Tag Archives: Alan Walter Rutherford

Wilmslow Cemetery – F/O Thomas Henry William Baker RAFVR 107286

THW Baker Wilmslow

On the 12th of August 1942 Wellington Mk.III X3646 crashed into the North Sea. Piloting the aircraft that night was George Edward Francis Bradey, who had earlier been severely wounded in the abdomen by flak, whilst attacking the target of Mainz with 8 other aircraft from 75(NZ) Squadron RAF.

The remaining details of the incident do not seem that clear. Of the crew of 6, 5 were killed. The only survivor being the Rear Gunner Sgt. J. E. London, who was captured and spent the remainder of the War as a Prisoner.

Of the remaing 5 airmen who were killed, Pilot Officer George Bradey, Squadron Leader Ronald Ernest Kimber, the Navigator, Flight Sergeant Arden Ivan Ellis, Wireless Operator and Front Gunner, Flight Sergeant Cyril Vincent Green have no known resting place and are remembered on the Runnymede Memorial.

Perhaps strangely in this case then, the body of 2nd Pilot Flying Officer Thomas Henry William Baker was recovered and now lays in Wilmslow Cemetery – the closest grave on the Roll of Honour to me.

It was the Bradey crew’s 10th Op with the Squadron and perhaps perversely, as is the case so many times, this was Tom Bakers first Op with the crew, having flown only 3 previously with Artie Ashworth’s crew as 2nd Pilot. Thomas had only been at Feltwell with the Squadron for 10 days.

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.1570 AA-B

Sgt. George Edward Francis Bradey, RNZAF NZ401954 – Pilot.
Sgt. Alfred Sydney Drew, RNZAF NZ404560 – Observer.
Sgt. M. H. Hughes, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Donald Gordon, RNZAF NZ402995 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Bruce Rahu Philip, RNZAF NZ405517 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:30 – Landed 04:25
Flight Time 04:55

02/07/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Bremen
Twelve aircraft left base to carry out an attack on targets at Bremen. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 30lb and 4lb incendiaries was dropped in the target area, bomb bursts and fires were seen in target area. A.A. fire was poor and searchlights were scattered but numerous. No enemy a/c were seen. Weather was very clear over target. Navigation was very good by TR and DR.

Wellington Mk.III X.3538 AA-?

Sgt. George Edward Francis Bradey, RNZAF NZ401954 – Pilot.
P/O Philip Frederick Hoare, RAFVR 1375896/ 123493 – Observer.
Sgt. Leonard Chambers, RNZAF NZ403758 – Wireless Operator.
F/S Cyril Vincent Green, RNZAF NZ402997 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Kenneth Atherton Crankshaw, RNZAF NZ404533 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:25 – Landed 02:05
Flight Time 01:40

08/07/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Wilhemshaven
Thirteen a/c were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area and hit were believed to be scored. There was heavy predicted flak and searchlights were scattered. No enemy a/c were seen. Weather was good clear over target. Navigation was excellent.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1596 AA-?

Sgt. George Edward Francis Bradey, RNZAF NZ401954 – 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.

Take Off 23:40 – Landed 05:15
Flight Time 05:35

21/07/1942 – Attack Against at Duisburg
Thirteen a/c were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs 30lbs and 4lb incendiaries was dropped in target area but results were unobserved. Photographs were taken however. A.A. fire was not very heavy but there were any searchlight cones. No enemy a/c were seen. Weather was good, clear over target. Navigation was by TR & DR.

Wellington Mk.III X.3646 AA-?

Sgt. George Edward Francis Bradey, RNZAF NZ401954 – Pilot.
P/O Philip Frederick Hoare, RAFVR 1375896/ 123493 – Observer.
F/S Jack William Walters, RNZAF NZ404106 – Wireless Operator.
F/S Alfred George Edward ‘Butch’ Pugh, RNZAF NZ404096 – Front Gunner.
F/S Alan Glynne Lewis, RNZAF NZ40741 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:55 – Landed 03:50
Flight Time 03:55

23/07/1942 – Attack Against at Duisburg
Fourteen a/c were dtailed to attack the above target and bomb load of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs, 30lb and 4lb incendiaries was dropped in target area. Results unobserved. A.A. fire was heavy and concentrated. Searchlights were few owing to cloud. One JU.88 was seen. TWo other enemy a/c were seen but did not attack. Weather was poor, cloudy over the target. Nav. was good

Wellington Mk.III X.3646 AA-?

