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Thread: Sergeant W. H Flower 412472

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    Default Sergeant W. H Flower 412472

    Hi everyone,

    I'm wondering if anyone can help me obtain any information (no matter now small or indirect), about my Great Uncle. This is what I've managed to dig up so far. Seeing as there is no other information to counter what I already have, then I assume this is all correct.

    Sergeant William Harvey Flower
    5/1/1920 - 26/6/1942
    RNZAF
    Wireless Operator, Vickers Wellington MK1C serial number DV778 KJ-A
    Base: Steeple Morden (satellite airfield) 11 Operational Training Unit
    Raid on Bremen, Germany 25/6/42-26/6/42
    1000 Bomber raid.
    Take off: 2314
    Missing in action. Presumed Killed North Sea 26/6/42
    Panel 117 Runnymeade Memorial Surrey

    As mentioned, if anyone has any information or who can point me in the right direction to find out more, whether it be ORD's, log books, combat reports (both Allied & Luftwaffe), photographs or diary entries, then it would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,
    Nyle

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    Hi Nyle,

    I am sure Errol will come on board with some detail on his career, I am guessing you know the full crew, if not.
    Sgt J C Cubitt.
    Sgt W H Fowler RNZAF.
    Sgt R J Amish RNZAF.
    Sgt S L Wilton RNZAF.
    F/Sgt F W Mutton.
    All KIA. three bodies recovered, Cubitt/Flower on Runnymede Memorial.
    Nothing in Theo Boiten’s book on Nachtjagd War Diaries.

    Cheers,

    John.

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    Hello,

    Sgt R J Amish RNZAF? Should read NZ41546 Sgt Richard John PARISH RNZAF.

    Col.

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    Nyle.. have you got his RNZAF service record yet?

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    Hi,

    Parish was found on 11.7.42. Original buried Cuxhaven Brockeswalde Friedhof (Cemetery). Grave No. 32. Now final rest Soltau Becklingen Cemetery. Wilton and Mutton, both original buried Heldenfriedhof (Hero Cemetery) Wittmund. The graves No. 33 and No. 34. Now final rest Oldenburg Sage Cemetery.

    Source: CWGC.

    Regards

    Finn Buch

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    Nyle,
    From my For Your Tomorrow - A record of New Zealanders who have died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Services since 1915 (Volume Two: Fates 1915-1943) :

    Thu 25/Fri 26 Jun 1942
    Bomber Command
    Raid on Bremen, Germany (by 960 aircraft - 50 lost)
    11 Operational Training Unit, RAF (Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire - 91 Group)
    Wellington IC DV778/A - took off at 2314 captained by Sgt J C Cubitt, RAF, on same raid as the above, and brought down into the sea in or near the Heligoland Bight. The captain and navigator Flower are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. The body of navigator Parish later washed ashore near Cuxhaven and was buried there, but later reinterred at Becklingen, 17km south of Soltau. The New Zealand wireless operator-air gunner was recovered from the harbour entrance at Westeraccumersiel, opposite the island of Langeoog, and buried at Wittmund alongside the body of an RAF crew member, but both were later reinterred at Sage, 24km south of Oldenburg
    Navigator(?): NZ412472 Sgt William Harvey FLOWER, RNZAF - Age 22. 75hrs. 1st op.
    Navigator(?): NZ41546 Sgt Richard John PARISH, RNZAF - Age 23. 230hrs. 1st op.
    WOpAG: NZ403631 Sgt Stanley Lyell WILTON, RNZAF - Age 32. 107hrs. 1st op.
    Two navigators in the one crew was unusual but probably came about through trying to make up the numbers for this ‘1000 bomber’ raid. One of them almost certainly would have acted as air bomber.


    And from Vol Three (Biographies 7 Appendices):

    FLOWER, Sergeant William Harvey.
    NZ412472; b Auckland 5 Jan 20; Matamata JHS (1st XV); exchange clerk - P & T Dept, Matamata. RNZAF Levin/ITW as Air Observer u/t 13 Apr 41, emb for Canada 18 Jun 41, att RCAF 3 Jul 41, 6AOS 6 Jul 41, 3BGS 28 Sep 41, Air Observers Badge & Sgt 8 Nov 41, 1ANS 9 Nov 41, 1 Y Depôt 19 Dec 41, att RAF & emb for UK 8 Jan 42, 3PRC 21 Jan 42, 2(O)AFU 21 Mar 42, 11OTU (Wellington - 1 op) 28 Apr 42, kao 26 Jun 42. Runnymede Memorial - Panel 117. Son of Leonard & Constance Ruby Irene Flower (née Mincher), Tauranga. [phot. TWN 22.7.42].

    Cheers,
    Errol

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Williams View Post
    Hi Nyle,

    I am sure Errol will come on board with some detail on his career, I am guessing you know the full crew, if not.
    Sgt J C Cubitt.
    Sgt W H Fowler RNZAF.
    Sgt R J Amish RNZAF.
    Sgt S L Wilton RNZAF.
    F/Sgt F W Mutton.
    All KIA. three bodies recovered, Cubitt/Flower on Runnymede Memorial.
    Nothing in Theo Boiten’s book on Nachtjagd War Diaries.

    Cheers,

    John.
    Hi John,

    No I did not know who the crew were. The name Mutton rings a bell which I might have read somewhere but that was all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dennis_burke View Post
    Nyle.. have you got his RNZAF service record yet?
    Hi Dennis,

    No I do not have that. I did write the other day to the NZ defence archives, so hopefully something will come of that.

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    Hi Errol,

    Wow. Thanks for all of that information. That's extremely helpful.

    I was under the understanding they disappeared without trace in the middle of the North Sea.

    Just to clarify- who was the wireless/air gunner that was later recovered? And the crew members Wilton, Mutton & Parish were the only ones recovered and interred?

    Ultimately it would appear Flower was never recovered?

    Seeing as the plane went down in the Bight, I suppose there's no way to full pinpoint where it went down?

    Is it known what brought the plane down? Could there possibly be a Luftwaffe combat report?

    Again, thank you so much for posting this, it's helping to solve a family mystery.

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    Nyle,

    Answers to your questions can be found in post #2. I'm unable to add anything further, I'm afraid.

    Cheers,
    Errol

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