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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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coastal command crest
10th May 1944 540 Squadron Mosquito PR.XVI LR421 F/O. Irwin

Operation: Photographic Reconnaissance

Date: 10th May 1944 (Wednesday)

Unit: No. 540 Squadron photoreconnaissance squadron (motto: Sine qua non - 'Indispensable') Coastal Command. 106 Group

Type: Mosquito PR.XVI

Serial: LR421

Code: -

Base: RAF Benson, Oxfordshire

Location: Near Aspang, Austria

Pilot: F/O. Jack Hector Irwin Aus/409709 RAAF Age 21. Killed

Nav: F/O. Leopold Moody 151395 RAFVR Age 32. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off at 07:30 from RAF Benson, Oxfordshire on a Photographic Reconnaissance operation.

It is possible that they were shot down by Major Horst Carganico of I./JG 5, 35 km. South West of Wiener Neustadt at 11.30 hrs. near Sankt-Corona-am-Wechsel. (47.35 degrees north latitude and 16.04 degrees east latitude) (Courtesy Kracker Archive)

The body of the pilot was recovered by local residents and buried at St. Corona cemetery on the 13th May 1944 at 12:00 hrs. The local parson stated that the authorities would not contribute ant expenses for the funeral but that he did ring the prayer bells and recite the prayers according to his church.The body of his navigator was not discovered for several weeks until the 02nd September 1944. It appears that he had baled out but that he never made a safe descent and his body was discovered in the forest near Kempstein.

A motor car was purchased by F/O. Irwin together with a F/O. Keith Ross Holland DFC. F/O. Holland was killed on the 27th October 1944 together with his navigator, F/O. Geoffrey John Bloomfield, both aged 22. Also with 504 Squadron on Mosquito PR.XVI NS654. (There had been confusion on the ID of F/O. Bloomfield as a letter written by F/O. Moody was found on his body - reported as being washed ashore on the 31st August 1944)

Burial details:

Initially buried at Aspangberg-Sankt Peter, later reinterred.

F/O. Jack Hector Irwin. Klagenfurt War Cemetery. Born on the 05th July 1922 at Wellington. New Zealand. A clerk prior to service working for 'The Age' newspaper of Melbourne. Enlisted on the 10th October 1941 Son of William Charles and Esther Sands Irwin (née Roulson of 216 High Street, Preston, Victoria, Australia.

F/O. Leopold Moody. Klagenfurt War Cemetery. Grave 8. B. 15. Son of Leopold and Margaret Moody; husband of Winifred Margaret Moody, of Fulwood, Preston, Lancashire, England. Grave inscription: 'A Loved One Sleeping'.

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”, Kracker Archive, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, AWMN, Weekly News of New Zealand, NAA, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 29-01-2021

Acknowledgements: 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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