T

TABOR, Adrian Oscar

Sgt. Adrian Oscar Tabor, RNZAF NZ411104 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 25 on the 29th of July 1942.
Buried Becklingen War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – 27. B. 1.

28/07/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Seventeen a/c were detailed to carry out an attack on the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 30lb and 4lb incendiaries was dropped in target area and bursts were seen in dock area. A.A. fire was very accurate, light and heavy predicted. There were many accurate searchlight cones in parts but clear over target. Navigation was good by TR and DR. Six a/c failed to return to base

Wellington Mk.III X.3558 AA-Z

Sgt. Alexander George Sutherland, RNZAF NZ405340 – Pilot.
W/O George Ernest Shones, RAFVR 564432 – Observer.
Sgt. Adrian Oscar Tabor, RNZAF NZ411104 – Wireless Operator.
P/O Charles Harkness, RNZAF 121958 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Ian Gordon Stewart, RNZAF NZ404623 – Rear Gunner.

The Wellington was probably hit by AA fire over or near the target city and crashed near Cuxhaven, northern Germany. All the crew perished. They were buried in the Central Cemetery Brackeswalde, but later reinterred at Becklingen War Cemetery.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/adrian-oscar-tabor © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/adrian-oscar-tabor © New Zealand War Graves Project


TARRANT, Alfred Bertram

Sgt. Alfred Bertram Tarrant, RAFVR 1450019 – Rear Gunner.
Lost without trace age 20 on the 8th of March 1943.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England.
Grave location – Panel 166.

08/03/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Nurenburg
Nine aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack with bombs of 2,000 lb. 1,000 lb. 500 lb and incendiaries of 30 lb. and 4 lb. One aircraft returned early owing to engine trouble and another failed to return. The remaining seven aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area, large fires being seen, one large explosion from the centre of target, was seen one hundred miles away as the aircraft were returning. Both light and heavy A.A. fire was encountered co-operating with searchlights, they however, proved to be ineffective. Stirling 1 BK646 captained by P/O Lowe, was attacked by an enemy aircraft near Saarbrucken on the return journey. The enemy aircraft opened fire with cannon and a stream of tracer came into the cockpit, one exploding near the second pilot’s leg. Corkscrew tactics were adopted, but after seven minutes the enemy aircraft was lost. The only casualties were the second pilot, who was wounded in the leg and the Captain, who had slight face cuts. The aircraft successfully returned to base. There was a slight haze at the target, although visibility fairly good. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling 1 BF437, captained by Sergeant C.R. Davey.

Stirling Mk.I BF437 AA-L

Sgt. Charles Raglan Davey, RNZAF NZ413937 – Pilot.
F/S Anthony Arlen, RCAF R.84152 – Navigator.
Sgt. Ian James Duncan Brodie, RAFVR 1344759/ 147474 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Leighton Mansel Stone, RAFVR 1313099 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Arthur Edgar Howlett, RAFVR 528778 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Andrew James Feenan, RAFVR 632983 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Alfred Bertram Tarrant, RAFVR 1450019 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.I BF437 AA-L was brought down near Philippsburg, 22 miles North North East of Carlsruhe (18 miles south of Mannheim). All seven crew were killed. Sgt’s Davey and Brodie were buried at Mannheim but later reinterred at Durnbach. The other five crew members are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.


TASKER, Robert Holtby

Sgt. Robert Holtby Tasker, RAFVR 1381172 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 27 on the 22nd of October 1941.
Son of William Dickinson Tasker and Mabel Tasker; Husband of Marie Barstow Tasker, of Spofforth, Yorkshire.
Buried Werken Churchyard, Belgium..
Grave location – Grave 164.
‘In the garden
Of happy memories
It is always summer’

22/10/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets Mannheim
Six Wellington aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. A mixed load was carried and consisted of 1000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Owing to the weather conditions operations were marred, but a fire was bombed in a town on the Rhine, probably Mannheim and bomb bursts seen. There was  slight A.A. activity and searchlights were ineffective where seen. Electrical storms, thunder cloud and snow storms were met throughout operations. Navigation was good. D.R. and special beam No.6 used. Icing (black) was experienced over Continent. Unable to see through windscreens owing to accumulated snow, from Belgian coast onwards. Severe weather conditions made accuracy impossible. One of these aircraft, X.9914, captained by Sgt. Taylor, failed to return to base.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9914 AA-M

Sgt. Cyril Taylor, RAFVR 110661 – Pilot.
Sgt. Frederick Alexander Spark, RNZAF NZ401415 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Sidney Joseph Lawrence Levack, RAFVR 971231 – Observer.
Sgt. James Roberts, RAAF AUS.400310 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Reid Steele, RAFVR 1051619 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Robert Holtby Tasker, RAFVR 1381172 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9914 AA-M failed to return. It was later determined to have been brought down near Werken (West Vlaanderen) approximately 5ml East South East of Diksmuide, Belgium. There were no survivors. All were buried in Werken Chuchyard.


TAVERNER, George Alfred Badge

F/S George Alfred Badge Taverner, RAAF AUS.429835 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 21 on the 25th of July 1944.
Son of George Alfred and Winifred Bessie Taverner, of Torrens Vale, South Australia.
Buried Cronenbourg French National (Mixed) Cemetery, Strasbourg, France..
Grave location – L. 9. Coll. grave 5-1 1.
‘Duty nobly done.
Fragrent memories.
Longed for always’

24/07/1944 – Attack Against Stuttgart
Twenty one aircraft took off as detailed to attack Stuttgart. Eighteen aircraft bombed the target with the aid of markers, but the raid appeared to be scattered. One aircraft returned early with engine trouble. Intense A.A. fire was encountered over the target, and fighters were fairly active, two aircraft having combats. Two aircraft failed to return, these were captained by NZ415216 P/O. J. McRae & NZ428800 P/O. K. Whitehouse.

Lancaster Mk.I HK568 AA-K

P/O Keith Owen Whitehouse, RNZAF NZ428899 – Pilot.
F/S Jack Thomas Miliner, RAAF AUS.426367 – Navigator.
F/S Ray Steele Horsford, RAFVR 1387835 – Air Bomber.
W/O Keat Dudding, RNZAF NZ415522 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Bernard Leighton, RAFVR 2209941 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Robert Charles Baker, RAFVR 1624103 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S George Alfred Badge Taverner, RAAF AUS.429835 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I HK568 AA-K was brought down at 02.10hrs by an enemy fighter near the French/German border, on the northern outskirts of Strasbourg. All crew members were killed. They are buried in a collective grave in the French National Cemetery, at Chronenbourg.


TAYLER, Douglas Arthur Allen

Sgt. Douglas Arthur Allen Tayler, RAFVR 1321755 – Air Bomber.
Lost without trace age 21 on the 6th of July 1943.
Son of Douglas Arthur and Mabel Emily Tayler, of Greenford, Middlesex.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 166.

05/07/1943 – Mining off the Frisian Islands
Four aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1,500lbs., One aircraft failed to return, but the remainder successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area and the parachutes were seen to open. No. A.A. fire or searchlights were encountered. One unidentified aircraft was seen but no combat took place. The weather was clear and visibility was good. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling Mk.III EF436 captained by Sgt. R. Thomas.

Stirling Mk.III EF436 AA-A

Sgt. Raymond Thomas, RNZAF NZ40586 – Pilot.
Sgt. William Edward Stobbs, RAFVR 658070 – Navigator.
Sgt. Douglas Arthur Allen Tayler, RAFVR 1321755 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. John Bernard McLoughlin, RAFVR 126086 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Andrew Lackenby, RAFVR 941667 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Cyril James Moore, RAAF AUS.410555 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Leslie Owen Lewington, RAFVR 1153956 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EF436 AA-A was believed to have been shot down by a night-fighter, crashing into the sea some 12 miles North West of Terscherlling Is, the centre island of the Southern Frisian Group, at approximately 02.31hrs. All on board perished, and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.


TAYLOR, Cyril

Sgt. Cyril Taylor, RAFVR 1100661 – Pilot.
Killed age 21 on the 22nd of October 1941.
Son of John Brookes Taylor and Mary Taylor, of Middleton, Manchester.
Buried Werken Churchyard, Belgium..
Grave location – Grave 167.
‘In loving memory
Of a dear son and brother.
Duty nobly done’

22/10/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets Mannheim
Six Wellington aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. A mixed load was carried and consisted of 1000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Owing to the weather conditions operations were marred, but a fire was bombed in a town on the Rhine, probably Mannheim and bomb bursts seen. There was  slight A.A. activity and searchlights were ineffective where seen. Electrical storms, thunder cloud and snow storms were met throughout operations. Navigation was good. D.R. and special beam No.6 used. Icing (black) was experienced over Continent. Unable to see through windscreens owing to accumulated snow, from Belgian coast onwards. Severe weather conditions made accuracy impossible. One of these aircraft, X.9914, captained by Sgt. Taylor, failed to return to base.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9914 AA-M

Sgt. Cyril Taylor, RAFVR 110661 – Pilot.
Sgt. Frederick Alexander Spark, RNZAF NZ401415 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Sidney Joseph Lawrence Levack, RAFVR 971231 – Observer.
Sgt. James Roberts, RAAF AUS.400310 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Reid Steele, RAFVR 1051619 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Robert Holtby Tasker, RAFVR 1381172 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9914 AA-M failed to return. It was later determined to have been brought down near Werken (West Vlaanderen) approximately 5ml East South East of Diksmuide, Belgium. There were no survivors. All were buried in Werken Chuchyard.


TAYLOR, Richard Thomas

Sgt. Richard Thomas Taylor, RAFVR 1401963 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 21 on the 30th of November 1944.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 25. A. 13-18.

30/11/1944 – Attack Against Osterfeld
Eighteen aircraft took off as detailed carrying 4,000 lb, 1,000 lb, 500 lb, and Incendiary bombs to attack the coking plant at Osterfeld. Seventeen aircraft attacked the target successfully through ten tenths cloud with tops 10,000 feet, and the raid was reported as being well concentrated. One aircraft captained by NZ411915 F/O J.A. McIntosh is missing and the aircraft is believed to have had its tail shot away.

Lancaster Mk.I NF980 JN-F
Missing – A/C believed to have had its tail shot off

F/O James Alexander McIntosh, RNZAF NZ411915 – Pilot.
F/S Robert Carhampton Morgan, RNZAF NZ421389 – Navigator.
F/S Ronald Wynne Newman, RNZAF NZ4210960 – Air Bomber.
F/S Robert James Boag, RAAF AUS.432097 – Wireless Operator .
F/S Richard Thomas Taylor, RAFVR 1401963 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Cyril Brewer, RAFVR 1418695 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Edward Roy Cooper, RAFVR 2221308 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I NF980 JN-F received a direct hit by flak over the target and it appeared to another crew flying close by, to have lost most of its tail-plane. The aircraft fell sharply out of the sky and struck the ground violently. The rear gunner was the only survivor but he too, died from his injuries in a hospital about 3 weeks later.


THAIN, George McAra

Sgt. George McAra Thain, RAFVR 1104565 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 20 on the 8th of November 1941.
Son of James Connor Thain and Violet Thain, of Peterculter, Aberdeenshire.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 28. F. 14.
‘In loving memory
Of our dear son’

08/11/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Essen
Eleven Wellington Ic aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks from this Unit. Three aircraft, X.9628, captained by Sgt. Smith, X.9977, captained by Sgt. Nunn, and Z.8942 captained by Sgt. Wilson failed to return to base. Many large fires were started with resultant explosions and bursts were observed across a built up area. A railway junction south of target was also successfully attacked. Much heavy and light flak was experienced and heavy concentrations of searchlights were active in target area. Several enely aircraft were seen at target but no attacks were made. Weather was moderately clear to target but haze 5/10ths to 9/10ths over target area. Navigation was very good.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9628 AA-A

Sgt. K.M. Smith, RAF 930868 – Pilot.
Sgt. W.F. French, RAFVR 1152939 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. L.C. Howe, RAFVR 924915 – Observer.
Sgt. Raymond James Rugg, RAFVR 923101 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. L.G. Eggar, RAFVR 914800 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. George McAra Thain, RAFVR 1104565 – Rear Gunner.

It appeared that Wellington Mk.Ic X.9628 AA-A was hit by flak, crashing near Krefeld. The Rear Gunner, Sgt Thain, was killed. The remainder of the crew survived, with only Sgt Rugg receiving serious injuries from which he later died on the 15th of November  1941. Sgt Thain was initially buried at the Haupt Friedhof, but later reinterred at Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, close to the grave of Sgt Rugg. The other survivors were taken prisoners-of-war.


THIRD, James

P/O James Third, RNZAF NZ422671 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 34 on the 24th of August 1943.
Son of William Third, and of Mary Anne Third (Nee Noble), of Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire.
Buried Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 6. B. 27.

23/08/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Berlin
Twenty three aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1,000lb., 500lb., and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb.. Five aircraft returned early owing to failure and three aircraft failed to return. The remainder of the aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area and all of the crews agreed that it had been well and truly hit. The fires were all concentrated and huge columns of smoke together with heavy explosions could be seen. A moderate heavy A.A. barrage co-operating with searchlights were encountered, but only one aircraft received damage. A great number of enemy aircraft were seen and several combats took place. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. WILKINSON sighted a JU88 passing above, the Mid-upper and Rear Gunners fired and strikes were seen on the enemy aircraft which was then lost sight of and is claimed to have been damaged. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. WHITEHEAD whilst over BERLIN sighted an enemy aircraft on the starboard quarter, 300yds away. The Rear Gunner fired a five second burst and the enemy aircraft was seen in flames diving to earth, and was claimed as probably destroyed. The same aircraft encountered another unidentified aircraft 300yds away on the starboard quarter. The Rear Gunner fired another five seconds burst and the enemy aircraft exploded and disintegrated. It was claimed to be destroyed. The aircraft captained by F/O. A. Alexander, whilst over the target sighted a ME110 approaching from the starboard quarter above and firing at his aircraft. The Mid-upper and Rear Gunners replied with long bursts and the enemy aircraft was seen to be in flames. A fire was later seen on the ground and the enemy aircraft was claimed as probably destroyed. Scattered cloud was met on the outward route, but it was clear over the target. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk.III BF465 captained by P/O A. RANKIN, BF564 captained by P/O A. Sedunary and EE938 captained by W/O T. Fear.
The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. WHITE, O.H. whilst approaching the target area was coned by searchlights and repeatedly hit by heavy A.A. fire, sustaining considerable damage to port main plane. He continued towards the target though still coned by searchlights and was then attacked by a JU88 sustaining hits in the rear of the fuselage which shattered the rear turret and killed Rear Gunner Sgt. Poole, J.. The aircraft was forced into an uncontrollable dive and the captain warned his crew ‘Prepare to abandon the aircraft’. Unfortunately, in the middle of this order the inter-communication failed, and the Navigator, Air Bomber and Wireless Operator abandoned the aircraft, due to the fact that they were unable to contact their Captain. F/Sgt. WHITE jettisoned his bomb load whilst in the dive directly over the target area, managed to regain control of the aircraft when height had been lost down to 6,000ft. The captain and two remaining members of the crew after taking stock of the damage decided to attempt the long and hazardous return journey to base. This they did successfully and made a perfect crash landing at base without lights, flaps or under carriage, as the electrical leads were shot away.

Stirling Mk.III BF465 AA-K
From RAF Mepal Station Log AIR28/532 lists aircraft as ‘C’ Flight JN

P/O Andrew Rankin, RAFVR 1345194/ 146332 – Pilot.
P/O Mervyn Arthur Ericksen, RNZAF NZ416103 – Navigator.
F/S James Third, RNZAF NZ422671 – Air Bomber.
F/S Frederick William Thorstenson, RNZAF NZ414529 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frank Morris Freeman, RAFVR 1575231 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. D. Catterick, RAFVR 1318470 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Ogden, RAFVR 1573298 – Rear Gunner.

BF465 was brought down 3 miles South of Lanka, (14 miles North North East of Berlin). All on board were killed except Sgt Catterick, who either parachuted to safety or escaped uninjured from the wreck and was captured as a POW. Those who died were buried in the 1939 – 45 Berlin War Cemetery near where the aircraft came down.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/james-third © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/james-third © New Zealand War Graves Project


THOMAS, Alfred John

P/O Alfred John Thomas, RAFVR 149999 – Pilot.
Lost without trace age 25 on the 31st of July 1943.
Son of George and Elizabeth Thomas.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 133.

30/07/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Remscheld
Thirteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lb. And 4lb..One aircraft returned early as rear turret was unserviceable and two failed to return. The remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area, large concentrated fires and some explosions were seen. Moderate heavy and light A.A fire co-operating with searchlight belts were encountered, and one aircraft was slightly damaged in the mid- upper turret. Some enemy aircraft were seen, the aircraft captained by F/S. O. WHITE sighted an unidentified aircraft which attacked three times. Each time the mid upper and rear gunners fired a burst, and strikes were seen on the enemy aircraft which then fell away and claimed to be damaged. The weather was good with clear visibility except for haze caused by fires. Navigation was very good. On return, one aircraft landed at HARDWICK, due to shortage of petrol. The missing aircraft were Stirling Mk.III BF458 captained by Sgt. A.J. THOMAS and Stirling Mk.III EE915 captained by F/Sgt. J. DARNEY.

Stirling Mk.III BF458 JN-A

Sgt. Alfred John Thomas, RAFVR 1394123/ 149999 – Pilot.
Sgt. Hector Alisdair ‘Paddy’ Stewart , RAFVR 1029882 – Navigator.
F/S Frederick William Raukawa Cumpsty, RNZAF NZ413386 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. R.H. Boxell, RAFVR 1331932 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. John William Gale, RAFVR 1271102 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. John Hubert O’Farrell, RAFVR 1796043 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ernest Frank Henry, RCAF R.139159 – Rear Gunner.

BF458 was brought down to the north of Krefeld, near Bockum and Uerdingen. The sole survivors were the Navigator and the Wireless Operator who were captured as POW’s. The Flight Engineer and M/U gunner were buried in the Reichswald Forest Cemetery. The other three are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

AJ Thomas


THOMAS, Edwin Henry

Sgt. Edwin Henry Thomas, RAFVR 1811856 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 35 on the 23rd of April 1944.
Buried Aabenraa Cemetery, Denmark.
Grave location – Allied Mil. Plot.
Row 3. 1.

23/04/1944 – Mining in Kiel Bay
Five Stirlings were detailed for mine laying in Kiel Bay. Three of the aircraft successfully dropped twelve mines. One aircraft returned early and another failed to return (Captain NZ421728 F/S. Lammas, M.)

Stirling Mk.III EF137 AA-E

F/S Mauson Lammas, NZ421728 – Pilot.
F/S Douglas William Vaughn, RNZAF NZ429046 – Navigator.
F/S Robert Bailey, RNZAF NZ429072 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. William Frederick Harrison, RAFVR 1396448 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Edwin Henry Thomas, RAFVR 1811856 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Patrick Frederick Butler, RAFVR 1384944 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ivor Larson, RCAF R.192316 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EF137 AA-E was shot down by a night-fighter at 23:15hrs over Denmark, crashing in flames near Vemmenaes, East South East of Lundby on Tasinge Island. The aircraft broke up on impact and came to rest in shallow waters, where the bodies of all seven crew were recovered and later buried in Åbenrå cemetery.

THOMAS, Edwin Henry


THOMAS, Howard Mansel

Sgt. Howard Mansel Thomas, RAFVR 1895708 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 26 on the 4th of November 1944.
Son of Mansel and Phyllis Thomas, of Llwyncelyn, Glamorgan.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 5. C. 1.
‘To have, to hold
And then to part,
Is the saddest thing
Of the human heart’

04/11/1944 – Attack Against Solingen
Twenty one aircraft took off to attack Solingen in daylight, carrying 8,000 lb, 4,000 lb, 1,000 lb, 500 lb, 4 lb incendiaries and No.17 Clusters. All crews dropped their bombs in the target area, but the raid appeared to be scattered. Flak opposition was moderate. One aircraft captained by NZ428797 F/O J. Scott, failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.III ND917 JN-O

F/O John Harold Scott, RNZAF NZ428797 – Pilot.
F/S Alister Henry Scott, RNZAF NZ428259 – Navigator.
F/S Kenneth Peder Christian Andersen, RNZAF NZ429128 – Air Bomber.
F/S Edward John Francis Howard, RNZAF NZ424469 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Howard Mansel Thomas, RAFVR 1895708 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. John Thomas Beardmore, RAFVR 1818755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Joseph Thomas Bayes, RAFVR 1595589, 185783 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.III ND917 JN-O was brought down by flak about 9mls SE of the target, crashing near Werrmelskirchen. None of the crew survived and they were buried at that small township, but later reinterred at Rheinberg War Cemetery, south of Wessel.


THOMAS, Raymond

F/S Raymond Thomas, RNZAF NZ40586 – Pilot.
Lost without trace age 22 on the 6th of July 1943.
Son of Frank Thomas, and of Eva Edna Thomas, of Takapuna, Auckland, New Zealand.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 199.

05/07/1943 – Mining off the Frisian Islands
Four aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1,500lbs., One aircraft failed to return, but the remainder successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area and the parachutes were seen to open. No. A.A. fire or searchlights were encountered. One unidentified aircraft was seen but no combat took place. The weather was clear and visibility was good. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling Mk.III EF436 captained by Sgt. R. Thomas.

Stirling Mk.III EF436 AA-A

Sgt. Raymond Thomas, RNZAF NZ40586 – Pilot.
Sgt. William Edward Stobbs, RAFVR 658070 – Navigator.
Sgt. Douglas Arthur Allen Tayler, RAFVR 1321755 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. John Bernard McLoughlin, RAFVR 126086 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Andrew Lackenby, RAFVR 941667 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Cyril James Moore, RAAF AUS.410555 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Leslie Owen Lewington, RAFVR 1153956 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EF436 AA-A was believed to have been shot down by a night-fighter, crashing into the sea some 12 miles North West of Terscherlling Is, the centre island of the Southern Frisian Group, at approximately 02.31hrs. All on board perished, and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.


THOMAS, Reginald James

Sgt. Reginald James Thomas, RAFVR 1316730 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 21 on the 4th of November 1943.
Son of John H. and Gladys Thomas, of Reading, Berkshire.
Buried Frederikshavn Cemetery, Denmark..
Grave location – Allied Plot. grave 53.
‘At the going down
Of the sun
And in the morning
We will remember them’

04/11/1943 – Mining in the Baltic Sea
Four aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation, with mines of 1500lbs. This was an unfortunate night as three aircraft failed to return and the other aircraft returned early having jettisoned its mines. This aircraft met an enemy night fighter and sustained damage to the port wing, starboard flap, rear turret and many large holes in the fuselage, the rear gunner, Sgt.W. HURDIE, was killed during the combat. The weather was bad and ten tenths cloud made visibility poor. Navigation was good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings MKIII BF461, Captained by P/O.G.K.WILLIAMS, BK&&* Captained by P/O.W.S.MASTERS and XXXXX Captained by F/O. N.WILSON.

Stirling Mk.III BK778 JN-U

P/O William Stuart Masters, RNZAF NZ421077 – Pilot.
F/O George Burns Imrie, RNZAF NZ422676 – Navigator.
F/S Charles James, RNZAF NZ426333 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Reginald James Thomas, RAFVR 1316730 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Arthur Alfred Copeland, RAFVR 1166829 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leslie Grimwood, RAFVR 1438024 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Lewis Stanley Crawford-Watson, RNZAF NZ42734 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III BK778 JN-U was shot down by a night-fighter, crashing at Berstedgaard, near Thisted, Denmark. There were no survivors. All but the flight engineer were buried at Frederickshaven Cemetery. Sgt Copeland is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial


THOMPSON, Colin Maurice

Sgt. Colin Maurice Thompson, RNZAF NZ404427 – 2nd Pilot.
Killed age 23 on the 11th of October 1941.
Son of Thomas James Thompson and Mabel Bessie Mackay Thompson, of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 1. B. 5-8.

10/10/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Cologne
Eight Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. One of these aircraft, Z8969, captained by Sgt Curlewis, failed to return to base. Another, X9825, captained by S/Ldr Chamberlain, jettisoned bombs on a road WSW of Cologne, as owing to damage to hydraulics, the aircraft was unable to maintain height with bombs on. Centre of town was successfully attacked and bombs were seen to burst. large fires were started and were seen to be burning twenty minutes later. One aircraft was seen to crash and explode in the city area. A.A. fire was intense at all heights from 12,000 feet, to 4,000 feet. Searchlights were active in two cones, one each side of target. Visibility was good, with large clearing in low cloud over the target area.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.8969 AA-R?

Sgt. Raymond Fullerton Curlewis, RAAF AUS.402230 – Pilot.
Sgt. Colin Maurice Thompson, RNZAF NZ4044237 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Alan Clifford Edwards, RAFVR 1163977 – Navigator.
Sgt. Frederick Garde, RAFVR 993802 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Robert Lea Warburton, RAFVR 978776 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Timothy Rowley Murphy, RNZAF NZ404037 – Rear Gunner.

One aircraft was seen to crash and explode in the city area. It is possible that this may have been 75 Sqn’s Z.8969, which failed to return. Two other Wellingtons, from No 57 (Sister) squadron, Feltwell, also were shot down at or near Cologne.

All these crew members perished. Their bodies were recovered and buried at the British WW 1 cemetery in the Zollstock district, South Cologne. At the end of the war, their remains were disinterred and taken to the Rheinberg.War Cemetery, eight miles south of Wessel.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/colin-maurice-thompson © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/colin-maurice-thompson © New Zealand War Graves Project


THOMPSON, Desmond Lewis

P/O Desmond Lewis Thompson, RNZAF NZ413152 – Pilot.
Killed age 21 on the 29th of April 1943.
Son of Samuel Walter and Margaret Adelaide Thompson, of Onehunga, Auckland New Zealand.
Buried Svino Churchyard, Denmark.
Grave location – Grave 15.

28/04/1943 – Mining in Kiel Bay
Eight aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1500 lbs. One of these aircraft returned early owing to its compass being faulty and four failed to return. The remaining three aircraft successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area and the parachutes were seen to open. A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights was encountered which is believed to have come from an A.A. ship in the mining area. No enemy aircraft were seen. Visibility was fairly good, with scattered cloud in the mining area. Navigation was very good. Stirlings Mk.1 R9290, Sgt. A. Lewis, W.7513 – Sgt. K. Halliburton, BF.467 – P/O D. Thompson, <k.III BK664 – P/O. D.V. Hamer, failed to return.

Stirling Mk.I BF467 AA-W

P/O Desmond Lewis Thompson, RNZAF NZ413152 – Pilot.
F/S James Alexander Ramsay, RCAF R.93418 – Navigator.
Sgt. John Muir Williams, RAAF AUS.401341 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Ernest Roy Jenkins, RNZAF NZ405780 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Clifford Abbott, RAFVR 1098896 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. George Phillips, RAFVR 930235 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Thomas Glendinning, RAFVR 1070166 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.I BF467 AA-W came under attack by Kreigsmarine (Flak ship) battery MAA508, positioned between the Fehmarn-Belt and the Lolland Islands, in the Baltic. The aircraft crashed into the sea near Nakskov to the west of Lolland at 00.08hrs. There were no survivors.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/desmond-lewis-thompson © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/desmond-lewis-thompson © New Zealand War Graves Project


THOMPSON, Jack Dennis

Sgt. Jack Dennis Thompson, RAFVR 1152206 – Front Gunner.
Killed age 21 on the 7th of November 1941.
Son of Ernest Alfred Thompson, and of Edith Ellen Beatrice Thompson, of Ipswich, Suffolk, England.
Buried Bergen-Op-Zoom Canadian War Cemetery, Holland..
Grave location – Coll. grave 8. H. 3-7.
‘Treasured memories
Of a dear only son
And brother. At rest.
God knows best’

07/11/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Berlin and Ostend
Fourteen Wellington Ic aircraft were detailed from this Unit to attack the above targets. Two of these aircraft, X.9951, captained by F/O Methven and X.9976, captained by Sgt. Black, failed to return to base. A mixed bomb load was carried consisting of 1000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Bombs were dropped in target area and some large fires were started, but results were not clearly observed owing to heavy cloud over target area. A considerable amount of heavy flak was met over target area but searchlights, where seen, were ineffective. No enemy aircraft were met throughout the trip. Weather was poor with 10/10th cloud over target area. Navigation was good, Astro and D/R loops being used. Wellington Z.1091, captained by P/O Sandys returned to base owing to engine trouble. Wellington Z.1068, captained by Sgt. Parham returned to base owing to Navigator being sick.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9976 AA-O

Sgt. John William Black, RNZAF NZ402843 – Pilot.
Sgt. Trevor Hedley Gray, RNZAF NZ404356 – 2nd Pilot..
P/O Eric Lloyd, RNZAF NZ402197 – Navigator.
Sgt. Leslie Cyril Green, RNZAF 755095 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Jack Dennis Thompson, RAFVR 1152206 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Charles Thomas Black, RAFVR 1377719 – Rear Gunner.

The other Wellington lost, X9976, was shot down by a German night fighter (pilot Ob Lt Helmut Lent, 4/NJG1) over the Netherlands, crashing at 01.20hrs at Oldeboorn (Friesland), 4 NM east of Akkrum, Holland.


THOMPSON, William Howard

Sgt. William Howard Thompson, RAFVR 1 484375 – Flight Engineer.
Lost without trace age 21 on the 3rd of August 1943.
Son of William Henry and Ellen Thompson, of Tettenhall, Staffordshire.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 167.

02/08/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Seventeen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lb and 4lb. Six of the aircraft returned early owing to severe icing and engine trouble, two failed to return. The remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Large fires and columns of smoke were seen although this attack was not considered to be a successful as the previous one. Moderate heavy and light A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered, which proved to be ineffective. Some enemy aircraft were seen but no combats took place. The weather was good at the beginning of outward journey, but cloud gathered and was 10/10ths at the target, icing and electrical storms were also encountered. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk. III EH928 captained by Sgt. Baille, P. and BF 557 captained by F/Sgt. Couper, J.A.

Stirling Mk.III EH928 AA-A
Log refers to ‘B’ – unclear if this is the designator or the Flight….

Sgt. Cyril Philip Bailie, RAFVR 1578834/ 155786 – Pilot.
F/S Jack Thomson, RNZAF NZ421145 – 2nd Pilot.
F/O William Turner, RNZAF NZ416579 – Navigator.
Sgt. Joseph Isherwood, RAFVR 1502733 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Edward ‘Eddie’ Millward, RAFVR 1385557 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Howard Thompson, RAFVR 1484375 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Thomas Purdie, RAFVR 1554949 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ernest Francis Hunting, RAFVR 1358198 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EH928 AA-A was intercepted and shot down by a night-fighter (Hptm Hans Johchim Jabs, IV,/NJG1) and crashed into the North Sea off Terschelling, Frisian Island. P/O Bailie is buried in Lemvig Cemetery, Denmark. All other crew members are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.


THOMSON, Edward Leonard

F/S Edward Leonard Thomson, RNZAF NZ4211036 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 20 on the 12th of August 1944.
Son of Thomas William and Margaret Agnes Thomson, of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand.
Buried Hoton War Cemetery, Belgium..
Grave location – Coll. grave VI. G. 1-6.

12/08/1944 – Attack Against Russelsheim
Ten aircraft set out to attack Factories at Russelsheim which are engaged in Flying Bomb production. Nine aircraft bombed the target with the aid of markers and good results were reported. A.A. defences were light, but enemy fighters were active on the homeward route, one aircraft having an inconclusive combat with a JU 88. The aircraft captained by NZ428793 .F/S. Mulcahy, C., failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I HK564 AA-P

F/S Cyril Desmond Mulcahy, RNZAF NZ426783 – Pilot.
F/O Whelan Fallon Hazard, RNZAF NZ429047 – Navigator.
F/S Edward Leonard Thomson, RNZAF NZ4211036 – Air Bomber.
F/S William Elvin, RNZAF NZ426883 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Robert Ronald Smithie Parker, RAFVR 1892552 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Haig Douglas Johnston, RNZAF NZ426320 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S John Herbert Wright, RNZAF NZ426209 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I HK564 AA-P was brought down by a night-fighter, crashing at Ouren (Liege), a small village on the Belgium/German border, 9 mils East South East of St-Vith. Six of the crew were killed in the crash and were buried at Ouren. The body of F/O Hazard, Navigator, was found still in his parachute harness, suspended from the branches of a tree. He was later buried at the Reichswald Forest war Cemetery.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/edward-leonard-thomson © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/edward-leonard-thomson © New Zealand War Graves Project


THOMSON, Gordon Douglas

F/S Gordon Douglas Thomson, RNZAF NZ42317 – Navigator.
Killed age 22 on the 25th of June 1943.
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.

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.

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


THOMSON, Jack

F/S Jack Thomson, RNZAF NZ421145 – 2nd Pilot.
Lost without trace age 26 on the 3rd of August of 1943.
Son of Thomas James Thomson and Edith Adelaide Thomson, of Timaru, Canterbury, New Zealand.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 199.

02/08/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Seventeen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lb and 4lb. Six of the aircraft returned early owing to severe icing and engine trouble, two failed to return. The remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Large fires and columns of smoke were seen although this attack was not considered to be a successful as the previous one. Moderate heavy and light A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered, which proved to be ineffective. Some enemy aircraft were seen but no combats took place. The weather was good at the beginning of outward journey, but cloud gathered and was 10/10ths at the target, icing and electrical storms were also encountered. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk. III EH928 captained by Sgt. Baille, P. and BF 557 captained by F/Sgt. Couper, J.A.

Stirling Mk.III EH928 AA-A
Log refers to ‘B’ – unclear if this is the designator or the Flight….

Sgt. Cyril Philip Bailie, RAFVR 1578834/ 155786 – Pilot.
F/S Jack Thomson, RNZAF NZ421145 – 2nd Pilot.
F/O William Turner, RNZAF NZ416579 – Navigator.
Sgt. Joseph Isherwood, RAFVR 1502733 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Edward ‘Eddie’ Millward, RAFVR 1385557 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Howard Thompson, RAFVR 1484375 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Thomas Purdie, RAFVR 1554949 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ernest Francis Hunting, RAFVR 1358198 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EH928 AA-A was intercepted and shot down by a night-fighter (Hptm Hans Johchim Jabs, IV,/NJG1) and crashed into the North Sea off Terschelling, Frisian Island. P/O Bailie is buried in Lemvig Cemetery, Denmark. All other crew members are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.


THOMSON, John Smith

Sgt. John Smith Thomson, RAFVR 1374282 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 22 on the 23rd of September 1943.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 21. B. 15-18.

23/09/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Mannheim
Eighteen aircraft were detailed to carry the above operation with incendiary bombs of 30lb. and 4lb.. Three aircraft failed to return, but the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. This was, undoubtedly, a good attack, concentrated fires which were spreading to the West, and large heavy explosions were seen. Moderate heavy A.A. fire and a large curtain of searchlights were encountered, but caused no trouble. Enemy aircraft were very active and several combats took place. The aircraft captained by W/O. P. MOSELEY had a combat with a JU88 which was claimed as a probably destroyed. In the action our aircraft received damage the Pilot W/O. P. MOSELEY and the Mid Upper Sgt. C(?) MIDDLETON were slightly injured. The aircraft captained by P/O A. BURLEY had three combats with enemy aircraft, one of which was claimed as destroyed, the two as  damaged. The weather was good with clear visibility. Navigation was excellent. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk.111 EF459 captained by P/O C.C. LOGAN, EH946 captained by F/Lt. G. TURNER , and EH935 captained by F/O L. KIRKPATRICK.

Stirling Mk.III EH936 JN-W

F/L Geoffrey Turner, RCAF J.7326 – Pilot.
F/O Kenneth Albiston, RAFVR 136454 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Alan Hall Cleghorn, RAFVR 1493160 – Navigator.
F/O Arthur Douglas Howlett, RNZAF NZ413335 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Malcolm Victor Bloxham, RAFVR 552574 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. John Smith Thomson, RAFVR 1374282 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Ronald Wilks, RAFVR 1417280 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Christopher Frederick McRae, RCAF R.147326 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EH936 JN-W, was brought down near the target Mannheim, crashing at Dirmstein, 5 miles North of Frankenthal. There were no survivors.


THORNLEY, Sydney Russell

F/S Sydney Russell Thornley, RNZAF NZ40109 – Pilot.
Killed age 25 on the 30th of May 1943.
Son of John and Martha Jane Thornley, of Invercargill, Southland, New Zealand.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 29. E. 15-18.

29/05/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Wuppertal
Twenty aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with bombs of 2000lb, 1000lb, and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb. One aircraft failed to take-off owing to the rear turret being unserviceable, and two returned early. Four aircraft failed to return. The remaining thirteen aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Very large fires were seen and also some big explosions. Some heavy A.A.Fire was encountered, but it was ineffective. No searchlights were seen. A few enemy aircraft were seen and one short combat took place, but no damage was sustained by our aircraft. The weather was good in the target area, but visibility was impaired by smoke from the fires. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk.III BK776 Captained by P/O. R.F.Bennett, Mk.I EF398, captained by F/O. R.B. Vernazoni, MK.III EH881 captained by Sgt. J.H. Carey and Mk.III Bf561 captained by Sgt. S.R. Thornley.

Stirling Mk.III BF561 AA-O

Sgt. Sidney Russell Thornley, RNZAF NZ40109 – Pilot.
Sgt. Allan McWilliams, RNZAF NZ416586 – Navigator.
Sgt. Allan Corson Anderson McPhail, RNZAF NZ41194 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Domenico Ruocco, RAFVR 1383593 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Cyril Walter Larkin, RAFVR 904570 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. John Victor Dartnell, RAFVR 1811761 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Frederick George Hooper, RAFVR 1234152 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III BF561 AA-O was brought down near the village of Gladbeck, 21 miles North West of the target. The crew may have been on their bombing run-up when hit by either AA fire or by a night- fighter. The bomb load was still on board when the aircraft crashed and exploded on impact, killing all on board. They were buried in a collective grave at Gladbeck but later reinterred at Reichswald Forest Cemetery.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/sydney-russell-thornley © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/sydney-russell-thornley © New Zealand War Graves Project


THORPE, Ernest

Sgt. Ernest Thorpe, RAFVR 1514349 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 20 on the 4th of October 1943.
Son of James Edward and Emma Thorpe, of Sheffield.
Buried Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 1. H. 1-7.
‘Ever in our thoughts.
Duty nobly done.
Mother, father and family’

04/10/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Frankfurt
Thirteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lb. and 4lbs. Three aircraft returned early and one failed to return. This was a good attack, ten aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Very good concentrated fires and enormous explosions being seen, the fires were still visible on the homeward journey. A.A. Fire was negligible, there were many search lights which were cooperating with enemy night-fighters. The aircraft captained by S/Ldr. J.JOLL had a combat with a M.E. 109, which was claimed as possibly damaged. The weather was poor on the outward and return journeys, but clear over the target, visibility was good except for smoke haze. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was captained by SGT. H.J. MIDDLETON.

Stirling Mk.III EF130 JN-M

Sgt. Harvey Johnson Middleton, RAFVR 1476465 – Pilot.
Sgt. Charles John Massie, RAFVR 1322528 – Navigator.
Sgt. Charles Pennycook, RCAF R.137421 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Leslie Pow, RAFVR 1024139 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Eric Francis Hudson, RAFVR 1581611 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Ernest Thorpe, 1514349 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Lackenby, RAFVR 1590747 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EF130 JN-M was brought down at Russelsheim, 14 miles South West of Frankfurt. There was no indication of how the plane went down, apart from reports of minimal ground AA fire in the target area, suggesting the likelihood of an enemy night-fighter attack. There were no survivors among the crew, who were all buried in Durnbach War Cemetery


THORPE, Noel Humphrey

F/O Noel Humphrey Thorpe, RNZAF NZ428168 – Pilot.
Killed age 21 on the 26th of February 1945.
Son of Humphrey and Lilian Winifred Thorpe, of Auckland City New Zealand.
Buried Ilford (Barkingside) Cemetery, Essex, England.
Grave location – Grave 2856.

26/02/1945 – Attack Against Dortmund
Eighteen aircraft attacked Dortmund as detailed. Cloud was ten tenths over the target with tops 5-6,000 ft. No results were seen but bombing is thought to be concentrated. NZ428168 F/O N.H. Thorpe crashed in this country after passing over base in formation. Four members of the crew were killed.

Lancaster Mk.I ME450 AA-W

F/O Noel Humphrey Thorpe, RNZAF NZ428168 – Pilot.
Sgt. George William Mcmanus, RAFVR 1806217 – Navigator.
F/S Joseph McKenzie Alfred, RAFVR 1810280 – Air Bomber.
F/S Allen Francis, RNZAF NZ427272 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. John Lawrence Duke, RAFVR 2210530 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Frederick Henry Saffill, RAFVR 1882066 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Hark, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 10:52 – Landed 16:10
Flight Time 05:18

Official reports indicate that ME450 returned in formation and flew with other aircraft of the Squadron over the Station. As was customary, the aircraft would turn, separate and then format before approach and landing. For some reason unknown, whilst executing a gentle turn, ME450 appears to have suffered either an engine failure or catastrophic failure that resulted in it crashing into the ground North West of Mepal, near the village of Chatteris.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/noel-humphrey-thorpe © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/noel-humphrey-thorpe © New Zealand War Graves Project


THORSTENSEN, Frederick William

F/S Frederick William Thorstensen, RNZAF NZ414529 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 26 on the 24th of August 1943.
Son of Frederick William Thorstensen, and of Annie Thorstensen (Nee Laurie), of Dannevirke, Hawke’S Bay, New Zealand.
Buried Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 6. B. 24.

23/08/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Berlin
Twenty three aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1,000lb., 500lb., and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb.. Five aircraft returned early owing to failure and three aircraft failed to return. The remainder of the aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area and all of the crews agreed that it had been well and truly hit. The fires were all concentrated and huge columns of smoke together with heavy explosions could be seen. A moderate heavy A.A. barrage co-operating with searchlights were encountered, but only one aircraft received damage. A great number of enemy aircraft were seen and several combats took place. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. WILKINSON sighted a JU88 passing above, the Mid-upper and Rear Gunners fired and strikes were seen on the enemy aircraft which was then lost sight of and is claimed to have been damaged. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. WHITEHEAD whilst over BERLIN sighted an enemy aircraft on the starboard quarter, 300yds away. The Rear Gunner fired a five second burst and the enemy aircraft was seen in flames diving to earth, and was claimed as probably destroyed. The same aircraft encountered another unidentified aircraft 300yds away on the starboard quarter. The Rear Gunner fired another five seconds burst and the enemy aircraft exploded and disintegrated. It was claimed to be destroyed. The aircraft captained by F/O. A. Alexander, whilst over the target sighted a ME110 approaching from the starboard quarter above and firing at his aircraft. The Mid-upper and Rear Gunners replied with long bursts and the enemy aircraft was seen to be in flames. A fire was later seen on the ground and the enemy aircraft was claimed as probably destroyed. Scattered cloud was met on the outward route, but it was clear over the target. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk.III BF465 captained by P/O A. RANKIN, BF564 captained by P/O A. Sedunary and EE938 captained by W/O T. Fear.
The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. WHITE, O.H. whilst approaching the target area was coned by searchlights and repeatedly hit by heavy A.A. fire, sustaining considerable damage to port main plane. He continued towards the target though still coned by searchlights and was then attacked by a JU88 sustaining hits in the rear of the fuselage which shattered the rear turret and killed Rear Gunner Sgt. Poole, J.. The aircraft was forced into an uncontrollable dive and the captain warned his crew ‘Prepare to abandon the aircraft’. Unfortunately, in the middle of this order the inter-communication failed, and the Navigator, Air Bomber and Wireless Operator abandoned the aircraft, due to the fact that they were unable to contact their Captain. F/Sgt. WHITE jettisoned his bomb load whilst in the dive directly over the target area, managed to regain control of the aircraft when height had been lost down to 6,000ft. The captain and two remaining members of the crew after taking stock of the damage decided to attempt the long and hazardous return journey to base. This they did successfully and made a perfect crash landing at base without lights, flaps or under carriage, as the electrical leads were shot away.

Stirling Mk.III BF465 AA-K
From RAF Mepal Station Log AIR28/532 lists aircraft as ‘C’ Flight JN

P/O Andrew Rankin, RAFVR 1345194/ 146332 – Pilot.
P/O Mervyn Arthur Ericksen, RNZAF NZ416103 – Navigator.
F/S James Third, RNZAF NZ422671 – Air Bomber.
F/S Frederick William Thorstenson, RNZAF NZ414529 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frank Morris Freeman, RAFVR 1575231 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. D. Catterick, RAFVR 1318470 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Ogden, RAFVR 1573298 – Rear Gunner.

BF465 was brought down 3 miles South of Lanka, (14 miles North North East of Berlin). All on board were killed except Sgt Catterick, who either parachuted to safety or escaped uninjured from the wreck and was captured as a POW. Those who died were buried in the 1939 – 45 Berlin War Cemetery near where the aircraft came down.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/frederick-william-thorstensen © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/frederick-william-thorstensen © New Zealand War Graves Project


THREADGOLD, Ronald Walter

Sgt. Ronald Walter Threadgold, RAFVR 1 457394 – Air Bomber.
Lost without trace age 21 on the 26th of July 1943.
Son of John and Dora Threadgold, of Hull.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 167.

25/07/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Twenty aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 2,000lbs., 1,000lbs., and incendiaries of 30lbs., and 4lbs. One aircraft failed to take off, and two returned early, wing to engine trouble and an intercommunication failure respectively, and one aircraft failed to return. Sixteen aircraft successfully dropped their bombs on target area, which was an absolute mass of flames. Many huge explosions were seen in the midst of the fires. Moderate A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered, one aircraft receiving slight damage. An aircraft was held in a searchlight cone for 3 minutes, but avoided it by making diving turns. Some enemy aircraft were seen. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. H.C. WILLIAMS sighted an unidentified aircraft 400 yds away approaching from astern. The Stirling corkscrewed and the Mid-upper and Rear gunners fired a long burst, the enemy aircraft exploded in the air and dived to the ground. It was claimed to be destroyed. Another aircraft was sighted by them approaching on the port quarter, the Rear gunner fired two short bursts and the enemy aircraft broke away. The weather was hazy to the enemy Coast, but clear over the target. Visibility was good except for haze caused by smoke from the fires, which could be seen west of the DUTCH coast. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling MK.III EE892 captained by Sgt.. M. ASHDOWN

Stirling Mk.III EE892 AA-F

Sgt. Michael Henry Charles Ashdown, RAFVR 1320551 – Pilot.
Sgt. Ronald Kenneth Harold, RAFVR 1335706 – Navigator.
Sgt. Ronald Walter Threadgold, RAFVR 1457394 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Ernest Claude Denyer, RAFVR 1262911 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ronald Broadley, RAFVR 937347 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Archie Cleveland, RCAF R.167518 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Harold Clyde Dawson, RCAF R.178318 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EE892 AA-F came down in the sea off Southwold, Suffolk, while returning to base. Eyewitness reports indicated that the Stirlng was on fire before it struck the water. All on board perished. Four bodies were picked up by the Aldeburgh lifeboat crew. Sgt Dawson RCAF is buried in Scottow Cemetery; the others were taken back to their home-towns. Sgt’s Harrold, Threadgold and Cleveland are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.


TIETJENS, Stephen Muir

Sgt. Stephen Muir Tietjens, RNZAF NZ415640 – Pilot.
Killed age 26 on the 24th of May 1943.
Son of John Christopher and Margaret Bremner Tietjens, of Auckland City, New Zealand.
Buried Beesd General Cemetery, Holland..
Grave location – Coll. grave 1-2.

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.III BK783 AA-Q

Sgt. Stephen Muir Tietjens, RAFVR NZ415640 – Pilot.
Sgt. George Watson Turnbull, RAFVR NZ421342 – Navigator.
Sgt. Frederick John Leigh Joblin, RNZAF NZ417063 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Ronald Bell, RAFVR 1077692 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Stanley John Wayman, RAFVR 1391814 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Derrick George Amos Storey, RAFVR 1809725 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Leslie R Vale, RAFVR 1235008 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III BK783 AA-Q was shot down by an enemy night-fighter over the Netherlands on the return flight home. The aircraft came down in a ditch at Beesd, (Gelderland), 5 miles South South West of Culemborg, All but the Rear Gunner, Sgt L R Vale, died in the crash. They were buried in a collective grave at Beesd General Cemetery. Vale miraculously survived the major crash with an injured leg and temporary memory loss. He was later taken prisoner by German soldiers.

STOREY D G A TIETGENS S M


TITCOMB, William Arthur

Sgt. William Arthur Titcomb, RAF 1291758 RAFVR – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 21 on the 9th of July 1942.
Son of Arthur Charles and Annie Ida Titcomb, of Eltham, London.
Buried Harderwijk General Cemetery, Holland.
Grave location – British Plot 2. Grave 15.
‘Beloved by all’

28/07/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Seventeen a/c were detailed to carry out an attack on the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 30lb and 4lb incendiaries was dropped in target area and bursts were seen in dock area. A.A. fire was very accurate, light and heavy predicted. There were many accurate searchlight cones in parts but clear over target. Navigation was good by TR and DR. Six a/c failed to return to base

Wellington Mk.III BJ.661 AA-X

Sgt. John Edward Gilbertson, RNZAF NZ41894 – Pilot.
Sgt. Martin John Byrne, RNZAF NZ404529 – Observer.
Sgt. Ronald Patrick Callaghan, RNZAF NZ411739 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Alan Walter Rutherford, RNZAF NZ404572 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. William Arthur Titcomb, RAFVR 1291758 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Mk.III BJ.661 AA-X was shot down by a German Ju 88 night-fighter at 03:05hrs into the Ijsselmeer, near Amsterdam, while on its way home following the Hamburg raid. The Ju 88 crew of two was Lieutenant Wilfgang Kuthe and his gunner, Unteroffizier Helmut Bonk.

Only Callahan the W/op, and Rutherford the nose gunner, survived the crash and floated free, supported by their life vests. They were later rescued and sent to a POW camp.

The bodies of the captain and navigator were recovered from the wreck and buried in Amsterdam. The rear gunner’s body floated free and was recovered later some distance from the crash site and buried at Harderwijk.

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TOD, Richard Douglas

W/O Richard Douglas Tod, RCAF 2 R/91741 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 23 on the 23rd of June 1943.
Son of Alexander and Mary Edith Tod, of St. Vital, Manitoba, Canada. His Twin Brother Robert Ernest Also Died On Service.
Buried Mebemblik General Cemetery, Holland.     .
Grave location – Grave 250.
‘Your memory hallowed
In the land you loved’

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 EH889 AA-Z

F/O Thomas Fraser McCrorie, 1365093/ 68770 – Pilot.
P/O William Stuckey, RAF 51042 – Navigator.
F/S James Leonard Richards, RNZAF NZ404946 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Richard Douglas Tod, RCAF R.91741 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Eric Grainger, RAFVR 625045 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Robert Ernest Tod, RCAF R.91742 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Raymond Anthony Kennedy, RAFVR 1003148 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EH889 AA-Z was shot down by a night-fighter (Oblt Lothar Linke, IV /NJG1) at 01:58hrs, crashing into the Ijsselmeer. All on board died, their bodies later washing ashore. F/L McCrorie was buried in Hemelumer-Oldeferd (Molkwerum) Protestant Churchyard. P/O Stuckey rests in Wonseradeel (Makkum) Churchyard. The Todd twins lie in Medemblik General Cemetery. Sgt Kennedy is buried at Wieringermeer (Middenmeer) General Cemetery. The others are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

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TOD, Robert Ernest    DFM

W/O Robert Ernest Tod, RCAF 2 R/91742 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 23 on the 23rd of June 1943.
Son of Alexander and Mary Edith Tod, of St. Vital, Manitoba, Canada. His Twin Brother Robert Ernest Also Died On Service.
Buried Mebemblik General Cemetery, Holland.      .
Grave location – Grave 249
‘To save mankind –
Yourself you scorned to save’

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 EH889 AA-Z

F/O Thomas Fraser McCrorie, 1365093/ 68770 – Pilot.
P/O William Stuckey, RAF 51042 – Navigator.
F/S James Leonard Richards, RNZAF NZ404946 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Richard Douglas Tod, RCAF R.91741 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Eric Grainger, RAFVR 625045 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Robert Ernest Tod, RCAF R.91742 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Raymond Anthony Kennedy, RAFVR 1003148 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EH889 AA-Z was shot down by a night-fighter (Oblt Lothar Linke, IV /NJG1) at 01:58hrs, crashing into the Ijsselmeer. All on board died, their bodies later washing ashore. F/L McCrorie was buried in Hemelumer-Oldeferd (Molkwerum) Protestant Churchyard. P/O Stuckey rests in Wonseradeel (Makkum) Churchyard. The Todd twins lie in Medemblik General Cemetery. Sgt Kennedy is buried at Wieringermeer (Middenmeer) General Cemetery. The others are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

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TOLLER, Robert William

Sgt. Robert William Toller, RAFVR 1054292 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 20 on the 15th of September 1941.
Buried Hamburg War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – Coll. grave 5A. E. 2-4.

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, ans co-operating with A.A. fire and night fighters.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.3205 AA-

Sgt. James AllenWard, RNZAF NZ401793 – Pilot.
Sgt. Horace Gordon Sloman, RAFVR 929627 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. L.E. Peterson, RAFVR – Navigator.
Sgt. Robert William Toller, RAFVR 1054292 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. H.C. Watson, RAFVR 952162 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Kenneth Hutley Toothill, RAFVR 1114337 – Rear Gunner.

Sgt Ward’s aircraft, Wellington X3205, was hit repeatedly by flak which resulted in catastrophic damage causing the aircraft to come down in flames in the target area. All but two of the crew (the Wireless Operator and Navigator who both baled out), perished.


TOLLEY, Alan Gray

P/O Alan Gray Tolley, RNZAF NZ411954 – Pilot.
Killed age 21 on the 21st of April 1943.
Son of Henry John and Eva Florence Tolley, of Wellington City, New Zealand.
Buried Esbjerg (Fourfelt) Cemetery, Denmark..
Grave location – Coll. grave A. 11. 11-14.

20/04/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Rostock
Nine aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1000 lb and incendiaries of 30 lb and 4 lb. Eight of the aircraft successfully attacked the target area. Some very large scale fires were seen but the attack was spoilt by a smoke screen which partly obscured the target. A.A. Fire was mainly confined to light tracer which was ineffective. Stirling Mk.III BF.518 captained by Sgt. Dalzell, collided with a Lancaster aircraft after leaving the target, and fortunately only slight damage was caused to the rudder and fin. After this hazardous experience he returned to base and made a perfect landing. Some enemy aircraft were seen in the target area, but no combats took place. The weather was very good and visibility was excellent. Navigation was very good. Stirling Mk.III, captained by P/O A.G. Tolley, failed to return.

Stirling Mk.III BF506 AA-P

P/O Alan Gray Tolley, RNZAF NZ411954 – Pilot.
F/S William Henry Ellis, RAFVR 1021328 – Navigator.
Sgt. Frank Wakefield Upton, RNZAF NZ404430 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Cyril Thomas Cobb, RNZAF NZ412315 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Gerald Albert Raymond Town, RAFVR 1217965 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Frederick Joseph Earle, RAFVR 1332585 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ian Charles Salt, RNZAF NZ404046 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III BF506 AA-P took off at 22:05 from Newmarket. It was last heard on W/T at 03:00 signalling ‘starboard inner on fire’. Nothing further was heard, and the Stirling crashed at 03:26 at Boegballe, 15km North of Vejle, Denmark.

It’s demise is reported as having been caused by a night-fighter attack. All rest in Esbjerg (Fourfelt) Cemetery.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/alan-gray-tolley © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/alan-gray-tolley © New Zealand War Graves Project


TOMLINSON, Kenneth Aubyn

Sgt. Kenneth Aubyn Tomlinson, RAFVR 1108182 – 2nd Pilot.
Lost without trace age 21 on the 12th of September 1941.
Son of Ernest and Harriet Tomlinson, of York.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 53.

