviceable navigation aids on return journey went off track and ran short of petrol. The crew prepared to abandon the aircraft but fortunately the petrol lasted and they landed at R.A.F. Marston, after being airbourne for 9 hours and 10 minutes.

Stirling Mk.III BK809 JN-T

W/O John Lefevre Mitchell, RAFVR 1387449/ 155859 – Pilot.
F/S Neville Bruce Whitta, RNZAF NZ416566 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. John Gall , RNZAF NZ416476 – Navigator.
Sgt. Sidney Albert Longman, RAFVR 1318852/ 155104 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. A.T. Boomsma, RAFVR 1331148 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. R. Risbridger, RAFVR 577918 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. V. Newman, RAFVR 642264 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. G. Shinn, RAFVR 1445155 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:15 – Landed 05:00
Flight Time 06:45

12/08/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Turin
Eighteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1,000lb., 50lb. and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb. All of the aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area, which was an absolute mass of flames, colossal fires and heavy explosions were also seen. Very feeble A.A. fire and a few searchlights were encountered, but were ineffective. Some enemy aircraft were seen and one combat took place. The aircraft captained by P/O A. Burley sighted an unidentified aircraft on the way to the target in the Chartes area, which approached from astern, the rear gunner gave a short burst, the Stirling corkscrewed and the enemy aircraft broke away. The Stirling’s port outer engine was badly damaged and had to be feathered. The captain however, continued to target which was 380 miles distant on three engines, successfully bombed it and returned to base, making a perfect landing. The weather was clear with a bright moon over the target. Navigation was excellent.

Stirling Mk.III BK809 JN-T

W/O John Lefevre Mitchell, RAFVR 1387449/ 155859 – Pilot.
Sgt. John Gall , RNZAF NZ416476 – Navigator.
Sgt. Sidney Albert Longman, RAFVR 1318852/ 155104 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. A.T. Boomsma, RAFVR 1331148 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J. Pinkard, RAFVR 1379916 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. V. Newman, RAFVR 642264 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. G. Shinn, RAFVR 1445155 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:35 – Landed 06:05
Flight Time 08:30

16/08/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Turin
Twelve aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1,000lb. and incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb.. All of the aircraft successfully bombed the target except one which jettisoned its bombs 10 miles N.W. of Turin owing to an electrical equipment failure. Some huge explosions and very large fires were seen, which appeared to be spreading. Slight A.A. fire and a few searchlights were encountered, which were ineffective except for one aircraft that received negligible damage. Some enemy aircraft were seen and two short combats took place, but no damage was sustained to our aircraft. The weather was good except for ground haze. Navigation was very good. All the aircraft were diverted to other aerodromes on return, owing to fog at base.

Stirling Mk.III BK809 JN-T
details in Mepal log regarding fog at base and alternate return destinations for aircraft – try to sort out which went where

W/O John Lefevre Mitchell, RAFVR 1387449/ 155859 – Pilot.
Sgt. John Gall , RNZAF NZ416476 – Navigator.
Sgt. Sidney Albert Longman, RAFVR 1318852/ 155104 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. A.T. Boomsma, RAFVR 1331148 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J. Pinkard, RAFVR 1379916 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. V. Newman, RAFVR 642264 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. G. Shinn, RAFVR 1445155 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:15 – Landed 04:00
Flight Time 07:45

23/08/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Berlin
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 BK809 JN-T

W/O John Lefevre Mitchell, RAFVR 1387449/ 155859 – Pilot.
Sgt. Winstanley, RAF – 2nd Pilot. Not a Squadron member flew as 2nd Pilot as an Observer
F/S John Gall , RNZAF NZ416476 – Navigator.
Sgt. Sidney Albert Longman, RAFVR 1318852/ 155104 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. A.T. Boomsma, RAFVR 1331148 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J. Pinkard, RAFVR 1379916 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. V. Newman, RAFVR 642264 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. G. Shinn, RAFVR 1445155 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:40 – Landed 23:00
Flight Time 02:20

05/09/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Mannheim
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 BK809 JN-T

W/O John Lefevre Mitchell, RAFVR 1387449/ 155859 – Pilot.
F/S John Gall , RNZAF NZ416476 – Navigator.
P/O Sidney Albert Longman, RAFVR 1318852/ 155104 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. A.T. Boomsma, RAFVR 1331148 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J. Pinkard, RAFVR 1379916 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. V. Newman, RAFVR 642264 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. G. Shinn, RAFVR 1445155 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:05 – Landed 02:50
Flight Time 06:45

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 EF135 JN-W

P/O John Lefevre Mitchell, RAFVR 1387449/ 155859 – Pilot.
F/O Eric Francis Witting, RNZAF NZ415212 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O John Gall , RNZAF NZ416476 – Navigator.
P/O Sidney Albert Longman, RAFVR 1318852/ 155104 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. A.T. Boomsma, RAFVR 1331148 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J. Pinkard, RAFVR 1379916 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. V. Newman, RAFVR 642264 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. G. Shinn, RAFVR 1445155 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:30 – Landed 02:25
Flight Time 05:55

16/09/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Modene
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 EF137 AA-E

P/O John Lefevre Mitchell, RAFVR 1387449/ 155859 – Pilot.
F/S J.S. Calder, RAF – 2nd Pilot. Not a Squadron member flew as 2nd Pilot as an Observer
P/O John Gall , RNZAF NZ416476 – Navigator.
P/O Sidney Albert Longman, RAFVR 1318852/ 155104 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. A.T. Boomsma, RAFVR 1331148 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J. Pinkard, RAFVR 1379916 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. V. Newman, RAFVR 642264 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. G. Shinn, RAFVR 1445155 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:05 – Landed 03:45
Flight Time 07:40

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 mainplane, 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 EF135 JN-W

P/O John Lefevre Mitchell, RAFVR 1387449/ 155859 – Pilot.
P/O John Gall , RNZAF NZ416476 – Navigator.
P/O Sidney Albert Longman, RAFVR 1318852/ 155104 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. A.T. Boomsma, RAFVR 1331148 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J. Pinkard, RAFVR 1379916 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. V. Newman, RAFVR 642264 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. G. Shinn, RAFVR 1445155 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:10 – Landed 00:45
Flight Time 05:35

23/09/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Mannheim
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 EF135 JN-W

P/O John Lefevre Mitchell, RAFVR 1387449/ 155859 – Pilot.
Sgt. J.S. Calder, RAF – 2nd Pilot. Not a Squadron member flew as 2nd Pilot as an Observer.
P/O John Gall , RNZAF NZ416476 – Navigator.
P/O Sidney Albert Longman, RAFVR 1318852/ 155104 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. A.T. Boomsma, RAFVR 1331148 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J. Pinkard, RAFVR 1379916 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. V. Newman, RAFVR 642264 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. G. Shinn, RAFVR 1445155 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:25 – Landed 02:00
Flight Time 06:35

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 EF135 JN-W (4)

P/O John Lefevre Mitchell, RAFVR 1387449/ 155859 – Pilot.
P/O John Gall , RNZAF NZ416476 – Navigator.
P/O Sidney Albert Longman, RAFVR 1318852/ 155104 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. A.T. Boomsma, RAFVR 1331148 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J. Pinkard, RAFVR 1379916 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. V. Newman, RAFVR 642264 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. G. Shinn, RAFVR 1445155 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:45 – Landed 01:00
Flight Time 05:15

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s