V.J. Zinzan crew 12.12.44

Vernon John “Taffy”Zinzan stood on the left. Navigator James Sydney George Coote, Mid Upper Gunner Harold Noel “Tim Hutchinson, Flight Engineer A. Ackroyd and Wireless Operator Miles “Joe’ Parr (the photo is missing the Air Bomber and Rear Gunner). Date unknown

I would like to thank particularly David Duxbury, but also everybody who has contributed information on the individuals listed below.

The Zinzan crew arrived at Mepal on 3rd December 1944 from 1665 Conversion Unit. On the 11th of the month Vernon undertook a ‘second dickie’ flight with the Wakelin crew to Osterfeld. The following night the crew undertook their first operational raid to Witten – it was not without event. Over the target, it would appear they collided with the aircraft of F/Lt Hannan (also of 75(NZ). It is believed that the damage sustained in this collision forced Vernon to land heavily on their return to base. The resulting impact caused the Air Bomber, Ken Mesure to break his leg. This incident seems to have started a chain of replacement aircrew that resulted in Bob joining the crew on his return to the squadron, after the crew had completed 9 ops up to the end of January 1945.

Based on my research of other crews, this crew seems to have gone through an amazing number of initially Air Bombers and latterly Rear Gunners – I currently have no explanation for this.
The Zinzan crew were as follows; – (I have ordered the crew based on their crew list order and number of ops flown, rather than chronologically)

P/O Vernon John ‘Taffy” Zinzan RNZAF NZ425314. Pilot – 30 ops
Vernon was born 18th May 1912. He enlisted in the RNZAF 30th May 1942 and was transferred to reserve 25th September 1942. Vernon was one of the older pilots in the Squadron – I think its quite ironic that when Bob joined the crew as a 1st tour veteran, he was 10 years Vernon’s junior!

  • Reported to Rotorua Intial Training Wing (ITW) 26th November 1942 as Leading Air Cadet A/P Gp V.
  • To Harewood No.3 Elementary Flying Training School (3 EFTS) 9th January 1943.
  • Embarked for Canada for pilot training 5th May 1943.
  • Disembarked & attached to Royal Canadian Airforce (RCAF) with effect from 19th May 1943.
  • To No. 4 Service Flying Training School (SFTS) (date unknown), Saskatoon.
  • To No.15 SFTS 14th June 1943, Claresholm.
  • Awarded flying badge & promoted to Sgt. Pilot 15th October 1943 (to F/Sgt 15th April 1944).
  • To 1 “Y” Depot (date unknown), Halifax, Nova Scotia (or possibly Lachine, Quebec).
  • Embarked for UK (date unknown).
  • Disembarked UK and to No.12 Personnel Reception Center (12PRC), Padgate Warrington, 10th November 1944.
  • To 18 (Pilot) Advanced Flying Unit (18(P)AFU) 25th April 1944.
  • To No.16 Operational training Unit (16OTU) 17th July 1944.
  • To 51 Base 29th September 1944, to 1668 Conversion Unit 13th October 1944.
  • 3rd December 1944 arrived on posting from 1668 Conversion Unit to 75(NZ) Squadron.

Vernon flew 30 ops with 75(NZ) Squadron, including a ‘second dickie’ flight to Osterfeld on the 11th December 1944 with the crew of F/Lt. Wylie Wakelin.

After the crew’s final op to Potsdam on the 14th April 1945:

  • Vernon was once again posted to No.12 Personnel Depot and Receiving Center (12PD&RC).
  • Disembarked  New Zealand No. 2 Pre-Deployment Training (2 PDT) 25th July 1945.
  • Ceased to be attached to RAF with effect from 13th August 1945.
  • To Northern Non-Effective Pool (N/NEP) [Cat 17] 17th July 1945.
  • Transferred to Reserve A1 November 1st 1945.
  • Commission terminated June 1st 1956.

Vernon passed away on the 21st  March 2007 at  Middlemore Hospital,  Auckland, New Zealand. His funeral service was held at Mauku.

F/O James George Sydney Coote RAFVR 517881, 56715. Navigator (NAV) – 29 ops

P/O Robert Douglas ‘Jock’ Sommerville RAFVR 161049. Air Bomber (A/B) – 21 ops
Jock returned to Mepal a little over a year since he had left it. I don’t suppose I will ever know whether his return to the squadron was utter chance or a specific request on his part. I know Allan desired and eventually got into PFF, I don’t know about Jack – I should ask, this might shed some light on Dad’s route back to 75(NZ)

Sgt. Miles ‘Joe’ Parr RAFVR. Wireless Operator  (WOP) – 29 ops

Sgt. A. Ackroyd RAFVR. Flight Engineer (F/E) – 29 ops

Sgt. Harold Noel ‘Tim’ Hutchinson RAFVR. Mid Upper Gunner (MUG) – 29 ops

Sgt. Herbert Steele RAFVR. Rear Gunner (R/GNR) – 19 ops
I am assuming that Herbert Steele was part of the original crew when they joined the crew from 1668 CU. I currently have no explanation for his absence for 3 ops and then his essential disappearance from the crew rosta for the rest of the tour.
His 19 raids with the crew were: Witten 12/12/44, Trier 21/12/44, Vohwinkle 31/12/44, Dortmund 3/1/45, Ludwigshaven 5/1/44, Saarbrucken 13/1/44, Langendreer 15/1/45, Wanne Eickel 16/1/45, Munchen Gladbach 1/2/45, Weisbaden 2/2/45, Hohenbudberg 9/12/45, Wesel 19/2/45, Dortmund 20/2/45, Koln 2/3/45 (aborted), Wanne Eickel 4/3/45, Salzbergen 6/3/45, Dessau 7/3/45, Auguste Vicktoria 17/3/45.

