Tag Archives: Leonard Chambers

New addition to Group Photographs section

Group portrait of the 75th New Zealand Bomber Squadron, Royal Air Force, alongside a Vickers bomber aeroplane, England. Photographer unidentified. Evening Post (Wellington, NZ).
Credit: National Library of New Zealand. Ref: 1/2-123840-G http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22753875 

My memory was pricked yesterday, when I received a comment from Bruce, identifying his Father, John Fernie in the above photo.

Originally posted, now almost 5 years ago, Chris had come across it in the National Library of New Zealand and had begun to tentatively try to identify individuals within the group.

It sounds awful in a way to say that I had ‘forgotten’ about this photograph, but as soon as I saw Bruce’s comments, I thought I must number up a copy and add it to the Group section of the menu. Clearly great minds think alike – as I received an email form Chris this morning, not only with a numbered up version of the photograph, but also an incredibly comprehensive list of identified individuals in the picture! There are still a few gaps, so, as always if anybody is able to fill the final gaps, please get in touch.

You can read the original post here.
And you can see the new numbered up photograph, with the list of names here

George Anthony Young and perhaps, Frank Edwin McKenzie – Schiermonnikoog (Vredenhof) Cemetery, Netherlands

Young McKenzie crop comp image

Sgt. Anthony George Young, Front Gunner and Sgt. Frank Edwin McKenzie, Wireless Operator with Trevor Smith’s crew. Images courtesy Wyb Jan Groendijk

Wyb has also passed on information regarding the recovery of the body of Sgt. George Anthony Young, Front Gunner with the Smith crew who was killed on the 9th of July 1942 on an Op to Willhelmshaven. As with the previous post, Wyb has supplied information relating to the recovery of Anthony’s body, so as before, please be aware of the content of these translated reports at the end of the post.

Many thanks again also, to James, for the translation of this second set of documents.

Interestingly, another body was recovered with Sgt. Young. This second body had no means of identification, however its proximity and similarity of rate of decay suggests this might have been the body of Frank McKenzie, Wireless Operator with he Smith crew. Wyb has included a letter from the New Zeland Defence Force, who, noted the likelihood of this unknown airman perhaps being Frank, given as the letter notes, he was the only other Sgt. in the crew. The family were notified of the possibility at the time, but after exhumation nothing could be confirmed and the grave has remained ‘unknown’.

I must confess the need to wonder out loud about whether modern DNA testing techniques might be able bring an answer after all these years………..

19/05/1942 – Attacks Against Mannheim and St. Nazaire
Nine Wellington III aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks with a bomb load consisting of 4 lbs. incendiaries and 250lbs. bombs. The bomb load was dropped in the target area where fires and explosions were observed. A.a. fire was slight but ineffective, and searchlights were inaccurate. Weather conditions were good though there was a slight ground haze. Navigation was by TR, D/R, Loop, astro.

Wellington Mk.III X.3587 AA-P

P/O Trevor Harry Smith, RNZAF NZ41953 – Pilot.
Sgt. William Graham Clark, RAFVR 903293 – Observer.
Sgt. Barry Herbert Coulter, RAFVR 1261820 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Henry Edward Jones, RAFVR 1192997 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. William Robertson Ramsay, RNZAF NZ405508 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:25 – Landed 05:40
Flight Time 06:15

29/05/1942 – Bombing Attacks Against Dieppe
Four Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. The target area was bombed, but owing to cloud and poor visibility results were not observed. A.A. fire was light and searchlights were not numerous. No enemy aircraft were encountered. Navigation was by D/R, TR, Loop.

Wellington Mk.III X.3587 AA-P

P/O Trevor Harry Smith, RNZAF NZ41953 – Pilot.
Sgt. William Graham Clark, RAFVR 903293 – Observer.
Sgt. Barry Herbert Coulter, RAFVR 1261820 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Robertson Ramsay, RNZAF NZ405508 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Henry Edward Jones, RAFVR 1192997 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:25 – Landed 03:00
Flight Time 04:35

30/05/1942 – Bombing Attacks Against Cologne
Twenty-three Wellington aircraft, including IA, IC,III, were detailed to carry out the above attacks. One of these aircraft, Wellington IA T.2894, captained by P/O Johnson (attached to this Unit from C.G.S. Suton Bridge) failed to return to base. Another aircraft X.3751 captained by P/O Jarman, was badly damaged by flak, both fuel tanks being holed and both port and starboard airspeed indicators rendered unserviceable. The bomb load consisted of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs and 30lbs. and 4lbs incendiaries. The weather conditions were excellent, and the target was bombed successfully many fires being started in all parts of the town. A.A. fire was very erratic and searchlights were working in cones. A large number of enemy aircraft were seen but no attacks resulted. Navigation was by D/R, TR, Q.D.M., Loop.

Wellington Mk.III X.3587 AA-P

P/O Trevor Harry Smith, RNZAF NZ41953 – Pilot.
Sgt. William Graham Clark, RAFVR 903293 – Observer.
Sgt. Barry Herbert Coulter, RAFVR 1261820 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Robertson Ramsay, RNZAF NZ405508 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Henry Edward Jones, RAFVR 1192997 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:10 – Landed 03:15
Flight Time 04:05

01/06/1942 – Attacks Against Targets at Essen
Twenty Well. a/c were detailed to carry out the above attack. Bomb loads of $000lbs, 500lbs, 250, 30lb inc and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area but results were not observed owing to cloud over target. Large fires were, however, seen to be burning in the target area. A.A. fire was not particularly intense and searchlights were scattered. One ME.109 followed Well.IC DV884 for about 5 minutes but was eluded. Weather was fairly good until target was reached where there was low cloud and haze. Navigation was good by all aids.

Wellington Mk.III X.3587 AA-P

P/O Trevor Harry Smith, RNZAF NZ41953 – Pilot.
Sgt. William Graham Clark, RAFVR 903293 – Observer.
Sgt. Barry Herbert Coulter, RAFVR 1261820 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Robertson Ramsay, RNZAF NZ405508 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Henry Edward Jones, RAFVR 1192997 – Rear Gunner.

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

02/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Sixteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area but no results were observed. A few small fires were seen near target. A.A. fire was fairly heavy and searchlights operating in cones were numerous. No enemy a/c were seen. Weather marred the operation, there being a heavy ground have. Navigation was excellent. Well, X3408, captained by P/O Carter, failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III X.3587 AA-P

P/O Trevor Harry Smith, RNZAF NZ41953 – Pilot.
Sgt. William Graham Clark, RAFVR 903293 – Observer.
Sgt. Henry Edward Jones, RAFVR 1192997 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Barry Herbert Coulter, RAFVR 1261820 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. William Robertson Ramsay, RNZAF NZ405508 – Rear Gunner.

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

05/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Thirteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area. No results were observed. A.A. fire was intense and searchlights active in cones. No enemy a/c were seen. Weather was clear except for ground haze. Nav was excellent.

Wellington Mk.III X.3714 AA-W

P/O Trevor Harry Smith, RNZAF NZ41953 – Pilot.
S/L Frank Henderson Denton, RAF 36238 – 2nd Pilot.
F/O Nathaniel Edmund Hodson, RNZAF NZ403603 – Observer.
Sgt. Leonard Chambers, RNZAF NZ403758 – Wireless Operator.
F/S Cyril Vincent Green, RNZAF NZ402997 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Kenneth Atherton Crankshaw, RNZAF NZ404533 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:20 – Landed 03:20
Flight Time 04:00

05/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Thirteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area. No results were observed. A.A. fire was intense and searchlights active in cones. No enemy a/c were seen. Weather was clear except for ground haze. Nav was excellent.

Wellington Mk.III X.3587 AA-P

P/O Trevor Harry Smith, RNZAF NZ41953 – Pilot.
Sgt. William Graham Clark, RAFVR 903293 – Observer.
Sgt. Barry Herbert Coulter, RAFVR 1261820 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Robertson Ramsay, RNZAF NZ405508 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Henry Edward Jones, RAFVR 1192997 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:15 – Landed 03:20
Flight Time 04:05

06/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Emden
Twelve aircraft were detailed to carry out an attack on the above target and a bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and 4lb inc was dropped on the target. Large buildings were seen to be ablaze and there were a number of small fires. Flak was fairly intense but searchlights few. No enemy a/c were encountered. Weather was good. Navigation was very good. One a/c sighted enemy flak ships and dived down to 200ft and attacked them. Results were not observed.

Wellington Mk.III X.3587 AA-P

P/O Trevor Harry Smith, RNZAF NZ41953 – Pilot.
Sgt. William Graham Clark, RAFVR 903293 – Observer.
Sgt. Barry Herbert Coulter, RAFVR 1261820 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Robertson Ramsay, RNZAF NZ405508 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Henry Edward Jones, RAFVR 1192997 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:30 – Landed 04:45
Flight Time 05:15

17/06/1942 – Mine-Laying off Frisian Islands
Eight a/c were detailed to carry out the above sortie. Mines were laid as ordered and all a/c returned safely. (Two a/c out of the above eight went to St. Nazaire on a sortie). There was very little flak and searchlights were few. There was haze and vis. was moderate. Navigation was good.

Wellington Mk.III X.3760 AA-L

P/O Trevor Harry Smith, RNZAF NZ41953 – Pilot. CANCELLED
P/O Alan Stuart Broun, RNZAF NZ405367 – Observer.
Sgt. Frank Edwin McKenzie, RNZAF NZ391085 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. George Anthony Young, RNZAF NZ405771 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Ian Gordon Stewart, RNZAF NZ404623 – Rear Gunner.

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

 

19/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Emden
Eleven a/c were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 4lb inc was taken. Aircraft unable to identify Emden attacked Osnabruck. Results were not observed. Flak was not intense but searchlights were fairly active. One unidentified a/c followed Well.III X3539 for about 5 miles but made no attack. Weather was clear over Osnabruck. Nav was excellent.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1592 AA-O

P/O Trevor Harry Smith, RNZAF NZ41953 – Pilot.
P/O Alan Stuart Broun, RNZAF NZ405367 – Observer.
Sgt. Frank Edwin McKenzie, RNZAF NZ391085 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. George Anthony Young, RNZAF NZ405771 – Front Gunner.
P/O Jack Ralph Gavegan, RNZAF NZ402128 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:47 – Landed 04:47
Flight Time 05:00

20/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Emden
Twelve a/c were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 250lbs and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area. Results were not observed. There was intense flak and searchlights were few. A JU88 attacked Well.III, X3539 without result. Weather was hazy with 5/10 cloud. Visibility very bad. Nav was good. Well.III, X3760 P/O Fraser failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III X.3540 AA-H

P/O Trevor Harry Smith, RNZAF NZ41953 – Pilot.
P/O Alan Stuart Broun, RNZAF NZ405367 – Observer.
Sgt. Frank Edwin McKenzie, RNZAF NZ391085 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. George Anthony Young, RNZAF NZ405771 – Front Gunner.
P/O Jack Ralph Gavegan, RNZAF NZ402128 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:50 – Landed 04:05
Flight Time 04:15

22/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Emden
Thirteen a/c were detailed to attack the above. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area. Results were not observed. Flak was moderate and searchlights were scarce. One JU88 and one ME109 sighted by one of our a/c but no attack made. Weather good 5/10 cloud at 15,000’, clear over target. Slight haze. Nav was excellent.

Wellington Mk.III X.3540 AA-H

P/O Trevor Harry Smith, RNZAF NZ41953 – Pilot.
P/O Alan Stuart Broun, RNZAF NZ405367 – Observer.
Sgt. Frank Edwin McKenzie, RNZAF NZ391085 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. George Anthony Young, RNZAF NZ405771 – Front Gunner.
P/O Jack Ralph Gavegan, RNZAF NZ402128 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:20 – Landed 03:45
Flight Time 04:25

23/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at St. Nazaire and (Gardening)
Eight a/c were detailed to carry out the above sortie. Bomb load was 500lbs and vegetables. The task was carried out as ordered. Small concentration of flak and seachlights at Cherbourg. No enemy a/c seen. Weather was fine with slight ground have over France. Nav was good.

Wellington Mk.III X.3714 AA-W

P/O Trevor Harry Smith, RNZAF NZ41953 – Pilot.
P/O Alan Stuart Broun, RNZAF NZ405367 – Observer.
Sgt. Frank Edwin McKenzie, RNZAF NZ391085 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. George Anthony Young, RNZAF NZ405771 – Front Gunner.
P/O Jack Ralph Gavegan, RNZAF NZ402128 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:04 – Landed 05:44
Flight Time 06:40

25/06/1942 – Attack on Targets at Bremen
Twenty a/c were detailed to attack the above. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs and 4lb inc was dropped in the target. Results not observed. There was alarge amount of A.A. fire searchlights were ineffective. A JU88 followed Well.III X3664 but did not attack. Weather was moderate with 10/10 cloud. Nav was good.

