Tag Archives: Russell Ashley Banks

Operation ‘Manna’ starts 70 years ago today…….

Today, 70 years ago, after the cessation of hostilities in Europe, a massive humanitarian operation began to drop food and supplies to the starving people of Holland. At  12:34, this afternoon F/L Bill Alexander took off in ME531 AA-K, ahead of another 8 Lancasters from the Squadron to take part in the first day of food dropping over Delft.

The aircraft, crews and order of take off as recorded in the Form 541 for April 1945 was as follows:

29/04/1945 – Supply Dropping in the Delf Area
9 Aircraft were detailed for Supply Dropping in the Delft area. The operation was uneventful and crowds were seen waving and cheering. Quite a number of packs hung up.

Lancaster Mk.I NG448 AA-A
S/L Laurence Douglas McKenna, RNZAF NZ424493 – Pilot.
F/O Maurice Frank Thorogood, RAFVR 1322861/ 139697 – Navigator.
F/O H. St. Laurent, RCAF J.29721 – Air Bomber.
F/S Leslie Thomas Patrick Murphy, RAAF AUS.423476 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. T. Harper, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S Sidney George Frederick Sizeland, RAFVR 196611 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Gordon Albert Mills, RAFVR 1445361/ 196610 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:36 – Landed 15:00
Flight Time 02:24

Lancaster Mk.I RA510 AA-E
F/O Albert George Bone, RNZAF NZ4211608 – Pilot.
F/S P. Henchie, RAFVR – Navigator.
F/S Maurice Patrick Power, RNZAF NZ421395 – Air Bomber.
F/S Raymond Joseph Butler, RNZAF NZ4213147 – Wireless Operator.
F/S V. Cramer, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. R Lander, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. D. Logan, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:37 – Landed 14:59
Flight Time 02:22

Lancaster Mk.II ME531 AA-K
F/L William Edward Robert Alexander, RNZAF NZ413801 – Pilot.
F/O Dixon D NZ1981,   – Navigator.
Sgt. W. Townsend, RAFVR – Air Bomber.
Sgt. E. Preston, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. M Brown, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/L Basil Douglas Larbalestie, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. D. Payne, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:34 – Landed 15:07
Flight Time 02:33

Lancaster Mk.III PB132 AA-T
F/O Thomas Wagner Good, RAFVR 1330401/ 195724 – Pilot.
F/S Woonton R, RAFVR – Navigator.
F/S Williams E,   – Air Bomber.
W/O P. Brooke, RAFVR 1312079 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. R. Winning, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. H. Parry, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. W. Gilbert, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:39 – Landed 15:20
Flight Time 02:41

Lancaster Mk.I HK561 AA-Y
F/L Russell Ashley Banks, RNZAF NZ416437 – Pilot
F/O Maurice Wiggins, RAFVR 1219661/ 164286 – Navigator
F/O James Ernest ‘Jimmy’ Wood, RAFVR 1801019/ 154906 – Air Bomber
F/L Alexander Reid Hirst, RNZAF NZ41588 – Wireless Op
Sgt. Norman ‘Paddy’ Allen, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner
W/O John Edward ‘Jack’ Britnell, RAFVR 1579917 – Rear Gunner

Take Off 12:37 – Landed 15:06
Flight Time 02:29

Lancaster Mk,I RF127 AA-W
F/L Ian Taylor, RAFVR 1550767/ 135709 – Pilot
P/O David Dickson Hope, RAAF AUS.401954 – Navigator
W/O John Alfred Tarran, RAAF AUS.419395 – Air Bomber
W/O Mervyn John King, RAAF AUS.430036 – Wireless Operator
Sgt. L. Deeprose, RAFVR – Flight Engineer
W/O T. R. Kemp, RAFVR 1412409 – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S E. Franklin, RAFVR – Rear Gunner

Take Off 12:38 – Landed 15:17
Flight Time 02:39

Lancaster Mk.I PB820 JN-V
F/O Ronald Christie Flamank, RNZAF NZ427270 – Pilot.
F/S A. Westbury, RAFVR AUS.401954 – Navigator.
F/S E. Carver, RAFVR – Air Bomber.
F/S Douglas Haig Rapson, RNZAF NZ428323 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. V. Saunders, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leslie Dixon Moore, RNZAF NZ421327 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. D. Hills,   – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:39 – Landed 15:13
Flight Time 02:34

Lancaster Mk.II PB421 AA-P
F/O Wi Rangiuaia, RNZAF NZ427319 – Pilot.
Sgt. Mayhew A,   – Navigator.
Sgt. D. Morrison, RAFVR – Air Bomber.
F/S John Edward Barry Mossman, RNZAF NZ42112587 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. L. Player, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. T. Mynott,   – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. T. Morgan,   – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:40 – Landed 15:10
Flight Time 02:30

