Tag Archives: L. Player

Operation ‘Manna’ starts 70 years ago today…….

Today, 70 years ago, after the cessation of hostilities in Europe, a massive humanitarian operation began to drop food and supplies to the starving people of Holland. At  12:34, this afternoon F/L Bill Alexander took off in ME531 AA-K, ahead of another 8 Lancasters from the Squadron to take part in the first day of food dropping over Delft.

The aircraft, crews and order of take off as recorded in the Form 541 for April 1945 was as follows:

29/04/1945 – Supply Dropping in the Delf Area
9 Aircraft were detailed for Supply Dropping in the Delft area. The operation was uneventful and crowds were seen waving and cheering. Quite a number of packs hung up.

Lancaster Mk.I NG448 AA-A
S/L Laurence Douglas McKenna, RNZAF NZ424493 – Pilot.
F/O Maurice Frank Thorogood, RAFVR 1322861/ 139697 – Navigator.
F/O H. St. Laurent, RCAF J.29721 – Air Bomber.
F/S Leslie Thomas Patrick Murphy, RAAF AUS.423476 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. T. Harper, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S Sidney George Frederick Sizeland, RAFVR 196611 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Gordon Albert Mills, RAFVR 1445361/ 196610 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:36 – Landed 15:00
Flight Time 02:24

Lancaster Mk.I RA510 AA-E
F/O Albert George Bone, RNZAF NZ4211608 – Pilot.
F/S P. Henchie, RAFVR – Navigator.
F/S Maurice Patrick Power, RNZAF NZ421395 – Air Bomber.
F/S Raymond Joseph Butler, RNZAF NZ4213147 – Wireless Operator.
F/S V. Cramer, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. R Lander, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. D. Logan, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:37 – Landed 14:59
Flight Time 02:22

Lancaster Mk.II ME531 AA-K
F/L William Edward Robert Alexander, RNZAF NZ413801 – Pilot.
F/O Dixon D NZ1981,   – Navigator.
Sgt. W. Townsend, RAFVR – Air Bomber.
Sgt. E. Preston, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. M Brown, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/L Basil Douglas Larbalestie, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. D. Payne, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:34 – Landed 15:07
Flight Time 02:33

Lancaster Mk.III PB132 AA-T
F/O Thomas Wagner Good, RAFVR 1330401/ 195724 – Pilot.
F/S Woonton R, RAFVR – Navigator.
F/S Williams E,   – Air Bomber.
W/O P. Brooke, RAFVR 1312079 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. R. Winning, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. H. Parry, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. W. Gilbert, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:39 – Landed 15:20
Flight Time 02:41

Lancaster Mk.I HK561 AA-Y
F/L Russell Ashley Banks, RNZAF NZ416437 – Pilot
F/O Maurice Wiggins, RAFVR 1219661/ 164286 – Navigator
F/O James Ernest ‘Jimmy’ Wood, RAFVR 1801019/ 154906 – Air Bomber
F/L Alexander Reid Hirst, RNZAF NZ41588 – Wireless Op
Sgt. Norman ‘Paddy’ Allen, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner
W/O John Edward ‘Jack’ Britnell, RAFVR 1579917 – Rear Gunner

Take Off 12:37 – Landed 15:06
Flight Time 02:29

Lancaster Mk,I RF127 AA-W
F/L Ian Taylor, RAFVR 1550767/ 135709 – Pilot
P/O David Dickson Hope, RAAF AUS.401954 – Navigator
W/O John Alfred Tarran, RAAF AUS.419395 – Air Bomber
W/O Mervyn John King, RAAF AUS.430036 – Wireless Operator
Sgt. L. Deeprose, RAFVR – Flight Engineer
W/O T. R. Kemp, RAFVR 1412409 – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S E. Franklin, RAFVR – Rear Gunner

Take Off 12:38 – Landed 15:17
Flight Time 02:39

Lancaster Mk.I PB820 JN-V
F/O Ronald Christie Flamank, RNZAF NZ427270 – Pilot.
F/S A. Westbury, RAFVR AUS.401954 – Navigator.
F/S E. Carver, RAFVR – Air Bomber.
F/S Douglas Haig Rapson, RNZAF NZ428323 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. V. Saunders, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leslie Dixon Moore, RNZAF NZ421327 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. D. Hills,   – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:39 – Landed 15:13
Flight Time 02:34

Lancaster Mk.II PB421 AA-P
F/O Wi Rangiuaia, RNZAF NZ427319 – Pilot.
Sgt. Mayhew A,   – 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,   – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. T. Morgan,   – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:40 – Landed 15:10
Flight Time 02:30

Lancaster Mk.I RF129 JN-M
W/C Cyril Henry ‘Mac’ Baigent, RNZAF NZ411973/ 70038 – Pilot.
F/S James Randel Haworth, RNZAF NZ4216510 – Navigator.
F/L Grant Alan Russell, RNZAF NZ411729 – Air Bomber.
P/O William Lachlan Wilson, RNZAF NZ41117 – Wireless Operator.
W/O W. Peplow, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/O Harold George Howells, RAFVR 1292972/ 185219 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/O Gwyn Duglan, RAFVR 179249 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:46 – Landed 15:11
Flight Time 02:25

 

75(NZ) Squadron RAF would undertake another 117 flights to Holland over the next 9 days till the final on the 8th of May. An earlier post about Operation ‘Manna’ and the USAAF Operation ‘Chowhound’ can be read here.

