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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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70 crest
29/30th June 1942 70 Squadron Wellington IC Z1170 l/Sgt. Gunyon

Operation: Sidi Barrani

Date: 29/30th June 1942 (Monday/Tuesday)

Unit: No. 70 Squadron (motto: Usquam - 'Anywhwere'). 231 Wing. 205 Group

Type: Wellington IC

Serial: Z1170

Code: O

Base: RAF Abu Sueir, Egypt

Location: Airfield

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Joseph Harris Gunyon R/80542 RCAF Age 27. Killed

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Herbert Bernard Stevens NZ/41957 RNZAF Age 22. Killed

Obs: Fl/Sgt. William Harry Rowles NZ/405457 RNZAF Age 20. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O. Walter MacPherson Pugh Aus/404858 RAAF Age 20. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Selwyn Leonard Harrison NZ/41587 RNZAF Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Nathan Chester Harrop NZ/403001 RNZAF Age ? Injured


Taking off to bomb LG 121 and motor transport at Sidi Barrani, but crashed and exploded almost immediately at 21:00 hrs.

Sgt. Harrop suffered burns but survived this and the war.

Burial and personal details:

Crew buried on the 01st July 1942.

Fl/Sgt. Joseph Harris Gunyon. Ismailia War Memorial Cemetery. Grave 7. A. 5. Born on the 16th March 1915 at Toronto Son of James and Lillian Gunyon, of 186 Bartlett AvenueToronto, Ontario, Canada. Grave inscription: 'In Loving Memory. Dear Brother You Will Live Forever With God. Bless You'.

(Shown left)

Fl/Sgt. Herbert Bernard Stevens. Ismailia War Memorial Cemetery. Grave 7. A. 1. Born on the 17th December 1919 at Hastings. Worked as an exchange clerk for the P and T Department in Wellington. Enlisted at Levin on the 09th February 1941 at Levin. Trained at No. 3 Elementary Flying Training School and then with No. 2 Flying Training School on the 03rd May 1941. Pilots badge awarded on the 15th June 1941 and promoted to sergeant on the 26th July 1941.

Embarked for England on the 31st August 1941. Further training with No. 21 Operational Training Unit and then attached to 10 Air Delivery Unit on the 26th May 1942. Flew a Wellington to Egypt via Gibraltar and Malta on the 29th May 1942.Joined 70 squadron on the24th June 1942. Son of Herbert William Isaac Stevens and of Catherine Annie Stevens (nee McAvinue), of 51 Childers Terrace, Kilbirnie, Wellington, New Zealand. On his 4th operational sortie.

(Shown right)

Fl/Sgt. William Harry Rowles. Ismailia War Memorial Cemetery. Grave 7. A. 4. Born on the 17th July 1921 at Wellington. Worked as a clerk for Rowley, Gill, Hobbs and Glen accountants at Wellington. Enlisted at Levin on the 22nd December 1940. Embarked for Canada on the 27th February 1941. Observer badge awarded on the 22nd July 1941 and promoted to sergeant.

Embarked for England on the 15th September 1941. Further training with No. 11 Operational Training Unit. Crewed a Wellington to Egypt via Gibraltar and Malta on the 14th May 1942. Joined 70 squadron on the 24th June 1942. Son of William Harry and Mildred Rowles (nee O'Sullivan), of Fox Street, Featherston, Wellington New Zealand. A total of 275 flying hours logged and on his 5th operational sortie.

(Shown left)

F/O. Walter MacPherson Pugh. Ismailia War Memorial Cemetery. Grave 7. A. 3. Born on the 30th October 1921. Enlisted 05th December 1940. Son of Alfred Ingram Pugh (died 08th March 1975 age 89) and Isabel Pugh (nee Witham - died 21st February 1926, age 41), of 48 Brisbane Street, Mackay, Queensland, Australia. Grave inscription: 'His Duty Nobly Done For Freedom He Was Sacrificed'.

(Shown right)

Sgt. Selwyn Leonard Harrison. Ismailia War Memorial Cemetery. Grave 7. A. 2. Born on the 07th June 1921at Auckland. Worked as a printer for Leightons Limited. Enlisted at Levin on the 19th January 1941. Embarked for Canada on the 27th February 1941 Air gunner badge awarded on the 01st September 1941 and promoted to sergeant.

(Shown left)

Embarked for England on the 18th September 1941. Further training with 11 Operational Training Unit on the 25th November 1941 and then with 15 Operational Training Unit on the 05th June 1942. Crewed a Wellington to Egypt via Gibraltar and Malta on the 29th May 1942. Joined 70 squadron on the 24th June 1942. Son of Edwin Leonard Harrison and of Kathleen Maria Harrison (nee Corner), of Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand. On his 4th operational sortie.

Sgt. Nathan Chester Harrop survived the war. Of 92 Te Arhoa Street, Clandlands, Hamilton, New Zealand.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew 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, National Archives Australia, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 19-10-2021

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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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