O

OAKEY, Arthur Leslie Archibald

F/S Arthur Leslie Archibald Oakey, RNZAF NZ4213810 – Navigator.
Lost without trace age 33 on the 21st of March 1945.
Son of Arthur and Flora Elizabeth Jane Oakey; Husband of Joan Elizabeth Oakey, of Gisborne, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 285.

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.


OATEN, Percy

Sgt. Percy Oaten, RAFVR 959151 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 24 on the 29th of August 1942.
Buried Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 9. K. 20.

28/08/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Nuremburg
Ten aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lb. And 1000lb. 500lb. And incendiaries were dropped in the target area. Large fires were seen, A.A. fire was heavy but inaccurate, there were large concentrations of searchlights, enemy aircraft were very accurate. Wellington BJ.837, captained by Sgt. Hockaday reported that the whole town was ablaze and fires were observed 70 miles from the target. Four bomber and one presumed to be fighter were seen falling in flames. The nacelle tanks were pulled in the Amiens region, approximately 60 miles from the coast. Aircraft landed at Tangmere owing to shortage of petrol. On landing one tyre was discovered to be burst. Wellington X.3936 captained by P/O Trott, was attacked by ME.110 fire was returned and the rear gunner, Sgt. Hamerton, reported that the enemy aircraft was hit, no further fire was exchanged. the weather was excellent being clear moonlight over the target, navigation was very good by D/R and T/R. Wellington BJ.673 captained by Sgt. Davis and Wellington X.3389 captained by Sgt. Perks failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III X.3389 AA-? (a/c designator not known)

Sgt. Eric Perks, RNZAF NZ411934 – Pilot.
Sgt. Reginald George Arthur Lee, RAFVR 1218848 – Navigator/ Observer.
Sgt. Walter Harrison Irvine, RCAF R.75436 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. John David Robert McGillivary, RAFVR 922684 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Percy Oaten, RAFVR 959151 – Rear Gunner.

The aircraft was shot down by flak on the outskirts of Frankfurt, about 150miles from the target. There were no survivors. They were possibly on their return flight to base after leaving Nuremberg. Their bodies were initially buried in the Okerrad Cemetery, but later reinterred at Durnbach.


O’DOWD, Albert William

Sgt. Albert William O’Dowd, RNZAF NZ41544 – Observer.
Killed age 25 on the 9th of June 1942.
Son of William Charles and Florence Louise O’Dowd, of Romford, Essex.
Buried Bergen-Op-Zoom Canadian War Cemetery, Holland.
Grave location – 14. C. 6.

08/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Twelve aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and 4 lb inc was dropped in the target area. Owing to haze results were not observed. There was a heavy concentration of flak and searchlights in target area. Two unidentified a/c were observed near Dutch Coast by Well.III, X3720 and were eluded. Weather was good no cloud over target but hazy. Navigation was very good. Well.III, X3587, captained by P/O. Smith and Well.III, Z1573, captained by P/O Murdoch failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1573 AA-T

P/O Graham Edward ‘Stinker’ Murdoch, RNZAF NZ411927 – Pilot.
Sgt. Albert William O’Dowd, RNZAF NZ41544 – Observer.
P/O Robert Weston, RAFVR 111532 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Leon Gaston Knight, RNZAF NZ405494 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. John Lewis Morris, RAFVR 617843 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1573 AA-T was shot down, possibly by a night fighter over the Netherlands. It crashed into the Krabbenkreek between St. Philipsland and the Anna Jacobapolder (Zeeland), 20km North West of Bergen-op-Zoom.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/albert-william-odowd © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/albert-william-odowd © New Zealand War Graves Project


O’FARRELL, John Herbert

Sgt. John Herbert O’Farrell, RAFVR 1796043 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 19 on the 31st of July 1943.
Son of John and Margaret O’Farrell, of Dundrum, Co. Down, Northern Ireland.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 2. F. 10.
‘Jesus, mercy!
Requiescent in pace.
Also his brave comrades.
Amen’

