7 Squadron Lancaster III JA929 W/O. Thomas Harold Hatchard
Date: 03/04th September 1943 (Friday/Saturday)
Unit: No. 7 Squadron (motto: Per diem, per noctem - 'By day and by night'). 8 PFF Group.
Type: Lancaster III
Base: RAF Oakington, Cambridgeshire
Location: Reinickendorf, Berlin
Pilot: W/O. Thomas Harold Hatchard NZ/403525 RNZAF Age 31. Missing - believed killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. William Burnell 540272 RAF Age 25. Missing - believed killed
Nav: F/O. Bernard Frederick Edge NZ/417275 RNZAF Age 21. Missing - believed killed
Air/Bmr: F/O. Frederick Timothy Brosnahan NZ/421669 RNZAF Age 25. Missing - believed killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. George Switzer Dougherty NZ/403620 RNZAF Age 21. Missing - believed killed
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Colin Albert Fleischfresser Aus/425293 RAAF Age 21. Killed
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Lewis Alfred Squire NZ/417244 RNZAF Age 21. Missing - believed killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 20:13 hrs to join 315 Lancasters and 4 Mosquitoes to bomb the heart of Germany.
Huge losses with 22 Lancasters Lost. Mosquitoes dropped spoof flares to divert German night-fighters. Given the very high loss rates, it is doubtful that this technique worked. Actual target marking was short of the target and most bombs fell in residential areas, although both a water and electricity facility were put out of action and 422 people were killed. Amongst the dead were 7 criminals earning remission by defusing unexploded bombs.
7 Squadron lost three crews, the others:
Lancaster III JA713 MG-V Flown by 22 year old, F/O. Anthony Crockford 114241RAFVR from Upper Holloway, London - killed with all 6 other crew.
Lancaster III JA854 MG-x Flown by Fl/Lt. Richard Otway French DFC. NZ/415756 RNZAF - missing with 5 others, 1 taken PoW. Further details.
JA929 coned by Flakscheimw Alt.370 and hit by Flak Abt. 154 1-3./schw, Flak Abt. 437. 1-5./schw. Flak Abt. 516 and 4./schw, Flak Abt. 416, the aircraft exploded in mid air and hit the ground in the target area at Reinickendorf at 00:24hrs..
W/O. Thomas Harold Hatchard. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 198. Born on the 26th August 1912 at Wellington. A salesman for Wellington City Council. Enlisted on the 16th September 1940 at Levin. Son of Thomas Henry Frederick (died 23rd August 1933, age 60) and Alice (née Scanlan - died 14th September 1972, age 90) of Kilbernie, Wellington , New Zealand. A total of 844 flying hours logged and on his 4th operational sortie.
Sgt. William Burnell. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 144. Son of William Leafe Burnell (died 1971) and Rebecca Burnell (née Smith - died 1964). Husband of Helen Burnell (marriage October 1941). West Bromwich, Staffordshire, England.
F/O. Bernard Frederick Edge. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 197. Born on the 06th October 1921 at Onehunga. A teacher for Auckland Education Board. Enlisted at Levin on the 28th December 1941. Son of Joseph Benjamin and Ida Mary Edge, of Onehunga, Auckland, New Zealand. total of 252 flying hours logged and on his 1st operational sortie.
F/O. Frederick Timothy Brosnahan. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 197. Born on the 03rd March 1918 at Wellington. Worked as a clerk for the Land and Income Tax Department in Wellington. Enlisted on the 07th March 1942 at Rotorua. Son of Timothy and Nellie Frances Brosnahan (née Faulding - died 02nd September 1974, age 81), of Hataitai, Wellington, New Zealand. total of 252 flying hours logged and on his 1st operational sortie.
Fl/Sgt. George Switzer Dougherty. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 198. Born on the 31st October 1921 at Hamilton. Worked as an apprentice motor trimmer for S.T. Nolan in Hamilton. Enlisted on the 29th September 1940 at Levin. Son of George Searles Dougherty and Kathleen Elizabeth Dougherty (née Switzer), of Malville, Auckland, New Zealand. total of 380 flying hours logged and on his 3rd operational sortie.
Fl/Sgt. Colin Albert Fleischfresser. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave 1.J.1. Born on the 08th April 1922 in Ipswich, Queensland. Worked as a railway porter prior to service in Boonah. Enlisted on the 01st February 1942 in Brisbane. Son of Albert Wilhelm (died 28th February 1973, age 78) and Pauline Fleischfresser (née Kruger - died 01st March 1977, age 85), of Harrisville, Queensland, Australia. Epitaph: 'A Tribute Of Love And Remembrance To Our Gallant Only Son'.
Fl/Sgt. Lewis Alfred Squire. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 199. Born on the 10th August 1922 at Kawakawa. Worked as a clerical cadet for New Zealand Railway. Enlisted on the 28th December 1941 at Levin. Son of Bertram Charles and Louisa Jane Squire (née Kneebone), of Kawakawa, Bay of Islands, New Zealand. total of 159 flying hours logged and on his 1st operational sortie.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks 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 Diaries 1943, part 2, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below: