06/07.06.1944 96 Squadron Mosquito NF.XIII MM451 ZJ:E Fg.Off. Allan
Operation: Night Defensive Patrol
Date: 6/7th June 1944 (Tuesday/Wednesday)
Unit: 96 Squadron (Fighter Command)
Type: Mosquito NF.XIII
Base: RAF West Malling, Kent
Location: 10 miles off RAF Manston
Pilot: Fg.Off. John Cecil Owen Allan 159499 RAFVR Age 22. Missing - believed killed
Nav: Flt.Sgt. William Milne Patterson 658248 RAFVR Age 25. Missing - believed killed
Relatives would like any information on this crew and in particular any photographs documents. Contact us in the first instance.
REASON FOR LOSS:
During a night defensive patrol the crew experienced engine trouble and were forced to bale out of the aircraft. Despite extensive search no trace of the aircraft for crew were found. Understood to have come down in the North Sea approx 10 miles east of Ramsgate.
Above: 96 Squadron Mosquitoes at RAF West Malling
The Mosquito Night Fighter (NF) Mk XIII was fitted with the Airborne Interception Radar (AI) Mk.VIII which was the first operational microwave-frequency air-to-air radar and made the Mosquito the premier night fighter from 1943 through the rest of the war.
On the night of the 18/19th April 1944 this crew shot down a Ju88 over Cranbrook in Kent at 01:15hrs. They visited the crash site shortly afterwards as shown above. (courtesy Brian Patterson)
Only two weeks previous to this on the night of the 20/21st May 1944, whilst flying Mosquito NF.XIII HK414 they experienced engine trouble. Whilst attempting to land at RAF West Malling, when the windscreen frosted up, they hit a bank and the aircraft received category ‘B’ damage but both crew were unhurt. The Mosquito was later written off.
Patterson brothers (courtesy Brian Patterson)
Mr Nick Yeomans of the Dorking Museum and Heritage Centre contacted us in May 2017:
“Mosquito NF.XIII MM451 was flown regularly by 66516 Flt.Lt Norman Sydney Head DFC and 131662 Fg.Off. Arthur Charles Andrews DFC. On 14th March 1944 they were credited with destroying two Ju88's and on 22nd a FW190. Flt.Lt Head's son kindly helped with information on his father when we were researching the loss of Junkers Ju88 A-4 Wk.Nr.140099 for a temporary display put on by our local museum.”
Left: Flt.Lt Norman Sydney Head DFC and Fg.Off. Arthur Charles Andrews DFC - Standing next to a Boulton Paul Defiant (courtesy of Dorking Museum and Heritage Centre and Michel Head)
Their DFC Citation reads: Flight Lieutenant Norman Sidney HEAD (66516), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 96 Squadron. Flying Officer Arthur Charles ANDREWS (131662), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 96 Squadron. As pilot and observer respectively these officers have completed many sorties. They have displayed great skill, keenness and co-operation and have destroyed 4 enemy aircraft at night, 2 of them in one sortie. Their example of devotion to duty has been most commendable, gazetted 2nd June 1944.
Dorking Museum and Heritage Centre is an independent museum funded entirely by public donation and staffed by volunteers.
Fg.Off. John Cecil Owen Allan. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 204. Born on the 29th September 1922 in Portsmouth, Hampshire. Son of Richard and Marie Annie (née Savage) Allan of Alresford, Hampshire, England.
1311979 Flt.Sgt. John Cecil Owen Allan was appointed to commission as a Plt.Off. (159499) on probation (emergency) wef 7th October 1943, gazetted 26th November 1943. His confirmation and promotion from Plt.Off. (Probation), was confirmed in appointment and promotion to Fg.Off. wef 7th April 1944, gazetted 2nd May 1944.
Flt.Sgt. William Milne Patterson. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 221. Son of James and Rebecca Paterson of Nursery Street, Forfar, Angus, Scotland. Husband of Mary Langlands Patterson with whom he had married in January 1942 at the Old Parish Church in Forfar (Mary had lived at Dundee Loan in Forfar). They had a son, Alex who along with his mother moved to South Africa later. They still live there (March 2016)
Researched for Brian Patterson (nephew) and also the son of the navigator - page dedicated to the relatives of this crew (Feb 2016). Photographs added from Brian Paterson (Mar 2016). Mr Nick Yeomans of the Dorking Museum and Heritage Centre (May 2017). Thanks to John Allan, the nephew of Fg.Off. Allan for the update on aircraft details (Nov 2020). Other updates by Aircrew Remembered (Nov 2020). With thanks to sources quoted below.