Flight Lieutenant Charles Taylor  -  12 Squadron  

Flight Lieutenant Charles Joseph Taylor  - RNZAF


 Flight Lieutenant Charles Joseph Taylor was piloting Lancaster Mk.I LM230 coded PH-A  during an operation to Kiel on August 26/27, 1944. The aircraft left Wickenby at 2009hrs and failed to return, the aircraft and crew were lost without a trace.

The crew consisted of:






F/L Charles Taylor



Auckland, New Zealand


Sgt Donald Neale


Flight Engineer



F/L Bernard Hughes



Hove, Sussex


Sgt Dennis Webb


Bomb Aimer

Croxley Green,Herts.


F/O Stanley Greengrass





Sgt John Overee


Air Gunner



F/O John Bell RAFVR - DFC


Air Gunner

Moseley, Birmingham


 Flight Lieutenant Charles Joseph Taylor was the eldest son of Charles Joseph Walter & Kathleen May Taylor (nee Owens), 18 Sulphur Beach, Northcote, Auckland.

He was born on the 17th of January 1920 and educated at Northcote Primary School 1926-1930, Northcote Junior High School 1931-1932 and Northcote High School 1933-1934.

His occupation from 1935 until enlistment in Air Force was as a warehouseman (soft goods) at the Wellington Woollen Manufacturing Co. Ltd., Auckland

Charles applied for enlistment in aircrew on 4th April 1940. On the 30th of September 1941 Charles married Kathleen Patricia (Pat) Humphrey of 43 Cambourne Road, Balmoral, Auckland at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Mt Eden. Pat was the adopted daughter of James Alexander Humphrey and his wife Christina Munro (nee McFadgen) Humphrey. 

 Charles was called "Stoney" because he was always "stoney" broke. When asked to play cards for money he would pull out the lining of his pockets, show they were empty and say "Sorry, I cant, Im stoney".

Abbreviated Career in the Royal New Zealand Air Force

1941 - NZ - ITW Levin Feb 9th - May 3rd

1941 - NZ - No 4 EFTS Whenuapai - May 4th - July 4th

1941 - NZ - No 3 IFTS Ohakea July 6th - Aug 17th Pilot Badge 16th August

1941 - NZ - No 3 AFTS Ohakea August 17th - Sept 27th Sergeant Pilot 27 Sept

Embarked Stirling Castle for England on 25th October 1941

1941 Landed Liverpool November 28th 1941

1941/2 - ENG - No 3 PRC Bournemouth - Nov 29th 1941 January 12th 1942

1942 - ENG - BAT Course Upwood - Jan 12 - Jan 26th

1942 - ENG - No 3 PRC Bournemouth - Jan 26th - Feb 25th

1942 - ENG - No 2 AFU Brize Norton - Feb 25 - May 23

1942 - ENG - BAT Course Wattisham - May 23 - May 29

1942 - ENG - No 5 AOS Jurby Isle of Man June 1 - Oct 27

1942 - ENG - No 44 Squad Waddington Oct 27 - Nov 8

1942/3/4 - ENG - No 5 AOS Jurby Isle of Man Nov 10 1942 - Feb 28 1944

1944 - ENG - No 83 OTU Peplow Feb 28 - May 13

1944 - ENG - No 11 Base Boston Park May 23 - May 26

1944 - ENG - Attach Wescott No 1 ECDU May 26 - June 2 1944

1944 - ENG - No 1667 HCU Sandtoft June 3 - July 4

1944 - ENG - ILFS Hemswell July 4 - July 21

1944 - ENG - 12 Squad Wickenby July 21

1944 - ENG - Attach BDU Newmarket July 31

 On the 21st of July 1944 he was attached to 12 Squadron, Wickenby, Lincolnshire where he flew 4 ops out of a total of 6.

The 3rd op was as second pilot to W/O Dyer Matthews on a Lancaster to Kiel, Germany on 23 July.

The 4th op was as captain with his own crew on a Lancaster to Stuttgart, Germany on 28 July

The 5th op was as captain with his own crew on Lancaster A to bomb enemy troops in the battle area of Normandy, France on 30 July

The 6th op was as captain with his own crew on Lancaster A on 26th August 1944 to Kiel, Germany in Lancaster I LM230 and was to be lost without a trace, possibly at sea.

LANCASTER MARK 1 LM 230 (PH "A") The Shillelagh

 A post war investigation carried out by the Missing Research & Enquiry Services(No 4 Unit) concluded that body remains and parts of an aircraft had been found in Brodersdorf woods. The body remains being buried at Kiel. It is thought that the remains were either from Lancaster HK 556 of 115 squadron or Lancaster LM230.German records indicate that an aircraft crashed in the Gemeinde Brodersdorf at 23.10 hours on the 26/27th August 1944,exploding with all bombs on board, leaving a huge water filled crater with a depth of at least twenty feet. The German records report that the crew were presumably dead The report remains on the file of F/O Donald Holder RNZAF pilot of HK556/F.

Charles and his crew have no known grave and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

Photo courtesy of the Christine Mills, research by Linda Ibrom