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 R.1038 AA-H

Sgt. Keith Vernon Dudley Roe, RAFVR 1250397 – Pilot.
Sgt. Kenneth Aubyn Tomlinson, RAFVR 1108182 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Maurice Wyndam Stuart McVety, RAFVR 1252094 – Observer.
Sgt. Derek Frederick Dunlop, RAFVR 1005738 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Norman Tweedie, RAAF AUS.402474 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Talfryn Barton Hopkins, RCAF R.64714 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington 1C R1038 AA-H and crew was lost without trace.

KA Tomlinson


TOMPKINS, Phillip Edwin

F/O Phillip Edwin Tompkins, RAFVR 157922 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 21 on the 21st of July 1944.
Son of Edwin George and Gladys Elizabeth Tompkins; of Merton Park, Surrey; husband of Joan Grace Tompkins, of Merton Park.
Buried Uden War Cemetery, Holland.     .
Grave location – 5. A. 10. 105
‘Father, In Thy gracious keeping
Leave we now
Thy servant sleeping’

20/07/1944 – Attack Against Homberg
Twenty six aircraft took off, as detailed, to attack the oil refinery at Homberg. Nineteen aircraft were successful in bombing the target, with the aid of markers, which seemed well concentrated. Two good explosions were seen and smoke came up from the target area. Heavy A.A. fire was moderate, but fighters were very active, eight combats taking place. Seven aircraft failed to return, the captains were AUS22776 W/O. Gilmour, H., NZ428819 F/S. Howell, E., NZ421829 F/S. Mackay, K., NZ422057 F/S. Davidson, N., NZ42488 W/O. Whittington, H., NZ413219 F/S. Roche, G. & NZ414560 P/O. Burtt, H.

Lancaster Mk.I ME691 AA-R

W/O Harold ‘Dick’ Whittington, RNZAF NZ42488 – Pilot.
F/O Joseph Stevens, RAFVR 125607 – Navigator.
Sgt. Alfred Alexander Simpson, RNZAF NZ425112 – Air Bomber.
P/O Phillip Edwin Tompkins, RAFVR 157922 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Donald W. Gore, RAFVR 1624691 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Ronald John Morton Batty, RAFVR 548542 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Andrew Crawford Fletcher, RNZAF NZ42675 – Rear Gunner.

Lancaster Mk.I ME691 AA-R was brought down by an enemy aircraft at 01:33hrs beside a road near Veghel (Noord Brabant), 4 miles South West of Uden. All but the Flight Engineer perished in the crash and were buried in the local War Cemetery, Uden. Sgt Gore, survived but was taken as a P.o.W.


TOMPSETT, Stanley Charles

Sgt. Stanley Charles ‘Syd’ Tompsett, RAFVR 914760 – Front Gunner.
Died in a motorcycle accident age 27.
Son of Mr. and Mrs. L. E. J. Tompsett, of Brighton.
Buried Brighton and Preston Cemetery, Sussex, England..
Grave location – Sec. A. Grave 478.

From “Up and Under” by Gywn Martin, Syd’s Observer with the Curry crew:
“Safe in the knowledge that ‘we were free for the night, we paid no heed to the significance of the date, June 13, as we made our plans for a thrash in Norwich. Jock rode pillion with me on my old Sunbeam, while Brian Smith rode pillion on Tompsett’s Triumph Speed Twin. We had a goodnight out, beer in the Bell, dancing in the Samson and Hercules ballroom, then a few hours sleep in the Temperance hotel, before returning to Feltwell in the early morning. Jock and I left first, on the slower bike, expecting Tompsett to pass us on the way. I reflected briefly on his failure to do so as I came into Feltwell. I made my way to my room, washed and shaved, then went to the ante-room, where I learnt that Tompsett and Smithy had been in a serious accident. Tompsett was dead, Smithy, very seriously Injured, was in Norwich Infirmary. They had met the leading lorry of an Army convoy on the crown of the road. Smithy was catapulted through the lorry load of soldiers, and sustained a broken pelvis, legs and arms and injuries to his head”.


TONG, Harold

F/O Harold Tong, RNZAF NZ416648 – Air Bomber.
Lost without trace age 34 on the 30th of May 1943.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 198.

29/05/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Wuppertal
Twenty aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with bombs of 2000lb, 1000lb, and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb. One aircraft failed to take-off owing to the rear turret being unserviceable, and two returned early. Four aircraft failed to return. The remaining thirteen aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Very large fires were seen and also some big explosions. Some heavy A.A. Fire was encountered, but it was ineffective. No searchlights were seen. A few enemy aircraft were seen and one short combat took place, but no damage was sustained by our aircraft. The weather was good in the target area, but visibility was impaired by smoke from the fires. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk.III BK776 Captained by P/O. R.F.Bennett, Mk.I EF398, captained by F/O. R.B. Vernazoni, MK.III EH881 captained by Sgt. J.H. Carey and Mk.III Bf561 captained by Sgt. S.R. Thornley.

Stirling Mk.I EF398 AA-A

F/O Richard Berry Vernazoni , RNZAF NZ416185 – Pilot.
Sgt. Owen Alfred Innes, RNZAF NZ421935 – Navigator.
P/O Harold Tong, RNZAF NZ416648 – Air Bomber.
F/O Charles Hudson Riddle, RNZAF NZ41190 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Walter Bramwell, RAFVR 1051374 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alexander Roger Cardoo, RAFVR 1522196 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. James John Chandler, RAFVR 1699810 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.I EF398 AA-A was shot down at 01:49hrs by a night-fighter (Oblt Manfred Meurer, I. /NJG1) The aircraft crashed between Vlodrop and Roermond (Limburg), while overflying the Netherlands en route to the target There were no survivors. Five crew have no known graves. The two gunners are buried in Jonkerbos War Cemetery after being found in a temporary military cemetery at Venlo.


TONKIN, Douglas Noel

Sgt. Douglas Noel Tonkin, RNZAF NZ413285 – Front Gunner.
Killed age 22 on the 25th of October 1942.
Son of Daniel and Annie Frances Tonkin, of Hastings, Hawke’S Bay, New Zealand.
Buried Valenciennes (St Roch) Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Plot 4. Row A. Joint grave 16.

24/10/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Milan
Five aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 1,000lb. 500lb. 250lb and incendiaries were dropped in the target area. Some slight A.A. fire was encountered, cloud stopped searchlight activity. No combats with enemy aircraft took place. 10/10ths cloud from the French Coast to the target made identification of the target difficult. Navigation was difficult owing to cloud preventing the use of Astro. Wellington Z1652 captained by Sergt. Hugill and Wellington BK725 captained by Sergt. McConnell failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III BK.725 AA-?

Sgt. James Allison McConnell, RNZAF NZ414646 – Pilot.
Sgt. Selwyn Clarence Smith, RNZAF NZ41952 – Navigator.
Sgt. Douglas Noel Tonkin , RNZAF NZ413285 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Arthur Quinn , RNZAF 1095594 – Front Gunner .
Sgt. Vallance Albert Oliver Dimock , RNZAF NZ412317 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Mk.III BK.725 was brought down by enemy action over France, crashing near Valencienns, 25 miles North East of Cambrai. All five crew were killed. They were buried at Valenciennes.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/douglas-noel-tonkin © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/douglas-noel-tonkin © New Zealand War Graves Project


TOOHEY, Edward Wallace

W/O Edward Wallace Toohey, RNZAF NZ416672 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 22 on the 16th of June 1944.
Son of Edward Cornelius Toohey and of Alexandra Toohey (nee Wallace), of Hokitika, Westland, New Zealand.
Buried Rieux Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Grave 5. 6

15/06/1944 – Attack Against Valenciennes
Twenty four aircraft took off as detailed to attack the Marshalling Yards at Valenciennes. Twenty three aircraft attacked the primary target with the aid of markers. A.A. Fire was very slight, but fighters were active, two of our aircraft having combats with enemy aircraft. The aircraft captained by 175311 P/O. C. Crawford claimed hits on an enemy fighter, but sustained serious damage itself, the pilot, however, was able to land safely at Manstone. The aircraft captained by NZ421495 F/S. Betley, R. failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I LL888 JN-X

F/S Roland Desmond Ernest Betley, RNZAF NZ421495 – Pilot.
Sgt. Edward George Gilliat, RAFVR 648452 – Navigator.
F/S Lawrence Eastmure Hale, RNZAF NZ42395 – Air Bomber.
F/S Edward Wallace Toohey, RNZAF NZ416672 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Basil Griffiths, RAFVR 1578754 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Ronald Howe, RAFVR 993314 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Peter Jackson Cook, RNZAF NZ42708 – Rear Gunner.

LL888 was brought down by a night-fighter SW of the target, crashing near Rieux, just NE of Cambrai. There were no survivors, six of the seven crew members were located in or near the wreckage and later buried at Rieux, The body of the seventh crew member was found some distance away indicating he probably had attempted to bale out, without success.


TOOTHILL, Kenneth Hutley

Sgt. Kenneth Hutley Toothill, RAFVR 1114337 – Front Gunner.
Killed age 29 on the 15th of September 1941.
Son of John Arthur and Theodora Toothill; Husband of Barbara Toothill, of Harrogate, Yorkshire.
Buried Hamburg War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – 5A. E. 5.

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, ans co-operating with A.A. fire and night fighters.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.3205 AA-

Sgt. James AllenWard, RNZAF NZ401793 – Pilot.
Sgt. Horace Gordon Sloman, RAFVR 929627 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. L.E. Peterson, RAFVR – Navigator.
Sgt. Robert William Toller, RAFVR 1054292 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. H.C. Watson, RAFVR 952162 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Kenneth Hutley Toothill, RAFVR 1114337 – Rear Gunner.

Sgt Ward’s aircraft, Wellington X3205, was hit repeatedly by flak which resulted in catastrophic damage causing the aircraft to come down in flames in the target area. All but two of the crew (the Wireless Operator and Navigator who both baled out), perished.


TORRANCE, Bernard

Sgt. Bernard Torrance, RAFVR 1319178 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 19 on the 23rd of January 1943.
Son of Joseph and Pearl Tragonsky.
Buried St.Thegonnec Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Plot 2. Row 1. Joint grave 5-6.
‘For I have kept
The ways of the Lord’

23/01/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Lorient
Nine aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with bombs of 1,000 lb. 500 lb. and 4 lb. incendiaries. This was a very successful and concentrated attack. All aircraft reported that their bombs were seen to fall in the target area. Large fires were seen to be lighting up the whole area. A fair amount of heavy, medium and light flak was encountered, only a few searchlights were seen. A few enemy aircraft were seen, but no combats took place. The weather was very clear at the target and good visibility. Navigation was by D.R., T.R., pinpoints and visual. Stirling I R9248 captained by Sergt. R.M.Kidd failed to return.

Stirling Mk.I R9248 AA-H

Sgt. Robert Miln Kidd, RNZAF NZ412700 – Pilot.
Sgt. James William Schofield, RAFVR 1088089 – Navigator.
Sgt. Bernard Torrance, RAFVR 1319178 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Eric Berry, RAFVR 1380078 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Gilbert Frank Mitchell, RAFVR 1479975 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. James Edward Brewster, RAFVR 1035972 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Peter Douglas Fowler, RAFVR 1320278 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.I R9248 AA-H was hit by AA fire shortly after bombing, causing catastrophic damage. The captain attempted a crash landing at St Thégonnec (Finistère), about 8 miles South East of Morlaix, France. All but one of the crew died in the crash and were laid to rest in St Thegonnec Communal Cemetery. Sgt Kidd escaped slightly injured from the wreck and managed to evade capture.


TOWN, Gerald Albert Raymond

Sgt. Gerald Albert Raymond Town, RAFVR 1217965 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 20 on the 21st of April 1943.
Buried Esbjerg (Fourfelt) Cemetery, Denmark..
Grave location – A. 11. 15.

20/04/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Rostock
Nine aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1000 lb and incendiaries of 30 lb and 4 lb. Eight of the aircraft successfully attacked the target area. Some very large scale fires were seen but the attack was spoilt by a smoke screen which partly obscured the target. A.A. Fire was mainly confined to light tracer which was ineffective. Stirling Mk.III BF.518 captained by Sgt. Dalzell, collided with a Lancaster aircraft after leaving the target, and fortunately only slight damage was caused to the rudder and fin. After this hazardous experience he returned to base and made a perfect landing. Some enemy aircraft were seen in the target area, but no combats took place. The weather was very good and visibility was excellent. Navigation was very good. Stirling Mk.III, captained by P/O A.G. Tolley, failed to return.

Stirling Mk.III BF506 AA-P

P/O Alan Gray Tolley, RNZAF NZ411954 – Pilot.
F/S William Henry Ellis, RAFVR 1021328 – Navigator.
Sgt. Frank Wakefield Upton, RNZAF NZ404430 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Cyril Thomas Cobb, RNZAF NZ412315 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Gerald Albert Raymond Town, RAFVR 1217965 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Frederick Joseph Earle, RAFVR 1332585 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ian Charles Salt, RNZAF NZ404046 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III BF506 AA-P took off at 22:05 from Newmarket. It was last heard on W/T at 03:00 signalling ‘starboard inner on fire’. Nothing further was heard, and the Stirling crashed at 03:26 at Boegballe, 15km North of Vejle, Denmark.

It’s demise is reported as having been caused by a night-fighter attack. All rest in Esbjerg (Fourfelt) Cemetery.


TRENGROVE, Raymond Wickliffe John

P/O Raymond Wickliffe John Trengrove, RNZAF NZ40927 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 20 on the 21st of June 1942.
Son of Mr. and Mrs. W. G. Trengrove, of Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand.
Buried Sage War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – 3. A. 13.

20/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Emden
Twelve a/c were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 250lbs and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area. Results were not observed. There was intense flak and searchlights were few. A JU88 attacked Well.III, X3539 without result. Weather was hazy with 5/10 cloud. Visibility very bad. Nav was good. Well.III, X3760 P/O Fraser failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III X.3760 AA-L

P/O Allen Armistice Fraser, RNZAF NZ405030 – Pilot.
P/O Wallace Edward Buckley, RNZAF NZ391379 – Navigator.
F/S Arthur Stafford Christie, RNZAF NZ402982 – .Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Clifton Robert Brailley, RNZAF NZ404587 – Front Gunner.
P/O Raymond Wickliffe John Trengrove, RNZAF NZ40927 – Rear Gunner.

 

Whilst the exact fate of X.3760 is not known, it is almost certain that the aircraft was shot down by a German night-fighter, crashing into the sea west of Ameland, near the Frisians. There were no survivors. The front gunner, Sgt Brailey, was lost without trace and is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. The bodies of the other four were eventually washed ashore and are buried near where they were found.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/raymond-wickliffe-john-trengrove © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/raymond-wickliffe-john-trengrove © New Zealand War Graves Project


TREVAYNE, Paul Rodney

Sgt. Paul Rodney Trevayne, RAFVR 1291380 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 19 on the 3rd of February 1943.
Son of Edward William Robert and Enid E. Trevayne.
Buried Wierden General Cemetery, Holland.     .
Grave location – Row A. Grave 6.
‘The dearly beloved son
Of Edward and Enid Trevayne.
Always in our thoughts’

03/02/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Nine aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with 4 lb. incendiaries. The crews were instructed to return if they hit bad weather, which unfortunately they did. Heavy cloud and icing were experienced forcing five aircraft to return early. Two aircraft attacked the target but they were unable to observe results owing to 10/10ths. cloud. Some A.A. fire and a few searchlights were encountered although low cloud prevented accuracy. No enemy aircraft were seen. Navigation was good. Two aircraft failed to return, they were Stirling 1 BK604 captained by P/O J McCullough and Stirling 1 R9280 captained by P/O K.H. Blincoe. This was a sad loss as they were two of the oldest captains in the Squadron, with them was also lost Sergt. Scott and P/O Henderson, two new captains gaining experience as second pilot. This leaving us with two headless crews.

Stirling Mk.I BK604 AA-S

P/O John McCullough, RNZAF NZ40410 – Pilot.
P/O Raymond William Henderson RNZAF NZ411894 2nd Pilot.
F/S William Edmund Gibbes, RNZAF NZ404535 – Navigator.
Sgt. Terence Austin Murphy, RNZAF NZ413307 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Keith James Stockley Smith, RNZAF NZ411783 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Francis Frederick Allen, RAFVR 936019 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. K.E. Kimberley, RAFVR 1576231 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Paul Rodney Trevayne, RAFVR 1291380 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.I BK604 AA-S was shot down by a night-fighter (Hptm WolfgangThimmig, III.NJG1) while attempting to penetrate the highly effective German defensive sector along the Netherlands coastline. The bomber crashed at 20:13hrs near the township Enter (Overjissel), seven miles South West of Wierden, Holland. Three of the crew were killed in the crash – the Captain, Flight Engineer and Rear gunner. The remaining five succeeded in baling out, four of whom landed unhurt but were taken as prisoners. The Air Bomber’s parachute failed to deploy fully before he impacted the ground and he died as a result. The deceased were buried in the Wierden General Cemetery.

SONY DSC


TUNBRIDGE, Victor Arthur

Sgt. Victor Arthur Tunbridge, RNZAF NZ411788 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 28 on the 28th of August 1942.
Son of Charles and Ada Maltilda Tunbridge, of New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand; Husband of Violet Esther Tunbridge, of Wellington City, New Zealand.
Buried Hanover War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – 5. K. 8.

27/08/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Kassel
Twelve aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack. Bomb load of 4000 lb. 500 lb. and incendiaries were dropped in the target area. Numerous fires were seen in the whole area. A.A. fire was moderate, very few searchlights were encountered. Wellington BJ.584 captained by Sgt. Burril met JU88 when about 30 miles from target, combat ensued in which Sgt. Burrill’s aircraft was seriously damaged and port engine put out of action. The rear gunner, Sgt. Gorman claims to have shot down the JU88 and to have seen it falling in flames to the ground, the bomb load was jettisoned, and he turned for home. The aircraft failed to maintain height and was down to 700ft at the Dutch Coast, being shot at by light A.A. fire. He crossed the sea still losing height and belly landed at R.A.F. Wattisham on return. The weather was fine, navigation was excellent. Wellington BJ.708 captained by F/Lt Osborn failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III BJ.708 AA-?

F/L Andrew Francis Atterbury Osborn, RAF 73033 – Pilot.
P/O Errol Thomas Peterson Dalzell, RNZAF NZ411738 – Observer.
Sgt. Denis Patrick Hogan, RNZAF NZ412331 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Roderick McGregor, RNZAF 1100964 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Victor Arthur Tunbridge, RNZAF NZ411788 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington Mk.III BJ.708 was brought down near the town of Melsungen, 18miles south of Kessel, probably as a result of flak damage. There were no survivors.

All five crew were initially buried in the Korle Cemetery, Melsungen, but later reinterred at Hanover.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/victor-arthur-tunbridge © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/victor-arthur-tunbridge © New Zealand War Graves Project


TURNBULL, George Watson

Sgt. George Watson Turnbull, RNZAF NZ421342 – Navigator.
Killed age 24 on the 24th of May 1943.
Son of Charles Le Masurier Turnbull and of Myrtle Victoria Turnbull (Nee Dement), of Wellington City, New Zealand.
Buried Beesd General Cemetery, Holland..
Grave location – Coll. grave 1-2.

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.III BK783 AA-Q

Sgt. Stephen Muir Tietjens, RAFVR NZ415640 – Pilot.
Sgt. George Watson Turnbull, RAFVR NZ421342 – Navigator.
Sgt. Frederick John Leigh Joblin, RNZAF NZ417063 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Ronald Bell, RAFVR 1077692 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Stanley John Wayman, RAFVR 1391814 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Derrick George Amos Storey, RAFVR 1809725 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Leslie R Vale, RAFVR 1235008 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III BK783 AA-Q was shot down by an enemy night-fighter over the Netherlands on the return flight home. The aircraft came down in a ditch at Beesd, (Gelderland), 5 miles South South West of Culemborg, All but the Rear Gunner, Sgt L R Vale, died in the crash. They were buried in a collective grave at Beesd General Cemetery. Vale miraculously survived the major crash with an injured leg and temporary memory loss. He was later taken prisoner by German soldiers.

TURNBULL G W WAYMAN S J


TURNBULL, John George

F/O John George Turnbull, RNZAF NZ42490 – Navigator.
Lost without trace age 33 on the 16th of August 1943.
Son of Francis Turnbull and of Ada Turnbull (Nee Brown), of Fulwell, Co. Durham.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 198.

15/08/1943 – Mining in the Gironde Estuary
Five aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1,500lbs.. One aircraft failed to take-off owing to inter-communication failure and one failed to return. The remaining aircraft successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area, and parachutes were seen to open. Some heavy A.A. fire was encountered and one aircraft was slightly hit in the fuselage. The weather was good with clear visibility. Navigation was very good. One aircraft, whilst returning across FRANCE at 200 feet, shot up four trains, the engine of one was seen to explode and the other three appeared hit. The missing aircraft was Stirling Mk.III EE891 captained by F/Sgt. WHITTA, N.B.

Stirling Mk.III EE891 AA-Q

F/S Neville Bruce Whitta, RNZAF NZ416566 – Pilot.
P/O John George Turnbull, RNZAF NZ42490 – Navigator.
Sgt. Michael Costello, RCAF R.123094 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Reginald Frederick Andrews, RAFVR 1263093 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick David Mason, RAFVR 1230433 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Basil George Crisp, RAFVR 1215484 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Jack Edmond Lovewell, RAFVR 1333957 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EE891 AA-Q was brought down off the French coast either by enemy aircraft action or AA ground fire. The bodies of the Captain, Wireless Operator and Mid Upper Gunner were recovered and buried at Olonne-sur-Mer. The body of the RCAF Air Bomber was also recovered and buried at Les Sables-d ́Olonne. The other missing crew members are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.


TURNER, Albert Edward

Sgt. Albert Edward Turner, RAFVR 1316391 – Navigator.
Lost without trace age 20 on the 7th of August 1943.
Son of Edward Wallace Turner and Daisy Turner, of Redruth, Cornwall.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England.
Grave location – Panel 167.

06/08/1943 – Mining in the Gironde Estuary
Five aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1,500lb. One aircraft returned early owing to inter-communication failure and bought its mines back and one aircraft failed to return. The remaining aircraft successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area and the parachutes were seen to open. Slight heavy A.A. fire and one searchlight were encountered, but were ineffective. A few enemy aircraft were seen, one short combat took place, but no damage was sustained by our aircraft. The weather was good above 1,000ft. and visibility was fair to good. On the return journey, F/Sgt. Mayfields aircraft fired at a locomotive and the engine was seen to blow up with a brilliant flash. The missing aircraft was a Stirling Mk.I HK614 captained by F/Sgt. Mayo, J.R.

Stirling Mk.III BK614 JN-N

F/S John Russell Mayo, RNZAF NZ417085 – Pilot.
Sgt. Albert Edward Turner, RAFVR 1316391 – Navigator.
Sgt. Irvine Sydney Rothstein, RCAF R.123638 – Air Bomber.
F/S Thomas Henry Gittens, RAFVR 1067871 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ronald Booth, RAFVR 1096896 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Raymond Henry Amstell, RAFVR 1455709 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Stephen Tom Kitching, RAFVR 1215487 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III BK614 JN-N was lost without trace. All seven crew are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.


TURNER, Geoffrey   

F/L Geoffrey Turner, DFC, RCAF 7326 – Pilot.
Killed age 30 on the 23rd of December 1943.
Son of Sidney and Florence Turner, of Minaki, Ontario, Canada; Husband of Gladiola Turner.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 21. B. 11.
‘He live in our hearts
For ever’

23/09/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Mannheim
Eighteen aircraft were detailed to carry the above operation with incendiary bombs of 30lb. and 4lb.. Three aircraft failed to return, but the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. This was, undoubtedly, a good attack, concentrated fires which were spreading to the West, and large heavy explosions were seen. Moderate heavy A.A. fire and a large curtain of searchlights were encountered, but caused no trouble. Enemy aircraft were very active and several combats took place. The aircraft captained by W/O. P. MOSELEY had a combat with a JU88 which was claimed as a probably destroyed. In the action our aircraft received damage the Pilot W/O. P. MOSELEY and the Mid Upper Sgt. C(?) MIDDLETON were slightly injured. The aircraft captained by P/O A. BURLEY had three combats with enemy aircraft, one of which was claimed as destroyed, the two as  damaged. The weather was good with clear visibility. Navigation was excellent. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk.111 EF459 captained by P/O C.C. LOGAN, EH946 captained by F/Lt. G. TURNER , and EH935 captained by F/O L. KIRKPATRICK.

Stirling Mk.III EH936 JN-W

F/L Geoffrey Turner, RCAF J.7326 – Pilot.
F/O Kenneth Albiston, RAFVR 136454 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Alan Hall Cleghorn, RAFVR 1493160 – Navigator.
F/O Arthur Douglas Howlett, RNZAF NZ413335 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Malcolm Victor Bloxham, RAFVR 552574 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. John Smith Thomson, RAFVR 1374282 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Ronald Wilks, RAFVR 1417280 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Christopher Frederick McRae, RCAF R.147326 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EH936 JN-W, was brought down near the target Mannheim, crashing at Dirmstein, 5 miles North of Frankenthal. There were no survivors.


TURNER, John Cecil

F/S John Cecil Turner, RNZAF NZ421115 – Pilot.
Killed age 21 on the 22nd of November 1943.
Son of Leonard Cecil Turner, and of Doris Anna Turner (Nee Hansford), of Wellington City, New Zealand.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – 26. A. 4.

22/11/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Berlin
Four aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1,000lbs and incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb. One aircraft returned early owing to an Oxygen failure and two failed to return. The remaining aircraft successfully dropped its bombs in the Target Area. It was very difficult to assess the results as there was 10/10ths cloud over the target. Little opposition was encountered and no incidents were reported. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk.III LJ453 Captained by F/S A.Single and EF148 Captained by F/S. J. TURNER.

Stirling Mk.III EF148 AA-R

F/S John Cecil Turner, RNZAF NZ421115 – Pilot.
P/O Stanley Henry MacKenzie, RNZAF NZ422418 – Navigator.
P/O William George Simpson Pagett, RAFVR 151630 – Air Bomber.
F/S James Lindis Cowie, RNZAF NZ42322 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. George Joseph Blackman, RAFVR 1398967 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Robert McLeod More, RAFVR 1809983 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas McGloin, RAFVR 1796255 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EF148 AA-R was brought down over Germany, crashing near Achner, 10miles North West of Osnabruck. There were no survivors. The seven crew members were buried at Achner but later reinterred at Reichswald Forest Cemetery, South West of Cleve.

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/john-cecil-turner © New Zealand War Graves Project

nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/john-cecil-turner © New Zealand War Graves Project


TURNER, Reginald James

Sgt. Reginald James Turner, RAFVR 913804 – Wireless Operator.
Lost without trace age 28 on the 24th of July 1941.
Son of Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Turner; Husband of Kathleen Turner, of West Howe, Dorsetshire.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 53.

24/07/1941 – Daylight Attacks Against Battleship Gneisenau at Brest
Six Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out daylight attacks against the above target. One of these aircraft, N.2854 captained by SGT. Streeter failed to return to base. The bomb load consisted of 24 500lbs. S.A.P.
Results were unobserved by DNS.772.
DNS.329 reports bombs overshot aiming point. Direct hits on sheds or warehouses about half mile S.E. of aiming point were observed.
DNS.411 reports that one and possibly two hits were observed on north end of No.1 graving dock.
Results were not observed by P/). Ashworth.
S/L. Lucas reports that bombs were dropped in target area.
Balloons were observed in the harbour.
A.A. fire was very intense and accurate.
Enemy aircraft were numerous and our aircraft were attacked.
The weather was excellent and visibility was good.
Navigation was by D/R, and map reading.

Wellington Mk.Ic N.2854 AA-U

Sgt. Desmond Frederick Streeter, RNZAF NZ401033 – Pilot.
Sgt. William Owen, RCAF R.58067 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Rodney Patrick Carling, RAFVR 950217 – Navigator.
Sgt. Reginald James Turner, RAFVR 913804 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Robert Samuel Carson Craig, RAFVR 947814 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Graham Stuart Walker, RNZAF NZ401817 – Rear Gunner.

There was no report from Sgt Streeter’s crew. Their aircraft, Wellington Mk.Ic N.2854 AA-U, failed to return and was officially classified as ‘lost without trace’. Numerous enemy aircraft were operating in the area and Squadron aircraft were among those coming under attack. It became clear that these attacks had a profound bearing on the loss of R2854.

One of the other Wellington crews in the same formation as Streeter’s, witnessed the latter’s aircraft being targeted by a number of Me109’s and receiving several cannon shell bursts that caused an engine to fail. They last saw the Wellington going down steeply with two or three Me109’s still attacking it. Their chances of escaping would have been very slim, and it was concluded the aircraft had crashed out of control into the sea.

RJ Turner


TURNER, William

F/O William Turner, RNZAF NZ416579 – Navigator.
Lost without trace age 22 on the 3rd of August 1943.
Son of John and Amy Kathleen Turner, of Patea, Taranaki, New Zealand.
Buried Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 198.

02/08/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Seventeen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lb and 4lb. Six of the aircraft returned early owing to severe icing and engine trouble, two failed to return. The remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Large fires and columns of smoke were seen although this attack was not considered to be a successful as the previous one. Moderate heavy and light A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered, which proved to be ineffective. Some enemy aircraft were seen but no combats took place. The weather was good at the beginning of outward journey, but cloud gathered and was 10/10ths at the target, icing and electrical storms were also encountered. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk. III EH928 captained by Sgt. Baille, P. and BF 557 captained by F/Sgt. Couper, J.A.

Stirling Mk.III EH928 AA-A
Log refers to ‘B’ – unclear if this is the designator or the Flight….

Sgt. Cyril Philip Bailie, RAFVR 1578834/ 155786 – Pilot.
F/S Jack Thomson, RNZAF NZ421145 – 2nd Pilot.
F/O William Turner, RNZAF NZ416579 – Navigator.
Sgt. Joseph Isherwood, RAFVR 1502733 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Edward ‘Eddie’ Millward, RAFVR 1385557 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Howard Thompson, RAFVR 1484375 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Thomas Purdie, RAFVR 1554949 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ernest Francis Hunting, RAFVR 1358198 – Rear Gunner.

Stirling Mk.III EH928 AA-A was intercepted and shot down by a night-fighter (Hptm Hans Johchim Jabs, IV,/NJG1) and crashed into the North Sea off Terschelling, Frisian Island. P/O Bailie is buried in Lemvig Cemetery, Denmark. All other crew members are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.


TUTHILL, Peter Eric

Sgt. Peter Eric Tuthill, RAFVR 2211929 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 21 on the 5th of October 1944.
Son of Robert Sidney and Harriet Helen Tuthill of Chigwell Essex.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany.
Grave location – 8. G. 7.

05/10/1944 – Attack Against Saarbrucken
Thirty one aircraft took off as detailed to attack the railway centre at Saarbrucken. They all reached the target area but only fourteen bombed before the Master Bomber issued instructions to abandon the mission. Bombing appeared scattered, and the raid was unsatisfactory. The aircraft captained by NZ 427481 F/Sgt Galletly, A. failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.III ND904 AA-B “Target for Tomorrow Night”

F/S Alan Russell Galletly, RNZAF NZ427481 – Pilot.
F/S Stuart Edwin Mosley, RNZAF NZ426106 – Navigator.
Sgt. Roy Albert Wells, RAFVR 1802473 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Reginald Samuel Hond, RAFVR 1214443 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Peter Eric Tuthill,  RAFVR 2211929 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Arthur Kitchener Sutton, RAFVR 1816276 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Peter Cooke, RAFVR 1816385 – Rear Gunner.

ND904 collided with Lancaster PD344 from 115 RAF Squadron over Wolsfeld, Kreis Bitburg, NW of Trier, Germany. There were no survivors on either aircraft. All crew members were initially buried in the Wolsfeld Churchyard but later re-interred in the British Military cemetery, at Rheinberg (North West of Duisburg)


TWEEDIE, Norman

Sgt. Norman Tweedie, RAAF AUS.402474 – Front Gunner.
Lost without trace age 25 on the 12th of September 1941.
Son of Walter Ernest and Amy Gertrude Tweedie, of Portland, New South Wales, Australia.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 63.

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 R.1038 AA-H

Sgt. Keith Vernon Dudley Roe, RAFVR 1250397 – Pilot.
Sgt. Kenneth Aubyn Tomlinson, RAFVR 1108182 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Maurice Wyndam Stuart McVety, RAFVR 1252094 – Observer.
Sgt. Derek Frederick Dunlop, RAFVR 1005738 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Norman Tweedie, RAAF AUS.402474 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Talfryn Barton Hopkins, RCAF R.64714 – Rear Gunner.

Wellington 1C R1038 AA-H and crew was lost without trace.

N Tweedie

4 thoughts on “T

  1. Carl Toller

    My uncle Robert William Toller was part of the crew that flew with James Ward VC that was shot down 15th July 1941. Does anyone have any information about Robert

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  2. 75nzsquadron Post author

    Hello Carl
    Many thanks for getting in contact with me – as you will see from the post I have already put together for you – there seems scant information about the events of that night. Having said this, the visitors to this blog are knowledgeable and we might just find out a little more.

    Many thanks for getting in contact

    Simon

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    1. 75nzsquadron Post author

      Hello Richard – unfortunately I don’t have a picture of the Stirling in question, however, one may well crop up at some time – who knows… my advice is to simply keep watching the Tietjens crew page – if a pictures does come to light it will go up on the crew page.

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