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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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RAF Crest
25/26th June 1942 11 OTU Wellington IC DV778 Sgt. Cubitt

Operation: Bremen

Date: 25/26th June 1942 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: No. 11 Operational Training Unit. 91 Group

Type: Wellington IC

Serial: DV778 Call sign 6MTA

Code: KJ-A

Base: RAF Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire

Location: Near Heligoland Bight area

Pilot: Sgt. John Charles Cubitt 550237 RAF Age 24. Missing - believed killed

Obs: Sgt. Richard John Parish NZ/41546 RNZAF Age 23. Killed

Nav/Air/Bmr: Sgt. William Harvey Flower NZ/412472 RNZAF Age 22 . Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Stanley Lyell Wilton NZ/403631 RNZAF Age 32. Killed

Air/Gnr (Inst): Fl/Sgt. Fernleigh William Mutton 1187659 RAFVR Age 28. Killed


Taking off at 23:14 hrs from RAF Bassingbourn, one of three crews that failed to return from 11 Operational Training Unit.

It is thought probable that they were shot down by 6./Marine Flak Abt.. 226 and IV./.2/lei Res. Flak ABR. 998 with the aircraft coming down near Juisy, other reports it came down in the Heligoland Bight area.

The body of Sgt. Richard Parish was later washed ashore near Cuxhaven and was initially buried there. Sgt. Stanley Lyell Wilton's body was recovered from the harbour entrance at Westeraccumersiel, opposite the island of Langeoog, and buried initially at Wittmund.

The others from 11OTU lost were:

Wellington Ic R1078 TX-Q Call sign HUIQ Flown by P/O. Stanley Gordon King J/7911 RCAF. He was taken PoW No. 290 at Stalag Luft Sagan. Another crew member Sgt. W.N. Hollands N/Z411757 taken PoW No. 325 at Stalag Luft Heydekrug. The 3 remains crew, W/O.2. Faris Clyde Main R/74704 RCAF, Sgt. Frederick George Barber NZ/41564 RNZAF and Sgt. Ivan Harry Reeves NZ/411100 were all lost. Shot down by Lt. August Geiger of 8./NJG1 with the aircraft crashing near Schale, Germany at 01.20 hrs.

Wellington Ic X3213 KJ-L Call sign 6MTL Flown by Fl/Sgt. Robert Holden 969489 RAFVR was lost with all his crew, Fl/Sgt. Ronald Neil Urquhart R/82332 RCAF, Fl/Sgt. Cyril Thomas Raynes Matthewman 941198 RAFVR, Sgt. Leonard Allen Mitchell NZ/41601 RNZAF and Sgt. Victor Arthur Bullecourt Falk NZ/403571 RNZAF. Shot down by flak at 02:30 hrs. crashing at Aschhauserfeld in Germany.

The Operational Training Units were used to make up numbers for the third and final '1000' bomber raids. Very high losses on this operation from many allied squadrons. The target of Bremen was to be bombed between 01:|20 and 02:25 hrs. 117 other aircraft flew in support in an attempt to keep Luftwaffe night fighters on the ground.

There was considerable light and heavy flak encountered with these units claiming 17 allied aircraft this night. Night fighters were largely unaffected by the support squadron attacks and the claimed 41 as shot down by them.

Burial details:

Sgt. John Charles Cubitt. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 81. Born in Tavistock in 1918 . Son of John Charles and Emily May Cubitt and husband of Agnes Elizabeth Cubitt, of Weston-super-Mare, Somerset.

Sgt. Richard John Parish. Becklingen War Cemetery. Grave 27. A. 10. Born on the 15th June 1919 at Pahiatua. Prior to service worked as a cheesemaker for R. Jobin prior to enlisting on the 18th January 1941 at Levin. Son of William Parish and of Agnes Rebecca Parish (née Bambry), of Hukanui, Wellington, New Zealand. 230 flying hours logged an on his first operational sortie.

Sgt. William Harvey Flower. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 117. Born on the 05th January 1920 at Auckland. Worked as an exchange clerk for P and T Department at Matamata. Enlisted at Levin on the 13th April 1941. Son of Leonard and Constance Ruby Irene Flower (née Mincher), of Tauranga, Auckland, New Zealand. 75 flying hours logged an on his first operational sortie.

Sgt. Stanley Lyell Wilton. Sage War Cemetery. Grave 1. F. 13. Born on the 05th January 1910 at Levin. A farmhand for D. Morrison prior to service. Enlisted 28th September 1940 at Levin. Son of Percival Harold and Fanny Witter Wilton née Partridge), of Wellington City, New Zealand. 107 flying hours logged an on his first operational sortie.

Fl/Sgt. Fernleigh William Mutton. Sage War Cemetery. Grave 1. F. 13. Son of Shedwell H. E. and Lily Mutton, of Princetown, Devon. Grave inscription: 'Not Just Today But Every Day In Silence We Remember. Mum, Dad And Family'. Escaped with slight injuries whilst with 54 OTU on the 13th March 1941 after Blenheim L6835 crashed near Ulleskelf. The pilot P/O. Matthew Gorden Calvert 60065 RAF also escaped, he survived the war nd retired as a Fl/Lt on the 190th January 1949.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. Yorkshire Aircraft, Dr. Theo Boiten author of the Nachtjagd Combat Archive, 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 17-02-2021

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Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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