12th April 1945 244 Wing Spitfire LF.VIII MT685 W/Cdr. Bary
Operation: Close bombing support
Date: 12th April 1945 (Thursday)
Unit: No. 244 Wing Mediterranean Allied Tactical Air Force
Type: Spitfire LF.VIII
Base: Bellaria, Italy
Location: North East Imola, Italy
Pilot: W/Cdr. Ronald Edward Bary DSO. DFC. MiD. NZ/41818 RAF Age 29. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 11:43 hrs. leading two 92 squadron Spitfires. Over the target at 12:15 the pilot instructed the others to circle overhead while he dived and marked. As he passed through 4000-5000 feet one of his bombs blew up and the fighter disintegrated.
It was assumed that one of the 500 lb. bombs exploded prematurely, either while still attached to the aircraft or immediately upon release, there being no evidence of flak in the area at the time.
W/Cdr. Ronald Edward Bary DSO. DFC. MiD. Faenza War Cemetery. Grave VIII. D. 21. Born 09th June 1915 at Taranaki, New Plymouth. A law clerk for the justice department at Palmerston North prior to service. Enlisted on the 1st January 1939. Son of Edward and Gladwys Muriel Bary (née Knapp), of Palmerston North. Husband of Doreen Mary Bary (née Somerville), of Christchurch, Canterbury. 1540 fling hours logged and having completed 370 operational sorties. Previously served with 229, 274 250 and 80 Sqns, and 239 Wing. Credited with 2 enemy aircraft destroyed, 4 shared, 3 probables and 3 others damaged. Grave inscription: 'You Live In Our Hearts, We Will Never Forget'.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Ian Banks, Jenifer Lemaire and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, AWMM, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, AWMM, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below: