Tag Archives: Kenneth Raffill Wood

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

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

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

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

 Dresden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No one contradicted him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lancaster Mk.III LM740 AA-B

Reginald Arthur Smith

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lancaster Mk.III PB421 AA-K

Stan Heald

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

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

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

Lancaster Mk.I HK597 JN-N

jimmy-wood-001-40

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lancaster Mk.I ME450 AA-W

SONY DSC

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

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

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

Lancaster Mk.I HK561 AA-Y

Gordon Ford

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

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

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

Lancaster Mk.I HK601 JN-D

Gerry Newey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Lest we forget………

Bertram William Billing, Wireless Operator – Brown crew (39 Ops)

Bert Billing 2 images comped

Two portraits of Bertram William Billing, Wireless Operator with Desmond Browns crew, between March and November 1944. Bert completed his tour with 75(NZ) Squadron having logged an astonishing 39 Ops. © Michael Billing

Michael has contacted me regarding his Father, Bertram William Billing, who flew with Desmond Brown’s crew, between March and November of 1944. Over this period, Bert amassed an incredible total of 39 Ops – the database indicates 40, however Michael says he recalls his Father telling him he flew 39 Ops, so of the 40, I must assume one was abortive, so that will be something to check back through the database. In addition to the 37 Ops flown with Des Brown and his ‘normal’ crew, Bert also flew 2 additional Ops with Lawrence  O’Connor’s crew.

Michael is very keen and has his fingers crossed that there might be another relative of the Brown crew out there.

 Administration 23.3.44
NZ42710 Sgt. Brown and crew arrive from No.31 Base

01 04 Bert RAF Group Back Middle

A photograph of the Brown crew, date and location unconfirmed. In the back row of 5, Bert is stood in the middle. To the far right, identifiable by his Pilots wings is Des Brown, on the other end of the back row is Ray Rattle, the Flight Engineer. We can now also identify the 2 Airgunners in the crew – stood as a pair in front, to the left, Mid Upper Gunner Les De’Lungo and to the right Tom Fitzpatrick, the Rear Gunner. (many thanks to Kevin king for adding identities to this picture after the post was made) © Michael Billing

Michael has also supplied a number of other photographs, which he assumes are members of the Brown crew. Subsequent to this post being made, Kevin, has identified the individual in the picture below and the following one as Les De’Lungo the Brown crew’s Mid Upper Gunner – the identities of the other individuals are still unknown.

Possibly Brown crew compd

A set of images of whom me must deduce are also members of the Brown crew. Certainly the top image and the second image clearly shows Les De’Lungo, who appears in the previous group photograph of Airmen. The identities of the remainder of theses individuals are so far unconfirmed. © Michael Billing

09/04/1944 – Attack Against Lille
Four Stirling aircraft were detailed to attack Lille. One jettisoned its load on the outward journey, but the remainder successfully attacked the target.

Stirling Mk.III EF465 ??-? (22)

F/S Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/S Martin Roy Westgarth, RNZAF NZ429384 – Navigator.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Rattle, RAFVR 1629141 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:45 – Landed 00:10
Flight Time 01:25

11/04/1944 – Mining off La Rochelle
Five Stirlings were detailed for mine laying off La Rochelle, one was withdrawn but the remainder successfully completed their mission.

Stirling Mk.III EF233 ??-? (13)

F/S Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/S Martin Roy Westgarth, RNZAF NZ429384 – Navigator.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Rattle, RAFVR 1629141 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:25 – Landed 00:50
Flight Time 04:25

18/04/1944 – Mining in Kiel Bay
Seven Stirlings were detailed to lay mines in Kiel Bay, one was withdrawn and one failed to return (Captain NZ415820 F/O. H. Murray).  The remaining five successfully completed their mission.  On return they landed away.

Stirling Mk.III LK396 ??-? (17)

F/S Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/S Martin Roy Westgarth, RNZAF NZ429384 – Navigator.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. R. Cunningham, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:45 – Landed 03:05
Flight Time 06:20

Squadron conversion to Lancasters – detachment to No.3 L.F.S. RAF Feltwell
Des Brown, Bert and the rest of the crew arrived just as 75(NZ) Squadron RAF was beginning the approximately 7 week long conversion from Stirlings to Lancasters. The first Lancaster arriving with the Squadron just 10 days before. By the end of March, another 19 aircraft at arrived at the Squadron. The Brown crew had so far flown 3 Ops in Stirlings and on the 24th April 1944 were detached to No.3 Lancaster Finishing School at RAF Feltwell, to undergo conversion training. They returned to the Squadron on the 30th of that month. 10 days later, they would be operational again.

10/05/1944 – Attack Against Courtrai
Twenty three aircraft successfully bombed the marshalling yards at Courtrai. A concentrated attack was made with very slight opposition. One aircraft (Captain NZ413043 A/S/L. L. Drummond) was hit by A.A. Fire on the return journey and the Captain received slight injuries.

Lancaster Mk.III ND752 AA-O (10)

F/S Lawrence Michael O’Connor, RNZAF NZ424505 – Pilot.
F/S Robert Ronga Scott, RNZAF NZ429372 – Navigator.
F/S Walter Bernard Robinson, RNZAF NZ426059 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. R. Raven, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. H. Lewis, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. T. Howell, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:00 – Landed 00:40
Flight Time 02:40

11/05/1944 – Attack Against Louvain
Twenty-four aircraft, representing the largest number of Lancaster aircraft so far detailed by this Squadron, were despatched to attack the marshalling yards at Louvain. Twenty-three aircraft successfully attacked in good weather. One aircraft (Captain NZ414591 A/F/L. S. Clark) claimed a JU 88 destroyed in combat over the North Sea. Another aircraft (Captain 151118 A/F/L. D. Warren) failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I LL865 ??-? (10)

F/S Lawrence Michael O’Connor, RNZAF NZ424505 – Pilot.
F/S Robert Ronga Scott, RNZAF NZ429372 – Navigator.
F/S Walter Bernard Robinson, RNZAF NZ426059 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. R. Raven, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. H. Lewis, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. T. Howell, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:45 – Landed 01:45
Flight Time 03:00

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

Lancaster Mk.III ND752DUP AA-O (2)

F/S Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/S Martin Roy Westgarth, RNZAF NZ429384 – Navigator.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Rattle, RAFVR 1629141 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:30 – Landed 03:30
Flight Time 05:00

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.III ND752 AA-O (12)

F/S Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/S Martin Roy Westgarth, RNZAF NZ429384 – Navigator.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Rattle, RAFVR 1629141 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:55 – Landed 02:40
Flight Time 03:45

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.III ND752 AA-O (13)

F/S Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/S Martin Roy Westgarth, RNZAF NZ429384 – Navigator.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Rattle, RAFVR 1629141 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:50 – Landed 02:45
Flight Time 03:55

24/05/1944 – Attack Against Boulogne
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.III ND756 AA-R? (9)

F/S Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/S Martin Roy Westgarth, RNZAF NZ429384 – Navigator.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Rattle, RAFVR 1629141 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:25 – Landed 02:10
Flight Time 01:45

27/05/1944 – 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 ME691 AA-R (17)

F/S Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/S Martin Roy Westgarth, RNZAF NZ429384 – Navigator.
F/S A. Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Rattle, RAFVR 1629141 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:49 – Landed 02:49
Flight Time 02:00

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.III HK553 AA-S (2)

F/S Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/S Martin Roy Westgarth, RNZAF NZ429384 – Navigator.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Rattle, RAFVR 1629141 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:50 – Landed 01:55
Flight Time 07:05

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.III ND782 AA-U (15)

F/S Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/S Martin Roy Westgarth, RNZAF NZ429384 – Navigator.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. R. Hughes, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:50 – Landed 04:20
Flight Time 04:30

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.III ND782 AA-U (21)

F/S Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/S Martin Roy Westgarth, RNZAF NZ429384 – Navigator.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Rattle, RAFVR 1629141 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Peter Neech, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

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

12/06/1944 – Attack Against Gelsenkirchen
Fifteen aircraft were detailed to attack Gelsenkirchen and all took part in a very concentrated raid, A.A. Fire not being so intense as expected. Although enemy fighters were active, no combats took place with our aircraft.

Lancaster Mk.III ND920 AA-P (18)

F/S Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
Sgt. R. Ede, RAFVR – Navigator.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Rattle, RAFVR 1629141 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Peter Neech, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. T. Howell, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

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

01/08/1944 – Attack Against Le Nieppe
Sixteen aircraft took off to attack the Constructional Works Site at Le Nieppe. All aircraft reached the target area and the ten which were at the head of the bomber stream, bombed with the aim of markers, but later aircraft were instructed not to bomb, and these brought their bombs back. There was slight A.A. opposition but no fighter activity. There was 10/10ths cloud at the target.

Lancaster Mk.I HK562 AA-L “Lucy” (16)

F/O Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/O William David Topping, RAFVR 138322 – Navigator.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Rattle, RAFVR 1629141 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:05 – Landed 21:40
Flight Time 02:35

03/08/1944 – Attack Against L’Isle Adam
Twenty out of the twenty one aircraft detailed took off to attack the Supply Dumps at L’Isle Adam, near Paris. They all attacked in clear weather and a very successful and concentrated raid was reported. There was no fighter opposition and only slight A.A. fire was met in the target area.

Lancaster Mk.I HK562 AA-L “Lucy” (17)

F/O Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/O William David Topping, RAFVR 138322 – Navigator.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Rattle, RAFVR 1629141 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:00 – Landed 15:30
Flight Time 03:30

04/08/1944 – Attack Against Bec D’Ambes
Twenty aircraft were required to attack the Supply Depot at Foret De Nieppe, but this operation was cancelled, and the same aircraft were detailed to attack the Oil Storage and Refinery at Bec D’Ambes near Bordeaux. All took off and nineteen attacked the primary target in clear weather. A good concentrated raid developed and many fires and explosions were seen with smoke rising to 10,000 ft. There was no opposition. One aircraft attacked Pauillic owing to flying in the wrong bomber stream.

Lancaster Mk.I HK562 AA-L “Lucy” (18)

F/O Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/O William David Topping, RAFVR 138322 – Navigator.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Rattle, RAFVR 1629141 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 13:25 – Landed 21:15
Flight Time 07:50

07/08/1944 – Attack Against Mare De Magne
The target was enemy troops and armour concentrations at Mare De Magne, being made in direct support of the Allied Armies advance in the Caen area. Seventeen aircraft were detailed, all of which took off and dropped their bombs with the aid of markers, and a concentrated raid developed. Opposition from A.A. fire was very slight, but a few enemy fighters were active. One aircraft had an inconclusive combat and another (Captain 150278 .F/O. G. Brunton) failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I HK562 AA-L “Lucy” (19)

F/O Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/O William David Topping, RAFVR 138322 – Navigator.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Rattle, RAFVR 1629141 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:05 – Landed 01:45
Flight Time 03:40

08/08/1944 – Attack Against Lucheux
Twenty aircraft took off as detailed to attack Petrol Dumps at Lucheux, behind the enemy lines. All aircraft were successful in their mission, in good visibility. A good concentration of fires with smoke rising to 9,000 ft., was left burning. There was only slight A.A. opposition, but enemy fighters were active, and three of our aircraft had inconclusive combats, two suffering damage but no casualties.

Lancaster Mk.I HK562 AA-L “Lucy” (20)

F/O Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/O William David Topping, RAFVR 138322 – Navigator.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Rattle, RAFVR 1629141 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:15 – Landed 01:15
Flight Time 03:00

09/08/1944 – Attack Against Fort D’Anglos
Seventeen aircraft took off as detailed to attack the Army Fuel Depot at Fort D’Anglos. All were successful in bombing with the aid of markers. The raid appeared to be scattered but there was indication of a large conflagration. Opposition from A.A. fire was very slight and no enemy fighters were seen.

Lancaster Mk.I HK562 AA-L “Lucy” (22)

F/O Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/O William David Topping, RAFVR 138322 – Navigator.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Rattle, RAFVR 1629141 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:05 – Landed 00:10
Flight Time 02:05

14/08/1944 – Attack Against Hamel
Twenty two aircraft took off as detailed to attack enemy troop concentrations near Hamel, in support of the advancing British and Canadian Armies. Nineteen were successful in bombing the target with the aid of markers and in accordance with the Master Bomber’s instructions. Three aircraft were unable to bomb owing to being too late over the target. A.A. opposition was very slight and no enemy fighters were seen.

Lancaster Mk.I HK562 AA-L “Lucy” (25)

F/O Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/O William David Topping, RAFVR 138322 – Navigator.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Rattle, RAFVR 1629141 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 14:05 – Landed 17:45
Flight Time 03:40

15/08/1944 – Attack Against The Aerodrome at St. Trond
Nineteen aircraft took off as detailed to attack the Aerodrome at St. Trond. All aircraft made a successful attack and bombing results were confirmed visually, the bomb bursts being well concentrated on the runways. Opposition was almost negligible both over the target and en route.

Lancaster Mk.I HK562 AA-L “Lucy” (26)

F/O Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/O William David Topping, RAFVR 138322 – Navigator.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Rattle, RAFVR 1629141 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 10:10 – Landed 13:40
Flight Time 03:30

16/08/1944 – Attack Against Stettin
Twenty three aircraft took off as detailed to attack Stettin. Twenty two were successful in attacking the target with the aid of markers, but the raid appeared scattered and no great concentration of fires was achieved. Slight A.A. fire was encountered in the target area and a few fighters were met en route, two aircraft having inconclusive combats. One aircraft returned early with icing trouble.

Lancaster Mk.I HK562 AA-L “Lucy” (27)

F/O Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/O William David Topping, RAFVR 138322 – Navigator.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Rattle, RAFVR 1629141 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:05 – Landed 05:25
Flight Time 08:20

25/08/1944 – Attack Against Russelsheim
Twenty eight aircraft took off as detailed to attack Russelsheim. Of these twenty five attacked the primary target and reported a good concentrated raid. A.A. opposition was slight, but enemy aircraft were active and one of our aircraft had two inconclusive combats. Another was unable to identify the target and jettisoned its load. A further one was caught in searchlights over the target and during evasive action lost both ailerons. This aircraft was captained by NZ424504 .F/S. O’Callaghan, E. The navigator 958564 .F/S. Hartley, R., kept the aircraft on track on the return journey even though his instruments were unserviceable and his chart lost. Two aircraft failed to return, they were captained by NZ422382 .F/O. J. Fleming and NZ421345 .F/S. Barker, R.

Lancaster Mk.I HK562 AA-L “Lucy” (29)

F/L Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/O William David Topping, RAFVR 138322 – Navigator.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Rattle, RAFVR 1629141 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:23 – Landed 04:34
Flight Time 08:11

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 HK574 AA-R “Rio Rita” (20)

F/L Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/O William David Topping, RAFVR 138322 – Navigator.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
F/S Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Rattle, RAFVR 1629141 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:10 – Landed 21:10
Flight Time 04:00

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.

Lancaster Mk.I HK562 AA-L “Lucy” (33)

F/L Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/O William David Topping, RAFVR 138322 – Navigator.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
F/S Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Rattle, RAFVR 1629141 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 06:10 – Landed 09:30
Flight Time 03:20

11/09/1944 – Attack Against Kamen
Fifteen aircraft were detailed to attack Kamen Oil Refinery. Weather conditions were favourable and some crews were able to bomb visually, under the Master Bomber’s instructions. Clouds of black smoke rising to 15,000 ft. was reported and a very successful raid ensued. Opposition from slight but accurate heavy A.A. fire was met from the defences. No enemy fighters were encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I HK562 AA-L “Lucy” (34)
HK562 hit by flak 4 times (AC)
F/L Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/O William David Topping, RAFVR 138322 – Navigator.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
F/S Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Rattle, RAFVR 1629141 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 16:40 – Landed 20:40
Flight Time 04:00

