Tag Archives: Myles Frederick Gordon Fraser

Wellington Mk. III X.3482 AA-J – remarkable footage

Many thanks to Kevin for passing on to me a link to a YouTube clip, showing a 75(NZ) Squadron RAF Wellingtom Mk.III Bomber – AA-J. As the aircraft taxis away from the camera, you can just make out its serial number – X.3482 and this tallies with its designator in the records, so it must be this aircraft. I thought as well as presenting the Pathe newsreel clip, it would be good to add an Op history for X.3482 and I must say, at least initially, the work that I have so far put into the database paid off.

It was very straightforward to call up a return for the serial number. What proved to be harder was establishing the crews. Tragically, Myles Fraser’s crew and X.3482 were lost on the night of the 16th of May 1942 on an Op to Kiel. The Operational record Books for this period do no list the initials of airmen, so it was only when I realised that the rear Gunner in the crew, Norman Whiting, was the only individual with that surname to serve with the Squadron that I was confident to place his details across the history of the aircraft. Based on this, I extended that rational to place names earlier in the history. I hit a problem when I got to the problem of trying to identify the 2nd Pilot in early Ops – ‘Fraser’ – and I think I am sticking my neck out , that Myles Fraser 2nd Piloted the aircraft before flying relatively regularly in it himself. Other crews also flew in X.3582 and in some cases, there is simply not enough information to specifically identify individuals.

Additionally, X.3482 is double entered for the 15th of April Op to Le Havre and Dortmund. What makes it harder to disentangle which crew actually flew the aircraft is the fact that both crews flew X.3482 before that Op – perhaps we shall never know……

Even though I always call out for information on a post like this – I would welcome any thoughts, suggestions or corrections.

Rather frustratingly, the ORB’s let us down again. Arrivals and Dispatches of aircraft to and from the Squadron only appear in the 1942 Form 540’s from February and there is no mention of X.3482 – we must guess therefore that it perhaps arrived earlier in January – the absence of aircraft movement details in the 540’s from the end of 1941, sadly, further muddy the water.

08/03/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Eleven Wellington aircraft carried out an attack against the above target. Bomb load consisted of 500 lbs, 250 lbs and S.B.C’s which were dropped in the target area, fires were seen to be burning in the target area. Weather was clear except for haze over the target. There were many searchlights but these were ineffective. Accurate heavy flak was encountered over the target. No enemy aircraft were seen. Navigation was by D.R. and TR1335 and was good.

Wellington Mk.III X.3482 AA-J (1)

Sgt. Evans – Pilot.
Sgt. Myles Frederick Gordon Fraser, RNZAF NZ403437 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. William Anderson Fraser, RNZAF NZ403597 – Observer.
Sgt. John Owen Henry Nichols, RNZAF 1257377 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Stanley Alfred George Shaw, RAFVR 1166184 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. James William Hinton, RAFVR 1150584 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 01:00 – Landed 05:50
Flight Time 04:50

25/03/1942 – Attack Against Targets at St.Nazaire and Essen
Twelve aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack. Wellington III X3652, captained by P/O Slater failed to return, and two aircraft failed to locate the target. Bomb Load consisted of 500 lbs and 250 lbs, this being dropped in the target area but no results were observed. Slight A.A. fire and a few ineffective searchlights were encountered but no enemy fighters were seen. Weather was fine with slight ground haze. Navigation by TR1335 and D.R. was good.

Wellington Mk.III X.3482 AA-J (2)

Sgt. Evans – Pilot
Sgt. Myles Frederick Gordon Fraser, RNZAF NZ403437 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. William Anderson Fraser, RNZAF NZ403597 – Observer.
Sgt. John Owen Henry Nichols, RNZAF 1257377 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Stanley Alfred George Shaw, RAFVR 1166184 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Norman Edward Whiting, RNZAF NZ404107 – Rear Gunner.

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

26/03/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Essen and Le Havre
Eight Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack. Bomb load consisted of 500 lbs, 250 lbs and containers of incendiaries, were dropped in the target area. Accurate, intense flak was encountered, searchlights were inefective. One single engined aircraft was seen near Le Havre but no attack was made. Weather was fair with haze over target. Navigation by TR1335 and D.R. was good.

Wellington Mk.III X.3482 AA-J (3)

Sgt. Evans – Pilot.
Sgt. Myles Frederick Gordon Fraser, RNZAF NZ403437 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. William Anderson Fraser, RNZAF NZ403597 – Observer.
Sgt. John Owen Henry Nichols, RNZAF 1257377 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Stanley Alfred George Shaw, RAFVR 1166184 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Norman Edward Whiting, RNZAF NZ404107 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:30 – Landed 00:10
Flight Time 03:40

28/03/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Lubeck
Ten Wellington aircraft took off to attack the above target, one aircraft, Wellington III X3462 captained by Sgt Bell failed to return to base. Bomb load consisting of 4,000 lbs, 1,000 lbs, 500 lbs, 250 lbs, and containers of incendiaries was dropped in the target area. Bombs were seen to burst on target and large fires were seen burning in the target area. Weather was clear except for slight haze over west portion of the North Sea. There was very little A.A. Fire and few searchlights over the target. No enemy aircraft were seen. Navigation by TR1335 and D.R. was good. he whole operation was very successful.

Wellington Mk.III X.3482 AA-J (4)

Sgt. Evans – Pilot.
Sgt. Myles Frederick Gordon Fraser, RNZAF NZ403437 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. William Anderson Fraser, RNZAF NZ403597 – Observer.
Sgt. John Owen Henry Nichols, RNZAF 1257377 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Stanley Alfred George Shaw, RAFVR 1166184 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Smith, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:30 – Landed 01:30
Flight Time 06:00

01/04/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Hanau and Le Havre
Eleven Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out an attack against the above targets. Bomb load consisting of 4000lbs, 500lbs, and 25 lbs was dropped in the target area but results were not seen except for bomb bursts on the docks at Le Havre and in the marshalling yards at Hanau. Wellington III X3714 returned with it’s bomb load. There was very little flak and only a few searchlights were active. Wellington III Z1566 was chased from Brussels for about 30 miles by a night fighter which was successfully evaded in the clouds. Weather was poor and there were severe icing conditions which handicapped the whole operation. TR1335 and D.R. were used as aids to navigation.

Wellington Mk.III X.3482 AA-J (5)

P/O Rufus Leggett, RAFVR 126293/ 103037 – Pilot.
Sgt. Arthur Gibson Osborne, RNZAF NZ41353 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. James Arthur Robinson, RNZAF NZ401409 – Observer.
Sgt. Chambers,   – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Cyril Vincent Green, RNZAF NZ402997 – Front Gunner.
F/S Gordon Phillip Newdick, RNZAF NZ40925 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:50 – Landed 02:50
Flight Time 06:00

08/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against Targets Hamburg
Nine Well.III aircraft from this unit were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 30lbs L.C. and 4lb incendaries was dropped in the target area but no results seen owing to cloud. Intense predicted flak S.W. of Hamburg but searchlight ineffective owing to cloud. One enemy a/c seen off Heligoland and believed JU88. Weather was very poor with 10/10 cloud over target and electric storms off East coast of England. Navigation was by DR and TR.

Wellington Mk.III X.3482 AA-J (6)

Sgt. Evans – Pilot.
Sgt. Myles Frederick Gordon Fraser, RNZAF NZ403437 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Albert Ivan Smith, RNZAF NZ402221 – Observer.
Sgt. John Owen Henry Nichols, RNZAF 1257377 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Stanley Alfred George Shaw, RAFVR 1166184 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Norman Edward Whiting, RNZAF NZ404107 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:55 – Landed 23:50
Flight Time 01:55

12/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against at Le Havre and Essen
Ten Well.III, aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs, was dropped in the target area, bomb bursts being observed. Fairly accurate heavy and medium flak was encountered. There were a great number of searchlights active in cones. Many fighters flares and red and green lights were seen on route. One fighter a/c was seen over North Sea about 250 miles from the Dutch Coast. Weather was very clear with visibility up to 100 miles. Navigation was by TR, DR and loops.

Wellington Mk.III X.3482 AA-J (7)

Sgt. Myles Frederick Gordon Fraser, RNZAF NZ403437 – Pilot.
F/S Edward Leonard Haydon, RNZAF NZ404443 – 2nd Pilot.
F/S Albert Ivan Smith, RNZAF NZ402221 – Observer.
Sgt. Stanley Alfred George Shaw, RAFVR 1166184 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. John Owen Henry Nichols, RNZAF 1257377 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Norman Edward Whiting, RNZAF NZ404107 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:00 – Landed 00:45
Flight Time 03:45

13/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against at Boulogne
Two Well.III a/c from this unit were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 250lbs was dropped in target area by one a/c the other returned to base with bombs. There was no flak and only a few searchlights. Weather was moderate with slight ground haze. Navigation was good with DR and loops.

Wellington Mk.III X.3482 AA-J (8)

Sgt. Myles Frederick Gordon Fraser, RNZAF NZ403437 – Pilot.
F/S Edward Leonard Haydon, RNZAF NZ404443 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Albert Ivan Smith, RNZAF NZ402221 – Observer.
Sgt. Stanley Alfred George Shaw, RAFVR 1166184 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. John Owen Henry Nichols, RNZAF 1257377 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Norman Edward Whiting, RNZAF NZ404107 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:25 – Landed 01:00
Flight Time 03:35

14/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against at Dortmund and Le Havre
Seven Well.III a/c from this unit were detailed to attack the above targets. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, and 250lbs was dropped in the target area but no results were observed. There was very little flak and searchlights were few although there were some cones over the target. Two fighters were seen but they did not attack. Weather was fine with slight ground haze. Navigation by DR, TR and loops was good.