30/04/45           
Supply Dropping – Rotterdam 
21 Aircraft were detailed to Supply dropping in the Rotterdam area. Crowds of Dutch were seen waving and cheering. The Operation was carried out successfully.

01/05/45           
Supply Dropping at Delft  
21 Aircraft were detailed for Supply Dropping at Delft. The population were very excited. There was a great deal of flag waving and thanks messages were seen painted on roof tops.

02/05/45           
Supply Dropping at Delft   
21 Aircraft were detailed for Supply Dropping at Delft. This mission was successful. The crowd were not as large as usual, but more flags were observed. F/O E.Ohlson reported having seen Germans in barracks cheering and waving white flags. F/O R, Flamank saw Germans waving from gun posts on the coast.

03/05/45           
Supply Dropping at Delft and the Hague      
10 Aircraft were detailed for Supply Dropping, five for Delft and five for the Hague. Crowds and flag waving were not so extensive as before and enthusiasm seems to be waining.

04/05/45           
Supply Dropping at the Hague and Delft      
6 Aircraft were detailed for Supply Dropping. Three for The Hague, and three for the Delft. The missions were successful, but fewer people were seen.

05/05/45           
Supply Dropping at the Hague 
4 Aircraft were detailed for Supply Dropping at the Hague. The mission was uneventful.

07/05/45            
Supply Dropping at Delft   
26 Aircraft were detailed for Supply Dropping at Delft. The mission was uneventful. Oil patches and yellow objects were seen in the sea near the Dutch coast.

08/05/45           
Supply Dropping at Rotterdam    
8 Aircraft were detailed for Supply Dropping at Rotterdam. The mission was uneventful, but considered successful.

 

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………

James ‘Jimmy Shaw – Pilot, 1945

JImmy portrait corrected

A portrait of James ‘Jimmy’ Shaw, taken I suspect early in his training. © Malcolm Laing

Many thanks to Malcolm for passing on some wonderful pictures of his Grandfather, James Shaw who flew with his crew from Mepal between February and June 1945. Despite having information about Jimmy’s crew, Malcolm and the family had no idea of their Operational history. In Malcolm’s first email to me, he remarked “My grandfather passed in the mid 90’es when I was young. He would never talk about his service saying that he only ever dropped aid to the Dutch”.

Malcolm was also lucky enough to get the chance to talk to Bert Donald, Jimmy’s Wireless Operator “It was a very humbling experience with Bert telling me he owed his life to my grandfather”.

Later Malcolm also came upon the following on the wonderful interweb – a smal piece by Bert, about the crew he flew with:
Served on Lancasters with 75 New Zealand Bomber Squadron at Mepal, near Ely, Cambs., under the command of Wing Comm. Baigent. Our Squ. Ldr. was an Australian, Hill who had lost the sight of one eye earlier in the War. My radio officer was Fl.Lt. Rhodes, a New Zealander. Our crew was all-British (New Zealand did not have the manpower to keep replacing the losses sustained by a Bomber Squadron during WWII). Our Pilot was Jimmy Shaw of Edinburgh, Scotland – our Navigator was Andy Weir of Edinburgh, Scotland too, and now of Edmonton, Canada – Radio Operator was Bert Donald of Motherwell, Scotland, now of California – Flight Engineer was Ron Webster of Bearpark, a village near Darlington, England – Mid-Upper Gunner was Tom Beall of Kirkcaldy, Scotland – Rear-Gunner was John Craig of Rutherglen, Scotland – our Bomb-Aimer was Chris Dunn of Wimbledon, England. Only two of us are left in 2002. Andy Weir in Canada and myself in the U.S. I do keep in touch with two other members of 75 New Zealand Squadron. Duncan Ross of Denver, Colo. an Irish member of F.Lt. Lukins’ crew and Bill Reid of Newton Mearns, Scotland, Radio Operator on Lukins’ crew“.

The next 3 photographs are from Jimmy’s early training. The first photograph below was taken whilst he was at No.1 ACRC on the 6th May 1942

early training

“No.5 Flight/ 42 intake. ‘C’ Squadron. No.1 ACRC Lords Cricket Ground NW8. 6th May 1942”. © Malcolm Laing

flightschool RH Front

No.1 British Flying Trainig School – No.14 Course. Jimmy is stood far right, send row from the front. © Malcolm Laing

 

training

© Malcolm Laing

This third photograph has nothing on its back to provide date or location, but one might deduce from the gentleman stood to the right in an American flying jacket that it was taken whilst training at No.1 BFTS.

 

Form 540 75(NZ) Squadron RAF February 1945.
14.2.45. Administration
189682 P/O Shaw, J. and crew arrived on posting from No.72 Base

18.2.45. War Ops – Attack Against Wesel
Lancaster Mk.I NN7474 JN-O ‘Dogsbody Again’
F/L Keith Jones and crew
P/O J. Shaw as 2nd Pilot

corrected crew shot

The Shaw crew1945. Back row left to right: John Craig (Rear Gunner) Andrew Wier (Navigator) James “Jimmy” Shaw (Pilot) Chris Dunn (Air Bomber) Front row left to right: Bert Donald (Wireless Operator) Tom Beall (Mid Upper Gunner) Ron Webster (Flight Engineer) Ron Webster did not begin flying with the crew until their 6th Op – given this, its difficult to know whether Ron was part of the crew that arrived at Mepal, or was perhaps a replacement. © Malcolm Laing

19.2.45. War Ops – Attack Against Wesel
HK593 Mk I X
P/O James ‘Jimmy Shaw RAFVR 1549541/189682 – Pilot
Sgt. Andrew Weir RAFVR – Navigator
F/S Christopher Dunn RAFVR – Air Bomber
F/S Bert Donald RAFVR – Wireless Operator
Sgt. L. Player RAFVR – Flight Engineer
Sgt. Thomas Beall RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner
Sgt. John Craig RAFVR – Rear Gunner

28.2.45. War Ops – Attack Against Gelsenkirchen/ Nodstern synthetic oil refinery
Lancaster Mk.I HK601 JN-D
Sgt. J. Aldridge replaces Sgt. Player as Flight Engineer

1.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Kamen
Lancaster Mk.I HK601 JN-D
F/Lt. S.E. Cowen joins the crew as Flight Engineer

4.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Wanne-Eickel
Lancaster Mk.I NG322  JN-F
Sgt. Aldridge returns to the crew as Flight Engineer

7.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Dessau
Lancaster Mk.I PB820  JN-V
F/S Ron Webster joins the Shaw crew as Flight Engineer

17.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Auguste Viktoria
Lancaster Mk.I HK593 Mk JN-X
Same crew

20.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Hamm/Arnsberg – rail targets
Lancaster Mk.I HK563 JN-W
F/S T. Dewsbury joins crew in Mid Under Gun position.

27.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Hamm (Sachsen)
Lancaster Mk.I PB820 JN-V
Same crew (minus F/S Dewsbury)

29.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Salzgitter
Lancaster Mk.I HK563 JN-W
Same crew

13.4.45. Gardening – Kiel Bay
Lancaster Mk.I HK601 JN-D
Same crew

18.4.45. War Ops – Attack Against Heligoland Naval Base
Lancaster Mk.I PB820 JN-V
Same crew

20.4.45. War Ops – Attack Against Regensburg
Lancaster Mk.III PB424  JN-O
Same crew

24.4.45. War Ops – Attack Against Bad Oldesloe
Lancaster Mk.I PB820 JN-V
Same crew

3.5.45. Operation ‘Manna’ – Supply drop at The Hague
Lancaster Mk.III PB424  JN-O
Same crew but minus Mid Upper Gunner Tom Beall, as was usual with these fights

7.5.45. Operation ‘Manna’ – Supply drop Delft
Lancaster Mk.I RF129 JN-M
Same crew, But Tom Beale back as Rear Gunner and no John Craig. A/C Lowe as passenger

11.5.45. Operation Exodus – Repatriation Of Prisoners of War from Juvincourt, France
Lancaster Mk.I HK554 JN-T
Full previous crew

12.5.45. Operation Exodus – Repatriation Of Prisoners of War from Juvincourt, France
Lancaster Mk III PB421  AA-E?
Same crew

16.5.45 Operation Exodus – Repatriation of Prisoners of War from Juvincourt, France
Lancaster Mk II NE181 I JN-M ‘The Captains Fancy’
Same crew

23.5.45. Operation Exodus – Repatriation of Prisoners of War from Juvincourt, France
Lancaster Mk.I NG448 A
Same crew

26.5.45. Operation Exodus – Repatriation of Belgian Refugees to Brussels and Prisoners of War to England
Lancaster Mk.I PB820 JN-V
Same crew
“24 Prisoners of War were brought back to Ford. Own Aircraft was u/s at Waterbeach and transferred to JN.B and completed operation. Changed Aircraft at Waterbeach and returned in JN.V”

3.6.45. Viewing the Effects of the Bombing Offensive
Lancaster Mk.I PP663  JN-Z
Same crew plus Cpl. Richardson as passenger

There are no further recorded flights by the Shaw crew, though this is only because after June, the Form 541 ‘Diary of work Carried out’ ceases to be kept. The picture below is a little bit of a puzzle to Malcolm. In itial email discussion, I took reference to ‘Italy’ as perhaps referring to ‘Operation Dodge’. Whilst 75(NZ) Squadron did not fly any ‘Dodge’ flights to Italy, I am aware that my Fathers 1st tour Mid Upper Gunner Thom Darbyshire did at the end of his second tour with 195 Squadron. My initial conjecture to Malcolm was, given the Squadrons divestment of all non RNZAF aircrew and ground crew in anticipation of Tiger Force, Jimmy might have perhaps taken part in ‘Dodge’ flights a month later with another Squadron.

Now, all this is fine to the point I actually look at the scan of the back of this image and see ‘1946’ -duh.

‘Pamigliano 1946’ – I type this into Google and nothing, but a recommendation that perhaps I want ‘Pomigliano’ delivers more results. It would appear that RAF Pomigliano, near Naples, was the home of 293 Squadron, until their disbandment in June of 1943. Funnily enough it seems I was close with my initial ‘Dodge’ guess – Bari and Pomigliano were both ‘Dodge’ bases for the repatriation of Allied soldiers – I was just out by about a year……

 

Italy 1946

Jimmy at the controls, Pomigliano 1946, possibly with 293 Squadron. © Malcolm Laing

The Rangiuaia Crew

As a research activity gathering together the flights of Mikes father, John Rowlands (Turnbull crew), I ended up gathering the Op history of Wi Rangiuaia and his crew, so it seems a shame to waste the information and hopefully someone might come across this post and be able to tell us a little more about the boys………..

As is sometimes the case – a number of RAFVR boys in the crew and no record of their christian name – so fingers cross, we might get to know them a little better.

The Rangiuaia crew were;
Fg Off. Wi Rangiuaia RNZAF. (NZ427319) – Pilot
F/Sgt A Matthew RAFVR – Navigator
F/Sgt D Morrison RAFVR – Air Bomber
F/Sgt 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

18.1.45. F/S Rangiuaia and crew arrived on posting from No. 31 Base
22.1.45. Rangiuiai 2nd pilot with Abrams crew. War Ops – Duisberg.
28.1.45. Rangiuiai 2nd pilot with W/C Baigent. War Ops – Cologne.

29.1.45. War Ops –Krefeld
13/14.2.45. War Ops – Dresden
14/15.2.45. War Ops – Chemnitz
16.2.45. War Ops – Wesel
18.2.45. War Ops – Wesel
23.2.45. War Ops – Gelsenkirchen
24/25.2.45. War Ops – Mining Oslo Fjord
26.2.45. War Ops – Dortmund
27.2.45. War Ops – GelsenKirchen
9.3.45. War Ops – Datteln
11.3.45. War Ops – Essen. P/O Kiwi Ernest Amohanga 2nd Pilot.
12.3.45. War Ops –  Dortmund
17.3.45. War Ops – Auguste Viktoria
21.3.45. War Ops – Munster. W/O T. Dewsbury as Mid Upper Gunner
29.3.45. War Ops – Salzgitter
9/10.4.45. War Ops – Kiel. F/O Gwyn Duglan as Mid Upper Gunner
14/15.4.45. War Ops –Potsdam. F/L Grant Alan Russell as Air Bomber.
29.4.45. War Ops – Supply Dropping over Delft
2.5.45. War Ops – Supply Dropping over Delft. Back to regular crew, but minus the MUG, Sgt. Mynott.
7.5.45. War Ops – Supply Dropping over Delft. Again no Sgt. Mynott.
10.5.45. War Ops – Juvincourt repatriation. F/O Patrick Wilson as Wireless Operator.
12.5.45. War Ops – Juvincourt repatriation. F/O Patrick Wilson as Wireless Operator.
14.5.45. War Ops – Juvincourt repatriation.
25.5.45. War Ops – Belgian refugees
12.6.45. War Ops – Viewing the Effects of the Bombing. Significant crew change; F/Sgt A Matthew – Navigator, F/Sgt Mervyn Lawrence Stewart – Air Bomber (ex Turnbull crew), F/Sgt John Edward Barry Mossman – Wireless Operator, F/Sgt John Gerald Rowlands – Flight Engineer (ex Turnbull crew), Sgt T Mynott – MId Upper Gunner, Sgt F Hadden – Rear Gunner (ex Turnbull crew).