W1037 ZA-U from 10 Squadron



On 30th March 1942, the crew of Halifax W1037 ZA-U from 10 Squadron took off at 1843 hrs from RAF Lossiemouth on the North East Coast of Scotland to participate in an attack on the German Battleship Tirpitz which was moored at the time in Fættenfjord in Norway.

The crew were unable to locate the target due to 10/10th's low cloud obscuring the fjords and valleys.

The aircraft and crew returned safely to base landing at RAF Lossiemouth at 0253 hrs with all mines still onboard on 31st March .


Rank
Name
Force Crew Position Age
Home Town
Fate
F/L MILLER Pilot Returned
Sgt HAMPTON 2nd Pilot Returned
P/O ROBERTS Navigator Returned
Sgt RYDER J W/Op Air Gunner Returned
Sgt STOTT W/Op Air Gunner Returned
Sgt CURRAN Tail Gunner Returned
Sgt ANNABLE Flight Engineer Returned



On 27th April 1942, the crew of Halifax W1037 ZA-U from 10 Squadron took off at 2032 hrs from RAF Lossiemouth on the North East Coast of Scotland to participate in an attack on the German Battleship Tirpitz which was moored at the time in Fættenfjord in Norway.

The10 Squadron Operation Records Book states that the aircraft failed to return and no contact was heard from the crew after take off from Lossiemouth.


Rank
Name
Force Crew Position Age
Home Town
Fate
F/L MILLER RAAF Pilot Australia POW
Sgt GREGORY RNZAF 2nd Pilot New Zealand POW
P/O ROBERTS Navigator POW
Sgt RYDER J W/Op Air Gunner POW
Sgt STOTT H  H W/Op Air Gunner 22 Selby, Yorkshire, England Died
Sgt CURRAN Tail Gunner POW
Sgt ANNABLE E RAF Flight Engineer York, England Died

The aircraft and crew had infact reached the target area, located Tirpitz and dropped their load. As the aircraft flew away from Tirpitz and into the next fjord to start making for home it was hit by heavy gun fire from some of the German ships. Initially the crew were unaware that any damage had been done to the aircraft and continued to fly on. However, the tail gunner, Sgt Curran, alerted the pilot to the fact that one of the wings was on fire and that they were trailing around 300 feet of flames.

The pilot, F/L Miller, knew that with the wing on fire he didn't have much time to get the aircraft down and told the crew that he was going to ditch the Halifax on Trondheimfjord which was fortunately flat calm at the time. During the landing the wing exploded. Both the flight engineer, Sgt Annable, and the 2nd wireless operator, Sgt Stott, died either during the crash landing or as a result of having been hit by flak.

Three of the crew, F/L Miller, Sgt Ryder and P/O Roberts were rescued from the freezing water by kriegsmarine (German sailors) and were taken onboard the German battleship, Prince Eugen, where they spent the rest of the night before being taken ashore as pow's.

P/O Roberts (Navigator) carrying Irvine Jacket, F/L 'Dusty' Miller (Pilot) at top of steps and Sgt Jake Ryder (Wireless Op/Air Gunner) on extreme left after being taken POW by the Germans.
Sgt Gregory RNZAF, 2nd Pilot from W1037 ZA-U after being taken POW
Photo: J Morrison
Photo: J Morrison

The tail gunner, Sgt Curran, and the 2nd pilot, Sgt Gregory, had managed to climb into the aircrafts life raft and through the rest of the night paddled and drifted until they came ashore near Malvik. They were discovered as day broke and taken pow.

Sgt Annable and Sgt Stott are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England.

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© Linzee Druce 2001-2012