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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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115 crest

Operation: The Ruhr

Date: 29th October 1942 (Wednesday)

Unit: 115 Squadron (motto: 'Despite the elements') 3 Group

Type: Wellington III

Serial: X3540

Code: KO-X

Base: RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk

Location: North Sea off Holland

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Reginald William Urwin NZ/405346 RNZAF Age 23. Killed

Obs: Sgt. Colin Shone McHenry 1016740 RAFVR Age 28. Missing - believed killed

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Horace Pilling Norcross 1120097 RAFVR Age 28. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O. Richmond Lovett Meredith NZ/411768 RNZAF Age 22. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Leslie Hunter Martin NZ/412346 RNZAF Age 33 . Missing - believed killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Not a great deal of information but took off from RAF Mildenhall at around 14:00 hrs with 5 others to take advantage of cloud cover to bomb areas around Essen.

2 aircraft returned early due to icing,

It is understood that they were shot down just off the coast of Holland by Lt. Rüdiger von Kirchmayr of 4.,JG1 operating from Woensdrecht airfield.

The body of the pilot was washed up near Wissenkerke on the 25th November 1941, the remainder of the crew have no known graves.

The operation was a failure with the squadron losing 3 aircraft and crews, the others:

Wellington III BJ660 KO-H, flown by Sgt. Frederick Barker 1049813 RAFVR - all crew lost

Wellington III Z1738 KO-M , flown by 22 year old, P/O. Robert Rawlings DFC. 116058 RAFVR from County Durham - all crew lost.

Burial and personal details:

Sgt. Reginald William Urwin. Flushing Northern Cemetery (Vlissingen). Row D. Grave 15. Born 20th November 1918 at Dannevirke, North Island, New Zealand. Prior to service worked as a school teacher for Wanganui Education Board. Enlisted on the 22nd December 1940 at Levin. Pilots badge and promoted to sergeant on the 14th June 1941. Son of Albert Edward and Edith Urwin (née Turner of Raetihi, North Island, New Zealand.

Sgt. Colin Shone McHenry. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 88. Also on the family grave at St Mary the Virgin, Deane, Bolton. Born in Bolton. Worked at Prudential Assurance Company prior to service.Son of Albert and Florence McHenry, of Bolton, Lancashire and husband of Rhoda McHenry (née Fitzharris), father of Marilyn, of 389, Chorley Old Road, Bolton, England.

Sgt. Horace Pilling Norcross. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 90. Son of Herbert P. and Emma Norcross, of Haydock, Lancashire, England.

F/O. Richmond Lovett Meredith. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 114. Born on the 17th June 1920 at Otorohanga. Apprentice plumber prior to service. Enlisted at Levin on the 16th March 1941 and obtained Air Gunners badge and promotion to sergeant on the 24th October 1941 and commissioned on the 27th October 1941. Son of Richmond Double Meredith and of Isabel Mary Meredith (née Corboy), of Otorohanga, Auckland, New Zealand.

Sgt. Leslie Hunter Martin. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 117. Born on the 11th May 1909 in Perth, Scotland, moved to New Zealand in 1927. A hairdresser with his fathers business prior yo service. Joined the RNZAF from the army at Levin on the 13th April 1941. Obtained Air Gunners badge and promotion to sergeant on the 02nd March 1942. Son of Clement Hunter and Lilian Kirk Hunter (née Gellatley) of Palmerston North, New Zealand.

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. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, AWMM, Weekly News of New Zealand, Bolton Church Institute School War Memorial, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 20-02-2021

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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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