Tag Archives: A. Gordon

Hull Crematorium – P/O Robert Bertram RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 .

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A fortuitous need to travel over to Grimsby to pick up my wife from a visit to her family allowed the chance to plot and then try to execute a perhaps in hindsight, overly ambitious tour of a number of churchyards on the way back to Cheshire. Torrential rain upon waking suggested it would be a hard but rewarding day and many hours and miles later, this was just about the consensus opinion……..

Arriving in Hull it was relatively easy to find the Northern Cemetery, but my heart sank when, after asking staff in the Crematorium office where the ‘Screen Wall’ was, they looked rather blank. A polite explanation that this information was from the CWGC website seemed to cut no further mustard with them – after discussion they suggested I try the ‘Columbarium’. At this point I was desperately trying not to let my facial expression say ‘What is a Columbarium’ and mercifully, a helpful member of staff appeared and said he would drive to it and let us follow him.

“A columbarium is a place for the respectful and usually public storage of cinerary urns (i.e., urns holding a deceased’s cremated remains). The term comes from the Latin columba (dove) and originally referred to compartmentalized housing for doves and pigeons called a dovecote.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbarium

 Leaving the car and walking to the Columbarium in torrential rain, this was not going to be an easy task, there appearing to be no clear indication even to where we should start our search – of course in these circumstances, we finally found Robert, having looked at almost every other single plaque…..

06/11/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Essen and Le Havre
Five Wellington Ic aircraft from this Unit made attacks against the above targets. A mixed load consisting of 500lbs and incendiaries were carried. Bombs were dropped in target area and extensive fires were left burning. There was little A.A. fire but there was great activity with searchlights. No enemy aircraft was met. Weather was fair with 6/10ths. Cloud over target area. Navigation was satisfactory.

Wellington Mk.Ic T.2747 AA-J

Sgt. Spence, RAF – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot..
Sgt. Harrington, RAF – Observer.
Sgt. R.S. Davey, RAF identity not sure – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Baker, RAF – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Cope, RAFVR 548460, 55877 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 16:00 – Landed 21:05
Flight Time 05:05

23/11/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Dunkirk
Seven Wellington Ic aircraft were detailed from this Unit to attack the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried consisting of 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Bombs were dropped on target area and flashes seen but full results were not seen. Heavy A.A. fire was met over target area and searchlights in large cones were active. No enemy aircraft were met. Weather was fair with 7/10th. Cloud over target area and freezing level was at 9,000ft. Navigation was good.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.1083 AA-K

Sgt. Spence, RAF – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot..
Sgt. Harrington, RAF – Observer.
Sgt. R.S. Davey, RAF identity not sure – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Baker, RAF – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Cope, RAFVR 548460, 55877 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:15 – Landed 20:05
Flight Time 02:50

26/11/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Emden and Ostend
Seventeen Wellington Ic aircraft were detailed from this Unit to attack the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried consisting of 4000,lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs. 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Very bad weather prevented the target being identified and results were not observed. A few bombs were however dropped in target area and one flash was seen. The remainder were brought back to base. Heavy and light predicted A.A. fire was met over target area and cones of searchlights were active. One single engine aircraft and one Junkers 88 enemy aircraft were seen but were successfully evaded. Weather was extremely bad and marred the whole operation. 10/10th cloud was met throughout the journey to and from the target. Navigation was D.R. and Q.D. M.s. One of these aircraft, Z.1114, captained by Sgt. Evans, returned to base with engine trouble.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.8971 AA- ?

Sgt. Spence, RAF – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot..
Sgt. Harrington, RAF – Observer.
Sgt. R.S. Davey, RAF identity not sure – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Baker, RAF – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Cope, RAFVR 548460, 55877 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:45 – Landed 23:25
Flight Time 05:40

30/11/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Emden and Hamburg
Eleven Wellington Ic and two Wellington II aircraft were detailed from the Unit to attack the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried consisting of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Weather was clear and visibility good. A few bombs were dropped in the target area the remaining were bought back to base. Heavy, medium and light flak was encountered and a large number of searchlights were active. (Sentence illegible). One unidentified aircraft was also seen off the Frisian Islands. A convoy off Cromer fired at aircraft until colours were fired. Navigation was good. Astro and D.R. loop being used. One Wellington Ic aircraft, 1099, captained by Sgt. Harrison-Smith failed to return to base.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.1108 AA-X

Sgt. Spence, RAF – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot..
Sgt. Harrington, RAF – Observer.
Sgt. R.S. Davey, RAF identity not sure – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Guy Lionel Roy Heywood, RNZAF NZ40622 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Cope, RAFVR 548460, 55877 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:20 – Landed 23:50
Flight Time 06:30

23/12/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Brest
Seven wellington Ic aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. Bomb load consisted of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Bomb bursts and fires were seen in the target area. Light, medium and heavy flak was met and searchlights were not very active. Weather was good over the target. Navigation was good. Wellington Z.8834, captained by Sgt. Bentley, crashed at Burner’s Heath on return and Sgt. Bentley was killed, the crew being injured.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.1083 AA-K

Sgt. James Kenneth Climie, RNZAF NZ403561 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot..
P/O Allen Roy Henderson, r NZ401382 – Observer.
Sgt. Ries, RAF – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Walsh, RAF – Front Gunner.
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:20 – Landed 23:20
Flight Time 06:00

27/12/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Brest and Dusseldorf
Twelve Wellington Ic aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. Bomb load consisted of 4000lbs, 1000lbs,250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Bombs were seen to burst in town and railway station at Dusseldorf. Intense heavy flak was encountered over target areas and large concentrations of searchlights were active. Weather was good with very good visibility over target area. Navigation was good. Wellington Z.8971, captained by Sgt. Machin, crashed near Dartmoor owing to the port engine failing. The entire crew baled out safely.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.1083 AA-K

Sgt. James Kenneth Climie, RNZAF NZ403561 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot..
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Walsh, RAF – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ries, RAF – Front Gunner.
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 16:30 – Landed 11:00
Flight Time 18:30

12/02/1942 – Daylight Attack – German Battleships in the Channel
Two Wellington III aircraft from this unit were detailed to carry out the above attack. Bomb load consisted of 500 lbs G.P. Owing to very bad weather, 10/10 cloud and rain in large areas, the ships were not bombed. The bomb load was returned to base. Wellington aircraft X3390 encountered fierce light A.A. Fire from two destroyers on two occasions. Fire being returned by the rear gunner. This aircraft also attacked by two ME 109’s but sustained no damage. Navigation was entirely by D.R. The whole operation was marred by very poor visibility and low cloud. Wellington X3475 was also detailed to carry out an attack on the above target but the vessels were not contacted owing to darkness and adverse weather conditions. Several unidentified aircraft were seen. A.A. Fire was observed over clouds.

Wellington Mk.III X.3390 AA-S

P/O James Kenneth Climie, RNZAF NZ403561 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Allen Roy Henderson, RNZAF NZ401382 – Observer.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 15:10 – Landed 18:50
Flight Time 03:40

08/03/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Eleven Wellington aircraft carried out an attack against the above target. Bomb load consisted of 500 lbs, 250 lbs and S.B.C’s which were dropped in the target area, fires were seen to be burning in the target area. Weather was clear except for haze over the target. There were many searchlights but these were ineffective. Accurate heavy flak was encountered over the target. No enemy aircraft were seen. Navigation was by D.R. and TR1335 and was good.

Wellington Mk.III X.3359 AA-H (1)

P/O James Kenneth Climie, RNZAF NZ403561 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Allen Roy Henderson, RNZAF NZ401382 – Observer.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:30 – Landed 04:40
Flight Time 04:10

09/03/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Eleven Wellington III aircraft carried out an attack against the above target. Bomb load consisted of 500 lbs, 250 lbs and containers of incendiaries, and was dropped in the target area, fires and bomb bursts being seen. A strong flak defence was encountered over the target and searchlights were very active. One Me.110 was seen and one unidentified aircraft was seen to be shot down by an enemy fighter. Weather was good. Navigation was by D.R. and TR1335.

Wellington Mk.III X.3359 AA-H

P/O James Kenneth Climie, RNZAF NZ403561 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Allen Roy Henderson, RNZAF NZ401382 – Observer.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:00 – Landed 01:00
Flight Time 05:00

12/03/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Kiel
Eight Wellington aircraft carried out an attack against the above target, one aircraft, captained by Sgt Bell did not carry out an attack. Three aircraft captained by S/L Kitchin, F/O Sandys and Sgt Parnham failed to return to base. Bomb load consisted of 1,000 lbs, 500 lbs and 250 lbs was dropped in the target area, bomb bursts being observed. There was heavy and light predicted flak and large cones of searchlights in the target area and one twin engined enemy aircraft made one unsuccessful attack on Wellington III X3586 captained by S/L Newton. Weather was clear over the target with 5/10 cloud over North Sea. Navigation was by D.R. and TR1335.

Wellington Mk.III X.3597 AA-C

P/O James Kenneth Climie, RNZAF NZ403561 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Allen Roy Henderson, RNZAF NZ401382 – Observer.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:25 – Landed 02:25
Flight Time 06:00

25/03/1942 – Attack Against Targets at St.Nazaire and Essen
Twelve aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack. Wellington III X3652, captained by P/O Slater failed to return, and two aircraft failed to locate the target. Bomb Load consisted of 500 lbs and 250 lbs, this being dropped in the target area but no results were observed. Slight A.A. fire and a few ineffective searchlights were encountered but no enemy fighters were seen. Weather was fine with slight ground haze. Navigation by TR1335 and D.R. was good.

Wellington Mk.III X.3359 AA-H

P/O James Kenneth Climie, RNZAF NZ403561 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Allen Roy Henderson, RNZAF NZ401382 – Observer.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:05 – Landed 23:40
Flight Time 03:35

05/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against Targets Cologne
Nine Wellington Aircraft from this unit were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, and 250lbs and 4lb incendiaries was dropped but results were not observed. There was intense heavy flak and many searchlights were active but ineffective owing to the bright moonlight. One Ju.88 aircraft was seen near the target and Wellington III X3705 was attacked by a Me.110 near Liege without result. Weather was good and navigation by TR1335 and D.R was also good. One aircraft did not carry out it’s mission and two are missing. Wellington III X3489, captained by W/Cdr Sawrey Cookson the C.O. of the squadron, and Wellington III X3661 captained by F/S Thomas.

Wellington Mk.III Z.3636 AA-R

P/O James Kenneth Climie, RNZAF NZ403561 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Allen Roy Henderson, RNZAF NZ401382 – Observer.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Desmond Stewart Tutty, RNZAF NZ404576 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 01:00 – Landed 06:15
Flight Time 05:15

06/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against Targets Essen
Wellington aircraft were detailed from this unit to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, and 250lbs was dropped in the target area and fires were observed. There was intense heavy flak over the target but only a few searchlights were active. One single engined fighter attempted to attack Wellington II X3636 but was driven off by flak. There was 9/10th cloud on the route and 3/10th to 5/10th cloud over the target at 11,000 feet. Navigation was good TR and DR being used.

Wellington Mk.III Z.3636 AA-R

P/O James Kenneth Climie, RNZAF NZ403561 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Allen Roy Henderson, RNZAF NZ401382 – Observer.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Desmond Stewart Tutty, RNZAF NZ404576 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:30 – Landed 05:50
Flight Time 05:20

08/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against Targets Hamburg
Nine Well.III aircraft from this unit were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 30lbs L.C. and 4lb incendiaries was dropped in the target area but no results seen owing to cloud. Intense predicted flak S.W. of Hamburg but searchlight ineffective owing to cloud. One enemy a/c seen off Heligoland and believed JU88. Weather was very poor with 10/10 cloud over target and electric storms off East coast of England. Navigation was by DR and TR.

Wellington Mk.III X.3667 AA-D

P/O James Kenneth Climie, RNZAF NZ403561 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Desmond Stewart Tutty, RNZAF NZ404576 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:50 – Landed 02:10
Flight Time 04:20

12/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against at LeHavre and Essen
Ten Well.III, aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs, was dropped in the target area, bomb bursts being observed. Fairly accurate heavy and medium flak was encountered. There were a great number of searchlights active in cones. Many fighters flares and red and green lights were seen on route. One fighter a/c was seen over North Sea about 250 miles from the Dutch Coast. Weather was very clear with visibility up to 100 miles. Navigation was by TR, DR and loops.

Wellington Mk.III X.3586 AA-A

S/L Raymond John Newton, RNZAF NZ40984 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Francis William Green, RAFVR 581283/ 41730 – Observer.
F/S Leonard Roy Gould, RAFVR 552462/ 49001 – Wireless Operator.
Cptn. Peter Terrey Wykes , British Army 85197 – Front Gunner.
P/O Walter Gordon Fenton, RNZAF NZ391838 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:10 – Landed 04:30
Flight Time 06:20

17/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Eight Well.III a/c were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs, 30lb and 4lb incendiaries was dropped in the target area and bomb bursts were seen. Well.III, X.3636 jettisoned its bombs when in searchlight beams. There was intense heavy flak co-operating with searchlights which were numerous. Weather was clear and there was a slight ground haze. Navigation was good by TR, loops and DR.

Wellington Mk.III X.3541 AA-H

Sgt. Turner, RAF – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. William Henderson Taylor, RAFVR 1051621/ 122053 – Observer.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Charles Smith, RNZAF NZ401466 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:30 – Landed 01:20
Flight Time 03:50

22/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against Targets at Cologne
Ten Well.III a\c were detailed attack the above targets. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 100lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs, 30lb and 4lb incendiaries was dropped in the target area but no results seen owing to cloud. There were only a few searchlights active and A.A. fire was slight. Well.III, X3487 captained by P/O Jarman was attacked by a JU.88 which attacked once and broke away to port. The results of this short attack were however serious the second pilot, P/O Nicol being mortally wounded, the rear gunner Sgt. Harris being killed and the Navigator Sgt. Taylor and W/Op. Sgt. Fernie were wounded. The bomb load was not dropped on the target but was dropped in the sea. The a/c was brought back to base and crash landed. Well.III, X3705, captained by F/S. McLachlan, was also attacked and the second pilot killed (P/O. Fountain) and Sgt. Tutty was wounded. F/Sgt. McLachlan managed to reach base and crash land.

Wellington Mk.III X.3482 AA-J

Sgt. Turner, RAF – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Stanley Frederick Hall, RNZAF NZ402182 – Observer.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Gordon Edwin Caitcheon, RNZAF NZ404016 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:20 – Landed 01:25
Flight Time 04:05

23/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against at Rostock
Seven Well.III a/c from this unit were detailed to attack the above targets. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs, 4lb incendiaries was dropped on the target. Results were very good, many large fires were seen and bomb burst. A.A. fire was very small, some light and heavy flak being encountered. There were few searchlights active and no enemy a/c were seen. Weather was very good with slight ground haze. Navigation was good.

Wellington Mk.III X.3408 AA-Q

Sgt. Turner, RAF – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Stanley Frederick Hall, RNZAF NZ402182 – Observer.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Gordon Edwin Caitcheon, RNZAF NZ404016 – Rear Gunner.

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

25/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against at Rostock and Dunkirk
Seven Well.III a/c were detailed to attack the above targets. Bomb load of 1000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and 4lb incendiaries was dropped in the target area and fires were seen burning fiercely. Bombs were seen to burst across aiming point A.A. Fire was only slight and searchlights afew. One enemy a/c was seen near Dunkirk. Weather was very clear with slight ground haze.

Wellington Mk.III X.3720 AA-U

Sgt. Turner, RAF – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Stanley Frederick Hall, RNZAF NZ402182 – Observer.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Charles Smith, RNZAF NZ401466 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:18 – Landed 05:30
Flight Time 07:12

27/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against Targets at Cologne and Mine Laying off Heligoland
Eight Well.III a/c were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, and 4lbs incendiaries was dropped on the target and fires were seen burning at Cologne. The mine laying a/c successfully carried out ther task, without interference. There was moderate A.A. fire over Cologne and searchlights working in cones. One enemy a/c was seen but no attack was made. Weather was good with visibility up to 100 miles. Navigation was good, DR, TR, loops and map reading.

Wellington Mk.III X.3408 AA-Q

Sgt. Turner, RAF – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Stanley Frederick Hall, RNZAF NZ402182 – Observer.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Charles Smith, RNZAF NZ401466 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:03 – Landed 04:23
Flight Time 06:20

29/05/1942 – Bombing Attacks Against Dieppe
Four Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. The target area was bombed, but owing to cloud and poor visibility results were not observed. A.A. fire was light and searchlights were not numerous. No enemy aircraft were encountered. Navigation was by D/R, TR, Loop.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1616 AA-D

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ian Gordon Stewart, RNZAF NZ404623 – .
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:35 – Landed 02:40
Flight Time 04:05

30/05/1942 – Bombing Attacks Against Cologne
Twenty-three Wellington aircraft, including IA, IC,III, were detailed to carry out the above attacks. One of these aircraft, Wellington IA T.2894, captained by P/O Johnson (attached to this Unit from C.G.S. Suton Bridge) failed to return to base. Another aircraft X.3751 captained by P/O Jarman, was badly damaged by flak, both fuel tanks being holed and both port and starboard airspeed indicators rendered unserviceable. The bomb load consisted of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs and 30lbs. and 4lbs incendiaries. The weather conditions were excellent, and the target was bombed successfully many fires being started in all parts of the town. A.A. fire was very erratic and searchlights were working in cones. A large number of enemy aircraft were seen but no attacks resulted. Navigation was by D/R, TR, Q.D.M., Loop.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1616 AA-D

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Kenneth Atherton Crankshaw, RNZAF NZ404533 – .
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:10 – Landed 04:05
Flight Time 04:55

01/06/1942 – Attacks Against Targets at Essen
Twenty Well. a/c were detailed to carry out the above attack. Bomb loads of $000lbs, 500lbs, 250, 30lb inc and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area but results were not observed owing to cloud over target. Large fires were, however, seen to be burning in the target area. A.A. fire was not particularly intense and searchlights were scattered. One ME.109 followed Well.IC DV884 for about 5 minutes but was eluded. Weather was fairly good until target was reached where there was low cloud and haze. Navigation was good by all aids.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1616 AA-D

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Kenneth Atherton Crankshaw, RNZAF NZ404533 – .
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:44 – Landed 02:44
Flight Time 03:00

02/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Sixteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area but no results were observed. A few small fires were seen near target. A.A. fire was fairly heavy and searchlights operating in cones were numerous. No enemy a/c were seen. Weather marred the operation, there being a heavy ground have. Navigation was excellent. Well, X3408, captained by P/O Carter, failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1616 AA-D

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Leslie William Kennedy, RNZAF NZ41594 – .
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:24 – Landed 03:46
Flight Time 03:22

05/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Thirteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area. No results were observed. A.A. fire was intense and searchlights active in cones. No enemy a/c were seen. Weather was clear except for ground haze. Nav was excellent.

Wellington Mk.III X.3586 AA-A

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Clifton Robert Brailley, RNZAF NZ404587 – .
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:25 – Landed 03:15
Flight Time 03:50

06/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Emden
Twelve aircraft were detailed to carry out an attack on the above target and a bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and 4lb inc. was dropped on the target. Large buildings were seen to be ablaze and there were a number of small fires. Flak was fairly intense but searchlights few. No enemy a/c were encountered. Weather was good. Navigation was very good. One a/c sighted enemy flak ships and dived down to 200ft and attacked them. Results were not observed.

Wellington Mk.III X.3586 AA-A

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ian Gordon Stewart, RNZAF NZ404623 – .
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:20 – Landed 04:30
Flight Time 05:10

08/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Twelve aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area. Owing to haze results were not observed. There was a heavy concentration of flak and searchlights in target area. Two unidentified a/c were observed near Dutch Coast by Well.III, X.3720 and were eluded. Weather was good no cloud over target but hazy. Navigation was very good. Well.III, X.3587, captained by P/O. Smith and Well.III, Z.1573, captained by P/O Murdoch failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1616 AA-D

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ian Gordon Stewart, RNZAF NZ404623 – .
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:28 – Landed 03:12
Flight Time 03:44

16/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Seven aircraft were detailed to attack the above. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs and 4lb inc was taken. One a/c did not carry out its task and returned early. Owing to insufficient cloud cover Essen was not attacked by a/c but bombs were dropped on Bonn. There was heavy flak and searchlights were moderate. Weather was unfavourable. Navigation was good. No enemy a/c were seen.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1616 AA-D

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ian Gordon Stewart, RNZAF NZ404623 – .
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:23 – Landed 03:38
Flight Time 04:15

