Tag Archives: Ralph Barker

Frank Ball, Rear and Mid Upper Gunner – Megson crew

I was put in contact with David , by Kevin, before Christmas after his Father, Frank Ball sadly passed away. After putting together a crew list and Op history, I thought I would post it, partly to put some  information out into the blogosphere regarding the Megson crew and as a tribute to Frank, but also because Bill Lake, Wireless Operator with my Father’s first tour (Mayfield) crew also flew with Frank and the boys on their 2nd Op to Coutrai on the 26th March 1944.

The Megson crew arrived on base on the 23rd March 1944 from No.31 Base.

25.3.44. War Ops – Attack against Targets at Aulneye
Stirling Mk.III LK396
F/S Colin Arthur Megson RNZAF NZ416519. Pilot
F/O  Stanley Pawson Walton, DFC, RAFVR 152400. Navigator
F/S Albert William Fagg RNZAF NZ428235. Air Bomber
Sgt. T. Hamilton RAFVR. Wireless Operator
Sgt. J. Overfield–Collins RAFVR. Flight Engineer
F/S  Thomas Edward Rowe RNZAF NZ40437. Mid Upper Gunner
Sgt. Frank Ball RAFVR. Rear Gunner

26.3.44. War Ops – Attack against Targets at Courtrai
Stirling Mk.III LK396
T. Hamilton replaced by Bill Lake as Wireless Operator.( Bill had arrived in my fathers crew after his and Tom Darbyshire’s Pilot was killed on a 2nd Dickie op. When the Mayfield crew were screened early, Bill and Tom had to continue flying with the Squadron)

30.3.44. Gardening Ops – Mining off Le Havre
Stirling Mk.III LK378
Ralph Barker replaces Bill Lake as Wireless Operator.

27.4.44. War Ops – Attack Against Friedrichshafen
Lancaster Mk.III ND917 JN-O
T. Hamilton returns to crew as Wireless Operator.
Mid Upper Gunner Tom Rowe and rear Gunner Frank Ball swap positions.

1.5.44. War Ops – Attack Against Chambly
Lancaster Mk.III ND908 JN_M
Same crew

7.5.44. War Ops – Attack Against Chateau Bolgon Aerodrome
Lancaster Mk.III ND804 AA-K
Same crew

9.5.44. War Ops – Attack Against Cap Gris Nez
Lancaster Mk.I LL942 JN-C
Same crew

10.5.44. War Ops – Attack Against Courtrai
Lancater Mk.III ND802 JN-D
Same crew

19.5.44. War Ops – Attack Against Le Mans
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X
Same crew

21.5.44. War Ops – Attack Against Duisberg
Lancaster Mk.III  ND801 JN-X
Same crew

24.5.44. War Ops – Attack Against Boulogne
Lancaster Mk.III HK554 JN-F(?)
Same crew

27.5.44. War Ops – Attack Against Aachen
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X
Same crew

28.5.44.War Ops – Attack Against Angers
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X
Same crew

5.6.44. War Ops – Attack Against Ouistreham
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X
Same crew

6.6.44. War Ops – Attack Against Lisieux
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X
Same crew

8.6.44. War Ops – Attack Against Fougeres
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X
Same crew

10.6.44. War Ops – Attack Against Dreux
Lancaster Mk.III  ND911 JN-V
Eldrid O’Callaghan joins crew as 2nd Pilot
Same crew

12.6.44. War Ops – Attack Against Gelsenkirchen
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X
Same crew

14.6.44. War Ops – Attack against Le Havre
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X
Same Crew

15.6.44. War Ops – Attack Against Valenciennes
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X
Same crew

21.6.44. War Ops – Domleger
Lancaster Mk.III ME148
Same crew

24.6.44. War Ops –  Attack Against Rimeux
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X
Same crew

7.7.44. War Ops – Attack Against Vaires
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X
Same crew

9.7.44. War Ops – Attack Against Linzeux
Lancaster Mk.III  ND801 JN-X
Same crew

10.7.44. War Ops – Attack Against Nucourt
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X
Same crew

15.7.44. War Ops – Attack Against Bois Des Jardine
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X
Same crew

18.7.44. War Ops –  Attack Against Aulnoye
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X
Same crew

20.7.44. War Ops – Attack Against Homberg
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X
Same crew

22.7.44. Gardening Ops – Minelayng in the Kattegat Area
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X
Same crew

23.7.44. War Ops – Attack Against Kiel
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X
Same crew

25.7.44. War Ops –  Attack against Stuttgart
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X
Same crew

Harold Dewhurst – Mid Upper Gunner. Warren crew

Kevin has passed onto me an inquiry from Yvonne regarding her uncle, Harold Dewhurst, who was the MId Upper Gunner with the Warren crew between November 1943 and May 1944. The crew were tragically lost on the Louvain raid, the aircraft exploded and crashed at Castle Elderschans some 2km NW of Aardenburg (Zeeland) , Holland.

Yvonne knows very little about her Uncle, but is desperate to find out more – I can’t promise anything, but based on the amazing connections that have happened already via this blog, my fingers are crossed for her………

The Warren Crew arrived on or around the 5th November 1943. There appears to be no record of Derek completing a 2nd dickie Op with another crew before flying operationally with his crew.

11.11.43 Mining in the Gironde Estuary. Stirling Mk.III EF217
Up 17.00
Down 01.00
F/L Derek Warren – Pilot
F/O Arnold Irving – Navigator
P/O Donald Gage – Air Bomber
F/S David Clough – Wireless Operator
Sgt. Harold Dewhurst – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S Harold Hewitt – Rear Gunner

25.11.43 Mining in the Bay of Biscay. Stirling Mk.III EF217
up 17.20
Down 23.20
Same crew

16.12.43 Mining in the Bay of Biscay. Stirling Mk.III EF217
Up 17.05
Down 22.45
Same crew

22.12.43. Attack Against a Special Target. Stirling Mk.III EF217
Up 21.10
Down 23.55
Same crew

21.1.44. Attack Against a Special Target. Stirling Mk.III EF217
Up 18.30
Down 20.55
Same Crew

25.1.44. Attack Against a Special Target. Stirling Mk.III EF217
Up 23.55
Down 03.00
Same Crew

27.1.44. Mining in the Heligoland Area. Stirling Mk.III EF217
Up 17.10
Down 21.50
Same crew.

28.1.44. Mining in Kiel Bay. Stirling Mk.III EF217
Up 18.50
Down 00.50
Same crew

11.2.44. Mining in the River Adour. Stirling Mk.III EF217
Up18.20
Down 01.50
Same Crew

15.2.44. Mining in the River Adour. Stirling Mk.III EF217
Up 23.30
Down 06.40
Same Crew

20.2.44. Mining off Morlaix. Stirling Mk.III EF512.
Up 18.35
Down 22.50
Same crew

22.2.44. Mining Kiel Bay. Stirling Mk.III EF217
UP 16.40
Down 19.25
Same crew

24.2.44. Mining Kiel Bay. Stirling Mk.III EF217
UP 17.10
Down 00.35
Same crew

FORM 540 Squadron ORB
March 1944
Administration.  Conversion to Lancaster Aircraft. It was decided by higher authority to convert the Squadron from Stirling to Lancaster aircraft, and our first Lancaster was received on 13th March, 1944, since that date we have received a further 19. All crews are being converted to Lancaster aircraft and at present 13 have passed through No.3 Lancaster Finishing School at R.A.F. Station Feltwell.

26.3.44
Administration. The following proceeded for Lancaster conversion to No. 3 L.F.S Feltwell:- NZ415820 F/O H. Murray and crew, NZ42354 f/S Armstrong C. and crew, NZ414591 A/F/L S. Clark and crew, NZ403561 A/S/L D. Climie and crew, 151118 A/F/L D. Warren and crew, NZ422282 F/O R. Herron and crew, NZ401266 A/S/L D. Gibb and crew, AUS413157 P/O A. Humphreys and crew and NZ421105 Sgt. Scott F. and crew.

5/6 March 1944. Special Operations March Moon Period.
Operation PETER 24 (Abortive)
Same Crew

7/8 March 1944. Operation AUTHOR 17 (Abortive)
Same Crew

10/11th March 1944. Operation MONGREL 20 (Successful)
Same crew

13.3.44. Mining off Brest. Stirling Mk.III EF217
Up 22.40
Down 03.25
Same crew.

15/16th March 1944 Operation BOB 155 (Abortive)
Same crew

18.3.44. Mining in the Heligoland Bight. Stirling Mk.IIIvEF217
Up 18.55
Down 23.20

FORM 540 Squadron ORB
1.4.44
Administration. NZ421105 Sgt. Scott F. and crew proceeded on detachment to No.33 Base, Waterbeach. The following crews ceased to be detached to No.3 L.F.S. Feltwell:- NZ415820 F/O Murray H. and crew, NZ42354 F/S Armstrong C. and crew, NZ414591 A/F/L S. Clark and crew, NZ403561 A/S/L J. Climie and crew, 151118 F/L Warren D. and crew, NZ422282 F/O R. Herron and crew, NZ401266 A/S/L D. Gibb and crew, AUS413157 P/O A. Humpreys and crew and NZ 421105 Sgt. Scott F. and crew.

18.4.44. Mining in Kiel Area. Stirling Mk.III ND768*
Up 20.45
Down 02.55
P/O Bill Lake (Wireless Operator with my Fathers 1st Tour crew) replaces David Clough as Wireless Operator.
*This appears to be an error in the ORB – ND768 was in fact a Lancaster MK.III AA-F (Shot down target Dortmund 22.5.44)

24.4.44. Attack Against Karlsruhe. Lancaster Mk.III ND911 JN-V
Up 22.25
Down 03.45.
P/O Ralph Barker replaces Bill Lake as Wireless Operator.

26.4.44 Attack Against Essen. Lancaster Mk.III ND911 JN-V
UP 23.30
Down 03.40
F/S Colin Megson flies with crew as 2nd Dickie.
Sgt. T. Hamilton replaces Ralph Barker as Wireless Operator.

27.4.44. Attack Against Friedrichshafen. Lancaster Mk.III ND911 JN-V
Up 22.10
Down 05.30
David Clough returns to the crew as Wireless Operator.

10.5.44. Attack Against Courtrai. Lancaster Mk.III ND753 ??-G
Up 22.05
Down 01.15
F/S Bill White flies with the crew as 2nd Dickie

11.5.44 Attack Against Louvain. Lancaster MK.III ND919 AA-D
Up 22.56
FAILED TO RETURN

F/Lt. Derek Warren, RAFVR 151118 – Pilot.
Died age 20. Buried Aardenburg General Cemetery Netherlands.

F/O Arnold Earle Irving, RCAF J.19819 – Navigator.
Died age 23.Buried Aardenburg  General Cemetery, Netherlands.

P/O Donald Irwin Gage, RCAF R.166/183, J.19996 – Air Bomber.
Died age 24. Buried Aardenburg General Cemetery, Netherlands.

F/S David Clough, RAFVR 1193544 – Wireless Operator.
Died age 21. Buried Aardenburg General Cemetery, Netherlands. (American Citizen)

Sgt. Francis Christopher Riley, RAFVR 1584169 – Flight Engineer.
Died age 21. Buried Aardenburg General Cemetery Netherlands.

Sgt. Harold Dewhurst, RAFVR 1094980 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Died age 23. Buried Aardenburg General Cemetery, Netherlands.

F/S Harold Max Hewett, RAAF AUS.419311 – Rear Gunner.
Died age 21. Buried Aardenburg General Cemetery.

Carl Arthur Warburton Wireless Operator – Armstrong crew

I have recently received  a request from Sarah, regarding her Great Uncle, Carl Warburton, who was a Wireless Operator with the Armstrong crew. She is keen to try to find a photograph of him and his crew from their time at Mepal – as always, anybody that can help, please contact me.

The Armstrong crew arrived at Mepal on the 10th January 1944. The crew undertook their first raid on the 14th of January;
14.1.44. Mining off The Frisian Islands
Cecil Armstrong. Pilot
Douglas Payne. Nav.
Eric Marshall A/B.
L.Edgerton W/op.
David Sleightholm F/E.
James Pepper MU/Gnr.
Roy Davies R/Gnr.
Stirling Mk.III LJ457

20.1.44. Mining off The Frisian Islands
Alan Kay. A/B.
William Reid R/Gnr.
Stirling Mk.III LJ441

21.1.44 Attack Against Special Target
Eric Marshall A/B.
Roy Davies R/Gnr.

25.1.44 Attack Against Special Target
Roy Davies MU/Gnr.
James Pepper R/Gnr.

27.1.44 Mining in the Heligoland Area
T. Derbyshire R/Gnr*
*Sgt. Derbyshire flew the majority of his time with my father, his late arrival in the crew meant that when they were screened he continued for another 4 ops. This was the first of 3 with the Armstrong crew.

