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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
15/16.07.1941 No. 75 Squadron Wellington Ic R3171 Sgt. Fotheringham

Operation: Duisburg

Date: 15/16th July 1941 (Tuesday/Wednesday)

Unit: No. 75 Squadron 3 Group (motto: Ake ake kia kaha - 'For ever and ever be strong')

Type: Wellington Ic

Serial: R3171

Code: AA-?

Base: RAF Feltwell, Norfolk

Location: Lost without trace

Pilot: Sgt. Robert Ewen Ernest Fotheringham NZ/391833 RNZAF Age 29. Killed

Pilot 2: Sgt. Eric Vincent Keiran Higgins AUS/400277 RAAF Age 27. Missing - believed killed

Obs: Sgt. Joseph Harold Campbell Roberts R/54910 RCAF Age 24. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Sydney Allan Dyer NZ/40101 RNZAF Age 19. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Phillip Edgar Hare NZ/401227 RNZAF Age 19. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Douglas Malcolm MacKinnon NZ/40923 RNZAF Age 20. Missing - believed killed


Taking off at around 23:00 hrs. from the squadron base at RAF Feltwell in Norfolk together with 8 others from the unit.

Lost without trace but thought to have been hit by anti-aircraft fire and coming down in the North Sea. Only two bodies were recovered from the crew. Both of these were later reinterred at cemeteries shown below, the others sadly remembered on the Runnymede Memorial.

Above as described - see notes at foot of page.

Burial details:

Sgt. Robert Ewen Ernest Fotheringham. Bergen-Op-Zoom War Cemetery. 30.A.3. Born on the 08th December 1911 at Auckland, the son of John and May Fotheringham, of Takapuna, Auckland, New Zealand. Attended King's College 1926 -28 where he was a member of School House. A total 411 flying hours logged and having completed 29 operational sorties.

Sgt. Eric Vincent Keiran Higgins. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 62. Born on the 02nd March 1914 at Windsor, Victoria, the son of Joseph and Mary Higgins and husband of Loreen Higgins, of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Sgt. Joseph Harold Campbell Roberts. Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery. Plot 85. Row A. Grave 1. Son of Ernest James Roberts and Catherine M. Roberts, of Notre Dame de Grace, Province of Quebec, Canada. Grave inscription reads: "If We Still Love Those We Have Lost, We Have Not Lost Those We Love".

Sgt. Sydney Allan Dyer. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 63. Son of Sydney Samuel Dyer and May Elizabeth Dyer, of Portobello, Otago, New Zealand. A total of 122 flying hours logged and having completed 21 operational sorties.

Sgt. Phillip Edgar Hare. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 64. Son of George Edgar and Margaret May Hare, of Hamilton, Auckland, New Zealand. A total of 169 flying hours logged and having completed 14 operational sorties.

Sgt. Douglas Malcolm MacKinnon. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 64. Born on the 21st November 1920 at Ohinewai, Waikato, the son of John Malcolm and Gertrude Caroline MacKinnon, of Rangiriri, Auckland, New Zealand. A total of 209 flying hours logged and having completed 15 operational sorties.

Researched by Jenifer Lemaire of New Zealand for Aircrew Remembered - May 2019 and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, grave photograph courtesy of Astrid and fulhamrocks, other sources as quoted below:

Note: Image of the pilot reproduced under licence - Auckland Library Heritage Collection: 23 July 1941: AWNS19410723-34-15. Image of Sgt. Dyer reproduced under licence - Auckland Library Heritage Collection: 28 October 1942: AWNS19421028-18-29 Image of Sgt. Hare reproduced under licence - Auckland Library Heritage Collection: 6 August 1941: AWNS19410806-26-46. Image of Sgt. MacKinnon reproduced under licence - Auckland Library Heritage Collection: 6 August 1941: AWNS0806-26-44.

JL/KTY 30.05.2019

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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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