Tag Archives: Roll of Honour gravestone photo project

Elton (All Saints) Churchyard, Bury – Sgt. John Olive RAFVR 978156

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Arriving at Elton Churchyard I was a little initially thrown to find myself at the dead end of a terrace street – more thrown, having left the car to be confronted by a rather imposing and apparently inaccessible gate with a code pad. Pausing to reassess the situation, I realised simultaneously that there another gate to it’s right and that the ‘church’ was in fact what appeared to be as series of flats.

Entering through the open gate I realised I was essentially stood in a gated plot, containing what remained of the churches graves. Right in front of me, first stone was Sgt John Olive, killed on the 10th of January 1941. The scene, to be honest felt a little sad – the stones partitioned by the church development and John’s gravestone marked with the rubber of a carelessly driven lawn mower – ignorant, or necessary maintenance simply a stipulation of property development……

John was  a consistent member of Brian McNamara’s crew from their first Op on the 14th of November 1940, through to their last Operation on the 8th of January.

BP McNamara crew Brian 4th from left aircraft

A photograph of the McNamara crew – date and location unknown, though suggestion of a ‘Dwarf’ artwork on the Wellington in the background confirms 75(NZ) Squadron and therefore Feltwell. Brian is stood 4th from the left – unfortunately, as yet the rest of the crew are unidentified.
Photograph courtesy of Wings Over Cambridge/ Dave Homewood – original image and page can be see here :
http://www.cambridgeairforce.org.nz/Brian%20Mcnamara.htm

The McNamara crews first Op saw  George Key present as 2nd Pilot. For the remainder of their Ops together, Alex Ryan took over this position. Thus the crew were:

P/O Brian Patrick McNamara, RAF 42856 – Pilot.
P/O Alexander James Ryan, RNZAF NZ391367 – 2nd Pilot..
Sgt. Hunt, RAFVR – Observer.
Sgt. John Olive, RAFVR 978156 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Matthew Roy Ritchie, RAFVR 631868 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Ronald Edward Ashby-Peckham, RNZAF NZ40714 – Rear Gunner .

After the crews 7th Op, Sgt. Hunt as Observer leaves and is replaced by Richard Elliot.

P/O Brian Patrick McNamara, RAF 42856 – Pilot.
P/O Alexander James Ryan, RNZAF NZ391367 – 2nd Pilot..
Sgt. Richard Booth Elliott, RAFVR 581379 – Observer.
Sgt. John Olive, RAFVR 978156 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Matthew Roy Ritchie, RAFVR 631868 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Ronald Edward Ashby-Peckham, RNZAF NZ40714 – Rear Gunner .

On the night of 10th of January 1941 The McNamara crew took off from Feltwell on Night Flying Training (N.F.T.)

75(NZ)Squadron Form 540 January 1941
Jan.10
At 10.00 hours on 10.1.41, P/O McNamara was detailed to carry out a Night Flying Test on aircraft T.2550, Letter “L”. After the N.F.T. his instructions were to proceed to Bassingbourn, drop P/O Ryan and bring back a new Pilot who was taking P/O Ryans’s place.

Cloud base at Feltwell was 1,500 feet and P/O McNamara was warned that south and westwards the cloud base would be lower, and , if he did not like it to return to base.

Operations Room was notified of this proposed cross country flight and P/O McNamara ascertained from Operations Air Control that Bassingbourn was serviceable, and gave his approx.. time of take of as 11.30 hours. Station Signals failed to contact the aircraft after it had taken off, E.T.A. base was 13.00 hours. At 14.30 hours Control commenced taking overdue action and rang Bassingbourn on P.B.K. but did not connect until 15.25 hours when they ascertained that the aircraft had not arrived. At 16.40 hours No.3 Group informed us that the aircraft had crashed at Heath Farm, Stapleford, near Duxford, and the following personel were killed or died from injuries.

P/O B.P. McNamara (Captain) unmarried. P/O A.J. Ryan (2nd Pilot) unmarried.
Sgt. Elliot R.B. (Navigator) unmarried. Sgt. J. Olive (W/Operator) unmarried.
Sgt. M.R. Ritchie (Front Gunner) unmarried. Sgt. R.E. Ashby-Peckham (Rear Gunner) unmarried. Seriously injured and taken to Addenbrooks Hospital.

P/O Brian Patrick McNamara, RAF 42856. Killed age 26.
Buried Feltwell (St. Nicholas) Churchyard, Norfolk.

P/O Alexander James Ryan, RNZAF NZ391367. Killed age 25.
Buried Feltwell (St. Nicholas) Churchyard, Norfolk.

Sgt. Richard Booth Elliott, RAFVR 581379. Killed age 19.
Buried Feltwell (St. Nicholas) Churchyard, Norfolk.

Sgt. John Olive, RAFVR 978156. Killed age 23.
Buried Elton (All Saints) Churchyard, Bury.

Sgt. Matthew Roy Ritchie, RAFVR 631868. Killed age 19.
Buried Biggar Croft Cemetery, Lanarkshire, Scotland.

Sgt. Ronald Edward Ashby-Peckham, RNZAF NZ40714. Seriously injured

Selby Cemetery, Yorkshire – Cpl. Kenneth John Howes RAF 912524

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From Hull Northern Cemetery it was back in the car and through the still torrential rain and varied closed and diverted roads to Selby Cemetery to visit and record the Gravestone of Cpl. Kenneth Howes, a member of ground crew who was killed in a training flight accident on the 28th of February 1942.

Again. I must remark on the strange coincidences that seem to follow me with this blog. Last night, while putting together the post about Robert Bertram, Googling, I came across a fascinating thread about the crash that involved Robert Colville. Reading through the very detailed information regarding this crash, I decided to copy paste it all for later reading with a thought it surely would be useful at a later date. Of course, I now realise that the ‘later date’ is actually now – a day later…….

I have already posted the gravestone for Wilfred Pownall, the other fatality in the crash, which can be seen here.

The additional details regarding the crash of X.3355 is as follows and can be read in its entirety here, from the excellent PPRuNe forum(s).

from Errol:
“The crash above occurred in daytime on an air test, presumably would not have a bomb load aboard. The crash originally referred to happened at night and left a large crater when the bombs exploded. How close to Feltwell is Brandon? The mystery deepens!” My entry is in error regarding the location of Lime Kiln Farm from Brandon – it is not ESE, nor really SW but almost directly west, lying almost equidistant between Brandon and the Lakenheath Railway Station (which lies a mile or two north of the town of Lakenheath). I could cannot now find Brandon Fields and wonder if this might have been a transcription error of data on the Form 1180 by my researcher. Since publication I have obtained a copy of a precis of the Court of Inquiry. This lists the crew sans initials and includes Aircraftman Hall, who is the name missing from Bill Chorley’s entry (p38 of his 1942 Vol). It describes Colville, Godwin and Hall’s injuries as ‘serious’. The precis states in part: “On 28-2-42, Sgt Colville (1st pilot) with crew of five, took off in Wellington X.3355 on a test flight. Shortly after becoming airborne the starboard engine failed. The pilot endeavoured to return to the aerodrome but while making a circuit the port engine spluttered and when approaching for a forced landing the aircraft stalled and crashed. An outbreak of fire occured on impact and with the exception of the rear half of the fuselage and engines, the aircraft was destroyed… …the starboard engine failed when the aircraft had not much height. The pilot possibly in trying to force land before he crashed, was compelled to turn to the right against his bad engine. It seems probable that the evidence of AC Hall (seventh witness) that the starboard wing stalled during the turn and dropped, and as the aircraft hit the ground with the starboard wing tip first it swung round to the right… …it took off about 1600 hours and the crash must have occured just before 1625 hours when it was reported to F/Lt Walkerdine (12th witness). Although Mr Harrington {note spelling} (11th witness) states he found one of the occupants in the nose turret, we think it was probably the pilots cockpit. Both AC Godwin and AC Hall state that there was not one in the nose turret at the time of the crash and when we found the front turret it was completely smashed and there was no evidence of it having been occupied…” I don’t think that there can be much doubt about this being the crash the crippled Colville so badly. Perhaps, though, by 1957 memory had played tricks on him or he had embellished the account somewhat, or the account as retailed on the PPRuNe board is a little garbled. Given that there is no mention of a bomb load or explosion in the precis it seems very unlikely that the crash would have caused a ‘crater’. Could this in fact just be an old lime quarry?”

Additional detail from RobFJ:
“My mother today told me the following story :

During this part of the war, she lived in Hockwold, adjacent to RAF Feltwell. She remembers the day the plane came down (she heard the crash). It was in the daytime as she was in her office. She lived in the pub, the Red Lion on Hockwold Green which was on the Brandon Road. The billet for the aircrew was just down the road; they used the pub regularly – so she knew most of the aircrew. That evening she asked the pilots about the crash and they said it was Sergeant Arthur Colville’s plane.

Arthur Colville was actually the pilot who replaced my father, Squadron Leader William Francis Jordan, after he was injured and in hospital from  another crash

Mum was a member of the WRVS and she visited Arthur in Ely Hospital until he was transferred to Stoke Mandeville (by which time he had been promoted to Squadron Leader). Two days after the crash, mum asked Arthur what caused it, he mentioned he was on a test flight but he did not know what had happened except that the ground crew had done their checks but the aircraft, in flight, just wasn’t fit to fly

Although he was in a wheelchair when he left Ely Hospital, mum is totally certain that Arthur had not lost his legs – although his injuries on this crash included fractured skull, arms, legs and ribs”.

Flixton Buck then added:
“Concerning incident on 28.02.42, Wellington Ser. No. X3355 which did indeed crash at Brandon next to George Harrington’s farmhouse.
It was a very cold February afternoon with temperatures below zero and by that time in the afternoon quite dark. The ground crew had been working all day to service the aircraft and were the last off the airfield for an air test. As was the tradition of the time, the skipper of the kite flew it and the Erks went along for the ride. The fire destroyed most of the aircraft and it proved to be impossible to ascertain the exact cause of the crash but it was suspected that in their haste to get away they forgot to open balance cock “A”, located under the Pilots seat which evened up the fuel in the tanks. The engines had enough fuel in the near empty tank for the run up but as soon as she started to lift off started to chuck it.
Sgt Colville turned back towards the Station; Lime Kiln farm was on the downward leg of the circuit, when the Wellington crashed. There was a very small fire behind one engine and Mr Harrington, the Farm foreman who lived at Lime Kiln, started pulling the men from the aircraft and taking them into the kitchen of his house. By the time he reached Colville the aircraft was fully ablaze, and the ammo on board was starting to explode. George noted that Colville was pretty banged up and took him inside the house, where he noted that one of the other men who he had placed on his kitchen table had passed away.