19/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Emden
Eleven a/c were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 4lb inc was taken. Aircraft unable to identify Emden attacked Osnabruck. Results were not observed. Flak was not intense but searchlights were fairly active. One unidentified a/c followed Well.III X3539 for about 5 miles but made no attack. Weather was clear over Osnabruck. Nav was excellent.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1616 AA-D

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ian Gordon Stewart, RNZAF NZ404623 – .
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:49 – Landed 04:12
Flight Time 04:23

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 Z.1616 AA-D

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ian Gordon Stewart, RNZAF NZ404623 – .
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:29 – Landed 03:43
Flight Time 04:14

22/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Emden
Thirteen a/c were detailed to attack the above. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area. Results were not observed. Flak was moderate and searchlights were scarce. One JU88 and one ME109 sighted by one of our a/c but no attack made. Weather good 5/10 cloud at 15,000’, clear over target. Slight haze. Nav was excellent.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1616 AA-D

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ian Gordon Stewart, RNZAF NZ404623 – .
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:20 – Landed 03:40
Flight Time 04:20

23/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at St. Nazaire and (Gardening)
Eight a/c were detailed to carry out the above sortie. Bomb load was 500lbs and vegetables. The task was carried out as ordered. No results observed. Small concentration of flak and searchlights at Cherbourg. No enemy a/c seen. Weather was fine with slight ground have over France. Nav was good.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1616 AA-D (11)

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A. Gordon, RAFVR 1376471 – . Question of identity of this individual –
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:58 – Landed 04:57
Flight Time 05:59

25/06/1942 – Attack on Targets at Bremen
Twenty a/c were detailed to attack the above. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs and 4lb inc was dropped in the target. Results not observed. There was a large amount of A.A. fire searchlights were ineffective. A JU88 followed Well.III X3664 but did not attack. Weather was moderate with 10/10 cloud. Nav was good.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1616 AA-D

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Norman Mitchell, RNZAF NZ404084 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:15 – Landed 04:13
Flight Time 04:58

29/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Bremen
Sixteen a/c were detailed to carry out the above attack. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area. Results not observed. A.A. fire was heavy in target area. Searchlights were ineffective through cloud. A JU88 was attacked and claimed as shot down by Well.BJ837, captained by Sgt. Hockaday. Weather was cloudy. Nav was excellent. Well.III (P/O Monk) failed to return and Well.III Z1616 (Sgt. Bertram) crashed after take-off and caught fire. All crew killed.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1616 AA-D

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Norman Mitchell, RNZAF NZ404084 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23.20 – Landed –
Flight Time – crashed after take off – all crew killed

Z.1616 AA-D completed a normal take-off at 23.20, but approximately 5 minutes after becoming airborne, fire was seen to break out on the aircraft (witnesses say the aircraft was on fire before it crashed) The Wellington then crashed in flames near Red House Farm, Methwold, a few miles north of Feltwell. All five crew were killed.

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536. Killed age 26.
Buried Hull Crematorium, Kingston Upon-Hull, England.

Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373. Killed age 25.
Laleham (All Saints) Churchyard, Staines, Middlesex, England.

Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026. Killed age 33.
Buried Feltwell (St. Nicholas) Churchyard, Norfolk, England.

Sgt. Norman Mitchell, RNZAF NZ404084. Killed age 25.
Buried Feltwell (St. Nicholas) Churchyard England.

Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706. Killed age 25.
Buried Feltwell (St Nicholas) Churchyard, England.

At this time, 70 years ago, a long dark shadow is cast…….

At the exact time of the publishing of this post, 70 years ago, Pilot John Wood and his Flight Engineer Dougie Williamson were easing the  throttles forward on their Mk.I Lancaster HK601 JN-Dog.

19 more Lancasters of 75(NZ) Squadron RAF would follow John Wood’s Lancaster into the cold Cambridgeshire night, to join up with a second-wave force of another 509 aircraft from Bomber Command.

The destruction caused and the debate that has continued over their target that night has been encapsulated into a single word, which in itself, has cast a long dark shadow over the activities of RAF Bomber Command and the boys that flew in it.

 Dresden

An article in today’s Guardian, titled ‘’We thought Dresden was invincible’: 70 years after the destruction of a city” provides a fascinating eye witness account of the raid on Dresden.

Eberhard Renner, a dentist’s son who was 12 years old on the night RAF bombers arrived tells of the Second World War bombing – and the moment his father thought the unthinkable.

The boy had gone to bed, his head buzzing with his chemistry experiments, when at around 9.45pm the first air raid warning sounded. “Air raid warnings had been an almost daily occurrence since December so I thought little of it and at first I really couldn’t be bothered to get out of bed. I went downstairs anyway but there was nothing special to indicate what was about to occur.

He and his parents noted the drone of the bombers in the distance, but they thought they were flying on to bomb Chemnitz or Leipzig. Then they saw the “Christmas trees” – magnesium flares that floated down on parachutes to light up the city.

Even then we were so secure in the belief that Dresden was invincible, we didn’t believe it was anything more than a reconnaissance mission,” he recalled. His parents told him the enemy pilots were only taking photographs and would soon be gone.

