A.R. Speirs crew 2.9.43

31/08/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Berlin
Eighteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1,000lb., 500lb. and incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb. Two aircraft failed to take-off and four did not return, the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Large fires were seen, although rather scattered they appeared to be progressing very well. Moderate heavy A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered and one air craft received slight damage. Enemy night-fighters were in great prominence, the aircraft piloted by F/Sgt. Wilkinson, G encountered a JU88 approaching from astern 500yds away. The rear gunner fired a long burst, the enemy aircraft replied and stalled. The mid-upper gunner then fired three long bursts. The enemy aircraft was seen to fall away and is claimed as probably destroyed. Our aircraft received damage to the rear of the fuselage and had part of the tail plane and fin badly damaged. The aircraft captained by F/O Alexander sighted two Me109’s, the first opened fire from the starboard quarter and the rear gunner replied with a short burst. The enemy aircraft stalled and the mid-upper gunner fired a short burst. The enemy aircraft then dived to the ground and exploded, it was claimed to be destroyed. The second Me109 opened fire with a short burst from the port bow to the port quarter. The rear gunner then fired a short burst and tracer was seen to enter the enemy aircraft, which dived. It was claimed as possible destroyed. The aircraft captained by W/O Moseley, P. sighted a Me110 on the port quarter, the mid upper and rear gunner fired a long burst and the enemy aircraft turned over and dived with smoke pouring from its starboard side. It was claimed as probably destroyed. The aircraft captained by P/O C.Logan sighted a Me109 sixty yards astern, the mid-upper and rear gunner  fired and tracer from the rear gunner was seen to hit the aircraft. The Stirling then corkscrewed and the Me109 disappeared. It was claimed to be damaged. Two other aircraft crash landed away from base due to damage caused by enemy fighters, none of the crews were injured however. 8/10ths cloud was encountered on the outward journey and 9’10ths at the target, visibility, nevertheless, was good. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings MK.III EE918 captained by F/Sgt. Roberts,E, EE878 captained by F/Sgt. Henley, D, EE905 captained by F/Sgt. Helm,G. and EF501 captained by F/S McGregor, K.

Stirling Mk.III EF465 AA-H

F/S Walter Donald Whitehead, RNZAF NZ416565 – Pilot.
Sgt. Alan Robert Speirs, RNZAF NZ413136 – 2nd Pilot.
F/S Peter Gerald Dobson, RNZAF NZ439022 – Navigator.
F/S Maurice Edward Parker, RNZAF NZ414332 – Air Bomber.
F/S Charles Leonard Parker, RNZAF NZ41228 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. H. McLellan, RAFVR 537228 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. George Stokes, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Vincent Rex Jamieson, RNZAF NZ416431 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:20 – Landed 03:35
Flight Time 07:15

02/09/1943 – Mining in the Frisian Islands
Five aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1,500lb., One aircraft returned early owing to a navigational failure, and brought its mines back. The remainder however, successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area, although the parachutes were not seen to open owing to 4/10th cloud. No A.A. fire or searchlights were encountered. One unidentified aircraft was seen and a short combat took place, but no damage was sustained to our aircraft. The weather was good on the outward route, but fog and patchy cloud was prevalent in the mining area. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.III BF461 JN-B

F/S Alan Robert Speirs, RNZAF NZ413136 – Pilot.
F/O John Herbert Wain, RNZAF NZ421915 – Navigator.
F/O James Donald Saidler, RAFVR 138072 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Sydney Wallace, RAFVR 1388350 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Gilbert Dennis Vine, RAFVR 1603902 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Edgar Feather, RAFVR 1459770 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Edgar Clift, RNZAF NZ422690 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:20 – Landed 23:10
Flight Time 02:50

03/09/1943 – Mining in the Gironde Estuary
Five aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1,500lb.. They all successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area, and some of the parachutes were seen to open. A few searchlights and A.A. guns were encountered, but were ineffective. One enemy aircraft was seen but no combat took place. There was a clear sky in the mining area and visibility was good. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.III BF462 ??-?