The injured were taken to Ely RAF Hospital and Colville was placed under the care of Sir Archie McIndoe a New Zealander of some repute. That night he was given the last rites but never the less he was a young man and gradually improved. As far as I know he kept his legs but may have had substantial metal plates fitted.
George Harrington was called up to meet the old King and was awarded the British Empire Medal for his troubles.

There was never a large crater at Lime Kiln Farm, but you can still find small pieces of Wimpy there when they plough the field where it crashed”.

So, belatedly, thank you to all above who shared this extra information.

 

Hull Crematorium – P/O Robert Bertram RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 .

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A fortuitous need to travel over to Grimsby to pick up my wife from a visit to her family allowed the chance to plot and then try to execute a perhaps in hindsight, overly ambitious tour of a number of churchyards on the way back to Cheshire. Torrential rain upon waking suggested it would be a hard but rewarding day and many hours and miles later, this was just about the consensus opinion……..

Arriving in Hull it was relatively easy to find the Northern Cemetery, but my heart sank when, after asking staff in the Crematorium office where the ‘Screen Wall’ was, they looked rather blank. A polite explanation that this information was from the CWGC website seemed to cut no further mustard with them – after discussion they suggested I try the ‘Columbarium’. At this point I was desperately trying not to let my facial expression say ‘What is a Columbarium’ and mercifully, a helpful member of staff appeared and said he would drive to it and let us follow him.

“A columbarium is a place for the respectful and usually public storage of cinerary urns (i.e., urns holding a deceased’s cremated remains). The term comes from the Latin columba (dove) and originally referred to compartmentalized housing for doves and pigeons called a dovecote.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbarium

 Leaving the car and walking to the Columbarium in torrential rain, this was not going to be an easy task, there appearing to be no clear indication even to where we should start our search – of course in these circumstances, we finally found Robert, having looked at almost every other single plaque…..

06/11/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Essen and Le Havre
Five Wellington Ic aircraft from this Unit made attacks against the above targets. A mixed load consisting of 500lbs and incendiaries were carried. Bombs were dropped in target area and extensive fires were left burning. There was little A.A. fire but there was great activity with searchlights. No enemy aircraft was met. Weather was fair with 6/10ths. Cloud over target area. Navigation was satisfactory.

Wellington Mk.Ic T.2747 AA-J

Sgt. Spence, RAF – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot..
Sgt. Harrington, RAF – Observer.
Sgt. R.S. Davey, RAF identity not sure – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Baker, RAF – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Cope, RAFVR 548460, 55877 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 16:00 – Landed 21:05
Flight Time 05:05

23/11/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Dunkirk
Seven Wellington Ic aircraft were detailed from this Unit to attack the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried consisting of 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Bombs were dropped on target area and flashes seen but full results were not seen. Heavy A.A. fire was met over target area and searchlights in large cones were active. No enemy aircraft were met. Weather was fair with 7/10th. Cloud over target area and freezing level was at 9,000ft. Navigation was good.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.1083 AA-K

Sgt. Spence, RAF – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot..
Sgt. Harrington, RAF – Observer.
Sgt. R.S. Davey, RAF identity not sure – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Baker, RAF – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Cope, RAFVR 548460, 55877 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:15 – Landed 20:05
Flight Time 02:50

26/11/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Emden and Ostend
Seventeen Wellington Ic aircraft were detailed from this Unit to attack the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried consisting of 4000,lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs. 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Very bad weather prevented the target being identified and results were not observed. A few bombs were however dropped in target area and one flash was seen. The remainder were brought back to base. Heavy and light predicted A.A. fire was met over target area and cones of searchlights were active. One single engine aircraft and one Junkers 88 enemy aircraft were seen but were successfully evaded. Weather was extremely bad and marred the whole operation. 10/10th cloud was met throughout the journey to and from the target. Navigation was D.R. and Q.D. M.s. One of these aircraft, Z.1114, captained by Sgt. Evans, returned to base with engine trouble.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.8971 AA- ?

Sgt. Spence, RAF – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot..
Sgt. Harrington, RAF – Observer.
Sgt. R.S. Davey, RAF identity not sure – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Baker, RAF – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Cope, RAFVR 548460, 55877 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:45 – Landed 23:25
Flight Time 05:40

30/11/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Emden and Hamburg
Eleven Wellington Ic and two Wellington II aircraft were detailed from the Unit to attack the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried consisting of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Weather was clear and visibility good. A few bombs were dropped in the target area the remaining were bought back to base. Heavy, medium and light flak was encountered and a large number of searchlights were active. (Sentence illegible). One unidentified aircraft was also seen off the Frisian Islands. A convoy off Cromer fired at aircraft until colours were fired. Navigation was good. Astro and D.R. loop being used. One Wellington Ic aircraft, 1099, captained by Sgt. Harrison-Smith failed to return to base.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.1108 AA-X

Sgt. Spence, RAF – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot..
Sgt. Harrington, RAF – Observer.
Sgt. R.S. Davey, RAF identity not sure – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Guy Lionel Roy Heywood, RNZAF NZ40622 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Cope, RAFVR 548460, 55877 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:20 – Landed 23:50
Flight Time 06:30

23/12/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Brest
Seven wellington Ic aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. Bomb load consisted of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Bomb bursts and fires were seen in the target area. Light, medium and heavy flak was met and searchlights were not very active. Weather was good over the target. Navigation was good. Wellington Z.8834, captained by Sgt. Bentley, crashed at Burner’s Heath on return and Sgt. Bentley was killed, the crew being injured.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.1083 AA-K

Sgt. James Kenneth Climie, RNZAF NZ403561 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot..
P/O Allen Roy Henderson, r NZ401382 – Observer.
Sgt. Ries, RAF – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Walsh, RAF – Front Gunner.
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:20 – Landed 23:20
Flight Time 06:00

27/12/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Brest and Dusseldorf
Twelve Wellington Ic aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. Bomb load consisted of 4000lbs, 1000lbs,250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Bombs were seen to burst in town and railway station at Dusseldorf. Intense heavy flak was encountered over target areas and large concentrations of searchlights were active. Weather was good with very good visibility over target area. Navigation was good. Wellington Z.8971, captained by Sgt. Machin, crashed near Dartmoor owing to the port engine failing. The entire crew baled out safely.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.1083 AA-K

Sgt. James Kenneth Climie, RNZAF NZ403561 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot..
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Walsh, RAF – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ries, RAF – Front Gunner.
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 16:30 – Landed 11:00
Flight Time 18:30

12/02/1942 – Daylight Attack – German Battleships in the Channel
Two Wellington III aircraft from this unit were detailed to carry out the above attack. Bomb load consisted of 500 lbs G.P. Owing to very bad weather, 10/10 cloud and rain in large areas, the ships were not bombed. The bomb load was returned to base. Wellington aircraft X3390 encountered fierce light A.A. Fire from two destroyers on two occasions. Fire being returned by the rear gunner. This aircraft also attacked by two ME 109’s but sustained no damage. Navigation was entirely by D.R. The whole operation was marred by very poor visibility and low cloud. Wellington X3475 was also detailed to carry out an attack on the above target but the vessels were not contacted owing to darkness and adverse weather conditions. Several unidentified aircraft were seen. A.A. Fire was observed over clouds.

Wellington Mk.III X.3390 AA-S

P/O James Kenneth Climie, RNZAF NZ403561 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Allen Roy Henderson, RNZAF NZ401382 – Observer.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 15:10 – Landed 18:50
Flight Time 03:40

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.3359 AA-H (1)

P/O James Kenneth Climie, RNZAF NZ403561 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Allen Roy Henderson, RNZAF NZ401382 – Observer.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:30 – Landed 04:40
Flight Time 04:10

09/03/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Eleven Wellington III aircraft carried out an attack against the above target. Bomb load consisted of 500 lbs, 250 lbs and containers of incendiaries, and was dropped in the target area, fires and bomb bursts being seen. A strong flak defence was encountered over the target and searchlights were very active. One Me.110 was seen and one unidentified aircraft was seen to be shot down by an enemy fighter. Weather was good. Navigation was by D.R. and TR1335.

Wellington Mk.III X.3359 AA-H

P/O James Kenneth Climie, RNZAF NZ403561 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Allen Roy Henderson, RNZAF NZ401382 – Observer.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:00 – Landed 01:00
Flight Time 05:00

12/03/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Kiel
Eight Wellington aircraft carried out an attack against the above target, one aircraft, captained by Sgt Bell did not carry out an attack. Three aircraft captained by S/L Kitchin, F/O Sandys and Sgt Parnham failed to return to base. Bomb load consisted of 1,000 lbs, 500 lbs and 250 lbs was dropped in the target area, bomb bursts being observed. There was heavy and light predicted flak and large cones of searchlights in the target area and one twin engined enemy aircraft made one unsuccessful attack on Wellington III X3586 captained by S/L Newton. Weather was clear over the target with 5/10 cloud over North Sea. Navigation was by D.R. and TR1335.

Wellington Mk.III X.3597 AA-C

P/O James Kenneth Climie, RNZAF NZ403561 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Allen Roy Henderson, RNZAF NZ401382 – Observer.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:25 – Landed 02:25
Flight Time 06:00

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.3359 AA-H

P/O James Kenneth Climie, RNZAF NZ403561 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Allen Roy Henderson, RNZAF NZ401382 – Observer.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:05 – Landed 23:40
Flight Time 03:35

05/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against Targets Cologne
Nine Wellington Aircraft from this unit were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, and 250lbs and 4lb incendiaries was dropped but results were not observed. There was intense heavy flak and many searchlights were active but ineffective owing to the bright moonlight. One Ju.88 aircraft was seen near the target and Wellington III X3705 was attacked by a Me.110 near Liege without result. Weather was good and navigation by TR1335 and D.R was also good. One aircraft did not carry out it’s mission and two are missing. Wellington III X3489, captained by W/Cdr Sawrey Cookson the C.O. of the squadron, and Wellington III X3661 captained by F/S Thomas.

Wellington Mk.III Z.3636 AA-R

P/O James Kenneth Climie, RNZAF NZ403561 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Allen Roy Henderson, RNZAF NZ401382 – Observer.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Desmond Stewart Tutty, RNZAF NZ404576 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 01:00 – Landed 06:15
Flight Time 05:15

06/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against Targets Essen
Wellington aircraft were detailed from this unit to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, and 250lbs was dropped in the target area and fires were observed. There was intense heavy flak over the target but only a few searchlights were active. One single engined fighter attempted to attack Wellington II X3636 but was driven off by flak. There was 9/10th cloud on the route and 3/10th to 5/10th cloud over the target at 11,000 feet. Navigation was good TR and DR being used.

Wellington Mk.III Z.3636 AA-R

P/O James Kenneth Climie, RNZAF NZ403561 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Allen Roy Henderson, RNZAF NZ401382 – Observer.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Desmond Stewart Tutty, RNZAF NZ404576 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:30 – Landed 05:50
Flight Time 05:20

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 incendiaries 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.3667 AA-D

P/O James Kenneth Climie, RNZAF NZ403561 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Desmond Stewart Tutty, RNZAF NZ404576 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:50 – Landed 02:10
Flight Time 04:20

12/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against at LeHavre 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.3586 AA-A

S/L Raymond John Newton, RNZAF NZ40984 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Francis William Green, RAFVR 581283/ 41730 – Observer.
F/S Leonard Roy Gould, RAFVR 552462/ 49001 – Wireless Operator.
Cptn. Peter Terrey Wykes , British Army 85197 – Front Gunner.
P/O Walter Gordon Fenton, RNZAF NZ391838 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:10 – Landed 04:30
Flight Time 06:20

17/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Eight Well.III a/c were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs, 30lb and 4lb incendiaries was dropped in the target area and bomb bursts were seen. Well.III, X.3636 jettisoned its bombs when in searchlight beams. There was intense heavy flak co-operating with searchlights which were numerous. Weather was clear and there was a slight ground haze. Navigation was good by TR, loops and DR.

Wellington Mk.III X.3541 AA-H

Sgt. Turner, RAF – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. William Henderson Taylor, RAFVR 1051621/ 122053 – Observer.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Charles Smith, RNZAF NZ401466 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:30 – Landed 01:20
Flight Time 03:50

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

Sgt. Turner, RAF – 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 incendiaries 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.3408 AA-Q

Sgt. Turner, RAF – 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 22:40 – Landed 06:20
Flight Time 07:40

25/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against at Rostock and Dunkirk
Seven Well.III a/c were detailed to attack the above targets. Bomb load of 1000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and 4lb incendiaries was dropped in 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 afew. One enemy a/c was seen near Dunkirk. Weather was very clear with slight ground haze.

Wellington Mk.III X.3720 AA-U

Sgt. Turner, RAF – 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. Charles Smith, RNZAF NZ401466 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:18 – Landed 05:30
Flight Time 07:12

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 incendiaries 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.3408 AA-Q

Sgt. Turner, RAF – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Stanley Frederick Hall, RNZAF NZ402182 – Observer.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Charles Smith, RNZAF NZ401466 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:03 – Landed 04:23
Flight Time 06:20

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 Z.1616 AA-D

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ian Gordon Stewart, RNZAF NZ404623 – .
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:35 – Landed 02:40
Flight Time 04:05

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 Z.1616 AA-D

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Kenneth Atherton Crankshaw, RNZAF NZ404533 – .
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:10 – Landed 04:05
Flight Time 04:55

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 Z.1616 AA-D

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Kenneth Atherton Crankshaw, RNZAF NZ404533 – .
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:44 – Landed 02:44
Flight Time 03:00

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 Z.1616 AA-D

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Leslie William Kennedy, RNZAF NZ41594 – .
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:24 – Landed 03:46
Flight Time 03:22

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.3586 AA-A

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Clifton Robert Brailley, RNZAF NZ404587 – .
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:25 – Landed 03:15
Flight Time 03:50

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.3586 AA-A

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ian Gordon Stewart, RNZAF NZ404623 – .
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:20 – Landed 04:30
Flight Time 05:10

08/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Twelve aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area. Owing to haze results were not observed. There was a heavy concentration of flak and searchlights in target area. Two unidentified a/c were observed near Dutch Coast by Well.III, X.3720 and were eluded. Weather was good no cloud over target but hazy. Navigation was very good. Well.III, X.3587, captained by P/O. Smith and Well.III, Z.1573, captained by P/O Murdoch failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1616 AA-D

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ian Gordon Stewart, RNZAF NZ404623 – .
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:28 – Landed 03:12
Flight Time 03:44

16/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Seven aircraft were detailed to attack the above. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs and 4lb inc was taken. One a/c did not carry out its task and returned early. Owing to insufficient cloud cover Essen was not attacked by a/c but bombs were dropped on Bonn. There was heavy flak and searchlights were moderate. Weather was unfavourable. Navigation was good. No enemy a/c were seen.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1616 AA-D

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ian Gordon Stewart, RNZAF NZ404623 – .
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:23 – Landed 03:38
Flight Time 04:15

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.1616 AA-D

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ian Gordon Stewart, RNZAF NZ404623 – .
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:49 – Landed 04:12
Flight Time 04:23

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 Z.1616 AA-D

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ian Gordon Stewart, RNZAF NZ404623 – .
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:29 – Landed 03:43
Flight Time 04:14

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 Z.1616 AA-D

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ian Gordon Stewart, RNZAF NZ404623 – .
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:20 – Landed 03:40
Flight Time 04:20

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. No results observed. Small concentration of flak and searchlights at Cherbourg. No enemy a/c seen. Weather was fine with slight ground have over France. Nav was good.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1616 AA-D (11)

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A. Gordon, RAFVR 1376471 – . Question of identity of this individual –
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:58 – Landed 04:57
Flight Time 05:59

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.1616 AA-D

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Norman Mitchell, RNZAF NZ404084 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:15 – Landed 04:13
Flight Time 04:58

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 Z.1616 AA-D

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Norman Mitchell, RNZAF NZ404084 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23.20 – Landed –
Flight Time – crashed after take off – all crew killed

Z.1616 AA-D completed a normal take-off at 23.20, but approximately 5 minutes after becoming airborne, fire was seen to break out on the aircraft (witnesses say the aircraft was on fire before it crashed) The Wellington then crashed in flames near Red House Farm, Methwold, a few miles north of Feltwell. All five crew were killed.

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536. Killed age 26.
Buried Hull Crematorium, Kingston Upon-Hull, England.

Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373. Killed age 25.
Laleham (All Saints) Churchyard, Staines, Middlesex, England.

Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026. Killed age 33.
Buried Feltwell (St. Nicholas) Churchyard, Norfolk, England.

Sgt. Norman Mitchell, RNZAF NZ404084. Killed age 25.
Buried Feltwell (St. Nicholas) Churchyard England.

Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706. Killed age 25.
Buried Feltwell (St Nicholas) Churchyard, England.

The Air Forces Memorial, Runnymede

compplates

I am pleased to announce a fairly significant addition to the Gravestone Project for the Roll of Honour pages of the blog. A chance to visit my Sister in the summer while down with  Mum led me to the snap decision to go over the the Air Force Memorial at Runnymede.

In hindsight, a little more planning might have helped. At least I had the sense to extract and reorder those from the Squadron in panel, rather than date or name order……….

I had been to Runnymede before – but walking through the drizzel to the gate entrance, my recollections of my earlier visit felt dream-like. The memorial building was not at all as I thought I remembered it – somehow smaller, less spread out.

I had last been when, I think, I was perhaps about 9 or 10. I had gone, if I recall with Mum, Dad and I think Sandra, who today we were visiting. Like a dream, I had broken images of Dad, walking alone, stopping, searching the panels, pausing before walking onto another one. At the time I had little idea and even less interest as to what this place was, let a lone why I was required to be there.

Again with many things since Bob’s passing, I have occasionally found myself stood, or sat in a series of bittersweet puddles –  and this was another of them……..

The Air Forces Memorial, or Runnymede Memorial, in Englefield Green, near Egham, Surrey, is a memorial dedicated to the 20,456 men and women from the air forces of the British Empire who were lost in air and other operations during World War II. Those recorded have no known grave anywhere in the world, and many were lost without trace. The name of each of these airmen and airwomen are engraved into the stone walls of the memorial, according to country, squadron and date of loss.

The memorial was designed by Sir Edward Maufe with sculpture by Vernon Hill. The engraved glass and painted ceilings were designed by John Hutton, and the poem engraved on the gallery window was written by Paul H Scott. It was the first post-World War II building to be listed for architectural merit.

In practical terms my photographic endeavours were not made easier by torrential rain and variable light conditions. The panels are tall – much taller than I imagined – and I was loathe to stand on the seats between each set of panels. Lifting the camera to arms length went some way to ‘square’ the camera to some of the names higher up, but, again I have to thank Photoshop and my camera’s massive resolution for the quality of some of the images.

Armed with the list and slowly disappearing light I set to the task and am (relatively) pleased to say I managed to record 144 – approximately half the names I needed to. On reflection I am glad I only managed half – it means I have to go back and returning means I will go back better prepared – probably to take all of them again.

Perhaps fate, perhaps just numerical chance, but it meant a lot to find and photograph 2 names in particular – and if another 2 people find and read this post, they have my warmest regards and thoughts.

Church SIDHU COMP

AKE AKE KIA KAHA!

Please view individual names within the relevant alphabetical sections of the Roll of Honour pages of the blog, in the top menu bar.

Liverpool (Ford) Roman Catholic Cemetery – S/L Edward Robert Myddleton Appleton Mid RAF 42475

ERM Appleton

It took me a good while to find the gravestone of Squadron Leader Edward Appleton. Whilst I am experienced enough to not automatically expect a Commonwealth War Grave, when I finally did find the stone, I was a little perplexed – this  increased whilst trying to find out what actually happened to Edward on the 31st of August 1943.

Upon finding Edward’s gravestone, I was interested to see it existed as an additive inscription to a stone that already recorded 5 other individuals, all members of the Southwell family. The gravestone read as follows:

Joseph Louis Southwell who departed this life on September 18th 1893 aged 41 years. This stone is erected by his  employers and friends as a token of respect and esteem a trusty servant a loyal friend. R.I.P
Joseph L. Southwell who departed this life on May 25th 1882, aged 9 years.
Also of Humphrey Southwell who died on April 24th 1915 aged 34 years.
Elizabeth Jane Southwell, died 10th December 1929
Lucy Agnes Southwell died 19th February 1931.
S/Ldr Edward Robert M. Appleton killed on active service 31st August 1943 aged 23 years R.I.P

I would obviously be fascinated therefore to understand the relationships and relevance of the inscriptions…….

The details of Edwards death are also a little complicated, relative to the normal post about an airman killed with the Squadron, so thanks to Kevin for pointing me in the direction of a thread on the RAF Commands forum within which the events of the night of Edward’s death were discussed and discovered – so belatedly and indirectly thank-you also to all of those that contributed to this original discussion thread.

Edward arrived at  Newmarket on the 16th April 1943. On the 26th of that month he flew as 2nd Pilot in Peter Buck’s crew to Duisburg.

26/04/1943 – Attack Against Targets At Duisburg
Eight aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1000 lb. and incendiaries of 30 lb. and 4 lb. One aircraft however failed to take-off as the pilot was sick. And two aircraft returned early. The remaining five aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area, which was a mass of flames. Large concentrated fires being seen which were spreading. Very heavy A.A.Fire was experienced in the target area, which was mainly predicted and co-operation with cones of searchlights. Some enemy aircraft were seen and one combat took place. The weather was very good in the target area, but visibility was impaired by haze caused by the large fires. Navigation was very good. Stirling Mk.III BF517, captained by F/O P.J. Buck, was attacked by an unseen fighter when about 30 miles North of the target. The rudder and tail of the aircraft was damaged, and the rear gunner was mortally wounded. The fighter was evaded and by jettisoning all moveable objects height was maintained and the aircraft returned to base where a perfect crash landing was made. Besides the rear gunner who lost his life, minor injuries were also received by two other members of the crew.

Stirling Mk.I BK619 AA-X

P/O Peter John Oswald Buck, RNZAF NZ413377 – Pilot.
F/L Edward Robert Myddleton Appleton, RAF 42475 – 2nd Pilot.
F/O Alexander Fielding Minnis, RAFVR 126499 – Navigator.
Sgt. A.P. Sadler, RAFVR 1379771 – Air Bomber.
P/O John Henry Symons, RCAF R.77568/ J.16507 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J.W. Jones, RAFVR 1068491 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. J. Watson, RAFVR 1021021 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Brian Arthur Rogers, RAFVR 1384352 – Rear Gunner.

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

https://75nzsquadron.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/img_0017.jpg

The rear gunner’s turret of a 75(NZ) Squadron Stirling being inspected by S/Ldr. Dick Broadbent and W/Cdr. Wells, a visiting fighter pilot, after damage by a night fighter over Duisburg on 26th April 1943.

Above, a photograph from “The Royal Air Force at Newmarket”. The caption identifies the incident and links it therefore to the attack on the Buck crew and the death of Sgt. Brian Rogers. A post showing Sgt. Roger’s name on the screen wall of the City of London Cemetery and Crematorium and more details by the attack by the Nachtjagd can be read here.

The Appleton crew began their tour on the 27th April with a fairly standard and considered ‘easy’ Gardening Op.

27/04/1943 – Mining off the Frisian Islands
Five aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operations, with mines of 1500 lb. One of these returned early owing to engine trouble and the remainder successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area, and the parachutes were seen to open. No enemy aircraft, A.A. fire or searchlights were encountered. There was heavy cloud and occasional rain storms in the mining area although visibility was good, except for haze. Navigation was excellent.

Stirling Mk.I BK614 JN-H

F/L Edward Robert Myddleton Appleton, RAF 42475 – Pilot.
P/O John Johnston, RNZAF NZ416198 – Navigator.
P/O Selwyn James Clubb, RNZAF NZ414593 – Air Bomber.
F/S Stanley Gordon Cocks, RNZAF NZ404624 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. James Samuel Andrews, RAFVR 634968 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Bernard Arthur Riley Moore, RAFVR 1106308 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Joseph Wykes, RAFVR 1127228 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 01:07 – Landed 05:51
Flight Time 04:44

01/05/1943 – Mining in the Gironde Estuary
Five aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with Mines of 1500lb, only two aircraft, however, took-off owing to bad weather. They successfully dropped their Mines in the allotted area, and the parachutes were seen to open. Some enemy aircraft and a few searchlights were encountered, but they were ineffective. There was 7/10th. Cloud over the gardening area, although visibility was good, Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.III BK776 AA-R

F/L Edward Robert Myddleton Appleton, RAF 42475 – Pilot.
P/O John Johnston, RNZAF NZ416198 – Navigator.
P/O Selwyn James Clubb, RNZAF NZ414593 – Air Bomber.
F/S Stanley Gordon Cocks, RNZAF NZ404624 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. James Samuel Andrews, RAFVR 634968 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Bernard Arthur Riley Moore, RAFVR 1106308 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Joseph Wykes, RAFVR 1127228 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:31 – Landed 05:19
Flight Time 07:48

04/05/1943 – Attack Against Targets At Dortmund
Ten aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets, with bombs of 2000lb 1000lb and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb. One aircraft, however, failed to take-off owing to engine trouble. The remaining aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area, with the exception of two which returned early owing to engine trouble. Large fires and explosions were seen, which appeared to come from the center of the target area. Some A.A.Fire and searchlights were encountered, but they were ineffective. A few enemy aircraft were seen, but no combats took place. No cloud was prevalent in the target area, and visibility was good, ground detail was obscured by the smoke from the fires. Navigation was excellent.

