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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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02nd May 1944 75 (NZ) Squadron Lancaster I ME689 Sq/Ldr. Sachtler

Operation: Chambly, France

Date: 01st/02nd May 1944 (Monday/Tuesday)

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

Type: Lancaster I

Serial: ME689

Code: AA-Y

Base: RAF Mepal, Cambridgeshire

Location: Saint Arnoult. France

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Euan Wilfred Sachtler NZ/41362 RNZAF Age 24. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Piers Trevor Stevens 1813627 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Nav: F/O. Allan Gleave Heron 133094 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Air/Bmr: P/O. Michael Ferdinand Lombard 171913 RAFVR Age 29. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Douglas John MacKenzie Aus/417211 RAAF Age 27. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Thomas Alexander Peevers NZ/417232 RNZAF Age 29. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Gilbert Pettifer 1247027 RAFVR Age 38. Killed


A busy night for Bomber Command send 801 aircraft on various tactical targets in Northern France and Belgium. Despite prevailing moonlight conditions Luftwaffe night fighters had a fairly limited success in attacks. None of the allied bombers were attacked during their outward routes to targets.

Taking off at 22:49 hrs to bomb the railway and storage depot at Chambly, France. 120 aircraft taking part from various squadrons.

During their return the Chambly force were attacked by night fighters who shot down 5 bombers with 3 others damaged.

Shot down by Hptm. Martin Drewes his 26th claim Stab III./NJG1 Saint Arnoult 3.800 mts. 00:45 hrs

Also claimed (but disputed by Hptm. Drewes) by Ofw. Han- Karl Kamp of Stab III./NJG4

Left: Hptm. Martin Drewes

Hptm. Martin Drewes - born on 20th October 1918 near Hannover - became a night fighter ace in the Luftwaffe - claiming 5 on the Mailly-Le-Camp alone. Eventually claiming a total of 43 allied aircraft flying mainly the Bf110. He survived the war emigrating to Brazil where he married a Brazilian woman. His wife died in 2010 and he died later on the 13th October 2013.

Crew burial and personal details:

Sq/Ldr. Euan Wilfred Sachtler. Poix-de-Picardie Churchyard. Row A. Collective grave 15-17. Born on the 02nd March 1920 at Dunedin. Received his secondary education at Otago Boys High School. His principal sport was rugby which he played for the Union Football Club. After leaving school he worked for Mallachs shoe store (his fathers business) in Dunedin. Served in the NZ territorial army for 2 years. Enlisted for aircrew training at the Initial Training Wing, Levin on the 19th January 1944. Trained at No.1 Elementary Flying Training School in Taieri, joining on the 1st March 1941. Then to No.1 Service Flying Training School, joining on the 14th April 1941 at wigram.

Pilots course 13A, No. 1 Service Flying Training School, RNZAF Station Wigram. (Courtesy AWMM)

L-R: Rear; Kenmir Loudon McAdam NZ/41485 (killed 20th April 1942), Stanley Harold Mortimore NZ/405307 (killed 13th May 1942), William Stuart Beattie NZ41301 (killed 22nd December 1941) G. McLdensem, W.A Brown, L. Yates, Philip Murray Sharplin NZ41366 (died 04th March 1999), E.G Wagstaffe, J.A Valentine, K.C Phillip, Albert Leonard Sanderson NZ/41363 (killed 15th December 1941).
Middle; Robert Alfred Hamilton NZ/41328 (killed 26th January 1942), J. McL Cochrane, Lawrence Heaton Baxter NZ/41300 (killed 17th April 1943), Robert Walter Coddington NZ/41310 (died 01st October 2007), Robert Clifford Barclay NZ/41505 (died 10th February 1969), Raymond Johnson Watson NZ/404978 (killed 05th March 1944), P. Skinner, B.S Spain, Frank Alexander Piercy NZ/41492 (killed 09th July 1943).
Front; R. Bowling, B.H Hay, R.J Dempsey, L.G Malthus, C.R Spence, Euan Wilfred Sachtler NZ/41362 9killed 02nd May 1944).

