W.C. Turnbull crew 30.04.45.

75 squadron front

The Turnbull crew, dated 1944 by the scrapbook caption (below)
© Mike Rowlands 75 Squadron reverse

Many thanks to Mike for contacting me about his father, John Rowlands, who was the Wireless Operator with the Turnbull crew towards the end of 1945. The crew were fortunate, arriving too late to have to fly any bombing missions, however they took part in Supply Dropping and the Repatriation of Prisoners of War, Belgian refugees and also a number of flights to view the effects of bombing.

Mike has supplied a couple of wonderful photographs of the boys. Time and location is not clear – my heart jumped when I first saw the nose art on the Lancaster in one of them, but judging by the date, it’s more likely to be have taken at  Lancaster Finishing School, rather than at Mepal – but a fantastic picture nevertheless. What is also nice is the reverse of the  image (at the foot of the post) is the names and addresses of some of the crew, including the pilot Bill Turnbull.

According to Mike, his father was very good friends with Bill Turnbull and his wife, Agnes. Bill and Agnes retired to KeriKeri Bay and tried to get John to emigrate to New Zealand. Sadly Bill passed away in 1974, being laid to rest in KeriKeri cemetry. John subsequently moved to New Zealand in 1974 with the family and they became close to Agnes, staying with her on many occasions.

Mikes mother, was in the WAAF (Joan Eleanor Fenney) and at various times stationed at Stradishall,Feltwell and Scampton – Mike is keen to hear about anything related to her time in the RAF and also the stations she was based at………..

21.4.45
Weather
. Cloudy for the whole day. Visibility 6 – 10 miles. Generally falling to 3- 4000 yards at dawn.

Operational Flying. Nil.
Non-Operational Flying. H2S and X Country exercises were carried out. Practice Supply dropping and fighter affiliation. Circuits and landings were practised and Air Tests were carried out.
Administration. NZ4210995 P/O Turnbull W and crew arrived on posting from 75 Base.

24/04/1945 – Attack on Bad Oldesloe
21 aircraft were detailed to attack BAD OLDESLOE. JN/N (F/L Preyer) failed to take off owing to engine trouble and AA/Y (F/S Reay) made an early return owing to fire in starboard outer engine. No opposition was encountered but slight flak seen over Dutch Coast. Some of the bombs fell to the port of the A/P. Main attack considered very good.

Lancaster Mk.I HK600 JN-K “Kiwi”

F/O Leslie Gordon ‘Bill’ Sinclair, RNZAF NZ428917 – Pilot.
P/O William Caverhill Turnbull, RNZAF NZ4210995 – 2nd Pilot.
F/O Alexander Annandale ‘Sandy’ Sommerville, RNZAF NZ425459 – Navigator.
F/S Ian Dalrymple Rowe, RNZAF NZ4210043 – Air Bomber.
F/O Ian Anderson Foster, RAAF AUS.423091 – Wireless Operator.
W/O W. Peplow, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alan McRobert, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William ‘Bill Glover , RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 07:21 – Landed 13:13
Flight Time 05:52

30/04/1945 – Supply Dropping – Rotterdam
21 Aircraft were detailed to Supply dropping in the Rotterdam area. Crowds of Dutch were seen waving and cheering. The Operation was carried out successfully.

Lancaster Mk.I PB424 JN-O

F/O William Caverhill Turnbull, RNZAF NZ4210995 – Pilot.
F/S Ronald Charles Tizard, RNZAF NZ427344 – Navigator.
F/S Mervyn Lawrence Stewart, RNZAF NZ431855 – Air Bomber.
F/S Ronald William Bull, RNZAF NZ4215778 – Wireless Operator.
F/S J. Rowlands, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. R. Joshua, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. F. Hadden, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 16:57 – Landed 19:41
Flight Time 02:44

02/05/1945 – Supply Dropping at Delft
21 Aircraft were detailed for Supply Dropping at Delft. This mission was successful. The crowd were not as large as usual, but more flags were observed. F/O E.Ohlson reported having seen Germans in barracks cheering and waving white flags. F/O R, Flamank saw Germans waving from gun posts on the coast.