Sgt. George Edward Francis Bradey, RNZAF NZ401954 – Pilot.
P/O Philip Frederick Hoare, RAFVR 1375896/ 123493 – Observer.
F/S Jack William Walters, RNZAF NZ404106 – Wireless Operator.
F/S Alfred George Edward ‘Butch’ Pugh, RNZAF NZ404096 – Front Gunner.
F/S Alan Glynne Lewis, RNZAF NZ40741 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:45 – Landed 04:30
Flight Time 03:45

26/07/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Fifteen a/c were detailed to carry out an attack against the above target. Bomb load of 34000lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs and incendiaries was dropped on target area. Numerous fires and bomb bursts were seen. A.A. fire was accurate. Seven searchlights destroyed and others damaged and one m/c gun post silenced by Well.III, X3396, captained by Sgt. Kearns. Searchlights were ineffective owing to moon. One JU88 was seen 30 miles from enemy coast but did not attack. Weather was clear over target but cloudy on route. Navigation was very good by TR and DR

Wellington Mk.III X.3646 AA-?

Sgt. George Edward Francis Bradey, RNZAF NZ401954 – Pilot.
P/O Philip Frederick Hoare, RAFVR 1375896/ 123493 – Observer.
F/S Jack William Walters, RNZAF NZ404106 – Wireless Operator.
F/S Alfred George Edward ‘Butch’ Pugh, RNZAF NZ404096 – Front Gunner.
F/S Alan Glynne Lewis, RNZAF NZ40741 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:55 – Landed 04:45
Flight Time 05:50

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.3646 AA-?

Sgt. George Edward Francis Bradey, RNZAF NZ401954 – Pilot.
P/O Philip Frederick Hoare, RAFVR 1375896/ 123493 – Observer.
F/S Jack William Walters, RNZAF NZ404106 – Wireless Operator.
F/S Alfred George Edward ‘Butch’ Pugh, RNZAF NZ404096 – Front Gunner.
F/S Alan Glynne Lewis, RNZAF NZ40741 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:45 – Landed 05:05
Flight Time 06:20

29/07/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Saarbrucken
Ten a/c were detailed to attack the above targets and bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs, 30lb and 4;b incendiaries was dropped in target area. Hits were observed in target area. A.A. fire was weak and searchlights scarce. A twin engined fighter was seen on return route. Well. III, X3396 was attacked by JU88 but was able to evade it. Weather was cloudy. Navigation was TR and DR.

Wellington Mk.III X.3646 AA-?

Sgt. George Edward Francis Bradey, RNZAF NZ401954 – Pilot.
P/O Philip Frederick Hoare, RAFVR 1375896/ 123493 – Observer.
F/S Jack William Walters, RNZAF NZ404106 – Wireless Operator.
F/S Alfred George Edward ‘Butch’ Pugh, RNZAF NZ404096 – Front Gunner.
F/S Alan Glynne Lewis, RNZAF NZ40741 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:45 – Landed 05:20
Flight Time 05:35

31/07/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Dusseldorf
Eleven a/c were detailed to carry out an attack on the above targets. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 30lb and 4lb incendiaries was dropped in target area. Good results were obtained and hits observed. A.A. fire was moderate and search lights although numerous, were ineffective. Well.III, X3396 was attacked by a JU88 but evaded successfully. F/Sgt. Lewis, rear gunner of Well.III, X3646 was struck and injured by a 4lb incendiary bomb falling from another a/c. Weather was good and navigation was by DR and TR

Wellington Mk.III X.3646 AA-?

Sgt. George Edward Francis Bradey, RNZAF NZ401954 – Pilot.
P/O Philip Frederick Hoare, RAFVR 1375896/ 123493 – Observer.
F/S Alfred George Edward ‘Butch’ Pugh, RNZAF NZ404096 – Wireless Operator.
F/S Jack William Walters, RNZAF NZ404106 – Front Gunner.
F/S Alan Glynne Lewis, RNZAF NZ40741 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:20 – Landed 04:05
Flight Time 03:45

11/08/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Mainz
Nine aircraft were detailed to attack above target. Bomb load of 4000lb, 1000lb, 500lb and incendiaries were dropped in target area. A.A. fire was light, searchlights were scarce and ineffective. One fighter was seen by P/O Horne in Wellington B.J.765 as he was crossing the Dutch Coast homeward bound, no attack was made. The weather was moderate, being cloudy near target. Navigation was good by D.R. and T.R. Wellington BJ837 captain Sgt. Hockaday.N.J., five minutes from the English coast on way to target, fabric stripped off nose of aircraft to port and starboard, the Bomb load was jettisoned and the aircraft returned to base. Three aircraft failed to return, Wellington B.J.767 captained by F/O Dobbin, Wellington B.J.625, Sgt Barclay.T.S., captain, Wellington X.3646 captain Sgt Bradey.G.E.

Wellington Mk.III X.3646 AA-?

Sgt. George Edward Francis Bradey, RNZAF NZ401954 – Pilot.
F/O Thomas Henry William Baker, RAFVR 107286 – 2nd Pilot.
S/L Ronald Ernest Kimber, RAF 45956 – Observer.
Sgt. Arden Ivan Ellis, RCAF R.92690 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Cyril Vincent Green, RNZAF NZ402997 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. J. E. London, RAFVR 953137 – Rear Gunner.

Flight Time – missing

 

 

Harderwijk General Cemetery, Netherlands.

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Ongoing appreciation to Philip for the donation of further images from his gravestone collection, this time of 2 members of the Squadron, who lay in  Harderwijk General Cemetery, Netherlands.

On the 29th July 1942, a combined force of 256 aircraft were sent to Hamburg. Whilst comprising of various Squadrons from 3 Group, it also utilised 91 aircraft from Operational Training Units. Originally, a larger force was planned, but as bad weather closed in over airfields, other Groups were unable to participate. The weather progressively worsened as the participating aircraft flew on their outbound journey to Hamburg – all of the OTU aircraft were recalled, however 3 aircraft failed to receive the instruction and continued to the target. By the time the target was reached, the attack force comprised of only  68 aircraft from Group. The casualties for Bomber command that night were high – 9 Stirlings and of the force of 17 Wellingtons sent from 75(NZ) Squadron RAF, 6 failed to return (this was of 16 Wellingtons lost overall from Group).

Wellington Mk III, BJ661,  was shot down by a German Junkers 88 nachtjagd at approximately 03.05hrs into the Ijsselmeer, near Amsterdam, whilst inbound, following the Hamburg raid. The Ju. 88 crew was Lieutenant Wofgang Küthe and his gunner, Unteroffizier Helmut Bonk (IV./NJG1). Orbit Wolfgang Küthe was killed in a flying accident 14th April 1944, having been credited with 8 kills.

Of the crew of BJ661, only Ronald Callahan the Wireless Operator, and Alan Rutherford the Front Gunner, survived the crash – floating free, supported by their life vests – they were later rescued and sent to a POW camp.

The bodies of the Pilot, John Gilbertson and Observer, Martin Byrne  were recovered from the wreck and buried in Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery. William Titcomb, the crew’s Rear Gunner, floated free of the wreckage and his body was recovered later some distance from the crash site.

Sgt William Arthur Titcomb RAFVR 1291758 – Rear Gunner. Age 21

Buried in Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery, Netherlands.
F/Sgt John Edward Gilbertson RNZAF NZ41894 – Pilot. Age 22
F/Sgt Martin John Byrne RNZAF NZ404529 – Observer. Age 32

The remainder of the crew survived and were captured.
Sgt Ronald Patrick Callaghan RNZAF NZ411739 – Wireless Operator.
Prisoner of War No.25141. PoW camps – Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIIB/344.
Promoted to W/O whilst interred. Returned to the United Kingdom 11th April 1945.
Sgt Alan Walter Rutherford RNZAF NZ404572 – Air Bomber
Prisoner of War No.25149, PoW camps – Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIIB/344.
Promoted to W/O whilst interred. Returned to the United Kingdom 13th April 1945.

 

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The nights raid of the 22nd of June 1944 was on Gelsenkirchen. It was to be the first raid on the city since 1941 when it had been one of Bomber Command’s regular ‘oil’ targets.  A force of 473 aircraft was sent, comprising 214 Lancasters, 134 Halifaxes, 73 Stirlings (11 from 75(NZ)  Squadron RAF) A total of 30 aircraft were lost including 1 Stirling from 75(NZ) Squadron RAF.

Stirling Mk III BK768 AA-L fell victim to a Zahme Sau (tame boar) – the German night-fighter defensive system, operating as a series of radar-controlled boxes within which the fighters circulated waiting for Allied bombers to enter their ‘box’, along the Netherland/Belgium coast. Following a night-fighter attack, the Stirling crashed into the Ijsselmeer – there were no survivors.

The body of Gordon Thomson, the Navigator was washed ashore on the 4th of July near Harderwijk, where he was buried.

F/Sgt Gordon Douglas Thomson RNZAF NZ42317 – Navigator. Age 22

The bodies Pilot, William Perrott, Mid Upper Gunner Gordon Coyler and Rear Gunner Harry Squire  were recovered from the aircraft and buried in Amsterdam.

F/O. William Rosser Perrott RNZAF NZ416155 – Pilot. Age 21
Sgt Gordon William Colyer RAFVR 1809432 – Mid Upper Gunner. Age 19
Sgt Harry Squire RAFVR 1302829 – Rear Gunner.Age 31

Clifford Whitelaw, Air Bomber, Charles Mould, Wireless Operator and  Flight Engineer William Hilditch are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

F/Sgt Clifford James Whitelaw RNZAF NZ416188 – Air Bomber. Age 22
Sgt Charles Cyril Mould RAFVR 1314162 – Wireless Operator. Age 29
Sgt William Webster Hilditch RAFVR 611325 – Flight Engineer. Age 23