Tag Archives: William Leslie Bridget

New addition to Group Photographs section

Group portrait of the 75th New Zealand Bomber Squadron, Royal Air Force, alongside a Vickers bomber aeroplane, England. Photographer unidentified. Evening Post (Wellington, NZ).
Credit: National Library of New Zealand. Ref: 1/2-123840-G http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22753875 

My memory was pricked yesterday, when I received a comment from Bruce, identifying his Father, John Fernie in the above photo.

Originally posted, now almost 5 years ago, Chris had come across it in the National Library of New Zealand and had begun to tentatively try to identify individuals within the group.

It sounds awful in a way to say that I had ‘forgotten’ about this photograph, but as soon as I saw Bruce’s comments, I thought I must number up a copy and add it to the Group section of the menu. Clearly great minds think alike – as I received an email form Chris this morning, not only with a numbered up version of the photograph, but also an incredibly comprehensive list of identified individuals in the picture! There are still a few gaps, so, as always if anybody is able to fill the final gaps, please get in touch.

You can read the original post here.
And you can see the new numbered up photograph, with the list of names here

Wellington Mk. III X.3482 AA-J – remarkable footage

Many thanks to Kevin for passing on to me a link to a YouTube clip, showing a 75(NZ) Squadron RAF Wellingtom Mk.III Bomber – AA-J. As the aircraft taxis away from the camera, you can just make out its serial number – X.3482 and this tallies with its designator in the records, so it must be this aircraft. I thought as well as presenting the Pathe newsreel clip, it would be good to add an Op history for X.3482 and I must say, at least initially, the work that I have so far put into the database paid off.

It was very straightforward to call up a return for the serial number. What proved to be harder was establishing the crews. Tragically, Myles Fraser’s crew and X.3482 were lost on the night of the 16th of May 1942 on an Op to Kiel. The Operational record Books for this period do no list the initials of airmen, so it was only when I realised that the rear Gunner in the crew, Norman Whiting, was the only individual with that surname to serve with the Squadron that I was confident to place his details across the history of the aircraft. Based on this, I extended that rational to place names earlier in the history. I hit a problem when I got to the problem of trying to identify the 2nd Pilot in early Ops – ‘Fraser’ – and I think I am sticking my neck out , that Myles Fraser 2nd Piloted the aircraft before flying relatively regularly in it himself. Other crews also flew in X.3582 and in some cases, there is simply not enough information to specifically identify individuals.

Additionally, X.3482 is double entered for the 15th of April Op to Le Havre and Dortmund. What makes it harder to disentangle which crew actually flew the aircraft is the fact that both crews flew X.3482 before that Op – perhaps we shall never know……

Even though I always call out for information on a post like this – I would welcome any thoughts, suggestions or corrections.

Rather frustratingly, the ORB’s let us down again. Arrivals and Dispatches of aircraft to and from the Squadron only appear in the 1942 Form 540’s from February and there is no mention of X.3482 – we must guess therefore that it perhaps arrived earlier in January – the absence of aircraft movement details in the 540’s from the end of 1941, sadly, further muddy the water.

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.3482 AA-J (1)

Sgt. Evans – Pilot.
Sgt. Myles Frederick Gordon Fraser, RNZAF NZ403437 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. William Anderson Fraser, RNZAF NZ403597 – Observer.
Sgt. John Owen Henry Nichols, RNZAF 1257377 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Stanley Alfred George Shaw, RAFVR 1166184 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. James William Hinton, RAFVR 1150584 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 01:00 – Landed 05:50
Flight Time 04:50

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.3482 AA-J (2)

Sgt. Evans – Pilot
Sgt. Myles Frederick Gordon Fraser, RNZAF NZ403437 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. William Anderson Fraser, RNZAF NZ403597 – Observer.
Sgt. John Owen Henry Nichols, RNZAF 1257377 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Stanley Alfred George Shaw, RAFVR 1166184 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Norman Edward Whiting, RNZAF NZ404107 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:05 – Landed 00:20
Flight Time 04:15

26/03/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Essen and Le Havre
Eight Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack. Bomb load consisted of 500 lbs, 250 lbs and containers of incendiaries, were dropped in the target area. Accurate, intense flak was encountered, searchlights were inefective. One single engined aircraft was seen near Le Havre but no attack was made. Weather was fair with haze over target. Navigation by TR1335 and D.R. was good.

Wellington Mk.III X.3482 AA-J (3)

Sgt. Evans – Pilot.
Sgt. Myles Frederick Gordon Fraser, RNZAF NZ403437 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. William Anderson Fraser, RNZAF NZ403597 – Observer.
Sgt. John Owen Henry Nichols, RNZAF 1257377 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Stanley Alfred George Shaw, RAFVR 1166184 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Norman Edward Whiting, RNZAF NZ404107 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:30 – Landed 00:10
Flight Time 03:40

28/03/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Lubeck
Ten Wellington aircraft took off to attack the above target, one aircraft, Wellington III X3462 captained by Sgt Bell failed to return to base. Bomb load consisting of 4,000 lbs, 1,000 lbs, 500 lbs, 250 lbs, and containers of incendiaries was dropped in the target area. Bombs were seen to burst on target and large fires were seen burning in the target area. Weather was clear except for slight haze over west portion of the North Sea. There was very little A.A. Fire and few searchlights over the target. No enemy aircraft were seen. Navigation by TR1335 and D.R. was good. he whole operation was very successful.

Wellington Mk.III X.3482 AA-J (4)

Sgt. Evans – Pilot.
Sgt. Myles Frederick Gordon Fraser, RNZAF NZ403437 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. William Anderson Fraser, RNZAF NZ403597 – Observer.
Sgt. John Owen Henry Nichols, RNZAF 1257377 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Stanley Alfred George Shaw, RAFVR 1166184 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Smith, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:30 – Landed 01:30
Flight Time 06:00

01/04/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Hanau and Le Havre
Eleven Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out an attack against the above targets. Bomb load consisting of 4000lbs, 500lbs, and 25 lbs was dropped in the target area but results were not seen except for bomb bursts on the docks at Le Havre and in the marshalling yards at Hanau. Wellington III X3714 returned with it’s bomb load. There was very little flak and only a few searchlights were active. Wellington III Z1566 was chased from Brussels for about 30 miles by a night fighter which was successfully evaded in the clouds. Weather was poor and there were severe icing conditions which handicapped the whole operation. TR1335 and D.R. were used as aids to navigation.

Wellington Mk.III X.3482 AA-J (5)

P/O Rufus Leggett, RAFVR 126293/ 103037 – Pilot.
Sgt. Arthur Gibson Osborne, RNZAF NZ41353 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. James Arthur Robinson, RNZAF NZ401409 – Observer.
Sgt. Chambers,   – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Cyril Vincent Green, RNZAF NZ402997 – Front Gunner.
F/S Gordon Phillip Newdick, RNZAF NZ40925 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:50 – Landed 02:50
Flight Time 06:00

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 incendaries 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.3482 AA-J (6)

Sgt. Evans – Pilot.
Sgt. Myles Frederick Gordon Fraser, RNZAF NZ403437 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Albert Ivan Smith, RNZAF NZ402221 – Observer.
Sgt. John Owen Henry Nichols, RNZAF 1257377 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Stanley Alfred George Shaw, RAFVR 1166184 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Norman Edward Whiting, RNZAF NZ404107 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:55 – Landed 23:50
Flight Time 01:55

12/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against at Le Havre 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.3482 AA-J (7)

Sgt. Myles Frederick Gordon Fraser, RNZAF NZ403437 – Pilot.
F/S Edward Leonard Haydon, RNZAF NZ404443 – 2nd Pilot.
F/S Albert Ivan Smith, RNZAF NZ402221 – Observer.
Sgt. Stanley Alfred George Shaw, RAFVR 1166184 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. John Owen Henry Nichols, RNZAF 1257377 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Norman Edward Whiting, RNZAF NZ404107 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:00 – Landed 00:45
Flight Time 03:45

13/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against at Boulogne
Two Well.III a/c from this unit were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 250lbs was dropped in target area by one a/c the other returned to base with bombs. There was no flak and only a few searchlights. Weather was moderate with slight ground haze. Navigation was good with DR and loops.

Wellington Mk.III X.3482 AA-J (8)

Sgt. Myles Frederick Gordon Fraser, RNZAF NZ403437 – Pilot.
F/S Edward Leonard Haydon, RNZAF NZ404443 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Albert Ivan Smith, RNZAF NZ402221 – Observer.
Sgt. Stanley Alfred George Shaw, RAFVR 1166184 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. John Owen Henry Nichols, RNZAF 1257377 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Norman Edward Whiting, RNZAF NZ404107 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:25 – Landed 01:00
Flight Time 03:35

14/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against at Dortmund and Le Havre
Seven Well.III a/c from this unit were detailed to attack the above targets. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, and 250lbs was dropped in the target area but no results were observed. There was very little flak and searchlights were few although there were some cones over the target. Two fighters were seen but they did not attack. Weather was fine with slight ground haze. Navigation by DR, TR and loops was good.

Wellington Mk.III X.3482 AA-J (9)

F/O Edward Cecil Ball, RNZAF NZ40749 – Pilot.
P/O Graham Edward Murdoch, RNZAF NZ411927 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O William Leslie Bridget, RNZAF NZ40731 – Observer.
Sgt. Summers, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
P/O Cyril Ingleby, RAFVR 937625/ 118898 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Smith, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:30 – Landed 03:40
Flight Time 05:10

As mentioned at the top of this post, problematically, X.3482 is double entered in the Form 541 for the following Operations to Le Havre and Dortmund. For this reason, I have numbered both entries as the aircraft’s 10th Op to keep the final tally of flights to the correct number – obviously it could only have been flown by one crew and thus only added 1 further Op to its total.

15/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against at Le Havre and Dortmund
Eight Well.III aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs was dropped in the target area and bomb bursts were seen. There was some heavy predicted flak and tracer over target and searchlights were ineffective owing to cloud. No enemy a/c were seen. Weather at Dortmund was cloudy with slight ground haze. Navigation was good.

Wellington Mk.III X.3482 AA-J (10)

Sgt. Myles Frederick Gordon Fraser, RNZAF NZ403437 – Pilot.
F/S Edward Leonard Haydon, RNZAF NZ404443 – 2nd Pilot.
F/S Albert Ivan Smith, RNZAF NZ402221 – Observer.
Sgt. John Owen Henry Nichols, RNZAF 1257377 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Stanley Alfred George Shaw, RAFVR 1166184 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Norman Edward Whiting, RNZAF NZ404107 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:30 – Landed 05:20
Flight Time 05:50

Wellington Mk.III X.3482 AA-J (10)

F/O Edward Cecil Ball, RNZAF NZ40749 – Pilot.
P/O Graham Edward Murdoch RNZAF NZ411927 2nd Pilot.
P/O William Leslie Bridget, RNZAF NZ40731 – Observer.
Sgt. Summers, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
P/O Cyril Ingleby, RAFVR 937625/ 118898 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Smith, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:05 – Landed 02:55
Flight Time 02:50

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 (11)

Sgt. Turner, RAFVR – 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 incendaries 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.3482 AA-J (12)

P/O Myles Frederick Gordon Fraser, RNZAF NZ403437 – Pilot.
P/O Stanley Holmes Gunning, RNZAF NZ402470 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Mason – Observer.
Sgt. Tate, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Greig, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
F/S Raymond Wickliffe John Trengrove, RNZAF NZ40927 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:35 – Landed 05:35
Flight Time 07:00

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

Wellington Mk.III X.3482 AA-J (13)

Sgt. Myles Frederick Gordon Fraser, RNZAF NZ403437 – Pilot.
F/S Summers, RAFVR – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Albert Ivan Smith, RNZAF NZ402221 – Observer.
Sgt. John Owen Henry Nichols, RNZAF 1257377 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Smith, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Norman Edward Whiting, RNZAF NZ404107 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:35 – Landed 23:40
Flight Time 01:05

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 incendaries 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.3482 AA-J (14)

Sgt. Myles Frederick Gordon Fraser, RNZAF NZ403437 – Pilot.
F/S Summers, RAFVR – 2nd Pilot.
F/S Albert Ivan Smith, RNZAF NZ402221 – Observer.
Sgt. John Owen Henry Nichols, RNZAF 1257377 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Cyril Vincent Green, RNZAF NZ402997 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Norman Edward Whiting, RNZAF NZ404107 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:20 – Landed 05:50
Flight Time 07:30

07/05/1942 – Gardening – Kiel Bay
Nine Wellington aircraft of this unit were detailed to carry out the above operations. The bomb load was made up of 1500lbs. And 500lbs. All the 1500lbs. Bombs were dropped but the majority of the 500lbs were returned. Weather conditions were favourable and the target area was clear. One aircraft, X.3664 captained by P/O. Wilson was chased by an enemy fighter but no attack was made. Navigation was by astro, DR, TR, loop.

Wellington Mk.III X.3482 AA-J (15)

F/S Myles Frederick Gordon Fraser, RNZAF NZ403437 – Pilot.
F/S Albert Ivan Smith, RNZAF NZ402221 – Observer.
Sgt. Stanley Alfred George Shaw, RAFVR 1166184 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. John Owen Henry Nichols, RNZAF 1257377 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Norman Edward Whiting, RNZAF NZ404107 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:20 – Landed 05:10
Flight Time 06:50

09/05/1942 – Gardening – Kiel Bay
Eight Wellington aircraft were detailed from this Unit to carry out the above operations. The bomb load consisted of 1500 lbs. and 500 lbs. The 1500 lbs bombs were planted successfully, and a few of the aircraft dropped the 500 lbs. bombs on land targets. Weather conditions were good and there was no opposition.

Wellington Mk.III X.3482 AA-J (16)

F/S Myles Frederick Gordon Fraser, RNZAF NZ403437 – Pilot.
F/S Albert Ivan Smith, RNZAF NZ402221 – Observer.
Sgt. John Owen Henry Nichols, RNZAF 1257377 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Stanley Alfred George Shaw, RAFVR 1166184 – Front Gunner.
F/S Norman Edward Whiting, RNZAF NZ404107 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:20 – Landed 05:25
Flight Time 07:05

13/05/1942 – Gardening – Kiel Bay
Eight Wellington aircraft were detailed from this Unit to carry out the above operations. One aircraft, X.3482, captained by F/S. Fraser, failed to return to base. Vegetables were sown successfully and bombs were dropped on shipping in the vicinity. In accurate flak from flak ships was encountered. The weather was fine throughout the whole operation. Navigation was by D/R. Astro, TR, loop.

Wellington Mk.III X.3482 AA-J (17)

F/S Myles Frederick Gordon Fraser, RNZAF NZ403437 – Pilot.
F/S Albert Ivan Smith, RNZAF NZ402221 – Observer.
Sgt. John Owen Henry Nichols, RNZAF 1257377 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Stanley Alfred George Shaw, RAFVR 1166184 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Norman Edward Whiting, RNZAF NZ404107 – Rear Gunner.

Aircraft Failed to Return

The actual fate of the Fraser crew and X.3482 is not known, however, presence of numerous flak ships in the Kiel bay area suggests that they probably succumbed to damage from one or several of these anti aircraft batteries. X.3482 crashed in the North Sea, off the Northern Frisian Islands, near the island of Sylt.

F/S Myles Frederick Gordon Fraser – Pilot. Died age 22.
F/S Albert Ivan Smith – Observer. Died age 27.
Sgt. John Owen Henry Nichols – Wireless Operator. Died age 20.
Sgt. Stanley Alfred George Shaw – Front Gunner. Died age 21.
Sgt. Norman Edward Whiting – Rear Gunner. Died age 27.

All airmen rest in the Kiel War Cemetery, Germany.

Bill Bridget and the Ball crew – 1942.

DSC_0258

The crew: P/O Cyril Ingelby (Front Gunner), P/O Reg Clarke Rear Gunner), F/Lt Ces Ball (Skipper), F/Sgt Semmence (Wireless Operator), F/Lt Bridget (Navigator). – NZBCA archives, Bill Bridget collection.

Many thanks to Chris for providing this post on Bill Bridget and the Ball crew and again, as always thanks to Peter and the NZBCA archive. After putting this post together Chris realised that I had already put up an Op history for the Ball crew – but I must confess it didn’t contain the images or the extra information that Chris has been able to piece together for this post!

Pilot Ces Ball from Hamilton, NZ, and Navigator Bill Bridget (from Christchurch) arrived on Squadron together from 11 OTU on 26 March. Front Gunner Cyril Ingelby also arrived from 11 OTU, but on the 3rd of April.

Ball is recorded as flying Night Flying Tests (N.F.T’s) on 4 and 5 April, and then the crew was thrown straight into it’s first op’ on the 5th April.

Ball didn’t fly any initial op’s as 2nd Pilot, and this, together with his rank of Flight Lieutenant (promoted on the day he arrived, 26 March), suggests that he already had operational experience – in fact, this was his second tour. Bridget and Clarke were also on their second tours, but I haven’t been able to find out if they had  flown together before.

The Ball crew was:
Flt Lt Edward Cecil “Ces” Ball, RNZAF (NZ40749), Pilot.
P/O William Leslie “Bill” Bridget, RNZAF (NZ40731), Navigator.
F/S (later P/O) Douglas Howard Semmence RAF (49002), Wireless Operator.
P/O Cyril Ingelby RAF (937625, 118898), Front Gunner
P/O Reginald Leonard “Reg” Clarke, RNZAF (NZ40734), Rear Gunner.

Clarke (from Napier, NZ) missed their first op’ – according to the Form 540 he didn’t arrive from 11 OTU until 17 April, however a “P/O Clark” appears as Rear Gunner on the crew’s second op. Wireless Operator Douglas Semmence didn’t join the crew until their 8th op’ on 23 April.

Operational history:

5 April 1942. Attack against targets Cologne.
It was a tough introduction – two aircraft and crews were lost, including the Squadron’s commanding officer, Wing Commander Sawrey-Cookson:

Nine Wellington Aircraft from this unit were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4,000 lbs, 500 lbs, and 250 lbs 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 III X3586, AA-A
Up 23.20; Down 05.10.

Flt Lt Edward Cecil “Ces” Ball. RNZAF. (NZ40749), Pilot.
P/O Graham Edward Murdoch, RNZAF. (NZ411927), 2nd Pilot.
P/O William Leslie “Bill” Bridget, RNZAF. (NZ40731), Navigator.
F/S Summers, RAF?, W/Op.
P/O Cyril Ingelby RAF (937625, 118898, ), F/Gnr
Sgt Charles Smith RNZAF. (NZ401466), R/Gnr..

9 April 1942. Daylight attack on Essen.
Wellington III X3667, AA-D
Up 12.45; Down 14.45.

Flt Lt Edward Cecil “Ces” Ball. RNZAF. (NZ40749), Pilot.
P/O Graham Edward Murdoch, RNZAF. (NZ411927), 2nd Pilot.
P/O William Leslie “Bill” Bridget, RNZAF. (NZ40731), Navigator.
F/S Summers, RAF?, W/Op.
P/O Cyril Ingelby RAF (937625, 118898, ), F/Gnr
P/O Clark, R/Gnr. (?)

Z1570-AA-B-Bridget

Wellington III Z1570, AA-B arrived on Squadron from 48 M.U. on 29 March 1942. The Ball crew first flew her on a Night Flying Test on 8 April. – NZBCA archives, Bill Bridget collection.

12 April 1942. Attack against targets at Le Havre and Essen.
Wellington III Z1570, AA-B
Up 22.10; Down 03.50.

F/L Edward Cecil “Ces” Ball. RNZAF. (NZ40749), Pilot.
P/O Graham Edward Murdoch, RNZAF. (NZ411927), 2nd Pilot.
P/O William Leslie “Bill” Bridget, RNZAF. (NZ40731), Navigator.
F/S Summers, RAF?, W/Op.
P/O Cyril Ingelby RAF (937625, 118898, ), F/Gnr
Sgt Charles Smith RNZAF. (NZ401466), R/Gnr.

14 April 1942. Attack against targets at Dortmund and Le Havre.
Wellington III X3482, AA-J
Up 22.30; Down 03.40.

– crew as above.

15 April 1942. Attack against targets at Le Havre and Dortmund.
Wellington III X3482, AA-J
Up 00.05; Down 02.55.

– crew as above.

17 April 1942. Attack against targets at Hamburg.
Wellington III X1570 (probably Z1570, AA-B)
Up 23.59; Down 05.30.

F/L Edward Cecil “Ces” Ball. RNZAF. (NZ40749), Pilot.
P/O Graham Edward Murdoch, RNZAF. (NZ411927), 2nd Pilot.
P/O William Leslie “Bill” Bridget, RNZAF. (NZ40731), Navigator.
F/S Summers, RAF?, W/Op.
P/O Cyril Ingelby RAF (937625, 118898, ), F/Gnr
P/O Reginald Leonard “Reg” Clarke, RNZAF (NZ40734), R/Gnr.

22 April 1942. Attack against targets at Cologne.
Wellington III X1570 (probably Z1570, AA-B)
Up 22.08; Down 03.00.

– crew as above.

23 April 1942. Attack against targets at Rostock.
Wellington III X1570 (probably Z1570, AA-B)
Up 22.34; Down 05.34.

– crew as above.

25 April 1942. Attack against targets at Rostock and Dunkirk.
Wellington III X1570 (probably Z1570, AA-B)
Up 22.25; Down 05.40.

F/L Edward Cecil “Ces” Ball. RNZAF. (NZ40749), Pilot.
P/O Graham Edward Murdoch, RNZAF. (NZ411927), 2nd Pilot.
P/O William Leslie “Bill” Bridget, RNZAF. (NZ40731), Navigator.
F/S Douglas Howard Semmence RAF. (49002), W/Op.
P/O Cyril Ingelby RAF (937625, 118898, ), F/Gnr
P/O Reginald Leonard “Reg” Clarke, RNZAF (NZ40734), R/Gnr.

DSC_0249

Reg Clarke (left) and Cyril Ingelby cleaning the rear turret guns on what looks to be Wellington Z1570, AA-B. – NZBCA archives, Bill Bridget collection.

27 April 1942. Attack against targets at Cologne and minelaying off Heligoland.
Wellington III X1570 (probably Z1570, AA-B)
Up 22.05; Down 04.45.

– crew as above.

This was the Squadron’s first “gardening” operation.

29 April 1942. Attack against targets at Gennevilliers.
Wellington III X1570 (probably Z1570, AA-B)
Up 21.20; Down 02.00.

Flt Lt Edward Cecil “Ces” Ball. RNZAF. (NZ40749), Pilot.
P/O William Leslie “Bill” Bridget, RNZAF. (NZ40731), Navigator.
F/S Douglas Howard Semmence RAF. (49002), W/Op.
P/O Cyril Ingelby RAF (937625, 118898, ), F/Gnr
P/O Reginald Leonard “Reg” Clarke, RNZAF (NZ40734), R/Gnr.

2 May 1942. Gardening – St Nazaire.
Wellington III Z1570, AA-B
Up 20.55; Down 05.20.

– crew as above.

6 May 1942. Bombing attacks against targets at Stuttgart.
Wellington III X3646
Up 21.45; Down 05.00.

– crew as above.

7 May 1942. Gardening Kiel Bay.
Wellington III X3646
Up 22.25; Down 04.30.

– crew as above.

15 May 1942. Gardening Kiel Bay.
Wellington III Z1570, AA-B
Up 22.50; Down 05.10.

– crew as above.

19 May 1942. Attacks against Mannheim and St. Nazaire.
Wellington III Z1570, AA-B
Up 22.50; Down 03.50.

– crew as above.

30  May 1942. Bombing attacks against Cologne.
Wellington III Z1570, AA-B
Up 23.10; Down 02.45.

Flt Lt Edward Cecil “Ces” Ball. RNZAF. (NZ40749), Pilot.
F/Sgt Arthur Grahame Johns, RNZAF (NZ41907), 2nd Pilot.
P/O William Leslie “Bill” Bridget, RNZAF. (NZ40731), Navigator.
F/S Douglas Howard Semmence RAF. (49002), W/Op.
P/O Cyril Ingelby RAF (937625, 118898, ), F/Gnr
P/O  Reginald Leonard “Reg” Clarke, RNZAF (NZ40734), R/Gnr.

31 May 1942. Bombing attacks against Cologne.
It looks as if Reg Clarke may have flown as Rear Gunner with S/L Ray Newton’s crew on this op’.

1  June 1942.  Attacks against targets at Essen.
Wellington III Z1570, AA-B
Up 22.50; Down 02.35.

– crew as above.

2  June 1942.  Attacks against targets at Essen.
Wellington III Z1570, AA-B
Up 00.05; Down 02.25.

– crew as above.

5 June 1942.  Attacks against targets at Essen.
Wellington III Z1570, AA-B
Up 23.30; Down 03.15.

Flt Lt Edward Cecil “Ces” Ball. RNZAF. (NZ40749), Pilot.
F/Sgt John Leonard “Jack” Wright*, RNZAF, (NZ405781), 2nd Pilot.
P/O William Leslie “Bill” Bridget, RNZAF. (NZ40731), Navigator.
F/S Douglas Howard Semmence RAF. (49002), W/Op.
P/O Cyril Ingelby RAF (937625, 118898, ), F/Gnr
P/O  Reginald Leonard “Reg” Clarke, RNZAF (NZ40734), R/Gnr.

* Jack Wright, later Squadron Leader and Flight Commander, DSO, DFC, .

6 June 1942.  Attacks against targets at Emden.
Wellington III Z1570, AA-B
Up 23.20; Down 03.50.

Flt Lt Edward Cecil “Ces” Ball. RNZAF. (NZ40749), Pilot.
F/Sgt Arthur Grahame Johns, RNZAF (NZ41907), 2nd Pilot.
P/O William Leslie “Bill” Bridget, RNZAF. (NZ40731), Navigator.
F/S Douglas Howard Semmence RAF. (49002), W/Op.
P/O Cyril Ingelby RAF (937625, 118898, ), F/Gnr
P/O  Reginald Leonard “Reg” Clarke, RNZAF (NZ40734), R/Gnr.

8 June 1942.  Attacks against targets at Essen.
Wellington III Z1570, AA-B
Up 23.35; Down 02.40.

– crew as above.

DSC_0256

Some crew members at 75 Squadron Feltwell 1942. F/Lt Fenton*, F/Lt Ces Ball (our Skipper), F/Lt Bridget (Navigator), S/Ldr Newton (Flight Cdr), F/Lt Boyle, S/Ldr Denton (Flight Cdr), ?, P/O Reg Clarke (Rear Gunner), P/O Cyril Ingelby (Front Gunner). * Walter Gordon Fenton, Rear Gunner with Ray Newton and Popeye Lucas. – NZBCA archives, Bill Bridget collection.

13 June – Doug Semmence receives his promotion to Pilot Officer.

16 June 1942.  Attacks against targets at Essen.
Wellington III X3586, AA-A
Up 23.35; Down 00.45.

Flt Lt Edward Cecil “Ces” Ball. RNZAF. (NZ40749), Pilot.
P/O William Leslie “Bill” Bridget, RNZAF. (NZ40731), Navigator.
P/O Douglas Howard Semmence RAF. (49002), W/Op.
P/O Cyril Ingelby RAF (937625, 118898, ), F/Gnr
P/O  Reginald Leonard “Reg” Clarke, RNZAF (NZ40734), R/Gnr.

17 June 1942.  Mine-laying off Frisian Islands.
Wellington III X3452, AA-B
Up 23.25; Down 02.35.

– crew as above.

19 June 1942.  Attacks against targets at Emden.
Wellington III X3586, AA-A
Up 23.20; Down 03.50.

Flt Lt Edward Cecil “Ces” Ball. RNZAF. (NZ40749), Pilot.
P/O William Guy Horne, RNZAF (NZ411983) , 2nd Pilot.
P/O William Leslie “Bill” Bridget, RNZAF. (NZ40731), Navigator.
P/O Douglas Howard Semmence RAF. (49002), W/Op.
P/O Cyril Ingelby RAF (937625, 118898, ), F/Gnr
P/O  Reginald Leonard “Reg” Clarke, RNZAF (NZ40734), R/Gnr.

20 June 1942.  Attacks against targets at Emden.
Wellington III X3586, AA-A
Up 23.40; Down 03.30.

– crew as above.

23 June 1942.  Attacks against targets at St. Nazaire and (Gardening).
Wellington III Z1570, AA-B
Up 23.00; Down 04.45.

Flt Lt Edward Cecil “Ces” Ball. RNZAF. (NZ40749), Pilot.
P/O William Leslie “Bill” Bridget, RNZAF. (NZ40731), Navigator.
P/O Douglas Howard Semmence RAF. (49002), W/Op.
P/O Cyril Ingelby RAF (937625, 118898, ), F/Gnr
P/O  Reginald Leonard “Reg” Clarke, RNZAF (NZ40734), R/Gnr.

29 June 1942.  Attacks against targets at Bremen.
Wellington III Z1570, AA-B
Up 23.30; Down 01.05.

– crew as above.

DSC_0248

Squadron group photo with Ball crew members circled. Bill Bridget kneeling, second from left, second row. Ces Ball is in the back row, below the cockpit, just behind Squadron Leader Ray Newton (hands in pockets). Left of centre, arms folded, is Wing Commander Ted Olson*. – NZBCA archives, Bill Bridget collection. * Wing Commander Edward George Olson, DSO, RNZAF, (NZ1006) took over as Commanding Officer on 6 April, after the loss of W/C Sawrey-Cookson. Interestingly, a newspaper article of the time lists Ball, Bridget and Clarke as members of Olson’s crew, however I can’t find any evidence in the ORB’s of any of them flying op’s with Olson.

10 July – Bill Bridget and Reg Clarke are posted to P.D.C. West Kirby.

15 July – P/O Douglas Semmence was posted to 57 Sqdn.

25 July – Cyril Ingelby was posted to No. 11 O.T.U.

9 August – Ces Ball was posted to 54 O.T.U.

Sadly, Ces Ball was killed on 9 October 1943 in a de Havilland Mosquito crash, serving on his second tour with 488 (NZ) Squadron:

Edward “Cecil” Ball of Kinsdale, Ireland and his navigator and best friend, Scotsman William “Jock” Kemp were killed after their aircraft crashed onto trees near Tiptree in Essex having developed engine trouble while returning from a patrol. – Broody’s War.

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

 

 

Request for Information – Edward Cecil Ball, Pilot.

Broodys War

Many thanks to Adam for contacting me looking for more information on F/Lt. Edward Cecil Ball.

Adam has just recently started a ‘real time’ blog of his Grandfather’s time with 488(NZ) Squadron RAF, called Broody’s War, which you can get to here.

In Adam’s own words;
This blog is a tribute to my Grandfather, Andrew John Broodbank. During the Second World War, he was a Radar Operator (Navigator) with 488 (NZ) Squadron, RAF. His Operational Tour lasted from 3/ix/43 until 9/ix/44. I am lucky enough to have a significant collection of material from this period including flight logs, photos, personal journals and notes. This blog will follow, 70 years later, his time with the squadron. I hope you enjoy reading this blog, which I hope will serve as a lasting tribute to my grandfather and all those he served with.

Adam came across a reference to Edward Ball, who was killed on the 9th October 1943 whilst with 488(NZ) and was aware that he had flown previously in 75(NZ) Squadron. He asked me if I could supply any information on Eric, prior to his arrival at 488(NZ).

What follows is as much to hopefully make a contact for more information as it is to assist Adam in his initial request.

‘A’ Postings (Form 540 April 1942)
F/O E.C. Ball. GD. Posted from No.11 O.T.U. w.e.f. 26.3.42. Auth Pending.

F/O E.C. Ball (NZ40947) Appointed to rank of Acting flight Lietenant (unpaid( w.e.f. 26.3.42. and Acting Flight Lieutenant (paid) w.e.f. 26.3.42 on 15.4.42. Authy. 3 Grp Pgrm 3G/8937/5/5/P.2 d/d 13.4.42.

Form 541 April 1942 Onwards
9.4.2.42. Operations – Daylight Attack on Essen
Wellington III X3667
F/O Edward Cecil Ball RNZAF NZ40749.                                Captain
P/O Graham Edward Murdoch RNZAF. (NZ411927.           2nd Pilot
P/O William Leslie Bridget RNZAF NZ40731.                      Navigator
F/S Summers   RAFVR.                                                              W/Optr
P/O Cyril Ingleby RAFVR 937625/ 118898.                           Fr. Gnr.
P/O Reginald Leonard Clark RNZAF NZ40734.                  Rr. Gnr.