28.1.44 Mining in Kiel Bay
28.1.44 Mining in Kiel Bay
(return to target the same day)

3.2.44 Mining off CherbourgW. Worthington MU/Gnr
Roy Davies R/Gnr.

15.2.44 Mining in Kiel Bay
Roy Davies MU/Gnr.
James Pepper R/Gnr.

20.2.44 Mining off St.Malo
22.2.44 Mining Kiel Bay
24.2.44 Mining in Kiel Bay
2.3.44 Operational Wheelwright69 (aborted)
4.3.44 Operation Trainer129
7.3.44 Operation Trainer 121 (aborted)
10.3.44 Operation trainer 121 (aborted)
13.3.44 Mining off Lorient
15.3.44 Operation Musician5 (aborted)
23.3.44 Attack Against Targets at Laon
9.4.44 Attack Against Villeneuve St.George
24.4.44 Attack Against Karlsruhe
26.4.44 Attack Against Essen
27.4.44 Attack Against Friedrichshafen

10.5.44 Attack Against Coutrai
Ralph Barker W/Op

11.5.44 Attack Against Louvain
William Lake W/Op*
*As with the Rear Gunner Sgt. Derbyshire, Bill Lake had also joined my Father’s crew and like Sgt. Derbyshire had to fly  more ops before they were screened – this was his 5th and final.

19.5.44 Attack Against Le Mans
Carl Warburton W/Op

21.5.44 Attack Against Duisberg
John Lethbridge 2nd Pilot

22.5.44 Attack Against Dortmund – Aircraft Failed to Return
The crew that night were;

Plt Off. Cecil Ernest Armstrong RNZAF NZ42354 Pilot. Died Tuesday 23 May 1944, age 27, during a raid on Dortmund. Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany.
a little more here
http://www.wings.net.nz/armstrong-c-e/

F/Sgt Douglas Beardsley Payne RNZAF NZ426917 Navigator. Died Tuesday 23rd May 1944, age 22, during a raid on Dortmund. Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany.

F/Sgt Eric William Elliott Marshall RNZAF NZ415637 Air Bomber. Died Tuesday 23rd May 1944, age 31, during a raid on Dortmund. Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery Germany.
a little more here
http://www.wings.net.nz/tag/hastings/page/4/

Sgt Carl Arthur Warburton RAFVR. 1484107 Wireless Operator. Died Tuesday 23rd May1944 during a raid on Dortmund. Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery Germany.

Sgt David Sleightholm RAFVR 1684309. Flight Engineer. Died Tuesday 23rd May 1944, age 22, during a raid on Dortmund. Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery Germany.

Sgt Roy Joseph Davies RAFVR 1603898 Rear, then Mid Upper Gunner. Died Tuesday 23rd May 1944, age 21, during a raid on Dortmund. Buried Reichs Forest War Cemetery, Germany.

F/Sgt James Pepper RAFVR 1682572)Mid Upper then rear Gunner. Died Tuesday 23rd May 1944, age 23, during a raid on Dortmund. Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery Germany.

The crew were flying a MK. III Lancaster serial no. ND768 designator AA-F (AA denotes the aircraft was either ‘A’ or ‘B’ flight).

At the beginning of my search through the Operational Record Book for the flights of the Armstrong crew, I had assumed that Carl was an ‘original’ member – this seems clearly to not be the case. I have reviewed the Squadron records to see if I could find a loss of a Pilot prior to Carl’s first flight with the Armstrong crew, that Carl might of in fact arrived with at Mepal.

It was not an unknown occurrence for a crew to loose their pilot on a ‘2nd Dickie’ flight and then be dispersed into other crews if gaps existed – this was how Bill Lake and T. Derbyshire ended up flying with Dad on his first tour. Their Pilot, Sgt. Jack Thomson RNZAF NZ421145 was killed on his second ‘2nd Dickie’ operation with the Bailie crew on the 3rd August to Hamburg. Currently I am unable find a likely candidate regarding the pilot and as such, perhaps the original composition of the crew that Carl Warburton arrived at 75(NZ) Squadron with might never be known……….

Unless you know otherwise…….