F/S Alan Robert Speirs, RNZAF NZ413136 – Pilot.
F/O John Herbert Wain, RNZAF NZ421915 – Navigator.
F/O James Donald Saidler, RAFVR 138072 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Sydney Wallace, RAFVR 1388350 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Gilbert Dennis Vine, RAFVR 1603902 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Edgar Feather, RAFVR 1459770 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Edgar Clift, RNZAF NZ422690 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:45 – Landed 01:30
Flight Time 05:45

05/09/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Mannheim
Nineteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lb. and 4lb. One aircraft had trouble shortly after take-off and was forced to jettison its bombs four miles north of CAMBRIDGE. The attack was well concentrated and large fires together with heavy explosions were seen. Moderate heavy A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered, which were ineffective. One aircraft on the return journey when near the FRENCH Coast was hit by A.A. fire. It received considerable damage and two of its engines were made unserviceable. The ENGLISH Coast was reached however, it belly-landed at Hunsden. Many fighters were seen and some combats took, place. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. H.BATGER sighted an enemy aircraft on the port quarter which opened fire on them and our aircraft corkscrewed. The Mid-upper and Rear Gunner then opened fire and the enemy aircraft was seen to dive to the ground in flames. It was claimed as destroyed. Our aircraft received considerable damage and the Flight Engineer Sgt. R. DALKINS was seriously wounded. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. R. WHITMORE sighted an enemy aircraft 100yds. astern, the Mid-upper and Rear Gunners opened fire, the enemy aircraft was seen to turn over and spin into the ground afire. It was claimed as destroyed. This was flowed by another enemy aircraft approaching from starboard to port astern, the Mid-upper and Rear Gunners again fired and the enemy aircraft broke away. One minute later an unidentified aircraft was seen firing at a Lancaster aircraft, which was afire. F/Sgt. WHITMORE’s Mid-Upper and Rear Gunners opened fire on the enemy aircraft, which disappeared. The Lancaster was then seen to break up. Some cloud was encountered on the way to the target, but there was a clear sky and visibility was good in the target area. Navigation was very good. One aircraft failed to return, it was captained by F/Sgt. WILKINSON, E.S.

Stirling Mk.III BF577 JN-M

F/S Alan Robert Speirs, RNZAF NZ413136 – Pilot.
F/O John Herbert Wain, RNZAF NZ421915 – Navigator.
F/O James Donald Saidler, RAFVR 138072 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Sydney Wallace, RAFVR 1388350 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Gilbert Dennis Vine, RAFVR 1603902 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Edgar Feather, RAFVR 1459770 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Edgar Clift, RNZAF NZ422690 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:17 – Landed 02:47
Flight Time 06:30

08/09/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Bouolgne
Seventeen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets. The carried their maximum bomb load in bombs of 1,000lb., and 500lb.. One aircraft crashed whilst taking off and two returned early. The remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Not many fires were seen but numerous huge explosions were observed. Some heavy and light predicted A.A.Fire and a few searchlights were encountered but caused no trouble. A few enemy aircraft were seen, but no combats took place. The weather was good and visibility was clear  except for slight ground haze. Navigation was excellent.

Stirling Mk.III BF577 JN-M

F/S Alan Robert Speirs, RNZAF NZ413136 – Pilot.
F/O John Herbert Wain, RNZAF NZ421915 – Navigator.
F/O James Donald Saidler, RAFVR 138072 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Sydney Wallace, RAFVR 1388350 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Gilbert Dennis Vine, RAFVR 1603902 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Edgar Feather, RAFVR 1459770 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Edgar Clift, RNZAF NZ422690 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:55 – Landed 23:50
Flight Time 02:55

15/09/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Montlucon
Seventeen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1,000lb and incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb..One aircraft failed to take-off, but the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. This was a good concentrated attack, large fires and heavy explosions being observed, smoke from fires and heavy explosions being observed, smoke from fires was rising to a height of 12,000ft.. Inaccurate A.A.fire from a few guns was the only opposition, no enemy aircraft were encountered. There was 5/10th cloud over the target but visibility was nevertheless good. Navigation was excellent.