30/07/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Remscheld
Thirteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lb. And 4lb..One aircraft returned early as rear turret was unserviceable and two failed to return. The remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area, large concentrated fires and some explosions were seen. Moderate heavy and light A.A fire co-operating with searchlight belts were encountered, and one aircraft was slightly damaged in the mid- upper turret. Some enemy aircraft were seen, the aircraft captained by F/S. O. WHITE sighted an unidentified aircraft which attacked three times. Each time the mid upper and rear gunners fired a burst, and strikes were seen on the enemy aircraft which then fell away and claimed to be damaged. The weather was good with clear visibility except for haze caused by fires. Navigation was very good. On return, one aircraft landed at HARDWICK, due to shortage of petrol. The missing aircraft were Stirling Mk.III BF458 captained by Sgt. A.J. THOMAS and Stirling Mk.III EE915 captained by F/Sgt. J. DARNEY.

Stirling Mk.III BF458 JN-A

Sgt. Alfred John Thomas, RAFVR 1394123/ 149999 – Pilot.
Sgt. Hector Alisdair ‘Paddy’ Stewart , RAFVR 1029882 – Navigator.
F/S Frederick William Raukawa Cumpsty, RNZAF NZ413386 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. R.H. Boxell, RAFVR 1331932 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. John William Gale, RAFVR 1271102 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. John Hubert O’Farrell, RAFVR 1796043 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ernest Frank Henry, RCAF R.139159 – Rear Gunner.

BF458 was brought down to the north of Krefeld, near Bockum and Uerdingen. The sole survivors were the Navigator and the Wireless Operator who were captured as POW’s. The Flight Engineer and M/U gunner were buried in the Reichswald Forest Cemetery. The other three are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.


OGDEN, George

Sgt. George Ogden, RAFVR 1573298 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 19 on the 24th of August 1943.
Son of George and Ellen Rae Ogden, of Knightswood, Glasgow.
Buried Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 6. B. 26.
‘To-day we proudly
And fondly recall
The young and brave
Who gave their all’

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 main plane. 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 BF465 AA-K
From RAF Mepal Station Log AIR28/532 lists aircraft as ‘C’ Flight JN

P/O Andrew Rankin, RAFVR 1345194/ 146332 – Pilot.
P/O Mervyn Arthur Ericksen, RNZAF NZ416103 – Navigator.
F/S James Third, RNZAF NZ422671 – Air Bomber.
F/S Frederick William Thorstenson, RNZAF NZ414529 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frank Morris Freeman, RAFVR 1575231 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. D. Catterick, RAFVR 1318470 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Ogden, RAFVR 1573298 – Rear Gunner.

BF465 was brought down 3 miles South of Lanka, (14 miles North North East of Berlin). All on board were killed except Sgt Catterick, who either parachuted to safety or escaped uninjured from the wreck and was captured as a POW. Those who died were buried in the 1939 – 45 Berlin War Cemetery near where the aircraft came down.

SONY DSC


OLIVE, John

Sgt. John Olive, RAFVR 978156 – Wireless Operator .
Killed age 23 on the 10th of January 1941.
Son of John and Ellen Olive, of Blackpool.
Buried Elton, (All Saints) Churchyard, Bury, Lancashire, England..
Grave location – Sec. N. Vault 2483.
‘Great love
Hath no man than this
That a man lay down
His life for his friends’

On the night of 10th of January 1941 The McNamara crew took off from Feltwell on Night Flying Training (N.F.T.)

Wellington Mk.Ic T.2550 AA-L

P/O Brian Patrick Mcnamara, RAF 42856 – Pilot.
P/O Alexander James Ryan, RNZAF NZ391367 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Richard Booth Elliott, RAF 581379 – Observer.
Sgt. Matthew Roy Ritchie, RAF 631868 – Front Gunner .
Sgt. John Olive, RAFVR 978156 – Wireless Operator .
P/O Ronald Edward Ashby-Peckham, RNZAF NZ40714 – Rear Gunner.

75(NZ)Squadron Form 540 January 1941
Jan.10
At 10.00 hours on 10.1.41, P/O McNamara was detailed to carry out a Night Flying Test on aircraft T.2550, Letter “L”. After the N.F.T. his instructions were to proceed to Bassingbourn, drop P/O Ryan and bring back a new Pilot who was taking P/O Ryans’s place.

Cloud base at Feltwell was 1,500 feet and P/O McNamara was warned that south and westwards the cloud base would be lower, and , if he did not like it to return to base.

Operations Room was notified of this proposed cross country flight and P/O McNamara ascertained from Operations Air Control that Bassingbourn was serviceable, and gave his approx.. time of take of as 11.30 hours. Station Signals failed to contact the aircraft after it had taken off, E.T.A. base was 13.00 hours. At 14.30 hours Control commenced taking overdue action and rang Bassingbourn on P.B.K. but did not connect until 15.25 hours when they ascertained that the aircraft had not arrived. At 16.40 hours No.3 Group informed us that the aircraft had crashed at Heath Farm, Stapleford, near Duxford, and the following personel were killed or died from injuries.

P/O B.P. McNamara (Captain) unmarried. P/O A.J. Ryan (2nd Pilot) unmarried.
Sgt. Elliot R.B. (Navigator) unmarried. Sgt. J. Olive (W/Operator) unmarried.
Sgt. M.R. Ritchie (Front Gunner) unmarried. Sgt. R.E. Ashby-Peckham (Rear Gunner) unmarried. Seriously injured and taken to Addenbrooks Hospital.

DSC02825


O’LOUGHLIN, Vincent John

W/O Vincent John O’Loughlin, RAF 536970 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 26 on the 21st of October 1944.
Son of Thomas and Sarah O’Loughlin; Husband of Beryl Margaret O’Loughlin, of Carterton, Oxfordshire.
Buried Bergen-Op-Zoom Canadian War Cemetery, Holland..
Grave location – 13. B. 9.
‘Cherished memories
Of one most dearly loved.
Till we meet again, R.I.P.’

21/10/1944 – Attack Against Flushing
Twenty five aircraft took off to attack Flushing. All crews were able to identify the target visually and bombing was reported as being very accurate. A.A. opposition was moderate. One aircraft (Captain 176437 F/O J. Johnson) failed to return, but was seen to be shot down over the target by heavy A A fire.

Lancaster Mk.I HK596 AA-O Oboe

F/O James ‘Johnny’ Johnson, RAFVR 176437 – Pilot.
W/O Thomas Talbot ‘Tommy’ Murdoch, RAFVR 1345478 – Navigator.
F/O Alexander Mitchell ‘Mitch’ Penman, RNZAF NZ416154 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. James ‘Jimmy’ Smith, RAFVR 1604615 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Lorenzo ‘Larry’ Marfil, RAFVR 1893899 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alexander ‘Jumbo’ Reid, RAFVR 2211424 – Mid Upper Gunner.
W/O Vincent John O’Loughlin, RAFVR 536970 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I HK596 AA-O was engaged in a visual bombing attack against an enemy gun battery near the Port of Vlissengen, Netherlands. At 12:32hrs other crews flying nearby reported seeing HK596 come under heavy AA fire, with at least one engine on fire. Within minutes the aircraft descended quickly near the target area. Five parachutes were seen to deploy before the aircraft hit the ground and broke up. None of the crew survived the late abandonment or the crash. Five were buried in the Bergen op Zoom War Cemetery and two are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.


ORR, Albert Cyril

Sgt. Albert Cyril Orr, RAFVR 1145143 – Front Gunner.
Killed age 21 on the 13th of October 1942.
Son of Stanley and Annie Orr, of Kilkeel, Co. Down. Northern Ireland.
Buried Kiel War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 3. F. 2.
‘Safe in the arms of Jesus.
For ever with the Lord’

13/10/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Kiel
Thirteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4,000 lb and incendiaries were dropped in the target area. Large fires were seen particularly on West side of Fiord. Light, medium and heavy A.A. fire was encountered over a large area, searchlights were also seen on the way to the target. No enemy aircraft were seen. The weather was clear, with no cloud over the target, visibility was good by the light of flares. Navigation was D.R, T.R. visual and pin-points. Wellington X3954 captained by Sergt. Watters failed to return. Wellington BJ837 captained by Sergt. Davey crashed at R.A.F. Station Lakenheath on return owing to shortage of petrol, four of the crew were injured. All taking part considered this to be a very successful raid.

Wellington Mk.III X.3954 AA-?

