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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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13 Squadron Boston V BZ656 W/O. James Bertram Annand

Operation: Migliarina, Italy

Date: 07/08th March 1945 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No. 13 Squadron (motto:' Adjuvamus tuendo - 'We assist by watching'). 232 Wing, Balkan Air Force

Type: Boston V

Serial: BZ656

Code: S

Base: Forli airfield

Location: Near San Varano, Italy

Pilot: W/O. James Bertram Annand NZ/428066 RNZAF Age 25. Killed

Nav/Air/Bmr: Sgt. Gerald Leonard Harris 1616848 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Patrick Gordon Roberts 1851341 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Stanley Sampson 3050156 RAFVR Age 19. Killed


The squadron had moved to Forli airfield from Falconara earlier in the day of the 07th of March. F/O. D.A Woof flying Boston BZ599 During the relocation and at 18:15 hrs whilst on landing approach at Forli struck telegraph wires with the nose wheel causing category B1 damage. (It is believed that the aircraft was not repaired)

Taking off at 21:30 hrs. to bomb a factory and a stores dump at Migliarina in northern Italy with six others.

Shortly after take off the aircraft struck a 20 foot high telegraph pole 600 yards from the end of the runway. The pilot lost control and crashed near San Varano, the bomb load and fuel exploded killing all the crew.

The remains crews returned safely apart from 1 searchlight no enemy action encountered.

Above: Forli War Cemetery

Burial details:

The drew were buried with full military honours on the 08th March 1945.

W/O. James Bertram Annand. Forli War Cemetery. Grave VI.D.13. Born on the 14th January 192S in Hurimoana. Educated at New Plymouth Boys High School and Victoria University. Worked as a clerk for the Public Works Department in Wellington. Enlisted at New Plymouth on the 11 July 1942 as an aircradthand but remastered as a pilot on the 28th November 1942. Trained at No. 2 Elementary Flying Training School on the 06th February 1943. Further training with No, 3 Service Flying Training School on the 03rd April 1943. Pilot page awarded on the 07th June 1943 and promoted to sergeant on the 31st July 1943. Embarked for England on the 21st August 1943. With No. 5 Personnel Reception Centre 24th April 1944. Embarked for Egypt on the 04th May 1944. Further training on the Baltimore 75 Operational Training Unit on the 26th August 1944. Joined 13 squadron on the 06th December 1944. A total of 420 flying hours logged. Son of Bertram Charles Annand (died 14th September 1963, age 72) and of Mary Josephine Annand (née Roughan - died 06th October 1975), of Trentham, Wellington, New Zealand.

Sgt. Gerald Leonard Harris. Forli War Cemetery. Grave VI.D.14. Son of Isaac and Sarah Harris, of Aldgate, London, England. Epitaph: 'At The Going Down Of The Sun And In The Morning We Will Remember Thee R.I.P.'.

Sgt. Patrick Gordon Roberts. Forli War Cemetery. Grave VI.D.11. Son of Thomas Kenneth and Florence Daisy Roberts, of Gosport, Hampshire, England. Epitaph: 'In Loving Memory Of Our Beloved Son Worthy Of Everlasting Love. Ever Dear'.

Sgt. Stanley Sampson. Forli War Cemetery. Grave VI.D.12. Son of James Herbert Thomas Sampson and Doris Elizabeth Sampson, of Grimsby, Lincolnshire, England, Epitaph: 'In Precious Loving Memory. His Life, His Youth, His Dreams, He Gave Them Willingly'.

Above: Rear L-R: James Bertram Annand 428066 ✞, Ian Alexander Carnie 427507, J.W Dyer, J.C Flanagan, Louis Thomas Friedrich 428060 ✞, D.A Gawith, Alan Russell Galletly 427481 ✞.
Centre: N.L Handricks, W.L Hardie, D.A Ingham, Robert Baines Knight 422292 ✞, D.P Leadley, P.W Nicholas, G.G Smaill, K.B Smith.
Front: Gordon William Edwards Steel 427534, D. Tebbutt, Noel Humphrey Thorpe 428168 ✞, J.D Williams, G.D Wareham, Roland Leslie Werner 427833 ✞, J.H.T Wood, Edward Kimpton Whitechurch 426232 ✞. (Courtesy Air Museum of New Zealand)

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, New Zealand Cenotaph, Weekly News of New Zealand, Air Museum of New Zealand, Museum of Transport and Technology, Auckland, National Archive Kew, Air-27-182-21/22.

Other sources as quoted below:

KTY 18-05-2023

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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', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. 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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