Wellington Mk.III X.3557 AA-X

P/O Trevor Harry Smith, RNZAF NZ41953 – Pilot.
P/O Alan Stuart Broun, RNZAF NZ405367 – Observer.
Sgt. Frank Edwin McKenzie, RNZAF NZ391085 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. George Anthony Young, RNZAF NZ405771 – Front Gunner.
P/O Jack Ralph Gavegan, RNZAF NZ402128 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:20 – Landed 04:50
Flight Time 05:30

29/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Bremen
Sixteen a/c were detailed to carry out the above attack. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area. Results not observed. A.A. fire was heavy in target area. Searchlights were ineffective through cloud. A JU88 was attacked and claimed as shot down by Well.BJ837, captained by Sgt. Hockaday. Weather was cloudy. Nav was excellent. Well.III (P/O Monk) failed to return and Well.III Z1616 (Sgt. Bertram) crashed after take-off and caught fire. All crew killed.

Wellington Mk.III X.3557 AA-X

P/O Trevor Harry Smith, RNZAF NZ41953 – Pilot.
P/O Alan Stuart Broun, RNZAF NZ405367 – Observer.
Sgt. Frank Edwin McKenzie, RNZAF NZ391085 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. George Anthony Young, RNZAF NZ405771 – Front Gunner.
P/O Jack Ralph Gavegan, RNZAF NZ402128 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:50 – Landed 02:00
Flight Time 02:10

02/07/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Bremen
Twelve aircraft left base to carry out an attack on targets at Bremen. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 30lb and 4lb incendaries was dropped in the target area, bomb bursts and fires were seen in target area. A.A. fire was poor and searchlights were scattered but numerous. No enemy a/c were seen. Weather was very clear over target. Navigation was very good by TR and DR.

Wellington Mk.III X.3714 AA-W

P/O Trevor Harry Smith, RNZAF NZ41953 – Pilot.
P/O Donald Norman Potts RNZAF NZ412267 2nd Pilot.
P/O Alan Stuart Broun, RNZAF NZ405367 – Observer.
Sgt. Frank Edwin McKenzie, RNZAF NZ391085 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. George Anthony Young, RNZAF NZ405771 – Front Gunner.
P/O Jack Ralph Gavegan, RNZAF NZ402128 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:20 – Landed 04:10
Flight Time 04:50

07/07/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Frisian Islands (Gardening)
Nine a/c carried out the above sortie and carried 500lbs bombs and vegetables. A few machines returned with loads but some carried out their task. There was no A.A. fire, searchlights or enemy aircraft. Weather was cloudy with poor visibility. Navigation was good.

Wellington Mk.III X.3714 AA-W

P/O Trevor Harry Smith, RNZAF NZ41953 – Pilot.
P/O Alan Stuart Broun, RNZAF NZ405367 – Observer.
Sgt. Frank Edwin McKenzie, RNZAF NZ391085 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. George Anthony Young, RNZAF NZ405771 – Front Gunner.
P/O Jack Ralph Gavegan, RNZAF NZ402128 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:15 – Landed 04:20
Flight Time 04:05

08/07/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Wilhemshaven
Thirteen a/c were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area and hit were believed to be scored. There was heavy predicted flak and searchlights were scattered. No enemy a/c were seen. Weather was good clear over target. Navigation was excellent.

Wellington Mk.III X.3557 AA-X

P/O Trevor Harry Smith, RNZAF NZ41953 – Pilot.
P/O Donald Norman Potts RNZAF NZ412267 2nd Pilot.
P/O Alan Stuart Broun, RNZAF NZ405367 – Observer.
Sgt. Frank Edwin McKenzie, RNZAF NZ391085 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. George Anthony Young, RNZAF NZ405771 – Front Gunner.
P/O Jack Ralph Gavegan, RNZAF NZ402128 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off – – Landed –
Flight Time missing

Wellington Mk.III X.3557 AA-X came down at the northern end of the Waddenzee, near Rottumeroog Is at 01.30hrs. The time of the crash indicates the aircraft was still on the outward bound route to the target and was almost certainly shot down by one of the many German night fighters operating along that part of the Dutch coast. The details contained within German documentation regarding the injuries to the body of George Young certainly seem to support this, describing significant head injuires, assumed to be from a bullet or shell.

All of the crew were killed. Only the bodies of Sgt Young and the Pilot, P/O Trevor Harry Smith were recovered. As mentioned previously, a second body was recovered with Sgt. Young’s – the conjecture by rank of the airman is that this was Frank McKenzie, however a positive I.D. was never able to be made.

Trevor Smith was initially buried in Rottumeroog, but was subsequently moved to and re-interred at Oldebroek General Cemetery. The rest of the crew are remembered on the Air Force Memorial at Runnymede.

P/O Trevor Harry Smith, RNZAF NZ41953. KIlled age 24. Buried Oldebrock General Cemetery Netherlands.
P/O Donald Norman Potts, RNZAF NZ412267. KIlled age 25. No known grave. Commemorated on Panel 116 Runnymede Memorial.
P/O Alan Stuart Broun, RNZAF NZ405367. KIlled age 32. No known grave. Commemorated on Panel 115 Runnymede Memorial.
Sgt. Frank Edwin McKenzie, RNZAF NZ391085. KIlled age 22. No known grave. Commemorated on Panel 117 Runnymede Memorial.
Sgt. George Anthony Young, RNZAF NZ405771. KIlled age 21. Buried Schiermonnikoog (Vredenhof) Cemetery Netherlands.
P/O Jack Ralph Gavegan, RNZAF NZ402128. KIlled age 30. No known grave. Commemorated on Panel 116 Runnymede Memorial.

img046

Image courtesy Wyb Jan Groendijk

Schiermonnikoog 17th July 1942

To
Mr Hotel Manager van der Werff, Schiermonnikoog.

Regarding: bodies of the 3 English pilots that were washed up on the shore of Schiermonnikoog on 15.07.1942.

Enclosed are the doctors reports of the findings of the 2 bodies washed ashore on 12.07.1942 and the body washed ashore on 15.07.1942 together with the estate records of the deceased. The bodies washed ashore on 12.07.1942 and 14.07.1942 were buried on 15.07.1942 in the Schmiermonnikoog cemetry on 15.07.1942.

The position of the individual graves are as follows:

Washed up 12.07.1942, unknowm, new part, left, 1st row, 6th grave Nr.
Washed up 12.07.1942, Fraser, new part, left, 1st row, 7th grave Nr.
Washed up 15.07.1942, unknowm, new part, left, 2nd row, 1st grave Nr.

Korvetten Captain
and Island Kommander

img063

Doctors report of Sgt. George Anthony Young. Image courtesy Wyb Jan Groendijk

Schiermonnikoog 25th July 1942

Doctors report

Regarding the findings of the body of Sergeant O.D. Young of the R.A.F., Age unknown, Official No. NZ 405 771, retreaved on 20. Aug. 1942 on Simonsand, buried on 22. Aug. 1942 in the Vredenhof zu Schiermonnikoog contained in the loss-report 45 of the Island Kommander Schiermonnikoog .

Identification mark: NZ 405771
                                          OD
                                    Y o u n g

Large, very muscular korpse of a Sergeant of the R.A.F. discovered and retreaved on 20.08.1942 on Northwest coast of Simonsand.
The corpse is estimated to have been 10 to 12 weeks in water.

The skull is shattered, probably though a bullit in the head and there is only the lower jaw and the right temporal bone with cheek bone still existant. Neck is very macerated and torn. Lower legs and feet, lower arms and hands mostly free of flesh; the rest of the body is very torn; advanced decay through maggot damage.

Probable cause of death: shot in the head
Special markings: none

Clothing: yellow lifejacket, Flying combiniation, blue flying uniform, on the left breast side a badge with wings and “AG”, right cuff three chevrons, Thick blue and white pullover, blue pilot shirt, white underpants, thick blue wool socks.

The coastguard Groningen found the following items and passed them on to the Miltary Airbase Leeuwarden:
                      1 Signet ring
                      1 Cigarette box
                      1 Plaster box
                      1 Yellow headgear
                      1 iron ration

1. Witness                                           2. Witness                                       3. Witness
Assistant Chief Doctor                      Petty Officer                                   Private

img064 rot and cpd

Doctors report for unknown airman, recovered at the same time and location as Sgt. Young’s body – it is speculated that this is the body of Sgt. Frank Edwin McKenzie. image courtesy Wyb Jan Groendijk

Schiermonnikoog 25th July 1942

Doctors report

Regarding the findings of the body of an unknown R.A.F. Sergeant found on 20th August 1942 on Simonsand, burried on 22nd August 1942 in the cementry, Vredenhof zu Schiermonnikoog contained in the losses report 45 of the island kommander Schiermonnikoog.

Mid-sized body of a Sergeant of the R.A.F. found on 20.08.1942 on West coast of Simonsand.
The Body was likely to have been floating in water for approximately 10 to 12 weeks.

The head missing; the lower arm and hands completely free of skin and flesh; What is left of the body is very macerated; advanced maggot damage; no external injury found.

Probable cause of death: not determined.

Special marks: none.

Clothing: Yellow life jacket, Flying suit combination, blue pilot uniform, left breast side a wing with ”AG”, right arm three chevrons, thick white pullover, blue pilots shirt, white underpants, thick blue wool socks.

According to the coastal guard centre Groningen the deceased was not carrying a will on his person.

1. Witness                                           2. Witness                                        3. Witness

Mar. Ob. Ass. Arzt                              Lt. M. A.                                            M. A. Ob. Mast

Wyb noted in correspondence that the estimated duration given for the time the bodies had been in the water is incorrect, based ont only on the date of the Op and the identification of at least George Young, but also because the time of year, summer would have probably accelerated the decomposition of the bodies owing to the higher temperature (relatively) of the sea.

funeral Young and unknown sergeant grave 83

A German Officer conducts the burial ceremony of Sgt. George Anthony Young. Photo courtesy Wyb Jan Groendijk

funeral grave 83 and grave 84 both washed ashore on a sandbanck east of Schiermonnikoog

Photo courtesy Wyb Jan Groendijk

funeral grave 83 and 84 Vredenhof cemetery Schiermonnikoog

Photo courtesy Wyb Jan Groendijk

funeral Young grave 84 and an unknown sergeant buriel date 220842

Photo courtesy Wyb Jan Groendijk

grave 83 and 84 our father...

Photo courtesy Wyb Jan Groendijk

first grave shield Young

The grave of Sgt. George Anthony Young RNZAF. Photo courtesy Wyb Jan Groendijk

grave 83 unknown possibel Mc Kenzie

The grave of an unknown airman (foreground), believed to be Sgt. Frank Edwin McKenzie, RNZAF. Photo courtesy Wyb Jan Groendijk

letter NZ Def force cpd and obs

Letter from the New Zealand Defence Force regarding the possible identification and subsequent failure to identify him. image courtesy Wyb Jan Groendijk

Wilmslow Cemetery – F/O Thomas Henry William Baker RAFVR 107286

THW Baker Wilmslow

On the 12th of August 1942 Wellington Mk.III X3646 crashed into the North Sea. Piloting the aircraft that night was George Edward Francis Bradey, who had earlier been severely wounded in the abdomen by flak, whilst attacking the target of Mainz with 8 other aircraft from 75(NZ) Squadron RAF.

The remaining details of the incident do not seem that clear. Of the crew of 6, 5 were killed. The only survivor being the Rear Gunner Sgt. J. E. London, who was captured and spent the remainder of the War as a Prisoner.

Of the remaing 5 airmen who were killed, Pilot Officer George Bradey, Squadron Leader Ronald Ernest Kimber, the Navigator, Flight Sergeant Arden Ivan Ellis, Wireless Operator and Front Gunner, Flight Sergeant Cyril Vincent Green have no known resting place and are remembered on the Runnymede Memorial.

Perhaps strangely in this case then, the body of 2nd Pilot Flying Officer Thomas Henry William Baker was recovered and now lays in Wilmslow Cemetery – the closest grave on the Roll of Honour to me.

It was the Bradey crew’s 10th Op with the Squadron and perhaps perversely, as is the case so many times, this was Tom Bakers first Op with the crew, having flown only 3 previously with Artie Ashworth’s crew as 2nd Pilot. Thomas had only been at Feltwell with the Squadron for 10 days.

25/06/1942 – Attack on Targets at Bremen
Twenty a/c were detailed to attack the above. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs and 4lb inc was dropped in the target. Results not observed. There was a large amount of A.A. fire searchlights were ineffective. A JU88 followed Well.III X3664 but did not attack. Weather was moderate with 10/10 cloud. Nav was good.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1570 AA-B

Sgt. George Edward Francis Bradey, RNZAF NZ401954 – Pilot.
Sgt. Alfred Sydney Drew, RNZAF NZ404560 – Observer.
Sgt. M. H. Hughes, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William Donald Gordon, RNZAF NZ402995 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Bruce Rahu Philip, RNZAF NZ405517 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:30 – Landed 04:25
Flight Time 04:55

02/07/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Bremen
Twelve aircraft left base to carry out an attack on targets at Bremen. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 30lb and 4lb incendiaries was dropped in the target area, bomb bursts and fires were seen in target area. A.A. fire was poor and searchlights were scattered but numerous. No enemy a/c were seen. Weather was very clear over target. Navigation was very good by TR and DR.

Wellington Mk.III X.3538 AA-?

Sgt. George Edward Francis Bradey, RNZAF NZ401954 – Pilot.
P/O Philip Frederick Hoare, RAFVR 1375896/ 123493 – Observer.
Sgt. Leonard Chambers, RNZAF NZ403758 – Wireless Operator.
F/S Cyril Vincent Green, RNZAF NZ402997 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Kenneth Atherton Crankshaw, RNZAF NZ404533 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:25 – Landed 02:05
Flight Time 01:40

08/07/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Wilhemshaven
Thirteen a/c were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area and hit were believed to be scored. There was heavy predicted flak and searchlights were scattered. No enemy a/c were seen. Weather was good clear over target. Navigation was excellent.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1596 AA-?

Sgt. George Edward Francis Bradey, RNZAF NZ401954 – Pilot.
Sgt. Martin John Byrne, RNZAF NZ404529 – Observer.
Sgt. Ronald Patrick Callaghan, RNZAF NZ411739 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Alan Walter Rutherford, RNZAF NZ404572 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. William Arthur Titcomb, RAFVR 1291758 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:40 – Landed 05:15
Flight Time 05:35

21/07/1942 – Attack Against at Duisburg
Thirteen a/c were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs 30lbs and 4lb incendiaries was dropped in target area but results were unobserved. Photographs were taken however. A.A. fire was not very heavy but there were any searchlight cones. No enemy a/c were seen. Weather was good, clear over target. Navigation was by TR & DR.

Wellington Mk.III X.3646 AA-?

Sgt. George Edward Francis Bradey, RNZAF NZ401954 – Pilot.
P/O Philip Frederick Hoare, RAFVR 1375896/ 123493 – Observer.
F/S Jack William Walters, RNZAF NZ404106 – Wireless Operator.
F/S Alfred George Edward ‘Butch’ Pugh, RNZAF NZ404096 – Front Gunner.
F/S Alan Glynne Lewis, RNZAF NZ40741 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:55 – Landed 03:50
Flight Time 03:55

23/07/1942 – Attack Against at Duisburg
Fourteen a/c were dtailed to attack the above target and bomb load of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs, 30lb and 4lb incendiaries was dropped in target area. Results unobserved. A.A. fire was heavy and concentrated. Searchlights were few owing to cloud. One JU.88 was seen. TWo other enemy a/c were seen but did not attack. Weather was poor, cloudy over the target. Nav. was good

Wellington Mk.III X.3646 AA-?

Sgt. George Edward Francis Bradey, RNZAF NZ401954 – Pilot.
P/O Philip Frederick Hoare, RAFVR 1375896/ 123493 – Observer.
F/S Jack William Walters, RNZAF NZ404106 – Wireless Operator.
F/S Alfred George Edward ‘Butch’ Pugh, RNZAF NZ404096 – Front Gunner.
F/S Alan Glynne Lewis, RNZAF NZ40741 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:45 – Landed 04:30
Flight Time 03:45

26/07/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Fifteen a/c were detailed to carry out an attack against the above target. Bomb load of 34000lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs and incendiaries was dropped on target area. Numerous fires and bomb bursts were seen. A.A. fire was accurate. Seven searchlights destroyed and others damaged and one m/c gun post silenced by Well.III, X3396, captained by Sgt. Kearns. Searchlights were ineffective owing to moon. One JU88 was seen 30 miles from enemy coast but did not attack. Weather was clear over target but cloudy on route. Navigation was very good by TR and DR

Wellington Mk.III X.3646 AA-?

