Tag Archives: request for information

Nominal Roll – another update!

I am pleased/ relieved to announce that the Nominal Roll for the Squadron is now complete! Possibly, this sounds a lot better than it actually is, but it represents a significant point as I now have an individual Op history attached to every individual who flew Operationally with the Squadron. As I have observed many times previously, this was never going to be a quick or easy project. Starting with a blank sheet of paper and interrogating my original crew history spreadsheet, I have now, over a number of years, generated a basic list of names and then to these, attached Operational histories. Additionally, I have begun to add extra information to individual records from published sources and the extensive, if patchy historical records that exist and that are accessible.

The size of the basic list, when extracted from the spreadsheet into a Word document is 1249 pages – if laid out end to end, it would be 370 meters long…….

The histories I now have are are highly variable in size, both by duration and Op count, ranging from a number of individuals who completed 2 tours with the Squadron to, too many, who excruciatingly only have a single Op recorded, on which they were lost…..

Soberingly, based on the arrived figure of 3,480 individuals who flew operationally, based on total losses for the Squadron of 1,139, the maths shows an almost exact 1/3 chance of not surviving the Squadron, once you had arrived. Clearly, not simply by fancy, the unofficial moniker of “The Chop Squadron” was chillingly true.

I am keen to try (eventually) to provide as detailed a record for all individuals as I can. For some this will be a proud point of reference for a family, for others it will be simply a record of their contribution and a permanent statement of their commitment and bravery through the War.

The database has been built to be flexible and to accept whatever information I am able to gather on an individual. In truth, a lot of this information I have no way of gathering without the help of all the readers of this site. Without being unnecessarily wordy, I am keen that these records have a narrative feel to them – after all, it is these boy’s story that is being told – a small thing like a date of birth allows me through the database to have an age for the individual airman when he arrived at the Squadron. A service record allows their journey prior to Operational duties to be known and also the date of arrival and departure from 75(NZ) Squadron, as well as where they went afterwards. Working through Errol Martyn’s breathtaking record of all RNZAF losses – “For your Tomorrow” I have been able to add to all RNZAF aircrew lost on Operations, small details of life – whilst known on this site as a Pilot, an Air Bomber or Rear Gunner, it’s touching to discover that they were also clerks, shepherds, plumbers, plasterers and teachers. The extensive records held and accessible in the Australian National Archives, for those RAAF aircrew that flew with the Squadron provides the same personal insight into an individuals life before service and in many cases the pain when they were lost.

I am also pleased to say that WordPress have recently provided an alternative method of creating pages. One addition is a 2 column block, which means that, where it exists, a photograph of the individual can also be included. A sneak peek of what I envisage for the Nominal Roll when it becomes live can be seen here – this is ‘Z’, mercifully small, but it let’s you see the planned layout and the wonderful visual addition to a record that a picture makes – by coincidence Vernon Zinzan, my Father’s 2nd Tour Pilot.

I have also produced a pro forma for submitting individual information, which can be downloaded here

I still have a lot of information to add to the database and I hope I might receive more based on this request! – at a point in the next month or so I will begin uploading information in the format previously mentioned…………

Request for information – Roy George Tawa Iles crew, 1945

I have been contacted by David and Simon, the sons of Roy George Tawa Iles, Pilot, who flew with the Squadron during the last months it was part of the RAF.

David and Simon would love to reconnect with any relatives that come across this post either directly or perhaps, by someone else seeing it who then might recognise a surname in the crew list.

From a historical point of view, Roy’s logbook will hopefully hold some information that sheds light on the Squadron’s activities once it had changed to Tiger Force and moved to Splisby – Whilst the Squadron ORB’s broadly describe activities, we might be able to add an extra bit of detail to The Iles crew history as currently listed below.

25.4.45
Weather
. Fine becoming cloudy. Visibility 4 – 8 miles.

Operational Flying. Nil.
Non-Operational Flying. H2S and cross country exercises were carried out. Practice Supply dropping and G.H. Bombing was practised. Fighter Affiliation exercises were carried out. Air Tests were carried out.
Administration. NZ4212581 F/Sgt Iles R. and crew arrived on posting from No.73 Base. NZ4212596 F/Sgt Parry G, and crew arrived on posting from 73 Base.

