N

NAIRNE, Colin George

P/O Colin George Nairne, RNZAF NZ42117 – Pilot.
Lost without trace age 22 on the 30th of July 1944.
Son Of William Joseph And Alice Elizabeth Nairne; Husband Of Betty Olive Nairne, Of Richmond, Nelson, New Zealand.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 263.

30/07/1944 – Attack Against Amaye Sur Seulles
Seventeen aircraft were detailed to take part in an early morning attack on enemy troops and armoured concentrations near Amaye-Sur-Seulles. All crews successfully attacked from a low level and reports indicate that the bombing was well concentrated and ably controlled with a gradual advance southwards as ordered. No results other than clouds of smoke were seen. One aircraft (Captain NZ42117 F/S. Nairne, C.) failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I HK558 AA-D

F/S Colin George Nairne, RNZAF NZ42117 – Pilot.
P/O Lyndon Clifford Perry, RNZAF NZ428925 – Navigator.
W/O Denis Alfred Kidby, RAFVR 1391158 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Alfred Richard Stannard, RAFVR 1338510 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Raymond Charles Smith, RAFVR 1235250 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Stanley Alfred George Woodford, RAFVR 922095 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Philip Falkiner, RNZAF NZ425140 – Rear Gunner.

Although formally recorded as ‘lost without trace’, the circumstances of the disappearance of HK558 was more accurately explained in ‘For Your Tomorrow’ by author Errol Martyn. A Royal Navy minesweeper on patrol in the Channel observed two Lancasters collide in mid-air at approximately 08.00hrs while HK558 was flying northwards in the base of heavy low cloud. The other aircraft was a 514 Sqn Lancaster, LL733, probably from the same raid. The Minesweeper steamed to where the two aircraft crashed into the sea, a short distance away. After an hour’s search, only the body of an RAF Air Bomber was recovered, who was buried at sea. All seven crew of each aircraft are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.


NASH, Clifford George

Sgt. Clifford George Nash, RAFVR 1654190 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 21 on the 26th of August 1944.
Buried Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 5. H. 13.

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 LL866 AA-S “Swingtime”

F/S Richard Stockdale Barker, RNZAF NZ421345 – Pilot.
F/S John Farnworth, RAFVR 1147012 – Navigator.
F/S William George Norton, RNZAF NZ413227 – Air Bomber.
W/O Raymond Firth, RAFVR NZ417203 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Gordon Baden Jones, RAFVR 1892748 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Henry George Baker, RAFVR 1814627 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Clifford George Nash, RAFVR 1654190 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I LL866 AA-S “Swingtime” was brought down over Germany, crashing near Untereisesheim, about a mile North of Heilbronn. There were no survivors. All of the crew were buried in the Durnbach War Cemetery.


NATION, John Ross

Sgt. John Ross Nation, RNZAF NZ40945 – Observer.
Lost without trace age 22 on the 3rd of July 1941.
Son of Esdaile Chilcott Nation and Mavis Nation, of Waipawa, Hawke’S Bay, New Zealand.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 64.

03/07/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Essen
Sixteen Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. One of these aircraft , W,5621, captained by SGT. Reid, failed to return to base. Bombs were dropped by the remaining aircraft and fires were started. Heavy and light A.A. fire was intense and accurate, as also were searchlights which were working in cones. A few enemy aircraft were seen, but no attacks were made. The weather was fine with cloud in some places. There was haze over the target. Navigation was by D/R, W/T, astro, loop, map reading

Wellington Mk.Ic W.5621 AA-E

Sgt. Ian Laurie Reid, RNZAF NZ391846 – Pilot.
P/O Joseph Wesley Greening, RAAF AUS.400222 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. John Ross Nation, RNZAF NZ40945 – Navigator.
Sgt. Richard Edward Haycock, RAFVR 942288 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Harold Jones, RAFVR 977479 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Roydon Horatio Hartstone, RNZAF NZ402111 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Mk Ic W5621, captained by Sgt Reid, failed to return to base and no communication or other evidence pointed to any possible reason for the crew’s disappearance. The aircraft was officially recorded as missing without trace.

JR Nation


NEVILL, William Eric

Sgt. William Eric Nevill, RAF 631165 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 23 on the 26th of July 1940.
Son of William Thomas Nevill, and of Violet Gertrude Nevill, of Edmonton, Middlesex.
Buried Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery, Holland..
Grave location – Plot 69. Row A. Grave 15.
‘A voice we loved is still
A place is vacant In our home
Which never can be filled’

25/26 July 1940. Bombing Attacks on KASSEL, targets F.10, M.434.
Of the nine Wellington aircraft taking part in the above operations from this Unit, one GB.661 (F/O Coleman) failed to return, and Squadron thus suffered its third loss since operations began.

Wellington 1.C R.3235, AA-?

F/O William Harcourt Coleman, RNZAF, Captain
P/O Frank Twain Poole, RAF, 2nd Pilot
Sgt Norman Wilson Brown, RAF. (518807), Navigator
Sgt John Dowds, RAF (632780), Front Gunner
Sgt William Eric Nevill,RAF 631165, Wireless Operator
Sgt William Donald Francis Annan, RNZAF, (NZ391377), Rear Gunner

Kassel was heavily defended, as confirmed by F/L Adams and other crews who had to undertake violent evasive action to avoid being struck. So it’s possible that Coleman’s aircraft received serious flak damage over the target, but was not totally disabled, allowing the crew to head off westward, with Coleman managing to stay airborne for 320km, almost making it to the coast of Holland.

Early on the morning of 26th July, 1940, Wellington B.IC R3235 of 75 (New Zealand) Squadron, RAF, crashed into the Ijsselmeer, the inland sea near Amsterdam, 1km east of Uitdam. There were no survivors. The bodies of the airmen washed ashore, that of F/O Coleman on the 3rd of August, 1940.

All 6 crew members were buried in the Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery:


NEWMAN, Richard Alfred William

Sgt. Richard Alfred William Newman, RNZAF NZ405309 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 24 on the 4th of September 1942.
Son of Alfred and Ada Newman, of Wellington City, New Zealand.
Buried Sage War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – 3. A. 1.

03/09/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Emden
Six aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 500lb. Were dropped in target area by two aircraft. Two failing to reach the target. A.A. fire was slight, searchlights were few. The weather was bad, being heavy cloud all the way to target and 10/10ths cloud over target. Navigation was good. Wellington X.3396 captained by Sergt. Law and Wellington X.3794 captained by Sergt. Hunting, failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III X.3396 AA-S

Sgt. James Law, RAFVR 1101018 – Pilot.
Sgt. Horace Llewellyn Grant, RNZAF NZ405254 – Observer.
Sgt. Rupert Ernest Renton, RNZAF NZ412352 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Richard Alfred William Newman, RCAF NZ405309 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. John Trevor Vivian Gill, RNZAF NZ403362 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Mk.III X.3396 AA-S was brought down near Wittmund, West North West of Wilhelmshaven and 55 miles from Emden. There were no survivors. All five crew are now buried at Sage, south of Oldenburg.

Since neither X3396 nor X3794  reached their target at Emden, and both were brought down at similar locations in Northern Germany/Netherlands, it seems likely they were victims of enemy night fighter action.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/richard-alfred-william-newman © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/richard-alfred-william-newman © New Zealand War Graves Project


NEWMAN, Ronald Wynne

F/S Ronald Wynne Newman, RNZAF NZ4210960 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 29 on the 30th of November 1944.
Son of Ludvic M. and Elsie Newman; Husband of Kate I. Newman, of Gisborne, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 25. A. 7.

30/11/1944 – Attack Against Osterfeld
Eighteen aircraft took off as detailed carrying 4,000 lb, 1,000 lb, 500 lb, and Incendiary bombs to attack the coking plant at Osterfeld. Seventeen aircraft attacked the target successfully through ten tenths cloud with tops 10,000 feet, and the raid was reported as being well concentrated. One aircraft captained by NZ411915 F/O J.A. McIntosh is missing and the aircraft is believed to have had its tail shot away.

Lancaster Mk.I NF980 JN-F
Missing – A/C believed to have had its tail shot off

F/O James Alexander McIntosh, RNZAF NZ411915 – Pilot.
F/S Robert Carhampton Morgan, RNZAF NZ421389 – Navigator.
F/S Ronald Wynne Newman, RNZAF NZ4210960 – Air Bomber.
F/S Robert James Boag, RAAF AUS.432097 – Wireless Operator .
F/S Richard Thomas Taylor, RAFVR 1401963 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Cyril Brewer, RAFVR 1418695 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Edward Roy Cooper, RAFVR 2221308 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I NF980 JN-F received a direct hit by flak over the target and it appeared to another crew flying close by, to have lost most of its tail-plane. The aircraft fell sharply out of the sky and struck the ground violently. The rear gunner was the only survivor but he too, died from his injuries in a hospital about 3 weeks later.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/ronald-wynne-newman © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/ronald-wynne-newman © New Zealand War Graves Project


NEWNHAM, Alfred

Sgt. Alfred Newnham, RAFVR 1172993 – Rear Gunner.
Lost without trace age 24 on the 14th of March 1944.
Son of John Lionel and Mary Newnham, of Sittingbourne, Kent.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 235.

13/03/1944 – Mining off St. Nazaire
Sixteen aircraft were detailed for mine laying off St. Nazaire, Lorient, La Rochelle, and Brest. One aircraft (Captain NZ414567 F/Sgt. Rowberry T.) failed to return. Another aircraft (Captain NZ42999 P/O. C. Baker) returned early with aileron trouble and crashed at Castle Comb, without injury to the crew although the aircraft was burnt out. The remaining fourteen successfully laid their mines, one aircraft landing at Woodbridge on return.

Stirling Mk.III LJ462 AA-O

F/S Geoffrey Warren Rowberry, RNZAF NZ414567 – Pilot.
F/S Graham Stanley Hadfield, RNZAF NZ426239 – Navigator.
Sgt. Brian Simmett, RAFVR 1392577 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Sidney Thomas Bishop, RAFVR 1322249 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Arthur William Horner, RAFVR 1641609 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Raymond David Davies, RAFVR 1317623 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt Alfred Newnham, RAFVR 1172993 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:00 – Landed –
Flight Time – Missing

No official account of the loss of the crew exists, or is officially accepted and as such the Rowberry crew are recorded as lost without trace. The loss of an entire crew is a tragic occurrence, perhaps made more poignant by the loss the crew’s Rear Gunner, Alf Newnham.

Two days after returning from a special Operations Op with W/C Roy Max as Pilot, Alf  (normally flying as part of Edgar Burkes crew), was sitting on his bed when Alfie Venn, Rear Gunner with Jim Climie’s crew came in and informed him the Rowberry crew were down and a Rear Gunner.

F/S Venn, ironically, had volunteered himself, only to then discover his crew had been put on Battle Orders. Saying there was now a ‘trip’ going spare, Alf should get himself down to the Flight Office – fatefully, he did…………


NEWTON, Raymond John

W/C Raymond John Newton, DFC, MiD, RNZAF NZ40984 – Pilot.
Lost without trace age 28 on the 1st of January 1945.
Son of John King Newton and Maud Elizabeth Newton, of Christchurch, New Zealand.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 284.

01/01/1945 – Attack Against Vohwinkel
Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack Vohwinkel, in daylight. Nineteen aircraft took off, seventeen of which attacked the primary target. F/O McMillan attacked a last resort target. NZ40984 W/Cdr. R.J. Newton and NZ429286 P/O R. Aitchison as second pilot, failed to return. There was very little opposition in the target area.

Lancaster Mk.III ME321 AA-N

W/C Raymond John Newton, RNZAF NZ40984 – Pilot.
P/O Richard Justin Aitchison, RNZAF NZ429286 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Harry Sansome, RAFVR 1583772 – Navigator.
F/S Arthur Lee, RAFVR 1622893 – Air Bomber.
F/S Victor James Clark, RAFVR 1811271 – Wireless Operator.
F/S John Stanley Hoskins, RAFVR 652139 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Martin Brennan, RAFVR 1596812 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Leonard James Cooke, RAFVR 3011677 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.III ME321 AA-N crashed near the Dutch town of Maastricht, probably through contact with enemy fighters. There were no survivors. Sgt Martin Brennan was buried in the Jonkerbos War Cemetery, the other seven crew are all commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. It was thought that this was W/C Newton’s 50th operational sortie.


