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25.03.1945 No. 486 Squadron Tempest V NV981 F/O. Kalka
Operation: Standing Patrol
Date: 25th March 1945 (Sunday)
Unit: No. 486 Squadron (motto: Hiwa hau Maka - Beware of the wild winds)
Type: Tempest V
Base: ALG B80 (Volkel)
Location: River Meuse, north west of Grave, Germany
Pilot: F/O. William Arthur Kalka NZ/415415 RNZAF Age 22. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Research courtesy Errol Martyn:
Taking off at 14:30 hrs with another from the squadron and shot up enemy vehicles behind enemy lines in Germany. They then moved on to engage two light aircraft that had entered the area, shooting one down but NV981 was then hit by flak with controls damaged the pilot decided that rather than risk returning the pilot drew away and baled out near the River Meuse north west of Grave.
The Tempest continued to fly on before coming down at on the north bank of the river near Niftrik. It is thought that the pilot struck the tailplane when he left the aircraft and came down in the river.
A young Dutch girl, Riet Jansen from Nijmegen went into the water fully clothed in an attempt to rescue the pilot. She managed to reach the pilot but could not disengage him from the parachute shrouds and it proved impossible to drag both to the shore in the current. She reluctantly was forced to let him go. His body was later recovered a few kilometres down river and buried on the 13th April at Uden.
When Riet regained the river bank she discovered that someone had stolen her bicycle. Sometime later a group of New Zealanders presented her with a new one in recognition of her courageous act.
P/O. William Arthur Kalka. Uden War Cemetery. Grave: 6.F.8. Son of Richard John Kalka, and of Annie Kalka (née Boggs), of Grey Lynn, Auckland City, New Zealand. 642 flying hours logged and on his 186th operational sortie.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks Errol Martyn and his research into New Zealand aircrew lost. Maurice Janssen Duijghuijsen - nephew of Riet Jansen. Also to Auckland Cenotaph and Weekly News of New Zealand. Other sources as quoted below:
KTY - 28.08.2017
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 and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.