Awarded his Flying Badge and commissioned on the 5th July 1941. Embarked for England on the 22nd July 1941, arriving on the 2nd September 1941. reported to No.3 Personnel Reception Centre, Bournemouth, where he remained on attachment until posted to 11 Operational Training Unit joining on the 16th September 1941 flying the Wellington. Attached to 15 Operational Training Unit, joining on the 06th January 1942 again flying the Wellington. On the 17th June 1942 he was attached to No. 10 Aircraft Delivery Unit flying as second pilot a Wellington to Egypt via Malta 19th - 21st June 1941. Joined 37 squadron on the 28th January and completed 40 operational sorties. On a SAAF Loadstar to South Africa via Sudan, Kenya and Southern Rhodesia. Embarked for England on the 22nd July 1941. Joined 11 Operational Training Unit as an instructor on the 15th March 1943. Posted on the 27th April for a course at the Group Instructors' School, Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire. Posted for a course to No. 5 Flying Instructors* School, Castle Combe, Wiltshire. Promoted to F/O. on the 05th July 1942, Fl/Lt. on the 05th July 1943 then to Sq/Ldr on the 05th April 1944. Joined 75 (New Zealand) squadron on the 06th January 1944, Mepal, Cambridgeshire, and resumed operational flying. With this squadron he now took part in ten attacks on targets in enemy occupied Europe. Flying 8 sorties on the Stirling aircraft and 2 on Lancasters. Attached to 1657 Heavy Conversion Unit on the 30th January then to No. 3 Lancaster Finishing School between 02nd - 07th April 1944. Son of the late Wilfred Sachtler, and of Janet Louisa Sachtler (nee Brown), of Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand. A total of 908 flying hours logged and on his 47th operational sortie.

Sgt. Piers Trevor Stevens. Poix-de-Picardie Churchyard. Row A. Collective grave 15-17. Son of Charles James Henry and Lilian Mary Stevens, of Welling, Kent. Grave inscription: 'Leave Him In Thy Care. Thine The Will And Thine The Power. Mine - Is Just The Prayer'.

F/O. Allan Gleave Heron. Poix-de-Picardie Churchyard. Row A. Collective grave 15-17. Son of Frank Reginald and Nellie Heron, of Leeds, Yorkshire and husband of F. R. Heron. Grave inscription: 'Ever Remembered By Those Near And Dear To Him. Flo, Keith, Mum And Dad'.

P/O. Michael Ferdinand Lombard. Poix-de-Picardie Churchyard. Row A. Collective grave 15-17. Son of Borisfield Swan Lombard and Marian Alice Lombard, of Markyate, Hertfordshire and husband of Sybil Agnes Lombard. Grave inscription: 'Lampada Traduit'. (The torch of life)

Fl/Sgt. Douglas John MacKenzie. Poix-de-Picardie Churchyard. Row A. Collective grave 15-17. Born on the 18th November 1916 at Parkside. Worked as a milk carter prior to service. Served in the 48th Battalion Signals Regiment between December 1940 - June 1941. Enlisted in the RAAF on the 31st January 1942. Embarked for England on the 15th January 1943. Trained at 82 Operational Training Unit joining on the 22nd June 1943. Promoted to sergeant on the 12th November 1942, Fl/Sgt. on the 23rd September 1943. Joined 75 squadron on the 27th October 1943. Son of Walter James Mackenzie (died 06th July 1945) and Vera Mackenzie (died 27th June 1938) and husband of Mary Elizabeth Mackenzie, of 3 Cambridge Street, Hackney, South Australia. Grave inscription: 'He Died That We Might Live'.

No 4 Initial Training School, RAAF, Course No 24, C Squadron, Flight 13 (Courtesy NAA)

