W.R. Perrot crew 16.5.43 †

12/05/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Duisburg
Nine aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 2000lb, 1000lb and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb. Stirling Mk.III. BK.721 captained by F/Lt. E.R.M. Appleton, whilst taking off failed to clear an obstruction at the end of the runway and crashed almost immediately afterwards, all the crew with the exception of the captain and the wireless operator, F/Sgt. Cocks, S.G. were killed. The captain received severe injuries and the wireless was also injured, both were admitted to hospital. As a result of this crash two aircraft were unable to take-off. One aircraft returned early owing to the Captain being sick. The remaining five aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area, and large concentrated fires and some explosions were seen. Some heavy A.A.Fire, co-operating with searchlights was encountered, but it was ineffective. A few enemy aircraft were seen but no combats took place. The weather was very clear in the target area with good visibility except for ground haze which prevented identification. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.III BK776 AA-R

P/O Raymond Frederick Bennett, RNZAF NZ415282 – Pilot.
P/O William Rosser ‘Ross’ Perrot, RNZAF NZ416155 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Alan Lloyd Davidson, RNZAF NZ411864 – Navigator.
Sgt. William James Henry Berriman, NZ411361 – 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.

Take Off 00:25 – Landed 04:29
Flight Time 04:04

13/05/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Bochum
Twelve aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 2000lb, 1000lb, and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb. Three aircraft, however, were forced to return early owing to engine trouble. The remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area, and very large concentrated fires were seen, together with explosions. This is considered to have been a very successful raid. Heavy predicted A.A.Fire co-operation with searchlights was encountered. Several enemy aircraft were seen and some short combats took place. Stirling Mk.I. BK619, captained by Sgt. J.L. Mitchell was attacked by an ME110 and opened fire at 400 yards slightly below our aircraft. The mod-upper gunner fired a medium burst and the enemy aircraft was seen to burst into flames and passed beneath the Stirling. The rear gunner fired a further long burst at 300 yards and the enemy aircraft was seen to turn on its back and dive, hit the ground and explode. The weather was very clear in the target area, but visibility was impaired by slight ground haze. Navigation was good.

Stirling Mk.III BK776 AA-R

P/O Raymond Frederick Bennett, RNZAF NZ415282 – Pilot.
P/O William Rosser ‘Ross’ Perrot, RNZAF NZ416155 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Alan Lloyd Davidson, RNZAF NZ411864 – Navigator.
Sgt. William James Henry Berriman, NZ411361 – 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.

Take Off 00:12 – Landed 03:44
Flight Time 03:32

16/05/1943 – Mining off the Frisian Islands
Four aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation. All of the aircraft successfully dropped their Mines in the allotted area and the parachutes were seen to open. No A.A.Fire or searchlights were encountered. A few enemy aircraft were seen but no combats took place. The weather was clear and visibility was good in the mining area. Navigation was excellent.

Stirling Mk.III BK778 JN-U

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

Take Off 01:09 – Landed 05:18
Flight Time 04:09

21/05/1943 – Mining in the Gironde Estuary
Five aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with Mines of 1500lb. All of the aircraft successfully dropped their Mines in the allotted area. Some light A.A.Fire and one searchlight was encountered, but was ineffective. No enemy aircraft were seen. The weather was good and visibility was variable. Navigation was excellent.

Stirling Mk.I EF398 AA-A

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

Take Off 22:13 – Landed 04:52
Flight Time 06:39

23/05/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Dortmund
Fifteen aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks with bombs of 1000lb and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb. One aircraft returned early owing to engine trouble, and the remaining aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Some very large fires were seen, and the bombs were seen to explode amongst large buildings. Medium and Heavy A.A.Fire co-operating with searchlights was encountered. One aircraft was hit whilst over the target, and the port outer propeller was shot off, but the aircraft successfully returned to base. Some enemy aircraft were seen, and two short combats took place, but no damage was sustained to our aircraft. The weather was good in the target area, but identification was difficult owing to smoke from the fires. Navigation was very good. Stirling Mk.III,BK.783 captained by Sergeant S.M. Tietjens failed to return.

Stirling Mk.I EF398 AA-A

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

Take Off 23:25 – Landed 04:01
Flight Time 04:36

25/05/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Dusseldorf
Sixteen aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack with bombs of 1000lb and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb. Four aircraft returned early owing to engine trouble, and one failed to return. The remaining eleven aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area, and some large explosions were also seen. Both heavy and light A.A.Fire was encountered, co-operating with searchlights, which were ineffective. Some enemy aircraft were seen and two short combats took place, but no damage was sustained by our aircraft. Ten tenths cloud was prevalent in the target area, but visibility was fairly good. Navigation was very good. This missing aircraft was Stirling Mk.I. BK602, captained by Sergeant T.W. Darton.

Stirling Mk.I EF398 AA-A

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

Take Off 00:05 – Landed 04:21
Flight Time 04:16

11/06/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Dusseldorf
Sixteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 2,000lb.,1,000lb. and incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb. One aircraft failed to return and two returned early owing to engine trouble. The remainder of the aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Many large fires and huge explosions were seen. Moderate and heavy A.A.fire co-operating with search lights were encountered. One aircraft was coned by searchlights, but violent evasive action eventually avoided them with difficulty. Some enemy aircraft were seen and two short combats took place, but no damage was sustained by our aircraft. The weather was clear and the visibility was good except for haze caused by the fires. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stiring Mk.III BK817 captained by Squadron Leader R.H. Laud, (“A” Flight Commander).

Stirling Mk.III BK768 AA-L

P/O William Rosser ‘Ross’ Perrott, RNZAF NZ416155 – Pilot.
Sgt. Gordon Douglas Thompson, RNZAF NZ42317 – Navigator.
Sgt. 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.

Take Off 23:33 – Landed 04:03
Flight Time 04:30

19/06/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Krefeld
Fourteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 2,000lb., 1,000lb., and incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb. One aircraft returned early as it was hit by A.A. fire in the fuselage, mainplane and mid upper turret. The Flight Engineer made a really good effort to overcome the damage by hacking his way through the fuselage into the port wing to get at the petrol tank controls, which he then operated by hand. The BREUIL STEEL WORKs was very badly damaged and appeared to have the roof missing. Large fires and huge explosions were seen in the target area. An aircraft captained by P/O Sedunary, lost the outer propeller , just before bombing. He carried out his bombing successfully and returned to base. At the beginning of the attack little light and heavy A.A fire and one searchlight were encountered, but as the attack progressed the defences were thoroughly disorganised. There was no cloud in the target area and visibility was excellent, except for smoke from out flares. Navigation was very good.

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.

Take Off 22:06 – Landed 04:30
Flight Time 06:24

21/06/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Krefeld
Fifteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb. bombs in the target area. The operation was very successful, the whole of the town was seething in flames and the smoke from the fires was rising to a height of 8,000ft. On the return the fires could be seen from the Dutch Coast. Heavy, moderate and light A.A. fire. Some enemy aircraft were seen and one short combat took place, but no damage was sustained to our aircraft. The weather was good with clear visibility except in the target area, where there was haze caused by fires. Navigation was excellent.

Stirling Mk.III BK768 AA-L

P/O William Rosser ‘Ross’ Perrott, RNZAF NZ416155 – Pilot.
Sgt. 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.

Take Off 23:58 – Landed 03:39
Flight Time 03:41

22/06/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Mannheim (actually Mülheim)
Fifteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lbs and 4lbs. Four aircraft failed to return and the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Large concentrated fires and some explosions were seen the whole RUHR area was smoke palled. A very heavy A.A. barrage co-operating with searchlights was encountered and five aircraft were slightly hit by A.A.fire, some enemy aircraft were seen and three short combats took place, but no damage was sustained by our aircraft. There was 3/10ths cloud on the target area but visibility was fairly good, except for smoke haze. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirling Mk.I EF399 captained by F/S Burbidge, Mk.III EF408 captained by Sgt. Wood, MK.III BK810 captained by W/O McKenzie and Mk.III EH889 captained by F/O McCrorie.

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.

Take Off 23:55 – Landed 03:58
Flight Time 04:03

24/06/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Wuppertal
Thirteen aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack with incendiary bombs of 30lns and 4lbs. One aircraft returned early owing to the rear turret being unserviceable and one failed to return. The remaining aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. This was a very good attack, very large concentrated fires being seen, the glow of which was visible 30 miles away from the Dutch Coast. The defences were considerably stronger than the previous attacks, both moderate and heavy A.A.fire was encountered and two aircraft were slightly hit. Some enemy aircraft were seen and one short combat took place but no damage was sustained by our aircraft. The weather was good, although the smoke from the fires obscured ground detail. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling Mk.III EH902 captained by F/S Bluck.

Stirling Mk.III BK768 AA-L

P/O William Rosser ‘Ross’ Perrott, RNZAF NZ416155 – Pilot.
Sgt. James Arthur Couper RNZAF NZ417027   2nd 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.

Take Off 23:30 – Landed 03:59
Flight Time 04:29

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.

Take Off 23:35 – Landed –
Flight Time – Missing

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.

F/O William Rosser Perrott, RNZAF NZ416155 – Pilot.
Killed age 21.
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.

F/S Gordon Douglas Thomson, RNZAF NZ42317 – Navigator.
Killed age 22.
Son of James Alexander Thomson and of Catherine Thomson (Nee Laird), of Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand.
Buried Harderwijk General Cemetery, Holland.
Grave location – British Plot 2. Grave 12.

F/S Clifford James Whitelaw, RNZAF NZ416188 – Air Bomber.
Lost without trace age 22.
Son of Mr. and Mrs. M. F. M. Whitelaw, of Whangarei, Auckland, New Zealand.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 199.

Sgt. Charles Cyril Mould, RAFVR 1314162 – Wireless Operator.
Lost without trace age 29.
Son of William Charles and Ethel Mould; Husband of Amelia Emily Mould, of Welling, Kent.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England.
Grave location – Panel 160.

Sgt. William Webster Hilditch, RAF 611325 – Flight Engineer.
Lost without trace age 23.
Son of Edward and Catherine Hilditch; Husband of Margaret Hilditch, of Blackpool, Lancashire.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England.
Grave location – Panel 153.

Sgt. Gordon William Colyer, RAFVR 1809432 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 19.
Son of George B. and Hazel W. Colyer, of Kingswood, Surrey.
Buried Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery, Holland..
Grave location – Plot 69. Row B. Coll. grave 14.
‘In loving memory of Gordon.
May he for ever
Rest in peace’

Sgt. Harry Squire, RAFVR 1302829 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 31.
Son of George and Catherine Squire, of Tottenham, Middlesex.
Buried Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery, Holland..
Grave location – Plot 69. Row B. Coll. grave 14.
‘For his Country’s sake
His life he gave
And rests in peace In a hero’s grave’

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