P

PADDEN, Gerald Thomas

Sgt. Gerald Thomas Padden, RAFVR 1 041966 – Air Bomber.
Lost without trace age 20 on the 17th of December 1942.
Son of Gerald Luke and Janetta Padden, of Chester-Le-Street, Co. Durham.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 91.

17/12/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Fallersleben
Five aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with bombs of 1,000lb. This was to be a low level flight all the way climbing to 5,000feet to bomb. Four out of the five aircraft unfortunately failed to return. They were the Squadron Commander, Wing Commander V. Mitchell, D.F.C., captain of Stirling I BF396 who took W/O Bagnall and crew who had only arrived a few days previously. Stirling I,BF400 captained by F/O Jacobson, Stirling 1, BK620 captained by P/O R.E. Williams, and Stirling I, R9247 captained by F/Sgt. Rousseau. The one aircraft to return was captained by P/O McCullough who could not find the target owing to rain and bad visibility, and bombed an alternative. This was an aerodrome, the bombs were seen to explode on the flare path and hangars. A.A. fore was fairly heavy and a few searchlights were seen. The aircraft was twice attacked by fighters but they were driven off on each occasion, on return the aircraft was found to have four holes believed due to combat with one of the fighters. The weather was clear to the target but developed to rain and 7/10th cloud on return. Navigation was good.

Stirling Mk.I BF396 AA-X

W/C Victor Mitchell, RAF 37755 – Pilot.
W/O Trevor Horace Bagnall , RNZAF NZ40640 – 2nd Pilot.
F/S Reginald William Pearson, RAFVR 747858 – Navigator.
Sgt. Gerald Thomas Padden, RAFVR 1041966 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Stuart John Goff, RAFVR 916785 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Robert Hart, RAFVR 523663 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Arthur Henry Rider, RAFVR 960489 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Albert Charles William Parker, RAFVR 909252 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.I BF.396 AA-X was lost without trace and all crew presumed dead. They are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. The Captain, W/C V Mitchell, DFC, RAF, was the Squadron Commander. W/O Bagnall and his crew had only arrived on the Unit a few days previously.

It is thought possible that BF.396 might have been brought down by Oblt. Werner Huseman of Stab NJG1 at 20.53, with the aircraft coming down in the North Sea approximately 5km West of Bergen aan Zee, however this has not been substantiated. (Source Aircrew Remembered http://www.aircrewremembered.com/mitchell-victor.html)

GT Padden


PAGE, Clifford Frederick

P/O Clifford Frederick Page, RAFVR 60780 – Observer.
Killed age 22 on the 7th of May 1941.
Son of Frederick James Page and Hilda Page of Norwich; Husband of Muriel Alice Page, of Norwich.
Buried Great Yarmouth (Caister) Cemetery, Norfolk, England..
Grave location – Sec. M. Grave 876.
‘The greatest gift of all,
His unfinished life;
That was the measure
Of his faith’

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.


PAGE, Frank Albert

W/O Frank Albert Page, RAAF AUS.409481 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 29 on the 23rd of May 1944.
Son of Arthur Edwin and Cecela Mary Page; husband of Margaret Page, of East Malvern, Victoria, Australia.
Buried Heverlee War Cemetery, Belgium..
Grave location – Coll. grave 6. C. 3-5. 181
‘He gave his life
For home and country’

22/05/1944 – Attack Against Dortmund
Twenty three aircraft were detailed to attack Dortmund of which eighteen completed their mission successfully. Three aircraft returned early and two failed to return (Captains NZ417016 P/O. E. Burke and NZ42354 P/O. C. Armstrong). The raid was well concentrated and carried out in good weather with excellent visibility. One aircraft had an inconclusive combat with a JU 88. Otherwise the operation was uneventful.

Lancaster Mk.I ME690 AA-Z

P/O Edgar Lawrence Burke, RNZAF NZ417016 – Pilot.
F/O John Wallace Downing, RAFVR 136351 – Navigator.
W/O Frank Albert Page, RAAF AUS.409481 – Air Bomber.
F/S Alan Stevens Bromley, RAFVR 1247614 – Wireless Operator .
F/S Walter Pickering, RAFVR 1434290 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. James Henry Cooper, RAFVR 1308375 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Donald Cameron Kitchener Grant, RAFVR 527237 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I ME690 AA-Z was shot down by a night-fighter and crashed at Neerpelt (Limburg) 5miles from Lommel, Belgium, after breaking up in flight. There were no survivors. Their remains were reinterred in Heverlee War Cemetery, near Louvain.

Page FA


PAGETT, William George Simpson

F/O William George Simpson Pagett, RAFVR 151630 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 27 on the 22nd of November 1943.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – 26. A. 8.

22/11/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Berlin
Four aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1,000lbs and incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb. One aircraft returned early owing to an Oxygen failure and two failed to return. The remaining aircraft successfully dropped its bombs in the Target Area. It was very difficult to assess the results as there was 10/10ths cloud over the target. Little opposition was encountered and no incidents were reported. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk.III LJ453 Captained by F/S A.Single and EF148 Captained by F/S. J. TURNER.

Stirling Mk.III EF148 AA-R

F/S John Cecil Turner, RNZAF NZ421115 – Pilot.
P/O Stanley Henry MacKenzie, RNZAF NZ422418 – Navigator.
P/O William George Simpson Pagett, RAFVR 151630 – Air Bomber.
F/S James Lindis Cowie, RNZAF NZ42322 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. George Joseph Blackman, RAFVR 1398967 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Robert McLeod More, RAFVR 1809983 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas McGloin, RAFVR 1796255 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EF148 AA-R was brought down over Germany, crashing near Achner, 10miles North West of Osnabruck. There were no survivors. The seven crew members were buried at Achner but later reinterred at Reichswald Forest Cemetery, South West of Cleve.


PAINTER, Eric Henry James

Sgt. Eric Henry James Painter, RAFVR 1359501 – Front Gunner.
Lost without trace age 26 on the 30th of November 1941.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England.
Grave location – Panel 50.

30/11/41 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Emden and Hamburg
Eleven Wellington Ic and two Wellington II aircraft were detailed from the Unit to attack the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried consisting of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Weather was clear and visibility good. A few bombs were dropped in the target area the remaining were bought back to base. Heavy, medium and light flak was encountered and a large number of searchlights were active. (Sentence illegible). One unidentified aircraft was also seen off the Frisian Islands. A convoy off Cromer fired at aircraft until colours were fired. Navigation was good. Astro and D.R. loop being used. One Wellington Ic aircraft, 1099, captained by Sgt. Harrison-Smith failed to return to base.

Wellington Mk. Ic Z.1099 AA-S

F/S Francis Charles Harrison-Smith, RNZAF NZ403959 – Pilot.
Sgt. Douglas Victor Sizmur, RAFVR 934205 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Daniel Mccready, RAFVR 1375023 – Observer.
Sgt. Eric Henry James Painter, RAFVR 1359501 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Brian Dominic Meagher, RAFVR 1109620 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Peter Buckby, RAFVR 1156870 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Z.1099 failed to return. It was shot down at 23:05hrs by a night fighter (Pilot; Ofw Paul Gildner, 4. /NJG1) and crashed into the Waddenzee. All members of the crew died.

EHJ Painter


PARISH, Cecil Reginald

Sgt. Cecil Reginald Parish, RAFVR 1332576 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 22 on the 24th of August 1943.
Son of Robert James Parish and Alice Parish, of Norwich; Husband of Olive Edith Parish, of Norwich.
Buried Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 6. E. 12-19.
‘At the going down
Of the sun
And in the morning
We will remember him’

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 the crew were killed.


PARKER, Albert Charles William

F/S Albert Charles William Parker, RAFVR 909252 – Rear Gunner.
Lost without trace age 22 on the 17th of December 1942.
Son of James Christopher and Emma Parker, of Gorleston, Norfolk.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 75.

17/12/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Fallersleben
Five aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with bombs of 1,000lb. This was to be a low level flight all the way climbing to 5,000feet to bomb. Four out of the five aircraft unfortunately failed to return. They were the Squadron Commander, Wing Commander V. Mitchell, D.F.C., captain of Stirling I BF396 who took W/O Bagnall and crew who had only arrived a few days previously. Stirling I,BF400 captained by F/O Jacobson, Stirling 1, BK620 captained by P/O R.E. Williams, and Stirling I, R9247 captained by F/Sgt. Rousseau. The one aircraft to return was captained by P/O McCullough who could not find the target owing to rain and bad visibility, and bombed an alternative. This was an aerodrome, the bombs were seen to explode on the flare path and hangars. A.A. fore was fairly heavy and a few searchlights were seen. The aircraft was twice attacked by fighters but they were driven off on each occasion, on return the aircraft was found to have four holes believed due to combat with one of the fighters. The weather was clear to the target but developed to rain and 7/10th cloud on return. Navigation was good.

Stirling Mk.I BF396 AA-X

W/C Victor Mitchell, RAF 37755 – Pilot.
W/O Trevor Horace Bagnall , RNZAF NZ40640 – 2nd Pilot.
F/S Reginald William Pearson, RAFVR 747858 – Navigator.
Sgt. Gerald Thomas Padden, RAFVR 1041966 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Stuart John Goff, RAFVR 916785 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Robert Hart, RAFVR 523663 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Arthur Henry Rider, RAFVR 960489 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Albert Charles William Parker, RAFVR 909252 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.I BF.396 AA-X was lost without trace and all crew presumed dead. They are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. The Captain, W/C V Mitchell, DFC, RAF, was the Squadron Commander. W/O Bagnall and his crew had only arrived on the Unit a few days previously.

It is thought possible that BF.396 might have been brought down by Oblt. Werner Huseman of Stab NJG1 at 20.53, with the aircraft coming down in the North Sea approximately 5km West of Bergen aan Zee, however this has not been substantiated. (Source Aircrew Remembered http://www.aircrewremembered.com/mitchell-victor.html)

ACW Parker


PARKER, Robert Ronald Smithie

Sgt. Robert Ronald Smithie Parker, RAFVR 1892552 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 20 on the 12th of August 1944.
Buried Hoton War Cemetery, Belgium..
Grave location – Coll. grave VI. G. 1-6.

12/08/1944 – Attack Against Russelsheim
Ten aircraft set out to attack Factories at Russelsheim which are engaged in Flying Bomb production. Nine aircraft bombed the target with the aid of markers and good results were reported. A.A. defences were light, but enemy fighters were active on the homeward route, one aircraft having an inconclusive combat with a JU 88. The aircraft captained by NZ428793 .F/S. Mulcahy, C., failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I HK564 AA-P

F/S Cyril Desmond Mulcahy, RNZAF NZ426783 – Pilot.
F/O Whelan Fallon Hazard, RNZAF NZ429047 – Navigator.
F/S Edward Leonard Thomson, RNZAF NZ4211036 – Air Bomber.
F/S William Elvin, RNZAF NZ426883 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Robert Ronald Smithie Parker, RAFVR 1892552 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Haig Douglas Johnston, RNZAF NZ426320 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S John Herbert Wright, RNZAF NZ426209 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I HK564 AA-P was brought down by a night-fighter, crashing at Ouren (Liege), a small village on the Belgium/German border, 9 mils East South East of St-Vith. Six of the crew were killed in the crash and were buried at Ouren. The body of F/O Hazard, Navigator, was found still in his parachute harness, suspended from the branches of a tree. He was later buried at the Reichswald Forest war Cemetery.


PARKES, William Ronald

F/S William Ronald Parkes, RNZAF NZ403822 – Pilot.
Killed age 31 on the 7th of September 1942.
Buried Tilburg (Gilzerbaan) General Cemetery, Holland.
Grave location – Plot A. Row 1. Coll. grave 27-28.

06/09/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Duisburg
Fifteen aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks. Bomb load of 4,000lb. 1,00lb. 500lb. 250lb. and incendiaries were dropped in the target area, large fires were seen to be growing in intensity. A.A. fire was heavy and intense but was bursting high above aircraft, searchlights were intense, particularly at target area.

Wellington BJ772 captained by F/Lt. Womersley was attacked from rear on return by an enemy aircraft, one bursts was fired by the rear gunner and the enemy aircraft was driven off. No other enemy aircraft was seen. The weather was good, clear over target with slight ground haze. Navigation was good. Wellington BJ.765 captained by Sergt. Sharman G.W> and Wellington X.3867 captained by F/Sgt.Parkes W.R. failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III X.3867 AA-P

F/S William Ronald Parkes, RNZAF NZ403822 – Pilot.
Sgt. Henry Varley Gibb Crawford, RNZAF NZ404339 – Observer.
Sgt. George Heerbert Rose, RNZAF NZ391713 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Alpheus Leslie Groves, RNZAF NZ403574 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Eric Glover Wilson, RNZAF NZ404035 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Mk.III X.3867 AA-P was shot down by an enemy night-fighter (Hptm Walter Ehle, Stab II /NJG2), crashing at Riel (Nord Brabant), 5 miles South West of Tilburg, Holland. There were no survivors. All are buried in the Tilburg (Gilzerbaan) General Cemetery.


PARKIN, Richard

Sgt. Richard Parkin, RAFVR 1567334 – Navigator.
Killed age 22 on the 11th of June 1944.
Son of Richard and Elizabeth H. Parkin, of Burnopfield, Co. Durham.
Buried Tillieres-Sur-Avre Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Coll. grave. 6
‘God grant him
Thy peace
And let light perpetual
Shine on him.
“Thy will be done”‘

10/06/1944 – Attack Against Dreux
Of the twenty four aircraft detailed to bomb Dreux, twenty two successfully attacked in good weather, the marshalling yards being visually identified until they were obscured by smoke. One aircraft had an inconclusive combat with a JU.88. The aircrafts captained by NZ422098 P/O. L. Bonisch and NZ422267 F/S. Donaghy, T. failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I HK553 AA-S

F/S Thomas Rodgers Donaghy, RNZAF NZ422267 – Pilot.
Sgt. Richard Parkin, RAFVR 1567334 – Navigator.
Sgt. William Iorwerth Williams, RAFVR 1413546 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Harry Douglas Mitchell, RAFVR 1395992 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Jack Vernon Lea, RAFVR 1472369 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. K.E. Jackson, RAFVR 1336192 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt Norman Hylton Dew, RAFVR 749538 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I HK553 AA-S was attacked by a night-fighter to the west of the target and crashed near Tilliers- sur-Avre, where six of the crew were buried. Sgt Jackson, RAF, the Mid Upper Gunner, survived the crash and successfully evaded capture.


PARKIN, Victor Trevor

F/S Victor Trevor Parkin, RNZAF NZ421090 – Pilot.
Killed age 21 on the 31st of August 1943.
Son of Frederick Joseph and Wynna Ann Parkin, of Dargaville, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Heverlee War Cemetery, Belgium..
Grave location – 4. A. 9.

30/08/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Munchen-Gladbach
18 Aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lbs. and 4lbs. All aircraft with the exception of one which failed to return, successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Very large fires which were well concentrated and spreading, were seen. All crews were of the opinion that this was a good attack. Moderate heavy A.A. fire and a few searchlights were encountered, which were ineffective. A great number of enemy aircraft were seen and some short combats took place. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. Batger, H. sighted an enemy aircraft 600 yards away, ahead and the front gunner fired a long and short burst, the enemy aircraft then disappeared and was claimed as possibly destroyed. . The aircraft captained by F/S McGregor,K. sighted an Me110 astern, the rear gunner fired a long burst. The enemy aircraft replied and dived away with smoke pouring from its engines. It is claimed as a possible destroyed. There was 8/10ths cloud at the target approaches although it was clear in the target area. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was  Stirling MK.III EH938 captained by Sgt. Parkin, T.

Stirling Mk.III EH938 AA-F

F/S Victor Trevor Parkin, RNZAF NZ421090 – Pilot.
F/S Terrence Watters, RNZAF NZ417299 – Navigator.
Sgt. Ralph Valentine Clingan Johnson, RAFVR 1545885 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. William Hadley Horrigan, RAFVR 1176649 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Trevor Silcock, RAFVR 1582836 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Richard Frederick Grove, RAFVR 1581242 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Anthony Francis Saunders, RAFVR 1394719 – Rear Gunner.

Based on Val Johnson’s debrief with MI.9, it would appear that that EH938 possibly fell prey to a German night fighter, within a nachtjagd ‘box’. Val was the only survivor of the crew, the rest of the crew being killed when the aircraft crashed at Lommel (Limburg), in Belgium. The airmen were all buried in St-Truiden before being moved to Heverlee War Cemetery.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/victor-trevor-parkin © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/victor-trevor-parkin © New Zealand War Graves Project


PARKINSON, Lewis Harry

Sgt. Lewis Harry Parkinson, RNZAF NZ412518 – Observer.
Killed age 20 on the 13th of October 1942.
Son of Harry and Cecily Parkinson, of Opotiki, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Kiel War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 3. F. 4.

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.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/lewis-harry-parkinson © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/lewis-harry-parkinson © New Zealand War Graves Project


PARNHAM, John Frederick Massey

Sgt. John Frederick Massey Parnham, RAFVR 1254725 – Pilot.
Killed age 21 on the 12th of March 1942.
Son of Fred and Lucy Annie Parnham, of Cheshunt, Hertfordshire.
Buried Kiel War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – 2. H. 2.
‘For ever in our memory.
Sadly missed by us all’

12/03/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Kiel
Eight Wellington aircraft carried out an attack against the above target, one aircraft, captained by Sgt Bell did not carry out an attack. Three aircraft captained by S/L Kitchin, F/O Sandys and Sgt Parnham failed to return to base. Bomb load consisted of 1,000 lbs, 500 lbs and 250 lbs was dropped in the target area, bomb bursts being observed. There was heavy and light predicted flak and large cones of searchlights in the target area and one twin engined enemy aircraft made one unsuccessful attack on Wellington III X3586 captained by S/L Newton. Weather was clear over the target with 5/10 cloud over North Sea. Navigation was by D.R. and TR1335.

Wellington Mk.III X.3282 AA-F/V?

Sgt. John Frederick Massey Parnham, RAFVR 1254725 – Pilot.
Sgt. John Lukies Brown, RNZAF NZ402534 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Robert McGibbon, RAFVR 998735 – Observer.
Sgt. Murray Alexander McDonald, RAAF AUS.400352 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Campbell Ewen Justin Aitcheson, RNZAF NZ402974 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Joseph Henry Godfrey, RAFVR 1378233 – Rear Gunner.

The circumstances surrounding the loss Wellington Mk.III X.3282 are not known, other than that the aircraft crashed near Scleswig, approximately 40 miles North West of the target area. The entire crew were killed.


PARSONS, Algernon

Sgt. Algernon Parsons, RAFVR 1196149 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 22 on the 11th of October 1942.
Son of Harry Fredrick and Mary Ann Parsons, of Cirencester, Gloucestershire.
Buried Esbjerg (Fourfelt) Cemetery, Denmark..
Grave location – AIII. 9. 15.
‘To live in our hearts
Is not to die’

11/10/1942 – Operations. Gardening in the Kattegat and Little Belt
Nine aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation. 1500lb. vegetables were successfully planted in the allotted area. Wellington X.3597 captained by F/Sgt. Curr bombed a bridge near Middlefort with three 500lb. G.P. bombs, the first bomb was just short, others very close and might have hit the edge of the bridge. Light A.A. fire was encountered at Middlefort Bridge. No searchlights or enemy aircraft were seen.
There was no cloud, visibility was good. Navigation was good by D.R. T.R., and visual pin point. Wellington BK341 captained by Sergt. Shalfoon failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III BK.341 AA-?

Sgt. Charles John Shalfoon, RNZAF NZ413897 – Pilot.
Sgt Henry Wolfenden, RAFVR 1237318 – Observer.
Sgt. Algernon Parsons, RAFVR 1196149 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Sydney Posner, RAFVR 1078313 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Roy Harold Scott, RCAF R.137578 – Rear Gunner.

BK341 was brought down at 23.30hrs between the island of Langli and the Skallengen, near the entrance to Esbjerg Harbour on the Danish coast. All five crew of BK341 were killed, three of whom were buried at Fourfelt, near Esbjerg. Two others are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.


PARSONS, Eric George

F/L Eric George Parsons, RAFVR 185301 – Pilot.
Killed age 23 on the 14th of March 1945.
Son of Ernest Edward James Parsons and of Ellen Elizabeth Parsons (Nee andrews), of Norwich.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 25. D. 4.
‘Loved and remembered always.
Mum, dad and Syb’

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.


PARTON, William James

P/O William James Parton, RNZAF NZ41932 – 2nd Pilot.
Lost without trace age 20 on the 12th of March 1942.
Son of Robert Alfred Parton and of Margaret Parton (Nee Couper), of Merivale, Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England.
Grave location – Panel 116.

12/03/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Kiel
Eight Wellington aircraft carried out an attack against the above target, one aircraft, captained by Sgt. Bell did not carry out an attack. Three aircraft captained by S/L. Kitchin, F/O. Sandys and Sgt. Parnham failed to return to base. Bomb load consisted of 1,000 lbs, 500 lbs and 250 lbs was dropped in the target area, bomb bursts being observed. There was heavy and light predicted flak and large cones of searchlights in the target area and one twin engined enemy aircraft made one unsuccessful attack on Wellington III X3586 captained by S/L. Newton. Weather was clear over the target with 5/10 cloud over North Sea. Navigation was by D.R. and TR1335.

Wellington Mk.III X.3588 AA-U

S/L Peter James Robert Kitchin, RAF 39539 – Pilot.
P/O William James Parton, RNZAF NZ41932 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Herbert Sidney George Cullen, RAFVR 926722 – Observer.
Sgt. William Clezy, RAFVR 1365054 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Henry James Carter, RAFVR 929289/ 104474 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Lloyd Montgomery Chamberlain, RNZAF NZ40914 – Rear Gunner.

The aircraft was recorded as lost without trace. All crew members are commemorated on the Runneymede Memorial.

WJ Parton


PASCOE, Tom

Sgt. Tom Pascoe, RAFVR 1308491 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 21 on the 16th of December 1942.
Son of Vivian and Elizabeth Pascoe, of Ashburton.
Buried Ashburton (St.Andrew) Churchyard Extension, Devon, England..
Grave location – A. 3.
‘So he passed over,
And all the trumpets
Sounded for him
On the other side’

16/12/1942 – Operations. Gardening off Bordeaux
Nine aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with 1500lb. vegetables. The take-off was rather cross wind and unfortunately during take-off the wind backed severely so that the flare path was dead cross wind. Three aircraft swung violently on take-off. Then Sergeant Franklin tried to take-off in Stirling I, R9245, it swung as violently as the other aircraft, but went on, straightened and got airborne, only to crash a mile away from the aerodrome. Two mines exploded and all of the crew were killed. It later transpired that the starboard under carriage carried away the oil tank to the starboard inner engine and this is presumed to have seized, causing the aircraft to spin into the ground. No other aircraft took off after this. The three aircraft who successfully took off all planted their vegetables in the allotted area. Some light tracer and a few searchlights were encountered, no enemy aircraft were seen. The weather was variable with heavy rain and hail storms over the garden area, but clear generally. Navigation was good.

Stirling Mk.I R.9245 AA-?

Sgt. Benjamin Allan Franklin, RNZAF NZ414277 – Pilot.
Sgt William Henry Whitcombe, RNZAF NZ41561 – Navigator.
Sgt. Edgar William Harvey, RNZAF NZ41902 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Harold Rangi Welch, RNZAF NZ41709 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Joseph Lawrence, RCAF R.70294 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Eric James Burbridge, RAFVR 1392526 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Tom Pascoe, RAFVR 1308491 – Rear Gunner.

During take-off at 21:45hrs, three aircraft swung badly but this was promptly rectified and they became airborne. Then R9245 (Sgt Franklin) experienced similar wind effect causing it to swing dangerously, but Franklin kept power on to counter it and continued the take-off attempt. The aircraft became airborne briefly but crashed a mile away from the airfield. Two mines exploded and all the crew were killed. It was later established that the starboard undercarriage had hit Devil’s Dyke (a mound around the perimeter) and broke off the oil tank to the starboard inner engine, causing it to seize.


PATTEN, Frederick Hubert

Sgt. Frederick Hubert Patten, RAFVR 2211183 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 22 on the 25th of July 1944.
Buried Chateau-Voue Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Coll. grave 1-3.

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.I HK575 AA-O

P/O James Kenneth McRae, RNZAF NZ415216 – Pilot.
F/O William Lowe, RAFVR 151082 – Navigator.
F/S Thomas Christopher Potts, RNZAF NZ421143 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Clifford Booth, RAFVR 1034046 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Frederick Hubert Patten, RAFVR 2211183 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Douglas Archibald Thomas Roffey, RAFVR 1852080 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Cunningham, RAFVR 1365361 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I HK575 AA-O was brought down by a night-fighter at approximately 02:50hrs between Burlioncourt (Moselle) and Château-Salins. There were no survivors. All crew members are buried in a Communal Cemetery at Château-Voué, near where the aircraft crashed.


PAYNE, Douglas Beardsley

F/S Douglas Beardsley Payne, RNZAF NZ426917 – Navigator.
Killed age 22 on the 23rd of May 1944.
Son of James Thomas William and Elizabeth Alice Payne, of Limehills, Southland New Zealand.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 3. G. 12. 82

22/05/1944 – Attack Against Dortmund
Twenty three aircraft were detailed to attack Dortmund of which eighteen completed their mission successfully. Three aircraft returned early and two failed to return (Captains NZ417016 P/O. E. Burke and NZ42354 P/O. C. Armstrong). The raid was well concentrated and carried out in good weather with excellent visibility. One aircraft had an inconclusive combat with a JU 88. Otherwise the operation was uneventful.

Lancaster Mk.III ND768 AA-F “Freddie”

P/O Cecil Ernest ‘Snow’ Armstrong, RNZAF NZ42354 – Pilot.
F/S Douglas Beardsley Payne, RNZAF NZ426917 – Navigator.
F/S Eric William Elliott Marshall, RNZAF NZ415637 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Carl Arthur Warburton, RAFVR 1484107 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. David Sleightholm, RAFVR 1684309 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Roy Joseph Davies, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. James Pepper, RAFVR 1682572 – Rear Gunner.

