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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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78 Squadron Crest
24/25.06.1943 No 78 Squadron Halifax II JB962 Fl/Sgt. Morrison

Operation: Wuppertal

Date: 24/25th June 1943

Unit: No. 78 Squadron

Type: Halifax II

Serial: JB962

Code: EY-?

Base: RAF Breighton

Location: Zons, Germany

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Kenneth Forbes Morrison NZ/417092 RNZAF Age 19. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. William Barry 950236 RAFVR Age 24. Killed

Nav: Sgt. Patrick Arthur Kennedy 1389031 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Ian Macrae 1553551 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. William Cox 1370416 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Ernest William Joseph Collingwood NZ/413738 RNZAF Age 22. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Thomas Samuel Payne 1304123 RAFVR Age 22. Missing - believed killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off at 23:00 hrs to attack the Elberfeld half of Wuppertal, the bottom half of the town having been devastated at the end of May. The Pathfinder marking was accurate and the Main Force bombing started well but the creep-back became more pronounced than usual. 30 aircraft bombed targets in more western parts of the Ruhr (Wuppertal was at the eastern end of the area).

630 aircraft took part on this operation which devastated the Elberfeld region of the city. 171 industrial buildings and around 3,000 houses were destroyed, a further 53 industrial and 2,500 houses severely damaged. Deaths on the ground amounted to 1,800 people killed and 2,400 injured. 34 aircraft failed to return.

No Luftwaffe claims for this aircraft so it is probable that they were hit by flak coming down about a kilometre NorthWest of Zons. at 02:00 hrs.

Above L-R: Sgt. Kennedy, Sgt. Barry, Sgt. Payne, Sgt. Morrison, Sgt. Cox, Sgt. McCrae, Sgt. Collingwood (courtesy Jo Featherston - see credits)

At the rear right: Fl/Sgt. Maxwell Logan Bartley (1) opposite him Ken Morrison, 2nd left, John Russell Mayo (2) and on extreme right, Raymond Anthony Lindsay - who happened to be the only pilot shown here to survive the war. He passed away in 1991 age 70. (courtesy Jo Featherston)

Above: Fl/Sgt. Hugh Walter Beavis (3), Sgt. Maurice Richard Langdale-Hunt (4), Ronald Brown and Fl/Sgt. Ken Morrison.

(1) Fl/Sgt. Maxwell Logan Bartley - Killed on the 04th January 1944 whilst with 544 Squadron Mosquito MM232 on a reconnaissance operation His navigator was taken PoW.

(2) Fl/Sgt. John Russell Mayo NZ/417085 RNZAF - missing believed killed on the 07th August 1943 on an operation dropping mines - all 7 crew lost on Stirling I BK614 JN-H.

(3) Fl/Sgt. Hugh Beavis NZ/417003 RNZAF - killed on the 25th July 1943 whilst with 218 Squadron. Stirling III BF567 on an operation to Hamburg flown by Wg/Cdr. Donald Teale Saville DSO. DFC 74738 RAFVR when they intercepted by a night fighter. 7 crew killed with 1 other PoW.

(4) Sgt. Maurice Langdale-Hunt NZ/41136 RNZAF - killed on the 30th March 1943 whilst with 1483 Bombing/Gunnery training flight. Wellington III Z1747 flown by Fl/Lt. Douglas Ronald Greenup 46221 RAF when the aircraft suffered structural failure - all 9 crew lost their lives.

Burial details:

Initially buried at a Military Cemetery south of Cologne but reinterred after the end of the war in a CWGC Cemetery.

Fl/Sgt. Kenneth Forbes Morrison. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 4.F.14. Son of John and Mona Mary Morrison, of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand. 412 flying hours logged and on his 2nd operational sortie.

Sgt. William Barry. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 4.F.17. Son of John and Elizabeth Barry, of Liverpool and husband of Doris Barry, of Liverpool, England. Grave inscription reads: "My Bill, He Lived For Those He Loved And Those He Loved Remember".

Sgt. Patrick Arthur Kennedy. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 4.F.15. Son of John J. Kennedy and Teresa Kennedy, of Belfast, Northern Ireland. Grave inscription reads: "Too Far Away Your Grave To See But Not Too Far To Think Of Thee. Rest In Peace".

Sgt. Ian Macrae. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 4.F.18. Son of John and Annie Macrae, of Edinburgh, Scotland. Grave inscription reads: "He Liveth".

Sgt. William Cox. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 4.F.16. Understood to be from Edinburgh, Scotland - No further details - are you able to assist?

Fl/Sgt. Ernest William Joseph Collingwood. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 198. Understood to be from Christchurch, New Zealand - No further details - are you able to assist? 261 flying hours logged and on his 1st operational sortie.

Sgt. Thomas Samuel Payne. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 161. Son of Samuel and Florence Payne, of Eltham, London, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, also to Jo Featherston whose relative Fl/Sgt. Kenneth Forbes Morrison served with this pilot. She runs a blog as shown here. Other sources as quoted below:

KTY - 20.03.2018

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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