N.A. Williamson crew 30.6.44

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The Williamson crew present camembert cheeses to Bomb Aimer Graham Coull (centre), Martragny, France, 1/2 July 1944, on the occasion of his 22nd birthday. S/L Nick Williamson at right. On the 30th of June they had landed Lancaster ND917, JN-O (behind them) on a fighter landing strip very close to the front line in Normandy.
NZ Bomber Command Assn.

30/06/1944 – Attack Against Villers Bocage
Twenty four aircraft in daylight were detailed to attack enemy concentrations at Villers Bocage, in support of the British and Canadian Armies advance in Northern France. Two aircraft were withdrawn, owing to technical faults, but the remaining twenty two aircraft all bombed their target successfully, and reported a very concentrated raid. Moderate, but heavy A.A. Fire was encountered over the target, but there was no fighter opposition. On return one aircraft landed at Woodbridge and another put down on one of our landing strips in Normandy (the Flight Engineer 1586862 Sgt. McDevitt, P.W. being slightly injured). A unique incident for the Squadron. Another aircraft was damaged by A.A. Fire, but reached Base and made a successful landing.

Lancaster Mk.III ND917 JN-O
At least three aircraft received some AA flak damage necessitating diversions on return. ND917, S/L Williamson & crew, was one of those hit and the flight engineer, Sgt P McDevitt, received slight injuries. The captain decided to head in the direction of the invasion bridgehead and put down on one of the landing strips being formed, in the hope of getting some urgent medical aid for his F/E. It was the first heavy bomber to land in France since the invasion began.

S/L Neilson Arnold ‘Nick’ Williamson, RNZAF NZ411438 – Pilot.
F/O John Murray Watts, RNZAF NZ427239 – Navigator.
F/O Graham Coull, RNZAF NZ425883 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. S. Cooke, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. P.W. McDevitt, RAFVR 1586862 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. R. Jones, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. J. Russell, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:13 – Landed – Normandy
Flight Time landed in Normandy

nzherald7july19443

New Zealand Herald, 7 July 1944.

AIRMEN IN FRANCE

FIRST BOMBER LANDS

A GISBORNE PILOT KISSED IN ESTAMINET

(Special Correspondent) (Reed. 5.35 p.m.) LONDON, July 5.
The first bomber to make a landing on an airfield in Normandy was a Lancaster piloted by Squadron-Leader N. A. Williamson, D.F.C., of Gisborne. These airfields, with only a landing strip, are really meant for fighters. In a broadcast, Squadron-Leader Williamson said: “Our Lancaster was hit by shell fragments during an attack on Villers-Bocage, and shrapnel tore away the flight-engineer’s kneecap. He did not even murmur until we finished bombing German tanks and troops. Then I noticed he was in distress and losing so much blood that I decided to risk a landing.

Aircraft In Wheat Field
“We had seen a landing-strip while en route to the target and soon found it again. We landed down wind and ran off the strip into a wheat field. A waiting ambulance rushed the engineer to hospital. We went to be interrogated and, as we left, the Lancaster was already being checked by ground maintenance personnel. We had an excellent meal and then set off to see the front line in a jeep.
“We met troops who had seen our attack, which they said was a wonderful show. Immediately they heard we belonged to the attacking force they clustered round to shake hands and clap our backs. Cups of tea appeared as if by magic from foxholes, slit trenches and from behind hedges. Their spirit was truly amazing considering the guns were blazing away, and even as we spoke we were sprayed with earth kicked up by the shells.

An Estaminet Incident
“Later we went to Bayeux, which seemed scarcely touched by the war, and visited our flight-engineer, who was in a mobile field hospital. He had just had a blood transfusion and was in high spirits. “On the way back we stopped at an estaminet, but madame coolly told us she had no wine left, until an Army officer whispered. ‘Aviator Anglais.’ To my embarrassment, she threw her arms round me, kissed me repeatedly and cried, ‘Bon, bon.’ Most important of all, she produced bottles of wine. “When we returned to the landing strip we found the weather had cleared and that the ground crew had done a grand job. although they were used to fighters and not bombers.”

nickwilliamson10

S/L Nick Williamson

After the War Nick submitted to the editor of the NZ War History project:

N.A. Williamson,
P.O. Box 103,
GISBORNE.
 
3rd July, 1947.
 
The Editor in Chief, N.Z. War Histories,
Prime Minister’s Dept.,
WELLINGTON.
 
Dear Sir,
 I wish to submit the following information concerning one of the “FIRSTS” which may be of some interest in connection with the N.Z. War Histories you are at present compiling.
This,  as the newspaper cutting discloses, is about the landing of the first four engined bomber on a fighter airstrip in Normandy shortly after D-Day and was the subject of a B.B.C. broadcast.
 
As a Flight Commander of 75 (N.Z.) Squadron at Mepal, England, I made my first trip of my second operational tour and my first trip in a Lancaster to Villers-Bocage, not long after D-Day, in the raid described as the first stage of Monty’s left hook, which eventually lead to the Falais Pocket.
 
Just as we were about to make our bomb run the Flight engineer F/Sgt McDevitt was severely wounded and was in great distress requiring immediate medical attention.    As soon as we had completed our bombing run, I decided to risk an emergency landing on a fighter air strip near the beach head and immediately dived the aircraft down towards this strip.     The landing had to be made down wind as the circuit was over enemy lines, but fortunately was made without mishap and McDevett was very soon in an ambulance and on the way to medical care, we on our way to the Officers’ Mess.    
 
The paper cutting [newspaper article above] covers many of our activities while we were on the strip, and on the second day we visited our plucky engineer, who now did not require his leg amputated and was feeling much better.    
 
On the third day the weather, which had been bad, showed signs of lifting and we decided to take off. Petrol could not reasonably be obtained from the strip tankers as it would have taken several of them quite some time and the high octane petrol was required for the grand fighter boys on the strip, quite a few of them being New Zealanders.     For the take off an extra high run was made into a wheat field, and not realising the danger from swing during take off, Army vehicles of all shapes and sizes had lined the strip two and three deep each side, and even at the far end, to wave us an enthusiastic farewell.     The four Merlins, however, and good luck, took us off without mishap and not having our Engineer I hoped I had turned all the petrol cocks on correctly.     Our escort of Spitfires and Mustangs led us 100 feet over Mulberry Harbour and to many waves from tanks and ships, we made for home.    
 
Visibility was bad and we first had to make a landing near Manston, but later managed to get permission to make for our home drome, where we received a great welcome from the Station Commander G/Capt. Campbell, W/C Leslie D.S.O., A.F.C. and almost the whole station, as we had been reported as missing, seeing that we had been unable to contact Command until the end of the second day, and two crews had reported seeing my aircraft diving towards the ground over the target area.     Even the Committee of Adjustment had packed away our personal belongings, but once these were released from bondage, the Red wine we had located flowed freely and all was well. The greatest welcome I received was from my 6 months old Labrador pup “Rex” who had refused to eat during my absence, and 2 1/2 hours before the aircraft landed at Mepal had become wildly excited, and was waiting out at “C” Flight Dispersal area and refused to leave where my aircraft was usually parked.     Next day I went to the B.B.C. Studios at Bedford and made a short broadcast.
 
If this material is of some interest, more information could be supplied, such as the fact that the Bomb Aimer, F/Sgt. Graham Coull had his 22nd birthday while we were there and of course we celebrated correctly, and each member of the crew presented him with a highly smelling “Camembert” cheese as a birthday gift. An Army reporter took an excellent photo of the presenting of the cheeses in a Jeep and is an ideal photo for reproduction if the more human side of the war is required to be portrayed.
 
Yours faithfully,
 
(SIGNED)      
N.A. Williamson
NZ411488.

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S/L Nick Williamson (third from left) with ground crew of S-Sugar, Mepal, June 1944. Rex the dog in front??
NZ Bomber Command Assn.

Nick passed on even more information about the incident after the war. Although a veteran Stirling pilot, it had been his first op’ in a Lancaster, and without the usual assistance of ground crew and equipment back at base, he had to wait for Flight Engineer McDevitt to recover sufficiently to pass on the engine start-up protocol. Between that and the weather, they were on the ground for three days.

The air strip (probably ALG B7 according to Rex Bunn) was near Martragny, not far from all the shooting, and in range of German artillery, so the Lancaster had to be moved around during their stay to avoid being hit.  The crew treated their unplanned stopover in France as a great adventure, and after accompanying McDevett to a field hospital, made a day-trip to Bayeux, which was largely untouched by the fighting. Photos survive of this visit. They were also keen to experience the war on the ground, arming themselves and joining in the shooting for a time!

Eventually the technical issues were sorted, and with the weather cooperating, the boys loaded the aircraft with French souvenirs for the trip back to England, including cheeses, wine, cognac, a swastika flag, a German Mauser rifle, and a machine gun!

09/07/1944 – Attack Against Linzeux
The twenty five aircraft detailed on the previous day took off to attack the constructional works site at Linzeux in daylight. All aircraft bombed through cloud, using navigational aids. A.A. fire opposition was reported as slight, although one aircraft suffered considerable damage when over the target. There was no opposition from enemy fighters.

Lancaster Mk.III LM544 AA-J

S/L Neilson Arnold ‘Nick’ Williamson, RNZAF NZ411438 – Pilot.
F/O John Murray Watts, RNZAF NZ427239 – Navigator.
F/O Graham Coull, RNZAF NZ425883 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. S. Cooke, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
P/O Hugh Henry, RAFVR 621460/ 54218 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. R. Jones, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. J. Russell, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:40 – Landed 16:15
Flight Time 03:35

12/07/1944 – Attack Against Vaires
The same twenty five aircraft detailed earlier took off to attack the Vaires marshalling yard in daylight. All aircraft reached the target area, but only two identified the marshalling yard and bombed as ordered. The remaining crews abandoned their mission as instructed by the Master Bomber, and brought their bombs back to base, owing to 10/10ths cloud obscuring the target. Considerable heavy A.A. fire was encountered, but all aircraft returned safely.

Lancaster Mk.III ND904 AA-B “Target for Tomorrow Night”

S/L Neilson Arnold ‘Nick’ Williamson, RNZAF NZ411438 – Pilot.
F/O John Murray Watts, RNZAF NZ427239 – Navigator.
F/O Graham Coull, RNZAF NZ425883 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. S. Cooke, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
F/O Stanley Moss, RAFVR 903734/ 146107 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. R. Jones, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. J. Russell, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:14 – Landed 21:44
Flight Time 03:30

17/07/1944 – Attack Against Vaires
The twenty seven aircraft previously detailed took off to attack the Vaires marshalling yard in daylight, but the aircraft were recalled shortly after setting course. On landing they were re-fuelled and kept standing by to attack a tactical target.

Lancaster Mk.III ND904 dnc AA-B “Target for Tomorrow Night”

S/L Neilson Arnold ‘Nick’ Williamson, RNZAF NZ411438 – Pilot.
F/O John Murray Watts, RNZAF NZ427239 – Navigator.
F/O Graham Coull, RNZAF NZ425883 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. S. Cooke, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
F/O Stanley Moss, RAFVR 903734/ 146107 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. R. Jones, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. J. Russell, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:00 – Landed 13:28
Flight Time 02:28

18/07/1944 – Attack Against Aulnoye
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.III ND904 AA-B “Target for Tomorrow Night”

S/L Neilson Arnold ‘Nick’ Williamson, RNZAF NZ411438 – Pilot.
F/O John Murray Watts, RNZAF NZ427239 – Navigator.
F/O Graham Coull, RNZAF NZ425883 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. S. Cooke, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
F/O Stanley Moss, RAFVR 903734/ 146107 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. R. Jones, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. J. Russell, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 04:40 – Landed 07:45
Flight Time 03:05