17/09/1944 – Attack Against Boulogne
In the morning fourteen aircraft took off to attack Boulogne. Crews were able to identify landmarks and bombing was accurate, although much smoke hid results. The aircraft captained by NZ411397 A/S/L. G. Gunn was severely damaged by light flak, but he managed to fly back across the Channel even though both starboard engines were feathered. On landing at Hawkinge, however, the aircraft overshot the small runway and crashed. The Captain received injuries and was placed on the Dangerously Ill List, the Navigator 153453 F/O F. Smith was slightly injured, the Air Bomber NZ428249 F/O A Millar was placed on the Seriously Ill List, the Flight Engineer 1566967 Sgt Bruce, J was killed, but the remainder of the crew were uninjured, they were WO/AIR 47714 F/L W Naismith, MU/Gnr NZ411708 F/O C. Robertson and R/Gnr NZ402519 F/O S. Haynes. All of those injured were admitted to Kent and Canterbury Hospital, Canterbury and the body of Sgt Bruce was sent to his next of kin for burial.

Lancaster Mk.I ME751 AA-M “Mother” (33)

F/L Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/S Reginald Rycroft Hartley, RAFVR 185289 – Navigator.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
F/S Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Rattle, RAFVR 1629141 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 10:14 – Landed 12:53
Flight Time 02:39

23/09/1944 – Attack Against Neuss
Twenty six aircraft took off as detailed to attack the Marshalling Yards at Neuss. The target was obscured by ten tenths cloud with tops of 11,000 ft. Most crews bombed below cloud, some explosions and flashes were seen, but results were difficult to assess. One aircraft returned early through the complete failure of the electrical system and a further aircraft bombed the target, but owing to a technical failure, landed at Woodbridge on return. Moderate but inaccurate A.A. Fire was met over the target.

Lancaster Mk.I ME751 AA-M “Mother” (35)

F/L Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/O William George Birnie, RNZAF NZ429291 – Navigator.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
F/S Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Rattle, RAFVR 1629141 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:20 – Landed 21:25
Flight Time 02:05

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.

Lancaster Mk.I ME751 AA-M “Mother” (36)

F/L Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/O William George Birnie, RNZAF NZ429291 – Navigator.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
F/S Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Rattle, RAFVR 1629141 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 08:30 – Landed 11:30
Flight Time 03:00

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.

Lancaster Mk.I ME751 AA-M “Mother” (39)

F/L Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/L A. Stewart, RAFVR – Squadron Navigation Leader.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
F/S Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Rattle, RAFVR 1629141 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:20 – Landed 22:25
Flight Time 05:05

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.I ME751 AA-M “Mother” (40)

F/L Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/O John Murray Watts, RNZAF NZ427239 – Navigator.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
F/S Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Rattle, RAFVR 1629141 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 16:45 – Landed 22:10
Flight Time 05:25

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 ME751 AA-M “Mother” (41)
Hit by flak3 times
F/L Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/S Kenneth Raffill Wood, RNZAF NZ4212783 – Navigator.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
F/S Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Rattle, RAFVR 1629141 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

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

14/10/1944 – Attack Against Duisburg
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 ME751 AA-M “Mother” (42)

F/L Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/S Kenneth Raffill Wood, RNZAF NZ4212783 – Navigator.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
F/S Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Rattle, RAFVR 1629141 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:50 – Landed 04:00
Flight Time 05:10

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 ME751 AA-M “Mother” (43)

F/L Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/S Reginald Rycroft Hartley, RAFVR 185289 – Navigator.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
F/S Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Rattle, RAFVR 1629141 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 08:25 – Landed 13:15
Flight Time 04:50

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.I ME751 AA-M “Mother” (45)

F/L Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/S Reginald Rycroft Hartley, RAFVR 185289 – Navigator.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
F/S Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Rattle, RAFVR 1629141 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:10 – Landed 14:05
Flight Time 02:55

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.

