W.O. Hadley crew 30.7.44 †

15/07/1944 – Attack Against Chalons Sur Marne
Eighteen aircraft took off as detailed to attack the marshalling yard at Chalons Sur Marne. All aircraft bombed the target and a good attack was reported, most crews being able to identify the marshalling yard visually. There was no A.A. fire opposition, but two aircraft had inconclusive combats with enemy fighters.

Lancaster Mk.III ND915 AA-A

W/O Hugh Edward Gilmour, RAAF AUS.22776 – Pilot.
P/O Wilson Orchard Hadley, RNZAF NZ426041 – 2nd Pilot.
W/O Lindsay Arthur Woodward, RAAF AUS.417257 – Navigator.
F/S Samuel Mills, RAAF AUS.425036 – Air Bomber.
F/S John Edward Osborne, RAAF AUS.417877 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Reginald Ernest Buzza, RAFVR 2203174 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. W.J.S. Ballard, RAFVR 1853215 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Leonard Stephenson, RAFVR 2202048 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:05 – Landed 04:18
Flight Time 06:13

30/07/1944 – Attack Against Amaye Sur Seulles
Seventeen aircraft were detailed to take part in an early morning attack on enemy troops and armoured concentrations near Amaye-Sur-Seulles. All crews successfully attacked from a low level and reports indicate that the bombing was well concentrated and ably controlled with a gradual advance southwards as ordered. No results other than clouds of smoke were seen. One aircraft (Captain NZ42117 F/S. Nairne, C.) failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I ME751 AA-M Mother

P/O Wilson Orchard Hadley, RNZAF NZ426041 – Pilot.
F/S John Bernard Gudgeon, RNZAF NZ428786 – Navigator.
F/S David John Robert Wilcox, RNZAF NZ421244 – Air Bomber.
F/S John Patrick Arthur Giles, RNZAF NZ425836 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Colin R. Fowler, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S William James Victo Boyd, RNZAF NZ428303 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S John Matthew Biggar, RNZAF NZ427945 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 06:15 – Landed 09:55
Flight Time 03:40

03/08/1944 – Attack Against L’Isle Adam
Twenty out of the twenty one aircraft detailed took off to attack the Supply Dumps at L’Isle Adam, near Paris. They all attacked in clear weather and a very successful and concentrated raid was reported. There was no fighter opposition and only slight A.A. fire was met in the target area.

Lancaster Mk.I LM268 AA-D
Hit by flak 5 times – is this the right code?
F/O Wilson Orchard Hadley, RNZAF NZ426041 – Pilot.
F/S John Bernard Gudgeon, RNZAF NZ428786 – Navigator.
F/S David John Robert Wilcox, RNZAF NZ421244 – Air Bomber.
F/S John Patrick Arthur Giles, RNZAF NZ425836 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Colin R. Fowler, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S William James Victo Boyd, RNZAF NZ428303 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S John Matthew Biggar, RNZAF NZ427945 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:50 – Landed 15:50
Flight Time 04:00

04/08/1944 – Attack Against Bec D’Ambes
Twenty aircraft were required to attack the Supply Depot at Foret De Nieppe, but this operation was cancelled, and the same aircraft were detailed to attack the Oil Storage and Refinery at Bec D’Ambes near Bordeaux. All took off and nineteen attacked the primary target in clear weather. A good concentrated raid developed and many fires and explosions were seen with smoke rising to 10,000 ft. There was no opposition. One aircraft attacked Pauillic owing to flying in the wrong bomber stream.

Lancaster Mk.I LM268 AA-D

F/O Wilson Orchard Hadley, RNZAF NZ426041 – Pilot.
F/S John Bernard Gudgeon, RNZAF NZ428786 – Navigator.
F/S David John Robert Wilcox, RNZAF NZ421244 – Air Bomber.
F/S John Patrick Arthur Giles, RNZAF NZ425836 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Colin R. Fowler, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S William James Victo Boyd, RNZAF NZ428303 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S John Matthew Biggar, RNZAF NZ427945 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 13:50 – Landed 21:20
Flight Time 07:30

05/08/1944 – Attack Against Bassens
Eighteen aircraft were detailed to attack the Oil Storage at Bordeaux, Bassens. All aircraft successfully identified and bombed the target visually and a very concentrated raid was reported. Several good explosions and much smoke was seen on leaving the target. A.A. opposition was very slight.