Wellington Mk.III X.3482 AA-J (9)

F/O Edward Cecil Ball, RNZAF NZ40749 – Pilot.
P/O Graham Edward Murdoch, RNZAF NZ411927 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O William Leslie Bridget, RNZAF NZ40731 – Observer.
Sgt. Summers, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
P/O Cyril Ingleby, RAFVR 937625/ 118898 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Smith, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:30 – Landed 03:40
Flight Time 05:10

As mentioned at the top of this post, problematically, X.3482 is double entered in the Form 541 for the following Operations to Le Havre and Dortmund. For this reason, I have numbered both entries as the aircraft’s 10th Op to keep the final tally of flights to the correct number – obviously it could only have been flown by one crew and thus only added 1 further Op to its total.

15/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against at Le Havre and Dortmund
Eight Well.III aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs was dropped in the target area and bomb bursts were seen. There was some heavy predicted flak and tracer over target and searchlights were ineffective owing to cloud. No enemy a/c were seen. Weather at Dortmund was cloudy with slight ground haze. Navigation was good.

Wellington Mk.III X.3482 AA-J (10)

Sgt. Myles Frederick Gordon Fraser, RNZAF NZ403437 – Pilot.
F/S Edward Leonard Haydon, RNZAF NZ404443 – 2nd Pilot.
F/S Albert Ivan Smith, RNZAF NZ402221 – Observer.
Sgt. John Owen Henry Nichols, RNZAF 1257377 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Stanley Alfred George Shaw, RAFVR 1166184 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Norman Edward Whiting, RNZAF NZ404107 – Rear Gunner.

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

Wellington Mk.III X.3482 AA-J (10)

F/O Edward Cecil Ball, RNZAF NZ40749 – Pilot.
P/O Graham Edward Murdoch RNZAF NZ411927 2nd Pilot.
P/O William Leslie Bridget, RNZAF NZ40731 – Observer.
Sgt. Summers, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
P/O Cyril Ingleby, RAFVR 937625/ 118898 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Smith, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:05 – Landed 02:55
Flight Time 02:50

22/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against Targets at Cologne
Ten Well.III a\c were detailed attack the above targets. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 100lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs, 30lb and 4lb incendiaries was dropped in the target area but no results seen owing to cloud. There were only a few searchlights active and A.A. fire was slight. Well.III, X3487 captained by P/O Jarman was attacked by a JU.88 which attacked once and broke away to port. The results of this short attack were however serious the second pilot, P/O Nicol being mortally wounded, the rear gunner Sgt. Harris being killed and the Navigator Sgt. Taylor and W/Op. Sgt. Fernie were wounded. The bomb load was not dropped on the target but was dropped in the sea. The a/c was brought back to base and crash landed. Well.III, X3705, captained by F/S. McLachlan, was also attacked and the second pilot killed (P/O. Fountain) and Sgt. Tutty was wounded. F/Sgt. McLachlan managed to reach base and crash land.

Wellington Mk.III X.3482 AA-J (11)

Sgt. Turner, RAFVR – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Stanley Frederick Hall, RNZAF NZ402182 – Observer.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Gordon Edwin Caitcheon, RNZAF NZ404016 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:20 – Landed 01:25
Flight Time 04:05

23/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against at Rostock
Seven Well.III a/c from this unit were detailed to attack the above targets. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs, 4lb incendaries was dropped on the target. Results were very good, many large fires were seen and bomb burst. A.A. fire was very small, some light and heavy flak being encountered. There were few searchlights active and no enemy a/c were seen. Weather was very good with slight ground haze. Navigation was good.

Wellington Mk.III X.3482 AA-J (12)

P/O Myles Frederick Gordon Fraser, RNZAF NZ403437 – Pilot.
P/O Stanley Holmes Gunning, RNZAF NZ402470 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Mason – Observer.
Sgt. Tate, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Greig, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
F/S Raymond Wickliffe John Trengrove, RNZAF NZ40927 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:35 – Landed 05:35
Flight Time 07:00

25/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against at Rostock and Dunkirk
Seven Well.III a/c from this unit were detailed to attack the above targets. Bomb load of 1000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and 4lb incendaries was dropped on the target area and fires were seen burning fiercely. Bombs were seen to burst across aiming point. A.A. fire was only slight and searchlights few. One enemy a/c was seen near Dunkirk. Weather was very clear with slight ground haze. Navigation was quite good.

