14.04.1945 No. 489 Squadron Beaufighter TF.X NT888 P6-Y P/O. Brightwell
Date:14th April 1945 (Saturday)
Unit: No. 489 Squadron (18 Group - Coastal Command)
Type: Beaufighter TF.X
Base: RAF Dallachy, Morayshire
Location: Jøssingfjord, Norway
Pilot: P/O. John Mostyn Brightwell NZ/421497 RNZAF Age 23. Missing - believed killed
Nav: P/O. Edgar Joseph Foy NZ/49049 RNZAF Age 24. Missing - believed killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 13:09 hrs to attack German shipping that had moved into Jøssingfjord from Egersund to avoid possible allied air strikes.
A force of some 20 Beaufighters with an escort of Mustangs took part in the attack. Also a Warwick Air Sea rescue aircraft carrying a life raft was sent to assist in any possible rescues.
During the torpedo and rocket attack which has been described as successful, NT888 climbed away as it left the Fjord. On doing this it seems that they collided with another Beaufighter from the Squadron and they fell into the sea.
RD463 P6-A1 flown by 22 year old, F/O. Graham Parkin NZ/4214125 RNZAF and his navigator 26 year old, F/O. Royden Nugent NZ/427846 RNZAF ditched in the fjord. Both crew were seen to climb out, walk along the wing and enter their own aircraft rescue dingy.
The Warwick dropped the life raft and one of the crew were seen swimming towards it, but the life raft drifted away as the parachute bolts failed when it hit the water, the wind dragging it away from reach.
Despite four from the squadron returning the following day they failed to see any survivors, but did spot two empty dinghies and the empty life raft - enemy aircraft then intercepted and the beaufighters left. Sadly ll four crew members have no known grave and are remembered on the Runnymede Memorial.
Local Norwegians honour their loss every year, they have never forgotten their sacrifice. Read more here.
Note: The Runnymede Memorial panel photographs for the crew taken by our Runnymede specialist Andrea Ruddick are available at high resolution to relatives - free of charge.
P/O. John Mostyn Brightwell. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 285. Son of Francis Railton Brightwell and Alice Ellen Brightwell, of New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand. A total of 708 flying hours logged and had completed 22 operational sorties.
P/O. Edgar Joseph Foy. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 285. Born on the 21st December 1920, the son of John G. and Nora Foy, of 8 Hanene Street, St. Heliers, Auckland, New Zealand. A total of 415 flying hours logged and had completed 22 operational sorties.
F/O. Graham George Parkin. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 285. Of Lower Hutt, New Zealand - no further information, are you able to assist. A total of 520 flying hours logged and had completed 14 operational sorties.
F/O. Royden Leslie Nugent. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 285. Son of Archibald Leslie and Edith Phillipa Nugent (née Bowman) and husband of Alice Marie Arnold, of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. Had completed 14 operational sorties.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, Jøssingfjorden Science Museum, also to Andrea Ruddick for Runnymede Memorial photographs. Other sources as quoted below: