R.C. Barker crew 03.10.41 †

06/08/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Mannheim and Calais
Thirteen Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. One of these aircraft, R.1648 captained by SGT. Millet, failed to return to base. The bomb load was mixed and consisted of 1000lbs; 500lbs; 250lbs; and containers of incendiaries.
GHC.170 sighted river near target but had to bomb through 10/10 cloud. Glow of a fire was seen through clouds. Bomb bursts were observed in target area by GHC.231. GNC.265 observed bomb bursts in dock area. GHC.279 bombed target area but was unable to pinpoint target on account of haze. GHC.324 saw bombs burst across outer harbour of Ostend. Unable to reach primary target owing to loss of time and petrol in extensive thunder cloud on East Coast. GHC.470 dropped bombs in target area but results were not observed. GHC.535 bombed target through 9/10 cloud. Fire observed on departure. GHC.688 failed to attack target. GHC.719 bombed flak and searchlight concentrations on E.T.A. through 10/10 cloud. Results were not observed by GHC.750.
P/O. Williams reports direct hit on lock gates. Results were not observed by P/O. Scott owing to heavy cloud.
A fair amount of activity was observed on enemy aerodromes in Brussels-liege area.
A.A. fire was slight but accurate.
Searchlights were ineffective owing to cloud.
GHC.279 reports encounter with probable JU.88. Three attacks were made but the enemy was driven off by return fire. Rear gunner believes he scored hit with third burst, causing aircraft to break away.
Weather was not favourable, there being heavy cloud, thunder, electric storms, and bad icing conditions.
Navigation was by W/T, D/R, astro and loop.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9628 AA-A

Sgt. Ivan Oswald Breckon, RNZAF NZ40863 – Pilot.
Sgt. Richard Charlwood Barker, RAFVR 1006997 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Townsend, RCAF J.2834 – Observer.
Sgt. Walter Victor Ashleigh Phear, RNZAF NZ37168 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. John Gifford Foulkes, RAFVR 909428 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Mervyn Keith Smith, RNZAF NZ401733 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:40 – Landed 05:30
Flight Time 06:50

08/08/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Hamburg
Eight Wellington aircraft of were detailed to carry out the above attacks. One of these aircraft, WAX.319 captained by SGT. Saunders, jettisoned bombs in Westhaven area while taking evasive action to escape enemy fighter. The weather was poor, there being

Wellington Mk.Ic T.2747 AA-J

Sgt. Ivan Oswald Breckon, RNZAF NZ40863 – Pilot.
Sgt. Richard Charlwood Barker, RAFVR 1006997 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Townsend, RCAF J.2834 – Observer.
Sgt. Walter Victor Ashleigh Phear, RNZAF NZ37168 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. John Gifford Foulkes, RAFVR 909428 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Mervyn Keith Smith, RNZAF NZ401733 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:20 – Landed 06:00
Flight Time 07:40

26/08/1942 – Bombing Attacks Against Cologne and Boulogne
Fourteen Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. SWU.567 failed to identify the target and bombs were jettisoned over the sea when petrol gauges had been showing zero for approximately one hour. Another aircraft, captained by Sgt Curlewis, failed to identify the target owing to 10/10 cloud and bombs were returned. All other aircraft dropped their bombs, but heavy cloud in the target area prevented observation of results. A.A. fire was moderate and predicted. Searchlights were ineffective owing to cloud. A few enemy aircraft were seen, but no attacks made

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9628 AA-A

Sgt. Robert Walter Bray, RAFVR 113927 – Pilot.
Sgt. Richard Charlwood Barker, RAFVR 1006997 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O A. C. Douglass, RAAF – Observer.
Sgt. Walter Victor Ashleigh Phear, RNZAF NZ37168 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Monty’ Partridge, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Mervyn Keith Smith, RNZAF NZ401733 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 01:30 – Landed 05:20
Flight Time 03:50

29/08/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Mannheim
Nine Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. One of these aircraft, BRO.345 failed to identify the target owing to 10/10 cloud and bombs were brought back. All bombs were dropped by the remaining aircraft, but heavy cloud made observations of results difficult. A.A. fire was heavy and accurate. No enemy aircraft were seen.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9628 AA-A

Sgt. Robert Walter Bray, RAFVR 113927 – Pilot.
Sgt. Richard Charlwood Barker, RAFVR 1006997 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O A. C. Douglass, RAAF – Observer.
Sgt. Walter Victor Ashleigh Phear, RNZAF NZ37168 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Monty’ Partridge, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Mervyn Keith Smith, RNZAF NZ401733 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:50 – Landed 05:00
Flight Time 07:10

06/09/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Huls
Thirteen Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks. One of these aircraft, X9767 captained by P/O Johnson, failed to return to base. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 1,000 lb GP, 500 lb GP, 250 lb GP, and SBC’s of 4lb incendiaries. One aircraft was seen under attack on the Dutch-German frontier. Another aircraft was observed possibly being shot down by dual AA fire/searchlight action about 15 miles west or south-west of the target. An enemy aircraft was seen taking off from Schipol, but no attacks occurred Bombs were dropped in the target area and numerous fires were started. A.A. fire was light over the target area, but heavy en route, while searchlights were working in cones around target. Three enemy  aircraft seen but no attacks made. The weather was good over the whole journey.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9628 AA-A

Sgt. Robert Walter Bray, RAFVR 113927 – Pilot.
Sgt. Richard Charlwood Barker, RAFVR 1006997 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O A. C. Douglass, RAAF – Observer.
Sgt. Walter Victor Ashleigh Phear, RNZAF NZ37168 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Monty’ Partridge, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Mervyn Keith Smith, RNZAF NZ401733 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:15 – Landed 01:45
Flight Time 05:30

08/09/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Kassel
Ten Wellington aircraft from this Unit were detailed to make individual bombing attacks against the above target. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 1,000 lb, 500 lb, (including delay), 250 lb (including delay fuses), and containers of incendiaries. AA fire was very light and searchlight activity was also light and ineffective. No enemy aircraft seen. The weather conditions were excellent in the target area and en route. Navigation includes:- D.R., Q.D.M., Astro., Pinpoint., Loop and Lorenz.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9628 AA-A

Sgt. Robert Walter Bray, RAFVR 113927 – Pilot.
Sgt. Richard Charlwood Barker, RAFVR 1006997 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O A. C. Douglass, RAAF – Observer.
Sgt. Walter Victor Ashleigh Phear, RNZAF NZ37168 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Monty’ Partridge, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Twisteton, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:40 – Landed 04:10
Flight Time 07:30

11/09/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Kiel
Twelve Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks. One of these aircraft, R1038 captained by Sgt Roe, failed to return to base. Four aircraft failed to locate the targets, but the remainder all dropped bombs and fires were started. A.A. fire was intense and working in co-operation with searchlights which were working in cones. The weather was clear over the target.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9628 AA-A

Sgt. Robert Walter Bray, RAFVR 113927 – Pilot.
Sgt. Richard Charlwood Barker, RAFVR 1006997 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O A. C. Douglass, RAAF – Observer.
Sgt. Walter Victor Ashleigh Phear, RNZAF NZ37168 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Monty’ Partridge, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Beard, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:00 – Landed 05:15
Flight Time 08:15

13/09/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Brest
Twelve Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. One aircraft, GYM.833 was unable to identify target and returned to base with bomb load. The remaining aircraft bombed the target and bursts were seen A smoke screen covered the target area. A.A. fire was heavy, and searchlights were working in cones. The weather was clear over the target.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9628 AA-A

Sgt. Robert Walter Bray, RAFVR 113927 – Pilot.
Sgt. Richard Charlwood Barker, RAFVR 1006997 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O A. C. Douglass, RAAF – Observer.
Sgt. Walter Victor Ashleigh Phear, RNZAF NZ37168 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Monty’ Partridge, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Mervyn Keith Smith, RNZAF NZ401733 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:50 – Landed 08:20
Flight Time 10:30

15/09/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Hamburg
Twelve Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. Two of these aircraft failed to return, one being captained by Sgt J. A. Ward who was awarded the Victoria Cross on 4 August 1941. There was clear weather over the target, and bursts were seen in many parts of the target area. A.A. fire was heavy over and near target area. Searchlights were numerous, working in cones, and co-operating with A.A. fire and night fighters.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9628 AA-A

Sgt. Robert Walter Bray, RAFVR 113927 – Pilot.
Sgt. Richard Charlwood Barker, RAFVR 1006997 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O A. C. Douglass, RAAF – Observer.
Sgt. Green, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Monty’ Partridge, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Mervyn Keith Smith, RNZAF NZ401733 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:05 – Landed 02:45
Flight Time 06:40

29/09/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Genoa and Frankfurt
Nine Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks. Target areas were bombed, bursts were seen, and fires started. Heavy and light A.A. fire was ineffective, and very few searchlights operated in target areas. Weather was not too good, there being cloud on route and in target areas. Navigation was by D/R, QDM, pinpoints, loop, Lorenz, astro.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9628 AA-A

Sgt. Robert Walter Bray, RAFVR 113927 – Pilot.
Sgt. Richard Charlwood Barker, RAFVR 1006997 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O A. C. Douglass, RAAF – Observer.
Sgt. Walter Victor Ashleigh Phear, RNZAF NZ37168 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Monty’ Partridge, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Mervyn Keith Smith, RNZAF NZ401733 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:00 – Landed 05:10
Flight Time 10:10

03/10/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Dunkirk
Three Wellington aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. Target area and docks were bombed and fires started.
The weather forecast was favourable, with a slight haze along the French coast. A.A. fire was fairly intense to the south of the target, with searchlights co-operating.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9951 AA-L

