05.08.1940 No. 206 Squadron Hudson I P5133 VX-D F/O. Kean DFC
Operation: Air-sea rescue search
Date: 05th August 1940 (Monday)
Unit: No. 206 Squadron. 16 Group. Coastal Command (Nihil nos effugit - 'Nothing escapes us')
Type: Hudson I
Base: RAF Bircham Newton, Norfolk
Location: Syderstone, Norfolk
Pilot: P/O. Raymond Thomas Kean DFC 41295 RAF Age 22. Killed
Pilot: P/O. Robin Rustom 42079 RAF Age 20. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Frederick Herbert Hull 755799 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Dennis Mannion MiD. 627225 RAF Age 21. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
The young decorated New Zealand pilot escaped two previous incidents:
On the 09th September 1939 Flying Anson I K6187 VX-E aircraft overshot airfield in blackout, continued on a southerly course until an engine failed due to fuel running out. Unable to maintain height, pilot ditched. All four crew were rescued while the aircraft sunk and was lost. Other crew members were P/O. Barnitt (note, AC.1 Caulfield and LAC. Thompson all escaped injury.
On the 03rd May 1940 Flying Hudson I N7319 VX-C during an engagement with an Me109 wounded he flew the Hudson back to make a belly landing. Sgt. Deverill also wounded, AC. Harrison safe but the air gunner 28 year old, LAC. Ernest Townend 535545 RAF killed by the machine gun fire.
His luck finally ran out when at 15:05 hrs they took off on a search operation. On return at 18:00 hrs the aircraft stalled off vertical turn, flicked on its back and crashed at Ringers Farm in Syderstone. The aircraft caught fire and the bomb load exploded killing all the four crew.
Note: F/O. Heslop Barnitt DFC was killed later on the 20th October 1940, further information can be found here.
P/O. Raymond Thomas Kean DFC. New Hunstanton Cemetery. Row O. Grave 52. Born on the 05th April 1918 at Green Island, the son of Michael and Margaret Kean (née Brennan), of Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand. Grave inscription reads: "R.I.P". A clerk for the Yorkshire Insurance Company prior to service. A total of 606 flying hours logged and having completed 83 operational sorties.
P/O. Robin Rustom. Great Bircham Churchyard (St. Mary). Plot 1. Row 1. Grave 6. Son of Basil Donald and Gwendolen Mary Ruston, of Highcliffe, Christchurch, Hampshire, England.
Sgt. Frederick Herbert Hull. Solihull Cemetery. Sec. A.4. North. Grave 51. Son of Frederick Ernest and Laura Beatrice Hull, of Acocks Green, Birmingham, England. Grave inscription reads: "Where They Rest They Are Blessed, There Is Peace".
Sgt. Dennis Mannion MiD. Derby Cemetery (Nottingham Road). Sec. F. Grave 60026. Son of Maud E. Mannion, of Derby, England.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the research by Ross McNeill "Coastal Command Losses", Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below: