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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
21/22.02.1941 No. 75 Squadron Wellington IC T2503 P/O. Falconer

Operation: Wilhelmshaven

Date: 21/22nd February 1941 (Friday/Saturday)

Unit: No. 75 Squadron (NZ)

Type: Wellington IC

Serial: T2503

Code: AA-?

Base: RAF Feltwell, Norfolk

Location: No accurate location - North Sea

Pilot: P/O. Arthur James Falconer NZ/39910 RNZAF Age 23. Missing - believed Killed

Pilot 2: Sq/Ldr. Edward Ulric Guerin Solbe 34090 RAF Age 30. Killed

Nav: P/O. Anthony Vincent Muir NZ/40195 RNZAF Age 29. Missing - believed Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. "Don" William Donald Morrison 946356 RAFVR Age 22. Missing - believed Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Harry Thomas Hellier 650057 RAF Age 22. Missing - believed Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Andrew Moore Brodie NZ/391378 RNZAF Age 25. Killed


Took off from RAF Feltwell, Norfolk at around 19.00 hrs. to take part on a raid on Wilhelmshaven. A total of 54 Wellingtons took part with 19 actually bombing the target area. No details were available of damage to the town.

It is now understood that T2503 may have been one of the aircraft coned by searchlights between 22:05 and 22:11 hrs. and shot down by Stabsbaterie 1.-3 and 5./M Flak Battery 226 based on Norderney with the Wellington coming down in the North Sea off Heligoland at 22:11hrs.

This was one of two aircraft lost on this raid - the other a Wellington IC R1045 OJ-M from 149 squadron flown by F/O. Ian Henderson was also lost without trace, together with all six crew. Another Wellington IC T2547 crashed on landing, colliding with a fence near the airfield perimeter - all this crew survived.

Burial details:

P/O. Arthur James Falconer. Runnymede Memorial Panel 63. Born on the 23rd July 1917 in New Plymouth. Worked as an accounts clerk for Fairburn and Falconer in Wanganui. Worked his passage to England in May 1938. Employed with Vickers Armstrong Ltd in the erection shop for the Wellington bombers. from July - September 1938. Returned to New Zealand and joined Wanganui Aero Club in August 1939. Enlisted as a pilot under training at Levin on the 26th October 1939. Trained with Mo. 2 Elementary Flying Training School 20th November 1939. No. 2 Flying Training School 15th January 1940. Pilot badge awarded on the 23rd April 1940 and commissioned on the 28th May 1940. Embarked for England on the 06th June 1940. Further training with 7 Operational Training Unit flying the Spitfire on the 04th August 1940. To 15 Operational Training Unit flying the Wellington on the 12th August 1940. Finally joining 75 squadron on the 04th October 1940 when he completed 23 operational sorties. Son of William Mowat Falconer (died 18th November 1971, age 82) and Helen Francis Falconer (née Gibson - died 29th March 1941, age 51), of 43 Great North Road, St. Johns Hill, Wanganui, Wellington, New Zealand. A total of 384 flying hours logged.

Sq/Ldr. Edward Ulric Guerin Solbé. Kiel War Cemetery 4.E.6. Also remembered on the Glasgow Academy WW2 Memorial. Promoted to pilot officer on the 01st September 1934. Squadron leader 0n 02nd January 1940. Son of mr and Mrs. Richard Guerin Solbé. Husband of Jean G. Solbe, of Rustington, Sussex, England. Grave inscription reads: 'Beloved Budge'.

P/O. Anthony Vincent Muir. Runnymede Memorial Panel 63. Born on the 29th March 1911 at Wanganui. A teacher for the Wellington Education Board. Enlisted at Levin as an observer under training 15th January 1940. Trained with No. 1 Air Observer School 09th February 1940. Air observer badge awarded on the 27th May 1940 and promoted to sergeant. Awarded commission on the 28th May 1940. Embarked for England on the 07th June 1940. Further training with 17 Operational Training Unit 13th August 1940 on the Blenheim. Joined 101 squadron in October 1940, then to 15 squadron where he carried out 2 operational sorties. Finally joining 75 squadron on the 27th November 1940 carried out a further 7 operational sorties. Son of James Thomas Muir (died 21st January 1914, age 44) and Annie Ida Muir (née Ryan), of Wanganui, New Zealand. A total of 205 flying hours logged.

Sgt. William Donald Morrison. Runnymede Memorial Panel 49. Son of William and Mary Morrison of Perth, Scotland.

Sgt. Harry Thomas Hellier. Runnymede Memorial Panel 45. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Hellier and husband of Vera F. Hellier, of Wembley, Middlesex, England.

Sgt. Andrew Moore Brodie. Sage War Cemetery 8.A.4. Born on the 29th January 1916 at Gisborne. Worked as a clerk for Public Works Department in Kopuawhara. Enlisted at Levin on the 20th November 1939 as an air gunner under training. Air gunner badge awarded on the 14th January 1940. Embarked for England on the 20th February 1940. Joined 75 squadron 0n the 24th April 1940 where he completed 23 operational sorties. Son of Andrew Brodie (died 28th February 1916, age 39) and of Joanna Brodie (née Moore - died 18th May 1941), of Gisborne, Auckland, New Zealand. A total of 17 flying hours logged.

Researched for Tracey Daley, Linda Anderson and dedicated to all relatives of the crew. With thanks to the following sources:

L-R: Rear; Andrew Jack Cowlrick NZ/39902 killed 03rd June 1942, AH Stubbings, Sexton Ivan Baird NZ/39897 died 18th December 1994, Edward Preston Wells NZ39950 died 04th November 2005, David William Metherell NZ/39927 killed 15th December 1943, Francis James Rolston NZ/39939 killed 08th August 1944, Douglas Owen Stanley NZ/39944 killed 26th October 1940.
Front; Edward Walter Gillies Churches NZ/39900 killed 19th April 1941, John Gordon Pattison NZ/39931 died 2009, Tancred Eric Cooper NZ/39901 killed 18th December 1941, Jack Ward Edwards NZ/39908 killed 10th May 1944, Arthur James Falconer NZ/39910 killed 21st February 1941, Alfred William Doel NZ.39907 killed 12th January 1943, William Arthur Middleton NZ39928 killed 27th August 1941.

KTY Page updated 07.01.2019

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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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