The Form 541 for May and June list the 4 following Ops for the Iles crew, before the documentation of crews cease to be recorded.

07/05/1945 – 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.

Lancaster Mk.I HK806 AA-B

F/S Roy George Tawa Iles, RNZAF NZ4212581 – Pilot.
F/S Herbert John Samuel Wilson, RNZAF NZ432826 – Navigator.
F/S Ian Dudley McLellan, RNZAF NZ4216740 – Air Bomber.
F/S Hugh Caverhill McLaren, RNZAF NZ4213174 – Wireless Operator.
F/S R. Taylor, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Staples,   – Passenger.
Sgt. John Cresswell, RNZAF NZ42114 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:18 – Landed 14:31
Flight Time 02:13

09/06/1945 – Viewing the Effects of the Bombing Offensive
5 Aircraft were detailed for viewing the effects of the Bombing Offensive.

Lancaster Mk.III PB424 JN-O

F/S Roy George Tawa Iles, RNZAF NZ4212581 – Pilot.
F/S Herbert John Samuel Wilson, RNZAF NZ432826 – Navigator.
F/S Ian Dudley McLellan, RNZAF NZ4216740 – Air Bomber.
F/S Hugh Caverhill McLaren, RNZAF NZ4213174 – Wireless Operator.
F/S R. Taylor, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S John Cresswell, RNZAF NZ42114 – Mid Upper Gunner.
W/O Laurie Clay, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 14:16 – Landed 18:16
Flight Time 04:00

18/06/1945 – Viewing the Effects of the Bombing Offensive
5 Aircraft were detailed for viewing the effects of the Bombing Offensive.

Lancaster Mk.I HK806 AA-B

F/O Roy George Tawa Iles, RNZAF NZ4212581 – Pilot.
F/S Herbert John Samuel Wilson, RNZAF NZ432826 – Navigator.
F/S Ian Dudley McLellan, RNZAF NZ4216740 – Air Bomber.
F/S Hugh Caverhill McLaren, RNZAF NZ4213174 – Wireless Operator.
F/S R. Taylor, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S John Cresswell, RNZAF NZ42114 – Mid Upper Gunner.
W/O Laurie Clay, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 14:41 – Landed 18:46
Flight Time 04:05

25/06/1945 – Checking German Radar Equipment
21 aircraft were detailed for the Postmortem operation for checking German Radar Equipment. W/O S. Sutherland (JN.K)had to make an early return through flat accumulators, but took off again in JN.T and completed the operation. F/L S. Peryer (JN.V) had a petrol leak and made an early return on three engines.

Lancaster Mk.I RA541 AA-J

F/O Roy George Tawa Iles, RNZAF NZ4212581 – Pilot.
F/S Herbert John Samuel Wilson, RNZAF NZ432826 – Navigator.
F/S Ian Dudley McLellan, RNZAF NZ4216740 – Air Bomber.
F/S Hugh Caverhill McLaren, RNZAF NZ4213174 – Wireless Operator.
F/S R. Taylor, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S John Cresswell, RNZAF NZ42114 – Mid Upper Gunner.
W/O Laurie Clay, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 09:50 – Landed 15:40
Flight Time 05:50

 

SO, if you are a relative of one of the Iles crew, or perhaps you know or have contact with one, as always, please get in contact with me, so I can pass on any information to David and Simon.

Request for Information – Canberra bombers (a little off piste I know)

I was contacted by Steven this afternoon, who is currently writing/ editing a book on the Canberra bomber – Steven is  desperately looking to interview air and ground crews that operated the B.2 type that was on the loan from the RAF.

Now, I have absolutely no knowledge of the Canberra Bomber, or its use in 75 Squadron in New Zealand after the War, but I am quietly confident that there is someone out there who either flew or maintained these aircraft, or knows someone who did – so please if you see this post and would like to assist Steven in his endeavours, as always, contact me on the usual mail address of info@75nzsquadron.com and I will forward your details or comments to him.

thanks in advance

Simon