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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 badge
16/17.01.1945 No 75 Squadron Lancaster I PB761 AA-Y Fl/Lt. Blewett

Operation: Wanne-Eickel

Date: 16/17th January 1945 (Tuesday/Wednesday)

Unit: No. 75 Squadron (N.Z.)

Type: Lancaster I

Serial: PB761

Code: AA-Y

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


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

Burial details:

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'.

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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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