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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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115 crest
04th October 1943 115 Squadron Lancaster II DS721 F/O. Newcomb

Operation: Air Sea Rescue

Date: 04th October 1943 (Monday)

Unit: No. 115 Squadron 3 Group (motto: 'Despite the elements')

Type: Lancaster II

Serial: DS721

Code: KO-U

Base: RAF Little Snoring, Norfolk

Location: North Sea

Pilot: F/O. Robert Clayton Newcomb NZ413462 RNZAF Age 20. Missing - believed killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Michael John Jones 1425102 RAFVR Age 21. Missing - believed killed

Nav: F/O. Robert Anderson Nimmo NZ/415006 RNZAF Age 28. Missing - believed killed

Air/Bmr: F/O. Stanley James Ellis NZ/413397 RNZAF Age 23. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Andrew William Clark NZ/421961 RNZAF Age 24. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Gordon John Percy Boyd 1891353 RAFVR Age 19. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Eric Charles Hamblyn NZ/422705 RNZAF Age 30. Missing - believed killed


The crew responded for volunteers to search for a Flying Fortress which had come down in the North Sea off the Dutch coast.

Nothing further was heard from them after their take off at 06:52 hrs. None of the crew were knowingly recovered.

Burial details:

F/O. Robert Clayton Newcomb. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 197. Born on the 31st March 1923 at Auckland. A shipping clerk prior to service. Son of Reginald Sydney and Dorothy Alice Newcomb, of Epsom, Auckland, New Zealand. 575 flying hours logged and completed 10 operational sorties. His brother 21 year old F/O. John Stevenson Newcomb NZ/413461 was also lost earlier in the year on the 18th January. Whilst flying Hanpden TB.I P122 with 5 Operational Training Unit (Coastal Command) the aircraft hit the Inner Island Sea about 20 miles North West of the Isle of Islay in Scotland.

Sgt. Gordon John Percy Boyd. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 143. Son of Douglas Stewart Boyd and Elaine Muriel May Boyd, of Stamford Brook, London, England.

F/O. Robert Anderson Nimmo. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 197. Born on the 08th July 1915. A teacher prior to enlisting. Son of Duncan Livingstone Nimmo and Isabella Anderson Nimmo , of Nightcaps, Southland, New Zealand. 308 flying hours logged and completed 4 operational sorties.

F/O. Stanley James Ellis. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 197. Born on the 23rd June 1920. A clerk prior to service. Son of William and Ethel Muriel Ellis, of Grey Lynn (née Parke), Auckland, New Zealand. 223 flying hours logged and completed 4 operational sorties.

Fl/Sgt. Andrew William Clark. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 198. Born on the 11th April 1919. Agricultural clerk prior to service. Son of Andrew Frank and Isabella Clark (née Hawkins), of Wataroa, Westland, New Zealand. 243 flying hours logged and completed 4 operational sorties.

Sgt. Michael John Jones. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 155. Son of Edward and Laura Jones, of Liverpool, England.

Fl/Sgt. Eric Charles Hamblyn. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 199. Born on the 03rd July 1913. A labourer prior to service. Son of Percey Cartwright Hamblyn and Harriet Hamblyn (née Batson), husband of Esther Ngaire Hamblyn (née Walker), of Patea, Taranaki, New Zealand. 172 flying hours logged and completed 4 operational sorties.

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, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 04-01-2021

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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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