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On Tuesday, 27 August 1940, (a part of) the aircraft of the 149 squadron (RAF), took off for a mission to Kiel in Germany from a station (airfield) in or near Mildenhall.
One of the crew members was Flight Lieutenant P F R Vaillant. He departed for his mission at 20:22. He flew with a Vickers Wellington (type Ic, with serial P9272 and code OJ-A). His mission and of the other crew members was planned for Wednesday, 28 August 1940.
Other details about this flight: http://www.backtonormandy.org/advanced-search/air-force-operations/airplanes-allies-and-axis-lost/wellington/RAF12883.html
Information by the son of Sergeant Mabey, Mike Mabey: "my father was the tail gunner of vickers wellington p9272 n for nuts sgt L F MABEY the last man left on the bomber the crew bail out over holland vailant saywood connolly butt feeder after takeing a hell of a ponding from the german fighters the wellington was on fire dad was jamed in the back with a german bullet jamed in the hinge of his seat things where moveing fast with in seconds the bomber was going down just as fast as it went down it came up and leveled out at the same height the fire was out a german spotter plane had been watching the events unfold hoping the plane would drop out of the sky and the british bombers would turn back seeing the fire was out thay sent another german fighter to shoot down vickers wellington p9272 he spotted the fighter coming around with no crew and the hydroics shot out he was on his own it was battle stations he was fighting for his life it was hard going moving the guns into alinement with no hydrolics the german spotter plane filmed"
Photo of the Wellington P9273 OJ-N
Wellington Mk lC P9272 OJ-N: Acting Flight Lieutenant Paul Francois Reginald Vaillant was a Wellington pilot in No149 (East India) Squadron. He had been crewed up with
- Pilot Officer M G Butt (second pilot);
- Sergeant Johnny Fender (Obsen/er);
- Sergeant D H G Connolly (wireless-operator); a Maori rear-gunner,
- Sergeant L F Mabey, RNZAF;
- Sergeant R W Saywood (gunner).
Sergeant Mabey was the only New Zealander, all the rest were English.
On 27/28 August Bomber Command sent out a mixed force of fifty Hampdens, Wellingtons and Whitleys to bomb various targets in France, Germany and Italy. No 149 Squadron's target was Kiel, where the battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were harbouring. But Kiel was obscured by ten-tenths cloud, so Paul Vaillant set course for the alternative target, Wilhelmshaven. Over the Elbe they were coned by searchlights and hit in the port fuel tanks by flak. With the tanks empty, Vaillant had no option but to order the crew to abandon aircraft. They baled out safely at about 0200 hours. All were rounded up during the next few hours by searching Germans. While Vaillant remained behind at Dulag Luttfor seven weeks, Maurice Butt and the rest of the crew were sent to Barth.
P9245 OJ-W R3206 OJ-M P9272 OJ-IV at the back over England Training Flight in August 1940
P9245 OJ-W and P9272 OJ-N for Nuts on Training flight in August 1940
Photos from the book"Wire and Walls": Paul Francois Reginld Vaillant on the top right, having a smoke.
4 A shot from the film "Target for Tonight". See the film here: .
The film was made just after the "Battle of Britain". It was made using the crews of 149 Squadron in the filming. They had not forgot N for Nuts, who did not made it back.
The bomber with the New Zealand Maori Hei Tiki sign at the side.
This what probably happened when they were over Holland and the bomber caught on fire. The crew baled out.
All of a sudden the bomber dropped out of the sky falling thousands of feet. Just as fast it shoot up and levaled out, it was then he faced a German fighter.
With the bomber onfire. He was stuck in the back. From there he was flying with the gods. Sergeant L F Mabey was jamed in the back with the radio shut out. They would have thought he was dead.
Drawing: The place (Kiel) where Sergeant Mabey was captured.
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