Hello, and welcome to my site.

75 (NZ) Squadron has been an interest of mine for quite a while now, and I thought I would share some of my research with you.

During my research I have developed a deep admiration for the crews flying the Wellington and Stirling bombers. They didn’t have some of the navigational aids and other developments later crews in Lancasters had, but carried on night after night, sometimes suffering appalling losses. So this site is really a tribute to those crews, and the ground crew that kept them flying.

Most of my information comes straight from the Operational Record Books (ORB’s) for 75 (NZ) Squadron. I also have various other papers kindly passed on to me by other researchers.

I must give thanks to Peter Hasselgren and Lee Richards for all their help with 75 squadron documentation, and Steve Kelly for a copy of his fathers Flying Log Book.

Additional Information from Errol W. Martyn’s brilliant books “For Your Tomorrow”.

As you can see, this is a work in progress. I hope to update the pages on a regular basis.

If you have any questions, or feel you can help in anyway, please let me know.

Just leave a message here, and I’ll get straight back to you.

If you don’t see what you are looking for, just leave a message, and I’ll see if I can help you. It’s not possible to feature here all documents I have, so please feel free to ask for help.




7 thoughts on “Welcome

  1. Monique Johnson

    We have come across T. R. Murphy RNZAF observers and air gunners flying log book from the 75th squadron. We are thinking about trying to find a relative to return it to them. If you could help us with this is would be greatly appreciated.

    1. lancaster1 Post author

      Hello Monique,
      It’s really great you are looking for relatives of Sgt Murphy.
      He was only with the Squadron about eight weeks, and he was aged 20 when shot down.
      I will see what I can find out about any family and let you know how I get on.

      If you don’t have a photo of Timothy Murphy there is one on the Auckland Museum Site.

    2. Arthur Arculus

      Der Monique,
      After receiving a signal ( I still call them signals!) from Wayne mellor , I have posted a plea on the RAF Commands web site which I have used for many years, it reads as follows:-
      1. An airman’s ‘Log Book’ found.
      Greetings everyone,

      I have been requested to help trace the family of Sgt. Timothy Rowley MURPHY NZ404037 RNZAF WOP/AG lost in 75 (RNZAF) Squadron Wellington (Z8909) during the night of 10/11 October 1941.

      The reason for the request is that Timothy’s ‘Log Book’ has come to light and a young lady wishes to return it to a family member.

      The family were originally from the Gisborne area, this is on the East coast of the North Island, NZ.

      ArculusShould anyone know of the whereabouts of the Gisborne Murphy family wherever they are, please contact me at awarculus@xtra.co.nz and I will pass it on to the person with the ‘Log Book’.
      Fingers crossed as it is so imoortant to a family,

      .Please contact me at awarculus@xtra.co.nz in case I receive a reply.
      Regards Arthur ‘Digger.’ Arculus.
      (Digger is my family nickname circa 1926 and all my friends use it.)
      P.S. Ron Mayhill will vouch that I am aboveboard in researching.

    3. Pip Spite

      Hi Monique,
      I am Tim Rowley Murphy’s great niece and my mother is his niece and God daughter she is also the self appointed historian of the family and I know she would be interested in anything you had of his.
      You can contact me on pipspite@yahoo.com, I look forward to hearing from you. My mothers email address is Jenny Spite at spites@xtra.co.nz
      Kind regards,
      Pip Spite

  2. Emily S.


    I’m writing an essay about a soldier named R. H. Tasker, an air gunner.
    Now, my question is: Do you have any picture of this man or the crew of this aircraft?
    And is there any backgroundinformation of this man known?
    It would help me a lot.

    Regards, Emily

    1. lancaster1 Post author

      Hi Emily,
      Sergeant Robert Holtby Tasker RAF flew with 75 (NZ) Squadron between August and October 1941.
      His crew were lost on an operation to Mannheim on the 22/23 October 1941.
      I’ll edit this post with more detail shortly.

      I don’t have a photo of Sgt Tasker, but see here for a small photo of one of the crew Sgt Spark RNZAF.


      Sgt Tasker flew as rear gunner with Sgt Taylor and crew, and they were lost on the crew’s 10th operation.
      The list of operations are as follows,

      28/29 August 1941. Target: Dunkirk.
      13/14 August 1941. Target: Brest.
      11/12 September 1941. Target: Kiel.(The Pilot for this operation was Wing/Co Cookson with the Taylor crew).
      17/18 September 1942. Target: Karlsruhe.
      10/11 October 1941. Target: Cologne.
      12/13 October 1941. Target: Nuremberg.
      13/14 October 1941. Target: Bremen.
      15/16 October 1941. Target: Cologne.
      20/21 October 1941. Target: Bremen.
      22/23 October 1941. Target: Mannheim. (Aircraft Missing).

      Wellington X9914 took off from RAF Feltwell on the night of 22/23rd October 1941,
      detailed to bomb Mannheim, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base.

      RAF Sgt C Taylor, Captain
      RNZAF Sgt F A Spark, 2nd Pilot
      RAF Sgt S J L Levack, Observer
      RAAF 400310 Sgt J Roberts, Wireless Operator/Air Gunner
      RAF Sgt W R Steele, Front Gunner
      RAF Sgt R H Tasker Rear Gunner
      Wellington X9914 crashed near Werken (West Vlaanderen), 7kms ESE of Diksmuide, Belgium off the N35 road.

      All the crew were killed and they are buried in the Werken Churchyard, Locality
      Kortenmark, West Vlaanderen, Belgium. These six fatalities are the only WW2 fatalities in the churchyard.

  3. Phil MacMillan

    I am a relative of Sgt William Steele the Front Gunner and have just returned from visiting the graves at Werken and the field where X9914 crashed.


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