Tag Archives: H. Fitzwater

How to start a Norwegian fishing boat – and other useful information………

Instructions for Starting Boat Motor, Norway without shadow

“General Instructions For The Starting And Running Of The Type Of Small Boat Engine Normally Found In Norwegian Waters”
© Julia Burke/ Meryl Poole

The Terry Ford archive continues to give up some fascinating things, this post collecting together some documentation which is best placed under the heading “Emergency Procedures”….

Without doubt, (in my opinion) the most remarkable of these documents is the one above. Wonderfully titled “General Instructions For The Starting And Running Of The Type Of Small Boat Engine Normally Found In Norwegian Waters”, the document is printed on what appears to be rice paper or similar. Having viewed and handled the document, it is incredibly fragile and we must assume was designed to be consumed either to deny its capture by enemy intelligence, or simply as a filling dessert……

If an airman was in any doubt as to why he should be aware of the necessary starting instructions of a Norwegian boat engine, the first few paragraphs of the document explains…..

“Most fishing and small transport vessels employed on the Norwegian coast are fitted with Semi-Diesel engines. There are a number of different makes and consequently many variations in detail, but the principles and main features do not differ very much. There are in addition a few Semi-Diesel engines of special design which will not be considered in this paper.

The principle common to all these engines is that they must be heated before they can be started and the fuel used is Solar oil

The sketch shows one of the most common types found in Norway. The purpose of this paper is to try to give elementary instructions in the starting and running of this type of motor for the benefit of those who might have to deal with them in an emergency and do not possess any previous knowledge of small boat engines, but who are familiar to some extent with engines as such.

It should be noted that the horsepower developed by this type of motor is normally considerably in excess of the stated horse power.”

And later on, some wonderful advice regarding checking whether the engine is yet hot enough to run…….

“To find out if the motor is warm enough for starting put an ordinary safety match against the head without striking it. If it lights immediately the motor is hot enough. Make it a rule never to put out the blow lamp before you are certain that the engine is running steadily. It should always be kept handy in case of engine stoppage”.

I must say, whilst familiar with the escape maps printed on silk, I have never seen or heard of this edible kind and I would be fascinated to see others, if anyone knows of them.

Lancaster Dinghy Drill 1

Dinghy Drill page 1
© Julia Burke/ Meryl Poole

Lancaster Dinghy Drill 1a

Dinghy Drill page 2
© Julia Burke/ Meryl Poole

The second 2 sheets outline the procedure for deployment of a dinghy when crash landing in water. What strikes you reading this is the incredibly ordered and specific tasks and activities that were required to be remembered at an instance of chaos when a large metal tube, designed to fly in the air is suddenly, possibly with some force, sitting, or more likely sinking in cold dark water – and probably in the pitch or near black-out. I am sure its testament to constant drilling and practice and I certainly recall a number of photographs showing airmen in their swimming trunks stood by the side of a swimming pool, familiarising themselves with such skills. Perhaps the compare and contrast can be imagined by the following extract from “Up and Under” by Gwyn Martin, who has featured a few time on the blog in the last few weeks, regarding his and his crews experience of a crash and escape from a Wellington bomber, on water at night……

“I went forward to the bomb sight and fused the mines, coming back to stand beside Shag for the run into the Karmsund. He was losing height in a shallow diving turn, when a bright signal light shone ominously on the ground. Shag and I recognised it for what it was, the front gunner didn’t. I shouted at Shag,

“Turn Shag, for Christ’s sake turn.”
“What the hell do you think I’m doing?”

I looked out to see we were now almost in a roll, with flak pumping up urgently towards us, not floating in the cotton wool ball manner to which we were accustomed at greater heights.

The first shell went through the starboard engine, the next hit amidships. We were on fire from nose to tail. The intercom went with the first burst, which also killed Don Taylor and Frankie and Johnnie, our two carrier pigeons. The ammunition storage ignited, sending exploding bullets flying around like a Chinese New Year celebration. I went forward to defuse the mines, but it was too late. There were no electrics. I banged on the doors of the front turret, for Dalziel to come out. I passed Shag, still working hard to keep us in the air, but he was running out of time, luck and airspace, everything except courage. Jim reported in his best Cockney, “Taff, we’ve f****** had it!”

Nothing was more obvious. He and I went back to see if there was a chance of improving the situation aft of the office. With Jim leading, we went through the rear door, but as he came to the main spar, the reserve oil tank on the starboard side blew up in his face and over his hands. At the same moment, the flares and pyrotechnics by the flare chute caught fire. The fabric was well alight already, and I could see the ground fifty feet below. The mines were still in the bomb bay, despite our efforts to dislodge them. Jim and I took up crash positions on the floor of the office. Through our legs, we saw the roof of a house go by. We went up a bit, then down a bit, then we hit water, when Jim, in great pain, leapt from the floor and went out through the roof. Shag shot out of his oversized, borrowed, flying boots, through the Perspex windscreen. My head came abruptly into contact with the door. My next conscious moment found me sitting on the floor of the office, with the W/T receiver and sundry other wreckage in my lap. I was unable to move, my predicament made worse by being submerged, I was drowning. Above me, was a greeny blue hole ominously getting darker.

Suddenly, the floor moved to the right, freeing my left leg. I made a movement and was out like a cork from a bottle, surging up through the green blue hole into the night. There I hovered for a while, airborne above the lake. I heard Shag shouting, “Gwyn, where are you?”

I felt I could have answered, “I’m up here, you silly old bugger.” I didn’t, because he was pulling me into the dinghy, along with Jim and Dalziel.

In the dinghy, released automatically in the crash, we took stock of our position. Shag had facial injuries and no boots. Jim had burns to his hands and face, and was also without boots. Dalziel was badly wounded, clearly dying. I was unsure what was happening to me from my waist down, but I had one boot. We looked in the First Aid pocket for morphine for Dalziel, only to discover that there was nothing in the pocket. Some thieving bastard or incompetent slob had either pinched and flogged it or had not packed it. We tried to assure Dalziel that, once ashore, we would get help quickly. We tried paddling towards where we thought the shore ought to be. After minutes of furious paddling, we hadn’t moved. We were stuck on a piece of wing, impinged dead centre of the dinghy bottom and we were driving ourselves around in non productive circles. Shag removed the piece of wing, we paddled again, and still we made no progress. This time, we found we were still tied to the nacelle mooring, until Shag cut this umbilical cord. We paddled again, still getting nowhere. We could now make out the shape of the land, but we were unsure of how far we were from it.

Shag called for volunteers to swim ashore. Dalziel was out of it, Jim, a pre-war Southern Counties swimming champion, couldn’t manage either, but I, as a better than average swimmer, couldn’t feel my legs. So it was Shag, a non swimmer, who volunteered for the task. He asked that Mary and his family should be informed that he had done his best, in the event that anything happened to him.

Over the side he went, with one arm on the dinghy, pulling it as he thrashed the water with his other arm and legs, hopefully pointing towards the shore. He performed this antic for sometime before collapsing. He sank immediately, assuming a kneeling position in nine inches of water. We were hysterical. Nothing could have been funnier.”

Emergency Positions

Emergency Stations page 1
© Julia Burke/ Meryl Poole

Footnotes

Emergency Stations page 2
© Julia Burke/ Meryl Poole

The two pages above are titled “Emergency Stations”. I must admit reading through the first page I am a little perplexed that even before anything has happened, the instructions require both Mid Upper and Rear Gunner to brace themselves their arms round each others neck!. The footnotes also do not, I feel, aim to necessary bring natural calm to any impending situation –

“Drills are based on “DISTRESS”, developing from “EMERGENCY” where Distress is taken without developing from  “EMERGENCY” where “Distress” is taken without previous “EMERGENCY” action, “C” – Course, “H” – Height, A “A” permits and without prejudice to “FULL” Distress signal action”.

Now, it might be me, not having had an air force training, but this makes no sense to me and reading that section back   what does “A” even stand for??

Parachute Drill

Parachute drill
© Julia Burke/ Meryl Poole

The last of the formal documents (above) is the parachute drill. Again, it amazes me that given the potential of the scenario that would require this particular protocol to be but into operation would very possibly negate that very same protocol – I suspect, training and a hell of a lot of gut instinct and luck would be the deciding factor and with it, survival or death.

John McFarland’s memories of just such an event shows the need for speed perhaps over process:

“We flew from a remote base near Ely in East Anglia and were engaged mainly in sea and French railway yard mining operations as well as drops to the French Resistance. It was during one of these we were shot down. The Germans had the capability to fire vertically upwards. We were over Denmark and it was around midnight when my navigator’s table shattered and I knew we’d been hit from below. Everything happened so fast. We had to bail out and use our parachutes. The parachute wrappers used to put little notes in with the silk saying things like ‘all the best’!  Only three of us survived that night – the rear gunner’s parachute failed to open. That could have been any one of us for you just grabbed a parachute on your way out to board the aircraft…”

Engine Failure and fire comped and cpd

Hand written notes by Terry Ford – Engine Failure & Engine Fire .
© Julia Burke/ Meryl Poole

And finally, written in Terry Ford’s own hand, notes on both sides of a piece of paper, one assumes as an ‘aide memoire‘ in case of engine failure or worst case scenario an engine fire. As with all things aeronautical – the solution if the fire does not go out is simple……….

JUMP!

 

Ford crew – aiming point photographs

Aim Point photos comped for blog header

Aiming point photographs, clockwise from top left: Harqueboc 6/9/44, Bonn 18/10/44, Calais 27/9/44 and Alvis 10.9.44
© Julia Burke/ Meryl Poole

My continuing thanks to Julia and her family for the remarkable collection of material they have so generously passed on of her Father, Terry Ford, who was a Pilot with the Squadron mid to end of 1944. Thanks also to Scott, the Son of Reg Weeden, Terry’s Navigator for extracting and correcting these aim point photographs.

The detail of some of these images is astounding, particularly as a number are taken on day-light sorties.

What follows is a summarised Op history for the Ford crew, with expanded Form 541 Diary entries for the Ops where AP photographs exist. This is a remarkable collection of photographs, representing the largest set for an individual crew, certainly that I have so far seen from 75(NZ) Squadron RAF.

It’s sobering to note for anyone unfamiliar with these images, that having positioned the aircraft in the stream and having arrived at the Aim Point and released their bombs, the Pilot had to then stay straight and level until the time delayed camera had recorded the bombs exploding, all while possibly under threat from fighters, flak, collision and even possibly bombs falling from above.

 

31/08/1944 – Attack Against Pont Reny
Eighteen aircraft took off as detailed to attack the Flying Bomb Supply Dump at Pont Reny. All were successful in bombing the target, although cloud obscured it to some extent, which caused part of the bombing to be scattered. No enemy fighters were encountered and A.A. opposition was slight, but one aircraft (Captain NZ421488 .F/O. J. Aitken) was damaged and the Air Bomber, NZ429967 .F/O. R. Mayhill received slight injuries.

03/09/1944 – Attack Against The Aerodrom At Eindhoven
Ten aircraft took off as detailed to attack the airfield at Eindhoven. All were successful in bombing visually and a good concentration of bombing was achieved. A.A. opposition was slight, but accurate, and three of our aircraft suffered minor damage. No fighter opposition was encountered.

Target photo Le Havre 5-9-44 'L'

© Julia Burke/ Meryl Poole

05/09/1944 – Attack Against Le Havre
Eighteen aircraft were standing by to attack Dortmund, but this operation was postponed and twenty five aircraft took off to attack Le Havre in favourable weather. Opposition was negligible and a very successful raid was carried out, without loss. Most of the bombing was done visually. Reports indicate that the target was well saturated.

Lancaster Mk.I HK562 AA-L “Lucy”

Flight Time 03:30

Target photo Harqueboc 6-9-44 'Y'

© Julia Burke/ Meryl Poole

06/09/1944 – Attack Against Harqueboc Le Havre
Twenty four aircraft were detailed to attack the German Army Headquarters at Harqueboc, near Le Havre. All aircraft bombed the target according to the Master Bomber’s instructions and a very accurate raid was reported. Fires were seen to be still burning from the previous day’s attack on Le Havre. Once again no opposition was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.III PB132 AA-Y

Flight Time 03:40

Target photo Alvis Montvilliers 10-9-44 'Y'

© Julia Burke/ Meryl Poole

10/09/1944 – Attack Against Montivilliers
Twenty seven aircraft attacked Montivilliers in the Le Havre area, as detailed. All crews dropped their bombs on the target and a very concentrated raid developed. No fighters were encountered and only slight opposition was met from ground defences.

Lancaster Mk.III PB132 AA-Y
Listed in ORB as PB432 but in absence of this serial actually existing in the squadron I suspect it’s a typo and should be PB132

Flight Time 03:44

08/09/1944 – Attack Against Doudenville
Twenty three aircraft took off at dawn to attack enemy defence positions at Doudeneville on the outskirts of Le Havre. Weather conditions were very unfavourable over the target and crews had great difficulty in seeing the markers. Only ten dropped their bombs before the Master Bomber gave instructions to abandon the mission. The remaining thirteen aircraft brought their bombs back to base. Considerable light A.A. fire and machine gun fire was encountered in the target area.

11/09/1944 – Mining in the Baltic Sea
Eight aircraft were detailed to lay mines in the Baltic area, and they all dropped their mines as ordered. No opposition was met on the mining area, but fighters were thought to be active on the homeward route, and one aircraft had an inconclusive combat with a JU.88. Another aircraft (Captain NZ426041 F/O. W. Hadley) failed to return.

Target photo Frankfurt 12-9-44 'P'

© Julia Burke/ Meryl Poole

12/09/1944 – Attack Against Frankfurt
Twenty two aircraft were detailed to attack Stuttgart, but during the day the target was changed to Frankfurt. Two aircraft failed to take off for this operation and of the twenty that took off the majority were able to identify the target, by the river and several made out the railway yards. Fighters were fairly active and one aircraft claimed to have destroyed an enemy aircraft, the captain was AUS421308 .F/O. J. Bateman. Another aircraft had an inconclusive encounter. All aircraft returned to base and reported a good and accurate raid.

Lancaster Mk.III PB430 AA-P

Flight Time 06:30

25/09/1944 – Attack Against Calais
Twenty seven aircraft took off as detailed to carry out an early morning attack on Calais. They all reached the target and found that ten tenths cloud with 2,000 feet tops and less than 1,000 feet base obscured it. The operation, therefore, had to be abandoned.

Target photo Calais 27-9-44 'Y'

© Julia Burke/ Meryl Poole

27/09/1944 – Attack Against Calais
Fourteen aircraft attacked Calais as detailed, taking off in the morning during doubtful weather. Crews bombed visually under instructions from the Master Bomber and a good concentrated raid was carried out. Some accurate heavy and light A.A. fire was met over the target.

Lancaster Mk.III PB132 AA-Y

Flight Time 02:45

28/09/1944 – Attack Against Calais
Twelve aircraft took off as detailed to make an early morning attack on the defended localities near Calais. One aircraft landed at Woodbridge owing to a technical failure discovered shortly after take off. Of the remainder only one aircraft found a break in the clouds through which to bomb the Markers. Ten aircraft had to abandon their mission after circling the target area for a considerable time.

29/09/1944 – Mining in the Kattegat Area
Five aircraft were detailed to lay mines in the Kattegat area. Weather conditions were very bad and the crews had difficulty in pin pointing. However four were successful, one being abortive. No enemy opposition was encountered.

Target photo West Capelle Dyke 3-10-44 'Y'

© Julia Burke/ Meryl Poole

03/10/1944 – Attack Against the West Kapelle Dyke
Twenty one aircraft we detailed to attack the West Kappelle dyke. Twenty of these were successful in bombing although some crews had to make two or three attempts owing to low cloud base. Bombing was reported to have been fairly good and some flooding was seen. One aircraft had to bring its bombs back owing to a technical failure.

Lancaster Mk.III PB132 AA-Y

Flight Time 02:55

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.

Target photo Dortmund 6-10-44 'Y'

© Julia Burke/ Meryl Poole

06/10/1944 – Attack Against Dortmund
Twenty nine aircraft were detailed to attack Dortmund, but one of these was withdrawn owing to a technical failure. Twenty six aircraft attacked the target in good weather and a very accurate and concentrated raid was reported, large fires being left burning. A.A. Fire was moderate but fighters were active and the aircraft captained by NZ427798 F/S Farr, W. had a series of combats during which the enemy aircraft was claimed as being destroyed. One aircraft returned early and landed at Woodbridge owing to a technical failure and another (Captain NZ411048 F/O K. Southward) failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.III PB132 AA-Y

Flight Time 05:35

Target photo Emmerich 7-10-44 'Y'

© Julia Burke/ Meryl Poole

07/10/1944 – Attack Against Emmerich
Twenty six aircraft took off as detailed to attack Emmerich in support of the advancing Allied armies. They all bombed the target successfully and a concentrated and accurate raid was reported, the target area being entirely covered with smoke. Moderate heavy AA fire was encountered and a few of our aircraft suffered minor damage.

Lancaster Mk.III PB132 AA-Y

Flight Time 04:10

Target photo Duisberg 14-10-44 'O'

© Julia Burke/ Meryl Poole

14/10/1944 – Attack Against Duisburg
Thirty one aircraft took off at dawn to attack Duisburg. Except for one aircraft which returned early, they all dropped their bombs in the built up areas of the town, which was identified visually and with the aid of markers. A moderate heavy A A barrage was encountered from the target area and a few of our aircraft suffered minor damage. One aircraft was damaged in the bomb bay which necessitated it landing at Woodbridge on return

Lancaster Mk.I HK596 AA-O “Oboe”

Flight Time 04:05

Target photo Duisberg 15-10-44 'O'

© Julia Burke/ Meryl Poole

14/10/1944 – Attack Against Duisburg(2)
Twenty nine aircraft were detailed to make a further attack on Duisburg, unfortunately, however, three aircraft had to be withdrawn. One aircraft returned early owing to the rear turret being unserviceable. The remaining twenty five aircraft took part in a very successful attack in excellent visibility and large fires were seen to break out and add to those already burning from the morning attack. AA opposition was negligible and searchlight did not operate until late in the raid. One aircraft had an inconclusive combat with an enemy fighter.

Lancaster Mk.I HK596 AA-O “Oboe”

Flight Time 04:50

Target photo Bonn 18-10-44 'R'

© Julia Burke/ Meryl Poole

18/10/1944 – Attack Against Bonn
Sixteen aircraft were again detailed to attack Bonn and this time they were able to carry out the operation. For the first time the aircraft attacked flying in formation. Some moderate heavy A A fire was met over the target, but no fighter opposition was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I HK574 AA-R “Rio Rita”

Flight Time 04:45

19/10/1944 – Attack Against Stuttgart
Twenty eight aircraft were detailed to attack Stuttgart. The attack was in two waves. Thirteen aircraft took part in the first wave and successfully dropped their bombs with the aid of markers and flares, in weather conditions of 9/10ths cloud. A.A. opposition was moderate and a few enemy aircraft were active. Fifteen aircraft took part in the second wave five hours later and they all dropped their bombs with the aid of flares through ten tenths cloud. The glow of fires seen, indicated that the fires were concentrated around the aiming point. AA opposition was less than that encountered during the first wave, but more enemy fighters were active. Four of our aircraft had inconclusive combats.

Target photo Flushing 21-10-44 'Y'

© Julia Burke/ Meryl Poole

21/10/1944 – Attack Against Flushing
Twenty five aircraft took off to attack Flushing. All crews were able to identify the target visually and bombing was reported as being very accurate. A.A. opposition was moderate. One aircraft (Captain 176437 F/O J. Johnson) failed to return, but was seen to be shot down over the target by heavy A A fire.

Lancaster Mk.III PB132 AA-Y

Flight Time 02:40

23/10/1944 – Attack Against Essen
Twenty seven aircraft took off as detailed to attack Essen. Ten tenths cloud prevailed over the target but all aircraft were successful in attacking with the aid of marker flares. A A opposition was moderate but no enemy fighters were seen.

25/10/1944 – Attack Against Essen
Twenty six aircraft took off as detailed to attack Essen. Twenty three of these attacked the target and bombing was good, built up areas and factories being identified visually. One aircraft brought its bombs back owing to the failure of the bombing equipment when over the target and two other aircraft returned early owing to technical failures.

05/11/1944 – Attack Against Solingen
Eighteen aircraft detailed to make a second attack in daylight on Solingen carrying 8,000 lb, 4,000 lb, 1,000 lb, 500 lb, 4 lb inc. No.17 Clusters. All crews were successful in bombing in formation and reports indicate that bombing was more concentrated than in the previous raid.

Target photo Koblenz 6-11-44 'Q'

© Julia Burke/ Meryl Poole

06/11/1944 – Attack Against Coblenz
Sixteen aircraft were detailed for a night attack against Coblenz carrying 8,000 lb; 4,000 lb; No.14 clusters; No.17 clusters; 4lb inc. Fifteen aircraft were successful. The aircraft captained by F/O T. Winter (152351) returned early on account of engine trouble. Crews were able to identify the target visually in clear weather and a good concentrated raid developed, with smoke rising to 10,000 feet. NZ421919 F/O Kilpatrick, M had a short inconclusive encounter with a JU.88. Flak was moderate to slight.

Lancaster Mk.I NN710 AA-Q

Flight Time 05:11

15/11/1944 – Attack Against Dortmund
Twenty five aircraft were detailed for an attack an the Soest Marshalling Yards, but this operation was cancelled and the same aircraft took off to attack an Oil Refinery at Dortmund in daylight, carrying 4,000 lbs and 500 lbs bombs. All aircraft were successful in bombing in formation through ten tenths cloud with tops 10,000 ft. and a concentrated raid was reported. Flak was reported as being fairly accurate by the leading aircraft, but none of our aircraft were hit.

20/11/1944 – Attack Against Homberg
Twenty eight aircraft took off to attack the Oil Refinery Plant at Homberg. Twenty two aircraft in daylight attacked the target in ten tenths cloud with tops at 23,000 ft. which made formation flying very difficult. They carried 4,000 lb and 500 lb bombs. Results of bombing could not be observed, but it is considered that the raid was unsatisfactory. One aircraft AA/J returned early owing to icing trouble and two aircraft bombed last resort targets at Duisburg and Hamborn. Three aircraft failed to return. These were captained by 185116 F/O R. Gordon, AUS419328 F/O P. McCartin and 152402 F/O H. Rees.

Target photo Homberg 21-11-44 'Y'

© Julia Burke/ Meryl Poole

21/11/1944 – Attack Against Homberg
Twenty one aircraft took off to make another daylight attack on the Oil Refinery plant at Homberg, carrying 4,000 lb and 500 lb bombs. On this occasion weather over the target was clear, and crews reported the bombing to be quite good, both the target and town being identified visually. Several good explosions were observed in the target area. Flak opposition was moderate.

Lancaster Mk.I PB761 AA-Y “Yorker”

Flight Time 04:07

23/11/1944 – Attack Against Gelsenkirchen
Twenty five aircraft took off as detailed to attack Nordstern Oil Refinery Plant at Gelsenkirchen carrying 4,000 lb and 500 lb bombs. All aircraft attacked in formation bombing on navigational aids as the cloud was 10/10 with tops at 8000 ft. The attack was thought to be well concentrated, though it was impossible to observe the results. Flak opposition was moderate, but no fighter opposition was encountered.

Target photo Cologne 27-11-44 'JN-D'

© Julia Burke/ Meryl Poole

27/11/1944 – Attack Against Cologne Marshalling Yard
Twenty three aircraft carried out a successful attack on Cologne Marshalling Yard with 4,000 lb and 500 lb bombs. Flak over the target was moderate but accurate. One aircraft captained by F/O D.P. Leadley landed away at Manston. The crew were unhurt, but the aircraft was damaged.

Lancaster Mk.I HK601 JN-D “Dog”
Hit by flak once

Flight Time 04:32

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.

04/12/1944 – Attack Against Oberhausen
Twenty aircraft took off as detailed to attack an Oil target at Oberhausen, carrying 1 x 12,000 lb, 8,000 lb, 4,000 H.C., 1,000 ANM, 500 G.P., 500 M.C. and 4 lb I.B. bombs. Nineteen aircraft attacked the target using navigational aids and the raid was reported as well concentrated though results were unobserved owing to 10/10 cloud with tops 10,000 ft covering the target. One aircraft bombed Gelsenkirchen, having been damaged by flak.

05/12/1944 – Attack Against Hamm Marshalling Yards
Twenty one aircraft set out as detailed to attack the Railway Marshalling Yards at Hamm during daylight, carrying 8,000 lb H.C., 4,000 H.C., 500 G.P., 500 G.P. (LD.), 500 M.C., 4 lb I.B. bombs and Munroe bomb. Twenty aircraft attacked the target area through 10/10 cloud but a break in the cloud a little later disclosed bomb bursts to be rather scattered. One aircraft was led astray by the leader, and bombed a last resort target at Heintrop.

06/12/1944 – Attack Against Mersburg Leuna Oil Refinery
Twelve aircraft took off as detailed to participate in a night attack o the Merseburg Leuna Oil Refinery, carrying 8,000 lb, 4,000 H.C., 500 G.P., 500 G.P.(LD) bombs. The target was covered with 10/10 cloud, tops about 14,000 ft and all aircraft were successful in bombing the target with navigational aids. The attack was considered to be concentrated, though bombing results could not be seen, apart from the glow of fires seen beneath the cloud. Flak was intense in the target area and a few enemy fighters were seen en route but no attacks were reported. One aircraft, AA “R” captained by 1585981 F/O D. Atkin, had engine trouble after leaving the target, the starboard inner catching fire, and it was with great difficulty that the crew managed to keep the fire under control. When approaching this country the starboard inner engine went u/s and after jettisoning all equipment and with the aircraft losing height at 100 feet per minute, the Captain made a very good ditching in the River Orwell. None of the crew were hurt.

View the Ford crew Op History page here.

“Campbell’s C**ts” – Terry Ford, Pilot – 1944

Campbells cnts

An extract of a letter written by Terry Ford to Bob Moore regarding notes for the Squadron History, eventually written by Norman Franks
© Julia Burke/ Meryl Poole

Many thanks to Julia, daughter of Terry Ford for passing on a remarkable collection of her Father and his crews time with 75(NZ) Squadron. The collection is sizable and will be shared and added to the crew’s Op History page to add to what Scott has already so generously given regarding his Father Reg Weeden, the crew’s Navigator.

The schoolboy in me, couldn’t help but smirk at the above extract, written by Terry to Bob Moore, who at the time, had started the Squadron History – eventually to see the light of day as ‘Forever Strong’ by Norman Franks.

If the text isn’t big enough, click on the above image to read the rather unflattering tale of a Canadian gentleman and his desire to see the Captains of the Squadron get the respect they deserved – it seems the crews saw to that………..

I am sure there will be more posts on the Ford crew in the near future, to read the Op History for the Ford crew as it currently stands, click here.

 

Reginald Charles Weeden, Navigator – Ford crew, 1944

Reg Weeden - RAFVR 1941

F/O Reginald Charles Weeden, Navigator with Terry Ford’s crew: July to December 1944. Reg stayed with the Squadron, it seems until it was disbanded at the end of 1945.
© Scott Weeden

Many thanks to Scott for passing on a considerable collection of material relating to his Father, Reg Weeden, who was Navigator with Terry Ford’s crew during the last quarter of 1944. As well as completing a first tour with 75(NZ) Squadron RAF, Reg then went to 35 Squadron and took part, during 1946, in Operation ‘Goodwill’, a tour of the United States by the Squadron in their Lancasters.

Reg Weeden entering Bomber - RAF Mepal 1944

Reg, starting his day in the ‘office’.
© Scott Weeden

Reg Weeden at Navigator Stn. Lancaster - RAF Mepal 1944

Reg at his navigators desk.
© Scott Weeden

Reg’s training prior to arrival at Mepal on the 27th of August, 1944 is as follows:

No.1 A.O.S – Malton, Ontario. 16.5.43 – 1.10.43
Reg Navigator Graduation Ceremony Sep'43 - COMP

No.3 A.N.S. – Port Albert, Ontarion. 17.10.43 – 13.12.43
No.9 (o) A.F.U. – LLanderog, Wales. 29.2.44 – 4.4.44
No. 84 O.T.U – Desborough, Northamptonshire. 5.4.44 – 14.6.44
No. 1658 H.C.U. Chedburgh, Suffolk. 22.6.44 – 8.5.44

Stood in front of the tail of a Stirling, one assumes therefore at 1958 C.U. at Chedburgh. Reg is stood second from the left. Scott Weeden

Stood in front of the tail of a Stirling, one assumes therefore at 1658 C.U. at Chedburgh. Reg is stood second from the left. © Scott Weeden

No.3 L.F.S. Feltwell, Norfolk. 12.8.44 – 27.8.44
No.75(NZ) Squadron RAF, Mepal Cambridgeshire. 27.8.44

29/08/1944 – Attack Against Stettin
Fourteen aircraft took off as detailed to attack Stettin and thirteen of these successfully bombed the target with the aid of markers. A good concentration of fires developed and all crews reported a successful raid. A.A. opposition was moderate and enemy fighters were active on the outward route. Three of our aircraft had combats, two being inconclusive but the third (Captain NZ428797 .P/O. J. Scott) claimed one enemy aircraft as probably destroyed. The aircraft captained by 1323677 .F/S. King, D., failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.III PB132 AA-T

F/L Charles Gordon Washer, RNZAF NZ415392 – Pilot.
F/O Terrence Arthur Ford, RAFVR 1585520/ 152112 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. W. Andrew, RAFVR – Navigator.
F/O Kenneth James Burmester, RAFVR 1800126/ 152746 – Air Bomber.
P/O Leslie Thomas Casey, RAAF AUS419455 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. W. Mellor, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/O Wilfred Darrell Cooper, RNZAF NZ426151 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. W. Conners, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:20 – Landed 06:50
Flight Time 09:30

31/08/1944 – Attack Against Pont Reny
Pont Remy 30 August
Eighteen aircraft took off as detailed to attack the Flying Bomb Supply Dump at Pont Reny. All were successful in bombing the target, although cloud obscured it to some extent, which caused part of the bombing to be scattered. No enemy fighters were encountered and A.A. opposition was slight, but one aircraft (Captain NZ421488 .F/O. J. Aitken) was damaged and the Air Bomber, NZ429967 .F/O. R. Mayhill received slight injuries.

Lancaster Mk.I ME753 AA-N

F/O Terrence Arthur Ford, RAFVR 1585520/ 152112 – Pilot.
F/O Reginald Charles Weeden, RAFVR 1602823/ 153661 – Navigator.
F/O Neill Creagh Chapman, RAFVR 1624304/ 153939 – Air Bomber.
F/S George James Tredinnick, RAAF AUS.430229 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. R. Muller, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. B. Glover, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Fitzwater, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 16:16 – Landed 19:45
Flight Time 03:29

03/09/1944 – Attack Against The Aerodrom At Eindhoven
sept 3 eindhoven
Ten aircraft took off as detailed to attack the airfield at Eindhoven. All were successful in bombing visually and a good concentration of bombing was achieved. A.A. opposition was slight, but accurate, and three of our aircraft suffered minor damage. No fighter opposition was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I ME753 AA-N

F/O Terrence Arthur Ford, RAFVR 1585520/ 152112 – Pilot.
F/O Reginald Charles Weeden, RAFVR 1602823/ 153661 – Navigator.
P/O Neill Creagh Chapman, RAFVR 1624304/ 153939 – Air Bomber.
F/S George James Tredinnick, RAAF AUS.430229 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. E. Muller, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. B. Glover, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Fitzwater, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 15:50 – Landed 19:10
Flight Time 03:20

05/09/1944 – Attack Against Le Havre
5 sept le havre
Eighteen aircraft were standing by to attack Dortmund, but this operation was postponed and twenty five aircraft took off to attack Le Havre in favourable weather. Opposition was negligible and a very successful raid was carried out, without loss. Most of the bombing was done visually. Reports indicate that the target was well saturated.

Lancaster Mk.I HK562 AA-L “Lucy”

F/O Terrence Arthur Ford, RAFVR 1585520/ 152112 – Pilot.
F/O Reginald Charles Weeden, RAFVR 1602823/ 153661 – Navigator.
F/O Neill Creagh Chapman, RAFVR 1624304/ 153939 – Air Bomber.
F/S George James Tredinnick, RAAF AUS.430229 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. E. Muller, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. B. Glover, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Fitzwater, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:45 – Landed 21:15
Flight Time 03:30

06/09/1944 – Attack Against Harqueboc Le Havre
sept 6 le havre

Twenty four aircraft were detailed to attack the German Army Headquarters at Harqueboc, near Le Havre. All aircraft bombed the target according to the Master Bomber’s instructions and a very accurate raid was reported. Fires were seen to be still burning from the previous day’s attack on Le Havre. Once again no opposition was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.III PB132 AA-Y

F/O Terrence Arthur Ford, RAFVR 1585520/ 152112 – Pilot.
F/O Reginald Charles Weeden, RAFVR 1602823/ 153661 – Navigator.
F/O Neill Creagh Chapman, RAFVR 1624304/ 153939 – Air Bomber.
F/S George James Tredinnick, RAAF AUS.430229 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. E. Muller, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. B. Glover, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Fitzgerald, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 15:50 – Landed 19:30
Flight Time 03:40

08/09/1944 – Attack Against Doudenville
8 sept le havre canned

Twenty three aircraft took off at dawn to attack enemy defense positions at Doudeneville on the outskirts of Le Havre. Weather conditions were very unfavourable over the target and crews had great difficulty in seeing the markers. Only ten dropped their bombs before the Master Bomber gave instructions to abandon the mission. The remaining thirteen aircraft brought their bombs back to base. Considerable light A.A. fire and machine gun fire was encountered in the target area.

Lancaster Mk.III PB132 AA-Y (DNC)

F/O Terrence Arthur Ford, RAFVR 1585520/ 152112 – Pilot.
F/O Reginald Charles Weeden, RAFVR 1602823/ 153661 – Navigator.
F/O Neill Creagh Chapman, RAFVR 1624304/ 153939 – Air Bomber.
F/S George James Tredinnick, RAAF AUS.430229 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. E. Muller, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. B. Glover, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Fitzwater, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 06:05 – Landed 10:00
Flight Time 03:55

10/09/1944 – Attack Against Montivilliers
Le Havre COMP
10 sept le havre
Twenty seven aircraft attacked Montivilliers in the Le Havre area, as detailed. All crews dropped their bombs on the target and a very concentrated raid developed. No fighters were encountered and only slight opposition was met from ground defences.

