Tag Archives: James Colin Burch

Melvin Sumner, Mid Upper Gunner – Young crew

dad's crew picture1

The front and back of a Christmas card that Melvin sent to his family, Christmas 1943. © Mary Thompson

Many thanks to Mary for sending me this Christmas card, sent by her Father, Melvin Sumner, who was Rear Gunner with  Arthur Russell Young’s crew between November 1943 and June 1944.

Of course, like the idiot I am, it took up until replying to Mary, for me to realise that of course Colin Burch, who I made a number of posts about about a year ago was Russ Young’s Air Bomber. You can read the original posts here:

Original, less detailed Op history with Colin’s diary additions here.

Colin’s full memoirs of his time in the RAF here.

Colin’s logbook can be seen here.

A creditable operational career with the Squadron, flying War Ops in Stirlings, SOE operations, before converting to Lancasters and then supplying in support of the Normandy Landings and invasion before switching back to main War Ops…..

Melvin’s Pilot, Arthur Young, to add a small personal note to this story, also flew one of his ‘2nd Dickie’ Ops with my Father’s (Mayfield) crew on the 19th of November 1943 to Leverkusen.
Arthur ‘Russ’ Young’s logbook showing 2nd Dickie Op with Mayfield crew can be viewed here.

I have re-posted the Young crew’s Op history below in the more detailed format the database now allows me to generate.

25/11/1943 – Mining in the Frisian Islands
Two aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1500lbs which were successfully dropped in the allotted area, and the majority of the parachutes were seen to open. No opposition was encountered and the trip was uneventful. There was 5-8/10ths cloud in the Mining Area and visibility was poor. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.III EF507 JN-P  (12)

F/S Arthur Russell Young, RNZAF NZ421133 – Pilot.
F/S Douglas Dean McDonald, RAAF AUS.422632 – Navigator.
Sgt. James Colin Burch, RAFVR 1434570/ 175383 – Air Bomber.
F/S Ronald Charles Axten, RNZAF NZ404589 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Holt, RAFVR 1590363 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Melvin Sumner, RAFVR 1685755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ronald Burrows, RAFVR 1388459 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:30 – Landed 20:45
Flight Time 03:15

30/11/1943 – Mining in the Baltic Sea
Four aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1,500lbs., which were successfully dropped in the allotted area and the parachutes were seen to open. No opposition was encountered and the trip was uneventful. The weather was good in the Mining area and visibility was excellent. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.III LK384 JN-X ‘Excuse please Mr, I go, I come back’ (1)

F/S Arthur Russell Young, RNZAF NZ421133 – Pilot.
F/S Douglas Dean McDonald, RAAF AUS.422632 – Navigator.
Sgt. James Colin Burch, RAFVR 1434570/ 175383 – Air Bomber.
F/S Ronald Charles Axten, RNZAF NZ404589 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Holt, RAFVR 1590363 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. D. Baverstock, RAFVR 610905 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ronald Burrows, RAFVR 1388459 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:20 – Landed 00:20
Flight Time 07:00

dad's crew picture

The inside of Melvin’s Christmas card to his family, to the left a picture of the Young crew: Russ Young (Pilot), Fred Holt (Flight Engineer), Ron Axten (Wireless Operator), Ron Burrows (Rear Gunner), Colin Burch (Air Bomber) and Doug McDonald (Navigator). Its difficult to tell from the ordering of the crew whether it is strictly left to right or perhaps the back four and the front 2 airmen and obviously Melvin doesn’t identify himself in the photograph! © Mary Thompson

30/12/1943 – Mining between Le Havre and Cherbourg
One aircraft was detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1500lbs, which were successfully dropped in the allotted area. No opposition was met and the trip was uneventful. There was ten tenths cloud in the mining area but visibility was very good. Navigation was excellent.

Stirling Mk.III LK384 JN-X ‘Excuse please Mr, I go, I come back’ (3)

F/S Arthur Russell Young, RNZAF NZ421133 – Pilot.
F/S Douglas Dean McDonald, RAAF AUS.422632 – Navigator.
Sgt. James Colin Burch, RAFVR 1434570/ 175383 – Air Bomber.
F/S Ronald Charles Axten, RNZAF NZ404589 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Holt, RAFVR 1590363 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Melvin Sumner, RAFVR 1685755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ronald Burrows, RAFVR 1388459 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:14 – Landed 20:16
Flight Time 03:02

04/01/1944 – Attack against a Special Target
Ten aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with bombs of 500 lbs.  All of the aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area.  The attack was very concentrated and appeared to be a success.  Some slight heavy A.A. Fire and a few enemy aircraft were encountered but proved negligible.  In spite of 3-4 10ths. cloud at the target, visibility was good.  Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.III LK384 JN-X ‘Excuse please Mr, I go, I come back’ (4)

F/S Arthur Russell Young, RNZAF NZ421133 – Pilot.
Sgt. J. Wainwright, RAFVR 1320248 – 2nd Pilot.
F/S Douglas Dean McDonald, RAAF AUS.422632 – Navigator.
Sgt. James Colin Burch, RAFVR 1434570/ 175383 – Air Bomber.
F/S Ronald Charles Axten, RNZAF NZ404589 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Holt, RAFVR 1590363 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Melvin Sumner, RAFVR 1685755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ronald Burrows, RAFVR 1388459 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 02:15 – Landed 04:55
Flight Time 02:40

21/01/1944 – Attack against a Special Target
Twenty aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with bombs of 500 lbs.  All of the aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area, large bomb bursts and some fires being observed.  Very little opposition was encountered and this proved to be negligible.  The weather was good with no cloud and clear visibility.  Navigation was excellent.

Stirling Mk.III LK384 JN-X ‘Excuse please Mr, I go, I come back’ (7)

F/S Arthur Russell Young, RNZAF NZ421133 – Pilot.
F/S Douglas Dean McDonald, RAAF AUS.422632 – Navigator.
F/S James Colin Burch, RAFVR 1434570/ 175383 – Air Bomber.
F/S Ronald Charles Axten, RNZAF NZ404589 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Holt, RAFVR 1590363 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Melvin Sumner, RAFVR 1685755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ronald Burrows, RAFVR 1388459 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:10 – Landed 21:30
Flight Time 03:20

28/01/1944 – Mining in the Kiel Bay
Nineteen aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1,500 lbs.  Three aircraft returned early, two dropped their mines in alternative areas, but the remainder successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area.  Some light and heavy A.A. fire was encountered, and one aircraft received slight damage.  A few enemy aircraft were seen and the aircraft captained by P/O C. BAKER, whilst on the homeward journey was attacked by a M.E.110, which raked our aircraft with machine gun and cannon fire, from the tailplane to the Navigator’s compartment, causing considerable damage.  The mid-upper gunner, Sgt. RENWICK, H. was slightly injured and the Flight Engineer Sgt. WATSON, W. was seriously injured.  On return the aircraft crash-landed at COLTISHALL.  The weather was variable with 5-10/10ths cloud, but fairly clear in the mining area.  Severe icing was encountered on the return journey.  Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.III LK384 JN-X ‘Excuse please Mr, I go, I come back’ (9)

F/S Arthur Russell Young, RNZAF NZ421133 – Pilot.
F/S Douglas Dean McDonald, RAAF AUS.422632 – Navigator.
Sgt. James Colin Burch, RAFVR 1434570, 175383 – Air Bomber.
F/S Ronald Charles Axten, RNZAF NZ404589 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Holt, RAFVR 1590363 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Melvin Sumner, RAFVR 1685755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ronald Burrows, RAFVR 1388459 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:56 – Landed 00:56
Flight Time 06:00

03/02/1944 – Mining off Cherbourg
Two aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1500 lbs, both of which successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area.  No opposition was encountered.  One aircraft had its starboard inner catch fire ten minutes before reaching the area and this had to be feathered.  The weather was squally but otherwise the operation was uneventful.

Stirling Mk.III LK384 JN-X ‘Excuse please Mr, I go, I come back’ (10)

F/S Arthur Russell Young, RNZAF NZ421133 – Pilot.
F/S Douglas Dean McDonald, RAAF AUS.422632 – Navigator.
Sgt. James Colin Burch, RAFVR 1434570, 175383 – Air Bomber.
F/S Ronald Charles Axten, RNZAF NZ404589 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Holt, RAFVR 1590363 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Melvin Sumner, RAFVR 1685755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ronald Burrows, RAFVR 1388459 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 03:54 – Landed 06:54
Flight Time 03:00

11/02/1944 – Mining off Mouth of River Ardour
Of the nine aircraft which were laying mines of 1500 lbs off the mouth of the river ADOUR, all but one did so though it meant flying down through very bad icing cloud and in these conditions one jettisoned to lighten the load.

Stirling Mk.III LK384 JN-X ‘Excuse please Mr, I go, I come back’ (12)

F/S Arthur Russell Young, RNZAF NZ421133 – Pilot.
F/S Douglas Dean McDonald, RAAF AUS.422632 – Navigator.
Sgt. James Colin Burch, RAFVR 1434570, 175383 – Air Bomber.
F/S Ronald Charles Axten, RNZAF NZ404589 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Holt, RAFVR 1590363 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Melvin Sumner, RAFVR 1685755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ronald Burrows, RAFVR 1388459 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:35 – Landed 02:00
Flight Time 07:25

15/02/1944 – Mining in the Mouth of River Ardour
Six aircraft dropped mines of 1500 lbs in the mouth of the river Adour.  The visibility was excellent and all crews reported a successful operation.  Photographs taken show the aiming point in three cases, and the factory is covered in two more.  Unfortunately the sixth aircraft did not carry a photo-flash bomb.  The Bomb Development Unit have, however, got the evidence from which to calculate where the mines dropped.

Stirling Mk.III LK384 JN-X ‘Excuse please Mr, I go, I come back’ (13)

P/O Arthur Russell Young, RNZAF NZ421133 – Pilot.
F/S Douglas Dean McDonald, RAAF AUS.422632 – Navigator.
Sgt. James Colin Burch, RAFVR 1434570, 175383 – Air Bomber.
F/S Ronald Charles Axten, RNZAF NZ404589 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Holt, RAFVR 1590363 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Melvin Sumner, RAFVR 1685755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ronald Burrows, RAFVR 1388459 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:36 – Landed 07:16
Flight Time 07:40

19/02/1944 – Mining in Kiel Bay
Fifteen aircraft were detailed to lay mines of 1500 lbs from a high level, but two aircraft failed to take off owing to engine trouble.  The remaining thirteen aircraft completed their operation without incident, and the pathfinder markers were dropped accurately for the final run, being identified by all.

Stirling Mk.III LK384 JN-X ‘Excuse please Mr, I go, I come back’ (14)

P/O Arthur Russell Young, RNZAF NZ421133 – Pilot.
F/S Douglas Dean McDonald, RAAF AUS.422632 – Navigator.
Sgt. James Colin Burch, RAFVR 1434570, 175383 – Air Bomber.
F/S Ronald Charles Axten, RNZAF NZ404589 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Holt, RAFVR 1590363 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Melvin Sumner, RAFVR 1685755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ronald Burrows, RAFVR 1388459 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:36 – Landed 05:16
Flight Time 05:40

02/03/1944 – Special Operations – March Moon Period TRAINER 115b (SUCCESSFUL)
Operation TRAINER 115b (Successful). The main crew in Stirling III JN ‘X’ took off at 20.45 hours. The target was reached at 00.26 hours, being pin pointed by junction of river, canal and railway. Fifteen containers were dropped from 450 feet at 00.35 hours and a flashing light was seen. Meteorological conditions were fairly good, visibility being 10 miles, cloud two tenths at 4,000 feet. Course was set for Base at 00.35 hours, leaflets being dropped at Agen. The aircraft, without further incident, landed at Base at 04.26 hours.

Stirling Mk.III LK384 JN-X ‘Excuse please Mr, I go, I come back’ (15)

P/O Arthur Russell Young, RNZAF NZ421133 – Pilot.
F/S Douglas Dean McDonald, RAAF AUS.422632 – Navigator.
Sgt. James Colin Burch, RAFVR 1434570, 175383 – Air Bomber.
F/S Ronald Charles Axten, RNZAF NZ404589 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Holt, RAFVR 1590363 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Melvin Sumner, RAFVR 1685755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt Ronald Burrows, RAFVR 1388459 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:45 – Landed 04:26
Flight Time 07:41

04/03/1944 – Special Operations – March Moon Period TRAINER 129 (SUCCESSFUL)
Operation TRAINER 129 (Successful). The m/n. crew in Stirling III JN “X” took off at 20.45 hours. The target area was reached at 23.52 hours and pin pointed by a road through a wood N/S. Lights and the letter flashed were unmistakable, and 16 containers were dropped from 600 feet between 00.14 and 00.17 hours. Visibility was good except for slight haze. Course was set for Base at 00.18 hours, and four packages of leaflets were dropped at the Brive area. The aircraft returned to base, without further incident, and landed at 04.10 hours.

Stirling Mk.III LK384 JN-X ‘Excuse please Mr, I go, I come back’ (16)

F/S Arthur Russell Young, RNZAF NZ421133 – Pilot.
F/S Douglas Dean McDonald, RAAF AUS.422632 – Navigator.
Sgt. James Colin Burch, RAFVR 1434570, 175383 – Air Bomber.
F/S Ronald Charles Axten, RNZAF NZ404589 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Holt, RAFVR 1590363 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Melvin Sumner, RAFVR 1685755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt Ronald Burrows, RAFVR 1388459 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:45 – Landed 04:10
Flight Time 07:25

05/03/1944 – Special Operations – March Moon Period TRAINER 149 (SUCCESSFUL)
Operation TRAINER 149 (Successful). The m/n crew in Stirling III JN ‘X’ took off at 21.04 hours. The target area was reached at 23.54 hours and pin pointed. Reception lights were obscured by woods and difficult to see except when overhead, flashing of correct letter was good, fifteen containers were dropped from 500′ at 00.22 hours. There was slight ground haze, but no cloud. Course was set for Base at 00.22 hrs, one package of leaflets was also dropped in the Limoges … (end of sentence missing from copy of sheet)

Stirling Mk.III LK384 JN-X ‘Excuse please Mr, I go, I come back’ (17)

P/O Arthur Russell Young, RNZAF NZ421133 – Pilot.
F/S Douglas Dean McDonald, RAAF AUS.422632 – Navigator.
Sgt. James Colin Burch, RAFVR 1434570, 175383 – Air Bomber.
F/S Ronald Charles Axten, RNZAF NZ404589 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Holt, RAFVR 1590363 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Melvin Sumner, RAFVR 1685755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt Ronald Burrows, RAFVR 1388459 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:04 – Landed down time cut off on ORB
Flight Time no record

10/03/1944 – Special Operations – March Moon Period MONGREL 20 (SUCCESSFUL)
Operation MONGREL 20 (Successful). The m/n crew in Stirling III JN ‘X’ took off at 20.13 hrs. The target area was reached at 23.45 hrs and pin pointed by a deep ravine running N. and S. with tops about 7,000′. Reception lights were good but flashing light was not very clear against the snow, twelve containers were then dropped from 600′ at 23.57 hrs. The weather was good in the reception area, except for haze in the valleys. Course was set for Base at 23.59 hours, two packages of leaflets being dropped at Chambery. The aircraft, without further incident, landed at Base at 03.43 hours.

Stirling Mk.III LK384 JN-X ‘Excuse please Mr, I go, I come back’ (18)

P/O Arthur Russell Young, RNZAF NZ421133 – Pilot.
F/S Douglas Dean McDonald, RAAF AUS.422632 – Navigator.
Sgt. James Colin Burch, RAFVR 1434570, 175383 – Air Bomber.
F/S Ronald Charles Axten, RNZAF NZ404589 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Holt, RAFVR 1590363 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Melvin Sumner, RAFVR 1685755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt Ronald Burrows, RAFVR 1388459 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:13 – Landed 03:43
Flight Time 07:30

15/03/1944 – Special Operations – March Moon Period TOM 46 (ABORTIVE)
Operation TOM 46 (Abortive). The target area was reached but no reception was seen and a truck with very bright lights was driving along a road within the target area. The aircraft was caught in searchlights N. of Mons area and approximately three light guns opened up 15 miles N. On the return journey two packages of leaflets were dropped in the Mons area. The aircraft brought its load back to Base and landed safely.

Stirling Mk.III LK384 – ‘Excuse please Mr, I go, I come back’ (20)

P/O Arthur Russell Young, RNZAF NZ421133 – Pilot.
F/S Douglas Dean McDonald, RAAF AUS.422632 – Navigator.
P/O Thomas Bolgar Bradley, RAAF AUS413338 – Air Bomber.
F/S Ronald Charles Axten, RNZAF NZ404589 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Holt, RAFVR 1590363 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Melvin Sumner, RAFVR 1685755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt Ronald Burrows, RAFVR 1388459 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off – – Landed –
Flight Time no record

24/04/1944 – Attack Against Karlsruhe
Sixteen aircraft were detailed to attack Karlsruhe.  One was withdrawn but the remainder carried out a successful attack with little opposition.

Lancaster Mk.I LL888 JN-X  (1)

P/O Arthur Russell Young, RNZAF NZ421133 – Pilot.
F/S Douglas Dean McDonald, RAAF AUS.422632 – Navigator.
F/S James Colin Burch, RAFVR 1434570, 175383 – Air Bomber.
W/O Ronald Charles Axten, RNZAF NZ404589 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Holt, RAFVR 1590363 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Melvin Sumner, RAFVR 1685755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Ronald Burrows, RAFVR 1388459 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:30 – Landed 04:00
Flight Time 05:00

26/04/1944 – Attack Against Essen
Fifteen aircraft (Lancasters) were detailed to attack Essen.  Two were withdrawn, but the remaining thirteen took part in a successful and very concentrated attack.  The defences were considered to be moderate and all the aircraft returned safely.

Lancaster Mk.I LL888 JN-X  (2)

P/O Arthur Russell Young, RNZAF NZ421133 – Pilot.
F/S Douglas Dean McDonald, RAAF AUS.422632 – Navigator.
F/S James Colin Burch, RAFVR 1434570, 175383 – Air Bomber.
W/O Ronald Charles Axten, RNZAF NZ404589 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Holt, RAFVR 1590363 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Melvin Sumner, RAFVR 1685755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Ronald Burrows, RAFVR 1388459 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:25 – Landed 03:50
Flight Time 04:25

27/04/1944 – Attack Against Friedrichshafen
Sixteen Lancasters were detailed to attack Friedrichshafen.  Fourteen successfully carried out their mission, one aircraft bombed a decoy in error and another failed to return (Captain NZ42282 F/O. R. Herron).

Lancaster Mk.I LL888 JN-X  (3)

P/O Arthur Russell Young, RNZAF NZ421133 – Pilot.
F/S Douglas Dean McDonald, RAAF AUS.422632 – Navigator.
F/S James Colin Burch, RAFVR 1434570, 175383 – Air Bomber.
W/O Ronald Charles Axten, RNZAF NZ404589 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Holt, RAFVR 1590363 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Melvin Sumner, RAFVR 1685755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ronald Burrows, RAFVR 1388459 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:07 – Landed 05:37
Flight Time 07:30

01/05/1944 – Attack Against Chambly
Sixteen aircraft were detailed to attack the marshalling yards at Chambly.  Fifteen of these successfully attacked in clear weather, bombing being accurate.  Two brief encounters with enemy aircraft took place and resulted in one being possibly damaged.  One of our aircraft (Captain NZ41362 F/L. A/S/L. E.W. Sachtler) failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I LL888 JN-X  (4)

P/O Arthur Russell Young, RNZAF NZ421133 – Pilot.
F/S Douglas Dean McDonald, RAAF AUS.422632 – Navigator.
F/S James Colin Burch, RAFVR 1434570, 175383 – Air Bomber.
W/O Ronald Charles Axten, RNZAF NZ404589 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Holt, RAFVR 1590363 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Melvin Sumner, RAFVR 1685755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Ronald Burrows, RAFVR 1388459 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:50 – Landed 02:15
Flight Time 03:25

09/05/1944 – Attack Against Cap Gris Nez
Fifteen aircraft were detailed to attack Cap Gris Nez and all successfully completed their mission.  Only slight opposition was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I LL888 JN-X  (5)

P/O Arthur Russell Young, RNZAF NZ421133 – Pilot.
F/S Douglas Dean McDonald, RAAF AUS.422632 – Navigator.
F/S James Colin Burch, RAFVR 1434570, 175383 – Air Bomber.
W/O Ronald Charles Axten, RNZAF NZ404589 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Holt, RAFVR 1590363 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Melvin Sumner, RAFVR 1685755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Ronald Burrows, RAFVR 1388459 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 03:10 – Landed 05:10
Flight Time 02:00

19/05/1944 – Attack Against Le Mans
Twenty for aircraft successfully bombed the marshalling yards at Le Mans.  Good results being reported.

Lancaster Mk.I LL888 JN-X  (8)

P/O Arthur Russell Young, RNZAF NZ421133 – Pilot.
F/S Douglas Dean McDonald, RAAF AUS.422632 – Navigator.
F/S James Colin Burch, RAFVR 1434570, 175383 – Air Bomber.
W/O Ronald Charles Axten, RNZAF NZ404589 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Holt, RAFVR 1590363 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Melvin Sumner, RAFVR 1685755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ronald Burrows, RAFVR 1388459 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:30 – Landed 03:20
Flight Time 04:50

21/05/1944 – Attack Against Duisberg
Twenty five aircraft took off to attack Duisburg, of which twenty one attacked the primary target.  Three returned early with various technical failures and one failed to return (Captain NZ421803 P/O. W. Willis).  Another aircraft (Captain AUS413157 P/O. A. Humphreys) was attacked by an enemy fighter and the navigator 1438903 F/Sgt. Hill, A. was injured, the aircraft also being damaged.

Lancaster Mk.I LL888 JN-X  (9)

P/O Arthur Russell Young, RNZAF NZ421133 – Pilot.
F/S Douglas Dean McDonald, RAAF AUS.422632 – Navigator.
P/O James Colin Burch, RAFVR 1434570, 175383 – Air Bomber.
W/O Ronald Charles Axten, RNZAF NZ404589 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Holt, RAFVR 1590363 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Melvin Sumner, RAFVR 1685755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Ronald Burrows, RAFVR 1388459 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:57 – Landed 02:52
Flight Time 03:55

22/05/1944 – Attack Against Dortmund
Twenty three aircraft were detailed to attack Dortmund of which eighteen completed their mission successfully.  Three aircraft returned early and two failed to return (Captains NZ417016 P/O. E. Burke and NZ42354 P/O. C. Armstrong).  The raid was well concentrated and carried out in good weather with excellent visibility.  One aircraft had an inconclusive combat with a JU 88.  Otherwise the operation was uneventful.

Lancaster Mk.I LL888 JN-X  (10)

P/O Arthur Russell Young, RNZAF NZ421133 – Pilot.
F/S Douglas Dean McDonald, RAAF AUS.422632 – Navigator.
P/O James Colin Burch, RAFVR 1434570, 175383 – Air Bomber.
W/O Ronald Charles Axten, RNZAF NZ404589 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Holt, RAFVR 1590363 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Melvin Sumner, RAFVR 1685755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Ronald Burrows, RAFVR 1388459 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:00 – Landed 03:30
Flight Time 04:30

24/05/1944 – Attack Against Aachen
Thirteen aircraft were detailed to attack Aachen and eleven to attack a target at Boulogne.  They all were successful in attacking their respective targets and good concentrated bombing was reported.  Two aircraft attacking Aachen had combats with enemy aircraft, NZ40750 F/L. R. Berney claiming the destruction of an enemy night fighter and 170664 P/O. T. Buckley claimed strikes on a F.W. 190.  There was no opposition from the Boulogne target.

Lancaster Mk.I LL888 JN-X  (11)

P/O Arthur Russell Young, RNZAF NZ421133 – Pilot.
F/S Douglas Dean McDonald, RAAF AUS.422632 – Navigator.
P/O James Colin Burch, RAFVR 1434570, 175383 – Air Bomber.
W/O Ronald Charles Axten, RNZAF NZ404589 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Holt, RAFVR 1590363 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Melvin Sumner, RAFVR 1685755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Ronald Burrows, RAFVR 1388459 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:35 – Landed 04:20
Flight Time 03:45

27/05/1944 – Attack Against Aachen
Eighteen aircraft were detailed to attack Aachen, one of which returned early and two failed to return (Captains NZ414971 F/L. S. Fauvel and NZ421105 Sgt. Scott, F.).  The remaining fifteen successfully bombed the target in clear weather, one aircraft (Captain NZ40750 F/L. R. Berney) had five successive inconclusive combats with an ME 410 in the Courtrai area.

Lancaster Mk.I LL888 JN-X  (12)

P/O Arthur Russell Young, RNZAF NZ421133 – Pilot.
P/O Douglas Dean McDonald, RAAF AUS.422632 – Navigator.
P/O James Colin Burch, RAFVR 1434570, 175383 – Air Bomber.
W/O Ronald Charles Axten, RNZAF NZ404589 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Holt, RAFVR 1590363 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Melvin Sumner, RAFVR 1685755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Ronald Burrows, RAFVR 1388459 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:50 – Landed 04:35
Flight Time 03:45

28/05/1944 – Attack Against Angers
Twenty two aircraft were detailed to attack the marshalling yards at Angers.  Six of these were withdrawn, two returned early with engine trouble, but the remaining fourteen aircraft successfully bombed the target in good weather.  A good concentrated attack was reported, and opposition was only slight.

Lancaster Mk.I LL888 JN-X  (13)

P/O Arthur Russell Young, RNZAF NZ421133 – Pilot.
P/O Douglas Dean McDonald, RAAF AUS.422632 – Navigator.
P/O James Colin Burch, RAFVR 1434570, 175383 – Air Bomber.
W/O Ronald Charles Axten, RNZAF NZ404589 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Holt, RAFVR 1590363 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Melvin Sumner, RAFVR 1685755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Ronald Burrows, RAFVR 1388459 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:55 – Landed 01:45
Flight Time 06:50

31/05/1944 – Attack Against Trappes
Twenty four aircraft were despatched to attack the marshalling yards at Trappes.  One was withdrawn and another returned early through technical trouble.  The remainder, however, bombed in good visibility, reporting an accurate attack.  One aircraft (Captain NZ422098 P/O. L. Bonisch) had a combat with an enemy aircraft which was seen to be shot down by another of our aircraft.

Lancaster Mk.I LL888 JN-X  (15)

P/O Arthur Russell Young, RNZAF NZ421133 – Pilot.
P/O Douglas Dean McDonald, RAAF AUS.422632 – Navigator.
P/O James Colin Burch, RAFVR 1434570, 175383 – Air Bomber.
W/O Ronald Charles Axten, RNZAF NZ404589 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Holt, RAFVR 1590363 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Melvin Sumner, RAFVR 1685755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Ronald Burrows, RAFVR 1388459 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:05 – Landed 05:00
Flight Time 04:55

05/06/1944 – Attack Against Ouistreham
The target for No.3 Group was the coastal battery at Ouistreham in N. France.  This target, and others in the same area were attacked by strong forces of Bomber Command aircraft immediately prior to the Anglo-American Invasion of the Continent.  Twenty six aircraft from this Squadron participated and all were successful in bombing their target with the aid of markers.  Opposition was very slight.

Lancaster Mk.III ND904 AA-B  (7)

P/O Arthur Russell Young, RNZAF NZ421133 – Pilot.
P/O Douglas Dean McDonald, RAAF AUS.422632 – Navigator.
P/O James Colin Burch, RAFVR 1434570, 175383 – Air Bomber.
W/O Ronald Charles Axten, RNZAF NZ404589 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Holt, RAFVR 1590363 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Melvin Sumner, RAFVR 1685755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Ronald Burrows, RAFVR 1388459 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 03:45 – Landed 07:10
Flight Time 03:25

06/06/1944 – Attack Against Lisieux
Twenty four aircraft took off, as detailed, to attack a target at Lisieux, in support of the invading forces which were establishing a bridge head in Normandy.  All aircraft successfully bombed the target and an accurate attack was reported.  Only slight opposition was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.III ND904 AA-B  (8)

P/O Arthur Russell Young, RNZAF NZ421133 – Pilot.
P/O Douglas Dean McDonald, RAAF AUS.422632 – Navigator.
P/O James Colin Burch, RAFVR 1434570, 175383 – Air Bomber.
W/O Ronald Charles Axten, RNZAF NZ404589 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Holt, RAFVR 1590363 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Melvin Sumner, RAFVR 1685755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Ronald Burrows, RAFVR 1388459 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:58 – Landed 03:23
Flight Time 03:25

08/06/1944 – Attack Against Fougeres
Twenty aircraft took off as detailed to attack Fougeres in N. France.  Nineteen aircraft bombed successfully, one bringing its bombs back owing to the Bomb sight being unserviceable when over the target area.  Two aircraft had inconclusive combats with enemy aircraft, but the remainder carried out their mission without incident, there being no opposition in the target area.

Lancaster Mk.I LL888 JN-X  (18)

P/O Arthur Russell Young, RNZAF NZ421133 – Pilot.
P/O Douglas Dean McDonald, RAAF AUS.422632 – Navigator.
P/O James Colin Burch, RAFVR 1434570, 175383 – Air Bomber.
W/O Ronald Charles Axten, RNZAF NZ404589 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Holt, RAFVR 1590363 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Melvin Sumner, RAFVR 1685755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Ronald Burrows, RAFVR 1388459 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:05 – Landed 02:25
Flight Time 04:20

10/06/1944 – Attack Against Dreux
Of the twenty four aircraft detailed to bomb Dreux, twenty two successfully attacked in good weather, the marshalling yards being visually identified until they were obscured by smoke.  One aircraft had an inconclusive combat with a JU.88.  The aircrafts captained by NZ422098 P/O. L. Bonisch and NZ422267 F/S. Donaghy, T. failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I LL888 JN-X  (19)

P/O Arthur Russell Young, RNZAF NZ421133 – Pilot.
P/O Douglas Dean McDonald, RAAF AUS.422632 – Navigator.
P/O James Colin Burch, RAFVR 1434570, 175383 – Air Bomber.
W/O Ronald Charles Axten, RNZAF NZ404589 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Holt, RAFVR 1590363 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Melvin Sumner, RAFVR 1685755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Ronald Burrows, RAFVR 1388459 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:05 – Landed 03:50
Flight Time 04:45

11/06/1944 – Attack Against Nantes
Seventeen aircraft were detailed to attack a military target at Nantes.  All aircraft successfully bombing the target.  Large fires and explosions were reported.  Intense light A.A. Fire was encountered in the target area.  the aircraft captained by NZ421072 P/O. C. McCardle, shortly after leaving the target area, was damaged by what is now thought to have been a light A.A. Shell exploding in the cockpit.  The Captain received severe injuries and the Flight Engineer Sgt. Benfold, R., superficial injuries.  The Air Bomber, AUS410489 W/O. Hurse, A. took over the controls, and with the assistance of the Navigator NZ4310159 F/O. A. Zillwood, brought the aircraft safely back to this country, where a perfect landing was executed.

Lancaster Mk.I LL888 JN-X  (20)

P/O Arthur Russell Young, RNZAF NZ421133 – Pilot.
P/O Douglas Dean McDonald, RAAF AUS.422632 – Navigator.
P/O James Colin Burch, RAFVR 1434570, 175383 – Air Bomber.
W/O Ronald Charles Axten, RNZAF NZ404589 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick Holt, RAFVR 1590363 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Melvin Sumner, RAFVR 1685755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Ronald Burrows, RAFVR 1388459 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:50 – Landed 05:22
Flight Time 05:32

James Colin Burch, Air Bomber – Young crew

Many thanks to the family of James Colin Burch for passing on an astonishing autobiography of, (as he was known to everyone), Colin’s time in the RAF. Flying a full tour with 75(NZ) Squadron between 1943 and 1944. Colin then continued to serve an impressive and diverse career in the RAF post war, including Strategic Nuclear Missile Command.

Colin’s training follows an identical one to my father it would seem. Not only did they both enrol as Pilots, they both ended up as Air Bombers and there might be something in Colin’s recollection of his change in trades that might be true for Bob as well. Also, they both passed through No.11 OTU and 1651 HCU before arriving at Mepal, in Colin’s case, on the 27th of October – my Father and his crew  arriving 4 months earlier. Perhaps given this similarity, its perhaps not surprising, although perhaps it is, that Colin’s  Pilot, Arthur Young’s single 2nd Dickie Op, prior to taking his own crew on Ops was in fact with my Fathers crew on the 19th of November 1943 to Leverkusen.

The Young crew arrived at Mepal on the 27th  of October 1943, from 1651 Heavy Conversion Unit at Waterbeach.

‘Our crew was posted to No.75 (New Zealand) Squadron for operational duties in Bomber Command and were a little apprehensive at this Squadron‘s reputation for sustaining high losses – born out at the end of the WW2 having sustained the 2nd highest losses in Bomber Command.

It was based at RAF Mepal, near Ely, the name of a small local village, and although closer to the village of Sutton it could not be so named as there may have been some confusion with RAF Full Sutton in Yorkshire. The Squadron comprised of pilots of the RNZAF with one from the RAAF and one from the RAF. Other crew members, i.e. Gunners. Flight Engineers and Radio Operators were mainly RAF.’

Arthur completed a single  2nd Pilot Op with my father’s crew (AJ Mayfield) on the 19th November to Leverkusen.