Wellington Mk.III X.3482 AA-J (13)

Sgt. Myles Frederick Gordon Fraser, RNZAF NZ403437 – Pilot.
F/S Summers, RAFVR – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Albert Ivan Smith, RNZAF NZ402221 – Observer.
Sgt. John Owen Henry Nichols, RNZAF 1257377 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Smith, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Norman Edward Whiting, RNZAF NZ404107 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:35 – Landed 23:40
Flight Time 01:05

27/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against Targets at Cologne and Mine Laying off Heligoland
Eight Well.III a/c were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, and 4lbs incendaries was dropped on the target and fires were seen burning at Cologne. The mine laying a/c successfully carried out ther task, without interference. There was moderate A.A. fire over Cologne and searchlights working in cones. One enemy a/c was seen but no attack was made. Weather was good with visibility up to 100 miles. Navigation was good, DR, TR, loops and map reading.

Wellington Mk.III X.3482 AA-J (14)

Sgt. Myles Frederick Gordon Fraser, RNZAF NZ403437 – Pilot.
F/S Summers, RAFVR – 2nd Pilot.
F/S Albert Ivan Smith, RNZAF NZ402221 – Observer.
Sgt. John Owen Henry Nichols, RNZAF 1257377 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Cyril Vincent Green, RNZAF NZ402997 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Norman Edward Whiting, RNZAF NZ404107 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:20 – Landed 05:50
Flight Time 07:30

07/05/1942 – Gardening – Kiel Bay
Nine Wellington aircraft of this unit were detailed to carry out the above operations. The bomb load was made up of 1500lbs. And 500lbs. All the 1500lbs. Bombs were dropped but the majority of the 500lbs were returned. Weather conditions were favourable and the target area was clear. One aircraft, X.3664 captained by P/O. Wilson was chased by an enemy fighter but no attack was made. Navigation was by astro, DR, TR, loop.

Wellington Mk.III X.3482 AA-J (15)

F/S Myles Frederick Gordon Fraser, RNZAF NZ403437 – Pilot.
F/S Albert Ivan Smith, RNZAF NZ402221 – Observer.
Sgt. Stanley Alfred George Shaw, RAFVR 1166184 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. John Owen Henry Nichols, RNZAF 1257377 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Norman Edward Whiting, RNZAF NZ404107 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:20 – Landed 05:10
Flight Time 06:50

09/05/1942 – Gardening – Kiel Bay
Eight Wellington aircraft were detailed from this Unit to carry out the above operations. The bomb load consisted of 1500 lbs. and 500 lbs. The 1500 lbs bombs were planted successfully, and a few of the aircraft dropped the 500 lbs. bombs on land targets. Weather conditions were good and there was no opposition.

Wellington Mk.III X.3482 AA-J (16)

F/S Myles Frederick Gordon Fraser, RNZAF NZ403437 – Pilot.
F/S Albert Ivan Smith, RNZAF NZ402221 – Observer.
Sgt. John Owen Henry Nichols, RNZAF 1257377 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Stanley Alfred George Shaw, RAFVR 1166184 – Front Gunner.
F/S Norman Edward Whiting, RNZAF NZ404107 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:20 – Landed 05:25
Flight Time 07:05

13/05/1942 – Gardening – Kiel Bay
Eight Wellington aircraft were detailed from this Unit to carry out the above operations. One aircraft, X.3482, captained by F/S. Fraser, failed to return to base. Vegetables were sown successfully and bombs were dropped on shipping in the vicinity. In accurate flak from flak ships was encountered. The weather was fine throughout the whole operation. Navigation was by D/R. Astro, TR, loop.

Wellington Mk.III X.3482 AA-J (17)

F/S Myles Frederick Gordon Fraser, RNZAF NZ403437 – Pilot.
F/S Albert Ivan Smith, RNZAF NZ402221 – Observer.
Sgt. John Owen Henry Nichols, RNZAF 1257377 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Stanley Alfred George Shaw, RAFVR 1166184 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Norman Edward Whiting, RNZAF NZ404107 – Rear Gunner.

Aircraft Failed to Return

The actual fate of the Fraser crew and X.3482 is not known, however, presence of numerous flak ships in the Kiel bay area suggests that they probably succumbed to damage from one or several of these anti aircraft batteries. X.3482 crashed in the North Sea, off the Northern Frisian Islands, near the island of Sylt.

F/S Myles Frederick Gordon Fraser – Pilot. Died age 22.
F/S Albert Ivan Smith – Observer. Died age 27.
Sgt. John Owen Henry Nichols – Wireless Operator. Died age 20.
Sgt. Stanley Alfred George Shaw – Front Gunner. Died age 21.
Sgt. Norman Edward Whiting – Rear Gunner. Died age 27.

All airmen rest in the Kiel War Cemetery, Germany.