16/17.01.1945 No 75 Squadron Lancaster I PB761 AA-Y Fl/Lt. Blewett
Date: 16/17th January 1945 (Tuesday/Wednesday)
Unit: No. 75 Squadron (N.Z.)
Type: Lancaster I
Base: RAF Mepal, Cambridgeshire.
Location: Woodditton, Cambridgeshire.
Pilot: Fl/Lt. Terence Douglas Blewett NZ/414376 RNZAF Age 26. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. R.H. Hunswicks RAFVR Survived - injured
Nav: Fl/Sgt. Bryant Thomas Cornell RAFVR Age 22. Survived - injured (1)
Air/Bmr: F/O. John Stanley Wilson NZ/426234 RNZAF Age 24. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: W/O. J. Smyrk RAFVR Survived - injured
Air/Gnr: Sgt. W.H. Pridmore RAFVR Survived - injured
Air/Gnr: Sgt. K. Hollins RAFVR Survived - injured
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 23:30 hrs from RAF Mepal, Cambridgeshire to attack the Benzol plant.
No reports on the amount of damage caused by the 138 Lancasters taking part.
Returning crews reported very little night fighter activity although one bomber engaged a Fw190 - no results known and no records exist from the Luftwaffe on this operation.
It is possible that this Lancaster PB761 was attacked and damaged by one of II./NJG2 or II./NJG4 that are believed to have been active but we are unable to confirm this. It is known that the pilot managed to return but at 04.20 hrs it crashed at Woodditton, near to the base at Mepal.
The pilot and Air bomber were killed in the crash, (1) Fl/Sgt. Cornell died the following day from his injuries.
Graves of the crew, two visited by Aircrew Remembered at Cambridge in March 2013
Fl/Lt. Terence Douglas Blewett. Cambridge City Cemetery. Grave 15558. Son of Leonard Francis Blewett, and of Leonora Blewett (nee Sorrell), of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand.
Fl/Sgt. Bryant Thomas Cornell. Southgate Cemetery. Sec. HB. Grave 561. Son of Thomas Bryant Cornell and Florence Cornell, of Palmers Green; husband of Pamela June Cornell, of Fulham, London, England.
F/O. John Stanley Wilson. Cambridge City Cemetery. Grave 15557. Son of Mervyn and Sarah Wilson, of Auckland City, New Zealand.
Researched for relatives of the crew with thanks for additional information supplied by Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses' Vol. 7, The Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Tom Kracker - 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'.