Reports indicate that ND768 was struck by flak on approach to target – with a full bomb load, the aircraft exploded killing all on board. The crew’s remains were buried intially at Hauptfriedhof, Dortmund, but were later reinterred at the Rheinberg War Cemetery.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/douglas-beardsley-payne © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/douglas-beardsley-payne © New Zealand War Graves Project


PEARSON, Peter Braithwaite

Sgt. Peter Braithwaite Pearson, RAFVR 1377412 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 22 on the 16th of April 1943.
Son of Geoffrey Lockington Pearson and Anne Winifred Pearson, of Ventnor, Isle of Wight.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 20. A. 12.
‘In our hearts’

16/04/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Ludwigshaven
Eleven aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack, with bombs of 2000 lb, 1000 lb and incendiaries of 30 lb and 4 lb. Seven of the aircraft successfully attacked the target. Large fires and one big explosion were seen. Two aircraft returned early owing to engine trouble. Both heavy and light A.A. Fire was encountered co-operation with searchlights. Two of our aircraft were hit and the Navigator of one was hit in the leg. Several enemy aircraft were seen, but no combats took place. The weather was good on the route, but considerable haze was experienced at the target. Navigations was very good. Stirling Mark III BK.664 captained by F/Lt. D.C.Lowe, which experienced some very accurate A.A. Fire whilst overt the target, found on landing, that this throttle controls were jammed open, he was lucky enough to be able to land, but unfortunately he crashed into a semi built hanger on the aerodrome. The aircraft was an absolute wreck, but all the crew got away safely, although not without injuries. Stirling Mark III W 7469 captained by F/Sgt. K.F. Debenham and Stirling Mark I BF451 captained by P/O K.H.G. Groves failed to return.

Stirling Mk.I W7469 AA-O

F/S Kevin Frederick Debenham, RNZAF NZ412211 – Pilot.
Sgt. Raymond James Barnes, RCAF R.87330 – Navigator.
Sgt. David Michael Turner Watts, RAFVR 1312572 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Peter Braithwaite Pearson, RAFVR 1377412 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. D. Wainwright, RAFVR 1193816 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. John Leslie Marlow, RAFVR 1353768 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Jim Jack Davis, RAFVR 629241 – Rear Gunner.

t/o 2217 Newmarket. Crashed at Katzenbach. Those who died are buried in Rheinberg Cemetery.

The circumstances surrounding the loss of Stirling Mk.I W7469 AA-O are unclear. It crashed at Katzenbach, south of Frankfurt, and all but the Flight Engineer, Sgt Wainwright, were killed. The sole survivor was listed as a P.o.W, suggesting he either baled out or escaped from the wrecked aircraft and was captured. The crew members who died are buried in the Rheinberg War Cemetery, south of Wesel.


PEARSON, Reginald William

W/O Reginald William Pearson, RAFVR 747858 – Navigator.
Lost without trace age 27 on the 17th of December 1942.
Son of Mr. and Mrs. William Pearson; Husband of Margaret Pearson, of Bilton, Harrogate, Yorkshire.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 72.
Age 27

17/12/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Fallersleben
Five aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with bombs of 1,000lb. This was to be a low level flight all the way climbing to 5,000feet to bomb. Four out of the five aircraft unfortunately failed to return. They were the Squadron Commander, Wing Commander V. Mitchell, D.F.C., captain of Stirling I BF396 who took W/O Bagnall and crew who had only arrived a few days previously. Stirling I,BF400 captained by F/O Jacobson, Stirling 1, BK620 captained by P/O R.E. Williams, and Stirling I, R9247 captained by F/Sgt. Rousseau. The one aircraft to return was captained by P/O McCullough who could not find the target owing to rain and bad visibility, and bombed an alternative. This was an aerodrome, the bombs were seen to explode on the flare path and hangars. A.A. fore was fairly heavy and a few searchlights were seen. The aircraft was twice attacked by fighters but they were driven off on each occasion, on return the aircraft was found to have four holes believed due to combat with one of the fighters. The weather was clear to the target but developed to rain and 7/10th cloud on return. Navigation was good.

Stirling Mk.I BF396 AA-X

W/C Victor Mitchell, RAF 37755 – Pilot.
W/O Trevor Horace Bagnall , RNZAF NZ40640 – 2nd Pilot.
F/S Reginald William Pearson, RAFVR 747858 – Navigator.
Sgt. Gerald Thomas Padden, RAFVR 1041966 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Stuart John Goff, RAFVR 916785 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Robert Hart, RAFVR 523663 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Arthur Henry Rider, RAFVR 960489 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Albert Charles William Parker, RAFVR 909252 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.I BF.396 AA-X was lost without trace and all crew presumed dead. They are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. The Captain, W/C V Mitchell, DFC, RAF, was the Squadron Commander. W/O Bagnall and his crew had only arrived on the Unit a few days previously.

It is thought possible that BF.396 might have been brought down by Oblt. Werner Huseman of Stab NJG1 at 20.53, with the aircraft coming down in the North Sea approximately 5km West of Bergen aan Zee, however this has not been substantiated. (Source Aircrew Remembered http://www.aircrewremembered.com/mitchell-victor.html)

RW Pearson


PEEVERS, Thomas Alexander

F/S Thomas Alexander Peevers, RNZAF NZ417232 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 29 on the 2nd of May 1944.
Buried Poix-de-Picardie Churchyard, France..
Grave location – Row A. Coll. grave 15-17.

01/05/1944 – Attack Against Chambly
Sixteen aircraft were detailed to attack the marshalling yards at Chambly. Fifteen of these successfully attacked in clear weather, bombing being accurate. Two brief encounters with enemy aircraft took place and resulted in one being possibly damaged. One of our aircraft (Captain NZ41362 F/L. A/S/L. E.W. Sachtler) failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I ME689 AA-Y

F/L Euan Wilfred Sachtler, RNZAF NZ41362 – Pilot.
F/O Allan Cleave Heron, RAFVR 133094 – Navigator.
P/O Michael Ferdinand Lombard, RAFVR 171913 – Air Bomber.
F/S Douglas John Mckenzie, RAAF AUS.417211 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Piers Trevor Stevens, RAFVR 1813627 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Thomas Alexander Peevers, RNZAF NZ417232 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Gilbert Pettifer, RAFVR 1247027 – Rear Gunner.

ME689 was shot down over France, crashing at St Arnault, 12 miles South West of Poix-de-la- Somme. There were no survivors and all seven crew were buried in a collective grave.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/thomas-alexander-peevers © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/thomas-alexander-peevers © New Zealand War Graves Project


PENMAN, Alexander Mitchell

F/O Alexander Mitchell Penman, RNZAF NZ416154 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 23 on the 21st of October 1944.
Son of John Penman and of Martha Penman (Nee Davie), of Ashburton, Canterbury, New Zealand.
Buried Bergen-Op-Zoom Canadian War Cemetery, Holland..
Grave location – 13. B. 8.

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.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/alexander-mitchell-penman © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/alexander-mitchell-penman © New Zealand War Graves Project


PENNYCOOK, Charles

F/S Charles Pennycook, RCAF 137421 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 20 on the 4th of October 1943.
Buried Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 1. H. 1-7.

04/10/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Frankfurt
Thirteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lb. and 4lbs. Three aircraft returned early and one failed to return. This was a good attack, ten aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Very good concentrated fires and enormous explosions being seen, the fires were still visible on the homeward journey. A.A. Fire was negligible, there were many search lights which were cooperating with enemy night-fighters. The aircraft captained by S/Ldr. J.JOLL had a combat with a M.E. 109, which was claimed as possibly damaged. The weather was poor on the outward and return journeys, but clear over the target, visibility was good except for smoke haze. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was captained by SGT. H.J. MIDDLETON.

Stirling Mk.III EF130 JN-M

Sgt. Harvey Johnson Middleton, RAFVR 1476465 – Pilot.
Sgt. Charles John Massie, RAFVR 1322528 – Navigator.
Sgt. Charles Pennycook, RCAF R.137421 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Leslie Pow, RAFVR 1024139 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Eric Francis Hudson, RAFVR 1581611 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Ernest Thorpe, 1514349 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Lackenby, RAFVR 1590747 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EF130 JN-M was brought down at Russelsheim, 14 miles South West of Frankfurt. There was no indication of how the plane went down, apart from reports of minimal ground AA fire in the target area, suggesting the likelihood of an enemy night-fighter attack. There were no survivors among the crew, who were all buried in Durnbach War Cemetery


PEPPER, James

F/S James Pepper, RAFVR 1682572 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 23 on the 23rd of May 1944.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – 3. G. 17. 87
‘A day of remembrance
Sad to recall
Without farewell
He left us all’

22/05/1944 – Attack Against Dortmund
Twenty three aircraft were detailed to attack Dortmund of which eighteen completed their mission successfully. Three aircraft returned early and two failed to return (Captains NZ417016 P/O. E. Burke and NZ42354 P/O. C. Armstrong). The raid was well concentrated and carried out in good weather with excellent visibility. One aircraft had an inconclusive combat with a JU 88. Otherwise the operation was uneventful.

Lancaster Mk.III ND768 AA-F “Freddie”

P/O Cecil Ernest ‘Snow’ Armstrong, RNZAF NZ42354 – Pilot.
F/S Douglas Beardsley Payne, RNZAF NZ426917 – Navigator.
F/S Eric William Elliott Marshall, RNZAF NZ415637 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Carl Arthur Warburton, RAFVR 1484107 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. David Sleightholm, RAFVR 1684309 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Roy Joseph Davies, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. James Pepper, RAFVR 1682572 – Rear Gunner.