Stirling Mk.III EF137 AA-E

F/S Alan Robert Speirs, RNZAF NZ413136 – Pilot.
F/O John Herbert Wain, RNZAF NZ421915 – Navigator.
F/O James Donald Saidler, RAFVR 138072 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Sydney Wallace, RAFVR 1388350 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Gilbert Dennis Vine, RAFVR 1603902 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Edgar Feather, RAFVR 1459770 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Edgar Clift, RNZAF NZ422690 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:25 – Landed 02:50
Flight Time 06:25

16/09/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Modane
Nineteen aircraft wee detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of  1,000lb.,and incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb. One aircraft returned early, but the remainder dropped their bombs in the target area. This was a very successful and well concentrated attack. Large fires which appeared to be spreading and heavy explosions were seen. Some A.A.fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered, they were ineffective except for one aircraft which received damage. The port inner engine caught fire but what put out with the aid of a fire extinguisher, the propeller was then feathered and the aircraft continued its journey on three engines. A few enemy aircraft were seen, the aircraft captained by P/O. G.K.WILLIAMS had a combat with a JU 88 which was claimed as destroyed. One other short combat took place, but no damage was sustained to our aircraft. It was clear over the target and visibility was good. Navigation was good.

Stirling Mk.III EH880 AA-J

F/S Alan Robert Speirs, RNZAF NZ413136 – Pilot.
F/O John Herbert Wain, RNZAF NZ421915 – Navigator.
P/O James Donald Saidler, RAFVR 138072 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Sydney Wallace, RAFVR 1388350 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Gilbert Dennis Vine, RAFVR 1603902 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Colin Armstrong, RAFVR 2209010 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Robert James Ian Melville, RNZAF NZ42349 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:05 – Landed 03:50
Flight Time 07:45

27/09/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hanover
Sixteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lb. and 4 lb. Two aircraft failed to return and one returned early owing to its rear turret being unserviceable. The remainder dropped their bombs in the target area. This was an exceedingly successful and well concentrated attack, considered to be even better than the previous one. Numerous large fires and columns of smoke rising to 12,000ft., were seen and the fires were again visible at the DUTCH coast. Very moderate, ineffective heavy A.A. Fire numerous searchlights and flares were encountered. Many enemy aircraft were seen and several combats took place. The aircraft captained by F.Sgt. HORGAN, D. had a combat with a JU88 which was claimed to be destroyed. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. BURTON, H., sighted a JU88 and the Rear Gunner fired, it was then seen to fall in flames and was claimed as destroyed. Two other short combats took place and one of our aircraft received slight damage. The weather was poor on the outward and return journeys, but good with clear visibility over the target. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk.III, EF515 captained by Sgt. Martin, R., and EH877 captained by F/Sgt. WHITMORE, R.

Stirling Mk.III EF512 AA-A

F/S Alan Robert Speirs, RNZAF NZ413136 – Pilot.
F/O John Herbert Wain, RNZAF NZ421915 – Navigator.
F/O James Donald Saidler, RAFVR 138072 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Sydney Wallace, RAFVR 1388350 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Gilbert Dennis Vine, RAFVR 1603902 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Edgar Feather, RAFVR 1459770 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Edgar Clift, RNZAF NZ422690 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:45 – Landed 01:05
Flight Time 05:20

02/10/1943 – Mining in the Baltic Sea
Six aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with Mines of 1,500lbs., one, however, failed to take off. The remainder successfully dropped their Mines in the allotted area and the majority of the parachutes were seen to open. No A.A. Fire, Searchlights or Enemy aircraft were encountered. The trip was uneventful except for a storm and lightening which were met on the return journey. Navigation was very good

Stirling Mk.III EF512 AA-A

F/S Alan Robert Speirs, RNZAF NZ413136 – Pilot.
F/O John Herbert Wain, RNZAF NZ421915 – Navigator.
F/O James Donald Saidler, RAFVR 138072 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Sydney Wallace, RAFVR 1388350 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Gilbert Dennis Vine, RAFVR 1603902 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Edgar Feather, RAFVR 1459770 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Edgar Clift, RNZAF NZ422690 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:00 – Landed 02:25
Flight Time 08:25

03/10/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Kassel
Fifteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lbs. and 4lbs. One aircraft returned early as the Navigator was ill, but the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. This was a good concentrated attack, large fires and heavy explosions being seen. Moderate A.A. Fire was encountered, which was ineffective except for one aircraft which received damage. This aircraft was captained by F/Sgt. N. PARKER, damage was received to the starboard elevator , starboard tail plane and the rear turret war partly shot away. The rear gunner Sgt. S.W. RIDDLER was lost over the target when the rear turret was damaged. It is considered that he may have baled out as the escape hatch was found to be open. The aircraft successfully landed at WING. Very few enemy aircraft were seen. It was clear at the target, but slight haze was encountered on the return journey. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.III EF512 AA-A

F/S Alan Robert Speirs, RNZAF NZ413136 – Pilot.
F/O John Herbert Wain, RNZAF NZ421915 – Navigator.
F/O James Donald Saidler, RAFVR 138072 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Sydney Wallace, RAFVR 1388350 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Gilbert Dennis Vine, RAFVR 1603902 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Edgar Feather, RAFVR 1459770 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Edgar Clift, RNZAF NZ422690 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:30 – Landed 01:05
Flight Time 06:35

08/10/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Bremen
Twelve aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1,000 lbs., 500lbs., and incendiaries of 30lbs. and 4lbs. All of the aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Results were rather disappointing as owing to thick cloud, it was not possible to assess damage. Very few fires were seen and only one large explosion was observed. Slight ineffective A.A, Fire was encountered. Searchlights were active but hampered by cloud. Several combats with enemy aircraft took place. The aircraft captained by F/SGT. SPIERS, R. claimed a M.E. 109 as probably destroyed and a M.E. 110 as damaged. Another M.E. 109 was claimed as damaged by the aircraft captained by P/O o. WHITE. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.III EF512 AA-A

F/S Alan Robert Speirs, RNZAF NZ413136 – Pilot.
F/O John Herbert Wain, RNZAF NZ421915 – Navigator.
P/O James Donald Saidler, RAFVR 138072 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Sydney Wallace, RAFVR 1388350 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Gilbert Dennis Vine, RAFVR 1603902 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Edgar Feather, RAFVR 1459770 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Edgar Clift, RNZAF NZ422690 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:10 – Landed 04:15
Flight Time 05:05

25/10/1943 – Mining in the Baltic Sea
Three aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1,500lbs., which were successfully dropped in the allotted area and parachutes were seen to open. This was an uneventful trip. No A.A. fire, searchlights or enemy aircraft being encountered. On return, all aircraft landed at other airfields owing to adverse climatic conditions at base.

Stirling Mk.III EF512 AA-A

F/S Alan Robert Speirs, RNZAF NZ413136 – Pilot.
F/O John Herbert Wain, RNZAF NZ421915 – Navigator.
F/O James Donald Saidler, RAFVR 138072 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Sydney Wallace, RAFVR 1388350 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Gilbert Dennis Vine, RAFVR 1603902 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Edgar Feather, RAFVR 1459770 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Edgar Clift, RNZAF NZ422690 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 16:20 – Landed 00:35
Flight Time 08:15

18/11/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Mannheim
Nineteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 2,000lbs and incendiaries of 30 lb and 4 lbs. Two aircraft returned early but the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Large concentrated fires and huge explosions were seen. There was a moderate heavy A.A. Barrage and searchlights were fairly active. Many enemy aircraft were seen and two short combats took place, but no damage was sustained by our aircraft. The weather was good, being clear at the target except for slight ground haze. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.III EF512 AA-A

F/S Alan Robert Speirs, RNZAF NZ413136 – Pilot.
F/S Colin Roy Baker, RNZAF NZ42999 – 2nd Pilot.
F/O John Herbert Wain, RNZAF NZ421915 – Navigator.
F/S R. Jones, RAFVR – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Sydney Wallace, RAFVR 1388350 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Gilbert Dennis Vine, RAFVR 1603902 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Edgar Feather, RAFVR 1459770 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Edgar Clift, RNZAF NZ422690 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:30 – Landed 23:45
Flight Time 06:15

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