Sgt. George Edward Francis Bradey, RNZAF NZ401954 – Pilot.
P/O Philip Frederick Hoare, RAFVR 1375896/ 123493 – Observer.
F/S Jack William Walters, RNZAF NZ404106 – Wireless Operator.
F/S Alfred George Edward ‘Butch’ Pugh, RNZAF NZ404096 – Front Gunner.
F/S Alan Glynne Lewis, RNZAF NZ40741 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:55 – Landed 04:45
Flight Time 05:50

28/07/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Seventeen a/c were detailed to carry out an attack on the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 30lb and 4lb incendiaries was dropped in target area and bursts were seen in dock area. A.A. fire was very accurate, light and heavy predicted. There were many accurate searchlight cones in parts but clear over target. Navigation was good by TR and DR. Six a/c failed to return to base

Wellington Mk.III X.3646 AA-?

Sgt. George Edward Francis Bradey, RNZAF NZ401954 – Pilot.
P/O Philip Frederick Hoare, RAFVR 1375896/ 123493 – Observer.
F/S Jack William Walters, RNZAF NZ404106 – Wireless Operator.
F/S Alfred George Edward ‘Butch’ Pugh, RNZAF NZ404096 – Front Gunner.
F/S Alan Glynne Lewis, RNZAF NZ40741 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:45 – Landed 05:05
Flight Time 06:20

29/07/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Saarbrucken
Ten a/c were detailed to attack the above targets and bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs, 30lb and 4;b incendiaries was dropped in target area. Hits were observed in target area. A.A. fire was weak and searchlights scarce. A twin engined fighter was seen on return route. Well. III, X3396 was attacked by JU88 but was able to evade it. Weather was cloudy. Navigation was TR and DR.

Wellington Mk.III X.3646 AA-?

Sgt. George Edward Francis Bradey, RNZAF NZ401954 – Pilot.
P/O Philip Frederick Hoare, RAFVR 1375896/ 123493 – Observer.
F/S Jack William Walters, RNZAF NZ404106 – Wireless Operator.
F/S Alfred George Edward ‘Butch’ Pugh, RNZAF NZ404096 – Front Gunner.
F/S Alan Glynne Lewis, RNZAF NZ40741 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:45 – Landed 05:20
Flight Time 05:35

31/07/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Dusseldorf
Eleven a/c were detailed to carry out an attack on the above targets. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 30lb and 4lb incendiaries was dropped in target area. Good results were obtained and hits observed. A.A. fire was moderate and search lights although numerous, were ineffective. Well.III, X3396 was attacked by a JU88 but evaded successfully. F/Sgt. Lewis, rear gunner of Well.III, X3646 was struck and injured by a 4lb incendiary bomb falling from another a/c. Weather was good and navigation was by DR and TR

Wellington Mk.III X.3646 AA-?

Sgt. George Edward Francis Bradey, RNZAF NZ401954 – Pilot.
P/O Philip Frederick Hoare, RAFVR 1375896/ 123493 – Observer.
F/S Alfred George Edward ‘Butch’ Pugh, RNZAF NZ404096 – Wireless Operator.
F/S Jack William Walters, RNZAF NZ404106 – Front Gunner.
F/S Alan Glynne Lewis, RNZAF NZ40741 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:20 – Landed 04:05
Flight Time 03:45

11/08/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Mainz
Nine aircraft were detailed to attack above target. Bomb load of 4000lb, 1000lb, 500lb and incendiaries were dropped in target area. A.A. fire was light, searchlights were scarce and ineffective. One fighter was seen by P/O Horne in Wellington B.J.765 as he was crossing the Dutch Coast homeward bound, no attack was made. The weather was moderate, being cloudy near target. Navigation was good by D.R. and T.R. Wellington BJ837 captain Sgt. Hockaday.N.J., five minutes from the English coast on way to target, fabric stripped off nose of aircraft to port and starboard, the Bomb load was jettisoned and the aircraft returned to base. Three aircraft failed to return, Wellington B.J.767 captained by F/O Dobbin, Wellington B.J.625, Sgt Barclay.T.S., captain, Wellington X.3646 captain Sgt Bradey.G.E.

Wellington Mk.III X.3646 AA-?

Sgt. George Edward Francis Bradey, RNZAF NZ401954 – Pilot.
F/O Thomas Henry William Baker, RAFVR 107286 – 2nd Pilot.
S/L Ronald Ernest Kimber, RAF 45956 – Observer.
Sgt. Arden Ivan Ellis, RCAF R.92690 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Cyril Vincent Green, RNZAF NZ402997 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. J. E. London, RAFVR 953137 – Rear Gunner.

Flight Time – missing