F/O Kenneth Cyril Mesure RAFVR 1802416/ 164824. Air Bomber (A/B) – 1 op
Part of the original crew that arrived from 1668 CU, Ken was unfortunate enough to badly break his leg during a very heavy landing after the crew’s first raid to Witten – he never flew with the crew again. Strangely, Ken is listed on the 26th of June as returning to the Squadron from No. 33 Base (N.E.S) – I am guessing and would be grateful of clarification, but I think N.E.S must stand for non/ not effective strength.
His single raid with the Zinzan crew was: Witten 12/12/44.

Sgt J. McManus RAFVR Rear Gunner (R/GNR) – 4 ops
His 4 raids with the crew were: Wesel 23/3/45, Hallon Dorf 26/3/45, Meresberg 4/4/45, Potsdam 14/4/45.

Sgt. Frank Watts RAFVR Air Gunner. (R/GNR) – 2 ops
With 75(NZ) from 20th Oct 1944 to ?Apr 1945. Initially crewed with Wylie James Wakelin as MU/Gnr then to crew of David St.Clair Clement as R/Gnr.
His 2 raids with the Zinzan crew were: Dresden 13/2/45, Gelsenkirchen 10/3/45.

W/O Herbert Winn DFC, RAFVR 1626025. Mid Under Gunner (MU/ GNR) – 2 ops
22 Jan to x May 1945. Trained as mid-under-guner but c/w John Mathers Bailey as R/Gnr. He is noted as being posted to the Squadron with another A/G from Feltwell on the 22nd of January.
His 2 raids with the crew were: Chemnitz 14/2/45 and Wesel 10/3/45.

W/O Robert John Torbitt RAFVR 1033159. Mid Under Gunner  (MU/GNR) – 1 op
His single raid with the Zinzan crew was: Dortmund 12/3/45.
Additionally, he flew with:
Thorpe crew, Hohenbudberg 9/2/45.
Hamilton crew, Dessau 7/3/45.
(Squadron Leader) Wright crew, Munster Viaduct 21/3/45

Sgt. J. Tutty RAFVR Rear Gunner (R/GNR) – 1 op
21 Dec 1944 to x Jun 1945. c/w R B Crawford as R/Gnr.
Interestingly it would appear that Sgt. Tutty was part of the same crew as Sgt. Bullock and one of only 2 of the crew that escaped from the return crash on the 3rd of February from Dortmund without the need for hospitalisation. It would appear as a result of this that he was simply available to crew up in the absence of his own.
Sgt. Tutty flew 1 Op with the Zinzan crew  on 8/3/45 Datteln

F/O Graham Coull RNZAF NZ131806/ 425883. Air Bomber (A/B) – 1 op
25th May 1944 to 7th February 1945.  Posted in from 31 Base, crewed with Squadron Leader Neilson Arnold Williamson (OC “C” Flight), on ops 30/6 – 14-15/10/44, also flew four ops with F/O John Keillor Aitken 11 – 14/9/44, with F/O Vernon Zinzan 3/1/45 (and probably flew with other crews).
He was then posted to 30 OTU (presume as instructor) then to  to 12 PD&RC 6/6, disemb NZ (2 PDT) 25/7/45, to C/NEP 27/7, tfd to Reserve A1 8/11/45, to General Reserve.

Emb for Canada 24/12/42, qualified as AB and appointed to temp comm. in rank of P/O w.e.f. 11/6/43, to F/O 11/12/43, to F/L 11/6/45.  Postwar an Engineer with Air New Zealand.

Graham passed away in Christchurch, New Zealand Monday 12th January 1998, aged 76, buried 14th January, Ruru Lawn Cemetery, Block 11, Plot 178.

P/O John Kennedy Clements RAAF AUS.418070. Air Bomber (A/B) – 5 ops
John arrived at Mepal on the 18th of July 1944, originally crewing with the Jeffery Baines crew.
His 5 raids with the Zinzan crew were: Trier 21/12/44, Vohwinkle 31/12/44, Vohwinkle 1/1/45, Ludwigshaven 5/1/45, Langedreer 15/1/45.

Sgt C. Bullock RAFVR  Air Bomber (A/B)
21 Dec 1944 to (inj) 3 Feb 1945. c/w Roderick Bruce Crawford. On the 3rd February, Sgt Bullock was one of 5 crew who were injured on landing after a raid to Dortmund. Sgt. Bullocks single Op with the Zinzan crew was actually before this date and one must assume therefore was fill in for the then rotating A/B position in the Zinzan crew prior to Bob’s arrival in February 1945.
His single Op with the Zinzan crew was 13/1/45 Saarbrucken.