12.4.42. Operations – Attack on Targets at Le Havre and Essen
Wellington III Z1570
Same crew including 2nd Pilot.

14.4.42. Operations – Attack Against Targets at Dortmund and Le Havre
Wellington III X3482
P/O Murdoch remains 2nd Pilot. P/O Clark replaced by Sgt. Smith as Rr. Gnr.

15.4.42. Operations – Attack Against Targets at Le Havre and Dortmund.
Wellington III X3482
Same crew as above

17.4.42. Operations – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Wellington III X1570
P/O Clark returns as Rr. Gnr. P/O Murdoch still 2nd Pilot.

22.4.42. Operations – Attack Against Targets at Cologne
Wellington III X1570
Same crew as above.

23.4.42. Operations – Attack Against targets at Rostock
Wellington III X1570
Same crew as above.

25.4.42. Operations – Attack Against targets at Rostock and Dunkirk
Wellington III X1570
F/S P/O Douglas Howard Semmence RNZAF NZ40731 replaces F/S Summers as W/Optr.

27.4.42. Operations – Attack Against targets at Cologne and Mine Laying off Heligoland
Wellington III X1570
Same crew as above

29.4.42. Operations – Attack Against targets at Gennevilliers
Wellington III X1570
Same crew as above

6.5.42. Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Stuttgart.
Wellington III X.3646
P/O Murdoch ceases to fly as 2nd Pilot, otherwise crew remains same as previous Op.

7.5.42. Gardening Kiel Bay.
Wellington III X.3646
Same crew as above

15.5.42. Gardening – Kiel Bay
Wellington III Z.1570
Same crew as above

19.5.42. Attacks Against Manheim and St. Nazaire
Wellington III Z.1570
Same crew as above.

30.5.42. Bombing Attacks Against Cologne.
Wellington III Z.1570
Same crew as above. Additionally Sgt. Arthur Grahame Johns RNZAF NZ41907 joins crew as 2nd Pilot.

1.6.42. Attack Against Targets at Essen
Wellington III Z1570
Same crew as above

2.6.42. Attack Against Targets at Essen
Wellington III Z1570
Same crew as above.

5.6.42. Attack against Targets at Essen.
Wellington III Z1570
Sgt. Johns is replaced by Sgt. John ‘Jack’ Leonard Wright (later to become Squadron Leader) as 2nd Pilot.

6.6.42. Attack Against Emden
Wellington III Z1570
Sgt. Johns returns as 2nd Pilot.

8.6.42. Attack Against Targets at Essen
Wellington III Z1570
Same crew as above

16.6.42. Attack Against Targets at Essen
Wellington III ‘A’ –
note of DNCO. From Op notes suggests it stands for Did Not Complete – perhaps Did Not Carry Out ??
Sgt. Johns as 2nd Pilot absent. Remaining crew as above.

17.6.42. Mine-Laying off Frisian Islands
Wellington III X3452
Same crew as above

19.6.42. Attack Against Targets at Emden.
Wellington III X3586
P/O William Guy Horne RNZAF NZ411983 as 2nd Pilot.

20.6.42. Attack Against Targets at Emden.
Wellington III X3586
Same crew as above

23.6.42. Attack Against Targets at St. Nazaire and(Gardening)
Wellington III Z1570
P/O Horne is not present. Same crew otherwise as above

29.6.42. Attack Against Targets at Bremen
Wellington III Z1570
Same crew as above

Form 540 (July 1942)
‘A’ Postings
P/O Semmence, D.H. 49002 GD. Posted to No. 57 Sqdn w.e.f. 19.7.42.Auth:3 Grp Sig.P951 d/d 18.7.42.
P/O Ingleby, T.R. 103037. GD. Posted to No.11 OUT w.e.f. 25.7.42. Authy:3 Grp Sig.P.976 dated 22.7.42.
‘B’ Postings
P/O Clarke, R.L. NZ40734. GD. Attached to P.D.C. West Kirby w.e.f. 10.7.42.Auth;3 Grp.Sig.P854 d/d 4.7.42.
P/O Bridget, W.L. NZ40731 GD. Attached to P.D.C. West Kirby w.e.f. 10.7.42.Auth;3 Grp.Sig.P854 d/d 4.7.42.

Form 540 (August 1942)
‘A’ Postings, Movements
A/F/L. Ball, E.C. (NZ40749) GD. Posted to 54 OTU wef. 9.8.42. Auth.3 Gp.Sig.P510 d/d 28.7.42.