Sgt. Ventry Watters, RNZAF NZ413522 – Pilot.
Sgt. Lewis Harry Parkinson, RNZAF NZ412518 – Observer.
Sgt. Ellison George Firth, RNZAF NZ412218 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Albert Cyril Orr, RAFVR 1145143 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Henry Edward Goldsack, RAFVR 1250808 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Mk.III X.3954 was disabled by AA fire in the target area at Kiel, then crashed 6 miles North West of Tonning, a town 50 miles due West of Kiel. All five crew were killed. They were initially buried at Brunsbüttelkoog Cemetery, but later reinterred at Kiel.


OSBORN, Andrew Francis Atterbury  DFC

F/L Andrew Francis Atterbury Osborn, RAF 73033 – Pilot.
Killed age 25 on the 28th of August 1942.
Son of Professor T. G. B. Osborn and May Osborn; Husband of Marjorie May Atterbury Osborn, of Paddington, London.
Buried Hanover War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – 5. K. 11.
‘Rest in God’s heavenly peace
For ever’

27/08/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Kassel
Twelve aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack. Bomb load of 4000 lb. 500 lb. and incendiaries were dropped in the target area. Numerous fires were seen in the whole area. A.A. fire was moderate, very few searchlights were encountered. Wellington BJ.584 captained by Sgt. Burril met JU88 when about 30 miles from target, combat ensued in which Sgt. Burrill’s aircraft was seriously damaged and port engine put out of action. The rear gunner, Sgt. Gorman claims to have shot down the JU88 and to have seen it falling in flames to the ground, the bomb load was jettisoned, and he turned for home. The aircraft failed to maintain height and was down to 700ft at the Dutch Coast, being shot at by light A.A. fire. He crossed the sea still losing height and belly landed at R.A.F. Wattisham on return. The weather was fine, navigation was excellent. Wellington BJ.708 captained by F/Lt Osborn failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III BJ.708 AA-?

F/L Andrew Francis Atterbury Osborn, RAF 73033 – Pilot.
P/O Errol Thomas Peterson Dalzell, RNZAF NZ411738 – Observer.
Sgt. Denis Patrick Hogan, RNZAF NZ412331 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Roderick McGregor, RNZAF 1100964 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Victor Arthur Tunbridge, RNZAF NZ411788 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Mk.III BJ.708 was brought down near the town of Melsungen, 18miles south of Kessel, probably as a result of flak damage. There were no survivors.

All five crew were initially buried in the Korle Cemetery, Melsungen, but later reinterred at Hanover.


OSBORNE, John Edward

F/S John Edward Osborne, RAAF AUS.417877 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 23 on the 21st of July 1944.
Son of John and Margaret Ellen Osborne, of Allenby Gardens, South Australia.
Buried Eindhoven (Woensel) General Cemetery, Holland.     .
Grave location – Plot KK. Grave 111. 94
‘”Jack”
Gone till morning dawns
Into God’s care.
Loved and remembered’

20/07/1944 – Attack Against Homberg
Twenty six aircraft took off, as detailed, to attack the oil refinery at Homberg. Nineteen aircraft were successful in bombing the target, with the aid of markers, which seemed well concentrated. Two good explosions were seen and smoke came up from the target area. Heavy A.A. fire was moderate, but fighters were very active, eight combats taking place. Seven aircraft failed to return, the captains were AUS22776 W/O. Gilmour, H., NZ428819 F/S. Howell, E., NZ421829 F/S. Mackay, K., NZ422057 F/S. Davidson, N., NZ42488 W/O. Whittington, H., NZ413219 F/S. Roche, G. & NZ414560 P/O. Burtt, H.

Lancaster Mk.III ND915 AA-A

W/O Hugh Edward Gilmour, RAAF AUS.22776 – Pilot.
W/O Lindsay Arthur Woodward, RAAF AUS.417257 – Navigator.
F/S Samuel Mills, RAAF AUS.425036 – Air Bomber.
F/S John Edward Osborne, RAAF AUS.417877 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Reginald Ernest Buzza, RAFVR 2203174 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. W.J.S. Ballard, RAFVR 1853215 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Leonard Stephenson, RAFVR 2202048 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.III ND915 AA-A was brought down by an enemy night-fighter at 01:35hrs between Keldost (Noord-Brabant) and Erp, 3 miles South East of Veghel. Five of the seven crew died and two, the Navigator and Mid Upper Gunner, escaped uninjured  to be taken as Prisoners of War.