Lancaster Mk.I ME751 AA-M “Mother” (46)

F/L Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/S Reginald Rycroft Hartley, RAFVR 185289 – Navigator.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
F/S Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Rattle, RAFVR 1629141 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 16:45 – Landed 21:15
Flight Time 04:30

30/10/1944 – Attack Against Cologne
Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack Cologne during daylight, but the operation was postponed until the evening. All aircraft attacked the target and although a good concentration of markers was achieved results were unobserved owing to ten tenths cloud. Moderate A.A. opposition was encountered and one aircraft received slight damage. There was no fighter opposition.

Lancaster Mk.I ME751 AA-M “Mother” (49)

F/L Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/S Reginald Rycroft Hartley, RAFVR 185289 – Navigator.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
F/S Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Rattle, RAFVR 1629141 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:55 – Landed 22:55
Flight Time 05:00

31/10/1944 – Attack Against Cologne
Eighteen aircraft took off in the evening to make a further attack on Cologne. Ten tenths cloud prevailed over the target area, but markers were well placed and a good glow from fires beneath the clouds was observed on leaving. A.A. opposition was slight and no enemy fighters were seen.

Lancaster Mk.I ME751 AA-M “Mother” (50)

F/L Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/S Reginald Rycroft Hartley, RAFVR 185289 – Navigator.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
F/S Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Rattle, RAFVR 1629141 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:05 – Landed 22:30
Flight Time 04:25

02/11/1944 – Attack Against Homberg
Twenty aircraft took off to attack the Oil Refinery at Homberg, carrying 7 x 8,000 lb, 13 x 4,000, 99 x 1,000 and 132 x 500 lb Bombs. All aircraft were successful in bombing the target in clear weather, and a concentrated raid developed. A large pall of black smoke was soon burning in the target area, and many crews saw their bombs burst in the smoke, through which parts of the factory were observed. Flak opposition was moderate to intense and eight aircraft suffered minor damage, but one aircraft captained by NZ421343 F/L V.J. Andrew, was hit by heavy flak when over the target and the starboard engine caught fire which the crew only managed to extinguish with great difficulty.

Lancaster Mk.I HK562 AA-L “Lucy” (45)

F/L Desmond Charles Brown, RNZAF NZ42710 – Pilot.
F/S Reginald Rycroft Hartley, RAFVR 185289 – Navigator.
F/S Albert Harkness, RNZAF NZ425631 – Air Bomber.
F/S Bertram William Billing, RAFVR 1318831 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Raymond Rattle, RAFVR 1629141 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Leslie De’Lungo, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Thomas Fitzpatrick, RAFVR 1797837 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:30 – Landed 15:35
Flight Time 04:05

Bert was released from RAF service on the 26th June 1946. We know nothing of what he was doing after his last Op with the Squadron and his discharge, however the following 2 items perhaps give a clue. The first is a hand written note that appears to record to flights – interestingly, Bert appears to be listed on it as an instructor – so me must assume that after his forst tour with the Squadron he went to perhaps a Conversion Unit, or maybe an Operational Training Unit. A reference to ‘NR729 “J”‘ identifies the aircraft, but having checked ‘Avro Lancaster – the definitive record’ by Harry Holmes, all I am sadly able to observe is that it isn’t a Lancaster………..

Many thanks to Chris for doing his usual excellent digging after a post and shedding the following light on the notes below:

“Re the handwritten note with flight details – the “Dominie” will refer to the aircraft type, and de Havilland Dominie serial no. NR279 (reg. 6817) was used for radio training, taken on charge at 4 RS Madley (RAF Madley Radio School, Herefordshire) on 9.1.45. The Dominie was apparently used as an airborne wireless training ‘classroom’. The note shows the Instructor (Bert) and two trainee W/Op’s flying 2 x 2 hr training flights.”

Handwritten Note

A hand written crew list, showing Bert an an ‘instructor’ – we must assume Bert performed a training role after he completed his tour with 75(NZ) Squadron RAF. © Michael Billing

The second item, a portion of Bert’s release book notes the comment ‘Has proved a good instructor and shown powers of leadership’, seeming to confirm Bert’s instructional or training role for his latter service in the RAF.

