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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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218
12/13th September 1941 218 Squadron Wellington IC X9670 Sgt. Dare

Operation: Frankfürt

Date: 12/13th September 1941 (Friday/Saturday)

Unit: No. 218 (Gold Coast) Squadron (motto: 'In Time') 3 Group

Type: Wellington IC

Serial: X9670

Code: HA-N

Base: RAF Marham, Norfolk

Location: Frankfurt, Germany

Pilot: Sgt Charles Frederick Dare NZ/401373 RNZAF PoW No: 9610 Camp: Stalag Luft Heydekrug

Pilot 2: Sgt. Leslie Booth 1107264 RAFVR PoW No: 8641 Camp: Stalag Kopernikus

Obs: Sgt. Ian Harrison Leitch 924403 RAFVR PoW No: 9647 Camp: Kopernikus

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Robert Purdy 922942 RAFVR PoW No: 39621 Camp: Kopernikus

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Kenneth Richard Birchenough 950131 RAFVR PoW No: 9416 Camo: Kopernikus

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Robert Moodie 1187103 RAFVR PoW No: 39621 Camp: Kopernikus

REASON FOR LOSS:

130 aircraft taking part in this operation to Frankfurt consisting of 71 Wellingtons, 31 Hampdens, 18 Whitleys and 9 Stirlings. Thick clouds prevented accurate bombing but large fires were reported.

Bombing taking place between 00:27 - 04:35 hrs. Although seven Ju88's night fighters from Gilze-Rijen airfield took off, only three engaged the allied bombers in unsuccessful combat.

Two allied bombers failed to return. A 40 Squadron Wellington IC R1328 BL-T Flown by 33-year-old, Sq/Ldr. John Croft Atkins 28124 RAF was shot down by Flak Regiment L.C.9 and crashed at Sevenig at 23:00 hrs. Of the 6 crew, 4 were taken PoW whilst the pilot and his observer 20 year old, P/O. Robin Munro Ryder Aus/404384 from Queensland, Australia were killed.

Later Frankfürt reported that 75 high explosive and 650 incendiary bombs hit the city and the nearby town of Offenbach. Nearly all the damage was to civilian housing, although 2 bombs destroyed a workshop at the rubber factory at Offenbach, 38 fires were started. 8 people were killed with another 17 injured on the ground and approximately 200 people bombed out.

The city of Mainz, nearly 20 miles from the target, reported many bombs hit it with 19 people killed.

X9670 was coned by Reserve Flakscheinw Abt and shot down by Flakgruppen Frankfürt. The Wellington crashed and exploded near Frankfürt at 00:30 hrs. All six crew had baled out but then captured by German forces.

Course 2C, No. 2 Service Flying Training School, RNZAF Station Woodbourne 1940

(some yet unidentified - can you assist?)
L-R: Rear; Andrew Jack Cowlrick NZ/39902 - killed 03rd June 1942, Charles Frederick Dare NZ/401373 PoW - died 01st January 1972, Edward St John Spicer died 18th August 2000, Charles Anthony Armstrong NZ/401368 - killed 12th June 1944, Graeme Holt Fenton NZ/401378 - killed 10th March 1942, Stevenson, MacCarthy, Palmer.
Centre; Arthur Clendon Long NZ/401496 - killed 22nd September 1942, Parkes, Sandman, Alexander John MacFarlane NZ/401400 - killed on the 15th December 1941, Joseph Stewart Parry NZ/401287 - killed 29th September 1941, Guthrie, Lauchlin, Peter Southey Worsp NZ/401420 - killed 24th December 1943.
Front; Layne, Wilfred Sefton Emmett NZ/401377 - killed 03rd December 1941, Karston, Howard.

Above: Charles and Kathleen (courtesy Julie and Dennis Dare)

Charles Frederick Dare was born on the 03rd of August 1920. Prior to war breaking out Dad was enrolled in Dentistry school at Otago University in the South Island. During his PoW years, he became the camp dentist extracting teeth, etc. with no pain relief! As a result, when he returned to NZ his place in dentistry, which had been held for him, no longer appealed and he worked sales, real estate and had his own business for a time.

Left service in Auckland on the 18th October 1946 as Warrant Officer. Telegram informing parents he was 'missing in action' was received on the 14th September 1941, it was not until the middle of October before his anxious parents were informed he was a PoW. Lived at 18 Rotomahana Terrace, Remuera, Auckland, New Zealand on enlistment.

After release from being a PoW, he returned to England. On arrival after debriefing, he travelled to Scotland with his co-pilot Leslie Booth. There he met a cousin of Leslie, Miss Kathleen Isherwood who had been sent there by her parents from Manchester to escape the bombing. Three weeks later they married. He suffered poor health for the rest of his life thought to have been caused by his internment of nearly three years and passed away on the 01st January 1972, at the young age of 51. Kathleen Dare passed away on the 02nd November 1991, at age 67.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Julie and Dennis (children of the pilot) and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Dr Theo Boiten 'Nachtjagd Combat Archive The Early Years Part 2', other sources as quoted below:

KTY 19-12-2021

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Acknowledgements
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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