F/Lt. Grant Alan Russell, DFC, RNZAF NZ411729 (A/B)
9 Mar 1944 to 5 Feb 1945. c/w D M Stevenson.

F/S Hilray Hubert Stratford, RNZAF NZ4213296 (A/B)

F/Sgt James Henry Murphy, DFM, RAFVR 1393306  (AG)
7 Aug 1943 to ? Jun 1944 & 30 Dec 1944 to ? May 1945. c/w F P Lundon as MU/Gnr then with T G Buckley. The Squadron commander’s recommendation was :
“Flight Sergeant Murphy has carried out 31 operational sorties, targets including many of the most heavily defended industrial areas of Germany. He is an excellent Air Gunner and is always willing to engage the enemy. His coolness and efficiency under stress has played no small part in his crew’s brilliant record. His constant cheerfulness and untiring devotion to duty are deserving of the highest praise and I therefore have no hesitation in recommending that he be awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal.”

 

11/12/1944 – Attack Against Osterfeld
Seventeen aircraft attacked Osterfeld carrying 4,000 H.C., 1,000 ANM., 500 G.P., 500 G.P. (L.D.), 500 M.C. and Munro Bombs. No results were seen owing to 10/10 cloud over the target. Slight flak was the only opposition encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I ME751 AA-M

F/L Wylie James Wakelin, RNZAF NZ391390 – Pilot.
F/S Vernon John Zinzan, RNZAF NZ425314 – 2nd Pilot.
F/O Percival McDowell Johnston, RNZAF NZ4215865 – Navigator.
F/O Graham Barker Appleby, RNZAF NZ422653 – Air Bomber.
W/O Frederick Noel Chambers, RAAF AUS.413736 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. R. Leveridge, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Frank Watts, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. T. Kennedy, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 08:46 – Landed 12:54
Flight Time 04:08

12/12/1944 – Attack Against Witten
Sixteen aircraft were detailed to attack Witten in daylight and again found their target obscured by ten tenths cloud. Moderate flak was encountered and enemy fighters were seen attacking the first wave of aircraft ahead. No results were observed owing to cloud. The aircraft captained by F/Lt Hannan collided with another aircraft just before reaching the target, however the target was bombed and base reached safely. The a/c captained by F/S Zinzan was damaged in landing and the Air Bomber F/O Mesure sustained a broken leg.

Lancaster Mk.I HK576 AA-G
HK562, F/S Zinzan & crew, was damaged in a heavy landing and the Air Bomber, F/O Mesure, sustained a broken leg.

F/S Vernon John ‘Taffy’ Zinzan, RNZAF NZ425314 – Pilot.
W/O James Sydney George Coote, RAFVR 517881/ 56715 – Navigator.
F/O Kenneth Cyril Mesure, RAFVR 1802416/ 164824 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Miles ‘Joe’ Parr, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. Ackroyd, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Noel “Tim” Hutchinson, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Herbert Steele,   – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:15 – Landed 16:35
Flight Time 05:20

21/12/1944 – Attack Against Trier
Fourteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above target in daylight. Crews bombed by instruments in ten tenths cloud. Results were unobserved. NZ42397 F/L I. Hannan landed at Mendlesham on return, but reached Base later the same evening.

Lancaster Mk.III LM733 AA-R

F/S Vernon John ‘Taffy’ Zinzan, RNZAF NZ425314 – Pilot.
W/O James Sydney George Coote, RAFVR 517881/ 56715 – Navigator.
F/O John Kennedy Clements, RAAF AUS.418070 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Miles ‘Joe’ Parr, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. Ackroyd, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Noel “Tim” Hutchinson, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Herbert Steele,   – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:17 – Landed 17:32
Flight Time 05:15

31/12/1944 – Attack Against Vohwinkel
Seventeen aircraft were detailed to attack Vohwinkel in daylight. Moderate accurate heavy flak was met over the target, but all aircraft returned safely. A scattered raid was reported.

Lancaster Mk.I LM733 AA-R

P/O Vernon John ‘Taffy’ Zinzan, RNZAF NZ425314 – Pilot.
W/O James Sydney George Coote, RAFVR 517881/ 56715 – Navigator.
P/O John Kennedy Clements, RAAF AUS.418070 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Miles ‘Joe’ Parr, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. A. Ackroyd, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Noel “Tim” Hutchinson, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Herbert Steele,   – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:32 – Landed 16:44
Flight Time 05:12

01/01/1945 – Attack Against Vohwinkel
Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack Vohwinkel, in datlight. Nineteen aircraft took off, seventeen of which attacked the primary target. F/O McMillan attacked a last resort target. NZ40984 W/Cdr. R.J. Newton and NZ429286 P/O R. Aitchison as second pilot, failed to return. There was very little opposition in the target area.

Lancaster Mk.III LM740 AA-B

F/O Vernon John ‘Taffy’ Zinzan, RNZAF NZ425314 – Pilot.
W/O James Sydney George Coote, RAFVR 517881/ 56715 – Navigator.
P/O John Kennedy Clements, RAAF AUS.418070 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Miles ‘Joe’ Parr, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A. Ackroyd, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Noel “Tim” Hutchinson, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Herbert Steele, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 15:59 – Landed 22:43
Flight Time 06:44

03/01/1945 – Attack Against Dortmund Oil Refinery
Fourteen aircraft were detailed to attack Dortmund Oil Refineries in daylight. Crews bombed by instruments in ten tenths cloud. Results were unobserved. The aircraft carried 4,000 H.C., 500 M.C. 500 G.P. 500 ANM and Munro bombs. NZ42397 F/L L. Hannan landed at Mendalsham on return, but reached base later the same evening.

Lancaster Mk.III LM740 AA-B

F/O Vernon John ‘Taffy’ Zinzan, RNZAF NZ425314 – Pilot.
W/O James Sydney George Coote, RAFVR 517881/ 56715 – Navigator.
F/O Graham Coull, RNZAF NZ425883 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Miles ‘Joe’ Parr, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A. Ackroyd, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Noel “Tim” Hutchinson, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Herbert Steele, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:40 – Landed 17:50
Flight Time 05:10

05/01/1945 – Attack Against Ludwigshafen
Twenty one aircraft attacked Ludwigshafen, carrying 4,000 H.C., 500 ANM., 500 G.P. 500 M.C., and Munro bombs. Visibility was clear. H/F was met, but all aircraft returned safely. A scattered raid was reported.

Lancaster Mk.III LM733 AA-R

P/O Vernon John ‘Taffy’ Zinzan, RNZAF NZ425314 – Pilot.
W/O James Sydney George Coote, RAFVR 517881/ 56715 – Navigator.
F/S Hilray Hubert Stratford, RNZAF NZ4213296 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Miles ‘Joe’ Parr, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A. Ackroyd, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Noel “Tim” Hutchinson, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Herbert Steele, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:26 – Landed 17:36
Flight Time 06:10

13/01/1945 – Attack Against Saarbrucken
Eighteen of nineteen aircraft detailed carried out a successful daylight attack on Saarbrucken Marshalling Yard, carrying 4,000 H.C., 500AMN., 500G.P., 500 M.C., 250 G.P., and Munro bombs. W/Cdr Baigent in ‘A’ had to return with his full load after reaching the target owing to technical trouble which prevented release of bombs. Crews bombed on special equipment. The Marshalling Yard was visible and many bursts were seen on the target. No opposition reported. All aircraft were diverted owing to bad visibility at Base.

Lancaster Mk.I HK562 AA-L

F/O Vernon John ‘Taffy’ Zinzan, RNZAF NZ425314 – Pilot.
W/O James Sydney George Coote, RAFVR 517881/ 56715 – Navigator.
Sgt. C. Bullock, RAFVR – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Miles ‘Joe’ Parr, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A. Ackroyd, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Noel “Tim” Hutchinson, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Herbert Steele, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:25 – Landed 18:40
Flight Time 07:15

15/01/1945 – Attack Against Langendreer
Eighteen aircraft were detailed to attack Langendreer, carrying 4,000 H.C., 500AMN., 500 M.C., 250 G.P., and Munro bombs. One aircraft ‘D’ captained by F/O Leadley failed to reach the target owing to starboard inner engine failing. No results were observed owing to ten tenths cloud. Flak was slight over the target. No fighter opposition was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I HK562 AA-L

F/O Vernon John ‘Taffy’ Zinzan, RNZAF NZ425314 – Pilot.
W/O James Sydney George Coote, RAFVR 517881/ 56715 – Navigator.
P/O John Kennedy Clements, RAAF AUS.418070 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Miles ‘Joe’ Parr, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A. Ackroyd, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Noel “Tim” Hutchinson, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Herbert Steele, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:36 – Landed 17:09
Flight Time 05:33

16/01/1945 – Attack Against Wanne Eickel
Seventeen aircraft attacked Wanne Hickel in ten tenths cloud, tops 6/7000 feet, carrying 4,000 H.C., 500 G.P. 500 ANM, 500 M.C. 250 G.P. and Munro bombs. Crews bombed with the aid of instruments and sky markers. Flak was moderate. The general impression was that bombing was concentrated on markers and red glow seen through cloud. The aircraft captained by NZ426235 F/S Wood, J, was attacked by a F.W. 190. The rear gunner opened fire, but no hits were observed and our aircraft suffered no damage. The aircraft captained by NZ414376 F/L T. Blewett unfortunately crashed in this country. The captain and Air Bomber NZ426234 F/O J. Wilson were killed. The Navigator 1398282 F/S Cornell, B.T. died later as a result of severe injuries.

Lancaster Mk.III PB427 AA-U

F/O Vernon John ‘Taffy’ Zinzan, RNZAF NZ425314 – Pilot.
W/O James Sydney George Coote, RAFVR 517881/ 56715 – Navigator.
F/L Grant Alan Russell, RNZAF NZ411729 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Miles ‘Joe’ Parr, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A. Ackroyd, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Noel “Tim” Hutchinson, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Herbert Steele, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:24 – Landed 04:35
Flight Time 05:11

01/02/1945 – Attack Against Munchen Gladbach
Seventeen aircraft bomber Munchen Gladbach. No results were observed owing to cloud being ten tenths over the target.

Lancaster Mk.I HK601 JN-D

F/O Vernon John ‘Taffy’ Zinzan, RNZAF NZ425314 – Pilot.
W/O James Sydney George Coote, RAFVR 517881/ 56715 – Navigator.
F/O Robert Douglas ‘Jock’ Sommerville, RAFVR 1562617/ 161049 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Miles ‘Joe’ Parr, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A. Ackroyd, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Noel “Tim” Hutchinson, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Herbert Steele, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:56 – Landed 18:41
Flight Time 05:45

02/02/1945 – Attack Against Wiesbaden
Eighteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above target but two failed to take off. Crews bombed on navigational aids in ten tenths cloud with tops up to 21,000 ft. A scattered raid was the report of most crews generally. Slight H/F was the only opposition. JN/Y F/Lt. L.W. Hannan landed at Woodbridge owing to damage received over the target.

Lancaster Mk.I HK562 AA-L

F/O Vernon John ‘Taffy’ Zinzan, RNZAF NZ425314 – Pilot.
W/O James Sydney George Coote, RAFVR 517881/ 56715 – Navigator.
F/O Robert Douglas ‘Jock’ Sommerville, RAFVR 1562617/ 161049 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Miles ‘Joe’ Parr, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A. Ackroyd, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Noel “Tim” Hutchinson, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Herbert Steele, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:00 – Landed 02:54
Flight Time 05:54

09/02/1945 – Attack Against Hohenbudburg
Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack Lutskendorf, but the target was changed during the afternoon to Hohenbudberg. This operation was carried out in 8/10th cloud with tops about 10,000. Flak was slight to moderate and S/L effective. A scattered raid was reported.

Lancaster Mk.I HK562 AA-L

F/O Vernon John ‘Taffy’ Zinzan, RNZAF NZ425314 – Pilot.
W/O James Sydney George Coote, RAFVR 517881/ 56715 – Navigator.
F/O Robert Douglas ‘Jock’ Sommerville, RAFVR 1562617/ 161049 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Miles ‘Joe’ Parr, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A. Ackroyd, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Noel “Tim” Hutchinson, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Herbert Steele, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 03:46 – Landed 08:40
Flight Time 04:54

13/02/1945 – Attack Against Dresden
Twenty aircraft attacked Dresden as detailed. Very slight H/F was only opposition. The first aircraft over the target reported thin cloud which had cleared for later aircraft. Some aircraft were able to bomb visually. Crews reported the whole town was well alight and could see the glow of fires 100 miles away on return A highly successful raid.

Lancaster Mk.I ME450 AA-W

F/O Vernon John ‘Taffy’ Zinzan, RNZAF NZ425314 – Pilot.
W/O James Sydney George Coote, RAFVR 517881/ 56715 – Navigator.
F/O Robert Douglas ‘Jock’ Sommerville, RAFVR 1562617/ 161049 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Miles ‘Joe’ Parr, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A. Ackroyd, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Noel “Tim” Hutchinson, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Frank Watts, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:13 – Landed 06:32
Flight Time 08:19

14/02/1945 – Attack Against Chemnitz
Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack Chemnitz. Nineteen attacked primary. AA”J” F/O R.J. Pearson, returned early through engine failiure. Cloud was ten tenths with tops 16-17000 over the target. Aircraft bombed with the aid of special equipment. No resilts were observed, very slight H/F was met over the target. AA”D”, captained by F/L G.S. Davies failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I HK562 AA-L

F/O Vernon John ‘Taffy’ Zinzan, RNZAF NZ425314 – Pilot.
W/O James Sydney George Coote, RAFVR 517881/ 56715 – Navigator.
F/O Robert Douglas ‘Jock’ Sommerville, RAFVR 1562617/ 161049 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Miles ‘Joe’ Parr, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A. Ackroyd, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Noel “Tim” Hutchinson, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Herbert Winn, RAFVR 1626025 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:36 – Landed 05:17
Flight Time 08:41

16/02/1945 – Attack Against Wesel
Twenty one aircraft attacked Wesel as detailed. Slight accurate H/F was encountered over the target but no fighters were seen. A concentrated raid was reported.

Lancaster Mk.I ME450 AA-W

F/O Vernon John ‘Taffy’ Zinzan, RNZAF NZ425314 – Pilot.
W/O James Sydney George Coote, RAFVR 517881/ 56715 – Navigator.
F/O Robert Douglas ‘Jock’ Sommerville, RAFVR 1562617/ 161049 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Miles ‘Joe’ Parr, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A. Ackroyd, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Noel “Tim” Hutchinson, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Herbert Winn, RAFVR 1626025 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:47 – Landed 17:44
Flight Time 04:57

19/02/1945 – Attack Against Wesel
Twenty one aitcraft were again detailed to attack Wesel. AA”J”, captained by F/S Lukins, B.L., returned early through engine trouble. Cloud was 1-10/10ths with some haze. A few crews were able to identify the river bend. Bombing appeared to be accurate. Very slight H/F was the only opposition.

Lancaster Mk.I ME450 AA-W

F/O Vernon John ‘Taffy’ Zinzan, RNZAF NZ425314 – Pilot.
W/O James Sydney George Coote, RAFVR 517881/ 56715 – Navigator.
F/O Robert Douglas ‘Jock’ Sommerville, RAFVR 1562617/ 161049 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Miles ‘Joe’ Parr, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A. Ackroyd, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Noel “Tim” Hutchinson, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Herbert Steele, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 13:29 – Landed 18:46
Flight Time 05:17

20/02/1945 – Attack Against Dortmund
Ten aircraft attacked Dortmund as detailed. AA”E” captained by F/L. E. Abrahams returned early through engine failiure. Cloud was 9-10/10ths, tops 5-6,000’. Some moderate H/F was met over the target. No fighters were seen. Crews reported seeing many small fires . A successful raid was reported.

Lancaster Mk.I ME450 AA-W

F/O Vernon John ‘Taffy’ Zinzan, RNZAF NZ425314 – Pilot.
W/O James Sydney George Coote, RAFVR 517881/ 56715 – Navigator.
F/O Robert Douglas ‘Jock’ Sommerville, RAFVR 1562617/ 161049 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Miles ‘Joe’ Parr, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A. Ackroyd, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Noel “Tim” Hutchinson, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Herbert Steele, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:58 – Landed 03:41
Flight Time 05:43

02/03/1945 – Attack Against Cologne
Twenty aircraft were detailed to attack Cologne. No aircraft bombed owing to special equipment failiure. Three aircraft jettisoned due to flak damage to engines, the remainder bringing their bombs back. F/O Woodcock was wounded in the neck and his engineer F/Sgt. Gibb in the legs but landed safely at base.

Lancaster Mk.I NG449 DNC AA-T

P/O Vernon John ‘Taffy’ Zinzan, RNZAF NZ425314 – Pilot.
W/O James Sydney George Coote, RAFVR 517881/ 56715 – Navigator.
F/O Robert Douglas ‘Jock’ Sommerville, RAFVR 1562617/ 161049 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Miles ‘Joe’ Parr, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A. Ackroyd, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Noel “Tim” Hutchinson, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Herbert Steele, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 13:00 – Landed 18:33
Flight Time 05:33

04/03/1945 – Attack Against Wanne Eickel
Eighteen aircraft were detailed to attack Wanne Eickel. JN”O” F/O D. Barr returned early through engine failiure. Crews bombed with the aid of special equipment in 10/10ths cloud. No results were seen but crews were satisfied that it was a good attack. Slight to moderate H/F was experienced.

Lancaster Mk.I LM276 AA-S

F/O Vernon John ‘Taffy’ Zinzan, RNZAF NZ425314 – Pilot.
W/O James Sydney George Coote, RAFVR 517881/ 56715 – Navigator.
F/O Robert Douglas ‘Jock’ Sommerville, RAFVR 1562617/ 161049 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Miles ‘Joe’ Parr, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A. Ackroyd, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Noel “Tim” Hutchinson, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Herbert Steele, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 09:57 – Landed 14:56
Flight Time 04:59

06/03/1945 – Attack Against Salzbergen
Sixteen aircraft attacked Salzbergen in 10/10ths cloud up to 11,000ft. with nil clouds below. The formation was well packed over the target and released simultaneously. A slight upheaval of the cloud a minute later was all that could be seen. Slight H/F was the only opposition.

Lancaster Mk.I NG449 AA-T

P/O Vernon John ‘Taffy’ Zinzan, RNZAF NZ425314 – Pilot.
W/O James Sydney George Coote, RAFVR 517881/ 56715 – Navigator.
F/O Robert Douglas ‘Jock’ Sommerville, RAFVR 1562617/ 161049 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Miles ‘Joe’ Parr, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A. Ackroyd, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Noel “Tim” Hutchinson, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Herbert Steele, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 08:32 – Landed 14:17
Flight Time 05:45

07/03/1945 – Attack Against Dessau
Thirteen aircraft attacked Dessau as ordered. Aircraft bombed in 10/10ths haze and thin cloud. Crews were given instructions by M/B to bomb on Skymarkers but some were able to make out T.I’s and in two cases identify the street. Fires were burning over a wide area when aircraft left the target. Flak practically nil in target area. Some E/A were seen and AA”S” F/L Spilman had a short inconclusive encounter. A satisfactory operation.

Lancaster Mk.I RF157 AA-X

F/O Vernon John ‘Taffy’ Zinzan, RNZAF NZ425314 – Pilot.
P/O Owen Joseph Cook, RAAF AUS.428456 – 2nd Pilot.
W/O James Sydney George Coote, RAFVR 517881/ 56715 – Navigator.
F/O Robert Douglas ‘Jock’ Sommerville, RAFVR 1562617/ 161049 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Miles ‘Joe’ Parr, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A. Ackroyd, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Noel “Tim” Hutchinson, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Herbert Steele, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:22 – Landed 02:30
Flight Time 09:08

09/03/1945 – Attack Against Datteln
Twenty one aircraft attacked Datteln as detailed. A good concentration of aircraft and bombing reported. Cloud ten tenths. No opposition was encountered. A mushroom of smoke was seen penetrating cloud.

Lancaster Mk.I RF127 AA-W

F/O Vernon John ‘Taffy’ Zinzan, RNZAF NZ425314 – Pilot.
W/O James Sydney George Coote, RAFVR 517881/ 56715 – Navigator.
F/O Robert Douglas ‘Jock’ Sommerville, RAFVR 1562617/ 161049 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Miles ‘Joe’ Parr, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A. Ackroyd, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Noel “Tim” Hutchinson, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. J. Tutty, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 10:35 – Landed 16:06
Flight Time 05:31

10/03/1945 – Attack Against Gelsenkirchen Buer
Twenty one aircraft attacked Gelsenkirchen as detailed. Aircraft bombed in light formation and all bombs were dropped together. Cloud was ten tenths. Slight H/F was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I RF127 AA-W

P/O Vernon John ‘Taffy’ Zinzan, RNZAF NZ425314 – Pilot.
W/O James Sydney George Coote, RAFVR 517881/ 56715 – Navigator.
F/O Robert Douglas ‘Jock’ Sommerville, RAFVR 1562617/ 161049 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Miles ‘Joe’ Parr, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A. Ackroyd, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Noel “Tim” Hutchinson, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Frank Watts, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:22 – Landed 17:35
Flight Time 05:13

12/03/1945 – Attack Against Dortmund
Dortmund was the target for twenty one aircraft. Flak was slight to moderate, cloud 10/10ths with tops 5/6000ft. Aircraft report good results Smoke was already pushing through cloud when aircraft left. Bombing was well concentrated.

Lancaster Mk.I RF127 AA-W

P/O Vernon John ‘Taffy’ Zinzan, RNZAF NZ425314 – Pilot.
W/O James Sydney George Coote, RAFVR 517881/ 56715 – Navigator.
F/O Robert Douglas ‘Jock’ Sommerville, RAFVR 1562617/ 161049 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Miles ‘Joe’ Parr, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A. Ackroyd, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Noel “Tim” Hutchinson, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
W/O Robert John Torbitt, RAFVR 1033159 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 13:01 – Landed 18:16
Flight Time 05:15

14/03/1945 – Attack Against Heinrich Hutte
Twenty aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Crews found the target covered with 10/10ths cloud. Formation was good though the target and bombs fell away together. Very accurate moderate H/F was met on the run in and over the target. F/Lt. E. Parsons in AA”E” failed to return. His aircraft was seen to be hit causing it to spiral into cloud. F/S McLernon landed at Woodbridge but returned to base the following day.

Lancaster Mk.I RF127 AA-W
F/O Zinzan & crew, were forced to delay their bomb release by 4 seconds to avoid bombing from directly above another aircraft (NF935, F/L Banks & crew) that had fallen back after receiving flak damage to the starboard elevator.

F/O Vernon John ‘Taffy’ Zinzan, RNZAF NZ425314 – Pilot.
W/O James Sydney George Coote, RAFVR 517881/ 56715 – Navigator.
F/O Robert Douglas ‘Jock’ Sommerville, RAFVR 1562617/ 161049 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Miles ‘Joe’ Parr, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A. Ackroyd, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Noel “Tim” Hutchinson, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S J. McManus, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 13:41 – Landed 18:51
Flight Time 05:10

17/03/1945 – Attack Against Auguste Viktoria
Nineteen aircraft took off to attack the Auguste Viktoria Benzol Oil plant. Cloud and vapour trails limited visibility to 50yds over the target, but the aircraft remained in light formation and bombs were released together. No results were seen. Opposition was slight H./F.

Lancaster Mk.I RF157 AA-X

F/O Vernon John ‘Taffy’ Zinzan, RNZAF NZ425314 – Pilot. F/S Ronald Thomas Clarkson , RNZAF NZ4213732 – 2nd Pilot.
W/O James Sydney George Coote, RAFVR 517881/ 56715 – Navigator.
P/O John Horace Herbert Williams, RAFVR 190525 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Miles ‘Joe’ Parr, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A. Ackroyd, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Noel “Tim” Hutchinson, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Herbert Steele, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:54 – Landed 17:06
Flight Time 05:12

20/03/1945 – Attack Against Hamm
Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack the Marshalling Yards at Hamm. There were 6-7/10ths cloud over the target with tops at about 10,000ft. Some confusion was caused by the preceding squadron leading this squadron off track and scattering the formation. However a fair concentration was attained in the end. Some H/F was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I RF127 AA-W

F/O Vernon John ‘Taffy’ Zinzan, RNZAF NZ425314 – Pilot.
W/O James Sydney George Coote, RAFVR 517881/ 56715 – Navigator.
F/O Robert Douglas ‘Jock’ Sommerville, RAFVR 1562617/ 161049 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Miles ‘Joe’ Parr, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A. Ackroyd, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Noel “Tim” Hutchinson, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ray Frederick Smith, RNZAF NZ424217 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 10:11 – Landed 15:37
Flight Time 05:26

23/03/1945 – Attack Against Wesel
Eight aircraft were detailed to attack Wesel carrying 1,000 M65 (RT), 1,000 M65 (B.T.) and Munro bombs. The target was attacked with the aid of special equipment. There was no cloud over the target but the visibility was poor owing to smoke. All crews reported a good concentration of bombs on the A/P. Very slight H/F was experienced.

Lancaster Mk.I RF127 AA-W

F/O Vernon John ‘Taffy’ Zinzan, RNZAF NZ425314 – Pilot.
W/O James Sydney George Coote, RAFVR 517881/ 56715 – Navigator.
F/O Robert Douglas ‘Jock’ Sommerville, RAFVR 1562617/ 161049 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Miles ‘Joe’ Parr, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A. Ackroyd, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Noel “Tim” Hutchinson, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. J. McManus, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 15:13 – Landed 19:08
Flight Time 03:55

29/03/1945 – Attack Against Salzgitter
Twenty one aircraft attacked Saltzgitter as detailed. Cloud was ten tenths, tops up to 19,000 ft and thin cloud and contrails persisting above, reducing visibility to 500yds. No results were observed and a scattered raid is reported. Flak moderate.

Lancaster Mk.I RF127 AA-W

F/O Vernon John ‘Taffy’ Zinzan, RNZAF NZ425314 – Pilot.
W/O James Sydney George Coote, RAFVR 517881/ 56715 – Navigator.
F/O Robert Douglas ‘Jock’ Sommerville, RAFVR 1562617/ 161049 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Miles ‘Joe’ Parr, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A. Ackroyd, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Noel “Tim” Hutchinson, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. J. McManus, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:45 – Landed 19:12
Flight Time 06:27

04/04/1945 – Attack on Meresburg
21 aircraft were detailed to make a night attack on MERSEBURG.. (AA’R’ F/O C Stevens) returned early through technical trouble. (JN’D’ F/O J. Wood) was hit by flak before reaching the target, the B/ Aimer (F/S Hooper) was burned about the face and the Pilot’s hands were slightly burned, the F/Engineer (Sgt. Williamson) apparently fell through the M.U.G Turret. Crews bomber glows of fires on Master Bomber’s instructions. Fires were fairly concentrated though reports indicate a rather scattered raid. Flak moderate to light.

Lancaster Mk.I RF127 AA-W

F/O Vernon John ‘Taffy’ Zinzan, RNZAF NZ425314 – Pilot.
W/O James Sydney George Coote, RAFVR 517881/ 56715 – Navigator.
F/O Robert Douglas ‘Jock’ Sommerville, RAFVR 1562617/ 161049 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Miles ‘Joe’ Parr, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A. Ackroyd, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Noel “Tim” Hutchinson, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. J. McManus, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:36 – Landed 02:59
Flight Time 08:23

13/04/1945 – Attack on Kiel
21 aircraft were detailed to attack Kiel. The target was covered by 10/10 cloud with tops 4/5000. Bombing was concentrated and fires were seen on leaving the target. Flak was slight. M/B was clearly heard. (AA’K’ F/O. Morgan W.) returned early, bombs were jettisoned. This was also a leaflet raid.

Lancaster Mk.I RF127 AA-W

F/L Vernon John ‘Taffy’ Zinzan, RNZAF NZ425314 – Pilot.
W/O James Sydney George Coote, RAFVR 517881/ 56715 – Navigator.
F/O Robert Douglas ‘Jock’ Sommerville, RAFVR 1562617/ 161049 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Miles ‘Joe’ Parr, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A. Ackroyd, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Noel “Tim” Hutchinson, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. J. McManus, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:44 – Landed 01:59
Flight Time 05:15

14/04/1945 – Attack on Potsdam
25 aircraft were detailed to attack POTSDAM. There was no cloud and visibility was good. A very concentrated attack developed and the target was well alight by the time the last aircraft were on their way home. Flak was slight and bursting well below stream. AA’T’ (F/O A.R. Baynes) was attacked by two enemy aircraft believed to be JU.88’s 20 miles S.W. of Potsdam on the homeward journey. The Flight Engineer (Sgt. Sliman) was killed by canon shell.

Lancaster Mk.I LM276 AA-S

F/L Vernon John ‘Taffy’ Zinzan, RNZAF NZ425314 – Pilot.
W/O James Sydney George Coote, RAFVR 517881/ 56715 – Navigator.
F/O Robert Douglas ‘Jock’ Sommerville, RAFVR 1562617/ 161049 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Miles ‘Joe’ Parr, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A. Ackroyd, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Harold Noel “Tim” Hutchinson, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. J. McManus, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:11 – Landed 02:52
Flight Time 08:41