Tag Archives: X.3720 AA-U

‘Browny’ Hirst, Douglas Gould and the Wilmshurst crew 1942

TeArohaFlyer-AkStar8Jun42[3]

Auckland Star item, 8 June 1942.

Chris keeps the posts coming! – many thanks also to Chris Cook, Robert Davey and Athalie Davey for sharing their information, and for permission to reproduce the above photograph and letter.

An old newspaper article, a page in an old autograph book, and a frail letter found folded in the pocket of a World War I diary.

They sound like the ingredients for a good mystery, and they are! In fact, more than one mystery.

One of my early searches on Papers Past, New Zealand’s online newspaper archive, turned up an exciting account of the squadron’s first “kill” of 1942, credited to R.J.F. Hirst, Rear Gunner in the Wilmshurst crew, on the night of 2/3 June.

TE AROHA FLYER GETS HUN NIGHT FIGHTER

 Auckland Star, 8 June 1942

N.Z. BOMB SQUADRON
Thrilling Episodes On Raids Over Germany
Special Correspondent. Rec. 1 p.m. LONDON, June 7.

“The distinction of shooting down the first Nazi night fighter for the New Zealand Bomber Squadron this year was achieved by Sergeant R. J. F. Hirst, of Te Aroha. He is a freshman to the squadron and had carried out four raids in recent nights in which he accounted for a Junkers 88 on his fourth trip. He is rear gunner of the crew, which comprised Flight-Sergeant J. C. Wilmshurst, of Stratford, who was captain and has carried out 15 raids; Sergeants D. J. Gould, of Otautau, R. E. Sharp, of Matamata, and P. D. Lowther, of Auckland.
 
Sergeant Hirst said: “We were returning from a big 1000-plane raid against Essen, stooging along at 4500 feet, 30 miles from the English coast, feeling happy and singing the captain’s theme song. ‘Why Can’t We Do This More Often?’
 
While watching the moon rising over the sea behind us, Sharp, who was standing in the astrodome, reported aircraft to the starboard 1000 yards away at 1000 ft over us. I picked him out and watched him turning for an attack, so told Wilmshurst to turn to starboard. He and I both opened fire at a range of 600 yards. The Hun over-shot and went to port.
 
Hun 800 Yards Away
“The Hun then turned to reattack again. I told Wilmshurst to go to the port side. The Hun opened up but I held my fire, being still dazzled with the glare from tracer bullets. The first bursts from the Hun swept over us. Sharp and I recognised him as a Junkers 88. He disappeared for a minute, then I saw him 500 ft under us to starboard 800 yards away. He turned on his searchlight and again attacked. He opened fire when 600 yards from us. I held him in my sights until he was 200 yards away, then I gave him a three-second burst. He began to glow, banked steeply and silhouetted against the moon for a second. I put a burst in his belly. He became immediately aflame, seemed to hover for a moment, and then plunged to the sea. He hit the water in a white sheet of flame. We returned to find four holes through the tail and two in my turret.” Wing-Commander E. G. Olson complimented Sergeant Hirst and the crew during the briefing which Mr. Jordan attended.
 
Previous Narrow Escape
The crew captained by Flight- Sergeant I. J. McLachlan, D.F.M., of Wairarapa, was previously attacked by a night fighter which is thought to be the one Sergeant Hirst shot down. Flight-Sergeant McLachlan is regarded as one of the best pilots of the squadron. His crew comprises Sergeants G. E. Lewis, of Hamilton, A. G. E. Pugh, of Auckland, J. Walters, of Gisborne, and also an Englishman. They were flying at 11,000 ft over the Channel when a night fighter attacked. Sergeant McLachlan dived to 20ft above the sea, taking violent evasive action. Sergeant Pugh said: “The Hun gave up after a while. We were at about the same place as Wilmshurst was when he was attacked earlier.”

Sgt Raymond John Finlay Hirst (born Te Aroha, 5 April 1920), arrived at Feltwell on 13 May, together with his Operational Training Unit crew (possibly 12 O.T.U., Pilot P/O G.W. Horne?).

Their Pilot would have been given a 2nd Pilot role in an experienced crew, and the rest of the crew were assigned to an experienced Pilot, John Wilmshurst.

F/Sgt John Charles Wilmshurst had been at Feltwell since 24 March, and had already flown 10 op’s over a concentrated period of 3 weeks, as a 2nd Pilot with P/O J.F. Fisher and crew.

He is first mentioned in the ORB’s as skipper of his own crew on 11 May, carrying out a test flight in Wellington Mark III, X3720, AA-U, Fisher’s old aircraft.

The Wilmshurst crew flew their first op’ together on the 29th of May, to Dieppe, and were immediately in the thick of it.

On the 2nd of June, the Wilmhurst took off for their 4th Op, this time to Essen.

2/3.6.42 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 III X3720, AA-U

F/S. John Charles Wilmshurst, RNZAF NZ411962 – Pilot
Sgt. James Douglas Gould, RNZAF NZ411233 – Navigator
Sgt. Richard Edwin Sharp, RNZAF NZ405513 – Wireless Operator
Sgt. Peter Desmond Lowther, RNZAF NZ403583 – Front Gunner
Sgt. Raymond John Finlay ‘Browny’ Hirst, RNZAF NZ404067 – Rear Gunner

Take Off 23:55 – Landed  03:55
Flight Time 04:00

*N.B. This was in fact the night that the newspaper item describes above, not the 1000 Bomber Raid of the previous night. Hirst claimed the first “kill” of the year for the squadron, and the McLachlan crew fought off a night fighter, yet ironically, all the squadron Operations Record Book Form 541 says is “No enemy a/c were seen”!

The Wilmhust flew a further 10 Ops, before their 15th Op to Dusseldorf on the 10th of July 1942.

10.7.42 Daylight sortie against Dusseldorf
Four a/c set out to attack the above target. Bomb load of 500lbs was brought back as m/c returned owing to lack of cloud cover. Well. III, X3720 (Sgt, Wilmshurst) failed to return. There was no A.A. fire or fighters. Weather was cloudy and navigation was good.

Wellington III X3720, AA-U

F/S. John Charles Wilmshurst, RNZAF NZ411962 – Pilot
Sgt. James Douglas Gould, RNZAF NZ411233 – Navigator
Sgt. Richard Edwin Sharp, RNZAF NZ405513 – Wireless Operator
Sgt. Peter Desmond Lowther, RNZAF NZ403583 – Front Gunner
Sgt. Raymond John Finlay ‘Browny’ Hirst, RNZAF NZ404067 – Rear Gunner

Take Off ~ 14:30 – MISSING

X3720, AA-U was the first of the four 75 (NZ) Sqdn aircraft detailed to carry out the attack to take off from Feltwell. They left at around 2.30 in the afternoon,  followed by the Jarman, McLachlan and Kearns crews. The four were recalled on the way to the target, near the Dutch coast, due to lack of cloud cover over the target. All but X3720 were safely back on the ground at Feltwell by 5.37pm.

The Wilmshurst Wellington came down into the sea off the German-Netherlands coast, well north of their expected route back to base. Three of the crew are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. The bodies of the wireless operator and front gunner washed ashore a few days later onto the German island of Borkum. They were buried there in the Lutheran Cemetery on the 15th, but later reinterred at Sage, 24km south of Oldenburg.

Wilmshurst-crew-missing[3]

”Missing” notices for three of the crew, as published at the time in the Auckland Weekly News.
– Auckland War Memorial Museum Online Cenotaph.

Just recently, a post popped up on the 75 Squadron Assn Facebook page, from another Chris, a historian from Feltwell in the UK., who mentioned that he had in his possession an autograph book that contained the signatures of airmen who had visited Feltwell’s Blue Cafe during the war. A Mrs Steward, the owner of the cafe had kept the book, and it had been passed down to Chris.

He posted a photo of a page from the small leather-bound book to see if anyone recognised a name…..

BlueCafe-autographs-6-7-42[3]

Page from the autograph book kept by Mrs Steward in the Blue Cafe, Feltwell, signed 7 July 1942.
– Chris Cook.

One signature jumped out at me – “Browny Hirst, Te Aroha, N.Z. 6-7-42”. “Hirst” and “Te Aroha” definitely rang a bell!

