T.R. Donaghy crew 2.6.44 †

31/05/1944 – Attack Against Trappes
Twenty four aircraft were despatched to attack the marshalling yards at Trappes. One was withdrawn and another returned early through technical trouble. The remainder, however, bombed in good visibility, reporting an accurate attack. One aircraft (Captain NZ422098 P/O. L. Bonisch) had a combat with an enemy aircraft which was seen to be shot down by another of our aircraft.

Lancaster Mk.I ME702 AA-Q

P/O Lester Lascelles Bonisch, RNZAF NZ422098 – Pilot.
F/S Thomas Rodgers Donaghy, RNZAF NZ422267 – 2nd Pilot.
F/S James Murdoch Thomas McKenzie, RNZAF NZ427217 – Navigator.
F/S James Stuart Millar, RNZAF NZ427220 – Air Bomber.
F/O Henry Herbert Marsh, RAFVR 145303 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. William Thomas Reaveley, RAFVR 1892370 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Frank William Cousins, 1237485 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt B. Allen, RAFVR 968734 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:04 – Landed 04:15
Flight Time 04:11

02/06/1944 – Attack Against Wissant
Fifteen aircraft were detailed to attack a target at Wissant, N. France. Owing to thick cloud over the target, twelve aircraft were unable to identify the markers and brought their bombs back. No opposition was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.III ND920 AA-P

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.

Take Off 01:15 – Landed 03:20
Flight Time 02:05

03/06/1944 – Attack Against Calais
Ten aircraft were detailed to attack Calais, and all crews were successful in contributing to a good concentrated raid in clear weather. Defences were slight to moderate and no enemy fighters were seen.

Lancaster Mk.III ND920 AA-P

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.

Take Off 00:40 – Landed 02:40
Flight Time 02:00

05/06/1944 – Attack Against Ouistreham
The target for No.3 Group was the coastal battery at Ouistreham in N. France. This target, and others in the same area were attacked by strong forces of Bomber Command aircraft immediately prior to the Anglo-American Invasion of the Continent. Twenty six aircraft from this Squadron participated and all were successful in bombing their target with the aid of markers. Opposition was very slight.

Lancaster Mk.III ND782 AA-U

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.

Take Off 03:45 – Landed 06:55
Flight Time 03:10

06/06/1944 – Attack Against Lisieux
Twenty four aircraft took off, as detailed, to attack a target at Lisieux, in support of the invading forces which were establishing a bridge head in Normandy. All aircraft successfully bombed the target and an accurate attack was reported. Only slight opposition was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.III ND782 AA-U

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.

Take Off 23:55 – Landed 03:30
Flight Time 03:35

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.

Take Off 23:10 – Landed –
Flight Time – Missing

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.

F/S Thomas Rodgers Donaghy, RNZAF NZ422267 – Pilot.
Killed age 33.
Son of Elizabeth Mary Donaghy; husband of Janet Brown Donaghy, of Wanganui, Wellington, New Zealand.
Buried Tillieres-Sur-Avre Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Coll. grave. 3

Sgt. Richard Parkin, RAFVR 1567334 – Navigator.
Killed age 22.
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”‘

Sgt. William Iorwerth Williams, RAFVR 1413546 – Air bomber.
Killed age 23.
Son of Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Williams, of Llanelly, Carmarthenshire.
Buried Tillieres-Sur-Avre Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Coll. grave. 7
‘God has you in His keeping,
We have you in our hearts’

Sgt. Harry Douglas Mitchell, RAFVR 1395992 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 21.
Son of Henry James Mitchell and Ethel May Mitchell, of Thetford, Norfolk; husband of Alice Elizabeth Mitchell, of Thetford.
Buried Tillieres-Sur-Avre Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Coll. grave. 5

Sgt. Jack Vernon Lea, RAFVR 1472369 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 22.
Son of Frederick George Lea and of Irene Lea (nee Lavender), of Watford, Hertfordshire; husband of Joan Annette Lea, of Watford.
Buried Tillieres-Sur-Avre Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Coll. grave. 4
‘O valiant heart
Who to your glory came’

Sgt. K.E. Jackson, RAFVR 1336192 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Evader
Sgt. Jackson’s debrief by MI.9 on his return to the United Kingdom included the following information:
“We took off at 23:31 hrs on the 10th of  June 1944 from Mepal to bomb Dreux. Just after we had bombed the target, and while still in the target aarea, we were attacked by a Ju88 and the order was given to bale out. I saw the aircraft explode just after it hit the ground. I landed in the middle of a cornfield and immediately buried my parachute and harness and then made for a wood nearby. I remained hidden in the wood for the rest of the night as I had sprained my ankle on landing and my forehead was burnt. At dawn (11th of  June) I walked to a cart track near the cornfield . A farm lanourer came along and when I told him who I was he went to the village to look for somewhere for me to stay. He returned with a hay cart and took me to a farm near the village of Tilliers-sur- Avre. I remained there until the Americans arrived and they arranged my journey back to England. Departed Bayeux 26th of  August 1944.

Date of return to United Kingdom: 27th of August 1944

Sgt. Norman Hylton Dew, RAFVR 749538 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 29.
Son of Thomas and Annie Mabel Dew, of Thamesford, Ontario, Canada.
Buried Tillieres-Sur-Avre Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Coll. grave. 2
‘He gave all
For righteousness sake
And deemed it
A glorious privilege’