On August 9th 1944, Sgt. Ray Andrew was posted to 419 squadron after he and his fellow crew members had completed their HCU training at No. 1659 C.U. In addition to Air gunner Andrew was Pilot F.F. Bruyns, Navigator R.C. Joyner, Bomb Aimer F/O H.H. Hudson, Wireless Operator F/O R.R. Biccum, Flight Engineer F/S W. D. Lockie RAF, Rear Gunner Sgt.R.S. Grant . Their first operation would be on August 27th., their second operation on the night of August 29/30th would be a challenge and not their only one to over come in their 30 plus operations together.
On this second operation while returning from Stettin and just leaving the Danish coast the starboard outer engine failed and Bruyns was unable to feather the propeller. The engine caught fire briefly and they were able to put it out. Three sorties later on the night of September 27th while making the bombing run on the target, Bottrop, the Lancaster was hit by flak punching holes in the port gas tank and port wing. The flak also penetrated the rear turret luckily no one was injured and they continued on to base.
On two separate occasions they were set on by night fighters. On night of November 21st a Ju88 approached from the starboard side and was seen and fired on by the rear gunner Sgt. Grant. As second gunner Andrew's duty was to visually check all other quarters of the sky, especially the darker sections for additional hostile aircraft trying to catch the gunners off guard. The second Combat Report comes from February 7th, when yet again a Ju88 attacks their aircraft this time from directly behind and directly at the rear gunner. It must have been a great temptation for P/O. Andrews to engage the fighter to help the rear gunner, but strict training kept him searching the skies for any additional enemy attacks.
By end of February P/O Andrew had completed his tour of thirty operations and maybe a few extra. On March 26th he was posted to the RCAF Overseas H/Q