Then it dawned that the other signatures on the page were his crewmates, Lowther, Gould and Sharp, and that the boys’ best wishes and thanks to Mrs Steward had been written in the book only 4 days before they were lost!

It was another one of those moments that brings home the horrible waste, and the sadness that the whole community must have lived with back then.

However it was nice to be able to make the connection with Chris, and send through a few details about the crew, and the above newspaper article.

Then another twist in the story………..

Checking the listings for the crew members on the Auckland War Memorial Museum Online Cenotaph, included in James Douglas Gould’s entry, was a transcript of a letter that someone had uploaded. It had been written a few days after Douglas failed to return, by a good friend of his, Robert Brisco, a fellow Navigator with the P.J. Wilson crew – it was addressed to Gould’s mother:

N.Z.411204 SGT OFC Brisco, R.H.
Agar St,
The Strand
London

16/7/42

Dear Mrs. Gould
By now you will (know) that Douglas has been posted missing since July 10th. I put off the writing before this in the hope that something would have been heard of them by now. Nothing has turned up, however,  there is still a chance as there was a convoy in the vicinity of where they went down, and the old saying that “truth is stranger than fiction” is truer even in time of war than at any other time. I will tell you all I know as to be left in doubt and wondering is not pleasant. Unfortunately I had been on a weeks leave and returned on the July 10th about 8.30pm. What a welcome!

Doug’s crew with three or four others were sent out from here on a daylight raid to the Ruhr as it was thought it was a 10/10 cloud. However they were recalled just as they got to the Dutch coast, at least the others were. Their plane “U” was the first off by 10 or 15 minutes and perhaps they were a bit further in. Two of the other crew reported being chased by fighters but lost them in the cloud which was fast breaking up, and the chances that “U” being further away had even less cloud covering and the fighters who were chasing the first lot home, turned back to Holland and found “U” streaking from cloud to cloud. There is no doubt whatever it was the fighters that got them and there was two or more. They were top-notcher’s at fighter affiliation as they proved when they got the JU88.

However it seems that they sent out a wireless message saying that they were going down into the sea 10 or 12 miles from the English Coast. Planes were sent out from here that evening and launches from Yarmouth, but they found nothing. Still there was a convoy in the vicinity and it would have to maintain a wireless silence until it reached its destination.

Well that’s all I can tell you and if its been any help in clearing matters up I’ll be glad. He was one of my best friends and we have been together ever since our first day in Levin. The crew was the finest bunch of boys one could wish to meet and except for the pilot we have all been together for seven months and living as we do one can soon find the good and bad in a man and there was nothing bad in any of them. Hoping for good news soon.

Yours Sincerely,
Robert H. Brisco

Tragically, Robert Brisco was himself shot down and killed on 29 July, only two weeks after writing this. It seems that the letter was never posted. But it did make it to New Zealand.

Robert Davey, the person who uploaded the letter, explained that it had been found only a year ago, in frail condition, folded in a pocket inside one of his great grandfather’s World War I diaries!!

I emailed Robert to offer the extra background on Douglas’s crew, to see if that could help solve the mystery of how the letter ended up in his family’s possession, and he passed me on to his grandmother, Athalie.

She was able to make the connection – ‘Browny’ Hirst had lived on a nearby farm and been a friend of the Davey family in Te Aroha. Somehow the letter addressed to Mrs Gould must have been passed to the Hirst family, and then found it’s way to neighbours, the Davey family, and somehow into one of Albert Davey’s diaries!

The next step is to try and find out if Douglas Gould’s mother ever received the information laid out in Robert Brisco’s letter, and if the Gould family knows of the letter’s existence?

Douglas came from Otautau, a farming area in Southland, not far from Invercargill, so we are trying to interest the Southland Times. If anyone else has contacts for any of the crew members’ families, please let us know.

It would be wonderful if the letter could finally be delivered after all these years …

View the Wilmhust Op HIstory in full here.

– Thanks to Chris Cook, Robert Davey and Athalie Davey for sharing their information, and for permission to reproduce the above photograph and letter.

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

DSC02787

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.