Tag Archives: Stirling

Aircraft Database update 6th August 2014

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Many thanks as always to Ian for another update to the 75(NZ) Squadron Aircraft Database. The database contains some new updates particularly relating to the Lancaster section and Ian has also added a note at the bottom relating to ‘Flight’ identification. Ian feels and I completely agree with him, that there appears to now be substantive evidence that a lot of existing sources for information on the aircraft that flew in the Squadron are in parts incorrect – there clearly seems to be errors relating to ‘C’ Flight and it would appear in some cases, aircraft have been identified as ‘AA’ (A or B Flight), simply through the ignorance that ‘C’ Flight (JN) even existed.

I suppose to this end, if anybody has the time to check through our database and is able to provided definitive evidence of particularly, Flight coding (photograph/ logbook entries etc) then please, as always contact us!

See the Wellington database here.
See the Stirling database here.
See the Lancaster database here.

Aircraft Database update 9th July 2014

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Many thanks to Ian as always for his diligent work with the Squadron aircraft database, of which, a new update has just been uploaded!

View the Wellington records here.
View the Stirling records here.
View the Lancaster records here.

Aircraft Database – minor corrections

composite aircraft imageStirling and lanc only

Many thanks to Ian for performing a few tweaks to the aircraft database regarding information on the Stirling and Lancaster pages, since the last major update last week.

See the Stirling page here
See the Lancaster page here

Aircraft Database update 2nd February 2014

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Many thanks to Ian, as always, for his continuing work on the aircraft database section of the website – here is is latest update!

Wellington records here.
Stirling records here.
Lancaster records here.

Arthur Williams Photo album – Hubbard crew

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‘Hells Angel’ – identity of aircraft unknown – though if this is a 75(NZ) Squadron aircraft, its the first time I have heard of this nose art………….
© Arthur Rhys Williams

I had a very pleasant and unexpected contact from David, with some fantastic photographs from the photo album of his Father-in-Law, Arthur Rhys Williams, who flew with Fred Hubbard. David thinks all of these photographs are from Arthur’s time with 75(NZ) Squadron at Mepal and they contain some images that certainly I and I suspect a fair number of visitors to the blog have never seen before, so this contribution is very exciting.

Information is sparse regarding some of these images – so any solid information, or at least amusing hypothesis would be greatly received as always.

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Unknown group, perhaps grouped as trade, believed to be taken at Mepal 1945.
© Arthur Rhys Williams

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Clearly a Stirling being bombed up. Interestingly, despite their point of arrival with the Squadron, the Hubbard crews first Op was in BK777 AA-U – Allan Alexander’s old kite, which carried ‘Alexanders Ragtime Crew’ nose art
© Arthur Rhys Williams

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Double confirmation from ‘Luck and a Lancaster’ and ‘Bombs on Target’. Taken in ND782 AA-U ‘Uncle’ by Ron Mayhill. Formatting on Mepal lanes on the return from Hamel 14th August 1944. HK574 AA-R ‘Rio Rita’, piloted by Harry Yates. In the foreground, HK562 AA-L ‘Lucy’, piloted by Des Brown.
© Arthur Rhys Williams

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A bit of a mystery regarding the exact identity of this Lancaster. Looking at Ian’s database, ND914 ‘swung on landing’ and or either ND782 ‘written off on an air test’ perhaps ??
© Arthur Rhys Williams

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PB421 AA-K getting some attention from a number of aircrew. Based on the changing designator letters of the aircraft, the photograph might have been taken early after its arrival in August 1944, through possibly to 2nd February 1945. There is some suggestion this A/C might have initially be lettered ‘U’, so the earliest date for this photograph might be later than August.
© Arthur Rhys Williams

Aircraft database update

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Many thanks to Ian for his continuing work on the aircraft database section of the website – here is is latest update!

Wellington records here.
Stirling records here.
Lancaster records here.

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.

Aircraft database update

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I’m afraid, in truth this ‘update’ is probably the last of 4 that Ian has sent me over the last few couple of months, but as I have much discussed (and should probably shut up now), work demands got the better of me. But, here it is, the latest version of the database, covering all of the Wellingtons, Stirlings and Lancasters that flew with 75(NZ) Squadron RAF.

Arhur Rhys Williams – Flight Engineer’s notes

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As well as Arthur’s logbook, David has kindly sent some pages from ‘Pilots and Flight Engineers Notes – Lancaster’. I have seen reproductions of these manuals, but its nice to see an original – especially as it has Arthur’s name and Squadron written on the top!

The Manual is placed as a pop out menu from Arthur’s logbook in the logbook section of the site – alternatively, view it here

Arthur Rhys Williams RAFVR 1608118 logbook

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Many thanks to David for contributing his Father-in-Law’s logbook. I am pleased to say Arthur is still with us and according to David still has a sharp memory for his RAF days and is full of stories of the time.

Arthur was Flight Engineer with Frederick Hubbard’s crew, who arrived at Mepal in April 1944 and completed a tour of 27 ops by the end of July of the same year.

Look through Arthur’s logbook here

Arthur Rhys Williams – paintings

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Continuing thanks to David for these 2 paintings.

The paintings are ones that local painter Maurice Gardener painted for Arthur.  The painting of F for Freddy was meant to represent his plane sitting on dispersal at Mepal and was given to him on retirement from British Leyland, the big fella is Arthur with his bike on the ground.  He can always remember being parked by the gate in the background (right) and of the villagers who used to come up to the gate and fence to wave them off when they went on an Op (he says they always knew when they were going off).

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The one of the flight engineer was done after Arthur ‘sat’ for him showing how he spent his time while on an op.  He was able to give an accurate placement , size etc of all the switches and dials.

New aircraft profiles for the database pages

Wellington Ic, Stirling Mk.III and Lancaster Mk.III from 75(NZ) Squadron RAF.
artwork produced by Clavework Graphics © Bill Dady.

I have just received 3 fantastic examples of aircraft profile artwork to add to the relevant sections of the aircraft database section of the blog. A very big thanks to Bill Dady of Clavework Graphics for creating the custom artwork so quickly and to such a high quality.

If you are interested in perhaps getting a profile illustration of a relative’s aircraft, you can look through the Clavework website here and find out more about the costs of getting your own profile artwork produced here

75(NZ) Squadron Aircraft Database

I am incredibly pleased to announce a significant expansion to the site – a database of the aircraft that the Squadron flew during the war. I feel this is a fantastic addition to the site and represents a unique opportunity to gather together all of the individual efforts that have been made to identify and record the histories of each aircraft.

I am immensely grateful to Ian for the incredibly generous donation of his ongoing research data base regarding the aircraft that 75(NZ) Squadron operated between 1940 and 1945. Over this period of time the Squadron flew first Wellingtons, then Stirlings and then in March 1944, finally converted to Lancasters.

Direct links to the 3 respective database pages are here;
Wellington
Stirling
Lancaster

This database is obviously very much an ongoing project, but, as with the rest of this blog, if people can find it, they may well be able to add to it. Ian, Chris and I have already spent this first day passing information between ourselves and the database will refine, correct and grow as we merge the information we already have and hopefully as people find it and offer more.

The publishing of this database is only the first step – there will now be ongoing ‘ordering’ of the information contained within it, which will attempt to correctly credit/ recognise all individuals that have contributed to it and all sources that have been used to add to it. At the same time we welcome the identification of sources, which we might have overlooked. I think Ian, Chris and I see this database as a resource for everybody, so it’s only fitting therefore, that everybody who can possibly be credited will be, within the aircraft lists.

If anybody can add a reference or wishes a source to be attributed, just mail me and we will add or correct as necessary.

The database has been created based on the careful research of Ian and others. In places, existing sources have been used, which include;
Forever Strong – The Story of 75 Squadron RNZAF 1916-1990, by Norman Franks – Random Century New Zealand Ltd.
Luck and a Lancaster – Chance Survival in World War II, by Harry Yates – Airlife Publications.
Avro Lancaster – A Definitive Record, by Harry Holmes –  Airlife Publications.
3 Group Bomber Command – An Operational Record, by Chris Ward and Steve Smith – Pen & Sword Aviation.
The Stirling Story, by Michael JF Bowyer – Crecy Publishing Ltd.
Royal Air Force Bomber Command Losses of the second World War 1943, by W.R. Chorley – Midland Publishing

In addition to these published texts, the work of others are duly recognised from the following websites;
ADF-Serials.com and specifically the page related to 75(NZ) Squadron.
Lancaster Archive Forum (LAF) and its contributing members.
Wings Over New Zealand Forum (WONZ) and its contributing members. In particular, Dave Homewood, who started a Wellington list, almost 2 years ago on the forum http://rnzaf.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=Wartime&thread=13372&page=1

1651 Conversion Unit, Waterbeach, July 1943 – Names to faces – please help…..

'B' Flight, 1651 Conversion Unit, Waterbeach, July 1943

‘B’ Flight, 1651 Conversion Unit, Waterbeach, July 1943

I am keen to try and identify as many individuals in this photograph as possible, whether they ended up going to Mepal or not. I hope this image will be good enough to view and if you recognise anybody in it, I am happy to supply you with a high resolution version of it, able to be printed at A3.

So far;
Mayfield Crew.
Back row 2nd from left – Allan Johnson Mayfield.
Back row 3rd from right – John Sebastian Hulena*
Back row 4th from right – Walter James Gee*.
Middle row 7th from left – Robert Douglas ‘Jock’ Sommerville.
Front row (seated on chairs) 7th from left – Jack Francis Jarmy.

Roberts Crew
Middle row 1st from right – Kensington Campbell Jackson.
Middle row 2nd from right – Darcy Leslie Conrad Haub.
Middle row 3rd from right – Eric John Roberts.

*Not confirmed

Gerald Howard Jacobson RNZAF NZ41333 – Pilot. Logbook

I had the great pleasure to meet Denis Jacobson at the Friends of 75(NZ) Squadron Association Winter Reunion in November. His father Gerald flew with 75(NZ) in 1942 between 19th of August and 17th of December when he was tragically lost with the rest of his crew on an op to Fallersleben.

Gerald’s logbook is a beautiful and detailed document, detailing all training he undertook as a Pilot. Of note also is Gerald’s transition from the Squadron’s Wellington bombers to the new Stirlings which replaced them.

Browse Gerald’s logbook here