Lancaster Mk.I LM268 AA-D

F/O Wilson Orchard Hadley, RNZAF NZ426041 – Pilot.
F/S John Bernard Gudgeon, RNZAF NZ428786 – Navigator.
F/S David John Robert Wilcox, RNZAF NZ421244 – Air Bomber.
F/S John Patrick Arthur Giles, RNZAF NZ425836 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Colin R. Fowler, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S William James Victo Boyd, RNZAF NZ428303 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S John Matthew Biggar, RNZAF NZ427945 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 14:20 – Landed 22:30
Flight Time 08:10

07/08/1944 – Attack Against Mare De Magne
The target was enemy troops and armour concentrations at Mare De Magne, being made in direct support of the Allied Armies advance in the Caen area. Seventeen aircraft were detailed, all of which took off and dropped their bombs with the aid of markers, and a concentrated raid developed. Opposition from A.A. fire was very slight, but a few enemy fighters were active. One aircraft had an inconclusive combat and another (Captain 150278 .F/O. G. Brunton) failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I LM268 AA-D

F/O Wilson Orchard Hadley, RNZAF NZ426041 – Pilot.
F/S John Bernard Gudgeon, RNZAF NZ428786 – Navigator.
F/S David John Robert Wilcox, RNZAF NZ421244 – Air Bomber.
F/S John Patrick Arthur Giles, RNZAF NZ425836 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Colin R. Fowler, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S William James Victo Boyd, RNZAF NZ428303 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S John Matthew Biggar, RNZAF NZ427945 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:50 – Landed 01:30
Flight Time 03:40

08/08/1944 – Attack Against Lucheux
Twenty aircraft took off as detailed to attack Petrol Dumps at Lucheux, behind the enemy lines. All aircraft were successful in their mission, in good visibility. A good concentration of fires with smoke rising to 9,000 ft., was left burning. There was only slight A.A. opposition, but enemy fighters were active, and three of our aircraft had inconclusive combats, two suffering damage but no casualties.

Lancaster Mk.I LM266 AA-A “The Seven Sinners”

F/O Wilson Orchard Hadley, RNZAF NZ426041 – Pilot.
F/S John Bernard Gudgeon, RNZAF NZ428786 – Navigator.
F/S David John Robert Wilcox, RNZAF NZ421244 – Air Bomber.
F/S John Patrick Arthur Giles, RNZAF NZ425836 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Colin R. Fowler, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. William James Victo Boyd, RNZAF NZ428303 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S John Matthew Biggar, RNZAF NZ427945 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:08 – Landed 01:40
Flight Time 03:32

16/08/1944 – Attack Against Stettin
Twenty three aircraft took off as detailed to attack Stettin. Twenty two were successful in attacking the target with the aid of markers, but the raid appeared scattered and no great concentration of fires was achieved. Slight A.A. fire was encountered in the target area and a few fighters were met en route, two aircraft having inconclusive combats. One aircraft returned early with icing trouble.

Lancaster Mk.I LM268 AA-D

F/O Wilson Orchard Hadley, RNZAF NZ426041 – Pilot.
F/S John Bernard Gudgeon, RNZAF NZ428786 – Navigator.
F/S David John Robert Wilcox, RNZAF NZ421244 – Air Bomber.
F/S John Patrick Arthur Giles, RNZAF NZ425836 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Colin R. Fowler, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S William James Victo Boyd, RNZAF NZ428303 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S John Matthew Biggar, RNZAF NZ427945 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:17 – Landed 05:25
Flight Time 08:08

18/08/1944 – Attack Against Bremen
Twenty five aircraft took off as detailed to attack Bremen, twenty four of these contributed to a very successful raid, good concentrated fires being left burning. A moderate A.A. barrage, with numerous searchlights, was encountered between the enemy coast and the target, and three of our aircraft sustained damage. Fighter opposition was weak but one aircraft had an inconclusive combat over the target. One aircraft returned early.

Lancaster Mk.I LM268 AA-D

F/O Wilson Orchard Hadley, RNZAF NZ426041 – Pilot.
F/S John Bernard Gudgeon, RNZAF NZ428786 – Navigator.
F/S David John Robert Wilcox, RNZAF NZ421244 – Air Bomber.
F/S John Patrick Arthur Giles, RNZAF NZ425836 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Colin R. Fowler, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S William James Victo Boyd, RNZAF NZ428303 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S John Matthew Biggar, RNZAF NZ427945 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:47 – Landed 02:48
Flight Time 05:01

25/08/1944 – Attack Against Russelsheim
Twenty eight aircraft took off as detailed to attack Russelsheim. Of these twenty five attacked the primary target and reported a good concentrated raid. A.A. opposition was slight, but enemy aircraft were active and one of our aircraft had two inconclusive combats. Another was unable to identify the target and jettisoned its load. A further one was caught in searchlights over the target and during evasive action lost both ailerons. This aircraft was captained by NZ424504 .F/S. O’Callaghan, E. The navigator 958564 .F/S. Hartley, R., kept the aircraft on track on the return journey even though his instruments were unserviceable and his chart lost. Two aircraft failed to return, they were captained by NZ422382 .F/O. J. Fleming and NZ421345 .F/S. Barker, R.