Only when the bombs started falling did we realise it was Dresden’s turn,” Renner, now 82, said. “First they dropped the explosive bombs to expose the roofs. Then came the incendiary bombs to do the real damage – a well-worked-out English strategy. By that time we were sitting in our cellar and I felt increasingly scared by the minute. One bomb exploded in our garden and blew the door in towards me and my mum, but luckily we weren’t hurt.

Dresdeners have always had an inflated feeling of their own importance and that extended to thinking that the English were too cultivated to destroy a city like Dresden, the so-called Florence on the Elbe. How incredibly naive we were.

And then I heard my father, who was not a courageous man at the best of times, say something that would have been unthinkable days before,” Renner, a retired engineer and architect who still lives in the city, recalled. “‘Well, it’s those criminals we’ve got to thank for this’,” he said, meaning Adolf Hitler. Like many people, it had opened his eyes. “Up until then it had been ‘be careful what you say in front of the kids’, now he was openly expressing his opinion in front of the neighbours!

No one contradicted him.

Read the full Guardian article ‘We thought Dresden was invincible’: 70 years after the destruction of a city here

Bomber Command War Diary (Martin-Middlebrook & Chris Everitt)
13 February 1945
Operation Thunderclap
The Air Ministry had, for several months, been considering a series of particularly heavy area raids on German cities with a view to causing such confusion and consternation that the hard-stretched German war machine and civil administration would break down and the war would end. The general name given to this plan was Operation Thunderclap, but it had been decided not to implement it until the military situation in Germany was critical. That moment appeared to be at hand. Russian forces had made a rapid advance across Poland in the second half of January and crossed the eastern frontier of Germany. The Germans were thus fighting hard inside their own territory on two fronts, with the situation in the East being particularly critical. It was considered that Berlin, Dresden, Leipzig and Chemnitz – all just behind the German lines on the Eastern Front now – would be suitable targets. They were all vital communications and supply centres for the Eastern Front and were already packed with German refugees and wounded from the areas recently captured by the Russians. As well as the morale aspect of the attacks, there was the intention of preventing the Germans from moving reinforcements from the West to face the successful Russian advance. The Air Ministry issued a directive to Bomber Command , at the end of January. The Official History. describes how Winston Churchill took a direct hand in the final planning of Operation Thunderclap – although Churchill tried to distance himself from the Dresden raid afterwards. On 4 February, at the Yalta Conference, the Russians asked for attacks of this kind to take place, but their involvement in the process only came after the plans had been issued. So, Bomber Command was specifically requested by the Air Ministry, with Churchill’s encouragement to carry out heavy raids on Dresden, Chemnitz and Leipzig. The Americans were also asked to help and agreed to do so. The campaign should have begun with an American raid on Dresden on 13 February but bad weather over Europe prevented any American operations. It thus fell to Bomber Command to carry out the first raid.

Dresden: 796 Lancasters and 9 Mosquitos were dispatched in two separate raids and dropped 1,478 tons of high explosive and 1,182 tons of incendiary bombs. The first attack was carried out entirely by No 5 Group, using their own low-level marking methods. A band of cloud still remained in the area and this raid, in which 244 Lancasters dropped more than 800 tons of bombs, was only moderately successful.

The second raid, 3 hours later, was an all-Lancaster attack by aircraft of Nos 1, 3, 6 and 8 Groups, with No 8 Group providing standard Pathfinder marking. The weather was now clear and 529 Lancasters dropped more than 1,800 tons of bombs with great accuracy. Much has been written about the fearful effects of this raid. Suffice it to say here that a firestorm, similar to the one experienced in Hamburg in July 1943, was created and large areas of the city were burnt out. No one has ever been able to discover how many people died but it is accepted that the number was greater than the 40,000 who died in the Hamburg firestorm and the Dresden figure may have exceeded 50,000.

Bomber Command casualties were 6 Lancasters lost, with 2 more crashed in France and 1 in England.

311 American B-17s dropped 771 tons of bombs on Dresden the next day, with the railway yards as their aiming point. Part of the American Mustang-fighter escort was ordered to strafe traffic on the roads around Dresden to increase the chaos. The Americans bombed Dresden again on the 15th and on 2nd March but it is generally accepted that it was the RAF night raid which caused the most serious damage.

13/02/1945 – Attack Against Dresden (Form 541 75(NZ) Squadron RAF)
Twenty aircraft attacked Dresden as detailed. Very slight H/F was only opposition. The first aircraft over the target reported thin cloud which had cleared for later aircraft. Some aircraft were able to bomb visually. Crews reported the whole town was well alight and could see the glow of fires 100 miles away on return A highly successful raid.

Lancaster Mk.III LM740 AA-B

Reginald Arthur Smith

Extract from the logbook of Reg Smith, Rear Gunner with the Adamson crew

F/O Maurice James Adamson, RNZAF NZ426904 – Pilot.
F/S Arthur Edwin Noel Unwin, RNZAF NZ427347 – Navigator.
F/O Kenneth William Rathbride Mitchell, RNZAF NZ425700 – Air Bomber.
F/S John William Fisher, RNZAF NZ4211617 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt John Palmer, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Frank Rhodes, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Reginald Arthur Smith, RAFVR 1606544 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:17 – Landed 07:04
Flight Time 08:47

Lancaster Mk.I NG113 AA-D
F/O Ronald Wynn Russell, RNZAF NZ37220 – Pilot.
F/O Francis Neville Selwood , RNZAF NZ4215756 – Navigator.
F/O Victor Digger Hendry , RNZAF NZ425570 – Air Bomber.
F/S F. Jillians, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J. Hunt , RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S William Henry Grout, RCAF R.109213 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. E. Bates , RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:17 – Landed 07:25
Flight Time 09:08

Lancaster Mk.I NF935 AA-P
F/O Valentine Richard Egglestone, RNZAF NZC429998 – Pilot.
F/S Gordon McDonald Mitchell, RNZAF NZ4211764 – Navigator.
F/S James Frederick Freestone, RNZAF NZ4213370 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. R. Akehurst, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. P. Hill, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Jack Truman, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. P. Goldie, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:09 – Landed 06:57
Flight Time 08:48

Lancaster Mk.I LM266 AA-F “The Seven Sinners”
F/O John O’Malley, RNZAF NZ428276 – Pilot.
F/S F. Cousar, RAFVR – Navigator.
F/S Septimus Robinson, RAFVR 1432941/ 190538 – Air Bomber.
F/S Frank Henry Gimblett, RNZAF NZ427520 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt W. Ireland, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. W. Ramsay, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. B. Stacey, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:11 – Landed 06:49
Flight Time 08:38

Lancaster Mk.I HK576 AA-G
F/O John Rees Layton, RNZAF NZ425914 – Pilot.
Sgt. Lloyd Edward Anger, RCAF R.200903 – Navigator.
W/O Clive Woodward Estcourt, RNZAF NZ391045 – Air Bomber.
F/S Ta Tio Tuaine Nicholas, RNZAF NZ425658 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt F. Samuel , RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S David Onslow Light, RNZAF NZ4212848 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Leslie Dixon Moore , RNZAF NZ421327 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:19 – Landed 06:21
Flight Time 08:02

Lancaster Mk.I HK573 AA-H
F/L George Stanley Davies, RNZAF NZ427262 – Pilot.
F/S Claude Cuthbert Greenough , RNZAF NZ429069 – Navigator.
F/S Henry Edward Chalmers, RAFVR 1565986 – Air Bomber.
F/S T.M. White , RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt I.R.H. Evans, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. J.J. Maher, RAFVR 1434090 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S R. Muir, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:13 – Landed 07:22
Flight Time 09:09

Lancaster Mk.I RA510 AA-J
F/O Robert Jaspar Pearson, RNZAF NZ39575 – Pilot.
W/O Alick Segnit, RAAF AUS.28834 – Navigator.
F/S B. Farmer, RAFVR – Air Bomber.
F/S William Arthur Johnston, RAAF AUS.432239 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt S. Miller, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. A. Smithson, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. E. Hadigate, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:20 – Landed 06:37
Flight Time 08:17

Lancaster Mk.III PB421 AA-K

Stan Heald

Extract from the logbook of Stan Heald, Air Bomber with the Ware crew

W/O Esmond Edgar Delwyn Ware, RNZAF NZ42486 – Pilot.
F/O Colin Campbell Emslie, RNZAF NZ431170 – Navigator.
F/S Stanley John Heald, RNZAF NZ415319 – Air Bomber.
F/S Wilfred Darling Cairns, RNZAF NZ427794 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. David Carter, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S G.B. White, RCAF R.209852 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Richard H. Wright, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:16 – Landed 07:23
Flight Time 09:07

Lancaster Mk.I HK597 JN-N

jimmy-wood-001-40

Extract from the logbook of Jimmy Wood, Air Bomber with the Banks crew

W/C Cyril Henry ‘Mac’ Baigent, RNZAF NZ411973/ 70038 – Pilot.
F/L Russell Ashley Banks RNZAF NZ416437 2nd Pilot.
F/O Maurice Wiggins , RAFVR – Navigator.
F/O James ‘Jimmy’ Earnest Wood , RAFVR 1801019/154906 – Air Bomber.
F/L Alexander Reid Hirst, RNZAF NZ41588 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. H. “jock’ Fraser, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
W/O John Edward Britnell, RAFVR 1579917 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt Norman ‘Paddy’ Allen, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:11 – Landed 07:15
Flight Time 09:04

Lancaster Mk.III NG448 JN-P
F/L Ernest Joseph Abraham, RNZAF NZ428061 – Pilot.
F/S Louis Eldon Bernhardt Klitscher RNZAF NZ415262 2nd Pilot.
F/O Donald John Glengarry, RNZAF NZ422059 – Navigator.
F/O David George William Hubert Jones, RAFVR 186301 – Air Bomber.
F/S Stanley Graham Watson, RAFVR 1124508/ 195948 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Samuel Joseph Hughes, RAFVR 2218612 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Ronald William Makin, RNZAF NZ4212812 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. R. Evans, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:53 – Landed 06:40
Flight Time 08:47

Lancaster Mk.I LM276 AA-S
F/L Sidney Lewis ‘Buzz’ Spillman, RNZAF NZ413138 – Pilot.
Sgt. N. Holbrook, RAFVR – Navigator.
F/S Thomas Ernest Corlett, RNZAF NZ425692 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. G. Abrahams, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt H. Thorne, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S Vernon Alfred Clouston, RNZAF NZ428285 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S William Patrick Burke, RNZAF NZ4210017 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:14 – Landed 07:11
Flight Time 08:57