18/07/1944 – Attack Against Cagny
Twenty eight aircraft took off, as detailed, to make a dawn attack on the village of Cagny, in Northern France where the enemy had large concentrations of armour and troops situated. This attack was in direct support of the Allied 2nd Army, and all crews were successful in bombing the target with the aid of markers and a very concentrated raid was reported. Moderate A.A. fire was encountered, but only one of our aircraft suffered damage, this was captained by NZ421549 F/S. Moriarty, D. who was injured on the scalp and left eye, by fragments of perspex or shell splinters caused by an A.A. shell which exploded in the cockpit. In spite of his serious injuries, F/Sgt. Moriarty safely flew his aircraft back to base.

Lancaster Mk.III ND904 AA-B “Target for Tomorrow Night”

S/L Neilson Arnold ‘Nick’ Williamson, RNZAF NZ411438 – Pilot.
F/O John Murray Watts, RNZAF NZ427239 – Navigator.
F/O Graham Coull, RNZAF NZ425883 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. S. Cooke, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
F/O Stanley Moss, RAFVR 903734/ 146107 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. R. Jones, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. J. Russell, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:41 – Landed 02:18
Flight Time 03:37

24/07/1944 – Attack Against Stuttgart
Twenty one aircraft took off as detailed to attack Stuttgart. Eighteen aircraft bombed the target with the aid of markers, but the raid appeared to be scattered. One aircraft returned early with engine trouble. Intense A.A. fire was encountered over the target, and fighters were fairly active, two aircraft having combats. Two aircraft failed to return, these were captained by NZ415216 P/O. J. McRae & NZ428800 P/O. K. Whitehouse.

Lancaster Mk.III HK574 dnc AA-R “Rio Rita”

S/L Neilson Arnold ‘Nick’ Williamson, RNZAF NZ411438 – Pilot.
F/O John Murray Watts, RNZAF NZ427239 – Navigator.
F/O Graham Coull, RNZAF NZ425883 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. S. Cooke, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
F/O Stanley Moss, RAFVR 903734/ 146107 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. R. Jones, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. J. Russell, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:40 – Landed 22:40
Flight Time 01:00

05/08/1944 – Attack Against Bassens
Eighteen aircraft were detailed to attack the Oil Storage at Bordeaux, Bassens. All aircraft successfully identified and bombed the target visually and a very concentrated raid was reported. Several good explosions and much smoke was seen on leaving the target. A.A. opposition was very slight.

Lancaster Mk.III ND917 JN-O

S/L Neilson Arnold ‘Nick’ Williamson, RNZAF NZ411438 – Pilot.
F/O John Murray Watts, RNZAF NZ427239 – Navigator.
F/O Graham Coull, RNZAF NZ425883 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. S. Cooke, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
F/O Stanley Moss, RAFVR 903734/ 146107 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. R. Jones, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. J. Russell, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 14:30 – Landed 22:35
Flight Time 08:05

07/08/1944 – Attack Against Mare De Magne
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 HK596 AA-O “Oboe”

S/L Neilson Arnold ‘Nick’ Williamson, RNZAF NZ411438 – Pilot.
F/O John Murray Watts, RNZAF NZ427239 – Navigator.
F/O Graham Coull, RNZAF NZ425883 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. S. Cooke, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
F/O Stanley Moss, RAFVR 903734/ 146107 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. R. Jones, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
y J. Russell,   – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:55 – Landed 00:05
Flight Time 02:10

08/08/1944 – Attack Against Lucheux
Twenty aircraft took off as detailed to attack Petrol Dumps at Lucheux, behind the enemy lines. All aircraft were successful in their mission, in good visibility. A good concentration of fires with smoke rising to 9,000 ft., was left burning. There was only slight A.A. opposition, but enemy fighters were active, and three of our aircraft had inconclusive combats, two suffering damage but no casualties.

