28.10.1944 No. 182 Squadron Typhoon Ib MN204 P/O. Lewis
Operation: Armed Recce
Date: 28th October 1944 (Saturday)
Unit: No. 182 Squadron. 123 Wing. 83 Group.
Type: Typhoon Ib
Base: B.78 Eindhoven
Location: Near Venlo, Netherlands
Pilot: P/O. Keith Lewis NZ/422295 RNZAF Age 21. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 13:10 hrs. with five others but failed to return.
After the squadron had attacked successfully five enemy motor vehicles and also blown up headquarters building with rocket projectiles. They were then bounced by over 10 enemy aircraft with MN204 coming down at Boishem near Venlo.
Left: Grave of P/O. Lewis at Reichswald Forest Cemetery (archive)
Burial Details:P/O. Keith Lewis. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 30C.16. Born on the 08th April 1923 at Rangatuau, the son of William John Lewis, and of Roberta Mary Lewis (née Palmer), of New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand. Keith was a very keen sportsman.
Completed two years at New Plymouth Boys High School and whilst there became very interested in boxing. He won his weight at the school championship in his second year at school. Also played rugby for the Star Football Club in New Plymouth and rode both track and road cycle racing in winter and was a member of the Fitzroy Surf and Lifesaving club during summer. He had well above average ability in these sports.
He worked on a dairy farm for a while after leaving school but that restricted his sporting activities, he then worked for the New Plymouth Timber Company prior to joining the RNZAF on the 23rd November 1940 at Levin. A total of 433 flying hours logged and on his 49th 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, other sources as quoted below: