W.I. Collett crew 21.05.40 †

21/05/1940 – Bombing Operations over Enemy Territory (Aachen and Dinant)
Eight aircraft detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks on above targets, six on target AACHEN and two on target DINANT.
All aircraft carried 12 – 250lbs. G.P. fused N.D.T. bombs each.

KCB.248 dropped 12 bombs on Marshalling yards and scored direct hits, and also KCB.249.
KCB. 252 failed to locate target and returned to base with bomb load.

KCB.253, KCB.256, KCB257 successfully attacked target, but unable to observe results due to intense searchlight activity. KCB.256 proceeded and attacked Power Station on S.E. of MAASTRICHT dropping three sticks of two bombs each. Two hits seen on railway siding beside station.

KCB.267 attacked road and rail bridge at DINANT, all strikes very near.

KCB.266 also on target failed to return.

Wellington Mk.1c L.7797 dnc AA-F

S/L Wilfred Ira Collett, RAF 34232 – Pilot.
P/O Arthur George Lee Humphreys, RAF/ RNZAF 36241/ NZ2449 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Reid, RAFVR – Observer.
LAC Williams, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
P/O John Outerson William Kenneth Ferris, RAF 77931 – Rear Gunner .

Take Off 21:25 – Landed 02:45
Flight Time 05:20

23/05/1940 – Bombing Operations over Enemy Territory
Six Wellington aircraft detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks, but just prior to taking off one machine (KCB.274 F/O Williams) developed engine trouble and did not go.

12 – 250 lbs. G.P. bombs were carried by each aircraft. KCB.272 attacked target in two shallow dives dropping a stick of 6 bombs on each run. Results not definitely known due to searchlights, but bursts seen near bridge, which was object of attack. KCB.275 reports that on his E.T.A over target came down through clouds and found himself to be in ring of 12 searchlights with a small amount of light flak coming up. . Two sticks of 3 bombs each dropped on centre of flash and three sticks of two bombs each dropped on different groups, which went out and stayed out.

A stick of 12 bombs were dropped along direction of BRUSSELS – GEMBLOUX railway line by KCB. 279, results not known again due to searchlights. Results not observed by KCB,280 who attacked target on cross roads by diving and releasing a stick of 12 bombs.

KCB.281 did not locate target, but located a convoy of approximately 50 vehicles in road between WAVRE and GEMBLOUX on which he dropped a stick of six bombs. Second stick of six dropped on row of searchlights bordering NAMUR. Two direct hits estimated.

On the whole observations of ground activity were very obscured due to large amount of cloud extending over whole of target area. Black-out over whole area exceptionally good. All aircraft experienced both light and heavy flak, especially accurate light flak from NAMUR.

Searchlights very active and accurate, seen to be operating in groups of up to 12 in most areas. No enemy aircraft observed. The weather was not good, very heavy cumulus clouds extending from 5,000 to 14,000 feet with ice accretion being experienced over 8,000ft. Clouds too thick to gain advantage from moon. Navigation by D/R. on way out and by D/R and homing bearings on return journey.

Wellington Mk.1A P.9209 AA-B

S/L Wilfred Ira Collett, RAF 34232 – Pilot.
P/O Donald Joseph Harkness, RAF 41694 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Henry Hughes, RAF 550880 – Observer.
AC Thomas Leonard Mumby, RAFVR 624569 – Wireless Operator.
P/O Malcolm James Miller, RAF 75697 – Rear Gunner .

Take Off 21:25 – Landed 01:35
Flight Time 04:10

28/05/1940 – Bombing Operations over Enemy Territory Roulers and Menin)
Seven aircraft detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks on above targets. Only two able to definitely locate target, which they bombed (due to bad visibility)
A mixed bomb load was ordered NCB.307 and 314 carried 11 – 250lbs. G.P. and one case of incendiary each. NCB.308, 309 and 317, 12 – 250lbs. while NCB.315 and 516 carried 6 – 500lbs. G.P.’s.

NCB.308 reports that he attacked target by dive bombing from 2,500 feet in two successive dives and dropped bombs in stick of six each time. Direct hits seen on centre of target, and many lights seen to extinguish.

NCB.516 reports that he located target from 5,000 feet and carried out precision bombing as follows:- One bomb 5,000 feet, two bombs from 5,500 feet and three bombs from 4,000 feet, results not observed owing to pall of smoke over whole area.

Night poor for observations, only thing of importance reported was large fires around all main centres.

Very little A.A. Fire encountered by any aircraft, and such as was being inaccurate.
Searchlights quite active over whole of area but no trouble experienced in evading area.
No enemy aircraft were observed.
Weather not good, heavy rain squalls experienced throughout whole journey. Over the target area the cloud base was broken at 1,000 feet and high clouds extended up to 12,000 feet. Thunderstorms very prevalent. Heavy ground mist experienced on return to Base and 5 aircraft ordered to land at MILDENHALL.
Navigation by D/R and homing bearings.

Wellington Mk.1c R.3166 dnc AA-M

S/L Wilfred Ira Collett, RAF 34232 – Pilot.
P/O Arthur George Lee Humphreys, RAF/ RNZAF 36241/ NZ2449 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. James George Simpkin, RAFVR 580847 – Observer.
LAC Williams, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
P/O John Outerson William Kenneth Ferris, RAF 77931 – Rear Gunner .

Take Off 23:00 – Landed 02:10
Flight Time 03:10

31/05/1940 – Bombing Attacks on Target G.1 Nieuport
Nine aircraft detailed to carry out individual attacks on target, but one failed to locate same and returned to BASE with bombs.
Seven aircraft carried 7 – 500lbs. G.P. bombs while remaining two carried 14 – 250 lbs G.P. bombs each. PCB.320 reports that he dropped bombs in three sticks of 4,5,6 bombs each, first caused violent explosions and large fires in target area. Second and third seen to burst near first, no accurate observation made. PCB.321 reports that lights observed on road S.E. of NIEUPORT and stick of 7 – 500lbs. G.P. bombs dropped. Large fire started, numerous red and white flashes commenced after burst. All lights went out.

PCB.324 failed to locate target at NIEUPORT but attacked dock area at OSTEND with stick of 14 – 250lbs. G.P. bombs. Many direct hits registered on docks.

PCB326 first dropped single bomb from 4,500 ft. and direct hit on town observed, two sticks three bombs then next dropped at different times one burst starting a large fire.

PCB.327 failed to locate target and returned to base with bomb load.

PCB.329 attacked target by level bombing from 3,000ft. Three bursts observed in town, and one bomb on second run a direct hit on road which joins OSTEND – NIEUPORT.

PCB.330 dropped stick of 7 – 500lbs. G.P. bombs and hits observed on main road junction on East side of town.

PCB.332 reports that owing to smoke over target area, impossible to see results of dropping 7 – 500lbs. G.P’s in stick from 3,500ft.

Due to bad visibility over the target area, PCB.335 bombed enemy activity searchlights and A.A. Battery two miles South of POPERINGHE.

Night was poor for observations due to low cloud and smoke pall, but many lights seen along beach, artillery in region of GRAVELINES and many large fires round DUNKIRK.
Very little A.A. Fire experienced, searchlights around OSTEND, and one in target area active. Some put out of action by machine-gun fire. No enemy aircraft seen Weather not the best, 10/10 cloud being predominant and heavy rain showers experienced.
Navigation by D/R and Map reading on way out and by D/R and homing bearings on return.

Wellington Mk.1c R.3166 AA-M

S/L Wilfred Ira Collett, RAF 34232 – Pilot.
P/O Arthur George Lee Humphreys, RAF/ RNZAF 36241/ NZ2449 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. James George Simpkin, RAFVR 580847 – Observer.
LAC Williams, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
P/O John Outerson William Kenneth Ferris, RAF 77931 – Rear Gunner .

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

03/06/1940 – Bombing Attack on Target A.28 DUSSELDORF
Eight aircraft detailed to carry out individual attacks, and all carried same bomb load 1.e. 8 – 250lbs. G.P. N.D.T.., 1 – 250lbs. 8hr delay, and one case of incendiaries each.

PCB.339 attacked the target in a level bombing run from 11,000 feet bombs were dropped in a stick of 9 and a number of direct hits were observed and a small fire was started. PCB.341 located the target and precision bombed it with two sticks, height 9,000 feet. The only results observed were those of the incendiaries which burst about 200 yards West of Target.

PCB.346 reports that the target was located without difficulty. All bombs were dropped in one stick from a height of 9,000 feet. Owing to glare of searchlights, bursts were not observed, although it was thought that the target was most likely hit.

PCB.347 reports he carried out his attack from 12,000 feet. A stick of 5 – 250lbs. Bombs being dropped on the target and a further 5 dropped on a wharf at UDESHEIM which could be seen quite clearly by the aid of a parachute flare.

PCB.348 had the misfortune to develop engine trouble when only 5 miles from the target. Searchlights were bombed in the vicinity of KREFOLD two bombs and one container of incendiaries dropped on what appeared to be a factory in VENLOO, hits observed and a fire started.

PCB.353 All bombs were dropped in a stick and were seen to straddle the target, which they found already burning. The incendiaries themselves fell right beside the fire at the target and greatly intensified same.

PCB.354 reports dropping a stick of 9 – -250lbs. G.P. and one container of incendiaries across the target. Near misses were observed and fires were started in the proximity of the target. A dull red fire emitting clouds of black smoke was also seen near the Eastern boundary. Owing to the industrial haze accurate observations could not be made.

PCB.355 reports that the target was located from 10,000 feet at which height he carried out a level bombing attack. On the first run over, and attempt to drop the bombs in a stick failed, so a second run was made and bombs released in a salvo.

Direct hits were observed an explosion occurred followed by a large file, which could still be seen burning a long time after the aircraft had set course for Base.

All aircraft crews report very heavy A.A. Fire in the region of ROTTERDAM airport. There appeared to be many misleading lights in the target area. Presumably the idea being that these would be bombed instead of the real objective. Outside of these odd lights the black-out over the whole of the area was extremely good. Some curious flares were observed off the Danish coast in position 51° 40’ N, 02° 36’ E. These appeared to be stationed on the water.

Very little flak was experienced by any of the aircraft in the target area and such as was, was not very accurate. For miles around the target area searchlights were in great numbers and were very active. Due to ground haze, they appeared to have difficulty in locating the aircraft, but pilots report that if they were held for any short period, no trouble was experienced in getting out of same again. PCB339 and PCB.353 report that thy each had a single engine aircraft fly near them while approaching the target area.

The night was good, there being practically no cloud during any part of the route, a slight ground haze made the target fairly hard to locate Fog was encountered on returning to Base, and some aircraft had to be directed to other aerodromes.
Navigation was by D/R and Map reading on the outward journey and by D’R and homing bearings on the return trip.

Wellington Mk.1c R.3166 AA-M
Raid No. PCB.353 A.28

S/L Wilfred Ira Collett, RAF 34232 – Pilot.
P/O Arthur George Lee Humphreys, RAF/ RNZAF 36241/ NZ2449 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. James George Simpkin, RAFVR 580847 – Observer.
Sgt. Williams, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
P/O John Outerson William Kenneth Ferris, RAF 77931 – Rear Gunner .

Take Off 22:25 – Landed 02:50
Flight Time 04:25

05/06/1940 – Bombing Attacks on Cross-Roads and Marshalling Yards at CAMBRAI
The seven aircraft were detailed to carry out individual attacks on above target.
Two aircraft carried 6 – 500lbs. bombs each (GP) while remaining five carried 12 – 250lbs. bombs each (GP).

PCB.367 reports that the target was located from the lights of flares dropped. The target was precision bombed from 9,000ft, one 500lbs. G.P. bomb was dropped on South East road junction. A stick of 3 – 500lbs. bombs was then dropped on the road running North East out of town, results not observed due to the local ground haze.

PCB.368 also located that target with aid of parachute flares and carried out a shallow dive attack from 10,000 to 7,500ft, from which height bombs released. Two runs made, a stick of 6 – 250lbs bombs dropped on each run. Sticks seen on main crossroads after each run.

PCB.369 failed to locate given target, so carried out attack on enemy searchlights. Convoy bombed in vicinity of target. Bursts seen, but results unobserved owing to widespread haze.
PCB.370 made run across target from 9,000ft and dropped 6 – -500lbs. bombs in a slow stick. Hits again not seen due to local haze on ground.

PCB.371 attacked railway line and junction at CAMBRAI, dropping all bombs in slow stick, and estimated to have straddled target. Haze again interfered with observations etc..

PCB.372 reports that owing to an error in identifying target DOUAI bombed instead of CAMRAI.
Six 250lbs. bombs dropped in level attack at 6,000ft. One bomb observed along side of railway yard. Next a factory on South side of town attacked and remainder of bombs dropped in two runs. Four bursts observed some 200 feet short of target.

PCB.373 attacked WSW and SSW approaches to town dropped 12 – 250lbs in two sticks. Haze and glare of searchlights prevented results being observed.

Aerodrome on West side of DOUAI reported blazing fiercely after heavy bombing. Only little inaccurate light flak reported over target area, but heavy over DOUAI. Searchlights numerous at all town centres. With abiut 30 around target itself. A clear sky encountered over whole journey, but heavy ground haze made observation difficult.
Navigation by D\R and homing bearings.

Wellington Mk.1c R.3166 AA-M
Raid No. PCB.370 Cambrai

S/L Wilfred Ira Collett, RAF 34232 – Pilot.
P/O Arthur George Lee Humphreys, RAF/ RNZAF 36241/ NZ2449 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. James George Simpkin, RAFVR 580847 – Observer.
Sgt. Williams, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
P/O John Outerson William Kenneth Ferris, RAF 77931 – Rear Gunner .

Take Off 22:05 – Landed 02:15
Flight Time 04:10

07/06/1940 – Bombing Attacks on CHIMAY, ST. VALERY, ABBEVILLE, PONT REMY
Eight aircraft detailed to carry out individual attacks and allotted targets. Seven aircraft carried 8- 250lbs. G.P. N.D.T. and two 500;bs. G.P. bombs, but PCB.376 carried 5- 250lbs. G.P. N.D.T. and six containers of 4lbs. incendiary bombs.

PCB.376 reports that target located after dropping large delay parachute flare. Two 250lbs. first dropped on road junction, and then containers of incendiaries. Numerous explosions observed and fires started. Remaining 2 – 250lbs. bombs dropped on road junction one mile South of BAILLEUX. Hits observed. Woods and searchlights then machine-gunned from 1,500ft.

PCB.387 allotted target ST.VALERY, which he located and dive bombed with stick of 6 – 250lbs G.P. bombs. Fell across road, rail and canal, and hits observed. A second stick dropped by dive bombing, and one 500lbs. bomb seen to be direct hit on road bridge across SOMME. All bombs released from 1,200ft after diving 3,800ft.

PCB.388 allotted same target as PCB.387 and reports that he dropped all bombs in stick from 9,00 feet. Bridge seen quite clearly and bursts seen in cluster on bridge head junction.

PCB.389 on same target, bombed it with 2 – 250lbs, and 2 – 500lbs. bombs, carried out in a dive from 5,000 – 3,000ft. Aerodrome at ABBEVILLE and cross-roads on ABBEVILLE – HOSDIN road then attacked with 3 – 250lbs. bombs on each objective. Bursts seen, but results no observed.

PCB.390 also on target ST.VALERY, but one hour late in take off due to an enemy air raid alarm, with a result that on reaching target area, found to be covered with low fog and after flying around for a time task given up and bombs brought back to base.

PCB.391 reports that 2 – 250lbs. and 2 – 500lbs. dropped on PONT ST.REMY, results unobserved. 6 – 250lbs bombs then dropped on mechanised convoy on ABBEVILLE – AUXI LE CHATEAU road. Hits were registered.

PCB.392 unable to locate bridge at PONT REMY owing to heavy smoke haze. ABBEVILLE bombed with 6 – 250lbs. bombs in three runs at 6,000ft. ABBEVILLE aerodrome then attacked with remaining bombs. Bursts observed on SW side of landing ground.

PCB.393 reports that due to very bad ground haze unable to pin-point object of attack. So very persistent searchlight and single A.A. gun attacked. Next stick of 5- 250lbs. and 2 – 500lbs, bombs dropped on Eastern extremity of PONT REMY. Bursts seen, results unobserved.

Due to low lying fog and smoke haze over most of target area, little activity seen on ground. Very little A.A. fire experienced by any of aircraft concerned, although PCB.387 whose aircraft was machine gunned from bridge head at ST.VALERY found one bullet hole in Starboard wing, causing extensive damage to main spar.
Very little activity by searchlights.
A clear cloudless sky encountered over whole of journey, but heavy ground haze made location of target difficult, and fog at Base on return necessitated two aircraft PCB.389 and PCB.391 to be directed to other aerodromes.
Navigation by D/R and home bearings.

Wellington Mk.1c R.3166 AA-M
Raid No. PCB.391 ABBEVILLE

S/L Wilfred Ira Collett, RAF 34232 – Pilot.
P/O Arthur George Lee Humphreys, RAF/ RNZAF 36241/ NZ2449 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. James George Simpkin, RAFVR 580847 – Observer.
Sgt. Williams, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
P/O John Outerson William Kenneth Ferris, RAF 77931 – Rear Gunner .

Take Off 21:35 – Landed 02:15
Flight Time 04:40

09/06/1940 – Bombing Attacks over Enemy Territory
All aircraft carried 4 – 250lbs. G.P. bombs fused N.D.T. and 6 containers of incendiaries.
FCB.395 on target ROCROI and G.5, reports that he dropped 4 containers of incendiaries in target areas and forest fires started. Four 250lbs. G.P. bombs dropped on ROCROI and seen to burst through town, but results unobserved.

FCB.394 on target ROCROI and REVIN, located river MEUSE on E.T.A. by parachute flare and position finally fixed at REVIN. Two 250lbs. bombs dropped from 5,000ft on road 1 mile South of REVIN. Fires started in woods by incendiaries, and had good hold before aircraft left area. A near miss on ROCROI fell on road NW of town. Vehicle machine gunned 2 miles West of THOROUT and lights extinguished.

FCB.397 allotted target CHAREVILLE & G6, started four large fires in area of G6, and dropped stick of 4 – 250lbs. bombs on CHARLEVILLE starting two large fires of a dull red and circular nature.

FCB.402 bombed target G9 with incendiaries, and large fire started in woods between MONTHERME and BRAUX. A stick of four 250lbs. bombs dropped on MEZIERES, owing to intense searchlight glare results not observed.

FCB.411 on target ROCROI and REVIN reports that woods precision bombed with 6 containers of incendiaries and 2 500lbs bombs, starting small fires and causing small explosions, a large blue flash followed immediately by a yellow flash observed. Two 250lbs. bombs dropped over ROCROI from 9,000 feet, again searchlight activity prevented observations.

Heavily defended part of CHARLEVILLE bombed by FCB.396, searchlights extinguished, and load of incendiaries dropped on target G6 close to river. Numerous fires started and explosions caused.

Other aircraft on target G9, FCB.403 reports attacking target by dive bombing dropping incendiaries on woods, starting fires. Town of MEZIERES bombed with 250lbs, bombs but one held up and brought back. Little activity between DUNKIRK and CHARLEVILLE target area heavily defended, numerous white moving lights seen in woods North of G.6 Intense and accurate A.A. fire experienced in target area and FCB.402’s aircraft hit in Port wing by shrapnel splinters. Searchlights intensively accurate all over target area. FCB.402 heavily machine-gunned same, without visual effect. One HE110 seen by FCB.395single engine machine fired at FCB.411, but sheared off after retaliation by rear gunner. Weather cloudless and clear in target area. Navigation by D/R and homing bearings.

Wellington Mk.1c R.3166 AA-M
Raid No. FCB.395 ROCROI & G5

S/L Wilfred Ira Collett, RAF 34232 – Pilot.
P/O Arthur George Lee Humphreys, RAF/ RNZAF 36241/ NZ2449 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. James George Simpkin, RAFVR 580847 – Observer.
Sgt. Williams, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
P/O John Outerson William Kenneth Ferris, RAF 77931 – Rear Gunner .

Take Off 23:00 – Landed 03:05
Flight Time 04:05

11/06/1940 – Bombing Operations – FUMAY
Two aircraft carried out individual attacks both with same bomb load, i.e. 3 – 250lbs. G.P. bombs and 6 containers 25lbs incendiaries.

KCB.416 reports that fires seen to be started by incendiaries , an ammunition or pyrotechnic dump fired by same. Three 250lbs. bombs dropped through ring of searchlights and one blown up by direct hit.

KCB.417 reports that target was bombed on E.T.A. Three 250lbs bombs and three containers of incendiaries seen to start four fires, which could be seen for twenty miles when on return journey. A large greenish flash observed in centre of fires.

Due to the extremely bad weather conditions prevailing to and from, and over target area, no important observations were made..

Intense light and heavy flak experienced by both aircraft while over target area.

Heavy concentration of searchlights in target area, but no difficulty in avoiding same. No enemy aircraft observed. Weather very bad 10/10 cloud experienced over practically whole route covered, and in target area clouds down to 1,000 feet.

Navigation by D/R and homing bearings, with assistance of flares while over target area.

Wellington Mk.1c R.3171 AA-E
Raid No. KCB.416 FUMAY

S/L Wilfred Ira Collett, RAF 34232 – Pilot.
P/O Arthur George Lee Humphreys, RAF/ RNZAF 36241/ NZ2449 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. James George Simpkin, RAFVR 580847 – Observer.
Sgt. Williams, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
P/O John Outerson William Kenneth Ferris, RAF 77931 – Rear Gunner .

Take Off 22:00 – Landed 02:00
Flight Time 04:00

13/06/1940 – Bombing Attacks on Targets G9 and G6.
Three aircraft carried 6 – 500lbs G.P. bombs each, while remaining four carried 12 – 250lbs. bombs each.

KCB.422 reports that due to bad weather in vicinity of target unable to locate same, so dropped bombs on aerodrome at CALAIS. Bursts observed, but no results obtained due to searchlight activity.

KCB.423 located and attacked target, but did not observe result of bomb bursts due to local haze.

KCB.424 failed to locate target due to 10/10 cloud at 1000ft. Attacked dock area at BOULGNE after search, in shallow dive to 6,000ft, dropping all bombs. Hits observed and big explosion seen to occur.

KCB.425 also failed to locate target, so carried out attack on approaches to LE TOUQUET.

KCB.430 located his target and carried out attack from 10,000 feet dropping 6 – 500lbs bombs in stick. Bursts seen on objective, but results not known.

KCB431 attacked target with 3 – 500lbs bombs the only result observed on road junction at Eastern edge of town. Other 3 – 500lbs bombs independently dropped on A.A. batteries with good results.

KCB.433 successfully located target and was about to attack town when convoy of approximately 12 vehicles seen. Convoy then object of attack and 4 – 500lbs bombs dropped. Three direct hits seen, remaining bomb falling on road ahead of first vehicle. Two other 500lbs bombs dropped on outer edge of latter, bursts seen but damage not known. Attack carried out from 6,000 feet in shallow dive.

Due to bad weather around target areas, no observations were made.
A.A. Fire fairly intensive, but inaccurate light flak experienced by most of crews while in vicinity of target. Heavy flak fire not encountered by any of crews concerned.
Searchlights fairy active over whole of target area and at all main towns encountered on route to and from targets.
No enemy aircraft encountered.
Weather on route, not good, 10/10 cloud experienced up to 10,000ft. In area of target G6 fairly good, but heavy ground haze at G9 made pin-pointing difficult. Navigation by D/R and homing bearings and visual fixes.