Lancaster Mk.I HK597 JN-P “Bad Penny IV”

S/L Neilson Arnold ‘Nick’ Williamson, RNZAF NZ411438 – Pilot.
F/O John Murray Watts, RNZAF NZ427239 – Navigator.
F/O Graham Coull, RNZAF NZ425883 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. S. Cooke, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
F/O Stanley Moss, RAFVR 903734/ 146107 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. R. Jones, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
y J. Russell,   – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:01 – Landed 01:32
Flight Time 03:31

11/08/1944 – Attack Against Lens
Twenty two aircraft set out as detailed to attack the Marshalling Yard at Lens. All aircraft attacked in good weather and an accurate and concentrated raid resulted. No opposition was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I HK597 JN-P “Bad Penny IV”

S/L Neilson Arnold ‘Nick’ Williamson, RNZAF NZ411438 – Pilot.
F/O John Murray Watts, RNZAF NZ427239 – Navigator.
F/O Graham Coull, RNZAF NZ425883 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. S. Cooke, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
F/O Stanley Moss, RAFVR 903734/ 146107 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. R. Jones, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. J. Russell,   – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 14:29 – Landed 17:41
Flight Time 03:12

12/09/1944 – Attack Against Falaise
One aircraft took part in an attack on enemy troop concentrations in the Falaise area, and returned after a successful and uneventful trip.

Lancaster Mk.I HK562 AA-L “Lucy”

S/L Neilson Arnold ‘Nick’ Williamson, RNZAF NZ411438 – Pilot.
F/O John Murray Watts, RNZAF NZ427239 – Navigator.
F/O Graham Coull, RNZAF NZ425883 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. S. Cooke, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
F/O Stanley Moss, RAFVR 903734/ 146107 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. R. Jones, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. J. Russell,   – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:47 – Landed 03:40
Flight Time 02:53

15/08/1944 – Attack Against The Aerodrome at St. Trond

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Target photo of St. Trond airfield
From Robyn Williamson-Omer, the daughter of S/L N.A. “Nick” Williamson, DFC, via his grand-daughter Nickie Omer.

Nineteen aircraft took off as detailed to attack the Aerodrome at St. Trond. All aircraft made a successful attack and bombing results were confirmed visually, the bomb bursts being well concentrated on the runways. Opposition was almost negligible both over the target and en route.

Lancaster Mk.I HK597 JN-P “Bad Penny IV”

S/L Neilson Arnold ‘Nick’ Williamson, RNZAF NZ411438 – Pilot.
F/O John Murray Watts, RNZAF NZ427239 – Navigator.
F/O Graham Coull, RNZAF NZ425883 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. S. Cooke, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
F/O Stanley Moss, RAFVR 903734/ 146107 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. R. Jones, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. J. Russell,   – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 09:50 – Landed 13:36
Flight Time 03:46

18/08/1944 – Attack Against Bremen
Twenty five aircraft took off as detailed to attack Bremen, twenty four of these contributed to a very successful raid, good concentrated fires being left burning. A moderate A.A. barrage, with numerous searchlights, was encountered between the enemy coast and the target, and three of our aircraft sustained damage. Fighter opposition was weak but one aircraft had an inconclusive combat over the target. One aircraft returned early.

Lancaster Mk.I LM104 JN-K

S/L Neilson Arnold ‘Nick’ Williamson, RNZAF NZ411438 – Pilot.
F/O John Murray Watts, RNZAF NZ427239 – Navigator.
F/O Graham Coull, RNZAF NZ425883 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. S. Cooke, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
F/O Stanley Moss, RAFVR 903734/ 146107 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. R. Jones, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. J. Russell,   – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:37 – Landed 03:38
Flight Time 06:01

25/08/1944 – Attack Against Russelsheim
Twenty eight aircraft took off as detailed to attack Russelsheim. Of these twenty five attacked the primary target and reported a good concentrated raid. A.A. opposition was slight, but enemy aircraft were active and one of our aircraft had two inconclusive combats. Another was unable to identify the target and jettisoned its load. A further one was caught in searchlights over the target and during evasive action lost both ailerons. This aircraft was captained by NZ424504 .F/S. O’Callaghan, E. The navigator 958564 .F/S. Hartley, R., kept the aircraft on track on the return journey even though his instruments were unserviceable and his chart lost. Two aircraft failed to return, they were captained by NZ422382 .F/O. J. Fleming and NZ421345 .F/S. Barker, R.

Lancaster Mk.I HK597 JN-P “Bad Penny IV”

S/L Neilson Arnold ‘Nick’ Williamson, RNZAF NZ411438 – Pilot.
F/O John Murray Watts, RNZAF NZ427239 – Navigator.
F/O Graham Coull, RNZAF NZ425883 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. S. Cooke, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
F/O Stanley Moss, RAFVR 903734/ 146107 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. R. Jones, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. J. Russell,   – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:42 – Landed 04:40
Flight Time 07:58

29/08/1944 – Mining in the Gulf of Danzig
Six aircraft took off as detailed to lay mines in the Gulf of Danzig. They all dropped their mines successfully by means of navigational aids and their mission was uneventful apart from slight A.A. opposition.

Lancaster Mk.III NE181 JN-M “The Captains Fancy”

S/L Neilson Arnold ‘Nick’ Williamson, RNZAF NZ411438 – Pilot.
F/O John Murray Watts, RNZAF NZ427239 – Navigator.
F/O Graham Coull, RNZAF NZ425883 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. S. Cooke, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
F/O Stanley Moss, RAFVR 903734/ 146107 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. R. Jones, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/O Kenneth William John Tugwell, RAFVR 162524 – Rear Gunner (Gunnery Leader).

Take Off 20:20 – Landed 05:55
Flight Time 09:35

31/08/1944 – Attack Against Pont Reny
Eighteen aircraft took off as detailed to attack the Flying Bomb Supply Dump at Pont Reny. All were successful in bombing the target, although cloud obscured it to some extent, which caused part of the bombing to be scattered. No enemy fighters were encountered and A.A. opposition was slight, but one aircraft (Captain NZ421488 .F/O. J. Aitken) was damaged and the Air Bomber, NZ429967 .F/O. R. Mayhill received slight injuries.

Lancaster Mk.III NE181 JN-M “The Captains Fancy”

S/L Neilson Arnold ‘Nick’ Williamson, RNZAF NZ411438 – Pilot.
F/O John Murray Watts, RNZAF NZ427239 – Navigator.
F/O Graham Coull, RNZAF NZ425883 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. S. Cooke, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
F/O Stanley Moss, RAFVR 903734/ 146107 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Gordon Ross Ellis, RCAF J.89174 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/O Kenneth William John Tugwell, RAFVR 162524 – Rear Gunner (Gunnery Leader).

Take Off 16:30 – Landed 19:30
Flight Time 03:00

20/09/1944 – Attack Against Calais

williamson-jn-m-calais-209-44

Air Bomber Graham Coull’s target photograph from the 20th of September over Calais, France.
From Robyn Williamson-Omer, the daughter of S/L N.A. “Nick” Williamson, DFC, via his grand-daughter Nickie Omer.

Twenty seven aircraft set out as detailed to attack enemy strong points at Calais. They all successfully bombed the target from a low level and an accurate and concentrated raid was reported. Opposition was very slight.

Lancaster Mk.III NE181 JN-M “The Captains Fancy”

S/L Neilson Arnold ‘Nick’ Williamson, RNZAF NZ411438 – Pilot.
F/O John Murray Watts, RNZAF NZ427239 – Navigator.
F/O Graham Coull, RNZAF NZ425883 – Air Bomber.
F/S S. Cooke, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
F/O Stanley Moss, RAFVR 903734/ 146107 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. R. Jones, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. D. McElligot, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 14:29 – Landed 18:08
Flight Time 03:39

03/10/1944 – Attack Against the West Kapelle Dyke
Twenty one aircraft we detailed to attack the West Kappelle dyke. Twenty of these were successful in bombing although some crews had to make two or three attempts owing to low cloud base. Bombing was reported to have been fairly good and some flooding was seen. One aircraft had to bring its bombs back owing to a technical failure.

Lancaster Mk.III NE181 JN-M “The Captains Fancy”

S/L Neilson Arnold ‘Nick’ Williamson, RNZAF NZ411438 – Pilot.
F/O John Murray Watts, RNZAF NZ427239 – Navigator.
F/O Graham Coull, RNZAF NZ425883 – Air Bomber.
F/S S. Cooke, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
F/O Stanley Moss, RAFVR 903734/ 146107 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. R. Jones, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
P/O Gordon Ross Ellis, RCAF J.89174 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:50 – Landed 15:08
Flight Time 03:18

07/10/1944 – Attack Against Emmerich
Twenty six aircraft took off as detailed to attack Emmerich in support of the advancing Allied armies. They all bombed the target successfully and a concentrated and accurate raid was reported, the target area being entirely covered with smoke. Moderate heavy A A fire was encountered and a few of our aircraft suffered minor damage.

Lancaster Mk.III NE181 JN-M “The Captains Fancy”

S/L Neilson Arnold ‘Nick’ Williamson, RNZAF NZ411438 – Pilot.
F/O John Murray Watts, RNZAF NZ427239 – Navigator.
F/O Graham Coull, RNZAF NZ425883 – Air Bomber.
W/O S. Cooke, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
F/O Stanley Moss, RAFVR 903734/ 146107 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. R. Jones, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/L Kenneth William John Tugwell, RAFVR 162524 – Rear Gunner (Gunnery Leader).

Take Off 12:04 – Landed 16:08
Flight Time 04:04

14/10/1944 – Attack Against Duisburg
Thirty one aircraft took off at dawn to attack Duisburg. Except for one aircraft which returned early, they all dropped their bombs in the built up areas of the town, which was identified visually and with the aid of markers. A moderate heavy A A barrage was encountered from the target area and a few of our aircraft suffered minor damage. One aircraft was damaged in the bomb bay which necessitated it landing at Woodbridge on return

Lancaster Mk.III NE181 JN-M “The Captains Fancy”

S/L Neilson Arnold ‘Nick’ Williamson, RNZAF NZ411438 – Pilot.
F/O Colin William Hannam Woonton, RNZAF NZ429055 – Navigator.
F/S Robin Douglas Mathews , RNZAF NZ4212741 – Air Bomber.
F/S H. Pritchard, RAFVR 1259238 – Wireless Operator .
F/O Stanley Moss, RAFVR 903734/ 146107 – Flight Engineer.
P/O Gordon Ross Ellis, RCAF J.89174 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/L Kenneth William John Tugwell, RAFVR 162524 – Rear Gunner (Gunnery Leader).

Take Off 06:50 – Landed 11:14
Flight Time 04:24

14/10/1944 – Attack Against Duisburg(2)
Twenty nine aircraft were detailed to make a further attack on Duisburg, unfortunately, however, three aircraft had to be withdrawn. One aircraft returned early owing to the rear turret being unserviceable. The remaining twenty five aircraft took part in a very successful attack in excellent visibility and large fires were seen to break out and add to those already burning from the morning attack. AA opposition was negligible and searchlight did not operate until late in the raid. One aircraft had an inconclusive combat with an enemy fighter.

Lancaster Mk.III NE181 JN-M “The Captains Fancy”

S/L Neilson Arnold ‘Nick’ Williamson, RNZAF NZ411438 – Pilot.
F/L A. R. S. Stewart, RAFVR – Navigator (Navigation Leader).
F/O Graham Coull, RNZAF NZ425883 – Air Bomber.
Sgt D. Brazier, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
F/O Stanley Moss, RAFVR 903734/ 146107 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. R. Jones, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/L Kenneth William John Tugwell, RAFVR 162524 – Rear Gunner (Gunnery Leader).

Take Off 22:39 – Landed 03:19
Flight Time 04:40