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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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515 Squadron crest
13/14.01.1945 No. 515 Squadron Mosquito VI PZ485 Sq/Ldr. Bennett DFC.

Operation: Bomber Support / Patrol

Date: 13/14th January 1945 (Saturday/Sunday)

Unit: No. 515 Squadron (100 Group)

Type: Mosquito VI

Serial: PZ465

Code: 3P-?

Base: RAF Little Snoring, Norfolk, England

Location: Possibly South East Cuxhaven

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Cyril Victor Bennett DFC. 109072 RAFVR Age 33. Missing - believed killed

Nav: Fl/Lt. Robert Arthur Smith 170400 RAFVR Age 37. Missing - believed killed


Taking off from RAF Little Snoring in Norfolk, England at 16:48 hrs on a patrol in the Husum - Jagel regions of Germany.

It is described in the latest edition of the nightfighter war diaries that it is ‘possible’ that they were shot down by Uffz. Kurt Scherer of 4./NJG4 at 22:34 hrs on the 13th January - this is ‘not’ confirmed. It was his 3rd and final claim of the war, from which he survived, no additional details.

Burial details:

Sq/Ldr. Cyril Victor Bennett DFC. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 264. Son of William and Edith Emily Bennett and husband of Marion Bennett, of Newcastle-under-Lyme, England. DFC Awarded 23rd May 1944 whist with 256 Squadron fighter Command.

Note: Both crew members are described as very experienced and above the normal age for aircrew.

Fl/Lt. Robert Arthur Smith. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 266. Son of Edwin S. and Edith Jane Smith and husband of Irene May Smith, of Ilford, Essex, England.

Researched for Roger Bennett, son of the pilot who contacted us in October 2017 and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources indicated below.

KTY - 30.10.2017

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Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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