ND796

 

Air Historical Branch: Air Movement Cards

Air Historical Branch: Air Movement Cards -ND796

 

Date Target Notes Code Pilot Duration
1 18/04/44 Rouen AA-J Sgt. MacKenzie 04:00
2 24/04/44 Karlsruhe AA-J P/O McKenzie 05:30
3 26/04/44 Essen AA-J P/O McKenzie 04:15
4 27/04/44 Friedrichshafen AA-J F/O Herron Missing
 Total Op hours 13:45

 

27/04/1944 – Attack Against Friedrichshafen
Sixteen Lancasters were detailed to attack Friedrichshafen. Fourteen successfully carried out their mission, one aircraft bombed a decoy in error and another failed to return (Captain NZ42282 F/O. R. Herron).

Lancaster Mk.III ND796 AA-J

F/O Robert Weir Herron, RNZAF NZ425238 – Pilot.
F/S Matthew Roland Henderson, RNZAF NZ427204 – Navigator.
Sgt. Walter Reginald Percival, RAFVR 553063 – Air Bomber.
F/O Euan Wilfred McLachlan, RAFVR NZ415266 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. John William Germing, RAFVR 1803074 – Flight Engineer.
W/O Keith Alfred Smith, RNZAF NZ416022 – Mid Upper Gunner.
P/O Peter Ernest Chilman, RAFVR 155992 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:05 – Landed –
Flight Time – Missing

The Air Ministry specially requested this raid because this small town was known to contain several important factories making engines and gearboxes for German tanks. The raid was planned to take place on a moonlit night, even though a similar raid on Nuremberg four weeks ago in these conditions had disastrous results. But this town was further south, at the extremity of German fighter defences and so, the risks were thought to be less. As well, several diversionary attacks were made causing confusion among German air controllers. All aircraft in this raid therefore reached the target without being intercepted. This notwithstanding, the German fighters arrived at the target as the raid was taking place, resulting in 18 of the participating 322 Lancasters being shot down – 5.6% of the force.

There was no report of Anti Aircraft fire or searchlights. It was apparent, however, that German night-fighters had arrived in numbers, as witnessed by other aircraft coming under attack. One such aircraft was ND796, the Lancaster of F/O Bob Herron and his crew.
 The remaining fifteen unit aircraft returned to base safely, landing between 03.50 – 06.20hrs.

Lancaster Mk.III ND796 AA-J was shot down by a night-fighter just North West of the target, crashing 500 metres South East of Langenhart, about a mile North of Messkirch. There were no survivors. All seven crew were buried in a collective grave at Lagenhart. They were later re-interred at Durnbach War Cemetery.

This aircraft was the first 75(NZ) Squadron Lancaster reported missing..

F/O Robert Weir Herron, RNZAF NZ422282 – Pilot.
Killed age 23.
Son of David Craig Herron, and of Edith Stewart Herron (Nee Smart), of Auckland City, New Zealand. M.A. (Otago University).
Buried Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 4. C. 1-7.

F/S Matthew Roland Henderson, RNZAF NZ427204 – Navigator.
Killed age 25.
Son of Matthew C. Henderson, and of Agnes Henderson (Nee Findlay), of Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand.
Buried Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 4. C. 1-7.

Sgt. Walter Reginald Percival, RAF 553063 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 22.
Son of Wallis George and Ellen Elizabeth Percival, of Blackheath, London.
Buried Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 4. C. 1-7.

F/O Euan Wilfred Mclachlan, RNZAF NZ415266 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 22.
Son of Wallace Lamorg Mclachlan and Erica Mclachlan, of Tinwald, Canterbury, New Zealand.
Buried Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 4. C. 1-7.

Sgt. John William Germing, RAFVR 1803074 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 22.
Son of Wilhelmus Joseph and Leah Elizabeth Germing; Husband of Lilian May Germing, of Potters Bar, Middlesex.
Buried Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 4. C. 1-7.

W/O Keith Alfred Smith, RNZAF NZ416022 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 23.
Son of William James Smith and Elsie Mary Smith, of Pahiatua, Wellington, New Zealand.
Buried Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 4. C. 1-7.

F/O Peter Ernest Chilman, RAFVR 155993 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 25.
Buried Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 4. C. 1-7.