Reports indicate that ND768 was struck by flak on approach to target – with a full bomb load, the aircraft exploded killing all on board. The crew’s remains were buried intially at Hauptfriedhof, Dortmund, but were later reinterred at the Rheinberg War Cemetery.


PERCIVAL, Walter Reginald

Sgt. Walter Reginald Percival, RAF 553063 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 22 on the 28th of April 1944.
Son of Wallis George and Ellen Elizabeth Percival, of Blackheath, London.
Buried Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 4. C. 1-7.

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.

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 reinterred at Durnbach War Cemetery.

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


PERKS, Eric

F/S Eric Perks, RNZAF NZ411934 – Pilot.
Killed age 29 on the 29th of August 1942.
Son of Leonard and Lilian Perks, of Onehunga, Auckland, New Zealand; Husband of Ruby Perks, of Devonport, Auckland.
Buried Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 9. K. 18.

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.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/eric-perks © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/eric-perks © New Zealand War Graves Project


PERROTT, William Rosser

F/O William Rosser Perrott, RNZAF NZ416155 – Pilot.
Killed age 21 on the 25th of June 1943.
Son of William Rosser Perrott and Elizabeth Jane Perrott, of Auckland City, New Zealand.
Buried Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery, Holland.
Grave location – Plot 69. Row B. Coll. grave 15.

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

Stirling Mk.III BK768 AA-L

P/O William Rosser ‘Ross’ Perrott, RNZAF NZ416155 – Pilot.
F/S Gordon Douglas Thompson, RNZAF NZ42317 – Navigator.
F/S Clifford James Whitelaw, RNZAF NZ416188 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Charles Cyril Mould, RAFVR 1314162 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Webster Hilditch, RAFVR 611325 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Gordon William Colyer, RAFVR 1809432 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Harry Squire , RAFVR 1302829 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III BK768 AA-L fell victim to the fearsome German night-fighter defensive system, operating as a radar-controlled ‘box’ along the Netherlands/ Belgium coast. Following a night-fighter attack, the Stirling crashed into the Ijsselmeer. The bodies of both Air Gunners and the Captain were recovered and buried in Amsterdam. The Navigator’s body was washed ashore on the 4th of  July near Harderwijk, where he was buried.

The Flight Engineer, Air Bomber and Wireless-operator are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/william-rosser-perrott © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/william-rosser-perrott © New Zealand War Graves Project


PERRY, Lyndon Clifford

P/O Lyndon Clifford Perry, RNZAF NZ428925 – Navigator.
Lost without trace age 21 on the 30th of July 1944.
Son Of Lyndon And Grace Perry, Of Lower Hutt, Wellington, 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.


PETE, Edmund John

Sgt. Edmund John Pete, RAFVR 1270404 – Observer.
Killed age 20 on the 25th of October 1942.
Son of Charles and Rosa Fanny Pete, of Palmer’S Green, Middlesex.
Buried Ville-Sur-Retourne Churchyard, France..
Grave location – Joint grave.
‘In loving remembrance’

24/10/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Milan
Five aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 1,000lb. 500lb. 250lb and incendiaries were dropped in the target area. Some slight A.A. fire was encountered, cloud stopped searchlight activity. No combats with enemy aircraft took place. 10/10ths cloud from the French Coast to the target made identification of the target difficult. Navigation was difficult owing to cloud preventing the use of Astro. Wellington Z1652 captained by Sergt. Hugill and Wellington BK725 captained by Sergt. McConnell failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1652 AA-?

Sgt. Howard James Hugill, RNZAF NZ414293 – Pilot.
Sgt Edmund John Pete, RAFVR 1279494 – Observer.
Sgt. Edwin ‘Eddy’ Worsdale, RNZAF NZ412919 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. James George Barnes, RAFVR NZ405362 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. L. Newbold, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Owing to adverse weather conditions, the crew had failed to reach the necessary height to cross the Alps and the decision was made to abort only their 5th Op as a crew and return to Mildenhall.

Whilst on their return flight over France, Edwin and crew, skippered by Howard Hugill crashed after being attacked by an ME110. Unable to maintain height, one crew member, James Barnes the Air Bomber, baled out prior to impact, but the rest crash landed, resulting in the Pilot, Sgt Howard James Hugill, RNZAF NZ414293 and Sgt. Edmund John Pete, RAF 1279494 the Observer, being killed in the crash, approximately 30 kms east of Reims.


PETTIFER, John Gilbert

Sgt. John Gilbert Pettifer, RAFVR 1247027 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 38 on the 2nd of May 1944.
Son of Ernest Gilbert and Florence Margret Pettifer; Husband of Eveleyn Dorothy Pettifer, of West Dulwich, London.
Buried Poix-de-Picardie Churchyard, France..
Grave location – Row A. Coll. grave 15-17.

01/05/1944 – Attack Against Chambly
Sixteen aircraft were detailed to attack the marshalling yards at Chambly. Fifteen of these successfully attacked in clear weather, bombing being accurate. Two brief encounters with enemy aircraft took place and resulted in one being possibly damaged. One of our aircraft (Captain NZ41362 F/L. A/S/L. E.W. Sachtler) failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I ME689 AA-Y

F/L Euan Wilfred Sachtler, RNZAF NZ41362 – Pilot.
F/O Allan Cleave Heron, RAFVR 133094 – Navigator.
P/O Michael Ferdinand Lombard, RAFVR 171913 – Air Bomber.
F/S Douglas John Mckenzie, RAAF AUS.417211 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Piers Trevor Stevens, RAFVR 1813627 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Thomas Alexander Peevers, RNZAF NZ417232 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Gilbert Pettifer, RAFVR 1247027 – Rear Gunner.

ME689 was shot down over France, crashing at St Arnault, 12miles South West of Poix-de-la- Somme. There were no survivors and all seven crew were buried in a collective grave.


PHILLIPS, Cyril George

Sgt. Cyril George Phillips, RAFVR 1201720 – Wireless Operator.
Lost without trace age 29 on the 5th of February 1943.
Son of Frederick and Violet Beatrice Phillips; Husband of Florence Vera Phillips, of Southend-On-Sea, Essex.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 161.

05/02/1943 – Mining off the Frisian Islands
Four aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with 1500 lb. mines. Three of the aircraft successfully planted their mines in the allotted area. All aircraft flew in cloud which was 10/10ths. from the English coast to the mining area. No A.A. fire, searchlights or enemy aircraft were seen. Navigation was very good. Stirling 1 BK617 captained by Sgt. R.E. Redding failed to return. This aircraft took off at 18.10 and at 19.43 a message was received  that they had something to communicate to base, but this was never received. It was later reported that the aircraft was seen to crash in flames just off Cromer. Nothing further was heard of the crew, or the aircraft although a search was made by Air Sea Rescue.

Stirling Mk.I BK617 AA-D

Sgt. Randolph Ernest Redding, RNZAF NZ414678 – Pilot.
Sgt. Arthur James Douglas Barton, RNZAF NZ413700 – Navigator.
Sgt. Harry Dennis, RAFVR 659116 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Cyril George Phillips, RAFVR 1201720 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Robert Colin Legge, RCAF R.64510 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Wesley William Wilson, RCAF R.113265 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Patrick Paul Deane Freeman, RNZAF NZ413305 – Rear Gunner.

t/o 1943 Newmarket for mine laying duties off the Frisians. Outbound, caught fire in the air at 1,500 ft and dived into the sea some 2 miles off Cromer, Norfolk. All are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

At 19.42hrs – 1hr 32mins after take-off – the crew of the third aircraft, Stirling Mk.I BK617 AA-D, despatched a signal to base indicating they had a further message to report, but none was received. It was later reported that the aircraft was seen to crash in flames just off Cromer, on the Norfolk Coast, on track for base. Nothing further was heard of the crew or the aircraft, although a thorough search was conducted by the Air Sea Rescue service. The circumstances seemed to indicate the likelihood of a catastrophic on-board fire resulting from a possible enemy air attack about 50miles from the SW end of the Frisian Islands, necessitating an emergency return to base.


PHILLIPS, George

Sgt. George Phillips, RAFVR 930235 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 28 on the 29th of April 1943.
Son of Charles Frederick and Rose Phillips, of Ilford, Essex; Husband of Joan Dorothy Alberta Phillips.
Buried Svino Churchyard, Denmark.
Grave location – Grave 26.
‘So dearly loved
So greatly missed’

28/04/1943 – Mining in Kiel Bay
Eight aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1500 lbs. One of these aircraft returned early owing to its compass being faulty and four failed to return. The remaining three aircraft successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area and the parachutes were seen to open. A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights was encountered which is believed to have come from an A.A. ship in the mining area. No enemy aircraft were seen. Visibility was fairly good, with scattered cloud in the mining area. Navigation was very good. Stirlings Mk.1 R9290, Sgt. A. Lewis, W.7513 – Sgt. K. Halliburton, BF.467 – P/O D. Thompson, <k.III BK664 – P/O. D.V. Hamer, failed to return.

Stirling Mk.I BF467 AA-W

P/O Desmond Lewis Thompson, RNZAF NZ413152 – Pilot.
F/S James Alexander Ramsay, RCAF R.93418 – Navigator.
Sgt. John Muir Williams, RAAF AUS.401341 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Ernest Roy Jenkins, RNZAF NZ405780 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Clifford Abbott, RAFVR 1098896 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. George Phillips, RAFVR 930235 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Thomas Glendinning, RAFVR 1070166 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.I BF467 AA-W came under attack by Kreigsmarine (Flak ship) battery MAA508, positioned between the Fehmarn-Belt and the Lolland Islands, in the Baltic. The aircraft crashed into the sea near Nakskov to the west of Lolland at 00.08hrs. There were no survivors.


PHINN, William

F/S William Phinn, RAFVR 1684789 – Navigator.
Killed age 22 on the 14th of March 1945.
Son of Peter and Mary Ann Phinn, of Denton Holme, Carlisle.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 25. D. 2.
‘He lived for those he loved,
And those he loved remembered.
Rest in peace’

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.


PICKERING, Walter

Sgt. Walter Pickering, RAFVR 1434290 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 22 on the 23rd of May 1944.
Buried Heverlee War Cemetery, Belgium..
Grave location – 6. C. 1. 177

22/05/1944 – Attack Against Dortmund
Twenty three aircraft were detailed to attack Dortmund of which eighteen completed their mission successfully. Three aircraft returned early and two failed to return (Captains NZ417016 P/O. E. Burke and NZ42354 P/O. C. Armstrong). The raid was well concentrated and carried out in good weather with excellent visibility. One aircraft had an inconclusive combat with a JU 88. Otherwise the operation was uneventful.

Lancaster Mk.I ME690 AA-Z

P/O Edgar Lawrence Burke, RNZAF NZ417016 – Pilot.
F/O John Wallace Downing, RAFVR 136351 – Navigator.
W/O Frank Albert Page, RAAF AUS.409481 – Air Bomber.
F/S Alan Stevens Bromley, RAFVR 1247614 – Wireless Operator .
F/S Walter Pickering, RAFVR 1434290 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. James Henry Cooper, RAFVR 1308375 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Donald Cameron Kitchener Grant, RAFVR 527237 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I ME690 AA-Z was shot down by a night-fighter and crashed at Neerpelt (Limburg) 5miles from Lommel, Belgium, after breaking up in flight. There were no survivors. Their remains were reinterred in Heverlee War Cemetery, near Louvain.


PIERSON, Rodney Leslie

Sgt. Rodney Leslie Pierson, RAFVR 1376120 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 28 on the 17th of April 1943.
Son of Ellen E. Pierson, and Stepson of Arthur S. Pierson; Husband of Edna Grace Pierson, of Finsbury Park, Middlesex.
Buried Choloy War Cemetery, France..
Grave location – 2. A. 2.
‘In loving memory.
Always on our thoughts’

16/04/1943 – Ludwigshaven
Eleven aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack, with bombs of 2000 lb, 1000 lb and incendiaries of 30 lb and 4 lb. Seven of the aircraft successfully attacked the target. Large fires and one big explosion were seen. Two aircraft returned early owing to engine trouble. Both heavy and light A.A. Fire was encountered co-operation with searchlights. Two of our aircraft were hit and the Navigator of one was hit in the leg. Several enemy aircraft were seen, but no combats took place. The weather was good on the route, but considerable haze was experienced at the target. Navigations was very good. Stirling Mark III BK.664 captained by F/Lt. D.C.Lowe, which experienced some very accurate A.A. Fire whilst overt the target, found on landing, that this throttle controls were jammed open, he was lucky enough to be able to land, but unfortunately he crashed into a semi built hanger on the aerodrome. The aircraft was an absolute wreck, but all the crew got away safely, although not without injuries. Stirling Mark III W 7469 captained by F/Sgt. K.F. Debenham and Stirling Mark I BF451 captained by P/O K.H.G. Groves failed to return.

Stirling Mk.I BF451 AA-Z

P/O Kelvin Havelock Green Groves, RNZAF NZ415819 – Pilot.
Sgt. James Oscar Way, RCAF R.102353 – 2nd Pilot
Sgt. Tom Graham Shergold, RAFVR 1149715 – Navigator.
Sgt. Richard Fleury Wanstall, RAFVR 656462 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Rodney Leslie Pierson, RAFVR 1376120 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Leslie Charles Cameron, RAFVR 971743 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Ronald Charles Stone, RNZAF NZ413281 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Leslie Leonard Everden, RAFVR 1187983 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.I BF451 AA-Z was considered to have been shot down by a night-fighter between Rilly-la- Montange and Chigny-les-Roses (Marne), 6 miles South of Rheims. None of the crew survived. They were laid to rest in Reims, then after the city became liberated by U S Forces in 1944, their bodies were taken to Antilly. After September 1944, their remains were exhumed and transferred to the Choloy War Cemetery, 145 miles south of Rheims.


PIRIE, James Allan

F/S James Allan Pirie, RCAF 108000 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 22 on the 30th of May 1943.
Son of James Duncan Pirie and Esther Pirie, of Pennant, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 31. B. 15-17.
‘His all for God,
His home and Canada’

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.


PLUMMER, Jack   

F/L Jack Plummer, DFC, RNZAF NZ42451 – Pilot.
Killed age 29 on the 21st of March 1945.
Son of Horace Howell Plummer and Ethel Plummer, of Wellington City, New Zealand.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 12. G. 10.
DFC

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 be hit in the target area. Considerable H/F was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I NG449 AA-T

F/L Jack Plummer, RNZAF NZ42451 – Pilot.
P/O Arthur Leonard ‘Tiny’ Humphries, RNZAF NZ428244 – Navigator.
P/O Edgar John Holloway, RNZAF NZ429923 – Air Bomber.
F/O Joseph James ‘Joe’ Wakerley, RAFVR 1325219/169159 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Maurice O. Fell, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/O Russell James Scott, RNZAF NZ428984 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Alexander Malcolm McDonald, RNZAF NZ426070 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I NG449 AA-T came under heavy AA fire over the target area and received hits in two engines, then began breaking up. Four of the crew were virtually thrown from the disintegrating aircraft and parachuted to safety, however all were captured as prisoners of war. Both Sgt Fell and F/S McDonald were badly injured. P/O Humphries implored the Germans to arrange medical treatment for them. They were sent to a semi-medical centre where they remained for a short period until the arrival of allied forces.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/jack-plummer © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/jack-plummer © New Zealand War Graves Project


POOLE, Frank Twain

P/O Frank Twain Poole, RAF 42722 – 2nd Pilot.
Killed age 24 on the 26th of July 1940.
Son of Charles Herbert and Mary Jane Poole, of Invercargill, Southland, New Zealand.
Buried Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery, Holland..
Grave location – Plot 69. Row A. Grave 17.

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, W/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.


POOLE, Jack

Sgt. Jack Poole, RAFVR 1190686 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 22 on the 24th of August 1943.
Son of William and Louie Poole, of Bescot, Walsall.
Buried Ryecroft Cemetery, Walsall, Staffordshire, England..
Grave location – Sec. 31. Grave 15.
‘When you go back
Speak to them of us
Who gave our to-day
For their tomorrow’

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 EF435 JN-J

F/S Osric Hartnell White , RNZAF NZ415807 – Pilot.
F/S Reginald William Rogerson, RNZAF NZ415787 – Navigator.
F/O John Stephen Murray, RNZAF NZ417093 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. A.E.G. Smith, RAFVR 1386088 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Cyril Alan Worledge, RAFVR 573978 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Timothy James Collins, RAFVR 1583321 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Jack Poole, RAFVR 1190686 – Rear Gunner. 

Stirling Mk.III EF435 JN-J, F/S White & crew, sustained serious damage. As they approached the target area they were coned by searchlights and then hit repeatedly by AA fire. The port mainplane was holed severely. They continued to the target still coned by searchlights but then came under attack by a Ju 88 night-fighter. The rear fuselage was badly holed by gunfire, which also shattered the rear turret, killing Sgt Poole the gunner. The aircraft then went into an uncontrollable dive and the Captain warned his crew to prepare for an abandonment. At that point the intercom failed and the navigator, air- bomber and wireless operator all baled out believing the pilot was unable to recify the situation.

Meanwhile, still in the dive, F/S White jettisoned their bomb load right over the target and succeeded in regaining control of the Stirling at about 6,000ft. After taking stock of the damage, including disabled electrical systems, he decided to attempt the long and hazardous return flight back to base, with only himself, flight engineer and mid-upper gunner on board (and of course the fatally injured rear gunner). They achieved the seemingly impossible task with a skilful crash landing at Mepal at 03.45hrs, without lights, flaps, or undercarriage.

F/S O H White was later promoted to Flight Lieutenant, but on 22 Sep 1943 was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (CGM) for his outstanding airmanship.


POSNER, Sydney

Sgt. Sydney Posner, RAFVR 1078313 – Front Gunner.
Lost without trace age 22 on the 11th of October 1942.
Son of Mr. and Mrs. Simion Posner, of Cheetham, Manchester.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 91.

11/10/1942 – Operations. Gardening in the Kattegat and Little Belt
Nine aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation. 1500lb. vegetables were successfully planted in the allotted area. Wellington X.3597 captained by F/Sgt. Curr bombed a bridge near Middlefort with three 500lb. G.P. bombs, the first bomb was just short, others very close and might have hit the edge of the bridge. Light A.A. fire was encountered at Middlefort Bridge. No searchlights or enemy aircraft were seen.
There was no cloud, visibility was good. Navigation was good by D.R. T.R., and visual pin point. Wellington BK341 captained by Sergt. Shalfoon failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III BK.341 AA-?

Sgt. Charles John Shalfoon, RNZAF NZ413897 – Pilot.
Sgt Henry Wolfenden, RAFVR 1237318 – Observer.
Sgt. Algernon Parsons, RAFVR 1196149 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Sydney Posner, RAFVR 1078313 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Roy Harold Scott, RCAF R.137578 – Rear Gunner.

BK341 was brought down at 23.30hrs between the island of Langli and the Skallengen, near the entrance to Esbjerg Harbour on the Danish coast. All five crew of BK341 were killed, three of whom were buried at Fourfelt, near Esbjerg. Two others are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

S Posner


POTTS, Donald Norman

P/O Donald Norman Potts, RNZAF NZ412267 – 2nd Pilot.
Lost without trace age 25 on the 9th of July 1942.
Son of Norman and Myra Potts, of Opotiki, Auckland, New Zealand.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 116.

08/07/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Wilhemshaven
Thirteen a/c were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area and hit were believed to be scored. There was heavy predicted flak and searchlights were scattered. No enemy a/c were seen. Weather was good clear over target. Navigation was excellent.

Wellington Mk.III X.3557 AA-X

P/O Trevor Harry Smith, RNZAF NZ41953 – Pilot.
P/O Donald Norman Potts RNZAF NZ412267 2nd Pilot.
P/O Alan Stuart Broun, RNZAF NZ405367 – Observer.
Sgt. Frank Edwin McKenzie, RNZAF NZ391085 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. George Anthony Young, RNZAF NZ405771 – Front Gunner.
P/O Jack Ralph Gavegan, RNZAF NZ402128 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Mk.III X.3557 AA-X came down at the northern end of the Waddenzee, near Rottumeroog Is at 01.30hrs. The time of the crash indicates the aircraft was still on the outward bound route to the target and was almost certainly shot down by one of the many German night fighters operating along that part of the Dutch coast. The details contained within German documentation regarding the injuries to the body of George Young certainly seem to support this, describing significant head injuires, assumed to be from a bullet or shell.

All of the crew were killed. Only the bodies of Sgt Young and the Pilot, P/O Trevor Harry Smith were recovered. As mentioned previously, a second body was recovered with Sgt. Young’s – the conjecture by rank of the airman is that this was Frank McKenzie, however a positive I.D. was never able to be made.

Trevor Smith was initially buried in Rottumeroog, but was subsequently moved to and re-interred at Oldebroek General Cemetery. The rest of the crew are remembered on the Air Force Memorial at Runnymede.

DN Potts


POTTS, Thomas Christopher

F/S Thomas Christopher Potts, RNZAF NZ421143 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 27 on the 25th of July 1944.
Son Of William Ralph Potts And Of Margaret Potts (Nee Caldwell), Of Lorneville, Southland, New Zealand.
Buried Chateau-Voue Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Coll. grave 1-3.

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.I HK575 AA-O

P/O James Kenneth McRae, RNZAF NZ415216 – Pilot.
F/O William Lowe, RAFVR 151082 – Navigator.
F/S Thomas Christopher Potts, RNZAF NZ421143 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Clifford Booth, RAFVR 1034046 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Frederick Hubert Patten, RAFVR 2211183 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Douglas Archibald Thomas Roffey, RAFVR 1852080 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Cunningham, RAFVR 1365361 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I HK575 AA-O was brought down by a night-fighter at approximately 02:50hrs between Burlioncourt (Moselle) and Château-Salins. There were no survivors. All crew members are buried in a Communal Cemetery at Château-Voué, near where the aircraft crashed.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/thomas-christopher-potts © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/thomas-christopher-potts © New Zealand War Graves Project


POW, Leslie

Sgt. Leslie Pow, RAFVR 1024139 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 33 on the 4th of October 1943.
Son of John Thomas Pow and Margaret Pow, of Philadelphia, Co. Durham; Husband of Annie Lilly Pow, of Philadelphia.
Buried Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 1. H. 1-7.
‘Leslie.
Beloved & never forgotten.
Wife, parents & family.
Philadelphia, Co.Durham’

04/10/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Frankfurt
Thirteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lb. and 4lbs. Three aircraft returned early and one failed to return. This was a good attack, ten aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Very good concentrated fires and enormous explosions being seen, the fires were still visible on the homeward journey. A.A. Fire was negligible, there were many search lights which were cooperating with enemy night-fighters. The aircraft captained by S/Ldr. J.JOLL had a combat with a M.E. 109, which was claimed as possibly damaged. The weather was poor on the outward and return journeys, but clear over the target, visibility was good except for smoke haze. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was captained by SGT. H.J. MIDDLETON.

Stirling Mk.III EF130 JN-M

Sgt. Harvey Johnson Middleton, RAFVR 1476465 – Pilot.
Sgt. Charles John Massie, RAFVR 1322528 – Navigator.
Sgt. Charles Pennycook, RCAF R.137421 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Leslie Pow, RAFVR 1024139 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Eric Francis Hudson, RAFVR 1581611 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Ernest Thorpe, 1514349 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Lackenby, RAFVR 1590747 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EF130 JN-M was brought down at Russelsheim, 14 miles South West of Frankfurt. There was no indication of how the plane went down, apart from reports of minimal ground AA fire in the target area, suggesting the likelihood of an enemy night-fighter attack. There were no survivors among the crew, who were all buried in Durnbach War Cemetery


POWNALL, Wilfred

AC2 Wilfred Pownall, RAFVR 1043753 2nd Class 1043753 – Ground staff.
Killed age 20 on the 28th of February 1942.
Son of Frank and Annie Bowman Pownall, of Glossop.
Buried Glossop Cemetery, Derbyshire, England..
Grave location – C. of E. Sec. Grave 5110.
‘The song is ended
But the melody lingers on’

28/02/1942 – Local Air Test
Wellington Mk.III X.3355 AA-Y took off from Feltwell at approximately 13:10 on the 28th of February 1942 for an engine check. During the air test the starboard motor failed, followed soon afterward by the port engine. As the crew prepared for an emergency landing, the aircraft stalled and crashed at 4:00pm , near Lime Kiln Farm, Brandon, Suffolk, 5 miles North West of Thetford, Norfolk.

The Wellington burst into flames on impact.

Army personnel, stationed nearby, along with local inhabitants, helped to pull the airmen from the burning wreckage. The farmer on whose land the bomber had crashed on, a Mr G. F. Harrington was awarded the British Empire Medal, for bravery shown.

W. Pownall Glossop reduced


PRESTON, Robert Edward

W/O Robert Edward Preston, RAFVR 1080471 – Mid Upper Gunner .
Killed age 22 whilst interred as a Prisoner of War.
Buried Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – 1. Z. 15.
Prisoner of War Number: 946
Prison Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft I, Luft VI, and Luft IV. Promoted to W/O whilst interred

02/12/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Frankfurt
Five aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with bomb load of 4lb. Incendiaries, but a series of misfortunes left only two to get away successfully. One of these, Stirling I, BK618 captained by Sergeant Scott, failed to return, so the night was an unhappy one. One aircraft failed to take off, one swung so badly on take-off that after two attempts the sortie was abandoned, and the third unsuccessful aircraft returned early with the port outer engine dead, this being due to hitting the top of a drem pole shortly after take-off. The one successful aircraft, Stirling I, R.9243 captained by F/O Trott, dropped its bombs in the target area from 10,000 feet and fires were seen to start. Slight heavy A.A. fire was encountered, some searchlights were also seen operating in cones. No enemy aircraft were seen. The weather was hazy to the target, but clear with good visibility in the target area. Navigation was good, the town being identified by the bend in the river.

Stirling Mk.I BK.618 AA-Q

Sgt. Alexander Scott, RNZAF NZ413484 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert William Sharpe, RAFVR 1496472 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Albert Edward Rey, RCAF R.93319/ J.96501 – Observer.
Sgt. Walter Keith Wright, RNZAF NZ413310 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. John Robert Smith, RNZAF NZ412907 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. D.C. Baker, RAFVR 574826 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Robert Edward Preston, RAFVR 1080471 – Mid Upper Gunner.

BK.618 was shot down by two enemy night-fighters 10 minutes after bombing the target, Frankfurt. The aircraft crashed in flames at Ida Oberstein, approximately 55 miles South West of the target. Five crew members parachuted to safety and were taken as prisoners. The Pilot and Mid Upper Gunner died in the crash and are buried at Rheinberg, 10 miles south of Wesel.


PRICE, Frederick Joseph Edward

Sgt. Frederick Joseph Edward Price, RAFVR 1355067 – Front Gunner.
Killed age 24 on the 14th of July 1941.
Son of Joseph Edward and Ella Price; Stepson of Mrs. E. M. Price, of West Bromwich.
Buried West Bromwich Cemetery, Staffordshire, England..
Grave location – Sec. H. Grave 6090.
‘Rest in peace’

13/07/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Bremen
Eleven Wellington aircraft of were detailed to carry out the above attacks. One of these aircraft, X.9634 captained by SGT Miniken, was climbing on course when, apparently without warning, the starboard engine cut at 6,000 feet. He turned for base but lost height rapidly and force landed near the beach off Corton near Lowestoff. SGT. Miniken and SGT. Gilding (Navigator) were rescued but the others are missing. The weather was poor, there being 10/10 cloud over the target and results were not observed. Severe icing conditions were also experienced. Fairly heavy and accurate A.A. fire was encountered on route and in the target area. Few searchlights in operation.
Wellington Mk.Ic X.9634 AA-

Sgt. Frederick Thomas Miniken, RAFVR 903047 – Pilot.
P/O John Trelawney Leacock, RAFVR 62295 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Gilding, RAFVR – Navigator.
Sgt. Ernest Fox, RAFVR 957199 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Joseph Edward Price, RAFVR 1355067 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Henry Paul Clarkson, RAFVR 1376787 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington X9634, flown by Sgt Miniken, suffered a failure of the starboard engine without warning at 6,000ft, when climbing out on course after take off. The captain levelled out and reversed heading for base but the heavy aircraft lost height rapidly. He carried out an emergency ditching in the sea off Corton, near Lowestoft. Only Sgt Miniken and his second pilot, Sgt Gilding, were rescued from the water two hours later. All other crew members remained missing, feared drowned.


PRICE, Henry John

F/S Henry John Price, RNZAF NZ404095 – Wireless Operator.
Lost without trace age 25 on the 12th of March 1942.
Son of Frederick Charles Price and of Alice Margaret Price (Nee Mattock), of Whangarei, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England.
Grave location – Panel 117.

12/03/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Kiel
Eight Wellington aircraft carried out an attack against the above target, one aircraft, captained by Sgt Bell did not carry out an attack. Three aircraft captained by S/L Kitchin, F/O Sandys and Sgt Parnham failed to return to base. Bomb load consisted of 1,000 lbs, 500 lbs and 250 lbs was dropped in the target area, bomb bursts being observed. There was heavy and light predicted flak and large cones of searchlights in the target area and one twin engined enemy aircraft made one unsuccessful attack on Wellington III X3586 captained by S/L Newton. Weather was clear over the target with 5/10 cloud over North Sea. Navigation was by D.R. and TR1335.

Wellington Mk.III X.3585 AA-V

F/O John Frederick Kelly Sandys, RCAF J.4814 – Pilot.
Sgt. Roy Desmond Joffre Woodcock, RNZAF NZ404985 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O John Earle, RNZAF NZ401756 – Observer.
Sgt. Henry John Price, RNZAF NZ404095 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Leslie Joseph Dunn, British Army 1001633 – Front Gunner.
F/L Thomas James Desmond Baber, RNZAF NZ39857 – Rear Gunner.

There are no details regarding the fate of X.3585 and her crew, all being lost without trace.

HJ Price


PULLAR, Henry Welsh

Sgt. Henry Welsh Pullar, RNZAF NZ411777 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 25 on the 17th of December 1942.
Son of Henry Charles Pullar, and of Ethel Pullar (Nee Welsh), of Otahuti, Southland, New Zealand.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – Coll. grave 8. L. 15-18.

17/12/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Fallersleben
Five aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with bombs of 1,000lb. This was to be a low level flight all the way climbing to 5,000feet to bomb. Four out of the five aircraft unfortunately failed to return. They were the Squadron Commander, Wing Commander V. Mitchell, D.F.C., captain of Stirling I BF396 who took W/O Bagnall and crew who had only arrived a few days previously. Stirling I,BF400 captained by F/O Jacobson, Stirling 1, BK620 captained by P/O R.E. Williams, and Stirling I, R9247 captained by F/Sgt. Rousseau. The one aircraft to return was captained by P/O McCullough who could not find the target owing to rain and bad visibility, and bombed an alternative. This was an aerodrome, the bombs were seen to explode on the flare path and hangars. A.A. fore was fairly heavy and a few searchlights were seen. The aircraft was twice attacked by fighters but they were driven off on each occasion, on return the aircraft was found to have four holes believed due to combat with one of the fighters. The weather was clear to the target but developed to rain and 7/10th cloud on return. Navigation was good.

Stirling Mk.I R.9247 AA-W

F/S Henry Edwin Rousseau, RAFVR 1026535 – Pilot.
Sgt Mervyn Oliver Clark, RNZAF NZ404895 – Navigator.
Sgt. Reginald Crosby Mocock , RAFVR 1168876 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Christopher James Kendall , RNZAF NZ412342 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Wilson Morton, RAF 621322 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. John Fellows, RAFVR R.78046 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Henry Welsh Pullar , RNZAF NZ411777 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.I R.9247 AA-W was brought down near Vechta airfield, 30 miles South West of Bremen, Germany, while en route to or from the target. None of the crew survived the crash. All are buried in the Reinberg Cemetery.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/henry-welsh-pullar © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/henry-welsh-pullar © New Zealand War Graves Project


PURDIE, Thomas

Sgt. Thomas Purdie, RAFVR 1554949 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Lost without trace age 27 on the 3rd of August 1943.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 162.

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

Stirling Mk.III EH928 AA-A
Log refers to ‘B’ – unclear if this is the designator or the Flight….

Sgt. Cyril Philip Bailie, RAFVR 1578834/ 155786 – Pilot.
F/S Jack Thomson, RNZAF NZ421145 – 2nd Pilot.
F/O William Turner, RNZAF NZ416579 – Navigator.
Sgt. Joseph Isherwood, RAFVR 1502733 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Edward ‘Eddie’ Millward, RAFVR 1385557 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Howard Thompson, RAFVR 1484375 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Thomas Purdie, RAFVR 1554949 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ernest Francis Hunting, RAFVR 1358198 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EH928 AA-A was intercepted and shot down by a night-fighter (Hptm Hans Johchim Jabs, IV,/NJG1) and crashed into the North Sea off Terschelling, Frisian Island. P/O Bailie is buried in Lemvig Cemetery, Denmark. All other crew members are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.


PURVES, James John

F/S James John Purves, RNZAF NZ422207 – Air Bomber.
Died of Injuries age 35 on the 25th of October 1943.
Son of James Purves and of Martha Purves (Nee Davis); Husband of Isabella Margaret Purves, of Orangimea, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Cambridge City Cemetery, Cambridgeshire, England..
Grave location – Grave 14723.

24/10/1943 – Mining in the Frisian Islands
Two aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operations with mines of 1,500lbs. One aircraft returned early owing to navigational failiure and the other aircraft dropped its mines, but on return as, apparently about to land, it crashed 1 ½ miles S.W. of this aerodrome and almost instantly caught fire and burnt out. The Captain, F/SGT. J.R. RANDLE and the Navigator F/SGT. P.M. East, the Air Bomber Sgt. J.J. Purves and the Wireless Operator F/Sgt. W. R. MYHILL were killed. The Flight Engineer, SGT. I.E. James and the Rear Gunner, Sgt. E.H. Bissett were admitted to R.A.F. Hospital, ELY. The Mid-Upper Gunner was uninjured.

Stirling Mk.III EF142 AA-C

F/S James Robert Randle, RNZAF NZ416539 – Pilot.
F/S Patton Mason East, RNZAF NZ426083 – Navigator.
F/S James John Purves, RNZAF NZ422207 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. William Raymond Myhill, RAFVR 1392196 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. I.E. James, RAFVR 1850021 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. W. Ramsay, RAFVR 1570005 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Stuart Richard Bisset, RAFVR 1473254 – Rear Gunner.

Crashed on return to Mepal airfield
Stirling Mk.III EF142 AA-C overshot the runway on landing at base and an attempt was made to go around again at 300ft. The aircraft crashed and caught fire, South West of the airfield. The Pilot, Navigator and Wireless Operator died, and the Air Bomber succumbed the following day. The Flight Engineer and Rear Gunner escaped with injuries. The mid upper gunner escaped uninjured.

PURVES, James John RNZAF

2 thoughts on “P

  1. Lucy Wilson

    PEARSON, Peter Braithwaite
    Age 22
    Sergeant 1377412 RAFVR
    16th April 1943
    Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany

    My father’s cousin.

    Like

    Reply
    1. 75nzsquadron Post author

      Hello Lucy
      Many thanks for contacting me regarding Peter, if you have any information on him, whether in 75(NZ) Squadron or his training prior to operational deployment, I would be honoured to add it to the site

      hope to hear from you

      Simon

      Like

      Reply

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