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6 November 2017
Crew 41, Pilot George Christopher Barr Sharp – 462 Squadron RAAF

 

Crew 41 of 462 Squadron, Foulsham, 1945 - George Christopher Barr Sharp, John Mackie, C. Halden, H. W. Payne, Stewart Edmund Taylor, R. E. Powell, George Sinton Bland, Kenneth Cavalier Peachey.
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of Martin Bland,
nephew of George Sinton Bland.

Names of Crew 41 of 462 Squadron, Foulsham, 1945.
Label in George Bland's photo album, identifying crew.

Below is the caption on the reverse of the same photo forwarded by the Peachy family, thus confirming individual identification.
"Complete crew.
L to R. Chris Sharp, "Jock" Mackie, Cliff Halden, Harry Payne.
"Stew" Taylor, Dick Powell, George Bland, Self (i.e. Ken Peachey)
Taken at Norwich, Norfolk, 1945."


Sharp Crew 41 identification, 462 Squadron RAAF.

 

 

Crew 41 of 462 Squadron, Foulsham, 1945.

Back, left to right:- W/O George Christopher Barr SHARP (Chris), Pilot
Sgt John MACKIE (Jock/Mack), Mid-Upper Gunner (F/Sgt by June posting out)
Sgt C. HALDEN (Cliff), Flight Engineer (F/Sgt by September posting out)
F/Sgt H. W. PAYNE (Harry), Bomb Aimer

Front, Left to right:- F/Sgt Stewart Edmund TAYLOR (Stew), Special Duties
F/Sgt Richard E. POWELL (Dick), Rear Gunner
F/Sgt George Sinton BLAND (George), Navigator
W/O Kenneth Cavalier PEACHEY (Ken), Wireless Operator


Caption for Crew 41, day before being split up, after one year together, and completing 26½ Ops over Germany.


Left:- Label in George Bland's photo album

"Day before being
split up, after
one year together
and completing
26½ Operations over
Germany".

 

This dates the photo as probably late May 1945, while the Crew was at Foulsham. Sharp, Powell, Payne and Bland were posted out in May 1945; Mackie in June 1945; and Peachey, Halden and Taylor in September 1945. Taylor was not a permanent member of this crew.

"Taken at Norwich" indicates that it is probably a studio photo, rather than the usual photo taken back at RAF Station Foulsham.

Links to Sharp, Bland, Payne, Peachey, Mackie, Powell, Halden, Taylor; Additional crew information; Crew Ops; pages from Log Book for Navigator Bland; Connections with crew of NA240 (Pilot F/O A.D.J.Ball, R/AG F/Sgt M.J.Hibberd and others).

Reference Sources:- Australian WW2 Nominal Roll; The National Archives of Australia (Service Files for Peachey and Taylor were not digitised as of 1 November 2015); 462 Squadron Operational Record Book; Martin Bland and Chris Peachey; Ancestry (WW2 NZ Ballot Lists; Promotions of Officers of the Royal NZ Air Force; Find-a-Grave Index).

 

 

 

H. W. Payne, George Christopher Barr Sharp, George Sinton Bland, R. E. Powell, John Mackie, Kenneth Cavalier Peachey, all later in Crew 41 when posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield 1944 and Foulsham 1945.
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of Martin Bland.

Identification of Sharp crew 41, later posted to 462 Squadron.

 

 

Sharp Crew of six in Summer of 1944.

Back, left to right:- Harry Payne (B/A), Chris Sharp (Pilot),
George Bland (Nav), Dick Powell (R/AG)

Front, left to right:- John Mackie (MU/AG), Ken Peachey (W/OP).

Date and location has been determined as being sometime between 9 May 1944 to 28 July 1944, at 20 Operational Training Unit (OTU) where the initial crew of 6 would have formed (see later section for postings). Flight Engineer Cliff Halden is not in this or the following photos. He would have joined the crew at their later posting to 1658 Heavy Conversion Unit (HCU). The complete crew of 7 were posted to 462 Squadron, then based at Driffield, in November 1944.

The following four photos also appear to have been taken at the same location, with the same large barn (or hanger) in the background of one, and an unidentified Airman in the background of three photos.

Also at left is the caption on the reverse of the same photo forwarded by the Peachy family.
"Taken in Scotland last summer, and is of all the crew except the flight engineer.
Left to right
Back row – Harry Payne (bomb aimer), Chris Sharp (pilot)
George Bland (navigator), Dick Powell (rear gunner)
Front – John Mackie (mid gunner), Yours Truly (i.e. Ken Peachey) 1944".

This confirms the name of the Mid-upper Gunner as being John Mackie, and also confirms that it was summer 1944.

 

 

 

John Mackie and George Christopher Barr Sharp, both later in Crew 41 when posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield 1944 and Foulsham 1945.
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of Martin Bland.

Above:- Mid-Upper Gunner John Mackie (left)
and Pilot Chris Sharp (right).

 

 

George Christopher Barr Sharp and George Sinton Bland, both later in Crew 41 when posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield 1944 and Foulsham 1945.
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of Martin Bland.

Above:- Pilot Chris Sharp (left)
and Navigator George Bland (right).

 

 

ohn Mackie and Kenneth Cavalier Peachey, both later in Crew 41 when posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield 1944 and Foulsham 1945.
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of Martin Bland.

Above:- Mid-Upper Gunner John Mackie (left) and
Wireless Operator Ken Peachey (right).


Identification caption for John Mackie and Kenneth Cavalier Peachey, later posted to 462 Squadron.

 

 

 

R. E. Powell,  later in Crew 41 when posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield 1944 and Foulsham 1945.
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of Martin Bland.

Above:- Rear Gunner Dick Powell.

 

 

At left is the caption on the reverse of the same photo of Mackie and Peachey (above left) as forwarded by the Peachy family.
"Taken in Scotland last summer. The chap is our mid-upper gunner and is Scotch, he is 19 and his name is John Mackie. 1944 ".

Information from Peachey's log book shows his posting at 20 OTU, Elgin, near Lossiemouth, Scotland from 9 May 1944 to 28 July 1944. It is assumed that the preceding five photos of the crew were taken during that posting (see later section for postings).

 

 

 

 

462 Squadron Halifax aircraft at Driffield, December 1944, possibly MZ306 Z5-K.
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of the Peachey family.

Caption on the reverse of the photo from the Ken Peachey Collection.

"462 (RAAF) Squadron aircraft (Halifax)
Taken at Driffield, Yorkshire, England.
December, 1944"

Caption for 462 Squadron Halifax aircraft, Driffield 1944.

MZ306 Z5-K (King) was in use on Ops from September to December 1944, but was not flown by Sharp and crew. It was however flown by Langworthy and crew 34, as well as by other crews. In December 1944, MZ370 Z5-L was also flown by Langworthy and crew 34. (The previous Z5-L, i.e. MZ296, was lost on 15 October 1944, Cookson crew 23).

 

Halifax of 462 Squadron at Driffield, December 1944, possibly MZ306 Z5-K.

After cropping and enlargement (above) of the original photo, the vertical stripes on the tail fin can be seen on the Halifax in the left foreground (as well as on the Halifax in the centre background). These markings confirm that they were both 462 Squadron aircraft. The aircraft serial number and code is not able to be distinguished.

The same photo (above left) is included on page 245 of "To See the Dawn Again" (provided by G M M Langworthy), with the caption ..... "Aircraft K for King at Dispersal. In the distance is L for Love while in the foreground, F/Sgt Walt Litvensky and Cpl Pat Unwin are engaged in discussion."

The same photo (above left) is also in the Australian War Memorial, photo ID UK2232 with caption ..... "Yorkshire, England. 1944-12-12. Early morning at Halifax No. 462 Squadron RAAF, RAF Station Driffield. 14149 Flight Sergeant W. J. Litvensky, Mascot, NSW, and 22218 Corporal P. A. Unwin, Sutherland, NSW, discuss the morning's work."

However it is also in "Phoenix" (by Batten) with the caption ..... "James Cole receiving Daily Service reports from an RAF Corporal".

Cole and Litvensky and Unwin do not appear in aircrew postings to 462 Squadron at Driffield or Foulsham. However, W J Litvensky 14149 is listed in "Brave and True" as ground staff for 462 Squadron during the "desert" period (North Africa). Perhaps Unwin was also ground staff, and both were later posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield. ....... Who is Cole? ............ Which caption is correct??

 

 

 

Halifax NR239 Z5-D Dog, as flown by Sharp and crew 41 at 462 Squadron, Driffield 1944 and Foulsham 1945.
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of the Peachey family.

The vertical stripes on the tail fin are clearly visible, as is the D on the fuselage. The Serial Number is out of focus, but the Squadron ORB confirms that this crew carried out 14 Ops in NR239 Z5-D (one of which was recorded in error as NA239 in the ORB).

 

 

 

Halifax NR239 Z5-D as flown by Sharp and crew 41 at 462 Squadron, Driffield 1944 and Foulsham 1945.

Identification on reverse of photo of Halifax NR239 Z5-D Dog, of 462 Squadron, Driffield 1944 and Foulsham 1945.

Caption on the reverse of the photo, as recorded by Ken Peachey

"D-Dog – 462 Squadron RAAF (Halifax)
in which we did 14 operations
over Germany.
Taken at Foulsham, Norfolk, England."


 

 

Kenneth Cavalier Peachey and George Sinton Bland, both were previously in Crew 41 when posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield 1944 and Foulsham 1945.
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of Martin Bland.

 

 

Left:- Former Wireless Operator Ken Peachey (left) and former Navigator George Bland (right), after a visit by Ken to George's home in Tenterden, Kent, England.

After the war, Ken Peachey and George Bland maintained close contact, and Ken's son recalls Christmas cards being exchanged between the two over many years. He also advised that Ken travelled from Australia to the UK after his retirement and met up with George. The photo at left was taken in late 1983, when Ken was aged 65, possibly 66 (his 66th birthday was on 13 November 1983). Ken was the older of the two by 7 years.

No doubt they reminisced about their time in 462 Squadron. Both look happy and healthy in this photo.

Sadly, Kenneth Cavalier Peachey passed away on the 5th January 1984, not long after returning to Australia from visiting George Bland in England. The Peachey family advise that Ken was ill on his return, thought to be from pneumonia.

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AC2 George Christopher Barr Sharp, 425509 RNZAF, late 1942 or early 1943, later posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield and Foulsham.
Photo supplied by Jenny Moon.

Above: Aircraftman 2 George Christopher Barr Sharp,
425509 RNZAF, late 1942 or early 1943.

 

 

Pilot

Name: George Christopher Barr SHARP (Chris)
Service: Royal New Zealand Air Force
Service Number: 425509
Date of Birth: circa 1921
Date of Enlistment: WW2 Ballot List dated 26 March 1941
Place of Enlistment: Military District No. 4, Hamilton NZ
Occupation: farm hand, from Tamahere, NZ
Allocated Service No 234363, later transferred (?) to RNZAF (?1942)
Next of Kin: Parents George and Violet SHARP, of Bruntwood Road, Cambridge, New Zealand; brother of Keith Sharp, also in Air Force.
Date of Posting from 462 Squadron: May 1945
Rank when posted from 462 Squadron: Warrant Officer
Next Posting from 462 Sqdn: 192 Squadron, Foulsham
Promotion to Pilot Officer: sometime June 1945 (recorded as P/O in Bland's logbook, from late June to early September 1945)
Promotion to Flying Officer: 24 October 1945 (NZ Gazette 22 November 1945)
Date, Rank, Posting at Discharge: .... Flight Lieutenant, ....

Photos of Pilot Sharp were supplied by and used with the permission of his niece Jenny Moon.

Sergeant Pilot George Christopher Barr Sharp, 425509 RNZAF, New York September 1943, in transit to the UK, later posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield and Foulsham.
Photo supplied by Jenny Moon.

Above: at left, Sergeant Pilot George Christopher Barr Sharp, 425509 RNZAF,
New York, September 1943, in transit to the UK.
The other two unidentified Pilots were also Sergeants in the RNZAF.
On enlargement of the original, New Zealand can be seen on the upper sleeve, and all three wear the Pilots wings, also shown below.

Pilot's wings RNZAF, 1943 from George Christopher Barr Sharp, 425509 RNZAF, later 462 Squadron, Driffield and Foulsham.

Death and Funeral notices for George Christopher Barr Sharp, 425509 RNZAF, who had served with 462 Squadron, Driffield and Foulsham.
Photo supplied by Jenny Moon.

Death and Funeral notices for
George Christopher Barr Sharp, 425509 RNZAF.
(Newspaper and date of publication not known)

George Christopher Barr Sharp passed away on 30 January 1964, aged 42. He was buried in the Hamilton Park Soldiers' Cemetery, Hamilton City, Waikato, NZ. Additional information from these notices indicate that he attained the rank of Flight Lieutenant in the RNZAF. His wife was Marcia, and in addition to his brother Keith, he also had sisters Daphne and Joy, and brothers Bill and Bob.

 

Pilot George Christopher Barr Sharp, 425509 RNZAF, and Crew, just before take-off from Shiabah, Iraq, May 1946, previously posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield and Foulsham.
Photo supplied by Jenny Moon.

Above: far right, Pilot George Christopher Barr Sharp, 425509 RNZAF, and four unidentified Crew, "just before take-off from Shiabah, Iraq, May 1946".

 

Pilot George Christopher Barr Sharp, 425509 RNZAF, post war, possibly May 1946, previously posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield and Foulsham.
Photo supplied by Jenny Moon.

Above: Pilot George Christopher Barr Sharp, 425509 RNZAF, post war, possibly May 1946, location unknown.

 

Pilot George Christopher Barr Sharp, 425509 RNZAF, post war, May 1946, between England and outh France, previously posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield and Foulsham.
Photo supplied by Jenny Moon.

Above: Pilot George Christopher Barr Sharp, 425509 RNZAF, post war, "taking it easy between England and South France. The other Pilot is flying the aircraft, May 1946."

 

 

Pilot George Christopher Barr Sharp, 425509 RNZAF, post war, May 1946, over India, previously posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield and Foulsham.
Photo supplied by Jenny Moon.

Above: Pilot George Christopher Barr Sharp, 425509 RNZAF, post war, "doing some work over India, May 1946".
These two photos were most likely taken during the same flight.
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Navigator

Name: George Sinton BLAND (George)
Service: Royal Air Force (Volunteer Reserve?)
Service Number: 1587032
Date of Birth: 10 August 1924
Place of Birth: ......
Date of Enlistment: .......
Place of Enlistment: .......
Next of Kin: .........
Date of Posting from 462 Squadron: May 1945
Rank when posted from 462 Squadron: Flight Sergeant
Next Posting from 462 Sqdn: 192 Squadron, Foulsham
Later postings: RAF Watton
Promotion to Warrant Officer: ......
Date, Rank, Posting at Discharge: .........

George passed away in April 2014 at the age of 90. He was from Kent, England. As the case with other Bomber Command veterans, he was never very keen to talk to family about his wartime experiences. He did however maintain a labelled photo album, showing himself and other members of the Sharp crew. His log book was also kept. George Bland's nephews kindly provided photos and log book information for this web page (see later section).
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Bomb Aimer

Name: H W PAYNE (Harry)
Service: Royal Air Force (Volunteer Reserve?)
Service Number: 1268659
Date of Birth: .......
Place of Birth: ......
Date of Enlistment: ......
Place of Enlistment: ........
Next of Kin: ......
Date of Posting from 462 Squadron: May 1945
Rank when posted from 462 Squadron: Flight Sergeant
Subsequent Promotions and Postings: .......
Date, Rank, Posting at Discharge: .........
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Wireless Operator

Name: Kenneth Cavalier PEACHEY (Ken)
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 436272
Date of Birth: 13 November 1917
Place of Birth: Marrickville, New South Wales
Date of Enlistment: 2 December 1942
Place of Enlistment: Perth, Western Australia
Next of Kin: Alice PEACHEY
Date of Posting from 462 Squadron: September 1945
Rank when posted from 462 Squadron: Warrant Officer
Next Posting from 462 Sqdn: 9 ACHU, RAF Station Gamston.
Date of Discharge: 16 January 1946
Rank at Discharge: Warrant Officer
Posting at Discharge: 9 Aircrew Holding Unit
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Mid-Upper Gunner

Name: John MACKIE (Mack, Jock)
Service: Royal Air Force (Volunteer Reserve?)
Service Number: 1824762
Date of Birth: .......
Place of Birth: ......
Date of Enlistment: ......
Place of Enlistment: ........
Next of Kin: ......
Date of Posting from 462 Squadron: June 1945
Rank when posted from 462 Squadron: Flight Sergeant
Subsequent Promotions and Postings: .......
Date, Rank, Posting at Discharge: .........
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Richard E Powell, 1880512, RAFVR, Rear Gunner of Crew 41 at 462 Squadron, Driffield and Foulsham.
Photo used with the permission of Robert Hall.

Above: Richard E Powell – dressed for Ops, with fur-lined flying boots, gloves, goggles, flying helmet and thick flying suit with fur-lined collar – all to combat the severe cold of the rear turret.

 

Rear Gunner

Name: Richard E POWELL (Dick)
Service: Royal Air Force (Volunteer Reserve?)
Service Number: 1880512
Date of Birth: .......
Place of Birth: ......
Date of Enlistment: ......
Place of Enlistment: ........
Next of Kin: ......
Date of Posting from 462 Squadron: May 1945
Rank when posted from 462 Squadron: Flight Sergeant
Subsequent Promotions and Postings: Family advice is that
he was posted to India in May 1945.
Date, Rank, Posting at Discharge: .........

Richard had 2 children, a son Brian, and a daughter Margaret who would have been one month old when the formal crew photo was taken at Norwich in May 1945.
Photo supplied by Robert Hall, son of Margaret, and grandson of Dick Powell.

 

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Flight Engineer

Name: C HALDEN (Cliff)
Service: Royal Air Force (Volunteer Reserve?)
Service Number: 1452632
Date of Birth: .......
Place of Birth: ......
Date of Enlistment: ......
Place of Enlistment: ........
Next of Kin: ......
Date of Posting from 462 Squadron: September 1945
Rank when posted from 462 Squadron: Flight Sergeant
Next Posting from 462 Sqdn: Possibly RAF Station Bruntingthorpe
(ORB 22 September 1945 states that all remaining RAF personnel were to be posted there, with clearance commencing immediately)
Subsequent Promotions and Postings: .......
Date, Rank, Posting at Discharge: .........
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Special Duties – dispensing WINDOW

Name: Stewart Edmund TAYLOR
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 433176
Date of Birth: 24 July 1924
Place of Birth: Paddington, New South Wales
Date of Enlistment: 25 February 1943
Place of Enlistment: Sydney NSW
Next of Kin: Edward TAYLOR
Date of Posting from 462 Squadron: September 1945
Rank when posted from 462 Squadron: Warrant Officer
Next Posting from 462 Sqdn: 9 ACHU, RAF Station Gamston.
Date of Discharge: 13 March 1946
Rank at Discharge: Warrant Officer
Posting at Discharge: 9 Aircrew Holding Unit

Stewart Edmund Taylor was one of a group of 12 Wireless Operators posted to 462 Squadron in January 1945 for Special Duties (WINDOW). Between 1 February and 23 April 1945, he carried out 25 Ops in this role, and 18 Ops were with the Sharp crew. This was probably why he was included in the formal crew photo.
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Additional Crew information (Information sourced from National Archives of Australia Series A9186 Unit History (462 Squadron ORBs). As of 1 November 2015, neither of the RAAF Service Files for Taylor or Peachey had been digitized. Similarly no RNZAF Service File for Sharp, and no RAF(VR) Service Files were available for the other English members of the crew. Therefore, enlistment and training information is not currently known. Crew Arrival Forms are usually included with Aircraft Loss Files, but otherwise have not been located for surviving crews. Later postings for Navigator George Bland were deduced from his log book entries. Additional detail was sourced from the log book of W/OP Peachey.)
If anyone can provide the full names of those RAF crew members listed below with initials only, please make contact. Their names have been checked in the July 1945 Air Force List and the London Gazette, without success.

Postings, including prior training, and Operational Posting to and from 462 Squadron – sourced from the Log Book of Kenneth Cavalier Peachey, but some entries will relate to the whole crew.

28 April 1943 to 10 October 1943 – Peachey at No. 1 WAGS Ballarat, Victoria, Australia (Wireless & Air Gunnery School).

10 October 1943 to 12 November 1943 – Peachey at No. 3 BAGS West Sale, Vic., Australia (Bombing & Air Gunnery School).

12 November 1943 to 28 March 1944 – no listings, assume Peachey posted to Embarkation Depot in Australia, then ship to UK, followed by posting to Personnel Despatch & Reception Centre in the UK.

28 March 1944 to 9 May 1944 – Peachey at No. 1 AFU Wigtown, Galloway, Scotland (Advanced Flying Unit) training in Avro Anson aircraft (other W/Ops posted to 462 Squadron also trained at 1 AFU, Wigtown).

9 May 1944 to 28 July 1944 – Peachey at No. 20 OTU Elgin, near Lossiemouth, north-east Scotland (Operational Training Unit), training in Wellington 2 engine bombers. The Crew of 6 usually formed at an OTU, made up of Pilot (Sharp), Navigator (Bland), Bomb Aimer (Payne), Wireless Operator (Peachey), and Mid-Upper Gunner (Mackie) and Rear Gunner (Powell). The photos of the crew taken in summer in Scotland in the previous section, were most likely taken at 20 OTU, Elgin (other Crews posted to 462 Squadron also trained at 20 OTU).

28 July 1944 to 1 September 1944 – Peachey at Acaster Malbis, Yorkshire, UK; assume posted there in Sharp's crew (other Crews posted to 462 Squadron also trained at Acaster Malbis).

1 September 1944 to 1 November 1944 – Peachey at No. 1658 HCU Riccall, Yorkshire UK (Heavy Conversion Unit) converting to and training in 4-engined Halifax II & III; assume posted there in Sharp's crew. The Flight Engineer was usually added to the Halifax crew at a HCU, so F/Eng Halden would probably have joined Sharp's crew at 1658 HCU (other Crews posted to 462 Squadron also trained at 1658 HCU).

1 November 1944 to 29 December 1944 – Peachey and Sharp's crew posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield, Yorkshire.

29 December 1944 – Peachey and Sharp's crew relocated with 462 Squadron to Foulsham, Norfolk.

12 September 1945 – Peachey posted from 462 Squadron, Foulsham to 9 ACHU, RAF Station Gamston.
According to Forms 540 in the 462 Squadron ORB, Pilot Sharp and Nav Bland were posted from the Squadron in May 1945, which correlates with the entries in Bland's Log book showing him flying as Nav for Sharp at 192 Squadron, Foulsham, from May to September 1945. (See later section for Nav Bland's log book). Payne and Powell were also posted from 462 Sqdn in May 1945, but their destinations were not listed (but maybe to 192 Squadron?). Mackie was posted from the squadron in June 1945, destination not recorded, and Halden in September 1945, possibly with a batch to RAF Station Bruntingthorpe. Stewart Taylor was also posted out in September 1945 to 9 ACHU, RAF Station Gamston.

462 Squadron ORB – There were a few errors for names and service numbers of this crew, with some identification problems for Taylor.

All seven permanent members of the Sharp crew arrived together at 462 Squadron, Driffield in Yorkshire in early November 1944. Their previous posting was not listed. Their names are included with the NCOs in the usual sequence of Pilot, Bomb Aimer, Navigator, Wireless Operator, Rear Gunner, Mid-Upper Gunner, and Flight Engineer. Pilot Sharp and W/OP Peachey were Flight Sergeants, and the other five were Sergeants. Sharp's first Op was as 2nd Pilot on 4 November. At the end of December 1944, this crew relocated with the squadron to Foulsham in Norfolk, when it transferred from 4 Group to 100 Group.
Taylor was posted to 462 Squadron Foulsham in January 1945 as a Flight Sergeant, in a group of 12 Wireless Operators for Special Duties (WINDOW).

Pilot George Christopher Barr Sharp 425509 RNZAF was listed with all three initials in the Form 540 Arrivals, however in Form 541 Ops, he was mostly listed as G C Sharp, but also with the initials G S, and G V, and D C; several entries as Sharpe; and Service Numbers 428532, 429509 and 525509. His correct name and service number were confirmed by the Research & Entitlement Advisor, Personnel Archives and Medals, New Zealand Defence Force. (A Mid-Upper Gunner with the name of Sharpe was also in 462 Squadron at the same time.)

Bomb Aimer H W Payne 1268659 RAF (VR?) – once listed as W Payne; and with Service numbers 126859 and 1268650.

Navigator George Sinton Bland 1587032 RAF (VR?) – also listed as D S and ES; and Blend; 1587232, and 1597032; and on one occasion his position and Service number were transposed with those of W/OP Peachey.

Wireless Operator Kenneth Cavalier PEACHEY 436272 RAAF – also listed as K G; Peechey, Paechey; 426272, 436262, 436372, 436472; and on one occasion his position and Service number were transposed with those of Nav Bland; and another time with those of MU/AG Mackie.

Mid-Upper Gunner J MACKIE 1824762 RAF (VR?) – also listed as Mackin; 184762; on one occasion his position and Service number were transposed with those of W/OP Peachey; and another time he was listed as MU/AG F/Eng (and the F/Eng Halden listed as SD W/OP; but no SD was named, although WINDOW was to be released.)

Rear Gunner R E POWELL 1880512 RAF (VR?) – also listed as K E, R; Powoll; 1880152.

Flight Engineer C HALDEN 1452632 RAF (VR?) – listed variously as G, O, C N; Horden, Holden, Hejdin, Haldin; 452632 and 1445262; on one occasion he was listed as SD W/OP (and Mackie as MU/AG F/Eng, but no SD was named, although WINDOW was to be released.)

Special Duties Stewart Edmund TAYLOR 433176 RAAF – also listed as F E, E D; 433743, 443317; and as SD F/E (instead of SD W/OP).
There were six aircrew personnel with the name Taylor in 462 Squadron – 1 Pilot, 1 Nav, 2 W/OPs, 1 Flight Engineer, and S E Taylor as SD. Incorrect initials, service numbers and crew positions for all, made correct identification a problem. Of Stewart Taylor's 25 Ops, 18 were with the Sharp crew.

S E Taylor also crewed as SD (WINDOW) with the following Pilots:-
Victor Thomas Bailey (Crew 46) x 2
Donald Maxwell Taylor (Crew 12) x 2
Lyle David Robinson (Crew 63) x 1
Bruce Kempton Drinkwater (Crew 49) x 1
Peter Freston Whatling (Crew 42) x 1

Others who crewed with Sharp for Special Duties (WINDOW), one OP each, were:-

05 January 1945 – Alexander Gordon Taylor 423491 RAAF (W/OP from Hourigan and other crews)
22 January 1945 – K N or K K Kift 1875516 RAF (VR?) (R/AG from Simms Crew)
09 February 1945 – James Wallis Kimber 436523 RAAF (1 of 12 W/OPs posted in Jan 1945 for SD, various crews)
11 February 1945 – Errol Dallas Tisdell 432388 RAAF (1 of 12 W/OPs posted in Jan 1945 for SD, various crews; later KIA with Lodder Crew)
09 March – name not recorded, although WINDOW was to be released; probably S E Taylor, based on his regular SD flights with this crew.
22 March 1945 – Llewellyn George Edwards 419117 RAAF
17 April 1945 – Kenneth John Danson 431279 RAAF (only 2 Ops in ORB, late April, one each for Simms and Sharp; usual role not known).

Substitutes for this crew were rare, and only the following have been located (one Op each), covering the absence of the Sharp's usual crew member.

16 March 1945 – Rear Gunner F Smith 1187024 (who was initially in Cockerill's crew, and later in Paull's crew).
05 January 1945 – Flight Engineer H P Murray 1866940 (who carried out Ops with several crews).

Additional Ops by the regular members of Sharps' crew were also carried out with other crews.

Sharp – 2 Ops as 2nd pilot, plus 30 with regular crew; 3 early returns; Total 29 Ops.

Payne – 30 Ops with Sharp; plus 1 as B/A with Drinkwater; and 1 as SD (WINDOW) with Lodder; 2 early returns; Total 30 Ops.

Bland – 30 Ops with Sharp; no Ops with other crews; 2 early returns; Total 28 Ops.
(In his photo album and Log Book, Bland had recorded his total as 26½ Ops. The reason for this difference is not known.)

Peachey – 30 Ops with Sharp; plus 2 as SD (WINDOW) with Simms; 2 early returns; Total 30 Ops.

Mackie – 30 Ops with Sharp; plus 1 each as MU/AG with Byrom, McGindle and Lodder; 2 early returns; Total 31 Ops.

Powell – 29 Ops with Sharp; plus 1 as R/AG with Drinkwater; 2 early returns; Total 28 Ops.

Halden – 30 Ops with Sharp; plus 1 as F/Eng with Lodder; 2 early returns; Total 29 Ops.

F/Eng Halden and MU/AG Mackie were substitutes in Lodder's crew in MZ467 Z5-C to Lechfeld, up at 1850 on the 15th April, returning to base at 0122 on the 16th. Less than 24 hours later, at 2358 on the 16th, MZ467 Z5-C and the Lodder Crew took off to Augsburg, but failed to return, with their loss recorded as the 17th April. Halden and Mackie may have had ambivalent feelings about the situation, having literally "dodged the bullet". However they were on Ops again with the Sharp crew to Ingolstadt, up at 2143 on the 17th April.
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Crew Ops

The following Table lists Ops for Sharp and his crew, as recorded in the Squadron ORB. Those Ops with early returns would not have been counted in the crew's final Op tally.

The Ops for April 1945 may also be seen on the relevant page from George Bland's log book, which is shown in the following section. There are some small differences between the log book and ORB for Up times.

Aircraft Code numbers Z5- and Serial Numbers have been cross-referenced with ORB and available log books (e.g. George Bland and other 462 Squadron veterans).
Times up and down in black are day flights, and times in red are night flights.
Target "Munster x 15" means 15 aircraft tasked from 462 Squadron to the target of Munster, with Sharp's crew being one of those 15 (and so on for the other dates). "Heligoland x 7 (of 12)" means this crew was in one of seven aircraft to that Target, but a total of 12 Squadron aircraft were on Ops that night, with 5 to a different target (and similarly for later dates). There is some variation in the spelling of Target names in the original ORB, with the names recorded below as per the ORB.
Code for Op Type – B Bombs; SD Special Duties; SP Spoof; W WINDOW; F Flares; TI Target Indicators; I Incendiaries.
This crew did not participate in any Protective Patrol Ops (PP).

Halifax usage for Sharp:-
1 Op each in LV955, MZ396, MZ457, NA147, PN442
2 Ops each in MZ429, MZ431
3 Ops each in MZ447, MZ467, PN450
and 13, possibly 14 Ops in NA239

Halifax MZ447 Z5-A (also listed elsewhere as MZ477 Z5-A) was lost on 24 February 1945, Pilot Rate and crew; seven KIA, and one PoW.
Halifax MZ467 Z5-C was lost on 17 April 1945, Pilot Lodder and crew; five KIA, and three PoWs.
Photos of Halifax MZ431 Z5-J, and NA147 Z5-G may be seen on the Halifax page.

Date Op No A/c Serial Code Z5- Up Down Target Op Type Comments
04/11/1944 1 MZ431 J 1730 2024 Bochum x 13 B Sharp as 2nd Pilot for Peter Hamilton Finley (Crew 15);
early return, oxygen failure in mid-upper turret, oxygen line broken at flow meter;
bombs jettisoned at sea.
06/11/1944 2 MZ429 F 1134 1642 Gelsenkirchen x 14 B Sharp as 2nd Pilot for Peter Hamilton Finley (Crew 15)
18/11/1944 3 MZ467 C 1223 1818 Munster x 15 B  
21/111944 4 LV955 E 1721 0028 Sterkrade x 15 B Diverted to and landed at Carnaby on return
06/12/1944 5 MZ467 C 1615 2211 Osnabruck x 14 B  
12/12/1944 6 NR239 D 1619 2225 Essen x 11 B  
18/12/1944 7 NR239 D 0253 0923 Duisburg x 16 B

 

05/01/1945 8 NR239 D 1632 2039 Heligoland x 7 (of 12) SD SP W Additional 8th member of crew to dispense WINDOW, Alexander Gordon Taylor
22/01/1945 9 NA147 G 1714 0059 Ruhr x 11 SD SP W Plus 8th man (SD W), K K (or K N) Kift
01/02/1945 10 NR239 D 1659 2330 Mannheim x 13 SD SP W B Plus 8th man (SD W), Stewart Edmund Taylor
02/02/1945 11 MZ457 Y 2056 0200 Mannheim x 8 SD SP W B Plus 8th man (SD W), Stewart Edmund Taylor
04/02/1945 12 NR239 D 1755 2301 Ruhr x 10 SD SP W Plus 8th man (SD W), Stewart Edmund Taylor
07/02/1945 13 MZ447 A 2146 0153 Bonn x 11 SD SP W B I Plus 8th man (SD W), Stewart Edmund Taylor
09/02/1945 14 MZ447 A 0332 0755 Ruhr x 10 SD SP W Plus 8th man (SD W), James Wallis Kimber
11/02/1945 15 MZ447 A 0131 0501 Ruhr x 16 SD SP W Plus 8th man (SD W), Errol Dallas Tisdell;
Night of 10/11 Feb;
27/02/1945 16 NR239 D 1826 2239 Sylt x 7 SD SP W Plus 8th man (SD W), Stewart Edmund Taylor
28/02/1945 17

NA239
(? NR239)

? D 2011 0223 Frieburg x 7 SD SP W Plus 8th man (SD W), Stewart Edmund Taylor;
Serial recorded in ORB as NA239, but probably NR239 Z5-D; (Target Freiburg?)
02/03/1945 18 NR239 D 1919 2230 Emden x 7 SD SP W B I Plus 8th man (SD W), Stewart Edmund Taylor
05/03/1945 19 NR239 D 1719 2324 Mannheim x 8 SD SP W I Plus 8th man (SD W), Stewart Edmund Taylor
07/03/1945 20 NR239 D 1834 0050 Rostock x 6 SD SP W Plus 8th man (SD W), Stewart Edmund Taylor
09/03/1945 21 NR239 D 1728 2155 Ruhr x 7 SD SP W Plus 8th man (SD W), not named, probably Stewart Edmund Taylor; early return with engine trouble
13/03/1945 22 NR239 D 1736 2334 Frankfurt x 11 SD SP W TI I Plus 8th man (SD W), Stewart Edmund Taylor
16/03/1945 23 PN442 H 1840 0100 Hanua x 3 SD SP W I Plus 8th man (SD W), Stewart Edmund Taylor;
diverted to and landed at Woodbridge on return, brakes unserviceable (Target Hanau ?)
18/03/1945 24 NR239 D 0109 0723 Kassel x 6 SD SP W Plus 8th man (SD W), Stewart Edmund Taylor
22/03/1945 25 MZ431 J 0135 0553 Bremen x 5 SD SP W TI I Plus 8th man (SD W), Llewellyn George Edwards;
early return with engine trouble, from Denmark on 3 engines; 1 Incendiary cluster brought back, remainder jettisoned
04/04/1945 26 NR239 D 1901 0256 Berlin x 9 (of 11) SD SP W TI I

Plus 8th man (SD W), Stewart Edmund Taylor

08/04/1945 27 MZ467 C 1818 0250 Schönebeck x 11 (of 12) SD SP W F TI Plus 8th man (SD W), Stewart Edmund Taylor;
Diverted to and landed at Lindholme on return
10/04/1945 28 PN450 L 1838 0219 Plauem x 8 (of 10) SD SP W B I Plus 8th man (SD W), Stewart Edmund Taylor;
(Target Plauen)
13/04/1945 29 PN450 L 2013 0135 Hamburg x 10 (of 12) SD SP W F I Plus 8th man (SD W), Stewart Edmund Taylor
14/04/1945 30 PN450 L 1831 0241 Jutterbug x 4 (of 12) SD SP W B Plus 8th man (SD W), Stewart Edmund Taylor;
(Target Jüterbog ?)
17/04/1945 31 MZ429 F 2143 0410 Ingoldstadt x 3 SD SP W Plus 8th man (SD W), Kenneth John Danson;
(Target Ingolstadt ?)
22/04/1945 32 MZ396 B 2115 0202 Heligoland x 10 SD SP W Plus 8th man (SD W), Stewart Edmund Taylor

According to the Peachey family folklore, Ken later named his son Chris in honour of Pilot Chris Sharp, in recognition of the crew's safe landing on return from an OP, with their aircraft carrying a partial "bomb" load. From the ORB and Log Book info, that Op was most likely on 21/22 March 1945 (Halifax MZ431 Z5-J, Target Bremen), when they returned from Denmark on three engines. They had been able to jettison 3 x No. 14 and 1 x No 15 Incendiary clusters, as well as 4 x 250 lb Target Indicators, but were still carrying 1 x No. 15 Incendiary Cluster. On their early return on 9 March 1945, they had only carried WINDOW, not a bomb load. On their landings away on 16 March and 8 April 1945, the bomb loads had already been dropped on the targets.
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Log Book pages for crew's Navigator George Sinton Bland – transcribed as written. This log book records flights from April 1945 to May 1946, with April to July 1945 pictured as follow. Training flights at OTU and HCU, and previous Ops at 462 Squadron, would have been recorded in an earlier log book which has not been located. (see Ops from ORB for corrected place names). SD = Special Duties Flight; Black are day flights, Red are night flights.

 

List of targets from Log Book of George Sinton Bland, Navigator with Crew 41, Pilot Sharp, 462 Squadron, Driffield 1944 and Foulsham 1945.
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of Martin Bland.

 

Left:- List of targets written on notepaper from the Sergeant's Mess at Foulsham, and kept with George Bland's log book.

On two additional sheets of the same notepaper, cumulative day and night flying times were recorded on one sheet, apparently carried forward from a previous log book; and on the second sheet, details of April 1945 Ops, later recorded in what appears to be a new log book.