Lancaster Mk.III PB132 AA-Y
Listed in ORB as PB432 but in absence of this serial actually existing in the squadron I suspect it’s a typo and should be PB132

F/O Terrence Arthur Ford, 1585520/ 152112 – Pilot.
F/O Reginald Charles Weeden, RAFVR 1602823/ 153661 – Navigator.
F/O Neill Creagh Chapman, RAFVR 1624304/ 153939 – Air Bomber.
F/S George James Tredinnick, RAAF AUS.430229 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. E. Muller, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. B. Glover, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Fitzwater, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 15:24 – Landed 19:08
Flight Time 03:44

11/09/1944 – Mining in the Baltic Sea
11 sept Baltic mining
Eight aircraft were detailed to lay mines in the Baltic area, and they all dropped their mines as ordered. No opposition was met on the mining area, but fighters were thought to be active on the homeward route, and one aircraft had an inconclusive combat with a JU.88. Another aircraft (Captain NZ426041 F/O. W. Hadley) failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I LM276 AA-S “Sugar”

F/O Terrence Arthur Ford, RAFVR 1585520/ 152112 – Pilot.
F/O Reginald Charles Weeden, RAFVR 1602823/ 153661 – Navigator.
F/O Neill Creagh Chapman, RAFVR 1624304/ 153939 – Air Bomber.
F/S George James Tredinnick, RAAF AUS.430229 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. E. Muller, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. B. Glover, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Fitzwater, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:44 – Landed 03:14
Flight Time 07:30

12/09/1944 – Attack Against Frankfurt
12 sept frankfurt
Twenty two aircraft were detailed to attack Stuttgart, but during the day the target was changed to Frankfurt. Two aircraft failed to take off for this operation and of the twenty that took off the majority were able to identify the target, by the river and several made out the railway yards. Fighters were fairly active and one aircraft claimed to have destroyed an enemy aircraft, the captain was AUS421308 .F/O. J. Bateman. Another aircraft had an inconclusive encounter. All aircraft returned to base and reported a good and accurate raid.

Lancaster Mk.III PB430 AA-P

F/O Terrence Arthur Ford, RAFVR 1585520/ 152112 – Pilot.
F/O Reginald Charles Weeden, RAFVR 1602823/ 153661 – Navigator.
F/O Neill Creagh Chapman, RAFVR 1624304/ 153939 – Air Bomber.
F/S George James Tredinnick, RAAF AUS.430229 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. E. Muller, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. B. Glover, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Fitzwater, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:55 – Landed 01:25
Flight Time 06:30

25/09/1944 – Attack Against Calais
25 sept calais

Twenty seven aircraft took off as detailed to carry out an early morning attack on Calais. They all reached the target and found that ten tenths cloud with 2,000 feet tops and less than 1,000 feet base obscured it. The operation, therefore, had to be abandoned.

Lancaster Mk.I NF951 AA-P

F/O Terrence Arthur Ford, RAFVR 1585520/ 152112 – Pilot.
F/O Reginald Charles Weeden, RAFVR 1602823/ 153661 – Navigator.
F/O Neill Creagh Chapman, RAFVR 1624304/ 153939 – Air Bomber.
F/S George James Tredinnick, RAAF AUS.430229 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. E. Muller, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. P. Glover, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Fitzwater, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 08:20 – Landed 12:30
Flight Time 04:10

27/09/1944 – Attack Against Calais
sept 27 calais
Fourteen aircraft attacked Calais as detailed, taking off in the morning during doubtful weather. Crews bombed visually under instructions from the Master Bomber and a good concentrated raid was carried out. Some accurate heavy and light A.A. fire was met over the target.

Lancaster Mk.III PB132 AA-Y

F/O Terrence Arthur Ford, RAFVR 1585520/ 152112 – Pilot.
F/O Reginald Charles Weeden, RAFVR 1602823/ 153661 – Navigator.
F/O Neill Creagh Chapman, RAFVR 1624304/ 153939 – Air Bomber.
F/S George James Tredinnick, RAAF AUS.430229 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. E. Muller, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. B. Glover, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Fitzwater, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off – Landed
Flight Time 02:45

28/09/1944 – Attack Against Calais
sept 28 calais abandoned
Twelve aircraft took off as detailed to make an early morning attack on the defended localities near Calais. One aircraft landed at Woodbridge owing to a technical failure discovered shortly after take off. Of the remainder only one aircraft found a break in the clouds through which to bomb the Markers. Ten aircraft had to abandon their mission after circling the target area for a considerable time.

Lancaster Mk.I PB132 AA-Y (DNC)

F/O Terrence Arthur Ford, RAFVR 1585520/ 152112 – Pilot.
F/O Reginald Charles Weeden, RAFVR 1602823/ 153661 – Navigator.
F/O Neill Creagh Chapman, RAFVR 1624304/ 153939 – Air Bomber.
F/S George James Tredinnick, RAAF AUS.430229 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. E. Muller, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
W/O W. Brown, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/O William Henry Goodridge, RAFVR 635318/ 53370 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 07:47 – Landed 10:47
Flight Time 03:00

29/09/1944 – Mining in the Kattegat Area
29 sept kattegat
Five aircraft were detailed to lay mines in the Kattegat area. Weather conditions were very bad and the crews had difficulty in pin pointing. However four were successful, one being abortive. No enemy opposition was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I PB421 AA-K
Reg Weeden’s logbook says “S” – this needs to be checked

F/O Terrence Arthur Ford, RAFVR 1585520/ 152112 – Pilot.
F/O Reginald Charles Weeden, RAFVR 1602823/ 153661 – Navigator.
F/O Neill Creagh Chapman, RAFVR 1624304/ 153939 – Air Bomber.
F/S George James Tredinnick, RAAF AUS.430229 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. E. Muller, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. B. Glover, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Fitzwater, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:40 – Landed 06:50
Flight Time 07:10

03/10/1944 – Attack Against the West Kapelle Dyke
Walcheren COMP
Oct 3 west kappelle
Twenty one aircraft we detailed to attack the West Kappelle dyke. Twenty of these were successful in bombing although some crews had to make two or three attempts owing to low cloud base. Bombing was reported to have been fairly good and some flooding was seen. One aircraft had to bring its bombs back owing to a technical failure.

Lancaster Mk.III PB132 AA-Y

F/O Terrence Arthur Ford, RAFVR 1585520/ 152112 – Pilot.
F/O Reginald Charles Weeden, RAFVR 1602823/ 153661 – Navigator.
F/O Neill Creagh Chapman, RAFVR 1624304/ 153939 – Air Bomber.
F/S George James Tredinnick, RAAF AUS.430229 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. E. Muller, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. B. Glover, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Fitzwater, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:00 – Landed 14:55
Flight Time 02:55

05/10/1944 – Attack Against Saarbrucken
5 oct 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 PB132 AA-Y

F/O Terrence Arthur Ford, RAFVR 1585520/ 152112 – Pilot.
F/O Reginald Charles Weeden, RAFVR 1602823/ 153661 – Navigator.
F/O Neill Creagh Chapman, RAFVR 1624304/ 153939 – Air Bomber.
F/S George James Tredinnick, RAAF AUS.430229 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. E. Muller, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. B. Glover, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Fitzwater, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:30 – Landed 22:55
Flight Time 05:25

06/10/1944 – Attack Against Dortmund
6 oct dortmund
Twenty nine aircraft were detailed to attack Dortmund, but one of these was withdrawn owing to a technical failure. Twenty six aircraft attacked the target in good weather and a very accurate and concentrated raid was reported, large fires being left burning. A.A. Fire was moderate but fighters were active and the aircraft captained by NZ427798 F/S Farr, W. had a series of combats during which the enemy aircraft was claimed as being destroyed. One aircraft returned early and landed at Woodbridge owing to a technical failure and another (Captain NZ411048 F/O K. Southward) failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.III PB132 AA-Y

F/O Terrence Arthur Ford, RAFVR 1585520/ 152112 – Pilot.
F/O Reginald Charles Weeden, RAFVR 1602823/ 153661 – Navigator.
F/O Neill Creagh Chapman, RAFVR 1624304/ 153939 – Air Bomber.
F/S George James Tredinnick, RAAF AUS.430229 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. E. Muller, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. B. Glover, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Fitzwater, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 16:55 – Landed 22:30
Flight Time 05:35

07/10/1944 – Attack Against Emmerich
oct 7 emmerich

Twenty six aircraft took off as detailed to attack Emmerich in support of the advancing Allied armies. They all bombed the target successfully and a concentrated and accurate raid was reported, the target area being entirely covered with smoke. Moderate heavy AA fire was encountered and a few of our aircraft suffered minor damage.

