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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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75 Squadron Crest
15/16.09.1941 No. 75 Squadron Wellington Ic X9759 AA-R Sgt. A.H.R. Hawkins

Operation: Hamburg

Date: 15/16th September 1941 (Monday/Tuesday)

Unit: No. 75 Squadron (NZ)

Type: Wellington Ic

Serial: X9759

Code: AA-R (not confirmed)

Base: RAF Feltwell, Norfolk

Location: Hartenholme, Germany

Pilot: Sgt. Anthony Henry Ryder Hawkins NZ/40971 RNZAF Age 20. Killed

Pilot 2: Sgt. Robert Boswell Blakeway NZ/403486 RNZAF Age ? PoW. No. 39332 Camp: Stalag Luft Heydekrug (1)

Nav: P/O. Hugh MacLachlan Aitchison J/4782 RCAF Age 28. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. W.E. Mullins R/54981 RCAF Age? PoW. No. 18334 Camp: Stalag Luft Heydekrug (1)

W/Op/Air/Gnr:  Sgt. John Gifford Foulkes 909428 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Derek Gifford Fawcett NZ/422698 RNZAF Age ? Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off from RAF Feltwell between 19.40 hrs and 21.15 hrs joining some 168 aircraft of various squadrons to bomb several targets within the city, using railway lines and shipyards as aiming points.

Area of loss for Wellington X9759

The Luftwaffe were using the flak aided searchlights from the 3rd Flak division to pinpoint targets and all 6 claimed to have been shot down by the night fighters were using this technique.

75 Squadron crews at RAF Feltwell 1941

Reports state that considerable damage was caused within the city with 82 people killed, 229 injured with over 1,400 people bombed out of their homes.

Right: Oblt. Reinhold Eckardt (Kracker Archives)

Wellington X9759 was shot down by Oblt. Reinhold Eckardt (2) of Stab II./NJG1 at between 00:40 - 00:46 hrs with combat taking place over Bockhorn - he also claimed the other 76 squadron Wellington earlier at 00:33 hrs.

The other Wellington from the squadron was X3205 flown by Sgt. James Allan Ward, the first Victoria Cross holder of WW2 for the RNZAF. 22 year old Sgt. Ward from Wellington, New Zealand was killed with 3 other crew, 2 taken PoW.

(1) Heydekrug - now called Šiluté and is in Lithuania
(2) This was the 14th confirmed abschüsse for the Luftwaffe ace Oblt. Reinhold Eckardt. He went on to claim a further 8 before he was killed on the 30th July 1942 after his parachute caught on the tail of his Bf 110. His radio operator survived.

Above: Hamburg Cemetery Ohlsdorf

Burial details:

Sgt. Anthony Henry Ryder Hawkins. Hamburg Cemetery. Coll. Grave 5A.M.9-12. Son of Anthony Ryder Hawkins and Daisy Isobel Hawkins, nephew of Mrs. I.M. Steach, of Upper Riccarton, Canterbury, New Zealand. This was his 22nd operation.

P/O. Hugh MacLachlan Aitchison. (shown left) Hamburg Cemetery. Coll. Grave 5A.M.9-12. Son of Robert Henderson Aitchison and Jessie Cromarty Aitchison, of Maryhill, Glasgow, Scotland. Understood to have been living in Ottawa, Canada for some years before the war.One of 7 boys in the family His older brother, 40 year old George Aitchison 2554004 Royal Artillery was also killed and is buried at Glasgow Western Necropolis - we dont have details of his loss.

Sgt. John Gifford Foulkes. Hamburg Cemetery. Coll. Grave 5A.M.9-12. Son of Peter Gifford Foulkes and Violet Agnes Foulkes, of Sidmouth, Devon, England.

Sgt. Derek Gifford Fawcett. Hamburg Cemetery. Coll. Grave 5A.M.9-12. Next of kin details not available - are you able to assist? 

Note: Hamburg Cemetery is also known as Hamburg Cemetery Ohlsdorf.

For further details our thanks to the following, Margaret Aitchison Palmer-Brown, niece of P/O. Aitchison, the 75 Squadron websites who assist us with many details, we also reciprocate when requested.

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 and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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