‘On our first day with 75 (NZ) Sqn, the Squadron Commander, Wg Cdr Roy Max RNZAF, placed our crew on the Battle Order for that nights operation; mine laying in the Baltic Sea. At the eleventh hour we were pulled out by the Station Commander, Gp Cpt Wass , who wished us to carry out some simulated operations over the UK. code named Bullseye. before being committed to the main force. All the Squadron aircraft assigned to that minelaying operation were lost, so we considered ourselves very fortunate. Our crew was allocated the Stirling bomber JN ‘X‘ for X-ray in ‘C‘ Flight with the logo, ‘ Excuse please Mr, I go, I come back’, a catch phrase taken from the radio show, Tommy Handley’s ‘lTMA’.’

25.11.43. Gardening – Mining in the Frisian Islands
Stirling Mk.III EF507 JN-P
F/S Arthur Russell ‘Russ’ Young RNZAF NZ421133 – Pilot.
F/S Douglas Dean McDonald RAAF AUS.422632 – Navigator.
Sgt. James Colin Burch RAFVR 1434570/ 175383 – Air Bomber.
F/S Ronald Charles Axten RNZAF NZ404589 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Frederick ‘Fred’ Holt  RAFVR 1590363 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. M. ‘Mel’ Sumner RAFVR 1685755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. R. ‘Jimmy’ Burrows RAFVR 1388459 – Rear Gunner .

‘My first operation was a mine laying sortie off the heavily defended Friesian Islands on 24th  November,1943 which was quite uneventful. This was quickly followed with minelaying operations in La Rochelle harbour, the bombing of the V1 rocket launch-sites in the Pas De Callaise area, mine laying in Kiel Bay, where the Royal Navy intelligence Officer hoped the new type magnetic mines we dropped would prevent the Germans from sailing any craft with even one nail in it. When mining Cherbourg harbour the aircraft immediately ahead of us exploded just prior to the release of the mines’.

30.11.43. Gardening – Mining in the Baltic Sea
Stirling Mk.III LK384 JN-X
F/Sgt. D. Baverstock replaces Sgt. M. Sumner as Mid Upper Gunner.

30.12.43. Gardening – Mining between Le Havre and Cherbourg
Stirling Mk.III LK384 JN-X
Sgt. Sumner returns as Mid Upper Gunner.

4.1.44. Attack against a Special Target (V1 flying-bomb sites at Pas de Calais and at Bristillerie near Cherbourg)
Stirling Mk.III LK384 JN-X
Sgt. J. Wainwright joins crew as 2nd Pilot.
This seems like a very small Op total to date to have a new Pilot/ 2nd Pilot fly with the crew – excruciatingly, there seems to be little known of Sgt. Wainwright – not even a Christian name being recorded.

21.1.44. Attack against a Special Target (V1 flying-bomb sites at various locations)
Stirling Mk.III LK384 JN-X
Same crew

28.1.44. Gardening – Mining in the Kiel Bay
Stirling Mk.III LK384 JN-X
Same crew

3.2.44. Gardening – Mining off Cherbourg
Stirling Mk.III LK384 JN-X
Same crew

11.2.44. Gardening – Mining off Mouth of River Ardour
Stirling Mk.III LK384 JN-X
Same crew

15.2.44. Gardening – Mining in the Mouth of River Ardour
Stirling Mk.III LK384 JN-X
Same crew

‘The mining of the River Adour near Bayonne in SW France had to be done twice in four nights as this very first attempt at mine laying from high level – around 6000 ft. was considered a partial failure –  one crew dropped their mines in the wrong river. The second attempt was a complete success.’

19.2.44. Gardening – Mining in Kiel Bay
Stirling Mk.III LK384 JN-X
Same crew

‘Stirling bombers in early 1944 suffered unacceptable losses and were gradually withdrawn from the main stream operations being carried out by the Lancasters which from time to time had a nasty habit of dropping their loads onto the lower flying Stirlings. In March 1944, and still flying Stirlings we were switched to carrying out some covert low flying operations supplying the French resistance movement – The Maquis. These were very hazardous having to fly at around 5000 feet relying on Dead Reckoning navigation and map reading, and having to descend to around 200-300 feet over the DZs. On receiving a prearranged flashlight coded signal and acknowledging it, we dropped the supplies alongside a quickly prepared bonfire and then made a hasty retreat before the Germans were able to locate and reach the dropping zone. The enemy would obviously be alerted to the presence of our aircraft during the time we were circling the area allowing the Maquis to prepare to receive the consignment and light the fire. Many crews were lost on these missions, one being a 75(NZ) Sqn. crew which on several occasions had failed to locate the DZ and vowed before their final attempt that they would succeed or bust; they were lost. This crew was piloted by Sqn Ldr Watson and it was many years later I learned that the only survivor was the mid-upper gunner, Colin Armstrong.’

2.3.44. Special Operations – March Moon Period TRAINER 115b (SUCCESSFUL) Bordeaux?
Stirling Mk.III LK384 JN X
Same crew

4.3.44. Special Operations – March Moon Period TRAINER 129 (SUCCESSFUL) Clermontfear
Stirling Mk.III LK384 JN-X
Same crew

5.3.44. Special Operations – March Moon Period TRAINER 149 (SUCCESSFUL) Lemoges
Stirling Mk.III LK384 JN-X
Same crew

The following 2 Special Operations Ops are not recorded in Colin’s Logbook – I do not have an instant explanation for this – there does appear to be an administrative difference regarding the recording of these ‘Special Operations’ in the Squadron ORB’s, being individually recorded as a distinct chronological list in Form 540. Whilst these Ops are mentioned in Form 541, there is a handwritten note at the end of that months Form 541 which suggests additional information was sent from the Squadron directly to the Air Ministry – this might have contained more detailed information regarding the destinations of these aircraft. It might be that the secrecy of these operations were not, or perhaps latterly were not recorded in the crew logbooks – hence explaining the absence of these 2 OPs in Colin’s logbook.

10.3.44. Special Operations – March Moon Period MONGREL 6 (SUCCESSFUL)
Stirling Mk.III (assume LK384) JN-X
Same crew

‘For my last operation on Stirlings I was briefed for another supply dropping mission whilst complaining of severe earache. At this juncture there was no way l could pull out as it could have been misconstrude as LMF, but by the time we returned to base the earache was so severe that l was quickly transferred to the military hospital in Ely. Concern for my possible permanent loss of hearing led the ENT Specialist to severely chastise me not reporting my earache before getting airborne He could not appreciate my predicament of being unable to tell my Sqn OC that I had earache when l had already been detailed to fly – earache is not ‘visible‘ and the wrong conclusion could easily have be drawn.’

15.3.44. Special Operations – March Moon Period TOM 46 (ABORTIVE)
Stirling Unknown identity
P/O Tom Bradley (RAAF) replaces Colin as Air Bomber

‘On my return to the Squadron after discharge from hospital l discovered that we were to fly Lancasters, and that our Flight, ‘C’ Flight, was the first to be converted. The new aircraft was equipped with the latest radar, H2S, which together with the Gee made navigation a lot easier. We chose the same aircraft call-sign letter, ‘X’, which seemed appropriate as it had served us admirably on the Stirling, the ‘C‘ Flight prefix letters JN remaining the same, A and B Flights prefix being ‘AA’ My role now became radar operator! navigator! Bomb Aimer and part time 2nd  pilot which was more in keeping with my training. I now felt more productive, and as crew members were encouraged to familiarise themselves with other crew duties l was able to fly the aircraft on many occasions thus allowing the pilot to participate in duties other than being the ‘driver airframe’. This proved to be extremely valuable when one squadron pilot was so badly wounded during an operation over Nantes and unable to fly the aircraft, the bomb aimer was able to take control and fly it back to base and land safely, thus saving the pilots life as well as a very valuable aircraft.’

24.4.44. War Ops – Attack Against Karlsruhe
Lancaster I LL888 JN-X
Colin Burch returns to crew as Air Bomber

26.4.44. War Ops – Attack Against Essen
Lancaster Mk.I LL888 JN-X
Same crew

‘The H2S proved its worth on a bombing mission to Friedrichshaven, the farthest target we had to reach, and after a considerable period of flying on the return journey without any real pinpoint I managed to identify Paris on the radar screen. We were well off our intended track, and away from the main stream which made us extremely vulnerable to attack. by radar controlled enemy fighters. ‘Fishpond‘ radar, designed to give warning of enemy night fighter attacks, sometimes had a detrimental effect for if the main stream bombers identified an approaching aircraft and suspected it to be a night fighter and took evasive action, other bombers were quite likely to assume that such an aircraft coming toward them was the enemy. This had a domino effect and l suspect many bombers collided, we will never know.’

27.4.44. War Ops – Attack Against Friedrichshafen
Lancaster Mk.I LL888 JN-X
Same crew

1.5.44. War Ops – Attack Against Chambly
Lancaster Mk.I LL888 JN-X
Same crew

9.5.44. War Ops – Attack Against Cap Gris Nez
Lancaster Mk.I LL888 JN-X
Same crew

19.5.44. War Ops – Attack Against Le Mans
Lancaster Mk.I LL888 JN-X
Same crew

21.05.44. War Ops – Attack Against Duisberg
Lancaster MK.I LL888 JN-X
Same crew

22.5.44. War Ops – Attack Against Dortmund
Lancaster Mk.I LL888 JN-X
Same crew

24.5.44. War Ops – Attack Against Aachen
Lancaster Mk.I LL888 JN-X
Same crew

There is another instance where the Ops recorded by Colin do not tally with the Form 540 records. Colin’s logbook does not list the following 2 Ops, to Aachen and Angers, however the Young crew and JN-X are listed as flying on both Ops…….

27.5.44. War Ops – Attack Against Aachen
Lancaster Mk.I LL888 JN-X
Same crew

28.5.44. War Ops – Attack Against Angers
Lancaster Mk.I LL888 JN-X
Same crew

31.5.44. War Ops – Attack Against Trappes
Lancaster Mk.I LL888
Same crew

We now operated with the main bomber force carrying out bombing missions to Karlsruhe. Essen. Friedrichshaven, and the Normandy beachhead at Ouistraham just prior to the landing of the invasion forces on 6″‘ June. On returning from this raid we were surprised by a formation fighter aircraft which we initially took to be Messerscmitts and were greatly relieved when they were identified as RAF Spitfires. We also witnessed the shooting down of a Lancaster by the naval escort to the invasion fleet when flying well below the pre-briefed height for which we were strongly warned not to do on pain of being fired upon by our own side. The sight of so many vessels at sea was awe inspiring and presented a very unique spectacle, especially on the H25 screen where the sea was hardly distinguishable from the solid mass of shipping.’

5.6.44. War Ops – Attack Against Ouistreham
Lancaster Mk.III ND904 JN-P
Same crew

‘Other targets we bombed following on from the invasion of Normandy were Lisiuex. Fougers. Dreux and Nantes all carried out without much opposition from either the Luftwaffer or ground defences. The total casualties on 75(NZ) Sqn were very high and are reflected in the book about the Squadrons‘ History, ‘Forever Strong‘, by Norman Franks.’

6.6.44. War Ops – Attack Against Lisieux
Lancaster Mk.III ND904 JN-P
Same crew

8.6.44. War Ops – Attack Against Fougreres
Lancaster Mk.I LL888 JN-X
Same crew

10.6.44. War Ops – Attack Against Dreux
Lancaster Mk.I LL888 JN-X
Same Crew

11.6.44. War Ops – Attack Against Nantes
Lancaster Mk.I LL888 JN-X
Same Crew

Read Colin’s memoirs here – they cover his teenage years prior to enlistment, his training and his Operational flying with 75(NZ) Squadron.