Lancaster Mk.III PB132 AA-Y

F/O Terrence Arthur Ford, RAFVR 1585520/ 152112 – Pilot.
F/O Reginald Charles Weeden, RAFVR 1602823/ 153661 – Navigator.
F/O Neill Creagh Chapman, RAFVR 1624304/ 153939 – Air Bomber.
F/S George James Tredinnick, RAAF AUS.430229 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. E. Muller, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. B. Glover, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Fitzwater, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:15 – Landed 16:25
Flight Time 04:10

14/10/1944 – Attack Against Duisburg
oct14 duisburg

Thirty one aircraft took off at dawn to attack Duisburg. Except for one aircraft which returned early, they all dropped their bombs in the built up areas of the town, which was identified visually and with the aid of markers. A moderate heavy A A barrage was encountered from the target area and a few of our aircraft suffered minor damage. One aircraft was damaged in the bomb bay which necessitated it landing at Woodbridge on return

Lancaster Mk.I HK596 AA-O “Oboe”

F/O Terrence Arthur Ford, RAFVR 1585520/ 152112 – Pilot.
F/O Reginald Charles Weeden, RAFVR 1602823/ 153661 – Navigator.
F/O Neill Creagh Chapman, RAFVR 1624304/ 153939 – Air Bomber.
F/S George James Tredinnick, RAAF AUS.430229 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. E. Muller, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. B. Glover, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Fitzwater, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 07:00 – Landed 11:05
Flight Time 04:05

14/10/1944 – Attack Against Duisburg(2)
Duisburg 14th 15th Oct 44 comp

oct14 duisburg 2
Twenty nine aircraft were detailed to make a further attack on Duisburg, unfortunately, however, three aircraft had to be withdrawn. One aircraft returned early owing to the rear turret being unserviceable. The remaining twenty five aircraft took part in a very successful attack in excellent visibility and large fires were seen to break out and add to those already burning from the morning attack. AA opposition was negligible and searchlight did not operate until late in the raid. One aircraft had an inconclusive combat with an enemy fighter.

Lancaster Mk.I HK596 AA-O “Oboe”

F/O Terrence Arthur Ford, RAFVR 1585520/ 152112 – Pilot.
F/O Reginald Charles Weeden, RAFVR 1602823/ 153661 – Navigator.
F/O Neill Creagh Chapman, RAFVR 1624304/ 153939 – Air Bomber.
F/S George James Tredinnick, RAAF AUS.430229 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. E. Muller, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. B. Glover, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Fitzwater, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:50 – Landed 03:40
Flight Time 04:50

18/10/1944 – Attack Against Bonn
oct19 Bonn
Sixteen aircraft were again detailed to attack Bonn and this time they were able to carry out the operation. For the first time the aircraft attacked flying in formation. Some moderate heavy A A fire was met over the target, but no fighter opposition was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I HK574 AA-R “Rio Rita”

F/O Terrence Arthur Ford, RAFVR 1585520/ 152112 – Pilot.
F/O Reginald Charles Weeden, RAFVR 1602823/ 153661 – Navigator.
F/O Neill Creagh Chapman, RAFVR 1624304/ 153939 – Air Bomber.
F/S George James Tredinnick, RAAF AUS.430229 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. E. Muller, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. B. Glover, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Fitzwater, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 08:35 – Landed 13:20
Flight Time 04:45

19/10/1944 – Attack Against Stuttgart
Stuttgart CLEAN
oct20 Stuugart
Twenty eight aircraft were detailed to attack Stuttgart. The attack was in two waves. Thirteen aircraft took part in the first wave and successfully dropped their bombs with the aid of markers and flares, in weather conditions of 9/10ths cloud. A.A. opposition was moderate and a few enemy aircraft were active. Fifteen aircraft took part in the second wave five hours later and they all dropped their bombs with the aid of flares through ten tenths cloud. The glow of fires seen, indicated that the fires were concentrated around the aiming point. AA opposition was less than that encountered during the first wave, but more enemy fighters were active. Four of our aircraft had inconclusive combats.

Lancaster Mk.III PB132 AA-Y

F/O Terrence Arthur Ford, RAFVR 1585520/ 152112 – Pilot.
F/O Reginald Charles Weeden, RAFVR 1602823/ 153661 – Navigator.
F/O Neill Creagh Chapman, RAFVR 1624304/ 153939 – Air Bomber.
F/S George James Tredinnick, RAAF AUS.430229 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. E. Muller, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. B. Glover, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Fitzwater, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:15 – Landed 04:05
Flight Time 05:50

21/10/1944 – Attack Against Flushing
Flushing CLEANED
Oct 21 Flushing
Twenty five aircraft took off to attack Flushing. All crews were able to identify the target visually and bombing was reported as being very accurate. A.A. opposition was moderate. One aircraft (Captain 176437 F/O J. Johnson) failed to return, but was seen to be shot down over the target by heavy A A fire.

Lancaster Mk.III PB132 AA-Y

F/O Terrence Arthur Ford, RAFVR 1585520/ 152112 – Pilot.
F/O Reginald Charles Weeden, RAFVR 1602823/ 153661 – Navigator.
F/O Neill Creagh Chapman, RAFVR 1624304/ 153939 – Air Bomber.
F/S George James Tredinnick, RAAF AUS.430229 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. E. Muller, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. B. Glover, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Fitzwater, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:10 – Landed 13:50
Flight Time 02:40

23/10/1944 – Attack Against Essen
Oct 23 Essen
Twenty seven aircraft took off as detailed to attack Essen. Ten tenths cloud prevailed over the target but all aircraft were successful in attacking with the aid of marker flares. A A opposition was moderate but no enemy fighters were seen.

Lancaster Mk.III PB132 AA-Y

F/O Terrence Arthur Ford, RAFVR 1585520/ 152112 – Pilot.
F/O Reginald Charles Weeden, RAFVR 1602823/ 153661 – Navigator.
F/O Neill Creagh Chapman, RAFVR 1624304/ 153939 – Air Bomber.
F/S George James Tredinnick, RAAF AUS.430229 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. E. Muller, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. B. Glover, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Fitzwater, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 16:45 – Landed 21:50
Flight Time 05:05

25/10/1944 – Attack Against Essen
Oct 25 Essen
Twenty six aircraft took off as detailed to attack Essen. Twenty three of these attacked the target and bombing was good, built up areas and factories being identified visually. One aircraft brought its bombs back owing to the failure of the bombing equipment when over the target and two other aircraft returned early owing to technical failures.

Lancaster Mk.III PB132 AA-Y

F/O Terrence Arthur Ford, RAFVR 1585520/ 152112 – Pilot.
F/O Reginald Charles Weeden, RAFVR 1602823/ 153661 – Navigator.
F/O Neill Creagh Chapman, RAFVR 1624304/ 153939 – Air Bomber.
F/S George James Tredinnick, RAAF AUS.430229 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. E. Muller, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. B. Glover, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Fitzwater, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 13:15 – Landed 17:10
Flight Time 03:55

05/11/1944 – Attack Against Solingen
Nov 5 Solingen
Eighteen aircraft detailed to make a second attack in daylight on Solingen carrying 8,000 lb, 4,000 lb, 1,000 lb, 500 lb, 4 lb inc. No.17 Clusters. All crews were successful in bombing in formation and reports indicate that bombing was more concentrated than in the previous raid.

Lancaster Mk.I NF935 AA-P

F/O Terrence Arthur Ford, RAFVR 1585520/ 152112 – Pilot.
F/O Reginald Charles Weeden, RAFVR 1602823/ 153661 – Navigator.
F/O Neill Creagh Chapman, RAFVR 1624304/ 153939 – Air Bomber.
F/S George James Tredinnick, RAAF AUS.430229 – Wireless Operator .
F/S E. Muller, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. B Glover, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Fitzwater, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 10:15 – Landed 15:10
Flight Time 04:55

06/11/1944 – Attack Against Coblenz
Nov 6 Koblenz
Sixteen aircraft were detailed for a night attack against Coblenz carrying 8,000 lb; 4,000 lb; No.14 clusters; No.17 clusters; 4lb inc. Fifteen aircraft were successful. The aircraft captained by F/O T. Winter (152351) returned early on account of engine trouble. Crews were able to identify the target visually in clear weather and a good concentrated raid developed, with smoke rising to 10,000 feet. NZ421919 F/O Kilpatrick, M had a short inconclusive encounter with a JU.88. Flak was moderate to slight.

Lancaster Mk.I NN710 AA-Q

F/O Terrence Arthur Ford, RAFVR 1585520/ 152112 – Pilot.
F/O Reginald Charles Weeden, RAFVR 1602823/ 153661 – Navigator.
F/O Neill Creagh Chapman, RAFVR 1624304/ 153939 – Air Bomber.
F/S George James Tredinnick, RAAF AUS.430229 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. E. Muller, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. B Glover, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Fitzwater, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 16:53 – Landed 22:04
Flight Time 05:11

15/11/1944 – Attack Against Dortmund
Nov 14 dortmund
Twenty five aircraft were detailed for an attack an the Soest Marshalling Yards, but this operation was cancelled and the same aircraft took off to attack an Oil Refinery at Dortmund in daylight, carrying 4,000 lbs and 500 lbs bombs. All aircraft were successful in bombing in formation through ten tenths cloud with tops 10,000 ft. and a concentrated raid was reported. Flak was reported as being fairly accurate by the leading aircraft, but none of our aircraft were hit.