Rear left to right: 417185 Aircraftman 2 (AC2) John Vincent Hewitt (later Warrant Officer (WO)); 417192 AC2 Gordon William Hughes (later Flying Officer (FO)); 417211 AC2 Douglas John Mackenzie (later Flight Sergeant (Flt Sgt) and died on flying operations over France on 2 May 1944); 417210 AC2 Angus Desmond Macdonald (later WO); 417213 AC2 John Lavers Matthews (later Leading Aircraftman (LAC)); 417206 AC2 Allan Stewart Lawes (later FO); 417193 AC2 Herbert Martin Humphrey (later WO); 417205 AC2 Kenneth Harcourt Langley (later Pilot Officer (PO)); 417199 AC2 Thomas Kevin Johnson (later WO); 417186 Keith Geoffrey Hickel (later Flight Lieutenant (Flt Lt)); 417196 AC2 Keith Scott Jarvis (later WO); and 417200 AC2 Clarence Archibald Jones (later WO and died on flying operations over France on 22 June 1944).
Middle: 417204 AC2 John Allen Kingsmill (later Flt Sgt and died in an accident in Scotland on 23 August 1943); 417195 AC2 Frank Martin Jackson (later FO and died on flying operations over Germany on 10 April 1945); 417190 AC2 Eric Edward Hood (later Flt Lt); 417182 AC2 Thomas Robert Hart (later FO); 417201 AC2 Ronald Martin Kain (later FO); 417215 AC2 Kenneth Thomas Millikan (later WO and died on flying operations over Germany on 23 May 1943); 417217 AC2 Vincent Joseph McInerney (later WO); 417216 AC2 Alex Thomas McKinnon (later FO); 417202 AC2 Francis Simeon Kelly (later Flt Lt); 417208 AC2 Vivian Keith Lohmeyer (later Flt Lt); 417194 AC2 Ian McIntyre Hunter (later LAC and died in an accident in Adelaide, South Australia on 28 July 1942); and 417184 AC2 Lionel Harry Hendrie (later WO).
Front: 417183 AC2 Ivor Clarence Hatcher (later FO and died on flying operations over Merauke, New Guinea on 8 September 1943); 417203 AC2 Ross Newcombe Kemsley (later Sgt and died in an accident in England on 19 May 1943); 417198 AC2 Allan Clyde Johns (later Flt Sgt and died in flying operations over Germany on 22 March 1944); 417191 AC2 William Stanbridge Horwood (later LAC); 417197 AC2 David Lewis Jeffries (later WO); 417212 AC2 John Lewis Mann (later Flt Lt); Corporal Marshall; 417189 AC2 Arthur Eric Holloway (later FO); 417207 Herbert George Lee (Later FO); 417214 AC2 Albert Thomas Mildred (later FO); 417188 AC2 Laurie Holds (later WO); 417187 AC2 Alec Kitchener Hill (later WO); and 417209 AC2 Albert Paul Johns (later FO).

Fl/Sgt. Thomas Alexander Peevers. Poix-de-Picardie Churchyard. Row A. Collective grave 15-17. Born on the 29th March 1914 at Otekaieke. Worked as a orchardist on his fathers farmm in Otekaieke prior to service. Enlisted at Levin on the 28th December 1941. Embarked for Canada on the 17th March 1942. Awarded his air gunner badge and promoted to sergeant on the 18th December 1942 after training with No. 3 Bombing and Gunnery School. Taking a train to New York he then embarked for England on the 05th January 1943. Further training with 11 Operational Unit when he joined on the 02nd March 1943 flying the Wellington. Joining 1652 Heavy Conversion unit on the 20th May 1943 flying the Sterling. Joined 15 squadron on the 10th July 1943. Injured in a take off crash 02nd August 1943 treated at the station sick quarters and redoing squadron on the 12th October. Joined 75 squadron on the 20th October 1943. Attached to No. 3 Lancaster Finishing School between 02nd and 07th April 1944. Son of David (died 29th July 1955, age 77) and Mary Anne Peevers (died 23rd November 1958, age 73 - nee Brown) Bother of Pte. James Peevers 006567 23rd Battalion NZ Infantry killed in action' In the Adriatice sector, Italy. A total of 261 flying hours logged and thought to be on at least his 11th operational sortie.

Sgt. John Gilbert Pettifer. Poix-de-Picardie Churchyard. Row A. Collective grave 15-17. Son of Ernest Gilbert and Florence Margret Pettifer and husband of Eveleyn Dorothy Pettifer, of West Dulwich, London. Grave inscription: 'He Died That Others Might Live'.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Stuart Murray and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Kracker Luftwaffe Archive, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Weekly News of New Zealand, Kracker Archives, Nachtjagd Combat Archive (16 March 1944 - 11 May 1944) Part 2 - Theo Boiten,75 Squadron website, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 18-08-2021

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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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