Lancaster Mk.I NF981 JN-D

F/O William Caverhill Turnbull, RNZAF NZ4210995 – Pilot.
F/S Ronald Charles Tizard, RNZAF NZ427344 – Navigator.
F/S Mervyn Lawrence Stewart, RNZAF NZ431855 – Air Bomber.
F/S Ronald William Bull, RNZAF NZ4215778 – Wireless Operator.
F/S J. Rowlands, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. F. Hadden, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:58 – Landed 14:22
Flight Time 02:24

04/05/1945 – Supply Dropping at the Hague and Delft
6 Aircraft were detailed for Supply Dropping. Three for The Hague, and three for the Delft. The missions were successful, but fewer people were seen.

Lancaster Mk.III PB424 JN-O

F/O William Caverhill Turnbull, RNZAF NZ4210995 – Pilot.
F/O Ronald Charles Tizard, RNZAF NZ427344 – Navigator.
F/S Mervyn Lawrence Stewart, RNZAF NZ431855 – Air Bomber.
F/S Ronald William Bull, RNZAF NZ4215778 – Wireless Operator.
F/S J. Rowlands, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. F. Hadden, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:13 – Landed 14:35
Flight Time 02:22

23/05/1945 – Evacuation of Prisoners of War from Juvincourt
3 Passengers were carried in each aircraft. 10 Aircraft were detailed for the evacuation of Prisoners of War from Juvincourt. The number of men brought back was 240. F/Lt. J. Westbrooke (AA.C). had wheel trouble at Dunsford, and had to return to Base on the 24th of May.

Lancaster Mk.I PB663 JN-Z

F/O William Caverhill Turnbull, RNZAF NZ4210995 – Pilot.
F/S Ronald Charles Tizard, RNZAF NZ427344 – Navigator.
F/S Mervyn Lawrence Stewart, RNZAF NZ431855 – Air Bomber.
F/S Ronald William Bull, RNZAF NZ4215778 – Wireless Operator.
F/S J. Rowlands, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. R. Joshua, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. F. Hadden, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 08:22 – Landed 14:09
Flight Time 05:47

25/05/1945 – Repatriation of Belgian Refugees
6 Aircraft were detailed for the repatriation of Belgian refugees. 66 persons including a two months old baby were flown to Brussels.

Lancaster Mk.I NG322 JN-F

F/O William Caverhill Turnbull, RNZAF NZ4210995 – Pilot.
F/S Ronald Charles Tizard, RNZAF NZ427344 – Navigator.
F/S Mervyn Lawrence Stewart, RNZAF NZ431855 – Air Bomber.
F/S Bull R NZ5778, RNZAF NZ4215778 – Wireless Operator.
F/S J. Rowlands, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Joshua RR. Joshua, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. F. Hadden, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:50 – Landed 17:23
Flight Time 05:33

09/06/1945 – Viewing the Effects of the Bombing Offensive
5 Aircraft were detailed for viewing the effects of the Bombing Offensive.

Lancaster Mk.I HK554 JN-T

F/O William Caverhill Turnbull, RNZAF NZ4210995 – Pilot.
F/S J. Godfrey , RAFVR – Navigator.
F/S F. Grace , RAFVR – Air Bomber.
F/S Edward Maxwell Spooner , RNZAF NZ428162 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. B. Fletcher , RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/O Jack Cresswell Richardson, RNZAF NZ427323 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Alexander Freeman ‘Sandy’ Strachan , RNZAF NZ4210193 – Rear Gunner.
CPL Allen, Passenger .

Take Off 09:44 – Landed 15:23
Flight Time 05:39

 

Interestingly, John’s last flight was with Wi Rangiuaia‘s crew – John, his Air Bomber Mervyn Stewart and his Rear Gunner Sgt. Haden joined this crew on 12.6.45 on another flight to view the effects of bombing. One must assume that at this point, aircrew were beginning to be re-posted or sent for disembarkation.

75 squadron names front

The boys posing in front of a Lancaster – location unknown, though likely to be Lancaster Finishing School.
© Mike Rowlands

75 Squadron names reverse