Bert Billing RAF Release

Bert’s RAF certificate of service and release, showing his release from the RAF on the 26th of June 1946. © Michael Billing

 

 

Gordon Ford RAFVR 1523080 – Wireless Operator. 1944

75 Sqdn page 1

I am pleased to present the Logbook of Gordon Ford, the content of which has provided such interesting content for the previous post on Gordon and his crew. Many thanks to Ian for the generous donation.

Read Gordon’s logbook here

Request for Information – Gordon Ford, Wireless Operator. Farr & Watson crew.

Many thanks to Ian,  via Nevin, for contacting me regarding his Father Gordon.

Gordon and his crew certainly seemed to have an interesting stay with the Squadron – spending 2 periods at Mepal with 2 different Pilots. A first tour was apparently cut short after their  Pilot, Bill Farr was injured by flak. A return to 1651 H.C.U and No.3 L.F.S. saw them come back to the Squadron in February of 1945 with a new skipper – Matt Watson.

Ian is keen to find out what ever he can about his Father – so as always, lets hope someone sees this post and is able to tell him more…….

Form 540 (September 1944)
Administration
NZ427798 F/S Farr, W. and crew arrived on posting from No.31 Base.

6.9.44. War Ops – Attack Against Harqueboc Near Le Havre
Lancaster Mk.I HK574 AA-R
F/S William John Farr RNZAF NZ427798 – Pilot
F/S Kenneth Raffill Wood RNZAF NZ4212783 – Navigator
F/S Richard Godfrey Dawson RNZAF NZ421686 – Air Bomber
F/S Gordon Ford RAFVR 1523080 – Wireless Operator
Sgt. L. Cook RAFVR – Flight Engineer
Sgt. W. Mentiply RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner
Sgt. A. Bolland RAFVR – Rear Gunner

8.9.44. War Ops – Attack Against Doudenville
Lancaster Mk. I HK574 AA-R

10.9.44. War Ops – Attack Against Montvilliers
Lancaster Mk.I HK574 AA-R

12.9.44. War Ops – Attack Against Frankfurt
Lancaster Mk.I ME753  AA-N
Gordon flies this Op with Jack Plummer’s crew – recorded in his logbook, but not listed in Form 541 – Wireless Operator is recorded as F. Chambers

20.9.44. War Ops – Attack Against Calais
Lancaster Mk.I LM276 AA-S

4.10.44. Gardening – Mining in the Kattegat
Lancaster Mk.I ME751 AA-M (note in Logbook says ‘101 Ops’ – though it is not clear what this refers to)
Sgt D. McNeil replaces Sgt. Cook as Flight Engineer

6.10.44. War Ops – Attack Against Dortmund
Lancaster Mk.I NF935 AA-P
Sgt. K. Futter replaces Sgt. McNeil as Flight Engineer
Logbook notes – ‘ German Fighter destroyed – also ‘skipper injured’ – destruction of enemy a/c corroborated in 541 Ops diary notes.

It would therefore suggest that the injury sustained by Jack Farr was serous enough to end his flying career – certainly with 75(NZ) Squadron…..

My only relative knowledge of a similar situation, relative to the loss of a Pilot on a 2nd Dickie Op for example is that the remaining ‘headless’ crew are dispersed in the Squadron – this is certainly was how Bill Lake and Tom Darbyshire ended up in my Father’s crew in 1943 after their skipper, Jack Thomson  was killed on his second ‘second dickie’ operation with the Bailie crew on the 3rd August to Hamburg. I can envisage in a similar situation that the remaining airmen might be simply dispersed back to OTU’s or HCU’s – but its a surprise to me that they were sent back on mass – though of course, in all these matters, I stand to be corrected…….

Gordon then finds himself at 1651 Conversion Unit and No.3 L.F.S. with the rest of his crew……

Subsequent digging in the ORB would   suggest that essentially the whole ‘ex’ Farr crew went with Gordon – the Flight Engineer’s position just before the time of Jack Farr’s injury, began to rotate, so one must assume the original FE,  Sgt. Cook left for some reason and the FE on the Dortmund Op, was a regular member of Jim Elmslie’s crew. I’m not aware of this happening before, essentially a whole crew essentially sent back into training to pick up a pilot – in this case, Matthew Watson.

Form 540 (January 1945)
17.1.45 Administration
176130 F/O M. Watson and crew arrived on posting from No.31 Base.

2.2.45. War Ops – Attack Against Wiesbaden
Lancaster Mk.III LM733  AA-R
F/O Matthew Watson RAFVR 1495959/ 176130 – Pilot
F/S Kenneth Raffill Wood RNZAF NZ4212783 – Navigator
F/S Richard Godfrey Dawson RNZAF NZ421686 – Air Bomber
F/S Gordon Ford RAFVR 1523080 – Wireless Operator
Sgt. R. Pare RAFVR – Flight Engineer
Sgt. W. Mentiply RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner
Sgt. A. Bolland RAFVR – Rear Gunner

3.2.45. War Ops – Attack Against Dortmund
Lancaster Mk.I ME450  AA-W

13.2.45. War Ops – Attack Against Dreseden
Lancaster Mk.I HK561 (orb shows HL)  AA-Y

14.2.45. War Ops
– Attack Against Chemnitz
Lancaster Mk.I HK561  AA-Y
F/S Patrick Reedy  replaces Sgt. Pare as Flight Engineer

22.2.45. War Ops – Attack Against Osterfeld
Lancaster Mk.III  LM733 AA-R
Sgt. Pare returns as Flight Engineer

25.2.45. War Ops – Attack Against Kamen
Lancaster Mk.I LM276  AA-S
Logbook notes –   ‘Skipper hit – wounded in chest’ – Form 541 Op notes say ‘Pilot hit by flak’.

4.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Wanne Eickel
Lancaster Mk.I PB132  AA-X

5.3.45. War Ops
– Attack Against Gelsenkirchen
Lancaster Mk.I RF157 AA-X

7.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Wesel
Lancaster Mk.I RF157 AA-X

9.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Datteln
Lancaster Mk.I PB132  AA-X

10.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Gelsenkirchen Buer
Lancaster Mk.I  RF157 AA-X
Logbook notes –  ‘1,085 Lancs on’

12.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Dortmund
Lancaster Mk.I RF157  AA-X

14.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Heinrich Hutte
Lancaster Mk.I RF157  AA-X
Logbook notes –  ‘a/c hit’

18.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Bruchstrasse
Lancaster Mk.I RF157  AA-X

21.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Munster Viaduct
Lancaster Mk.I RF127  AA-W

27.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Hamm
Lancaster Mk.I RF157  AA-X

14.4.45. War Ops – Attack Against Potsdam
Lancaster Mk.I RF157  AA-X

1.5.45. Supply Dropping at Delft
Lancaster Mk.III PB427  AA-U (Logbook notes ‘W’)
Logbook notes –  ‘Grocery Boys’

11.5.45. Repatriation of Prisoners of War at Juvincourt
Lancaster Mk.I RF157  AA-X

12.5.45. Repatriation of Prisoners of War at Juvincourt
Lancaster Mk.I  AA-X
Logbook notes – ‘weather U/S – recalled’

14.5.45. Repatriation of Prisoners of War at Juvincourt
Lancaster Mk.I HK576  AA-L
Logbook notes – ‘Junincourt to Ford Very Dicey – overshot on 3 engines port inner u/s’.

29.5.45. Viewing the effects of Bombing
Lancaster Mk.HK576  AA-L  – a/c details assumed from previous Op and Logbook details –
3 passengers in addition to normal crew W/O Murphy, F/S Waterman, Cpl Rivers
Logbook notes – ‘Cooks tour over Ruhr’

The back page of Gordon’s Logbook lists Mepal as ‘to 6th June 1945′. After this No. 11F/U Talbenny, July 1945 to August 1945, then No. 16 F/U Dunkswell, August 1945 to May 1946 – this seems to coincide with the hand-back of this station from the U.S. Navy to the RAF.

An interesting additional note is;
‘Flew with Jack Farr 74 times, Flew with Matt Watson 86 times’ – clearly this represents the entire times of training both pre operational and non operational training flights whilst with 75(NZ) Squadron, but nevertheless is an impressive total.