Tag Archives: Kiel

Henry John Price RNZAF NZ404095 – Wireless Operator. 1942

IMG_1798

Thanks to Russell for a second time for his contribution of the logbook of Henry John Price, who was killed on the 12th March, as part of John Sandy’s crew on an Op to Kiel.

This was only Henry’s 2nd Op with the Squadron. When I get some time I will check back through the ORB for this period – it seems strange that Henry does a substantial amount of training with (who I take to be ) John Fisher, only to then fly his first Op with Reg Sawrey-Cookson, befor flying to Kiel with John Sandys.

F/O John Frederick Kelly Sandys RCAF J.4814. Pilot.
Died age 25.
Lost without trace, commemorated on Panel 99 Runnymede Memorial.

Sgt. Roy Desmond Joffre Woodcock RNZAF NZ404985. 2nd Pilot.
Died age 26.
Lost without trace, commemorated on Panel 118 Runnymede Memorial.

P/O John Earle RNZAF NZ401756. Observer.
Died age 29.
Lost without trace, commemorated on Panel 115 Runnymede Memorial.

F/Sgt Henry John Price RNZAF NZ404095. Wireless Operator.
Died age 25.
Lost without trace, commemorated on Panel 117 Runnymede Memorial.

Sgt. Leslie Joseph Dunn RAFVR 1001633. Front Gunner.
Died age 19.
Lost without trace, commemorated on Panel 82 Runnymede Memorial.

F/Lt. Thomas James Desmond Baber, mid, Czech Medal for Bravery. RNZAF NZ39857. Rear Gunner.
Died age 23.
Lost without trace, commemorated on Panel 114, Runnymede Memorial.

Read Henry’s logbook here.

The memoirs of Jack Wall – Part 11. Target Photographs

When I was posted to 75(NZ) Squadron for second tour they already had a
New Zealand Squadron Bombing Leader. As I had become an “A” Category
Bombing Leader at Manby on 24.6.44. I took over the duties of Bombing
Leader when the Squadron Bombing Leader was absent on leave etc.
I was therefore able to “acquire” some of my Bombing Photos.
When we dropped our bombs we also released a time controlled flash and the
camera was also timed to take a photo at a set time to coincide when the
bombs detonated on the ground. It was therefore essential to keep the
aircraft on course and straight and level on the bombing run and after
“Bombs Away” to take an accurate photo. This was not an easy task for the
Pilot with Searchlights and Flak all around the aircraft.

The photos show
Squadron Base – Mep is Mepal.
Date.
Height.
Compass bearing.
Time.
Target.
Bomb Load.
Camera and Flash setting.
Pilots Rank and Name.
Aircraft letter and Squadron number.

cologne

COLOGNE
Daylight
28.10.44
18,000′
Aircraft “M”
We were one of the first over the target.
Little flak.
Visual Bombing

soligen

SOLINGEN
Daylight
4.11.44.
20,000′
Aircraft “M”
Light Flak
Plenty of Cloud
Bombed on Markers

NEUSS Night 28/29.11.44. 19,000' Aircraft "M" Light flak Bombed on Markers Poor photo.

NEUSS
Night
28/29.11.44.
19,000′
Aircraft “M”
Light flak
Bombed on Markers
Poor photo.

TRier Daylight 23.12.44. 17,000' Aircraft "M" Little Flak

Trier
Daylight
23.12.44.
17,000′
Aircraft “M”
Little Flak

RHEYDT Daylight 27.12.44. 20,000' Aircraft "M" We were one of the first over the target Visual Bombing

RHEYDT
Daylight
27.12.44.
20,000′
Aircraft “M”
We were one of the first over the target
Visual Bombing

NEUSS Night 6/7/.1.45. 20,000' Aircraft "V" Medium amount of flak on way in and over target Bombed on Markers Poor Photo

NEUSS
Night
6/7/.1.45.
20,000′
Aircraft “V”
Medium amount of flak on way in and over target
Bombed on Markers
Poor Photo

WESEL Daylight 16.2.45. 20,000' Aircraft "M" (it was our 102nd operation for "M") Vsual Bombing in formation - we led.

WESEL
Daylight
16.2.45.
20,000′
Aircraft “M”
(it was our 102nd operation for “M”)
Vsual Bombing in formation – we led.

OSTERFELD Daylight 22.2.45. 19,000' Aircraft "Z" We led our Squadron formation and the other aircraft bombed when we did. We were the target for most of the Flak but we got a good photo. Hit in all engines and one hade to be feathered over the target. Had a total of 37 holes .Skipper awarded Bar to D.F.C.

OSTERFELD
Daylight
22.2.45.
19,000′
Aircraft “Z”
We led our Squadron formation and the other aircraft bombed when we did. We were the target for most of the Flak but we got a good photo.
Hit in all engines and one had to be feathered over the target. Had a total of 37 holes .Skipper awarded Bar to D.F.C.

KIEL NIght 9/10.4.45. 19,000' Aircraft "K" Our last Operation. Bombed on Markers Note 2 other aircraft below us shown on photo.

KIEL
NIght
9/10.4.45.
19,000′
Aircraft “K”
Our last Operation.
Bombed on Markers
Note 2 other aircraft below us shown on photo.

New information for another search

Stirling W7513 crew – Sgt. David Church on extreme left, Sgt. Patrick Torre Hunter 2nd left, Sgt. Devinder Singh Sidhu 3rd from left, centre Sgt. Keith Halliburton – remainder awaiting identification. (Photo courtesy of David Church and 75 Squadron Association, England branch)

I think its always important to remember that I am not the only person searching for information about a relative – on Saturday morning Dave Church came up to me to let me know that he had just been messaged by his son – with the news that he had found a Danish website that seemed to identify the place (approximately) where his Fathers aircraft crashed on the 28th April 1943 on a mining operation to Kiel.

Here is the Google map with a pin identifying the approximate place of the crash

What made David’s loss all the more cruel was that despite arriving with a crew of his own, for a reason I do not know, he was drafted into the Halliburton for his first and as it sadly transpired, only operational raid – David’s ‘original’ crew, captained by Ronald Hugh Laud (based on information linking individual members from the Squadron nominal roll) were lost 2 months later on the 12th of June on a raid to Dusseldorf, the only survivor being Sgt. M.K. Matthews, the rear gunner who ended up a PoW.

The Loss Card details are as follows for the crew/ raid;
Mission: Gardening (Mine Laying – Kiel)
Date: 28/29th April 1943
Unit: No.75 Squadron (R.N.Z.A.F.)
Type: Stirling I
Serial: W7513
Code: AA-G
Base: Newmarket, Suffolk
Location: Unknown – probably over target area.

Pilot: Sgt. Keith Halliburton 415411 R.N.Z.A.F. Age 23. Killed
F/Eng: Sgt. Devinder Singh Sidhu 946455 R.A.F.V.R. Age ? Killed
Nav: Sgt. Patrick Torre Hunter 42297 R.N.Z.A.F. Age 29. Killed
A/B: Sgt. Leslie Thomas Scarfe 1261331 R.A.F.V.R. Age 21. Killed
W/Op: Sgt. David Church 1196564 R.A.F.V.R. Age 29. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Charles Henry George Boxall 1393248 Age ? Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Alexander Clunie Howell 392104 Age 23. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off at 20.42 hrs from R.A.F. Newmarket in Suffolk. Part of a huge 207 aircraft force on a “Gardening” (Mine laying) operation. A total of 593 mines were laid off Heligoland, in the river Elbe and in the Great and Little Belts. Low cloud base forced the aircraft to fly very low over the German and Danish coasts. Because of this they took very heavy flak and also attacks from Luftwaffe night fighters.
Although this was the largest mine laying operation in one night of the whole war it came at a price. A total of 22 aircraft were lost (75 Squadron lost 4 aircraft alone, with a total of 28 crew members killed) – 9 aircraft were lost by the night fighters and the remainder from the flak.

Stirling W7513 is not on the Luftwaffe claims list for this raid so it is thought that it had been taken down by flak – the aircraft was lost without trace.

Listening to him and the excitement in his voice was actually quite humbling – Dave has been researching his Father for a considerable amount of time and the most agonising part of his search has always remained that a crash site was not known – I can only imagine this need to find a place – and I suppose looking at the bigger picture of my search over the last 14 months, I at least had and knew Bob – Dave was not so lucky.

I was surprised when Dave’s excitement at this new revelation was tempered by the fact that because this was not an ‘official’ identification of the crash site, it would be unlikely that RAF records would be updated, to change the location to a specific place, rather than simply ‘unknown’.