NICHOL, John

Sgt. John Nichol, RAFVR 1670779 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 28 on the 14th of March 1945.
Son of John Albert and Louie Nichol, of Gosforth, Newcastle-On-Tyne.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 25. D. 5.
‘When day is done and shadows fall’

14/03/1945 – Attack Against Heinrich Hutte
Twenty aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Crews found the target covered with 10/10ths cloud. Formation was good though the target and bombs fell away together. Very accurate moderate H/F was met on the run in and over the target. F/Lt. E. Parsons in AA”E” failed to return. His aircraft was seen to be hit causing it to spiral into cloud. F/S McLernon landed at Woodbridge but returned to base the following day.

Lancaster Mk.I PB741 AA-E
At 16.35hrs on the run up to the target PB741, F/L Parsons & crew, was seen to have been hit by flak in the port-inner engine, which was then feathered. It also appeared to have been hit in the port-outer engine, which was feathered as the aircraft began descending quickly. Part of the wing caught fire and soon after, the complete wing broke off just as the Lancaster was diving through cloud.

F/L Eric George Parsons, RAFVR 185301 – Pilot.
Sgt. William Phinn, RAFVR 1684789 – Navigator.
F/S Francis Henry Ebbage, RAFVR 1615600 – Air Bomber.
F/S Eric Ramsay, RAFVR 2205987 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Charles Albert Longstaff, RAFVR 1595982 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. John Lawrence Beard, RAFVR 3006185 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S John Nichol, RAFVR 1670779 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I PB741 AA-E was struck by heavy flak over the target at Heinrich-Hutte, Hattingen, causing catastrophic damage to the port engines and wing, which broke off as the aircraft descended out of control through cloud. All on board were killed in the resultant crash. The flight engineer and air bomber have no known graves. The other five crew members are buried at the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.


NICHOLL, Bruce Henry

Sgt. Bruce Henry Nicholl, RAFVR 746205 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Lost without trace age 26 on the 21st of March 1945.
Son of Harry Hope Nicholl, and of Beatrice Ellen Nicholl, of Pomphlett, Devon.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 276.

21/03/1945 – Attack Against Munster Viaduct
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 RA564 JN-P

F/O Derek Singleton Barr, RAFVR 1394583/ 190947 – Pilot.
F/S Arthur Leslie Archibald Oakey, RNZAF NZ4213810 – Navigator.
Sgt. Dryden Stewart, RAFVR 1673061 – Air Bomber.
W/O Robert William West, RAFVR 195545 – Wireless Operator.
F/S Clifford Isaac Stocker, RAFVR 1587275 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Bruce Henry Nicholl, RAFVR 746205 – Mid Upper Gunner.
W/O Alwyn Amos, RAFVR 1578224 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I RA564 JN-P was bombing the target at Munster when it was struck by a bomb falling from another aircraft flying above, which exploded. There were no survivors. Only the body of the rear gunner was found and buried at Margraten, Holland. The other crew members have no known graves.


NICHOLS, John Owen Henry

Sgt. John Owen Henry Nichols, RAFVR 1257377 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 20 on the 16th of May 1942.
Buried Kiel War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Joint grave 3. B. 11.

13/05/1942 – Gardening – Kiel Bay
Eight Wellington aircraft were detailed from this Unit to carry out the above operations. One aircraft, X.3482, captained by F/S. Fraser, failed to return to base. Vegetables were sown successfully and bombs were dropped on shipping in the vicinity. In accurate flak from flak ships was encountered. The weather was fine throughout the whole operation. Navigation was by D/R. Astro, TR, loop.

Wellington Mk.III X.3482 AA-J

F/S Myles Frederick Gordon Fraser, RNZAF NZ403437 – Pilot.
F/S Albert Ivan Smith, RNZAF NZ402221 – Observer.
Sgt. John Owen Henry Nichols, RAFVR 1257377 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Stanley Alfred George Shaw, RNZAF 1166184 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Norman Edward Whiting, RNZAF NZ404107 – Rear Gunner.

The presence of enemy ‘flak’ shipping in Kiel Bay was a clear indication that Wellington Mk.III X.3482 AA-J probably received AA fire of sufficient intensity to cause serious handling difficulties for the pilot and crew. The aircraft subsequently came down in the sea off the North Frisian Islands, near the Island of Sylt. All the crew perished.

Their bodies were later recovered and laid to rest in Westerland Friedhof. After the war their bodies were taken to the Kiel War Cemetery.


NICHOLSON, Jack Ernest

Sgt. Jack Ernest Nicholson, RAFVR 1800467 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 22 on the 24th of August 1943.
Son of Herbert Leggatt Nicholson and Alice Nicholson, of North Cheam, Surrey.
Buried Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 6. E. 12-19.
‘To live in the hearts
Of those we love Is not to die’

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 BF564 JN-W

P/O Alan Joseph Lyall Sedunary, RAAF AUS.416619 – Pilot.
F/S Francis Patrick Lundon, RNZAF NZ404718 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Aubrey Lens, RAFVR 149672 – Navigator.
Sgt. Cecil Reginald Parish, RAFVR 1332576 – Air Bomber.
P/O Douglas Hamilton Moss, RNZAF NZ404653 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frank Kitchener Alcock, RAFVR 532245 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Jack Ernest Nicholson, RAFVR 1800467 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John James Gratton, RAFVR 1351568 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III BF564 JN-W was brought down at Martensmuhle, one mile South South West of Trebbin (13 miles South East of Potsdam).

All crew were killed.


NICOL, Henry

W/O Henry Nicol, RAF 657425 – Pilot.
Lost without trace age 23 on the 25th of July 1943.
Son of Henry and Margaret Nicol.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England.
Grave location – Panel 134.

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 EE890 AA-L

Sgt. Henry Nichol, RAF 657425 – Pilot.
F/S Alan James Robinson, RNZAF NZ42308 – Navigator.
P/O Edgar John Mansell, RAFVR 1339755/ 132097 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. William Henry Garvin, RAFVR 1077126 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Charles Edward Radford, RAFVR 1437419 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Sidney Norrington, RAFVR 646162 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Bernard Laurence Cooksley, RNZAF NZ41435 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EE890 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.

H Nicol


NICOL, Trafford McRae

P/O Trafford McRae Nicol, RNZAF NZ411929 – 2nd Pilot.
Fatally wounded, dying of his injuries the following morning age 21 on the 23rd of April 1942.
Son of James Alexander and Louisa Clara Nicol, of Seatoun, Wellington, New Zealand.
Buried Feltwell (St. Nicholas) Churchyard, Norfolk, England..
Grave location – Row C. Grave 11.

22/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against Targets at Cologne
Ten Well.III a\c were detailed attack the above targets. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 100lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs, 30lb and 4lb incendiaries was dropped in the target area but no results seen owing to cloud. There were only a few searchlights active and A.A. fire was slight. Well.III, X3487 captained by P/O Jarman was attacked by a JU.88 which attacked once and broke away to port. The results of this short attack were however serious the second pilot, P/O Nicol being mortally wounded, the rear gunner Sgt. Harris being killed and the Navigator Sgt. Taylor and W/Op. Sgt. Fernie were wounded. The bomb load was not dropped on the target but was dropped in the sea. The a/c was brought back to base and crash landed. Well.III, X3705, captained by F/S. McLachlan, was also attacked and the second pilot killed (P/O. Fountain) and Sgt. Tutty was wounded. F/Sgt. McLachlan managed to reach base and crash land.