Lancaster Mk.I ME321 AA-N “Nan”

F/O Terrence Arthur Ford, RAFVR 1585520/ 152112 – Pilot.
F/O Reginald Charles Weeden, RAFVR 1602823/ 153661 – Navigator.
F/O Neill Creagh Chapman, RAFVR 1624304/ 153939 – Air Bomber.
F/S George James Tredinnick, RAAF AUS.430229 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. E. Muller, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. B Glover, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Fitzwater, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:30 – Landed 17:30
Flight Time 05:00

20/11/1944 – Attack Against Homberg
Nov 20 Homberg
Twenty eight aircraft took off to attack the Oil Refinery Plant at Homberg. Twenty two aircraft in daylight attacked the target in ten tenths cloud with tops at 23,000 ft. which made formation flying very difficult. They carried 4,000 lb and 500 lb bombs. Results of bombing could not be observed, but it is considered that the raid was unsatisfactory. One aircraft AA/J returned early owing to icing trouble and two aircraft bombed last resort targets at Duisburg and Hamborn. Three aircraft failed to return. These were captained by 185116 F/O R. Gordon, AUS419328 F/O P. McCartin and 152402 F/O H. Rees.

Lancaster Mk.I PB761 AA-Y “Yorker”

F/O Terrence Arthur Ford, RAFVR 1585520/ 152112 – Pilot.
F/O Reginald Charles Weeden, RAFVR 1602823/ 153661 – Navigator.
F/O Neill Creagh Chapman, RAFVR 1624304/ 153939 – Air Bomber.
F/S George James Tredinnick, RAAF AUS.430229 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. E. Muller, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. B Glover, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Fitzwater, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:48 – Landed 17:11
Flight Time 04:23

21/11/1944 – Attack Against Homberg
Nov 21 Homberg
Twenty one aircraft took off to make another daylight attack on the Oil Refinery plant at Homberg, carrying 4,000 lb and 500 lb bombs. On this occasion weather over the target was clear, and crews reported the bombing to be quite good, both the target and town being identified visually. Several good explosions were observed in the target area. Flak opposition was moderate.

Lancaster Mk.I PB761 AA-Y “Yorker”

F/O Terrence Arthur Ford, RAFVR 1585520/ 152112 – Pilot.
F/O Reginald Charles Weeden, RAFVR 1602823/ 153661 – Navigator.
P/O Neill Creagh Chapman, RAFVR 1624304/ 153939 – Air Bomber.
F/S George James Tredinnick, RAAF AUS.430229 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. E. Muller, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. B Glover, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Fitzwater, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:30 – Landed 16:37
Flight Time 04:07

23/11/1944 – Attack Against Gelsenkirchen
nov 23 Gelsenkirchen
Twenty five aircraft took off as detailed to attack Nordstern Oil Refinery Plant at Gelsenkirchen carrying 4,000 lb and 500 lb bombs. All aircraft attacked in formation bombing on navigational aids as the cloud was 10/10 with tops at 8000 ft. The attack was thought to be well concentrated, though it was impossible to observe the results. Flak opposition was moderate, but no fighter opposition was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I PB761 AA-Y “Yorker”

P/O Terrence Arthur Ford, RAFVR 1585520/ 152112 – Pilot.
F/O Reginald Charles Weeden, RAFVR 1602823/ 153661 – Navigator.
F/O Neill Creagh Chapman, RAFVR 1624304/ 153939 – Air Bomber.
F/S George James Tredinnick, RAAF AUS.430229 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. E. Muller, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. B Glover, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Fitzwater, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:43 – Landed 17:25
Flight Time 04:42

27/11/1944 – Attack Against Cologne Marshalling Yard
nov 27 cologne
Twenty three aircraft carried out a successful attack on Cologne Marshalling Yard with 4,000 lb and 500 lb bombs. Flak over the target was moderate but accurate. One aircraft captained by F/O D.P. Leadley landed away at Manston. The crew were unhurt, but the aircraft was damaged.

Lancaster Mk.I HK601 JN-D “Dog”
Hit by flak once

F/O Terrence Arthur Ford, RAFVR 1585520/ 152112 – Pilot.
F/O Reginald Charles Weeden, RAFVR 1602823/ 153661 – Navigator.
F/O Neill Creagh Chapman, RAFVR 1624304/ 153939 – Air Bomber.
F/S George James Tredinnick, RAAF AUS.430229 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. E. Muller, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. B Glover, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Fitzwater, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:26 – Landed 16:58
Flight Time 04:32

30/11/1944 – Attack Against Osterfeld
nov 30 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 PB761 AA-Y “Yorker”

F/O Terrence Arthur Ford, RAFVR 1585520/ 152112 – Pilot.
F/O Reginald Charles Weeden, RAFVR 1602823/ 153661 – Navigator.
F/O Neill Creagh Chapman, RAFVR 1624304/ 153939 – Air Bomber.
F/S George James Tredinnick, RAAF AUS.430229 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. E. Muller, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. B Glover, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Fitzwater, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 10:49 – Landed 15:50
Flight Time 05:01

04/12/1944 – Attack Against Oberhausen
dec 4 Oberhausen
Twenty aircraft took off as detailed to attack an Oil target at Oberhausen, carrying 1 x 12,000 lb, 8,000 lb, 4,000 H.C., 1,000 ANM, 500 G.P., 500 M.C. and 4 lb I.B. bombs. Nineteen aircraft attacked the target using navigational aids and the raid was reported as well concentrated though results were unobserved owing to 10/10 cloud with tops 10,000 ft covering the target. One aircraft bombed Gelsenkirchen, having been damaged by flak.

Lancaster Mk.III ME321 AA-N

P/O Terrence Arthur Ford, RAFVR 1585520/ 152112 – Pilot.
F/O Reginald Charles Weeden, RAFVR 1602823/ 153661 – Navigator.
F/O Neill Creagh Chapman, RAFVR 1624304/ 153939 – Air Bomber.
F/S George James Tredinnick, RAAF AUS.430229 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. E. Muller, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. B Glover, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Fitzwater, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:15 – Landed 16:11
Flight Time 03:56

05/12/1944 – Attack Against Hamm Marshalling Yards
5 dec Hamm
Twenty one aircraft set out as detailed to attack the Railway Marshalling Yards at Hamm during daylight, carrying 8,000 lb H.C., 4,000 H.C., 500 G.P., 500 G.P. (LD.), 500 M.C., 4 lb I.B. bombs and Munroe bomb. Twenty aircraft attacked the target area through 10/10 cloud but a break in the cloud a little later disclosed bomb bursts to be rather scattered. One aircraft was led astray by the leader, and bombed a last resort target at Heintrop.

Lancaster Mk.I PB761 AA-Y “Yorker”

F/O Terrence Arthur Ford, RAFVR 1585520/ 152112 – Pilot.
F/O Reginald Charles Weeden, RAFVR 1602823/ 153661 – Navigator.
F/O Neill Creagh Chapman, RAFVR 1624304/ 153939 – Air Bomber.
F/S George James Tredinnick, RAAF AUS.430229 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. E. Muller, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. B Glover, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Fitzwater, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 09:03 – Landed 13:52
Flight Time 04:49

06/12/1944 – Attack Against Mersburg Leuna Oil Refinery
Leuna Oil CLEAN
Dec 6 meresburg
Twelve aircraft took off as detailed to participate in a night attack o the Merseburg Leuna Oil Refinery, carrying 8,000 lb, 4,000 H.C., 500 G.P., 500 G.P.(LD) bombs. The target was covered with 10/10 cloud, tops about 14,000 ft and all aircraft were successful in bombing the target with navigational aids. The attack was considered to be concentrated, though bombing results could not be seen, apart from the glow of fires seen beneath the cloud. Flak was intense in the target area and a few enemy fighters were seen en route but no attacks were reported. One aircraft, AA “R” captained by 1585981 F/O D. Atkin, had engine trouble after leaving the target, the starboard inner catching fire, and it was with great difficulty that the crew managed to keep the fire under control. When approaching this country the starboard inner engine went u/s and after jettisoning all equipment and with the aircraft losing height at 100 feet per minute, the Captain made a very good ditching in the River Orwell. None of the crew were hurt.

Lancaster Mk.I PB761 AA-Y “Yorker”

F/O Terrence Arthur Ford, RAFVR 1585520/ 152112 – Pilot.
F/O Reginald Charles Weeden, RAFVR 1602823/ 153661 – Navigator.
F/O Neill Creagh Chapman, RAFVR 1624304/ 153939 – Air Bomber.
F/S George James Tredinnick, RAAF AUS.430229 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. E. Muller, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. B Glover, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Fitzwater, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:11 – Landed 00:24
Flight Time 07:13

december end yates sign off

Reg’s final Operational sign off – interestingly by Harry Yates.
© Scott Weeden

RAF Mepal Xmas Card 1944 - COMP

© Scott Weeden

Navigators Mepal 1944 (RCWeeden front center)

The precise date of this photograph is unknown, however what is known is that it was taken in 1944 at Mepal and is composed entirely of Squadron Navigators.
© Scott Weeden

It is clear from Reg’s logbook that he stayed at Mepal for a significant amount of time beyond his tour. Scott says he was retained to provide support and instruction for Navigation – which makes perfect sense. The pages from his logbook clearly show that Reg not only stayed beyond his tour end in December 1944, but was in fact involved in a Baedeker flight on the 28th June with Don Shearer

A single page from his logbook makes interesting and perhaps perplexing reading – especially as the page bears no stated location – what can be deduced however is simultaneously interesting and confusing……..

RC Weeden - Logbook - MEPAL Page 13 (1945)

H2S  cross country flights (XC) with Peter Trevarthen , James Westbrooke, Leslie Sinclair in April and May, followed by a Baedeker flight with Donald Shearer on the 23rd of June. The date, aircraft and Pilot all tally, but Reg is not listed in the crew in the June Form 541 for this sortie.

21.7.45
Administration. The Squadron Moved from R.A.F. Station, Mepal, No. 3 Group, to R.A.F. Station, Spilsby, No.5.Group. The journey was made by rail and the whole move was carried out very smoothly. We owe a deep debt of gratitude to both stations for their excellent cooperation in the movement.

We must assume the words ‘Lincoln’ and ‘Spilsby place the 2 sorties with Maurice  Adamson after the 21st of July, where Reg flew twice as a Passenger

DISBANDMENT OF SQUADRON. No.75(N.Z.) Squadron was disbanded with effect from 15.10.45 on the authority of Bomber Command letter BC/S.32518/Org. dated 3rd. October, 1945.

We can also assume that, therefore the final 2 sorties on this page dated Dec 3rd and 5th must actually be with 35 Squadron. It’s interesting if this is the case, the sudden, relaxing of the very detailed style of Reg’s log entries while Operational. After a little googling, it appears that Operation ‘Spasm’ was a collective name given to a series of flights with Aircrew to Berlin. These flights allowed time on the ground and exploration of what remained of the city – apparently all under the watchful eyes of their Soviet army ‘minders’……

His ‘Units Served’ list at the back of his Logbook is peculiar based on the dates listed above. Reg clearly lists his stay at Mepal as being between 21st August 1944 and 16th January 1946 – though this date is obviously 2 months after the Squadron was disbanded…..??

Units served

Reg next moved to 35 Squadron at Gravely. The steady routine of cross country training flights was broken in the July of 1946 when Reg was a member of one of several (I assume) crews who flew to the United States on Operation ‘Goodwill’.

A little bit of googling has thrown up a fascinating thread on the PPRuNe forum – which can be seen here.

In July and August 1946 sixteen Lancasters of 35 Squadron went on Operation Goodwill, a trip to the U.S.A. to show the Americans some of the ‘British Flyer Boys’ that had helped win the war. Reg’s complete logbook can be viewed here (including 35 Squadron and the Goodwill records).

After a few emails with Scott  -I realise that the pictures I found and I liked – astonishingly actually are the pictures of Reg……

Reg Weeden - Center Lanc - TW872 D

35 Squadron Lancasters, waved off on the start of their tour to the United States -the Lancaster in the centre of the photograph is Reg’s……

Reg Weeden - Rear Lanc - TW872 D

Reg’s Lancaster in the foreground

35 Squadron Goodwill Tour - Reg 3rd row from front - 7th from right under left wing

Reg, amongst the 35 Squadron ‘Goodwill’ crew photograph.
© Scott Weeden

Wonderfully, while Reg was in the States, he sent a letter home, describing some of the trip.

Letter July 1946 - 35 Sdn - Page 1

Letter July 1946 - 35 Sdn - Page 2

© Scott Weeden

35 SQD RAF
24/7/46

My Dear Mum

Have had a wonderful time since our arrival here, but I’m just melting away with the heat.

Again, as before we have had only a short stay and tomorrow we are flying to our next stage Denver.

I called Doris up by phone from New York, and the family were most delighted to hear from me. I’m still hoping against hope that on my return I shall be able to get some time off to visit them.

Last night a party was given in our honour at an enormous country mansion, dancing in the grounds, it was just like a film setting, everything was so lovely.

The Squadron Commander received a phone call from Rita Hayworth yesterday and she is meeting us together with other screen lovelies on our arrival at Los Angeles on the 28th.

Isn’t this just wonderful, I bet a few people are envious of us, I will certainly have something to talk about when I return.

Well that’s about all for today, hope you enjoy your summer holiday.

Bye for now

Regards to all

Love

Reg xxxx

To Evelyn xxxxx

 

 

75 NZ Squadron Crest

At this point, we Know very little more about the Ford crew. Tragically, perhaps as a footnote to the remarkable story of the Ford boy’s exploits we have to pause and reflect on the cruel twists of fate that would befall at least one of the members of the crew.

The following report is harrowing – and I must confess personally, I was ignorant of this incident.

There is, a certain irony that the reportage as presented, happened so long after a period that similar reports perhaps blurred because they were simply a nightly occurrence, worse perhaps therefore because Neill Chapman got through that flak and night fighter infested time to simply, become a victim of what now, we would describe as fate, or just, terrible bad luck.

In November 1967 a passenger jet bound for London’s Heathrow airport crashed into the southern slopes of Blackdown Hill, near to Fernhurst village, resulting in the tragic death of all 37 persons on board. The accident is recorded as the 11th worst air accident in the United Kingdom.

The police report from 1967 gives a harrowing account of the event:
About 10.02 p.m. on Saturday, 4th November, 1967, a Caravelle Airliner No. EC-BDD, owned by Iberia Airlines of Spain, crashed at Black Down Hill, Sussex (map reference 919289). This Hill at its highest point is 902 ft. above sea level. The aircraft was on a scheduled flight from Malaga, Spain, to Heathrow Airport, and was piloted by Captain Harnando Maura [Pieres], 37 years, an experienced Pilot. It left Malaga at 7.30 p.m. G.M.T. and the estimated time of arrival at Heathrow Airport was 10.10 p.m. G.M.T. The weather at the time was slightly misty with intermittent drizzle but there was reasonable visibility.

The plane, a Sud Aviation Caravelle SE210, named Jesus Gurudi after the Basque composer, was travelling in a north-easterly direction. It initially struck trees in the grounds of Black Down House, then continued for hundreds of yards, “passing across a meadow where it killed 65 grazing sheep and injured 23 more which were subsequently destroyed”. It then broke through a large hedge and parts of the aircraft fell off destroying a garage, and damaging parts of the roof of Upper Black Down House as the aircraft disintegrated.

Haslemere Fire Brigade were alerted within minutes of the crash, and were later joined by firemen from Grayshott, Liphook and Guildford. Aviation fuel had caused small fires to break out in the densely wooded hillside. It soon became clear however that all those on the flight had been killed on impact:

Debris from the aircraft was scattered over the whole of the 355 yards of its passage. There were no survivors from a total complement of 30 passengers and 7 crew“.

Fernhurst villagers provided essential support: the Village Hall was turned into a temporary mortuary and the WVRS (Women’s Royal Voluntary Service) helped provide food and drink for the emergency services from the Youth Club behind the Spread Eagle public house.

The victims on the scheduled flight, Iberia 062, were the all-Spanish crew, and the passengers comprising 25 British, mostly returning from holiday in Spain, 2 Americans, 2 Spaniards and 2 Australians. Among the passengers were: the British film and TV actress June Thorburn, who was five months pregnant; industrialist and Coventry City Football Club vice-president John Clarkson; and Donald Campbell of the Campbell Aircraft Company. There is a memorial stone in Brookwood Cemetery, Surrey.

Reasons for the crash:
The plane’s Black Box flight recorder was recovered from the scene, although the cockpit and instruments were badly damaged, making the investigation into the cause of the crash difficult. The aircraft appeared to be flying along its correct path, but at a significantly lower altitude. It is possible that the type of altimeters then in use were mis-read by the crew. It is suggested that the air navigation beacon at Northchapel was introduced as a result of the disaster to try to prevent it happening again (although navigation beacons provide position, not height, information to pilots).

Within the passengers were Neill and Patricia (née Lake-Davis) Chapman  – Died 4th of November 1967.

 

Ake Ake Kia Kaha