Below:- Enlargement of the notepaper header, showing the RAF crest; the address .... SERGEANT'S MESS, ROYAL AIR FORCE STATION,
FOULSHAM, DEREHAM, NORFOLK ...... and a hand-drawn bomb.

Note paper from Sergeant's Mess, with list of targets from Log Book of George Sinton Bland, Navigator with Crew 41, Pilot Sharp, 462 Squadron, Driffield 1944 and Foulsham 1945.

 

 

Log Book for Navigator Bland, 462 Squadron

April 1945
Carried forward previous totals
Day 200hrs 15m; Night 205hrs

Log Book entries for April 1945 - Navigator George Sinton Bland, Crew 41, 462 Squadron, Foulsham.
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of Martin Bland.

April 1945 Flights, all as Navigator with Pilot W/O Sharp
4 Apr, Up 1855, Z5-D, Berlin, SD Feint Attack; 7hrs 55m
8 Apr, Up 1815, Z5-C, Magdeburg, SD, Diverted to Lindholm (sic), 8hrs 30m
9 Apr, up 1400, Z5-C, Return to Base (from Lindholme), 35m
10 Apr, Up 1841, Z5-L, Dessau, SD, 7hrs 40m
(ORB lists Plauen as the target for 10 April)
12 Apr, Up 1430, Z5-W, Air Test, 55m
13 Apr, Up 2012, Z5-L, Boizenburg, SD, 5hrs 25m
14 Apr, Up 1832, Z5-L, Jutteborg (sic), SD, 8hrs 10m
17 Apr, Up 2330, Z5-F, Ingolstadt, SD, 6hrs 25m
22 Apr, Up 1430, Z5-B, Heligoland, SD, 4hrs 45m
24 Apr, Up 1153, Z5-C, Base to St Athans (sic, St Athan), 2hrs
24 Apr, Up 1430, St Athans to Base, 1hrs 10m (as passenger)

Total Operational hours = 158 hours
Number of Completed Ops = 26½

 

Log Book for Navigator Bland, 462 Squadron

May 1945
Carried forward previous totals from April 1945
Day 204hrs 55m; Night 253hrs 50m

Log Book entries for May 1945 - Navigator George Sinton Bland, Crew 41, 462 Squadron, Foulsham.
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of Martin Bland.

May 1945 Flights, both with Pilot W/O Sharp
12 May, Up 1030, Z5-A, role of Special Operator, Bonn – Cologne – Duisburg – Essen – Dortmund – Wesel, low level, 5hrs 20m
17 May, Up 1030, Z5-B, as Navigator, Cook's Tour to Ruhr, 4hrs 50m

 

Log Book for Navigator Bland, 192 Squadron

June and July 1945
Carried forward previous totals from May 1945, 462 Squadron
Day 215hrs 05m; Night 253hrs 50m

Log Book entries for June and July 1945 - Navigator George Sinton Bland, previously Crew 41, 462 Squadron, Foulsham.
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of Martin Bland.

June 1945 Flight, as Nav with Pilot P/O Sharp
24 June, Up 1145, DT-R, Ferrying SD Men, Base – Schleswig – Grove – land – return to Base, 5hrs 05m

July 1945 Flights, as Nav with Pilot P/O Sharp
01 July, Up 1400, DT-T, Post Mortem, Denmark, recalled, 3hrs 20m
03 July, Up 1415, DT-S, Post Mortem, Denmark, 5hrs
05 July, Up 1405, DT-Y, Post Mortem, Denmark, 3hrs 55m
07 July, Up 0558, DT-R, Base to Grove (Denmark), 2hrs 10m
07 July, Up 1330, DT-R, Grove to Base, 2hrs 25m
19 July, Up 1120, DT-R, Ruhr Tour, 3hrs 45m
20 July, Up 1100, DT-X, S D Training, X Country, 1hr
23 July, Up 1415, DT-Z, S D Training, X Country, 2hr
24 July, Up 1340, MZ S, Bomb jettisoning in North Sea, Spec OP Training, 2hrs 05m
25 July, Up 1115, NA U, Bomb jettisoning, Spec OP Tr., 1hr 40m
The flights on 1, 3 & 19 July are the same (or similar) to those by Smith and Crew of 462 Squadron (see log book on Oakes page)

 

On later pages, during George Bland's posting to 192 Squadron, also based at Foulsham ......
July 1945, 192 Squadron, Foulsham, Navigator for P/O Sharp, 30 and 31 July, both Up at 1435, both Spec Op training, 1hr 15m and 1hr 50m

August 1945, 192 Squadron, Navigator for P/O Sharp, 6 flights, all daylight – one a Cook's Tour taking WAAFs over Germany, and the others UK flights e.g. Spalding, Edzell (Scotland), Creake, air tests, air to sea tests).
The monthly log book entries for April to August 1945 were all signed off by S/Ldr John H Crotch of 192 Squadron.

On 11 August 1945, the personnel and aircraft of 192 Squadron were transferred to the newly formed "Radio Warfare Establishment" (RWE), with Group Captain C V D Willis in command; and 192 Squadron was officially disbanded with effect from 22 August 1945 (Ref: "Espionage in the Ether" by William J and John E Rees). Group Captain Charles Victor Douglas Willis, DSO, DFC, 33354, RAF was the former Commander of RAF Station Foulsham, while 462 Squadron was located there (photo at end of 462 Squadron page).

3 September 1945, RWE, last flight for Bland as Navigator for P/O Sharp, another Cook's Tour with WAAFs, 3hrs 55m. Most likely Sharp was then posted to an Air Crew Holding Unit, pending repatriation to New Zealand. Similarly, all RAAF personnel of 462 Squadron were posted to 9 ACHU, RAF Station Gamston during September 1945, and 462 Squadron was officially disbanded on 24 September 1945.

During September 1945, Bland recorded six subsequent flights from Foulsham with various Pilots (Foulsham to Edzell x 2, Grove x 2, York, High Ercall), presumably with the "Radio Warfare Establishment".

October, November and December 1945, and January 1946 – various day flights, and one night flight as Nav with F/O Anderson at RAF Watton, the new home base of the RWE.
February, March, April and May 1946 as Nav with various Pilots, frequently with F/O Anderson, also at RAF Watton.
Bland's flights at Watton included the use of Halifax, Fortress, Lancaster, and Anson aircraft. (Photos in "Espionage in the Ether" show Super Fortress aircraft of the RWE at RAF Watton.)

The monthly log book entries for September 1945 to May 1946 were signed by various S/Ldrs. All entries were also counter-signed by Wing Commander C V D Willis, the Commanding Officer of the RWE, thus indicating that Bland was posted to that establishment.

George Bland's flying times were 382hrs 35m day, and 261hrs 05m night, giving a total of 643hrs 40m.
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Connections with the Crew of Halifax III NA240, Z5-V (Pilot F/O A.D.J.Ball, including sole survivor F/Sgt M.J. Hibberd)

As the training dates and prior postings are not available for the members of the Sharp crew, it is not yet know if that crew and Alf Ball's crew had met previous to their postings to Foulsham.

November 1944 – Sharp and crew posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield; and on 29 December 1944, relocated with the Squadron from Driffield (4 Group) to Foulsham (100 Group).
16 February 1945 – Ball & crew were posted 462 Squadron, Foulsham.

The two crews flew in 3 Ops on the same date – 13 March, 16 March and 10 April.

13 March 1945 – Eleven 462 Squadron aircraft were tasked with a Special Duty Spoof Raid to Frankfurt (SD, SP, W, TI, I):-

Sharp, crew of 8 (over 20 Ops), Halifax NR239 Z5-D, Up 1736 down 2334, SDO Stewart Edmund Taylor; released WINDOW and dropped target indicators and incendiaries.
Ball, crew of 8 (1st Op), Halifax MZ913 Z5-N, Up 1755 down 2345, SDO John Francis Wall; released WINDOW and dropped target indicators and incendiaries; (crew's previous "1st" Op, 10 March was an early return, so not counted). Log book for Rear Gunner Hibberd records this Op as "Special Duties. Saw 2 fighters. No Flak. Quiet Trip. Flight time 5 hours 50 minutes."
Anderson, crew of 9 (over 15 Ops),
Halifax NA240 Z5-V, Up 1743 down 2347, SDO Ronald George Irminger (WINDOW) and SDO J H Cohen, RCAF (Special Equipment Operator); released WINDOW and dropped incendiaries. This was the first Special Duties Op for this or any 462 Squadron Halifax fitted with the new and top secret Special Equipment for use in Radio Counter Measures. However the first Special Duties Training flight was on 3 March 1945 by Ball and crew (ORB Form 540 ..... “Weather was fine but still cold, with excellent flying conditions. During the afternoon ONE training cross country flight was carried out by P/O A.D. Ball. This flight was also the first training flight for the A.B.C. Special Duty Operators, and the first time that A.B.C. aircraft had flown in this Squadron.”

16 March 1945 – Three 462 Squadron aircraft were tasked with a Special Duty Spoof Raid to Hanua (sic, Hanau) (SD, SP, W, I):-

Sharp, crew of 8, Halifax PN442 Z5-H, Up 1840 down 0100, SDO Stewart Edmund Taylor; released WINDOW and dropped incendiaries; diverted to Woodbridge and landed there due to unserviceable brakes.
Ball, crew of 9 (3rd Op), Halifax NA240 Z5-V, Up 1829 down 0200, SDO Stanley Ernest Tills (WINDOW) and SDO Leslie Pugh (Special Equipment Operator); released WINDOW and dropped incendiaries; landed at Watton. This was only the second Special Duties Op for NA240 with any crew.
Log book for Rear Gunner Hibberd records this Op as "Special Duties with Special Operator. Severe Icing. Landed Away. Flight time 7 hours 45 minutes (sic)."
The 3rd crew was McGindle, crew of 8, Halifax MZ431 Z5-J, Up 1832, down 0040 at Foulsham; SDO Douglas Charles Henry Farrington.

10 April 1945 – Ten 462 Squadron aircraft were tasked on the night –
seven on the Window Force on a Spoof to Plauen (SD SP W B I),
one on a Protective Patrol with the Window Force to Plauen (PP B), and
two on a Protective Patrol with the Main Force to Leipzig (PP B).

This crew is recorded in the ORB as one of the seven tasked with the Special Duties flight to Plauem (sic, Plauen) on a Spoof Raid.
Sharp
, crew of 8, Halifax PN450 Z5-L, Up 1838 down 0219, SDO Stewart Edmund Taylor; released WINDOW and dropped bombs and incendiaries. One of the other seven crews on the Windows Force to Plauen was the Whatling crew – see John W. Harris page.
The log book entry dated 10 April 1945 for Sharp's Navigator, George Bland, lists the target as Dessau. It is puzzling to note that the log book entry dated 10 April 1945 for Whatling's Navigator John Harris, also lists the Special Duty target as Dessau, which is about 50 km north of the Main Force target of Leipzig. Their actual Feint/Spoof target (according to the ORB) was Plauen which is about 100 km south of Leipzig. The reason for this discrepancy is not known, however Dessau may have been the last co-ordinate for those aircraft before they branched off to Plauen (?). Which are correct – the log books, or the ORB pages? Various sources have been consulted, including Bomber Command War Diaries, Chorley (Bomber Command Losses 1945), and others. Any additional information would be appreciated (contact).

This crew is recorded in the ORB as one of the two tasked with the Protective Patrol with the Main Force to Leipzig.
Ball, crew of 8 (5th Op), Halifax NA240 Z5-V, Up 1910, failed to return, SDO John Heggarty (Special Equipment Operator); seven of crew KIA, Rear Gunner Maxwell James Hibberd was sole survivor and PoW, later escapee; Log book for Rear Gunner Hibberd records this Op as "SPECIAL DUTIES OPERATION, LEIPZIG, BALED OUT".
The other PP to Leipzig was by Frazer & Crew – see the page for Arthur Herbert De Leacy for details of their Op, and comments by Pilot William John Frazer regarding the arrival of NA240 Z5-V at Foulsham.

Sharp and Crew were seasoned veterans of 462 Squadron, whereas Ball & Crew (NA240) were relatively new to the Squadron. Both Crews would have attended the pre-flight briefing, and any Aircrew trade briefings, so the crew members would have known each other. All of Sharp's crew were NCOs, either W/O, F/Sgt or Sgt. It is assumed that at some time in the Sergeant's Mess, they would have met up with the five NCO's of Ball's Crew (Sgt F. Brookes, F/Sgt N. V. Evans, F/Sgt M. J. Hibberd, F/Sgt J. M. Tait & W/O R. R. Taylor). After the non-return of NA240 and the Ball crew on the night of the 10 April, there were most likely discussions in the Mess regarding their fate. However, life went on, with the Sharp crew on Ops on 13, 14, 17 and 22 April, and two of the crew also on an Op with the Lodder crew on 15 April (see comments in a previous section).

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