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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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22nd October 1943 88 Squadron Boston IIIA BZ307 Fl/Sgt. Chappell

Operation: Courcelles Belgium

Date: 22nd October 1943 (Friday)

Unit: No. 88 Squadron (motto: En garde - 'Be on your guard') 2 Group Tactical Air Force

Type: Boston IIIA

Serial: BZ307

Code: RH-J

Base: RAF Hartford Bridge, Hampshire

Location: South of Elversele.

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Robert A.J. Chappell 1318483 RAFVR PoW No: 270016 Camp: Mühlberg/Elbe

Nav: Fl/Sgt. Melville Collinson Baynes NZ/414229 RNZAF Age 26. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Francis Matthews NZ/414511 RNZAF PoW No: 261457 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan


Taking off at 13:57 hrs piloted by Bob Chappell (1) with 24 Bostons from 88, 107 and 342 squadron.

The operation was a disaster with 5 aircraft lost, as a result the target was not bombed by any aircraft and the raid was totally abortive.

No photographs were taken and no enemy fighters were seen.

The formation crossed the enemy coast off track and encountered intense light flak, the leader being shot down shortly afterwards, followed moments later by four others. Last seen turning away to port over St Nicolas and apparently under control, BZ307 was also brought down by anti aircraft fire, crashing 7km to the south at Elversele, at 14:15 hrs.

(1) Whilst at 34 Operational Training Unit at Pennfield Ridge had been the pilot of Ventura AE658 (a new prototype) when on the 08th October 1942 at 18:40 hrs on a local training flight, yawed on landing, ran on to stony ground and the port oleo leg was damaged Cat. C, none of the crew suffered injuries (may have been the same crew).

Pilots course No. 20b. No. 3 Elementary Flying Training School, RNZAF Station Harewood.

L-R: Rear; Alfred William Burge NZ/414238, Thomas Bernard Burrowes NZ/414239 KIA, TTW Green, Raymond Francis Connor NZ/414377 KIA, Sdney Alcock NZ/39979 KIA, Robert Alexander Banks-Martin NZ/414226 KIA, Terence Douglas Blewett NZ/414376 KIA, Walter Ian Charteris NZ/414245 KIA, Beryck Phillip William Dalcom NZ/414261, Albert Farmer NZ/414270, Alexander Stuart Keith NZ/414300, IG Grant, Wilfred Everleigh Wildey NZ/414368, Leslie Cormac Maunsell NZ/414348 KIA, FE Coates.

3rd row; Arthur David Leese NZ/413945, RT Johnston, CL Clare, Derek Frank Blackmore NZ/414233, Gordon Keith Claris NZ/414250 KIA, Douglas Robert Bannerman NZ/414380 KIA, DL Shears, AC Kenning, GK Malcomson, Douglas Haig Mann NZ/414316, Richard Hilary Woodhouse NZ/413925, Mervyn Jack Mills NZ/414321 KIA, Robert John Kemp NZ/414302, Melville Collinson Baynes NZ/414229 KIA.

2nd row; FM Downs, Richard Clark NZ/414252 KIA, HLF Goggon, William Tidswell Ellis NZ/413705 KIA, Lindsay Keith Goodwin NZ/413992, D Jackson, Noel Buchanan Daniel NZ/414262 KIA, Raymond Chesney NZ/414247, WR Craig, George Thomas Couttie NZ/414253, Murray Metcalfe NZ/413876 KIA, Malcolm Kirk Jackson NZ/414297 KIA, FL Welford, Raymond Ernest Joseph Hogg NZ/414292, Leicester George Smith NZ/414352.

Front; Nelson Whittington Watts Warner NZ/411479 KIA, Horace Robert Harrap NZ/414286 KIA, Herbert James Dalzell NZ/414263, James Gough Polson NZ/414339 KIA, Frederick George Shears NZ/413489 KIA, JW Morris, Maxwell Wintringham Dixon NZ/414265 KIA, Charles William Hildreth NZ/414291 KIA, DJ Galbraith, HJ Wright, Norman John Rowe NZ/414344 KIA, George James Mee NZ/414319 KIA, Douglas Moultrie NZ/414324 KIA, Thomas Otto Metcalfe NZ/414386 KIA, Colin Bruce Muir NZ/413459 KIA.

Burial details:

Fl/Sgt. Melville Collinson Baynes. Gent City Cemetery. Grave 18.7.7. Born on the 03rd May 1917 at Christchurch. Self employed cycle dealer prior to service. On the 27th July 1941 enlisted at Levin. Joined No. 3 Elementary Flying Training School on the 07th September 1941 but his pilot training terminated. Embarked for Canada on the 08th January 1942. Joined No. 9 Air Observers School on the 04th February 1942 Observer badge awarded on the 21st August 1942 and promoted to Sergeant.

Further training with No. 34 Operational Training Unit on the Ventura at Pennfield Ridge aerodrome joining on the 01st September 1942. Understood that the crew formed there. Embarked for England via New York on the 05th January 1943. Joined 88 squadron on the 01st April 1943.

Son of Wilfred Francis (died 02nd November 1963) and Florence Cecily Baynes (nee Carr - died 09th August 1949), of 190 Matson's Road, Papanui, Christchurch, New Zealand.

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 01-09-2021

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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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