Lancaster Mk.I LM268 AA-D

F/O Wilson Orchard Hadley, RNZAF NZ426041 – Pilot.
F/S John Bernard Gudgeon, RNZAF NZ428786 – Navigator.
F/S David John Robert Wilcox, RNZAF NZ421244 – Air Bomber.
F/S John Patrick Arthur Giles, RNZAF NZ425836 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Colin R. Fowler, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S William James Victo Boyd, RNZAF NZ428303 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S John Matthew Biggar, RNZAF NZ427945 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:41 – Landed 04:55
Flight Time 08:14

26/08/1944 – Attack Against Kiel
Twenty out of the twenty one aircraft detailed, took off and participated in a very concentrated raid against Kiel. Several crews were able to identify the target visually and confirm the accuracy of the bombing. Heavy A.A. fire was moderate and a few of our aircraft suffered slight damage. The aircraft captained by NZ421343 .A/F/L. V. Andrew, was hit by A.A. fire over the target causing serious leg injuries to the MU/Gnr. 1862898 .Sgt. Molony, M. and damage to the Mid upper turret and fuselage.

Lancaster Mk.I LM268 AA-D

F/O Wilson Orchard Hadley, RNZAF NZ426041 – Pilot.
F/S John Bernard Gudgeon, RNZAF NZ428786 – Navigator.
F/S David John Robert Wilcox, RNZAF NZ421244 – Air Bomber.
F/S John Patrick Arthur Giles, RNZAF NZ425836 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Colin R. Fowler, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S William James Victo Boyd, RNZAF NZ428303 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S John Matthew Biggar, RNZAF NZ427945 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:20 – Landed 01:42
Flight Time 05:22

29/08/1944 – Mining in the Gulf of Danzig
Six aircraft took off as detailed to lay mines in the Gulf of Danzig. They all dropped their mines successfully by means of navigational aids and their mission was uneventful apart from slight A.A. opposition.

Lancaster Mk.I LM268 AA-D

F/O Wilson Orchard Hadley, RNZAF NZ426041 – Pilot.
F/S John Bernard Gudgeon, RNZAF NZ428786 – Navigator.
F/S David John Robert Wilcox, RNZAF NZ421244 – Air Bomber.
F/S John Patrick Arthur Giles, RNZAF NZ425836 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Colin R. Fowler, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S William James Victo Boyd, RNZAF NZ428303 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S John Matthew Biggar, RNZAF NZ427945 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:15 – Landed 05:55
Flight Time 09:40

03/09/1944 – Attack Against The Aerodrom At Eindhoven
Ten aircraft took off as detailed to attack the airfield at Eindhoven. All were successful in bombing visually and a good concentration of bombing was achieved. A.A. opposition was slight, but accurate, and three of our aircraft suffered minor damage. No fighter opposition was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I LM268 AA-D
Hit by flak once

F/O Wilson Orchard Hadley, RNZAF NZ426041 – Pilot.
F/S John Bernard Gudgeon, RNZAF NZ428786 – Navigator.
F/S David John Robert Wilcox, RNZAF NZ421244 – Air Bomber.
F/S John Patrick Arthur Giles, RNZAF NZ425836 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Colin R. Fowler, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S William James Victo Boyd, RNZAF NZ428303 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S John Matthew Biggar, RNZAF NZ427945 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 15:36 – Landed 19:08
Flight Time 03:32

05/09/1944 – Attack Against Le Havre
Eighteen aircraft were standing by to attack Dortmund, but this operation was postponed and twenty five aircraft took off to attack Le Havre in favourable weather. Opposition was negligible and a very successful raid was carried out, without loss. Most of the bombing was done visually. Reports indicate that the target was well saturated.

Lancaster Mk.I LM268 AA-D

F/O Wilson Orchard Hadley, RNZAF NZ426041 – Pilot.
F/S John Bernard Gudgeon, RNZAF NZ428786 – Navigator.
F/S David John Robert Wilcox, RNZAF NZ421244 – Air Bomber.
F/S John Patrick Arthur Giles, RNZAF NZ425836 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Colin R. Fowler, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S William James Victo Boyd, RNZAF NZ428303 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S John Matthew Biggar, RNZAF NZ427945 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:29 – Landed 21:11
Flight Time 03:42

06/09/1944 – Attack Against Harqueboc Le Havre
Twenty four aircraft were detailed to attack the German Army Headquarters at Harqueboc, near Le Havre. All aircraft bombed the target according to the Master Bomber’s instructions and a very accurate raid was reported. Fires were seen to be still burning from the previous day’s attack on Le Havre. Once again no opposition was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.III PB418 AA-C

F/O Wilson Orchard Hadley, RNZAF NZ426041 – Pilot.
F/S John Bernard Gudgeon, RNZAF NZ428786 – Navigator.
F/S David John Robert Wilcox, RNZAF NZ421244 – Air Bomber.
F/S John Patrick Arthur Giles, RNZAF NZ425836 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Colin R. Fowler, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S William James Victo Boyd, RNZAF NZ428303 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S John Matthew Biggar, RNZAF NZ427945 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 15:58 – Landed 19:49
Flight Time 03:51

10/09/1944 – Attack Against Montivilliers
Twenty seven aircraft attacked Montivilliers in the Le Havre area, as detailed. All crews dropped their bombs on the target and a very concentrated raid developed. No fighters were encountered and only slight opposition was met from ground defences.

Lancaster Mk.I LM268 AA-D

F/O Wilson Orchard Hadley, RNZAF NZ426041 – Pilot.
F/S John Bernard Gudgeon, RNZAF NZ428786 – Navigator.
F/S David John Robert Wilcox, RNZAF NZ421244 – Air Bomber.
F/S John Patrick Arthur Giles, RNZAF NZ425836 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Colin R. Fowler, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S William James Victo Boyd, RNZAF NZ428303 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S John Matthew Biggar, RNZAF NZ427945 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 15:30 – Landed 19:15
Flight Time 03:45

11/09/1944 – Mining in the Baltic Sea
Eight aircraft were detailed to lay mines in the Baltic area, and they all dropped their mines as ordered. No opposition was met on the mining area, but fighters were thought to be active on the homeward route, and one aircraft had an inconclusive combat with a JU.88. Another aircraft (Captain NZ426041 F/O. W. Hadley) failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I LM268 AA-D

F/O Wilson Orchard Hadley, RNZAF NZ426041 – Pilot.
F/S John Bernard Gudgeon, RNZAF NZ428786 – Navigator.
F/S David John Robert Wilcox, RNZAF NZ421244 – Air Bomber.
F/S John Patrick Arthur Giles, RNZAF NZ425836 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Colin R. Fowler, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S William James Victo Boyd, RNZAF NZ428303 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S John Matthew Biggar, RNZAF NZ427945 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:35 – Landed missing
Flight Time – Missing

Lancaster Mk.I LM268 AA-D was brought down at 00:15hrs by a night-fighter near the southern end of Sjælland Island, Denmark. The aircraft crashed onto a farmhouse near the township of Orslev, killing five members of the family. Only two of the crew, the Fight Engineer and Air Bomber, succeeded in baling out, the former evading capture and the latter, although badly hurt, was aided by locals and hospitalized before being turned over to the authorities.

Of those in the crew who died, the Pilot and Rear Gunner were buried in the local Churchyard at Orslev while the other three were buried at the Svino Churchyard.

F/O Wilson Orchard Hadley, RNZAF NZ426041 – Pilot.
Killed age 30.
Son of Charles Hadley and of Ellen Hadley (Nee Hawke), of Amberley, Canterbury, New Zealand; Husband of Esme Elizabeth Hadley, of St. Albans, Christchurch, Canterbury.
Buried Orslev Churchyard, Denmark..
Grave location – Joint grave 11B.

P/O John Bernard Gudgeon, RNZAF NZ428786 – Navigator.
Killed age 23.
Son of John Edmund Gudgeon and of Mildred Gudgeon (Nee Trolove), of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand.
Buried Svino Churchyard, Denmark.
Grave location – Coll. grave 88.

F/S David John Robert Wilcox, NZ421244 – Air Bomber.
P.o.W
Prisoner of War Number: 966
Prison Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag Luft VII
Date of return to United Kingdom: 26th of May 1945

F/S John Patrick Arthur Giles, RNZAF NZ425836 – WOAG.
Killed age 21.
Son of George R. Giles and of Isabella Giles (Nee Bayne), of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand.
Buried Svino Churchyard, Denmark.
Grave location – Coll. grave 88.

Sgt. Colin R. Fowler, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Evader
Date of return to United Kingdom: 27th of September 1944

F/S William James Victor Boyd, RNZAF NZ428303 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 20.
Son of James Benjamin Boyd and of Lucy Eileen Boyd (Nee Westley), of Mapua, Nelson, New Zealand.
Buried Svino Churchyard, Denmark.
Grave location – Coll. grave 88.

F/S John Matthew Biggar, RNZAF NZ427945 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 22.
Son of Peter and Ivy Biggar, of Nakirikiri, Wellington, New Zealand.
Buried Orslev Churchyard, Denmark..
Grave location – Joint grave 11B.