Russell Thorne writes :
Keith Allan Neilson RNZAF was a close friend of my father in law, both were farmers in the Waverley district of Taranaki , New Zealand. His descendants still farm in the area.
Keith Allan Neilson was born to Leslie Robert and Angela Neilson on 22 Dec 1919 and died 12 Feb 1970 aged 50.
Captured as a POW on 25 June 1943, he was repatriated by 4 June 1945 according to newspaper reports in New Zealand.
Source : Chorley and "Footprints on the sands of time" by Oliver Clutton-Brock and Richard Holyhead (researcher) Peter Rhebergen from Aalten, The Netherlands and Russell Thorne and 214 Squadron ORB and Richard Maddox (researcher)
Date record last updated : 31 March 2023
Fg/Off Robert? Nelson, 150606?, Pilot
He was the pilot for 8 Fortress flights between April 1944 to May 1945 (actual operational take-offs. Does not disregard aborted ops, early returns etc.)
Source : Ian Hunt
Date record last updated : 7 December 2018
NELSON, R H
Plt/Off Ronald Herbert Nelson, 413339, Navigator, Royal New Zealand Air Force, Nationality : New Zealand, KIA 22 September 1943, Aged 26
Son of John and Margaret Ferguson Nelson, of Bathgate.
Sgt Nelson could possibly be linked to Wellington P9267 as the website source states that he died on the same date as the 2 crew members attached to this flight. He therefore could possibly have been attached to 149 Squadron on the day he died. This is only supposition and has not yet been confirmed, (Carol Edwards - site administrator)
We can confirm that Sgt Nelson died in the 149 Squadron loss of Wellington P9267 on 4 April 1940 as this is recorded in Chorley. The aircraft was on a training flight and crashed at 22.50hrs and burnt out 1 mile short of the runway at Mildenhall. 4 airmenn died and three were injured.
Source : Traces of WW2 website and CWGC and Chorley
Son of Frank Viner Newcomb and Florence Ruth Newcomb; husband of Alice Doreen Newcomb, of Chorltoncum-Hardy, Manchester.
Was a regular in the crew of Fg/Off Alan Skone as Navigator. For reasons unknown, on operations the night of 27th of August he was replaced as the crews navigator by Pilot Officer Dunckley. It was to be a stroke of luck for Sgt Newcombe as Stirling Mark 1 R9155 BU-Q which took off from Stradishall at 20:29 hours was never seen again and all crew were lost.
Unfortunately he sadly lost his life a couple of weeks later when flying with Stirling Mk1 R9350 BU-T.
At No 26 Operational Training Unit in In July 1943 Flt Eng Stan Newton joinedPilot Bob Mackett's crew including Bomb Aimer Bill Wilkinson, FO Alan Deadman, Wireless Operator Gordon Lowe and Mid Upper Gunner Bruce Taggert. They all joined 214 Squadron at RAF Chedburgh the end of the month.
Source : Robert Mackett and Vic Pheasant 214 Squadron Association
During the war and at the time of receiving his DFC he lived in Leamington Spa in Warwickshire UK, but in Canada lived in and near Toronto and for the last 30 years in Palgrave ON.
Enlisted in Halifax, 5 November 1940
No.1 ITS (graduated 31 March 1941)
No.1 AOS (graduated 2 August 1941)
No.1 BGS and No.1 AOS (graduated 22 June 1941)
Distinguished Flying Cross - No.214 Squadron - Award effective 31 December 1942 as per London Gazette dated 12 January 1943 and AFRO 232/43 dated 12 February 1943.
Presented at Buckingham Palace, 25 May 1943.
This officer has completed many operational sorties attacking targets in Germany, Italy and Western Europe, displaying superb navigational skill throughout. One night while he was navigator of an aircraft detailed to attack Duisberg, a shell burst in the vicinity and caused the starboard inner engine to catch fire. Despite adverse weather, Warrant Officer Nicholl succeeded in bringing the aircraft back to its base where [the] fire was extinguished. Over Bremen in similar circumstances, though one engine had been put out of action by anti-aircraft fire, Warrant Officer Nicholl directed his captain to the target where the bombs were released. His efficiency as a navigator and his great determination and devotion to duty have been proved on many occasions.
Arthur and the crew of BK600 flew 2 complete tours of operations together during the second World War.
Son of Frederick Henry and Marjorie Nixey; husband of Margaret Nixey, of Farningham, Kent.
Peter Nixey was born in 1920. He was the son of Frederick Henry and Marjorie Nixey. He attended Spring Grove Grammar School, Isleworth, Middlesex. Later, Peter got married to Margaret. They lived in Farningham, Kent.
Peter was a tall man, measuring 6 feet, 4 inches. He joined the Royal Air Force before the war as a career soldier. His promotions followed the ordinary career path:
9 December 1939 promoted to Plt/Off (on probation)
1 May 1940 promoted to Plt/Off (confirmed)
9 December 1940 promoted to Fg/Off
9 December 1941 promoted to Flt/Lt
After flying many missions and up for a routine transfer, Peter Nixey choose to stay with 214 Squadron. 214 was converting to the Stirling bomber and Peter was being promoted and became a Flight Commander.
On 8 May 1942 Peter was awarded the DSO for bringing his flak-damaged Wellington back from Essen on 12 April 1942. With extensive damage to the starboard engine, mainplane, ailerons, bomb-doors and tailplane and with his navigator (Plt/Off Lloyd) mortally wounded, one gunner injured, and himself suffering shell splinter wounds to his right arm, Flt/Lt Nixey successfully navigated his aircraft back to base to carry out a wheels-up landing - a truly remarkable piece of airmanship.
His subsequent award of the DSO reads:
"Distinguished Service Order.
Flight Lieutenant Peter NIXEY (42257), No. 214 Squadron.
One night in April, 1942, this officer was the captain of an aircraft detailed to attack a target in the Ruhr. During the operation his aircraft was subjected to heavy anti-aircraft fire whilst held in the glare of numerous searchlights. The starboard engine, the mainplane and aileron, the bomb doors and the tail plane were damaged. The navigator was dangerously wounded in the abdomen and thigh, the front gunner was injured about the eye and Flight Lieutenant Nixey himself was hit in the right arm by a shell-splinter. In the face of harassing circumstances;, although deprived of the assistance of his navigator, Flight Lieutenant Nixey coolly and skilfully flew the damaged aircraft back to this country where he made a safe landing with the undercarriage retracted. This officer has completed numerous sorties and he has always displayed outstanding courage, leadership and skill."
Peter was a most popular officer especially with the groundcrews, playing countless games of shove-halfpenny with them in their remote dispersal huts. John Hoskins, an engine-fitter recalls many enjoyable air tests made with Peter.
Source : CWGC, Chorley and Ian Hunt and Don MacDonald and Stevin Oudshoorn
Date record last updated : 22 June 2014
NOBLE, C D
Fg/Off C D Noble DFC, MBE, Royal Canadian Air Force, Nationality : Canadian, Date taken POW 19 June 1942, POW number 477
MBE awarded 1st October 1946 for escaping activities:
On 10 June 1943 26 airmen made their escape. The timing had to be perfect, the planning meticulous , to get so many men through the camp gates in broad daylight. The two 'bogus' guards played their part so well that the real guards allowed the 'shower party' through to the showers which were located outside the camp. No sooner where they out of sight then they melted into the pine trees.
A minute later 24 prisoners transformed into workmen and commercial travellers, vanishing quickly, leaving only a pile of discarded clothes. Unfortunately the escape was discovered within half an hour. Most of the 'kriegies' **, including Flying Officer C D Noble DFC RCAF (whose third attempt at escape this was) were rounded up the following day at, or near, Sagan railway station. Four men managed to stay clear of recapture.
Noble's two earlier escape attempts involved, first, hiding in the garbage wagon and the next in a truck loaded with tree branches.
** Kriegie is what the POWs called themselves. It is short for Kriegesgefangenen which is the German word for prisoner of war.
Source : Chorley and "Footprints on the sands of time" by Oliver Clutton-Brock
Date record last updated : 20 November 2020
Was part of the main crew of Flg/Off E Woodley
Source : Emily Ward (Great niece of Fg/Off Ernest Woodley)
Date record last updated : 28 August 2008
NORTH, F J
Sgt Frederick James North, 1231672, Flight Engineer, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, Nationality : United Kingdom, KIA 23 May 1943, Aged 22
Son of Frederick William and Rosetta North, of Ponder's End, Enfield, Middlesex; husband of Merle Alfreda Esther North.
On the 23 May 1943 at 23.15, Stirling MZ261 coded BU-T lifted off from Chedburgh, in Suffolk on the nights operations. The target for the night was a bombing raid on Dortmond which included several other 214 Squadron aircraft. This was destined to be their last flight. It is unknown exactly what happened, possibly flak or a nightfighter, but Stirling MZ261 crashed at Unna about 15km ENE of Dortmund. Initially the crew were buried here but they were later taken re-interred in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.
Source : Martin Alford, nephew of Donald Alford & CWGC
Date record last updated : 10 November 2017
NORTON, W W R
Sgt William Wykes Robey Norton, 400885, Pilot, Royal Australian Air Force, Nationality : Australian, KIA 26 March 1942, Aged 29
Son of Wykes Strange Chapman Norton and Eva Grace Norton, of Armadale, Victoria, Australia.
Source : CWGC and Hans J. Kobes, Vriezenveen (NL) and John Cripps and Australian War Memorial and Geoff Swallow (Australian Researcher) and Jan Nieuwenhuis (World War II Allied Aircraft Crashes in The Netherlands and North Sea)
Date record last updated : 26 March 2021
NUTTALL, F E
Wg/Cdr F E Nuttall, Commanding Officer
Wg/Cdr F E Nuttall was Commanding Officer of 214 Squadron from February 1940 to October 1940
Source : John Gulliver
Date record last updated : 8 December 2017
FS Jimmy Nuttall, Flight Engineer, Royal Air Force, Nationality : United Kingdom
Jimmy Nuttall arrived at St Athan from his initial training at Blackpool, on 7 December 1942, with Ronald Williams.
Jimmy joined P/O Scantleton's crew at Stradishall and their Stirling was involved in a mid-air collision with a Wellington over the practice bombing range on 6 November 1943. The "Wimpey" had suddenly broken cloud right under the nose of the Stirling and the tail fin of the "Wimpey" ploughed through the nose of the Stirling with the bomb-aimer lying in the bombing position. Luckily he escaped injury, as did the rest of the Stirling crew, but sadly the Wellington crew were lost. Scantleton's instruments had been rendered u/s by the collision but he managed to bring his aircraft back over base, giving the crew the option of baling out or staying put. They elected to do the latter and the landing was successful. The next day a photograph was taken with eight men standing abreast in the hole in the nose of the Stirling that the Wellington's tail fin had made.
Source : John Scantleton (son of Flt/Lt V L Scantleton) and Catherine Sommer (daughter of W/O Roland Williams)