Lancaster Mk.I RF129 JN-M
W/C Cyril Henry ‘Mac’ Baigent, RNZAF NZ411973/ 70038 – Pilot.
F/S James Randel Haworth, RNZAF NZ4216510 – Navigator.
F/L Grant Alan Russell, RNZAF NZ411729 – Air Bomber.
P/O William Lachlan Wilson, RNZAF NZ41117 – Wireless Operator.
W/O W. Peplow, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/O Harold George Howells, RAFVR 1292972/ 185219 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/O Gwyn Duglan, RAFVR 179249 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:46 – Landed 15:11
Flight Time 02:25

 

75(NZ) Squadron RAF would undertake another 117 flights to Holland over the next 9 days till the final on the 8th of May. An earlier post about Operation ‘Manna’ and the USAAF Operation ‘Chowhound’ can be read here.

30/04/45           
Supply Dropping – Rotterdam 
21 Aircraft were detailed to Supply dropping in the Rotterdam area. Crowds of Dutch were seen waving and cheering. The Operation was carried out successfully.

01/05/45           
Supply Dropping at Delft  
21 Aircraft were detailed for Supply Dropping at Delft. The population were very excited. There was a great deal of flag waving and thanks messages were seen painted on roof tops.

02/05/45           
Supply Dropping at Delft   
21 Aircraft were detailed for Supply Dropping at Delft. This mission was successful. The crowd were not as large as usual, but more flags were observed. F/O E.Ohlson reported having seen Germans in barracks cheering and waving white flags. F/O R, Flamank saw Germans waving from gun posts on the coast.

03/05/45           
Supply Dropping at Delft and the Hague      
10 Aircraft were detailed for Supply Dropping, five for Delft and five for the Hague. Crowds and flag waving were not so extensive as before and enthusiasm seems to be waining.

04/05/45           
Supply Dropping at the Hague and Delft      
6 Aircraft were detailed for Supply Dropping. Three for The Hague, and three for the Delft. The missions were successful, but fewer people were seen.

05/05/45           
Supply Dropping at the Hague 
4 Aircraft were detailed for Supply Dropping at the Hague. The mission was uneventful.

07/05/45            
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.

08/05/45           
Supply Dropping at Rotterdam    
8 Aircraft were detailed for Supply Dropping at Rotterdam. The mission was uneventful, but considered successful.

 

B Flight Pilots, June 1945.

B-Flight-Pilots-June1945

B Flight No. 75 (NZ) Squadron, Mepal, June 1945 – NZBCA archives, Ivan Carroll collection.

Thanks as always to Chris for doing a bit of detective work on this photograph of ‘B’ Flight Pilots, taken in June 1945 and generously passed on by Peter from the NZBCA archives.

Flying Officer Ivan Carroll arrived at Mepal on 13 March 1945, flew his first op’ on 18 March, and stayed on with the Squadron after VE Day for Tiger Force training at Spilsby until 29 September.

This is the first formal group photo I have seen from the immediate post-war period.

The photo is a little worse for wear, but nevertheless a great shot of the Pilots who made up B Flight, just after the war ended, and for once we can put faces to all the names- luckily for us, Ivan wrote them on the back:
B-Flight-Pilots-June1945-reverse

Back row: F/O Bruce Crawford (F/O Roderick Bruce Crawford, RNZAF, NZ427551), F/O John Young (F/O John Simpson Young, RNZAF, NZ4213650), Self (F/O Ivan Silvester Carroll, RNZAF, NZ4213254), F/O Hardie (F/L William Leslie Hardie, RNZAF, NZ 428111), F/S Daly (F/O Alfred George Daly, RNZAF, NZ4211789), F/O Don Shearer (P/O Donald Babington Shearer, RNZAF, NZ4210512), F/O Pete Trevarthen (F/O Peter Lloyd Trevarthen, RNZAF, NZ429974).
Front row: F/O Alan Baynes (F/O Allan Ralph Baynes, RNZAF. NZ427453), F/L Charlie Stevens (F/Lt Charles Mackenzie Stevens, RNZAF, NZ4210535), S/Ldr Ballingall (Sqn Ldr. Alexander Stewart Ballingall, RNZAF, NZ2286, B Flight Commander), F/Lt Rus Banks (F/Lt Russell Ashley Banks, RNZAF, NZ416437), F/O Bill (Tubby) Evenden (F/O William Evenden, RAF, 1337365, 196039).

As always, thanks to Peter Wheeler and the NZ Bomber Command Assn., for permission to reproduce this photo.

See this photograph within the ‘Group Photographs’ section of the blog here.