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James Allen Ward


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    James Allen Ward
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James Allen Ward
James Allen Ward

James Allen Ward was born on June 14, 1919 in Wanganui, New Zealand, a teacher by training, he didn't hesitate for a second to join theRoyal New Zealand Air Force when World War II broke out.
Assigned to the 75 NZ Squadronof the Royal Air Force on Vickers Wellington as co-pilot, he set off on a mission  to bomb Munster in Germanywith 9 other Welligtons on the night of July 7, 1941.
The mission was a success despite FLAK fire, the 10 planes were on their way back, when suddenly at Zuiderzee (Netherlands)  a Messerschmitt BF110 spotted it and opened fire on James's Wellington L7818.

The rear gunner, Sergeant Allan R. J. Box, retaliated despite his injuries to his foot and hit the German plane spinning in a death spiral towards the North Sea...
The bomber was badly hit, the hydraulic system no longer responded, the intercom no longer worked, the  right engine was on fire.
The fire is spreading dangerously along the wing, and smoke is filling the fuselage.

The crew tries to pierce the fuselage to extinguish the fire with the on-board extinguishers, alas without success... 
As the leader squadron, captain Windowson prepares to order the plane abandoned, sergeant Ward volunteers to attempt to contain the fire by going out on the wing using an engine cover while the plane is flying at 200 mph!
Armed with an axeand secured to the plane by  a simple rope held by sergeant L. A. Lawton, Sergeant Ward exits through the astrodome , drills holes on the canvas wing to grip the geodesic structure and advances with difficulty towards the disaster.
Thanks to this cover, he manages to extinguish the fire by plugging the fuel leak. 
With difficulty and caution Ward rejoins his comrades.
Thanks to his bravery, the bomber manages to reach England and make an emergency landing at NewMarket.
Following this incredible feat Sergeant Ward will be awarded the Victoria Cross, the rear gunner who shot down the German aircraft, Sergeant Allan R. J. Box of the Distinguished Flying Medal, and Squadron leader Captain Widdowson of the Distinguished Flying

Promoted, Ward then flew his own Wellington, flying two missions, one over Breston September 13 , and the last at Hamburgon September 15 where he was shot down by a German fighter.
James Allen Ward rests at the Commonwealth War Cemetery Hamburg.

Credit photo IWM

James Allen Ward
James Allen Ward.
James Allen Ward
James Allen Ward.

James Allen Ward