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Archive Report: Allied Forces

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75 (NZ) Squadron Wellington IC N2854 Sgt. Donald Frederick Streeter

Operation: Brest

Date: 24th July 1941 (Thursday)

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

Type: Wellington IC

Serial: N2854

Code: AA-U

Base: RAF Feltwell, Norfolk

Location: North Atlantic Ocean

Pilot: Sgt. Donald Frederick Streeter NZ/401033 RNZAF Age 24. Missing - believed killed

Pilot: Sgt. William Owen R/58067 RCAF Age 19. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Rodney Patrick Carling 950217 RAFVR Age 22. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Reginald James Turner 913804 RAFVR Age 28. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Reginald James Turner 913804 RAFVR Age 28. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Graham Stuart Walker NZ/401817 RNZAF Age 25. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Robert Samuel Carson Craig 947814 RAFVR Age 26. Missing - believed killed


Taking off at around 10:50 hrs on a daylight operation to attack the battlecruiser Gneisenau and heavy cruiser the Prinz Eugen which were moored at Brest. 100 aircraft taking part in the pride of the Kriegsmarine. Heavily defended by a balloon barrage, anti-aircraft guns and Luftwaffe fighters 12 allied bombers failed to return.

On the approach to the target, N2854 began to lag behind. It had been hit by flak and, with the bomb doors open, it lost speed. As the Wellington fell out of formation, it gave the waiting fighters an opportunity to close in.

Above: Sgt. Donald Frederick Streeter and Sgt. Graham Stuart Walker.

Other squadron aircraft had seen what was happening and had slowed down in the hope that N2854 would regain formation, then as it was engaged they gave covering fire.

Sgt. Streeter’s gunners destroyed the first enemy aircraft a Messerschmitt 110, but the second, a Messerschmitt 109, sent the bomber down into the ocean.

Above L-R: Sgt. Ivan Oswald Breckon, Fl/Lt. Fl/Lt. Frederick John Lucas and Sgt. Herrold Raymond Corrin.

As the fighter came out of the attack, it came under fire from Fl/Lt. Fl/Lt. Frederick John ‘Popeye’ Lucas RNZAF Wellington R1648 was destroyed. Meanwhile, the Wellington R1409 was captained by Sgt. Ivan Oswald Breckon had been attacked by a fighter. One burst tore a large hole in the fuselage but the rear gunner, Sgt. Herrold Raymond Corrin, RNZAF, got in an effective reply which sent the enemy machine down towards the sea with smoke pouring from it.

18 pilots course, No. 1 Service Flying Training School, RNZAF Wigram. 19th October 1940

L-R: Rear; AA McClean, Sefton Douglas Lisle Hood NZ/40975 killed 18th January 1943, Mortimer Tuke Vanderpump NZ/409994 killed 02nd April 1955, Frederick Norman Rhys Thomas NZ/40993 - Later DFC 21st December, 194 Sq/Ldr, Dennis Trevelyan Herrick NZ/40974 killed 30th June 1941, Donald Frederick Streeter NZ/401033 killed 24th July 1941.
Front; William Henry Russell NZ/40987 killed 28th February 1945, David Cameron Stewart NZ/40990 killed 13th May 1944, Raymond John Newton NZ.40984 killed 01st January 1945, JMcL Pearson, Frank Warrington John Oakden NZ/401028 died 27th December 1974. (Courtesy Sir Museum of New Zealand)

Burial details:

Sgt. Donald Frederick Streeter. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 64. Born on the 05th June 1917 in Wellington. Worked as a clerk for United Insurance Company in Wellington prior to service. Served in the territorial army for 9 months. Enlisted at Levin on the 09th April 1940. Trained with No. 1 Elementary Training School on the 07th May 1940 and then with No. 1 Flying Training School on the 29th June 1940. Pilots badge awarded 17th September 1940 and promoted to sergeant on the 26th October 1940. Embarked for England on the 31st October 1940. Further training with No. 20 Operational Training Unit commencing 27th December 1940. Finally joining 75 squadron on the the17th of April 1941. Son of Frederick Roland Streeter and of Jamieson Streeter (née MacDonald), of Wellington, New Zealand, Carried out 20 operational sorties.

Sgt. William Owen. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 61. Born in Shanghai, China on the 21st November 1921. Embarked from Canada on the 24th March 1941. Joined 75 Squadron on the 29th June 1941 Son of William Owen and Frances Alice Owen (née Ferris), of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Rodney Patrick Carling. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 40. Son of Robert William and Anna O'Mera Carling, of Stockton, Co. Durham, England.

Sgt. Reginald James Turner. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 53. Son of Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Turner; husband of Kathleen Turner, of West Howe, Dorsetshire, England.

Sgt. Graham Stuart Walker. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 64. Born on the 20th May 1916 in Auckland. Worked as a grocery assistant for Self-Help Co-Op Stores Ltd at Te Kuiti. Served in the territorial army for a year before enlisting at Levin on the 02nd of July 1940. Trained at No. 1 Air Observer School and awarded his air gunner badge on the 22nd August 1940 and promoted to sergeant the following day. Embarked for England on the 14th of September 1940. Further training with No. 20 Operational Training Unit commencing 28th December 1940. Finally joining 75 squadron on the the16th of April 1941. Son of Ernest Graham Walker, and of Mary Jane Walker (née Stewart). Stepson of Robert Watson Read, of Te Kuiti, Auckland, New Zealand. Carried out 20 operational sorties.

Sgt. Robert Samuel Carson Craig. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 41. Son of Samuel Alexander Craig and Sarah Thomson Craig, of Netherlee, Glasgow, Scotland.

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:

KTY 20-01-2022

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