Lancaster Mk.I NG449 AA-T
F/L Jack Plummer, RNZAF NZ42451 – Pilot.
F/S Arthur Leonard Humphries, RNZAF NZ428244 – Navigator.
W/O Edgar John Holloway, RNZAF NZ429923 – Air Bomber.
W/O Robert William ‘Bobby’ West, RAFVR 1077746 /195545 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Maurice Fell, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/O Russell James Scott, RNZAF NZ428984 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Alexander Malcolm McDonald, RNZAF NZ426070 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:10 – Landed 07:06
Flight Time 08:56

Lancaster Mk.III PB132 AA-X
F/L Douglas Ross Sadgrove, RNZAF NZ425292 – Pilot.
F/S Robert Trevor Dixon, RNZAF NZ4212652 – Navigator.
Sgt. D. Stimpson, RAFVR – Air Bomber.
F/S Frederick Fleming, RNZAF NZ425241 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Bernard John Mahoney, RAFVR 1628335/ 190539 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Robert Samuel Bawden, RNZAF NZ4212629 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. D. Dalimore, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:52 – Landed 07:07
Flight Time 09:15

Lancaster Mk.I ME450 AA-W

SONY DSC

Extract from the logbook of Robert ‘Jock’ Sommerville, Air Bomber with the Zinzan crew

F/O Vernon John ‘Taffy’ Zinzan, RNZAF NZ425314 – Pilot.
W/O James Sydney George Coote, RAFVR 517881/ 56715 – Navigator.
F/O Robert Douglas ‘Jock’ Sommerville, RAFVR 1562617/ 161049 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Miles ‘Joe’ Parr, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A. Ackroyd, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. H. Hutchinson, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Frank Watts, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:13 – Landed 06:32
Flight Time 08:19

Lancaster Mk.I HK561 AA-Y

Gordon Ford

Extract from the logbook of Gordon Ford, Wireless Operator with the Watson crew (the clipped reference to ‘1 A/C lost’ refers to the Chemnitz Op, the following night

F/O Matthew Watson, RAFVR 1495959/ 176130 – Pilot.
F/S Kenneth Raffill Wood, RNZAF NZ4212783 – Navigator.
F/S Richard Godfrey Dawson, RNZAF NZ421686 – Air Bomber.
F/S Gordon Ford, RAFVR 1523080 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. R. Pare, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. W. Mentiply, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. A. Bolland, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:15 – Landed 07:13
Flight Time 08:58

Lancaster Mk.I HK601 JN-D

Gerry Newey

Extract from the logbook of Gerald Newey, Wireless Operator with the Wood crew

F/O John Henry Thomas Wood, RNZAF NZ426235 – Pilot.
F/S John Austin White Pauling, RNZAF NZ422976 – Navigator.
F/S Noel Ridley Hooper, RAFVR 1336483/ 196925 – Air Bomber.
F/S Gerald Newey, RNZAF NZ425285 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt Douglas Williamson, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S Albert John Tipping Cash, RCAF R.147817 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Ralph Charles Sparrow, RCAF R.263518 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:52* – Landed 06:44
Flight Time 08:52
*While listed as 21:52, Gerry Newey’s logbook lists the crew’s take-off time as 21:50

Lancaster Mk.I NG322 JN-F
F/O Wi Rangiuaia, RNZAF NZ427319 – Pilot.
Sgt. A. Matthew, RAFVR – Navigator.
Sgt. D. Morrison, RAFVR – Air Bomber.
F/S John Edward Barry Mossman, RNZAF NZ42112587 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt L. Player, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. T. Mynott, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. T. Morgan, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:07 – Landed 07:20
Flight Time 09:13

Lancaster Mk.I PB820 JN-V
F/L Donald Winter Thomson, RNZAF NZ41613 – Pilot.
F/S Herbert Ronald Holliday, RAAF AUS.434602 – Navigator.
F/L Grant Alan ‘Russ’ Russell, RNZAF NZ411729 – Air Bomber*.
F/S D. Brazier, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. C. Payne, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S Jack Heaton, RAFVR 982650/ 196880 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S J. Messer, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.
*Hilray Hubert Stratford, the crew’s regular A/B is listed in the Form 541, however, the position of A/B was in fact taken by the Squadron Bombing leader Grant Alan Russell, Hilary Stratford being ill for this Op – from A.G. Russell’s book ‘Dying for Democracy’

Take Off 22:08 – Landed 07:08
Flight Time 09:00

Lancaster Mk.I HK593 JN-X
F/O Ronald Christie Flamank, RNZAF NZ427270 – Pilot.
F/S A. Westbury, RAFVR – Navigator.
F/S E. Carver, RAFVR – Air Bomber.
F/S Douglas Haig Rapson, RNZAF NZ428323 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. V. Saunders, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. K. Moore, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. D. Hills, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:08 – Landed 06:34
Flight Time 08:26

Lancaster Mk.I HK554 JN-Z
F/O Herbert Wilfred Hooper, RNZAF NZ40111 – Pilot.
Sgt. Royston Edgar Lane, RAFVR 195332 – Navigator.
Sgt. E. Holt, RAFVR – Air Bomber.
W/O A. Gordon, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J. Petrie, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. R. Sturrock, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. J. Spiby, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:54 – Landed 06:59
Flight Time 09:05

 

Lest we forget………