W.G. Reay crew 14.4.45

The Reay crew.
NZ Bomber Command Assn. archives, David Knight collection.

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 NF935 AA-P

F/L Martin Adam Kilpatrick, RNZAF NZ421919 – Pilot.
F/S William George Reay, RNZAF NZ4211843 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Raymond Sinclair ‘Grub’ Tait, RNZAF NZ4213951 – Navigator.
F/S M. ‘Jock’ Cattanach, RAFVR – Air Bomber.
F/S Wesley Geoffrey ‘Geoff’ Davenport, RAFVR 1817811/ 196353 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Benjamin Charles ‘Ben’ Barton, RAFVR 56702 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Albert ‘Titch’ Halliday, RAFVR 1899145 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Robert ‘Bob’ Olive, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:30 – Landed 19:08
Flight Time 06:38

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.III LM728 dnc ??-R

F/O Charles Mackenzie Stevens, RNZAF NZ4210535 – Pilot.
F/S William George Reay, RNZAF NZ4211843 – 2nd Pilot.
F/S Leslie Robert Hall, RNZAF NZ429331 – Navigator.
Sgt. James Harold ‘Jim’ Saunders, RAFVR 1392219/ 196874 – Air Bomber.
F/S W.E. Campin, RAFVR 1673010 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Leslie ‘Les’ Hofert, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. W. Jones, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. George Giles, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:41 – Landed 22:37
Flight Time 03:56

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 HK600 JN-K “Kiwi”

F/O Leslie Gordon ‘Bill’ Sinclair, RNZAF NZ428917 – Pilot.
F/O William George Reay, RNZAF NZ4211843 – 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.
Sgt. George Painting, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Alan McRobert, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William ‘Bill Glover , RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:31 – Landed 02:14
Flight Time 05:43

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.III PB421 AA-P

F/S William George Reay, RNZAF NZ4211843 – Pilot.
F/O David Knight, RNZAF NZ433310 – Navigator.
F/O Robin Douglas Matthews, RNZAF NZ4212741 – Air Bomber.
F/S Keith David Cunningham, RNZAF NZ4215814 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Harry Patrick Carr , RNZAF NZ402678 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Robert Alfred Olsen , RNZAF NZ431204 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ronald ‘Ronnie’ Craft, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:26 – Landed 02:45
Flight Time 08:19

18/04/1945 – Attack on Heligoland
25 aircraft were detailed to attack the target HELIGOLAND. Weather was good with good visibility. Crews were able to identify northern top of Island and also western edge. The rest of the Island was obliterated by smoke. Bomb bursts on fires. The crews bombed as ordered by the Master Bomber and bombing was thought to be well concentrated, but there was some overshooting as well as undershooting.

Lancaster Mk.I HK562 AA-L

F/S William George Reay, RNZAF NZ4211843 – Pilot.
F/L Nelson Hugh Bawden, RNZAF NZ421313 – Navigator.
F/O Robin Douglas Matthews, RNZAF NZ4212741 – Air Bomber.
F/S Keith David Cunningham, RNZAF NZ4215814 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Harry Patrick Carr , RNZAF NZ402678 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Robert Alfred Olsen , RNZAF NZ431204 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ronald ‘Ronnie’ Craft, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 10:32 – Landed 15:06
Flight Time 04:34

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 HK561 dnc AA-Y

F/S William George Reay, RNZAF NZ4211843 – Pilot.
Sgt. D. Brookes , RAFVR – Navigator.
F/O Robin Douglas Matthews, RNZAF NZ4212741 – Air Bomber.
F/S Keith David Cunningham, RNZAF NZ4215814 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Harry Patrick Carr , RNZAF NZ402678 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Robert Alfred Olsen , RNZAF NZ431204 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ronald ‘Ronnie’ Craft, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 08:01 – Landed 09:36
Flight Time 01:35

05/05/1945 – Supply Dropping at the Hague
4 Aircraft were detailed for Supply Dropping at the Hague. The mission was uneventful.

Lancaster Mk.I PB763 AA-M

F/S William George Reay, RNZAF NZ4211843 – Pilot.
Sgt. R. Dyson, RAFVR – Navigator.
F/O Robin Douglas Matthews, RNZAF NZ4212741 – Air Bomber.
F/S Keith David Cunningham, RNZAF NZ4215814 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Harry Patrick Carr , RNZAF NZ402678 – Flight Engineer.

Take Off 06:03 – Landed 08:25
Flight Time 02:22

11/05/1945 – Repatriation of Prisoners of War at Juvincourt
Two missions were made today. 15 Aircraft were detailed for the first mission, and 6 Aircraft for the second mission. F/O H. Trewheela and crew were on both missions. Repatriation of Prisoners of War at Juvincourt was the objective. F/O H. Trewheela (JN.F) starboard outer failed as he approached the landing field. He returned to Base without landing, and he reached Juvincourt on the second mission, but was refused permission to land and told to return to Base. F/O R. Milsom (AA.F) had engine trouble at Tangmere and his return was delayed. A total of 336 men returned for the first mission. Weather deteriorated during the day and only 48 men were brought back by the second mission.F/L S. Peryer (JN.N) returned from Juvincourt on three engines. F/O T. Good (AA.S) was forced to land at Upwood on return due to weather conditions.

Lancaster Mk.III PB132 AA-T

F/S William George Reay, RNZAF NZ4211843 – Pilot.
F/S David Knight, RNZAF NZ433310 – Navigator.
F/O Robin Douglas Matthews, RNZAF NZ4212741 – Air Bomber.
F/S Keith David Cunningham, RNZAF NZ4215814 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Harry Patrick Carr , RNZAF NZ402678 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Robert Alfred Olsen , RNZAF NZ431204 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ronald ‘Ronnie’ Craft, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:39 – Landed 18:25
Flight Time 06:46

13/05/1945 – Evacuation of Prisoners of War from Juvincourt
20 Aircraft were detailed to evacuate Prisoners of War from Juvincourt. This was a bad day, for only 24 men were bought back, and these men were bought back by F/S R. Hamilton (AA.F)

Lancaster Mk.I NN747 AA-D

F/S William George Reay, RNZAF NZ4211843 – Pilot.
F/S R. Gray, RAFVR – Navigator.
F/O Robin Douglas Matthews, RNZAF NZ4212741 – Air Bomber.
F/S Keith David Cunningham, RNZAF NZ4215814 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Harry Patrick Carr , RNZAF NZ402678 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Robert Alfred Olsen , RNZAF NZ431204 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Ronald ‘Ronnie’ Craft, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:52 – Landed 16:41
Flight Time 03:49

26/05/1945 – Repatriation of Belgian Refugees to Brussells and Exprisoners of War to England
7 Aircraft were detailed for the repatriation of 71 Belgian refugees. 120 ex Prisoners of War were brought back on the return trips. Flight Lieutenant Lukins was involved in a slight mishap at Brussels and some of the crew were brought back by another aircraft.

Lancaster Mk.I NF935 AA-P

F/O William George Reay, RNZAF NZ4211843 – Pilot.
F/S David Knight, RNZAF NZ433310 – Navigator.
F/O Robin Douglas Matthews, RNZAF NZ4212741 – Air Bomber.
F/S Keith David Cunningham, RNZAF NZ4215814 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Harry Patrick Carr , RNZAF NZ402678 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Robert Alfred Olsen , RNZAF NZ431204 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Ronald ‘Ronnie’ Craft, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:46 – Landed 18:29
Flight Time 06:43

31/05/1945 – Viewing the Effects of the Bombing Offensive
4 Aircraft were detailed to view of the effects of the bombing offensive. Command personnel were taken in two of the aircraft.

Lancaster Mk.- – —

F/O William George Reay, RNZAF NZ4211843 – Pilot.
F/S Walter Kenneth Dalzell, RNZAF NZ433854 – Navigator.
F/O Robin Douglas Matthews, RNZAF NZ4212741 – Air Bomber.
F/S Ralph Jeffrey, RAFVR 1868869 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Harry Patrick Carr , RNZAF NZ402678 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Raymond Trevor Bowes, RNZAF NZ424066 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Ronald ‘Ronnie’ Craft, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 09:36 – Landed 14:58
Flight Time 05:22

25/06/1945 – Viewing the Effects of the Bombing Offensive

Lancaster Mk.I NF935 AA-P
Recorded as NF936, however only recorded instance. Based on letter designator, this is probably NF935

F/O William George Reay, RNZAF NZ4211843 – Pilot.
F/O Kenneth Raffill Wood, RNZAF NZ4212783 – Navigator.
F/O Robin Douglas Matthews, RNZAF NZ4212741 – Air Bomber.
F/S Ralph Jeffrey, RAFVR 1868869 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Harry Patrick Carr , RNZAF NZ402678 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Raymond Trevor Bowes, RNZAF NZ424066 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Stuart Henry McKecknie, RNZAF NZ4216737 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 09:30 – Landed 13:41
Flight Time 04:11

25/06/1945 – Checking German Radar Equipment
21 aircraft were detailed for the Postmortem operation for checking German Radar Equipment. W/O S. Sutherland (JN.K)had to make an early return through flat accumulators, but took off again in JN.T and completed the operation. F/L S. Peryer (JN.V)had a petrol leak and made an early return on three engines.

Lancaster Mk.I HK576 AA-L

F/O William George Reay, RNZAF NZ4211843 – Pilot.
P/O Kenneth Raffill Wood, RNZAF NZ4212783 – Navigator.
F/O Robin Douglas Matthews, RNZAF NZ4212741 – Air Bomber.
F/S Ralph Jeffrey, RAFVR 1868869 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Harry Patrick Carr , RNZAF NZ402678 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Raymond Trevor Bowes, RNZAF NZ424066 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Stuart Henry McKecknie, RNZAF NZ4216737 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 09:59 – Landed 15:51
Flight Time 05:52