Stirling Mk.III BK721 AA-Z

F/L Edward Robert Myddleton Appleton, RAF 42475 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Frederick Harvey, RNZAF NZ416483 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O John Johnston, RNZAF NZ416198 – Navigator.
P/O Selwyn James Clubb, RNZAF NZ414593 – Air Bomber.
F/S Stanley Gordon Cocks, RNZAF NZ404624 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. James Samuel Andrews, RAFVR 634968 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Bernard Arthur Riley Moore, RAFVR 1106308 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Joseph Wykes, RAFVR 1127228 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:58 – Landed 03:52
Flight Time 04:54

12/05/1943 – Attack Against Targets At Duisburg
Nine aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 2000lb, 1000lb and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb. Stirling Mk.III. BK.721 captained by F/Lt. E.R.M. Appleton, whilst taking off failed to clear an obstruction at the end of the runway and crashed almost immediately afterwards, all the crew with the exception of the captain and the wireless operator, F/Sgt. Cocks, S.G. were killed. The captain received severe injuries and the wireless was also injured, both were admitted to hospital. As a result of this crash two aircraft were unable to take-off. One aircraft returned early owing to the Captain being sick. The remaining five aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area, and large concentrated fires and some explosions were seen. Some heavy A.A.Fire, co-operating with searchlights was encountered, but it was ineffective. A few enemy aircraft were seen but no combats took place. The weather was very clear in the target area with good visibility except for ground haze which prevented identification. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.III BK721 AA-Z

F/L Edward Robert Myddleton Appleton, RAF 42475 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Frederick Harvey, RNZAF NZ416483 – 2nd Pilot.
F/O John Johnston, RNZAF NZ416198 – Navigator.
P/O Selwyn James Clubb, RNZAF NZ414593 – Air Bomber.
F/S Stanley Gordon Cocks, RNZAF NZ404624 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. James Samuel Andrews, RAFVR 634968 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Bernard Arthur Riley Moore, RAFVR 1106308 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Joseph Wykes, RAFVR 1127228 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:37 – Landed –
Flight Time Crashed

It is only writing this that I realise that only a few weeks ago I visited Cheltenham Cemetery to record the headstone of Sgt. Bernard Moore. To read more details of this incident that killed all crew bar Edward and his Wireless Operator, Stanley Cocks click here.

One might speculate as to whether Edward was enjoying incredibly good luck, or those around him bad. Despite surviving the “Devils Dyke” crash Edward was seriously injured. The Form 540 shows that Edward was promoted to the rank of Acting Squadron Leader with effect from the 7th of May, authority dated the  16th. A day later on the 17th May, Edward was posted to Non Effective Strength, Base Head Quarters at Mildenhall, where we must assume he undertook appropriate duties while he recovered from the crash of the 12th of May.

On the 31st of August S/L Edward Appleton was an observer on a B-17F of 422 Night Leaflet Squadron (USAAF), the bomber, 42-5376 coded JJ-X “Eager Eagle” was Piloted by 1st Lt Floyd H. Truesdell, out of Chelveston, Northamptonshire.

The flight plan called for an altitude of 7000 feet. The right waist gunner S/Sgt John E. Breen said that the last report he had heard over the inter-phone before the collision was 7200 feet. The flight plan route was over Foulsham.

At approximately 23:30, a Royal Air Force Beaufighter V8715, collided with B-17F Aircraft, Serial No. 42-5376.

The Beaufighter was evidently in a steep bank to the right hitting the B-17 between the No. 3 and No. 4 engines from the front. The force of the collision split the Beaufighter in half and severed the right wing of the B-17F. The two waist gunners, S/S John E. Breen and Sgt Carl G. Ruehl, both parachuted to safety. The B-17F crashed into a farm building on the Parish Church Farm on the south edge of the town of Foulsham, Norfolk County, England, killing 9 other crew members including F/L E. M. Appleton, an RAF Pilot on Detached Service with the 305th Bombardment Group from Royal Air Force No. 3 Group, riding as Observer. There were no civilian casualties.

The farm building was partially demolished, killing five (5) bullocks.

Under the ‘CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS’ of the subsequent investigation it was noted that both aircraft were flying without navigation lights as they were above 5000 feet and there was a Red Air Raid alert on at that time. The accident was unavoidable.

Squadron Leader Edward Robert Myddleton Appleton, MiD was 23 years old.

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

 

 

Glossop Cemetery, Derbyshire – AC2 Wilfred Pownall RAF 1043753

W. Pownall Glossop reduced

Wellington Mk.III X.3355 AA-Y took off from Feltwell at approximately 13:10 on the 28th of February 1942 for an engine check. During the air test the starboard motor failed, followed soon afterward by the port engine. As the crew prepared for an emergency landing, the aircraft stalled and crashed at 4:00pm , near Lime Kiln Farm, Brandon, Suffolk, 5 miles North West of Thetford, Norfolk.

The Wellington burst into flames on impact.

Army personnel, stationed nearby, along with local inhabitants, helped to pull the airmen from the burning wreckage. The farmer on whose land the bomber had crashed on, a Mr G. F. Harrington was awarded the British Empire Medal, for bravery shown.

AC2 Wilfred Pownall and Cpl Kenneth John Howes, both groundcrew were killed in the crash and the 2nd Pilot, Sgt. Henry William Woodham RNZAF, died of his injuries later that day.

Cpl Howes now rests in Selby Cemetery, Yorkshire.
Sgt. Woodham was buried in St. Nicholas Churchyard, Feltwell.