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Thread: John Leonard Wright RNZAF

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    Default John Leonard Wright RNZAF

    Hi all,
    I am looking for details of the above, for a work mate.
    He tells me his grandfather was a Squadron Leader flying Lancasters with 75 (NZ) squadron.
    All I have found is a P/O J.L.Wright DFC, awarded 29 Dec 42. (from Night after Night)
    Did this man go back to 75 squadron later to fly Lancasters, or has my work mate made a mistake?
    He survived the war.

    TIA

    Wayne.

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    Wayne,

    From Gp Capt C M Hanson's 'By Such Deeds' (pub by me in 2001):

    WRIGHT, Squadron Leader John Leonard, DSO, DFC, (pff). NZ405781; Born Tirau, 24 Feb 1914; RNZAF 21 Dec 1940 to 28 Apr 1946; Pilot.

    Citation Distinguished Flying Cross (Imm) (23 Dec 1942): [75(NZ)Sqn RAF (Wellington)] This officer has participated in many attacks on some of the most heavily defended targets in Germany. His painstaking search to identify and attack the target is worthy of the highest praise. One night in September, 1942, when returning from an attack on the Ruhr a Junkers 88 was observed. By skilful manoeuvring of his aircraft, Pilot Officer Wright enabled his gunner to open fire and destroy the enemy aircraft. At all times he has displayed courage and devotion to duty of the highest order. Plt Off Wright flew 32 sorties with 75(NZ)Sqn.

    Citation Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (Imm) (16 Nov 1943): [156(PFF)Sqn RAF (Lancaster)] This officer is an outstanding captain who has proved his skill in very many attacks on important enemy targets. Throughout his tour he has displayed great keenness and his determination to press home his attacks has always been evident. Flight Lieutenant Wright is an inspiring leader, whose courageous example has won great praise. By 14 Oct 1943, when the award of this immediate DSO was being processed, he had completed a further 24 sorties.

    After various staff appointments Sqn Ldr Wright rejoined 75(NZ)Sqn (Lancaster) in Nov 1944 for his third tour. His total sorties are not known. A brother, LAC Leslie Wright, was killed in an aircraft accident at 1 FTS RNZAF on 11 Dec 1940. Died Claudelands, Hamilton, 5 Apr 1956.

    My good friend David Duxbury on the forum may have some further details to add.

    Errol

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    Thanks Errol for your help.

    I will pass this on to Lance, I think he will be surprised by what his Grandfather did during the war.

    Regards,
    Wayne.

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    Default

    At Errol's prompting, I attach my brief notes on this officer.

    WRIGHT, Sergeant (Squadron Leader) John Leonard, DFC, RNZAF (& crew).
    NZ405781 Pilot 75 Sqn (1st Tour, Wellington) 29 May to 20 October 1942; then (2nd tour, Lancaster) 28 November 1944 to 5 April 1945 as a Flight Commander.
    On first tour originally 2P to P/O A A Fraser 1, 2/6/42, then with F/L E C Ball 5/6, with P/O R Leggett 6, 8/6/42; then captain own crew 20/6 – 25/9/42. Crew members were:- N) Sgt C W B Kelly; WOp) Sgt M A Carter; FG/AB) Sgt R C Reynolds; RG) Sgt B Neal; then posted to 30 OTU.
    2nd Tour: appointed to acting rank of S/L w.e.f. 15/12/44 (as “A” Flight Commander), on ops 5/12/44 – 21/3/45. Crew members were:- N) F/L C Williams; AB) P/O M E Parker; WOp) P/O W L Wilson; FE) F/O J H Morgan; MUG) W/O T R Kemp; RG) P/O R dW Tully. Nav changed to F/O P McD Johnston from 1/2/45 (7 ops). Posted to PWZ ? Liaison Section of SHAEF; to 12 PD&RC 2/7/45, disembarked NZ 10/1/46, tfd to Reserve 28/4/46. Later Squadron Leader J L Wright, DSO, DFC, (pff) RNZAF. Died Claudelands, Hamilton, 5 April 1956.

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    Hello David,

    Thank you for the additional information.

    His grandson was over the moon with what I have been able to pass on so far.
    When Errol said S/L Wright had been with 156 squadron I went to the web site
    and found details of his ops with them.

    Thanks both of you,

    Wayne.

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    Default Re John Leonard Wright

    Hi Wayne,
    My name is Stephen Kelly and my father was Charles who was with Jack?John? on his first tour.I thought they did both tours together but that is incorrect according to the previous correspondence.I will have to go through my records.Before dad passed away his memories were taped and i remasted them and transferred them to a dvd.
    (16 mpf files and 8 hours of audio).If you were interested i can send you a copy. It covers times, places, people,
    equipment etc.Anyway it is nice to contact you and i'll see what else i can dig up.
    Regards -
    Steve Kelly
    Dad C W B Kelly DSO DFC





    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
    Thanks Errol for your help.

    I will pass this on to Lance, I think he will be surprised by what his Grandfather did during the war.

    Regards,
    Wayne.

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    Default Hi again Wayne

    Dad and Jack flew together from their training days and then onto ops from
    19/2/42 till 20/10/43.I have dad's log book which is a mine of information
    and i have that on cd.I will help you with whatever i can - it just depends on
    how much you want.
    Regards -
    Steve
    Last edited by stevek; 5th October 2011 at 08:29. Reason: spelling

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    Default

    Hi Steve,

    Sorry for the delay in answering, my internet has been down for a few days.
    I would be very interested in learning more about your dad's time during the war.
    I'm away for a day or two, but I'll be intouch asap.

    Regards,
    Wayne.

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    Steve,

    The followiong may be of interest to you, also from Colin Hanson's book:

    KELLY, Squadron Leader Charles Wynne Brunsdon, DSO, DFC, mid, (pff). NZ403562 & 72818; Born Christchurch, 11 Jun 1920; RNZAF 29 Sep 1940 to 27 Jan 1947 & 3 Jan 1949 to 3 Oct 1962; Navigator/Bomb Aimer.
    Hon Aide-de-Camp to HE the Governor-General 1 Sep 1960 to 31 Aug 1961.
    Citation Distinguished Flying Cross (7 Jan 1943): [75(NZ)Sqn RAF (Stirling)] During his operational tour, this officer has displayed courage and devotion to duty of a very high order. He has participated in sorties against some of the most heavily defended targets in Germany, ensuring success by his highly developed navigational skill. His keenness and cool efficiency have proved an inspiration to his comrades.
    Citation Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (30 Nov 1943): [156(PFF)Sqn RAF (Lancaster)] Since being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, this officer has completed a large number of sorties, involving attacks on such targets as Berlin, Hamburg, Milan and important centres in the Ruhr. He is an exceptionally skilful navigator whose efforts throughout have been featured by great persistence and determination to achieve success. Flight Lieutenant Kelly has also displayed great keenness in the training of other members of the squadron.
    Citation Mention in Despatches (1 Jan 1945): In recognition of distinguished service and devotion to duty with 92 (Bomber OTU) Group RAF. Sqn Ldr Kelly served two tours totalling 54 sorties. He also served as an instructor on his ‘rest’ tours, during Oct 1942-May 1943 and Jan 1944-Jan 1945. See also ‘New Zealanders in the Air War’ by Alan W Mitchell (1945 by Harrap) for a detailed story of the aircraft ‘Thomas Frederick Duck’, the close-knit crew of which was Charles Kelly, Sqn Ldr J L Wright, DSO, DFC (qv); Flt Lt A S Drew, DFC, AFC (qv); Flt Lt M A Carter, DFC (qv); Fg Off R C Reynolds, DFC, (qv); Fg Off K Crankshaw, DFC, DFM (qv) - all RNZAF - and F/S H Hammond, DFM, RAFVR.
    Died Christchurch, 22 Nov 1995.

    Errol

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