R.P. Widdowson crew 30.03.41

27/03/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Cologne and Dunkirk?
Nine Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. Bombs were dropped, but owing to haze over target areas bursts were not observed. Five photographs were taken by GKN.832. Searchlights and heavy and light flak were fairly accurate. The weather was fair over route, but have was experienced in target area. Navigation was by D/R, map reading, astro and W/T.

Wellington Mk.Ic R.1518 AA-X

Sgt. Kilsby, RAFVR – Pilot.
S/L Reuben Pears Widdowson, RAF 34256 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Malcolm George Harris, RAFVR – Observer.
Sgt. W. Mason, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Evans, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Allan Robert James Box, RNZAF NZ401221 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:00 – Landed 23:05
Flight Time 03:05

30/03/1945 – Bombing Attacks Against Calais
One Wellington aircraft of this Unit carried out an attack against the above target. The bomb load consisted of 500lbs., and containers of incendiaries.
Bombs were dropped in target area.
No observations were made and no reconnaissance carried out.
A.A. fire was fairly heavy but inaccurate.
Searchlights were medium but not concentrated.
No enemy aircraft were encountered.
The weather was fine; visibility 10 miles: cloud 5/10 – 7//10 about 7000 feet.
Navigation was by D/R, map reading, W/T.

Wellington Mk.Ic R.1457 AA-P

S/L Reuben Pears Widdowson, RAFVR 34256 – Pilot.
Sgt. Anthony Saunders, RAFVR – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Fullerton, RAFVR – Observer.
Sgt. Green, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Monty’ Partridge, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Eric Francis Gannaway, RNZAF NZ402110 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:45 – Landed 00:15
Flight Time 04:30

06/04/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Brest
Ten Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. Owing to heavy cloud over target area, the operation was not successful, eight aircraft failing to locate target. The bomb load consisted of 500 S.A.P.
CDS.388 reports two explosions, the first one large and coloured red.
Results were not observed by CDS.798 as bombs were dropped on flak concentration.
Two photographs were attempted by CDS.565.
Heavy and light A.A. Fire was experienced at many parts of target.
Few searchlights were in operation, but these were useless owing to cloud.
A few enemy aircraft were seen, but no attacks were made. Navigation was by D/R, W/T, astro.

Wellington Mk.Ic R.1457 AA-P

S/L Reuben Pears Widdowson, RAFVR 34256 – Pilot.
Sgt. Anthony Saunders, RAFVR – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Fullerton, RAFVR – Observer.
Sgt. Green, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Monty’ Partridge, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Eric Francis Gannaway, RNZAF NZ402110 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:00 – Landed 02:00
Flight Time 06:00

07/04/1941 – Bombing Attack on Targets at Kiel
Eleven Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. The weather was good and bombs were seen to burst on or very near the targets. Fires were observed over the whole of the target area. A.A. fire was fairly heavy and intense. Searchlights operated mainly in cones and were fairly accurate. A number of enemy aircraft were seen but no attacks developed. Navigation was by D/R, W/T, astro and map reading

Wellington Mk.Ic R.1457 AA-P

S/L Reuben Pears Widdowson, RAFVR 34256 – Pilot.
Sgt. Anthony Saunders, RAFVR – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Fullerton, RAFVR – Observer.
Sgt. Green, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Monty’ Partridge, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Eric Francis Gannaway, RNZAF NZ402110 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:20 – Landed 04:30
Flight Time 08:10

14/04/1941 – Bombing Attacks on Brest
Ten Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. The weather was fine but there was a thin layer of cloud over the target area. Bombs were dropped and a number of bursts were observed in target area. A.A. fire was fairly intense and accurate, and searchlights were accurate when operating in cones. No enemy aircraft were encountered. Navigation was by D/R, astro, W/T and map reading.

Wellington Mk.Ic R.3166 AA-M

S/L Reuben Pears Widdowson, RAFVR 34256 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Ewen Ernest Fotheringham, RNZAF NZ391833 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Fowler,   – Observer.
Sgt. Robert Alexander Newton, RAFVR 6511971 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Crossley, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. John Henry Charles Wakefield, RNZAF NZ40929 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:30 – Landed 04:30
Flight Time 06:00

24/04/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Ostend and Kiel
Nine Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. Three of these aircraft failed to locate targets and bombs were bought back. A mixed bomb load was carried consisting of 1000lbs, 500lbs, and containers of incendiaries.
SFY.154 reports that bombs were seen to burst.
SFY.426 saw bombs burst 300 yds S.W. of target.
SFY.515 reports small fire started in target area.
SFY.626 saw bombs and incendiaries burst in target area.
Target was not located by SFY.699,
Results were not observed by SFY.872
S/L Widdowson returned to base on account of the Wireless Operator being ill. Three 500lbs. were jettisoned in sea. P/O Curry failed to locate target.
F/Lt. Fletcher attacked target area and fires were started.
Two large fires were observed in target area.
A.A. fire was fairly intense and accurate.
Searchlights were numerous and working in cones.
A few enemy aircraft were seen but no attacks made.
Heavy cloud was experienced in Ostend area, but elsewhere the weather was fine. Navigation was by D/R, loop, astro, W/T

Wellington Mk.Ic R.1457 AA-P

S/L Reuben Pears Widdowson, RAFVR 34256 – Pilot.
Sgt. Anthony Saunders, RAFVR – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Fullerton, RAFVR – Observer.
Sgt. Monty’ Partridge, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Eric Francis Gannaway, RNZAF NZ402110 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:45 – Landed 23:55
Flight Time 03:10

02/05/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Hamburg and Emden
Seven Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. The bomb load was mixed and consisted of 1000lbs. G.P., 500lbs. G.P.; 250lbs. G.P. and containers of incendiaries. Bombs were dropped and hits scored. Many fires were started. Accurate heavy A.A. fire was experienced in target areas. There was intese stationary cones of searchlights over Hamburg. A few enemy aircraft were seen but no attacks made. The weather was fine and visibility was good. Navigation was by D/R, W/T, map reading and astro.

Wellington Mk.Ic R.1457 AA-P

S/L Reuben Pears Widdowson, RAFVR 34256 – Pilot.
Sgt. Anthony Saunders, RAFVR – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Lawrence Alan Lawton, RNZAF NZ391883 – Observer.
Sgt. Monty’ Partridge, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Jones, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Eric Francis Gannaway, RNZAF NZ402110 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:40 – Landed 01:30
Flight Time 04:50

04/05/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Brest
Thirteen Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. The bomb load was mixed and consisted of 2000lbs. S.A.P. 500lbs. S.A.P. 250lbs. S.A.P. while flash bombs were also carried by two aircraft. All bombs were dropped and bursts were observed. Many fires were started. Intense heavy and light flak was experienced on route and in target area, while searchlights were intense but not very accurate. A few enemy aircraft were seen but no attacks made. The weather was fine and clear. Navigation was by astro. D/R, W/T, and map reading.

Wellington Mk.Ic R.1457 AA-P

S/L Reuben Pears Widdowson, RAFVR 34256 – Pilot.
Sgt. Anthony Saunders, RAFVR – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Lawrence Alan Lawton, RNZAF NZ391883 – Observer.
Sgt. Monty’ Partridge, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Jones, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Eric Francis Gannaway, RNZAF NZ402110 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:00 – Landed 03:40
Flight Time 05:40

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 Missing AA-

S/L Reuben Pears Widdowson, RAFVR 34256 – Pilot.
Sgt. Anthony Saunders, RAFVR – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Lawrence Alan Lawton, RNZAF NZ391883 – Observer.
Sgt. Monty’ Partridge, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Wilfred Bearne, RAFVR 976174 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Eric Francis Gannaway, RNZAF NZ402110 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:25 – Landed 04:45
Flight Time 06:20

08/05/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Hamburg
Twelve Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above target. One of these aircraft, TBO.404, returned to base with bombs on account of rear turret and guns being out of order. The remaining aircraft all dropped their bombs and bursts were seen in target areas, as a result of which many fires were started. A.A. Fire was intense and fairly accurate, and searchlights wre active. Enemy aircraft were numerous but no attacks were made. The weather was good, but a little too clear. Navigation was by D/R, astro, W/T, map reading.

Wellington Mk.Ic R.1457 AA-P

S/L Reuben Pears Widdowson, RAFVR 34256 – Pilot.
Sgt. Anthony Saunders, RAFVR – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Lawrence Alan Lawton, RNZAF NZ391883 – Observer.
Sgt. Monty’ Partridge, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Wilfred Bearne, RAFVR 976174 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Eric Francis Gannaway, RNZAF NZ402110 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:10 – Landed 01:40
Flight Time 03:30

09/05/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Mannheim
Twelve Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above target. All bombs were dropped, and bursts and fires were seen in target area. Moderate A.A. fire was encountered in target area but this was not vey accurate. Searchlights were not active. A number of enemy aircraft were seen bit no attacks made. The weather was fine and visibility good. Navigation was by D/R, astro, W/T and map reading.

Wellington Mk.Ic L.7848 AA-V

S/L Reuben Pears Widdowson, RAFVR 34256 – Pilot.
Sgt. Anthony Saunders, RAFVR – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Lawrence Alan Lawton, RNZAF NZ391883 – Observer.
Sgt. Monty’ Partridge, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Wilfred Bearne, RAFVR 976174 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Eric Francis Gannaway, RNZAF NZ402110 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:40 – Landed 04:15
Flight Time 05:35

11/05/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Hamburg
Eleven Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above target. One of these aircraft, Captained by S/L. Widdowson, was attacked by an unforeseen aircraft at 4000 feet near Cromer. The machine was badly damaged and the rear gunner, SGT Ganaway, was fatally wounded. Bombs were jettisoned in sea and aircraft returned to base. The remaining aircraft dropped all bombs and bursts were seen and fires started. Intense light and heavy A.A. fire was experienced in target areas and searchlights were active and working in cones. Several fighters were seen in target areas. The weather was good, but there was haze over target. Navigation was by D/R, astro, W/T. map reading.

Wellington Mk.Ic R.1589 AA-?

S/L Reuben Pears Widdowson, RAFVR 34256 – Pilot.
Sgt. Anthony Saunders, RAFVR – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Lawrence Alan Lawton, RNZAF NZ391883 – Observer.
Sgt. Monty’ Partridge, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Wilfred Bearne, RAFVR 976174 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Eric Francis Gannaway, RNZAF NZ402110 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:20 – Landed 00:45
Flight Time 01:25

S/L Widdowson’s aircraft was attacked by an unseen enemy fighter at a height of 4,000ft near Cromer, on the east coast of England. They were climbing out on track about 30mins after take-off. The Wellington was badly damaged in the attack and the rear gunner, Sgt Gannaway, was mortally wounded. The bomb load was jettisoned in the sea and Widdowson managed to maintain control of the aircraft and safely return to base, landing at 00:45hrs.
Not long after landing, Sgt E F Gannaway, RNZAF, died as a result of his injuries.

Sgt. Eric Francis Gannaway, RNZAF NZ402110 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 21.
Son of Cyril Francis and Miriam Elsie Gannaway, of Napier, Hawke’S Bay, New Zealand.
Buried Feltwell (St. Nicholas) Churchyard, Norfolk, England..
Grave location – Row A. Grave 5.

17/05/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Cologne and Boulogne
Fourteen Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. One of these aircraft, CNY.170, returned to base, with bombs owing to turret trouble. The remainder all dropped their bombs, bursts being seen and fires started. It was observed that the black-out in Brussels was not good. Intense A.A. fire, and searchlights working in cones, were experienced, and although a number of enemy aircraft were seen no attacks were made. The weather was fair, but there was haze over the target areas. Navigation was by D/R, loop, astro, W/T, map reading.

Wellington Mk.Ic R.1457 AA-P

S/L Reuben Pears Widdowson, RAFVR 34256 – Pilot.
Sgt. Anthony Saunders, RAFVR – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Lawrence Alan Lawton, RNZAF NZ391883 – Observer.
Sgt. Monty’ Partridge, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. East, RAFVR   – Front Gunner.
P/O Charles Stokes, RAFVR 44224 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:40 – Landed 03:10
Flight Time 04:30

27/05/1941 – Daylight Search for Hipper Class Cruiser
Twelve Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out the above search. The bomb lead was mixed and consisted “B” bombs, 500 lbs. S.A.P. The target was not located and all bombs were bought back. A large number of enemy aircraft were encountered and attacks were made on our aircraft. No serious damage was sustained. Good weather was experienced. Navigation was by D/R, W/T, map reading.

Wellington Mk.Ic R.1457 AA-P

S/L Reuben Pears Widdowson, RAFVR 34256 – Pilot.
Sgt. Anthony Saunders, RAFVR – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Lawrence Alan Lawton, RNZAF NZ391883 – Observer.
Sgt. Monty’ Partridge, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Evans, RAFVR   – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Allan Robert James Box, RNZAF NZ401221 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off No Time Listed – Landed No Time Listed
Flight Time –

10/06/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Brest
Twelve Wellington aircraft of this Unit carried out the above attacks. The bomb load was mixed and consisted of 2000lbs. S.A.P., 500 lbs. S.A.P. 250lbs. S.A.P., whilst RGS.772 carried one flash bomb.
Owing to smoke screen and ground haze no results were observed but all bombs were dropped.
No observations were made.
There was moderate light and heavy A.A. fire, but not accurate.
There were few searchlights.
Two enemy aircraft were seen, but no attacks made.
The weather was fine, but there was haze over the target.
D/R, astro, map reading, W/T.

Wellington Mk.Ic R.1457 AA-P

S/L Reuben Pears Widdowson, RAFVR 34256 – Pilot.
Sgt. Anthony Saunders, RAFVR – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Lawrence Alan Lawton, RNZAF NZ391883 – Observer.
Sgt. Monty’ Partridge, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Evans, RAFVR   – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Allan Robert James Box, RNZAF NZ401221 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:45 – Landed 05:50
Flight Time 05:05

12/06/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Hamm
Ten Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried, consisting of 1000lbs, G.P., 500lbs. G.P.; 250lbs. G.P.; and containers of incendiaries.
KHS.163 dropped all bombs and fires were started.
KHS.312 saw bombs burst in group of fires.
KHS.527 reports bombs burst in target area.
KHS.524 saw bombs burst and incendiaries start a small red fire which burned for some time. The target itself was not pinpointed although it was in the vicinity of Hamm.
KHS.634 reports large fires at North and East of marshalling yards.
KHS.763 did not observe results.
KHS.809 reports bombs were dropped on target.
KHS.862 bombed primary target.
Results were not observed by P/O. Ashworth
KHS.981 saw bombs burst in target area.
A number of flashing beacons were seen in enemy territory. Heavy and light A.A> fires was experienced. This was fairly accurate. Searchlights were fairly active, working in cones.
KHS.635 reports that at position 090 50 miles SOUTHWOLD he was attacked by three enemy aircraft. One is believed to have been shot down by rear gunner. On turning back to confirm he was chased by remaining two.
The weather was fairly good, with ground haze over the target area. Navigation was by D/R, W/T, astro and map reading.

Wellington Mk.Ic R.1457 AA-P

S/L Reuben Pears Widdowson, RAFVR 34256 – Pilot.
Sgt. Anthony Saunders, RAFVR – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Lawrence Alan Lawton, RNZAF NZ391883 – Observer.
Sgt. Monty’ Partridge, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Evans, RAFVR   – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Allan Robert James Box, RNZAF NZ401221 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:15 – Landed 04:20
Flight Time 05:05

16/06/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Dusseldorf
Fifteen Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks. All bombes were dropped and bursts and fires were observed in target areas. Fairly accurate heavy and light A.A. fire was encountered, and searchlights, working in cones, were very active. FKU.846 reports being attacked by JU.88 on return journey. Cannon shells entered fuselage near elevator and machine gun bullets hit rear turret. There were no casualties. The weather was fine. Navigation was by D/R, W/T, map reading, astro, loop, lorenz

Wellington Mk.Ic R.1457 AA-P

S/L Reuben Pears Widdowson, RAFVR 34256 – Pilot.
Sgt. James Allen Ward, RNZAF NZ401793 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Lawrence Alan Lawton, RNZAF NZ391883 – Observer.
Sgt. Monty’ Partridge, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Evans, RAFVR   – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Allan Robert James Box, RNZAF NZ401221 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:40 – Landed 04:40
Flight Time 05:00

18/06/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Brest
Seventeen Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. One aircraft, MFW.819 was unable to locate the target on account of low cloud and smoke screen and bombs were bought back. Bombs were dropped by the remaining aircraft, but owing to smoke screen, bursts were not observed. Moderate light and heavy A.A. fire was encountered, and searchlights were active. The weather was fine but there was slight haze over target area. Navigation was by D/R, W/T, map reading, astro.

Wellington Mk.Ic R.1457 AA-P

S/L Reuben Pears Widdowson, RAFVR 34256 – Pilot.
Sgt. James Allen Ward, RNZAF NZ401793 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Lawrence Alan Lawton, RNZAF NZ391883 – Observer.
Sgt. Monty’ Partridge, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Evans, RAFVR   – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Allan Robert James Box, RNZAF NZ401221 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:40 – Landed 04:00
Flight Time 05:20

24/06/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Kiel and Dusseldorf
Eighteen Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks. Two of these aircraft jettisoned bombs. The others reached the targets and bombs were dropped. Bursts were seen. A.A. fire and searchlights were intense, but no enemy aircraft were encountered. The weather was fine but there was thick ground haze at some parts. Navigation was by D/R, astro, W/T, map reading.

Wellington Mk.Ic R.1457 AA-P

S/L Reuben Pears Widdowson, RAFVR 34256 – Pilot.
Sgt. Anthony Saunders, RAFVR – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Lawrence Alan Lawton, RNZAF NZ391883 – Observer.
Sgt. Monty’ Partridge, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Evans, RAFVR   – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Allan Robert James Box, RNZAF NZ401221 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:15 – Landed 04:15
Flight Time 06:00

03/07/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Essen
Sixteen Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. One of these aircraft , W,5621, captained by SGT. Reid, failed to return to base. Bombs were dropped by the remaining aircraft and fires were started. Heavy and light A.A. fire was intense and accurate, as also were searchlights which were working in cones. A few enemy aircraft were seen, but no attacks were made. The weather was fine with cloud in some places. There was haze over the target. Navigation was by D/R, W/T, astro, loop, map reading

Wellington Mk.Ic R.1457 AA-P

S/L Reuben Pears Widdowson, RAFVR 34256 – Pilot.
Sgt. James Allen Ward, RNZAF NZ401793 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Lawrence Alan Lawton, RNZAF NZ391883 – Observer.
Sgt. W. Mason, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Evans, RAFVR   – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Allan Robert James Box, RNZAF NZ401221 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:20 – Landed 04:25
Flight Time 05:05

07/07/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Munster
Ten Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. One of these aircraft, CNF.994, captained by S/Ldr. Widdowson, was attacked by one Me.110 over the middle of the Zuider Zee and was badly damaged. The rear gunner attacked the enemy aircraft which fell away and dived into the sea with heavy smoke pouring from the port engine. On the journey back to base, fire broke out on the Wellington and the 2nd Pilot, SGT. Ward, climbed out on to the starboard wing and attempted to smother the fire, but with only partial success. The fire eventually burned itself out and a landing was made at Newmarket. For his courageous action SGT. Ward was awarded the Victoria Cross; while S/Ldr. Widdowson and Sgt. Box the rear gunner received immediate awards of the D.F.C. and D.F.M. respectively. (For fuller story see “SUMMARY OF OUTSTANDING EVENTS” at end of Forms 540).
CNF.240 reports bombs fell right on aiming point; 1000lbs. caused red glow which sprang into two fires, afterwards running into one.
CNF.260 reports bombs fell across target.
CNF.401 bomber center of target area. Several large fires within target area seen as well as numerous scattered small fire in other parts of town.

CNF.477 reports S.B.C.’s started good fire near target.
CNF.523 was unable to pinpoint Munster.
CNF.605 bombed target.
CNF.708 bombed target and added to fires already there.
CNF719 reports G.P. bombs seen to burst in target. Incendiaries fell close to bursts.
CNF.994 saw bombs burst on target.
F/Lt. Gill bombed target.
Many large fire were observed on aiming point. Dummy fire and explosion seen 10 miles N.E. of target.
There was very slight medium light A.A. fire.
Searchlight activity was very slight.
The weather was fine and clear.
Navigation was by D/R, pinpoints, beacons, astro, W/T. map reading.

Wellington Mk.Ic L.7818 AA-R

S/L Reuben Pears Widdowson, RAFVR 34256 – Pilot.
Sgt. James Allen Ward, RNZAF NZ401793 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Lawrence Alan Lawton, RNZAF NZ391883 – Observer.
Sgt. W. Mason, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Evans, RAFVR   – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Allan Robert James Box, RNZAF NZ401221 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:10 – Landed 04:35
Flight Time 05:25

21/07/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Mannheim and Cherbourg
Eleven Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried and was made up of 1000lbs; 500lbs; 250lbs; and containers of incendiaries.
CKN.294 reports that bomb bursts were observed. Bursts were observed by CKN.326
Bombs were dropped in target area by CKN.342.
The target was attacked by CKN.380 and bombs were seen to burst. CKN.432 attacked the docks at Cherbourg and reports hits on North West corner. The target was bombed by CKN.446.
CKN.530 bombed target area but no results were observed.
CKN.591 reports that a large fire was started in target area.
CKN.627 started medium fire slightly south east of target and several explosions were observed.
CKN.664 saw H.E.’s and incendiaries burst in target area.
P/O. Scott reports that incendiaries were seen burning.
Dummy fires were observed. An aircraft was seen to be caught in searchlights over Ostend. It was hit by A.A. fire and seen to burst into flames.
A.A. fire was not very intense.
Searchlights were active in target area and at parts of route.
No enemy aircraft were encountered. The weather was fine. Navigation was by D/R, loop, astro, map reading, W/T.

Wellington Mk.Ic R.1457 AA-P

S/L Reuben Pears Widdowson, RAFVR 34256 – Pilot.
Sgt. James Allen Ward, RNZAF NZ401793 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Lawrence Alan Lawton, RNZAF NZ391883 – Observer.
Sgt. W. Mason, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond George Butt, RAFVR 930644 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Charles Thomas Black, RAFVR 1377719 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:45 – Landed 03:45
Flight Time 05:00

24/07/1941 – Night Attacks Against Targets at Kiel
Five Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 1000lbs; 500lbs; 250lbs; and containers of incendiaries.
RTH.140 bombed target area slightly north of target.
RTH.183 reports incendiaries burst on N.E. corner of target and moderate fires were started.
RTH.215 reports that fires were started.
The target area was bombed by RTH.242.
Owing to evasive action P/O. Scott did not observe results.
A.A. fire was heavy and predicted.
Searchlights were plentiful and fairly accurate.. No enemy aircraft were encountered. Fine weather was encountered all the way.
Navigation was by D/R, astro, loop, map reading, W/T.

Wellington Mk.Ic R.1237 AA-G

S/L Reuben Pears Widdowson, RAFVR 34256 – Pilot.
Sgt. James Allen Ward, RNZAF NZ401793 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Lawrence Alan Lawton, RNZAF NZ391883 – Observer.
Sgt. W. Mason, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond George Butt, RAFVR 930644 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Charles Thomas Black, RAFVR 1377719 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:20 – Landed 04:45
Flight Time 06:25

14/08/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Hanover
Eight Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 1000lbs; 500lbs; 250lbs; and containers of incendiaries.
ROB.214 reports bombs fell probably near centre of town but to N.W. of railway station. Bursts observed. Large fires seen when leaving. Have and cloud over target made pinpointing impossible.
ROB.417 bombed south of town.
ROB.476 reports one very large fire started approx.. half mile N.W. of target aiming point.
ROB.556 dropped bombs in target area.
ROB.577 reports that bursts were see and a small fire started.
P/O. Scott reports bomb bursts see and a large fire started.
S/L. Widdowson bombed target.
P/O. Williams bombed buildings near target.
Several dummy fires were observed around target area.
A.A fire was fairly intense and co-operating with searchlights.
Searchlights were active.
ROB.214 was attacked by enemy aircraft, probably JU.88, at about 1200feet over base. One head-on attack was made with cannon and machine gun, but no hits scored. Avoided enemy action by diving to about 200 feet.
The weather was fine in target area, but there was heavy cloud on route.
Navigation was D/R, W/T, loop, astro, Q.D.M.

Wellington Mk.Ic R.1237 AA-G

S/L Reuben Pears Widdowson, RAFVR 34256 – Pilot.
P/O Barnett,  RAF – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Lawrence Alan Lawton, RNZAF NZ391883 – Observer.
Sgt. John Gifford Foulkes, RAFVR 909428 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Walters, RAFVR   – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Charles Thomas Black, RAFVR 1377719 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:30 – Landed 03:45
Flight Time 06:15