Wellington Mk.III X.3487 AA-O
a/c shot up by JU88 and crash landed on return. Sgt. Harris was killed in the attack. P/O Nicol died of injuries the day after

P/O Eric George Delancey ‘Rick/ Riki’  Jarman , RAAF AUS.404507 – Pilot.
P/O Trafford McRae Nicol RNZAF NZ411929 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. William Henderson Taylor, RAFVR 1051621/ 122053 – Navigator.
Sgt. John Alexander Fernie, RAFVR 980003/ 127783 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. R.S. Davey, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Richard James Harris, RNZAF NZ402999 – Rear Gunner.

From “New Zealanders in the Air War”, by Alan Mitchell:
On these five operations only one aircraft was lost, but several injured men were brought back. One, Pilot Officer T. McRae Nicol, of Welling­ton, had been badly hit in the abdomen by shell-splinters. He was in great pain when they lifted him tenderly from the aircraft into the ambulance, but he had a smile for Olson.

I’ve got a guts full of lead, sir,” he told the CO., almost proudly. Morphia eased the rack of the pain, but although he probably knew he had little chance of survival, he remained cheerful until he died.

Trafford’s niece, Barbara remembers reading a letter from the Squadron’s Chaplin to Trafford’s parents saying that Trafford was a great leader, was always so positive and one of his favourites.  The letter also said that a WAAF had given Trafford a cup of hot tea before he was removed from his Wellington, and that the hot tea may have caused more damage to his stomach.  Barbara says she always thought that it was funny how her uncle died in the war from a hot cup of tea…….

Trafford was buried with full military honours at Feltwell’s St. Nicholas Churchyard, Row C Grave 11, on the 29th of April.

His crewmate Jim Harris was buried the same day at St. Nicholas Churchyard, Row B Grave 11.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/trafford-mcrae-nicol © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/trafford-mcrae-nicol © New Zealand War Graves Project


NOLA, David Leo

Sgt. David Leo Nola, RNZAF NZ39930 – Pilot.
Killed age 26 on the 7th of May 1941.
Son of Ivan John Nola, and of Kate Nola (Nee Versalko), of Tatuanui, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Grimsby (Scartho Road) Cemetery, Lincolnshire, England..
Grave location – Sec. 116. Row J. Grave 5.

06/05/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Hamburg
Ten Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above target. One of these aircraft, R,3169, after having bombed the target area, and while on return journey, crashed into a barrage balloon cable at the mouth of the River Humber and dived into the water. The rear gunner, SGT. Craven, was the only survivor of the crew of six. The bomb load carried by the ten machines consisted of 1000 lbs., 500 lbs., and 250 lbs.

Bombs were dropped by all aircraft, but owing to heavy cloud no results were observed. No observations were made and no reconnaissance carried out. Some light and heavy A.A. fire was experienced on route and in target area. Searchlights were few and ineffective. No enemy aircraft were encountered. The weather was not good, ten-tenths cloud being experienced over route and target area. Navigation was by D/R, W/T, astro,

Wellington Mk.Ic R.3169 AA-P

Sgt. David Leo Nola, RNZAF NZ39930 – Pilot.
Sgt. Alexander Coutts Mee, RNZAF NZ40656 – 2nd Pilot..
P/O Clifford Frederick Page, RAFVR 60780 – Navigator.
Sgt. Walter Russell, RAFVR 949560 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. John Hall, RAFVR 988980 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Craven, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Mk.Ic R.3169 AA-P and crew, took off from Feltwell, Norfolk to attack Hamburg. 115 aircraft took part including 50 Wellington’s (10 from 75(NZ) Squadron RAF), 31 Whitley’s, 27 Hampden’s, 4 Manchester’s and 3 Stirling’s. Due to poor visibility few aircraft failed to identify the targets. Only 12 bomb loads hit the target area and all aircraft returned.

On return to England following the raid, the aircraft crossed the East Coast in cloudy conditions well north of planned track, as a result of a major variation in forecast winds. After a change of course south at 04:45hrs, the aircraft struck barrage-balloon cables near Trinity Sands, six miles East North East of Grimsby, Lincs. and crashed into the water out of control.

Nola David


NORMAN, Raymond Fraser

F/S Raymond Fraser Norman, RNZAF NZ416145 – 2nd Pilot.
Killed age 23 on the 30th of May 1943.
Son of William Matthew and Annie Norman, of Winton, Southland, New Zealand.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 31. B. 15-17.

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 BK776 AA-R

P/O Raymond Frederick Bennett, RNZAF NZ415282 – Pilot.
Sgt. Raymond Francis Norman RNZAF NZ416145 – 2nd Pilot.
F/S Alan Lloyd Davidson, RNZAF NZ411864 – Navigator.
F/S Frederick Alexander Bandy, RAFVR 1318948 – Air Bomber.
F/S Stanley Leo Kavanagh, RNZAF NZ403579 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J.B. Harrison, RAFVR 1052295 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. James Allan Pirie, RCAF R.108000 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Christopher Patrick Middleton, RNZAF NZ413337 – Rear Gunner.

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.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/raymond-fraser-norman © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/raymond-fraser-norman © New Zealand War Graves Project


NORRINGTON, Harold Sidney

Sgt. Harold Sidney Norrington, RAF 646162 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 23 on the 25th of July 1943.
Son of George Edward Norrington, and of Edith Grace Norrington, of Bexleyheath, Kent.
Buried Hamburg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 4A. B. 6.
‘Sweetest thoughts
Shall ever linger,
Round the grave
Where thou art laid’

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 EE890 AA-L

Sgt. Henry Nichol, RAF 657425 – Pilot.
F/S Alan James Robinson, RNZAF NZ42308 – Navigator.
P/O Edgar John Mansell, RAFVR 1339755/ 132097 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. William Henry Garvin, RAFVR 1077126 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Charles Edward Radford, RAFVR 1437419 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Sidney Norrington, RAFVR 646162 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Bernard Laurence Cooksley, RNZAF NZ41435 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EE890 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.


NORTON, William George

F/S William George Norton, RNZAF NZ413227 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 28 on the 26th of August 1944.
Son Of George Allan Norton, And Of Louisa Jane Norton (Nee Webb), Of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand.
Buried Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 5. H. 16-18.

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 LL866 AA-S “Swingtime”

F/S Richard Stockdale Barker, RNZAF NZ421345 – Pilot.
F/S John Farnworth, RAFVR 1147012 – Navigator.
F/S William George Norton, RNZAF NZ413227 – Air Bomber.
W/O Raymond Firth, RAFVR NZ417203 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Gordon Baden Jones, RAFVR 1892748 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Henry George Baker, RAFVR 1814627 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Clifford George Nash, RAFVR 1654190 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I LL866 AA-S “Swingtime” was brought down over Germany, crashing near Untereisesheim, about a mile North of Heilbronn. There were no survivors. All of the crew were buried in the Durnbach War Cemetery.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/william-george-norton © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/william-george-norton © New Zealand War Graves Project


NUNN, Geoffrey Sidney

Sgt. Geoffrey Sidney Nunn, RAFVR 1252728 – Pilot.
Killed age 20 on the 8th of November 1941.
Son of Sidney Carter Nunn and Lily Evelyn Nunn, of Sawston, Cambridgeshire.
Buried Doetinchem (Loolaan) General Cemetery, Holland.
Grave location – Row 1. Grave 4.
‘He, as he flew,
Passed death on the Wing
Then deathless
Rose to immortality’

08/11/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Essen
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, captained 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 enemy 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.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9977 AA-D

Sgt. Geoffrey Sidney Nunn, RAFVR 1252728 – Pilot.
Sgt. Thomas Young Wyllie, RNZAF NZ40401 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Richard Dundas, RAFVR 986084 – Observer.
Sgt. Thomas Edison Elliott, RCAF R.52050 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Alfred Hubert Harrison, RNZAF NZ403000 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. William Massey, RAFVR 1365268 – Rear Gunner.

The aircraft was shot down at 21:36hrs by a night fighter (Lt Werner Rowlin, III./NJG1), crashing to the ground at Ijzevoorde (Gelderland), east of Doetinchen, Holland. All crew members were killed and later buried at the Loolaan General Cemetery.

SONY DSC

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