Sgt. Richard Charlwood Barker, RAFVR 1006997 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ivor John McLaughlan, RNZAF NZ404390 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Harold Dawson Grimes, RAAF AUS.404532 – Observer.
Sgt. G.F. Cole, RAFVR 961126 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. David Levick Beney, RAFVR 960078 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Maurice Ronald Day, RAFVR 1375181 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:45 – Landed 21:50
Flight Time 03:05

12/10/41 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Bremen and Nurenburg
*Nine Wellington aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out these attacks. One of these aircraft, X9981 captained by S/Ldr Chamberlain, failed to return to base. Wellington Ic X9975, captained by P/O Fisher returned to base owing to over heating of an engine. Direct hits were observed on the docks at Ostend and large fires were started which were visible for 90 miles. Incendiary bombs were dropped on a large factory and fires left burning. Other machines were dropping loads within 50 mile radius. A.A. fire was nil at primary, but there was a heavy flak after dropping bombs on Ostend. Searchlights were active to the East and West of target area. Weather was good.

Wellington Mk.Ic

Sgt. Richard Charlwood Barker, RAFVR 1006997 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ivor John McLaughlan, RNZAF NZ404390 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Harold Dawson Grimes, RAAF AUS.404532 – Observer.
Sgt. G.F. Cole, RAFVR 961126 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. David Levick Beney, RAFVR 960078 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Maurice Ronald Day, RAFVR 1375181 – Rear Gunner.

*Interestingly, the Squadron ORB makes no reference to the Barker crew’s participation in the Op. This is doubly confusing that firstly the aircraft crash landed at Stadishall after being attacked by an ME.109 night fighter. During this attack, Sgt McLaughlan was wounded and the Rear Gunner Sgt. Day was killed.
(Source: “Popeyes War”, by Lorie Lucas. page 146)

Sgt. Maurice Ronald Day, RAFVR 1375181 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 20
Son of Charles William and Edith Day, of Potters Bar.
Buried Paddington (Mill Hill) Cemetery, Hendon, Middlesex, England.
Grave 734.

15/10/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Cologne and Boulogne
Ten Wellington aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. A mixed bomb load was carried consisting of 1,000 lb, 500 lb, 250 lb GP’s and containers of incendiaries. Captains report that bombs were dropped on the target by estimation, but owing to slight haze over the target results were not seen. A considerable amount of heavy AA fire was experienced in and around the target area. Fire was accurate over Aachen. Searchlight activity was intense throughout the route but ineffective in the target area because of the cloud. Weather was fair en route but thick ground haze over all target area. Navigation was by Astro, D/R, QDM. Pinpointing and Lorenz check. Two of these aircraft, Z8945, captained by Sgt Barker, and X9916, captained by Sgt Matetich failed to return to base.

Wellington Mk.Ic W.5663 AA-O

Sgt. Richard Charlwood Barker, RAFVR 1006997 – Pilot.
P/O Trevor Bernard Robertson, RNZAF NZ404948 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Harold Dawson Grimes, RAAF AUS.404532 – Observer.
Sgt. David Levick Beney, RAFVR 960078 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. G.F. Cole, RAFVR 961126 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. James Blake Stephenson, RCAF R.65625/ 96324 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off – – Landed –
Flight Time – Missing

The first of the two 75(NZ) Squadron Wellingtons lost this night was Wellington Mk.Ic W.5663 AA-O, which crashed to the North of Dusseldorf, possibly as a result of night fighter action – they were known to be operating in that area; accounting for the loss of 57 Squadron’s Wellington, shot down. The two Air Gunners, Cole and Stephenson, survived the impact and were taken Prisoners of War. The other four crew were all killed. They were buried in the Nord Friedhof. At the end of hostilities their remains were disinterred and taken to the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.

Sgt. Richard Charlwood Barker, RAFVR 1006907 – Pilot.
Killed age 20.
Son of George Guyse Barker and Annie Barker, of Deganwy, Caernarvonshire.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 11. B. 1-4.

P/O Trevor Bernard Robertson, RNZAF NZ404948 – 2nd Pilot.
Killed age 26.
Son of William Bernard and Irene Kathleen Robertson, of Auckland City, New Zealand.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 11. B. 1-4.

Sgt. Harold Dawson Grimes, RAAF AUS.404532 – Observer.
Killed age 26.
Son of Alfred Ernest and Mary Ethel Grimes, of Taringa, Queensland, Australia.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 11. B. 1-4.
‘He willingly gave his all’

Sgt. G.F. Cole, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
P.o.W
Prisoner of War Number: 6338
Prison Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag 357. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Date of return to United Kingdom: not known

Sgt. David Levick Beney, RAFVR 960078 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 19.
Son of Arthur and Evelyn Annie Beney, of Limpsfield, Surrey.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 11. B. 1-4.

Sgt. James Blake Stephenson, RCAF R.65625/ 96324 – Rear Gunner
P.o.W
Prisoner of War Number: 24396
Prison Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags VIIIB, Luft III, Luft VI and 357
Date of return to United Kingdom: not known