Wellington Mk.1c R.3166 AA-M
Raid No. KCB.423 G9

S/L Wilfred Ira Collett, RAF 34232 – Pilot.
P/O Arthur George Lee Humphreys, RAF/ RNZAF 36241/ NZ2449 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. James George Simpkin, RAFVR 580847 – Observer.
Sgt. Williams, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
P/O John Outerson William Kenneth Ferris, RAF 77931 – Rear Gunner .

Take Off 21:40 – Landed 02:20
Flight Time 04:40

19/06/1940 – Bombing Attacks on Targets M.39 and L.82.
Eight aircraft detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks. Five aircraft carried 5 – 500lbs. S.A.P. bombs, two 5 – 500lbs. G.P. bombs, and the remaining one carried 9 – 250lbs. bombs and one case of incendiaries.

LCB.462 reports that his bombs dropped in shallow dive attack at 5,000feet. Results unobserved.

LCB.463 dropped stick of 5 – 500lbs S.A.P. bombs from N to S over target. Hits believed to have been attained. Target first attacked by dive bombing to 2,000 feet, but had to be broken off due to intense light flak, so level attack carried out then at 7,000 feet.

LCB.464 kept in formation with LCB.462 until target located, as instructed. Attack carried out in shallow dive from 8,000 to 5,000 feet, at which height bombs released. Bursts observed on Western bank along-side lock gates. Damage inflicted, not noted.

LCB.465 reports that bombing results were not observed.

LCB.466 reports weather conditions assisted in location of target, moon illuminated target. A good run and sight made and close stick dropped, but bursts not observed, as they were S.A.P. bombs.
At base of dive from 10,400 to 7,500 feet LCB.467 released stick of bombs, although target clearly visible, nil results observed.

After failing to locate target owing to ground haze, LCB.474 attacked rail and road bridge at DUSSELDORF. Stick of five overshot target area. Appeared to fall in what might have been docks on Rhine.

LCB.475 attacked from SE to NW along parallel railway and road from COLOGNE in shallow dive releasing bombs in stick, with incendiaries following. Six bursts observed between road and railway. Every possibility of hit indicated, grey smoke seen last coming from position of bomb bursts. Incendiaries caused initial fires, but doubtful whether would last.
Balloons noticed flying over all main towns on route to and from target and over AMSTERDAM, height 6,000 to 8,000 feet.

Heavy flak noticed over OSNABRUCK and numerous searchlights, also over AMSTERDAM.

LCB.462 reports that one ME.109 seen off Dutch Coast at 8,000 feet, did not attack.

Weather good over whole part of route and moon to pilots advantage.
Navigation by D/R and visual fixes and homing bearings.

Wellington Mk.1c R.3166 AA-M
Raid No. LCB.465 M.39

S/L Wilfred Ira Collett, RAF 34232 – Pilot.
P/O Arthur George Lee Humphreys, RAF/ RNZAF 36241/ NZ2449 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. James George Simpkin, RAFVR 580847 – Observer.
Sgt. Williams, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Robert Gordon Holford, RNZAF NZ39966 – Rear Gunner .

Take Off 21:55 – Landed 03:30
Flight Time 05:35

24/06/1940 – Bombing Attacks on Targets F.19 & A.108
One of eight aircraft detailed to carry out individual attacks, five carried 7 – 250lbs bombs and one case of incendiaries each, remaining aircraft on target A.108 carried 10 – 250lbs bombs and one case of incendiaries each.

LCB.483 reports that no results observed due to heavy haze over target area.

LCB.484 reports that bombs dropped in stick at base of a dive, interval between bombs of .5 second, but results of 350lbs bombs not observed.

LCB.485 unable to locate exact position of F.19 so bombs dropped from E to W on South side of KASSEL. One 250lbs bomb observed to burst, and fires started by incendiaries, large explosion followed by a gush of white flame from centre of the fires.

LCB.489 located target by following autobahn and river from MUNDEN. Bombs dropped in stick in shallow dive from SW to NE, bursts observed. Have prevented further observations.

LCB,490 attacked secondary target (M434) at HAMM (Railway Marshalling Yards). Weather conditions made task difficult. Whole bomb loads dropped from 12,000 ft. Railway lines seen clearly in Marshalling yards and bursts seen in vicinity, large fires observed to follow.
Target F.19 not attacked by KCB.491 town and Eastern approaches not distinguishable. Flak Battery at KASSEL bombed, ceased firing, aerodrome buildings at LIPPSTADT, and flak Battery on outskirts of MUNSTER, where incendiaries caused fires. Battery did not resume fire.

LCB.501 reports DORTMUND located and although actual factory not seen, vicinity located and bombed. All bombs being dropped in one stick and all bursts observed, but results could not be ascertained. High level attack at 9,500 feet.

In target area a flare dropped by LCB.502 which illuminated target, but extinguished before bombing run completed. No other flares dropped due to thick haze. Blast furnaces in vicinity of A.108 then attacked at 00.35 hours from 9,000 feet. Bomb bursts seen, but no material damage observed. A few small fires started, but did not last more than 2 minutes.

Two balloons observed flying over KASSEL area, and flare path extinguished ay KASSEL aerodrome on approach of first aircraft. Both light and heavy flak experienced over targets. Searchlights numerous and active, and around all main towns. Weather fair throughout, heavy haze over target made identification difficult. Navigation by D/R, visual fixes, and homing bearings.

Wellington Mk.1c R.3166 AA-M
Raid No. LCB.483 F.19

S/L Wilfred Ira Collett, RAF 34232 – Pilot.
P/O Arthur George Lee Humphreys, RAF/ RNZAF 36241/ NZ2449 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. James George Simpkin, RAFVR 580847 – Observer.
Sgt. Williams, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Robert Gordon Holford, RNZAF NZ39966 – Rear Gunner .

