51 Squadron Whitley V Z9315 Sgt. Harvey Jennings Grut
Date: 26/27th January 1942 (Monday/Tuesday)
Unit: No. 51 Squadron (motto: 'Swift and Sure '). 4 Group
Type: Whitley V
Base: RAF Dishforth, Yorkshire
Pilot: Sgt. Harvey Jennings Grut NZ/404866 RNZAF Age 29. Killed
Pilot: Sgt. Robert Alfred Hamilton NZ/41328 RNZAF Age 21. Killed
Obs: Sgt. Vincent Sylvester Mancini R/65363 RCAF PoW No: 90111 Camp: Stalag Luft Heydekrug
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Charles Henry Stokell 1055980 RAFVR Age 31. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Alfred Waterworth 936068 RAFVR Age? Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Weather: Wind - westerly 30-35 mph. Occasional showers ahead of fresh snow.
Bomb load: 4 x 500 lb, 43 x 250 lb bombs.
Take off time: 17:03 hrs.
Two bombing operations this night. 71 aircraft to bomb Hannover between 21:09 and 22:21 hrs. The other, 33 aircraft to bomb Emden between 20:25 and 21:45 hrs. 19 aircraft from 51 squadron to bomb Emden. 2 failed to return, the other:
Whitley Z9423 MH-S Flown by 29 year old P/O. John Frederick Wright 104511 RAFVR from Chiswick, Middlesex, missing with all 4 other crew. (3 RAFVR, 1 RNZAF and 1 RCAF)
Z9313 which was also to drop nickel (1), was shot down Uffz. Rudolf Frank with Schierholz of 1./NJG3 (his 3rd claim of the war - shown right) at 20:36 hrs west of Quakenbrück, Germany in Bf110 E-2 D5+HH/ The Whitley came down near Meppen. The observer Sgt. Mancini managed to jump but was quickly captured by the Germans.
(1) Nickel: Airborne leaflet propaganda dropping.
Burial and other personal details:
The crew who were killed were initially buried in the Evangelical Cemetery at Meppen, later reinterred at Reichswald.
Sgt. Harvey Jennings Grut. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Collective grave 14. D. 1-4. Born on the 18th January 1913 at Feilding. Educated at Takapuna Grammer school. Worked as a motor body builder for Mr. S.J. Notes at Te Awamutu. Enlisted at Levin on the 01st December 1940 as a pilot under training. With No. 2 Elementary Flying Training School 18th January 1941. With No. 3 Flying Training School 01st March 1941. Pilots badge was awarded on the 14th April 1941. Promoted to sergeant on the 24th May 1941. Embarked for England on the 18th June 1941. Further training with No. 19 Operational Training Unit on the 03rd August 1941flying the Whitley. Joined 51 squadron on the 08th October 1941. Son of Collings de Ste. Groix Grut and of Violet Muriel Grut (née Moore), of Auckland City, New Zealand. Total of 9 operational sorties with 285 flying hours logged.
Sgt. Robert Alfred Hamilton. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Collective grave 14. D. 1-4. 4. Born on the 18th April 1920 at Christchurch. Educated at Rangiora High School and Timaru High School. A manager for his mothers farm at Waitara. Served 2 years in the territorial army. Enlisted at Levin on the 19th January 1941 as a pilot under training. With No. 1 Elementary Flying Training School 28th February 1941. First solo on the 12th March 1941. No. 1 Flying Training School 12th April 1941. Pilot badge awarded on the 24th May 1941. Promoted to sergeant on the 05th July 1941. Embarked for England on the 22nd July 1941. Further training with No. 10 Operational Training Unit on the 16th September 1941flying the Whitley. Joined 51 squadron on the 15th December 1941. Son of Lionel John Gorden Hamilton (died 25th July 1942, age 57) and Mary Hamilton (née Sloss - died 26th July 1980, age 91. Married 07th January 1914), of Waipara, Canterbury, New Zealand. Total of 6 operational sorties with 238 flying hours logged.
Sgt. Charles Henry Stokell. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Collective grave 14. D. 1-4. Son of Charles Robert and Annie Stokell, of Leeds, Yorkshire and husband of Dorothy Mary Stokell, of Leeds, Yorkshire. England. Epitaph: 'Ever Remembered By His Wife, Daughter, Parents And Family'.
Sgt. Alfred Waterworth. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Collective grave 14. D. 1-4. Thought to be from Linton in Craven, Yorkshire, England. No further information, are you able to assist?
L-R: Back; Kenmir Loudon McAdam NZ/41485, Stanley Harold Mortimore NZ/405307, William Stuart Beattie NZ/41301, G. McLDensem, W.A. Brown, L Yates, Philip Murray Sharplin NZ/41366, Eric Gordon Wagstaff NZ/41382, JA Valentine, KC Phillip, Albert Leonard Sanderson NZ.41363.
Middle; Robert Alfred Hamilton NZ.41328, J. McL. Cochrane, Lawrence Heaton Baxter NZ/41300, Robert Walter Coddington NZ.41310, Robert Clifford Barclay NZ/41505, Raymond Johnson Watson NZ/404978, P Skinner, BS Spain, Frank Alexander Piercy NZ/41492.
Front; R Bowling, Bruce Hamilton Hay NZ/41511, RJ Dempsey, LG Malthus, Charles Ronald Spence NZ/41371, Euan Wilfred Sachtler NZ/41362.
Sgt. Vincent Sylvester Mancini is thought to be from Centreville, a village in Carleton County, New Brunswick, Canada. No further details.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and 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, Air Museum of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below: