18/19.04.1945 No. 141 Squadron Mosquito NF.XXX NT490 TW-R W/O. Dawson
Date: 18/19th April 1945 (Wednesday/Thursday)
Unit: No. 141 Squadron 100 (BS) Group (motto: Caedimus Noctu - 'We slay by night')
Type: Mosquito NF.XXX
Base: RAF West Raynham, Norfolk
Location: Neubiberg, Germany
Pilot: W/O. Ronald Gordon Dawson NZ/428087 RNZAF Age 24. Killed
Nav: F/O. Charles Phillip Dent Childs NZ/428080 RNZAF Age 32. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from RAF West Raynham at 16:40 hrs to attack airfields around Munich. Some 36 Mosquitoes taking part in the final stages of the war in Europe.
The Mosquitoes refuelled at B58 ALG (Melsbroek) then left to attack the airfield at Neubiberg.
Lt. Wolfhard Galinski of 8./NJ6 a night fighter pilot ran over to man a twin MG181 marine gun together with a Lt. Köpler fired and hit the Mosquito. The Mosquito flew on but with mortal damage crashed in a garden of a large housing estate alongside the Lager Strassenbahn in Munich. The pilot was killed at the controls but the navigator managed to bale out, sadly too low for the parachute to deploy, he also lost his life.
Lt. Wolfhard Galinski wrote in his Flugbuch (log book): 'Victory claim of an RAF Mosquito using 3 x 20mm MG181 Cannons of the ground defences of Neubiberg airfield on the 19th April 1945. Between 00:30 - 02:00 hrs'.
W/O. Ronald Gordon Dawson. Durnbach War Cemetery. Grave 6.B.16. Born on the 06th August 1920 at New Plymouth, the son of Gerald Douglas Dawson and Alice Jane McLeod Dawson (née Hughson), of Rahotu, Taranaki, New Zealand. He enlisted on the 11th July 1942 but prior to this he worked as a dairy farmer at his father's farm in Rahotu. A total of 575 flying hours logged and on his 11th operational sortie.
F/O. Charles Phillip Dent Childs. Durnbach War Cemetery. Grave 6.B.16. Born on the 04th April 1913 at Ashburton, the son of Major Arthur James Childs (killed during the first world war on the 15th September 1916 at Somme) and Knetta Helen Childs (née Smith), of Ashburton, Canterbury, New Zealand and husband of Sylvia Lorraine Childs (née Taylor), of Eastbourne, Wellington, New Zealand. Prior to enlisting in the RNZAF on the 11th July 1942 worked as a clerk. A total of 403 flying hours logged and on his 11th operational sortie.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Weekly News of New Zealand, Dr. Theo Boiten and Mr. Roderick Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and 2' and the Nachtjagd Combat Archives 2019/2020, other sources as quoted below.
W/O. Ronald Gordon Dawson: Auckland Library Heritage Collection: AWNS19450704-28-5.