Take Off 21:35 – Landed 04:00
Flight Time 06:25

26/06/1940 – Bombing Attacks on Targets M.431, H.49, and M.122
Each of Eight aircraft who took part from this Unit carried 8 – 250lbs. N.D.T., 1 – 250lbs. 6hr. delay bomb, and 1 – 250lbs 12 hr. delay, and one case of 4lbs. incendiary bombs.

DCB.513 reports that results not observed owing to heavy haze over target area.

DCB.514 dropped bombs in stick and three large fires started, and several smaller ones West of target, one very large white explosion observed.

OSNABRUCK located by DCB.515 and level attack from East to West carried out, on Marshalling yards.

Bombs observed to burst on marshalling yard and incendiaries started numerous fires on buildings. Fires were punctuated with many explosions followed by gushes of white flame, still burning when target left.

DCB.516 reports bombs dropped on railway bridges one mile east of VOLLINGHOUSEN. All bombs seen to burst and flaming debris appeared to come to great height. Damage felt to be severe. Bombing height 3,000ft.

DCB.517 reports that bomb load dropped in one salvo, which it is estimated hit target in SE corner. Numerous small fires started, which caused small explosions sometime after target had been left.

Bombs dropped in one stick in level attack by DCB.518 and bursts observed on aerodrome and three in buildings. Large explosion followed burst of one bomb, and for large fires were started.

DCB.519 reports that primary target (M122) Marshalling yards at SCHWERTE located and believed bombed successfully from 12,000ft. Close stick dropped on SW course and eight bursts observed by rear gunner in vicinity of target, and also fires.

Original target at SCWERTE not located by DCB.520 due to thunderstorms, but SCHIPOL attacked by dive bombing from 9,000ft to 2,500ft. A stick of 10 bombs and incendiaries dropped right across aerodrome WSW – ENE about 250 yards from hangars. First three bursts seen, but searchlights prevented anything being seen.

A number of dummy flare paths observed, exact positions not definitely pin-pointed. Balloons seen over HAMM, and A.A. fire fairly intense over OSNABRUCK, very heavy over WAALHAVEN and SCHIPOL. Searchlights very intense over all target areas. Weather not good, thunderstorms prevalent making observations difficult in most areas. Icing experienced above 8,000ft in clouds. Navigation was by D/R, visual fixes and homing bearings.

Wellington Mk.1c R.3166 AA-M
Raid No. DCB.513 M.431

S/L Wilfred Ira Collett, RAF 34232 – Pilot.
P/O Arthur George Lee Humphreys, RAF/ RNZAF 36241/ NZ2449 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. James George Simpkin, RAFVR 580847 – Observer.
Sgt. Williams, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Robert Gordon Holford, RNZAF NZ39966 – Rear Gunner .

Take Off 21:35 – Landed 03:20
Flight Time 05:45

30/06/1940 – Bombing Attacks on Forest South of FRANKFURT
Six aircraft from this unit started out to attack above target individually, with object of setting fire to same, but unfortunately one aircraft had to return to base due to burst oil pipe in rear turrets. (CB.543).

Five of aircraft carried sic containers of 25lbs incendiaries, while sixth machine loaded with six 250lbs special type incendiaries.

CB.541 reports five large fires seen to be burning when left the target area, one in village of WALLDORF, which he claims was bombed inadvertently.

CB.542 reports a line of fires two miles long laid on course 230 degrees Mag. From FRANKFURT. Attack carried out from 11,000ft. Target area left at 00.25hrs, and for distance of 15 miles 14 fires still seen to be burning until cloud obscured them. Thought that fires would not spread to any degree.

In case of CB.543 when over North Sea at 22.40hrs Rotating Service Joint on rear turret blew out, flooding turret with oil and placing turret U/S. Was decided to return to base, rather than carry on.

Bombs dropped from 9,000ft by CB.544 at nine second intervals, to give half mile interval. Bombs not observed to burst, but four small isolated fires observed at approx. 5 minutes after bombs dropped.

CB.545 reports that area given to bomb located after some difficulty bombs were dropped as per instructions. Fires seen to start, but greatly diminished before leaving, but did not completely go out.

An exact pin-point could not be obtained, but position determined as just South West of FRANKFURT. Every ½ miles bombed in circle, but fires did not persist.

Balloons seen to be flying at COLOGNE and over FRANKFURT, and a little inaccurate light flak over latter experienced. Many hundreds of searchlights over the RUHR and a few at FRANKFURT, while none over target itself.

Weather good throughout trip, over target area ground haze made observations difficult. Ground fog experienced on return to base and three aircraft landed safely at WYTON where they were directed.
Navigation by D/R, visual fixes and home bearings.

Wellington Mk.1c R.3166 AA-M
Raid No. CB.541 Forest South of FRANKFURT

S/L Wilfred Ira Collett, RAF 34232 – Pilot.
P/O Arthur George Lee Humphreys, RAF/ RNZAF 36241/ NZ2449 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. James George Simpkin, RAFVR 580847 – Observer.
Sgt. Williams, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
P/O John Outerson William Kenneth Ferris, RAF 77931 – Rear Gunner .

Take Off 21:45 – Landed 03:00
Flight Time 05:15

06/07/1940 – Bombing Attacks on Targets D.1 – Submarine Yards at BREMEN
Five aircraft from this unit were detailed to carry out individual attacks on the above target, but due to extremely bad weather conditions the operation was not a complete success. Only two aircraft reached target and dropped bomb load, remainder returned to base with load intact. CB.580 had trailing aerial carried away due to lightning and bad weather at base was cause of his being ordered to land at ABINGDON, which eventually he eventually did at 03.45 hours.
A very mixed bomb load ordered. Two aircraft carried 4 – 500lbs. N.D.T. and 1 – 250lbs. G.P. 18 hr delay each, CB.584’s load consisted of 3 – 500lbs G.P. bombs fused N.D.T. 1 – 500lbs 18hr delay and 1 – 250lbs bomb fused N.D.T., while the remaining two aircraft carried a load of 6 – 250lbs G.P. bombs fused N.D.T., 2 – 250lbs bombs fused 6hr delay and one case of 4lbs incendiaries each.

CB.579 reports nil results as bombs were all bought back.

Cb.580 reports a stick comprising the whole bomb load was dropped at 00.30 hours through gap in the clouds from 8,000 feet. No results were observed.

CB.584 reports, Nil results observed. A dive attack was made from 12,000 feet to 8,500 feet the bombs being released at the base of the dive.

CB.585 reports, on reaching Dutch coast by D/R navigation flying blind in thick 10/10 clouds, we altered course to base owing to severe icing conditions and trouble with blind flying instruments. We reached an altitude of 11,000 feet and descended to as low as 4,000 feet and were still in cloud at that time.

Target reached by CB.586 at 00.20 hrs after flying through 10/10 cloud from English coast to Germany. A 40 minute search was carried out but it was found impossible to locate BREMEN owing to low cloud. Secondary target at WILHELMSHAVEN also could not be located. Bombs accordingly brought back to base.

Owing to poor weather conditions, nothing of importance was observed. While over target area heavy flak fire experienced by four of aircraft, this was fairly accurate for height, but at all times was seen bursting behind.

Searchlights ineffective at all times due to heavy cloud.

Weather very poor and unfit for the operation detailed. 10/10 cloud was experienced from the English coast to well into the target area, this was from as low as 2,000 feet to 14,000 feet in places. Navigation was by D/R and homing bearings.

Wellington Mk.1c R.3166 dnc AA-M
Raid No. CB.579 D.1

S/L Wilfred Ira Collett, RAF 34232 – Pilot.
P/O Arthur George Lee Humphreys, RAF/ RNZAF 36241/ NZ2449 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. James George Simpkin, RAFVR 580847 – Observer.
Sgt. Williams, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Rennie, RAF – Rear Gunner .

Take Off 21:40 – Landed 03:00
Flight Time 05:20

08/07/1940 – Bombing Attacks on Alternate Target (Z61) for A.73 – Benvine Plant at MORS
Due to bad weather prevailing the six Wellington aircraft detailed to carry out individual attacks on target A.73, Benzine Plant at MORS, had to attack alternate target Z61.
Very mixed bomb load carried, consisting of 500lbs G.P. bombs fused N.D.T. and some 500lbs G.P. 6-18hr delay, 250lbs, G.P.’s and cases of incendiaries , were attached to each aircraft.
CB.589 reports A.73 not attacked owing to 10/10 cloud at 6,000 feet. SCHIPOL aerodrome was attacked by dive bombing from 9,000 feet to 4,000 feet. Three bursts observed on concrete runways and one just off runways. Results of incendiaries not observed, as aircraft violently attacked by light flak and machine gun fire, whilst being held in searchlights.

CB.590 also unable to attack target due to cloud so bombed WAALHAVEN, aerodrome at 00.55hrs. One stick observed to burst near hangars, other on boundary but results of incendiaries not observed.
Bombs and incendiaries seen to burst S.E. of WAALHAVEN aerodrome by CB.591. No fires were seen. No hits on aerodrome.

Results not observed by CB.594 owing to searchlight activity.
CB595 attacked DUSSELDORF aerodrome (LOHAUSEN) from 13,000 feet. All bombs released in one stick falling one hundred yards from Western perimeter lights. Bursts observed and several fires started.

A dive attack made from 9,000ft to 7,500ft by CB.596, the bombs being released at base of dive. Incendiaries seen to cause numerous explosions and fires with thick columns of black smoke. The explosions still taking place 15 minutes after the bombs had hit.

Many lights observed in HOLLAND, a number of enemy aerodromes noted to be active, but all lights extinguished on approach of our aircraft.

A.A. fire was heavy in places of interest and over enemy aerodromes, and searchlights very active over target area and around aerodromes.

CB.589 reports attacking an aircraft with navigation lights, after 200 rounds had ben fired from front guns, lights on other machine extinguished. Results of action not known. CB.591 observed two aircraft take off from WAALHAVEN, but no contact was made.

Weather was clear towards Dutch coast, but 10/10 cloud prevailed over target area.
Navigation by D/R, visual fixes, and homing bearings.

Wellington Mk.1c R.3166 AA-M
Raid No. CB.594 A.73

S/L Wilfred Ira Collett, RAF 34232 – Pilot.
P/O Arthur George Lee Humphreys, RAF/ RNZAF 36241/ NZ2449 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. James George Simpkin, RAFVR 580847 – Observer.
Sgt. Williams, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
P/O John Outerson William Kenneth Ferris, RAF 77931 – Rear Gunner .

Take Off 21:50 – Landed 02:05
Flight Time 04:15

25/07/1940 – Bombing Attacks on targets, F.18, M.434, and KASSEL
Nine Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operations. The Squadron suffered its third loss since began operations when CB.661 (F/O Coleman) failed to return. CB.668 returned to base after being out for 2 1\2hrs, due to electrical trouble.
Total bomb load carried was:- 40 – 250lbs G.P. bombs fused N.D.T., 7 – 250lbs G.P. bombs fused 6hr delay 3 – 500lbs G.P. bombs fused N.D.T., 7 – containers of 4lbs incendiaries.
CB.654 reports, original target A.19 GOTHER not attacked due to low visibility, so aerodrome at KASSEL attacked. Bombs dropped from 12,000ft in level attack. Hits unobserved due to concentrated flak and searchlights.

One 250lbs bomb dropped on flare path of aerodrome at LIPPSTADT by CB.655. Fell just outside aerodrome. Flare path extinguished and remained so. Stick of 4 – 250lbs, G.P.’s and 1 – S.B.C. dropped from 7,000ft on target F.19 from S.E. to N.W. Two fell short, one burst on boundary road to S.E., one and incendiaries hit buildings in area. Large fires started, burning red, green and orange. Explosions in fires lit up aircraft at 7,000ft. above target. Five bundles Nickels dropped between KASSEL and GOTHA.

CB.656 reports, unable to locate F.18, owing to 6/10 low cloud at 2,000ft. Attacked target F.19 in dive bombing attack from 10-8,000 feet, releasing stick of 5 – 250lbs bombs fused N.D.T. and one container of incendiaries. Results unobserved due to light and heavy flak and searchlights, violent evasive action taken.

Results not observed by CB.659 owing to ground haze and intense searchlight and heavy flak activity.

A dive attack made by CB.660 from 11,000ft – 8,000ft the bombs being dropped in stick at base of dive. Nil results observed owing to intense ground activity.

CB.666 unable to locate target due to ground haze, stick of 5 – 250lbs bombs burst on flare path at DUISBURG. Fires started, flare path at EINDHOVEN also bombed with 6 – 250lbs bombs and incendiaries. Run up excellent. Results not observed due to cloud. Time 00.30 hours.

CB.667 reports, bombs had to be released in order to evade A.A. fire. No results observed.

Owing to electrical failure CB.668 returned to base after 1hrs flying. No bombs dropped.
Balloons flying at all main towns, marked increase in number of flare paths to target, thought to be dummies.

A.A. fire heavy over SCHIPOL, ROTTERDAM, KASSEL, GOTHA and intense in the RUHR. Searchlights active over whole area. Three enemy fighters seen by CB.659 over PADERBORN, no attack made. 5/10 cloud experienced most of way and local haze persistent over RUHR etc. Cold frost met on reaching English coast on return, and heavy and low cloud.

Wellington Mk.1c R.3166 AA-M
Raid No. CB.659 F.18

S/L Wilfred Ira Collett, RAF 34232 – Pilot.
P/O Arthur George Lee Humphreys, RAF/ RNZAF 36241/ NZ2449 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. James George Simpkin, RAFVR 580847 – Observer.
Sgt. Williams, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Robert Gordon Holford, RNZAF NZ39966 – Front Gunner.
P/O John Outerson William Kenneth Ferris, RAF 77931 – Rear Gunner .

Take Off 21:25 – Landed 03:10
Flight Time 05:45

03/08/1940 – Bombing Attacks on Target A.71 at HORST
Nine Wellington aircraft from this unit detailed to carry out individual attacks on above, but due to heavy ground haze over target area, attacks had to be carried out on various other targets, with success. Low 10/10 cloud encountered on returning to base and aircraft directed to other aerodromes. CB.692 crashed when attempting a forced landing, due to engine failure. The Captain, S/Ldr. Collet, was killed, but the five remaining members of the crew escaped with injuries.
A combined bomb load was carried.

Stick of bombs and S.B.C. dropped by CB.693 down flare path at approximate position 51° 42’ North, 6° 53’ East.

CB.695 located target and bombed. Results of 250lbs bombs not observed, but incendiaries seen to miss target.

CB.695 almost reached primary target, but owing to engine trouble, returned and bombed SCHIPOL aerodrome, believed successful. Height 19,500ft on North Westerly course. Four bundles nickels dropped near target.

CB.696 reports, extensive large fires started by incendiaries in target area. Results not seen of 250’s.

CB.697 located target after search of 45 minutes and dropped stick of 5 – 250lbs bombs and one S.B.C. at 00.15hrs from 12,000ft in level attack. Two bursts observed amongst lights in target area and extinguished same. Incendiaries failed to function, reason not known. Line of six Blast Furnaces on Eastern outskirts of GLADBECK also attacked with stick of 4 – 250lbs N.D.T. bombs from 12,000ft. Four burst observed 200 yards South of Blast Furnace.

CB.698 failed to locate primary target owing to ground haze, and searchlight activity over area. Marshalling yards at HALTERN attacked. All bombs dropped in one stick, bursts seen and explosions followed, and considerable damage thought to be done.

CB.699 failed to locate target owing to ground haze and searchlights. SCHIPOL aerodrome attacked from 4,000ft. Results not observed owing to intense opposition.

CB.700 did not locate primary target owing to haze and searchlights, but bombs dropped from 10,000ft in one stick on aerodrome at BUER. Two bursts observed. What appeared to be dummy Blast Furnaces, seen in target area, and usual light and heavy flak experienced, seems to be more intense around SCHIPOL. Searchlights intense and very active. CB.693 followed back to English coast by three unidentified aircraft. Weather poor, low visibility, 10/10 cloud as low as 300ft on return. Navigation by D/R, W/T fixes, and homing bearings.

Wellington Mk.1c R.3176 AA-?
Raid No. CB.692 A.71 (did not bomb?)

S/L Wilfred Ira Collett, RAF 34232 – Pilot.
P/O Arthur George Lee Humphreys, RAF/ RNZAF 36241/ NZ2449 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. James George Simpkin, RAFVR 580847 – Observer.
F/S Williams, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Robert Gordon Holford, RNZAF NZ39966 – Front Gunner.
P/O John Outerson William Kenneth Ferris, RAF 77931 – Rear Gunner .

Take Off 21:15 – Landed 04:20*
Flight Time 07:05

*recorded as time of engine failure/ crash.

On return, the majority of the Squadron encountered poor weather and the majority were diverted to other airfields. The Collett crew were instructed to divert to Mildenhall, but at 04:20 one of the Wellington’s engines failed and a wheels up forced landing had to be made. The aircraft crash landed at Barton Mills, 11 miles South West of Thetford. Landing on uneven terrain, significant structural damage was done to the aircraft, this damage caused a fire to break out which injured three of the crew, the Captain, Ira Collet was so seriously injured that he died later that day.

S/Ldr. Wilfred Ira Collett, RAF 34232 – Pilot.
Seriously injured – died later that day age 28.
Son of Edgar Arnold and Louise Amy Collett, of Gisborne, Auckland, New Zealand; Husband of Doreen Williamson Collett, of Gisborne.
Buried Feltwell (St. Nicholas) Churchyard, Norfolk, England.