Tag Archives: Denmark

Aabenraa Cemetery, Denmark – Aircrew headstones recorded


Many thanks to David for recording the gravestones of the 75(NZ) Squadron airmen who rest in Aabenraa Cemetery in Denmark on his recent visit with his Father, John McFarland and other family members, to remember his crew mates that were lost on the 18th of April 1944 and now rest in Gram Churchyard.

SAWTELL, Arthur Hartley

On the evening of the 24th of January 1944 15 Stirling bombers took off from Mepal on a Gardening Op to Kiel bay. All aircraft returned except for Stirling Mk.III EH948, Piloted by Harold Bruhns. The only body recovered was that of the Mid Upper Gunner F/S Arthur Hertley Sawtell RAAF AUS.417521, who was aged 19. The rest of the crew are remembered at the Runynmede Memorial in Surrey:

P/O Harold Henry Bruhns RNZAF NZ42367      age 22
Sgt Eric Arthur Wilkes RAFVR 1575513               age 22
F/S Laurie Licence Butler RNZAF NZ421672      age 22
Sgt Robert Ewen Hall RAFVR 1392121                age 25
Sgt James William Harry RAFVR 1601839          age 20
Sgt Woolf Jack Summers RAFVR 1395702         age 22


LAMMAScrew full comp

On the evening of the 23rd of April 1944, 5 Stirling Mk.III bombers left Mepal to carry out a Gardening Op in the Keil Bay area. One aircraft had to return early owing to engine trouble and one,  Stirling Mk.III EF137 AA-E failed to return. This aircraft, Piloted by F/S Mauson Lammas RNZAF was outbound to target when it was attacked by a German night fighter believed to have been piloted by Oberfeldwebel Rudolf Frank of 3./NJG 3. A fire started and a little later the bomber disintegrated in the air and fell in the sea off Vemmenæs at 23:20 hours killing the whole crew.

On the 24th at 03:42 it was reported by The Civil Air Defence that 3 bodies had been found. One had been found in the sea while two had fallen to their death in the fields.
At 09:15 it was reported that 7 bodies had been found. Two were found in the sea, one in some scrub near the beach while Tail gunner Larson was found in his turret.

To read an earlier post about the Lammas crew, click here.

Request for Information – John Matthew Biggar, Rear Gunner. Hadley crew

Many thanks to Nola for contacting me about John. Usually, relatives contact me with either information, or a request for information based on the long held knowledge that the individual had at least flown in Bomber Command, if not 75(NZ) RAF Squadron.

Through research into her family tree, Nola has in fact ‘discovered’ John and obviously to this end is fascinated to learning anything extra about John or the Hadley crew. As always, lets hope someone out there sees this and is able to contribute to Nola’s family records.

10 July. 1944.
P/O W. Hadley (NZ26041) and crew arrive on posting from No. 31 Base.

12.7.44. War Ops – Attack against Chalon Sur Marne
Lancaster Mk.III ND915 AA-A
Wilson Hadley flies as 2nd Pilot with Hugh Glimour’s crew.

30.7.44. War Ops – Attack Near Amaye sur Seulles
Lancaster Mk.I ME751 AA-M
P/O Wilson Orchard Hadley  – Pilot.
F/S John Bernard Gudgeon – Navigator.
F/S David John Robert Wilcox – Air Bomber.
F/S John Patrick Arthur Giles – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Colin Fowler – Flight Engineer.
F/S William James Victor Boyd – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S John Matthew Biggar – Rear Gunner.

3.8.44. War Ops – Attack Against L’Isle Adan
Lancaster Mk.I  LM268 AA-D

4.8.44. War Ops – Attack Against Bec D’Ambes
Lancaster Mk.I LM268 AA-D

5.8.44. War Ops – Attack Against Targets at Bassens
Lancaster Mk.I LM268 AA-D

7/8.8.44. War Ops  – Attack Against Mare de Magne
Lancaster Mk.I LM268 AA-D

8/9.8.44. War Ops – Attack Against Lucheux
Lancaster Mk.I LM266 AA-A
(This a/c appears to have replaced the previous AA-A, ND915, shot down on the 20th July 1944 with the Gilmour crew on board – the same a/c and crew that Wilson Hadley had completed his 2nd Pilot Op with barely a month before).

16/17.8.44. War Ops – Attack Against Stettin
Lancaster Mk.I LM268 AA-D

18/19.8.44. War Ops – Attack Against Bremen
Lancaster Mk.I LM268 AA-D

25/26.8.44. War Ops – Attack Against Russelheims
Lancaster Mk.I LM268 AA-D

26/27.8.44 War Ops – Attack Against Kiel
Lancaster Mk.I  LM268 AA-D

29/30.8.44. Gardening – Mining in the Gulf of Danzig
Lancaster Mk. I LM268 AA-D

3.9.44. War Ops – Attack Against the Airfield at Eindhoven
Lancaster Mk.I LM268 AA-D

5.9.44. War Ops – Attack Against Le Havre
Lancaster Mk.I LM268 AA-D      

6.9. 44. War Ops – Attack Against Harqueboc Near Le Havre
Lancaster Mk.III PB418 AA-C

10.9.44. War Ops – Attack Against Montvilliers
Lancaster Mk.I LM268 AA-D

11/12/.9.44. Gardening – Mining in the Baltic Sea
Lancaster Mk.I LM268 AA-D
Aircraft Missing.
F/O Wilson Orchard Hadley RNZAF NZ426041. Pilot. Died age 30.
Buried Orslev Churchyard, Denmark.

P/O John Bernard Gudgeon RNZAF NZ428786. Navigator. Died age 23.
Buried Svino Churchyard, Denmark.

F/Sgt. David John Robert Wilcox RNZAF NZ421244. Air Bomber.
Shot down, baled out on the night of 12-13 Sep 1944 on the return flight from mining the approaches to Stettin harbour. PoW no. 966, PoW camps – Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft VII. Safe UK – 26 May 1945.

F/Sgt. John Patrick Arthur Giles RNZAF NZ425836. Wireless Operator. Died age 21.
Buried Svino Churchyard, Denmark.

Sgt. Colin R. Fowler RAFVR. Flight Engineer.
Shot down, baled out on the night of 12-13 Sep 1944 on the return flight from mining the approaches to Stettin harbour. Successfully evaded capture and safe in the UK 27 Sep 1944.

F/Sgt. William James Victor Boyd RNZAFNZ428303. Mid Upper Gunner. Died age 20.
Buried Svino Churchyard, Denmark

F/Sgt. John Matthew Biggar RNZAF NZ427945. Rear Gunner. Died age 22.
Buried Orslev Churchyard, Denmark.