Thanks Philip for supplying these images of two of the airmen form the McCrorie crew
The target for Bomber Command on the 22nd of June 1943 was Mülheim – almost in the centre of the Ruhr Valley. A total of 557 aircraft took part, comprising 242 Lancasters, 155 Halifaxes, 93 Stirlings (15 from 75(NZ) Squadron RAF), 55 Wellingtons and 13 Mosquito’s.
35 aircraft, including 4 Stirlings from 75(NZ) Squadron RAF were lost that night.
Stirling MkIII EH889 AA-Z was shot down by a night-fighter (Oblt Lothar Linke, IV /NJG1 (credited with 27 kills before his death)) at 01.58hrs, crashing into the Ijsselmeer. All of the crew were killed, 5 of the airmen’s bodies later being found, after washing ashore.
Richard Douglas Tod and Robert Ernest Tod were twin brothers from St. Vital Manitoba. They enlisted in the RCAF on the same day, trained to be Air Gunners at the same schools, went overseas together and were assigned to the same unit, No.75(NZ) Squadron RAF. They were, perhaps surprisingly, allowed to fly as members of the same crew. Read a post regarding the action that earnt Robert Tod his DFM here.
WO2 Richard Douglas Tod, RCAF R.91741 – Wireless Operator. Age 23
WO2 Robert Ernest Tod, DFM, RCAF R.91742 – Mid Upper Gunner. Age 23
Citation DFM (7 May 1943): This airman was the wireless operator of an aircraft which was damaged by anti-aircraft fire during an operational flight over enemy territory. The aircraft gradually lost height and the pilot was eventually compelled to bring it down on the sea. Meanwhile Sergeant Tod coolly worked his apparatus, maintaining contact with base. His excellent work enabled the aircraft to be continuously plotted from the ground and plans for rescue to be made. The entire crew of the aircraft were picked up within 15 minutes of coming down on the sea. This airman displayed great coolness and unswerving devotion to duty throughout. Died Wednesday 23rd June 1943, age 23, during a raid on Mulheim. Buried Mebemblik General Cemetery Netherlands.
The remainder of the crew were buried, one must assume, relative to where they were found.
Hemelumer-Oldeferd (Molkwerum) Protestant Churchyard, Holland.
F/L Thomas Fraser McCrorie, DFC , RAFVR1365093, 68770 – Pilot. Age 27
Wonsuradeel (Makkum) Protestant Churchyard Netherlands
P/O William Stuckey, mid, RAFVR 51042 – Navigator. Age 29
Wieringermeer (Middenmeer) General Cemetery, Holland.
Sgt Raymond Anthony Kennedy RAFVR 1003148 – Rear Gunner. Age 28
F/S James Leonard Richards RNZAF NZ404946 – Air Bomber. Age 25
Sgt Eric Grainger RAFVR 625045 – Flight Engineer. Age 21
Thomas Fraser McCrorie, Eric Grainger, James Leonard Richards, Raymond Anthony Kennedy, William Stuckey, Robert Ernest Tod, Richard Douglas Tod, Stirling MkIII EH889 AA-Z, 22nd June 1943 Mülheim, Newmarket, 1943, 75(NZ) Squadron RAF