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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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70 crest
07/08th July 1942 70 Squadron Wellington IC Z8986 W/O.II. Milligan

Operation: Attack on battle area

Date: 07/08th July 1942 (Tuesday/Wednesday)

Unit: No. 70 Squadron (motto: Usquam - 'Anywhwere'). 231 Wing. 205 Group

Type: Wellington IC

Serial: Z8986

Code: T

Base: RAF Abu Sueir, Egypt

Location: See map

Pilot: W/O II. John Rosebery Milligan R/76713 RCAF Age 21. Safe (1)

Pilot: Sgt. Lincoln Thomas Beynon Phillips 1253989 RAFVR Age 27. Killed

Obs: P/O. Reginald Francis Watson NZ/41557 RNZAF Age 25. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Raymond Jeffrey Smart RNZAF NZ/404622 Age 25. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Frank Owen Holder Harrison NZ/41586 RNZAF Age 25. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt P.F. Smith RAFVR Safe

REASON FOR LOSS:

On the 05th July 1942 some of this crew were involved in an accident on Wellington IC Z1175 during an operation. They were forced to crash land the aircraft after the starboard engine failed, most of the crew suffered light injuries. Sgt. Clack, the rear gunner was hospitalised.

During take off whilst at 75 ft the aircraft lurched downwards and struck the ground catching fire. Four of the crew were killed.


(1) The pilot W/O. Milligan was killed whilst a passenger on Halifax II W1002 on a Ferry flight to Malta. All 7 crew members and 8 passengers were listed as missing believed killed on the 138 squadron flight.

Burial and personal details:

Sgt. Lincoln Thomas Beynon Phillips. Ismailia War Memorial Cemetery. Grave 7. A. 11. Son of Sidney and Edith Phillips. Husband of Lilian Phillips, of Loughor, Glamorgan, Wales.

P/O. Reginald Francis Watson. Ismailia War Memorial Cemetery. Grave 7. A. 9. Also remembered on parents grave at Kowai Pass Cemetery. Born on the 06th April 1917 at Dunedin. Worked as a labourer for NZR prior to service. Enlisted on the 19th January 1941 at Levin. Embarked for Canada on the 27th March 1941. Air observer badge and promoted to sergeant on the 19th August 1941. Embarked for England on the 22nd September 1941.

Further training with 21 Operational Training Unit on the 06th January 1942 and with 15 Operational Training Unit on the 21st April 1942. Joined 70 squadron on the 16th June 1942. Son of George Albert (died 18th April 1921, age 37) and Margaret Watson (nee Hampton - died 07th August 1981, age 93. both parents buried at Kowai Pass Cemetery, Canterbury), of Riccarton, Canterbury, New Zealand. A total of 291 flying hours logged and on his 9th operational sortie.

Sgt. Sgt Raymond Jeffrey Smart. Ismailia War Memorial Cemetery. Grave 7. A. 10. Born on the 22nd October 1916 at Dunedin. Worked as a self employed road constructer prior to service. Enlisted at Levin on the 24th November 1940. Embarked for Canada on the06th January 1941. Awarded air gunner badge and promoted to sergeant on the 18th August 1941. Embarked for England on the 24th August 1941.

Further training with 11 Operational Training Unit on the 25th November 1941 and with 15 Operational Training Unit in May 1942. Crewed a Wellington to Egypt via Gibraltar and Malta on the 14th May 1942. Joined 70 squadron on the 16th June 1942. Son of Sydney Smart and of Mildred 'Millie' Smart (nee Lloyd), of Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand. On his 9th operational sortie.

Sgt. Frank Owen Holder Harrison. Ismailia War Memorial Cemetery. Grave 7. A. 12. Born on the 02nd October 1916 at Auckland. Worked as a farmer on his fathers farm at Sunnycroft, Lower Kamimai. Enlisted at Levin on the 19th January 1941. Embarked for Canada on the 27th February 1941. Air gunner badge and promoted to sergeant on the 01st September 1941. Embarked for England on the 18th September 1941.

Further training with 11 Operational Training Unit on the 05th January 1942 and with 15 Operational Training Unit on the 22nd April 1942. Crewed a Wellington to Egypt via Gibraltar and Malta on the 11th May 1942. Joined 70 squadron on the 16th June 1942. Son of Frank John Holder Harrison and Emily Rhoda Harrison, of Mount Eden, Auckland, New Zealand. On his 9th operational sortie.

Later date:

W/O.II. John Rosebery Milligan. Alamein Memorial. Column 264. Son of Alexander Laird Milligan and Agnes Henderson Milligan, of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 20-10-2021

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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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