Osborne JE


O’SHEA, William Clerken

Sgt. William Clerken O’Shea, RNZAF NZ411096 – Observer.
Killed age 28 on the 29th of July 1942.
Son of John and Margaret O’Shea; Husband of Ann O’Shea, of Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand.
Buried Becklingen War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – Joint Grave 11. E. 8-9.

28/07/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Seventeen a/c were detailed to carry out an attack on the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 30lb and 4lb incendiaries was dropped in target area and bursts were seen in dock area. A.A. fire was very accurate, light and heavy predicted. There were many accurate searchlight cones in parts but clear over target. Navigation was good by TR and DR. Six a/c failed to return to base

Wellington Mk.III BJ.599 AA-U

Sgt. George Alister Hutt, RNZAF NZ41914 – Pilot.
P/O Murray Ellis Carncross, RNZAF NZ411718 – Observer.
Sgt. James Gordon McMurchy, RNZAF NZ405539 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Clerken O’Shea, RAFVR NZ411096 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. John Henry Savage, RNZAF NZ404620 – Rear Gunner.

Following a bombing attack on Hamburg, where intense anti-aircraft defence measures were encountered, Wellington Mk.III BJ.599 AA-U crashed at Steinbeck, near Stade, about 20 miles to the North West of the target. There were no survivors. All were buried at Stade, but after the war they were reinterred at Becklingen.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/william-clerken-oshea © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/william-clerken-oshea © New Zealand War Graves Project


OWEN, John Lewis

Sgt. John Lewis Owen, RNZAF NZ391332 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 24 on the 20th of July 1940.
Son of Wilfred and N. G. Owen, of Wanganui, Wellington, New Zealand.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 21. F. 1.

20/07/1940 – Bombing Attacks on Targets A.70 and A.71
Nine aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out individual attacks on targets above. The Squadron suffered its second loss, since the beginning of Operations in March 1940, when CB.650 (F/O. Watson, Captain) failed to return.

CB.639 reports, two attacks, consisting of two sticks of 5 bombs each were dropped over the target at 00.33 hours. Height 5,000 feet. Previously to this another aircraft had dropped incendiaries in same area. Fires and explosions from other aircraft’s bombs, on target, but few from incendiaries which dropped little to West of actual area. EINDHAVEN flare path bombed with stick of 3 – 250lbs. bombs at 22.35 hours by CB.640. Flare path extinguished and remained so. Target A.70 located and bombed at 00.25hrs. Bursts observed and fires observed to break out and gradually increased.

CB.641 reports, being unable to identify target, bombs were dropped from 9,500ft in one stick on railway junction at KAMEN. Last two bombs observed to burst in railway yards.

CB.648 located target after waiting for cloud to disperse and doing several dummy runs. Believed bombed successfully as four bursts observed on N.E. corner of works and fires started across railway line.

CB.649 reports, the incendiaries seen to burst on Southern extremity of target. The 250lbs bombs were not observed owing to cloud over target.

Level attack from 10,800ft made by CB.651 from N.E. to S.W. on target A.71. Three hits obtained on N side of target, remaining bombs appeared to undershoot. Several small fires started followed by minor explosions.

A high level attack carried out from 14,000ft by CB.652. One large flash observed and number of small fires. One red and two green.

CB.653 reports, the target located without difficulty, being made so by light of moon and excellent landmarks. Bombed from 11,000ft in one stick on straight run over target. Results unobserved.

Balloons seen up to 14,000 feet in many towns over RUHR. Heavy flak experienced over WESEL and all target areas, accurate for height etc./ Searchlights over whole area.

Three H.E. 113’s attacked CB639 over WESEL. (i) above and astern (ii)Starboard qtr and below. (iii) below and astern. No.(ii) shot down in flames, No. 3 assumed disabled. No.1 attacked 3 times afterwards.

Weather fair, visibility good, throughout whole of journey. Navigation by D/R, visual fixes and homing bearings. The moon was quite advantageous in helping to locate the target.

Wellington Mk.1c R.3165 AA-L
Raid No. CB.650 A.70

F/O Samuel Miles Mackenzie Watson, RAF 77026 – Pilot.
P/O Edward Colin Joseph Cameron, RAF 36237 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Gordon Murray Cumming, RAFVR 743076 – Observer.
F/S Ronald Alexander John Anderson, RNZAF NZ36139 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. John Lewis Owen, RNZAF NZ391332 – Rear Gunner .

There is no record, regarding the details of the loss of Wellington Mk. 1c R.3165 AA-L. The aircraft came down near Weseke, approximately 40 miles North North West of Horst airfield, near Gelsenkirchen. Other crews on the Op noted the presence of three Me.109’s, seen in the moonlight over the target area. Thus, it would be reasonable to conjecturise that the Watson crew succumbed to at least one of these aircraft.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/john-lewis-owen © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/john-lewis-owen © New Zealand War Graves Project


OWEN, William

Sgt. William Owen, RCAF 58067 – 2nd Pilot.
Lost without trace age 19 on the 24th of July 1941.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 61.

24/07/1941 – Daylight Attacks Against Battleship Gneisenau at Brest
Six Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out daylight attacks against the above target. One of these aircraft, N.2854 captained by SGT. Streeter failed to return to base. The bomb load consisted of 24 500lbs. S.A.P.
Results were unobserved by DNS.772.
DNS.329 reports bombs overshot aiming point. Direct hits on sheds or warehouses about half mile S.E. of aiming point were observed.
DNS.411 reports that one and possibly two hits were observed on north end of No.1 graving dock.
Results were not observed by P/). Ashworth.
S/L. Lucas reports that bombs were dropped in target area.
Balloons were observed in the harbour.
A.A. fire was very intense and accurate.
Enemy aircraft were numerous and our aircraft were attacked.
The weather was excellent and visibility was good.
Navigation was by D/R, and map reading.

Wellington Mk.Ic N.2854 AA-U

Sgt. Desmond Frederick Streeter, RNZAF NZ401033 – Pilot.
Sgt. William Owen, RCAF R.58067 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Rodney Patrick Carling, RAFVR 950217 – Navigator.
Sgt. Reginald James Turner, RAFVR 913804 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Robert Samuel Carson Craig, RAFVR 947814 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Graham Stuart Walker, RNZAF NZ401817 – Rear Gunner.

There was no report from Sgt Streeter’s crew. Their aircraft, Wellington Mk.Ic N.2854 AA-U, failed to return and was officially classified as ‘lost without trace’. Numerous enemy aircraft were operating in the area and Squadron aircraft were among those coming under attack. It became clear that these attacks had a profound bearing on the loss of R2854.

One of the other Wellington crews in the same formation as Streeter’s, witnessed the latter’s aircraft being targeted by a number of Me109’s and receiving several cannon shell bursts that caused an engine to fail. They last saw the Wellington going down steeply with two or three Me109’s still attacking it. Their chances of escaping would have been very slim, and it was concluded the aircraft had crashed out of control into the sea.

W Owen


OWENS, William Alfred

F/S William Alfred Owens, RAFVR 1250494 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 21 on the 30th of May 1943.
Son of Thomas and Elizabeth Owens, of Gelli, Glamorgan; Husband of Edna Mary Owens, of Gelli, Glamorgan.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – 6. A. 13.

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 EH881 AA-Z

Sgt. John Henry Roy Carey, RNZAF NZ414242 – Pilot.
Sgt. John Lewes Roberts, RNZAF NZ411593 – Navigator.
Sgt. Percy Gibson Knight, RNZAF NZ417282 – Air Bomber.
F/S Maurice Archibald Brady, RNZAF NZ39987 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. T.E. Beaver, RAFVR 1276184 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. William Alfred Owen, RAFVR 1250494 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Norman Alexander McLeod, RNZAF NZ404079 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EH881 AA-Z was brought down at Eilendorf, outside the township of Aachen (35 miles South West of Cologne). The Captain and two gunners died in the crash and are buried in Rheinberg War Cemetery. The other four crew all escaped uninjured, either by parachute or from the wrecked aircraft, and were captured as POW’s.

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