01.07.1943 No. 3 Squadron Typhoon R8946 QO-L F/O. A.T. Little
Date: 01st July 1943 (Thursday)
Unit: No. 3 Squadron (11 Group)
Type: Typhoon Ib
Serial: R8946 / DN589 / EJ970
Code: QO-L / QO-A / QO-M
Base: RAF Manston, Kent
Location: North Sea North West Ostend
Pilot: F/O. Alan Trevor Little NZ/413862 RNZAF Age 26. Killed
Pilot: P/O. Colin George Benjamin AUS/403855 RAAF Age 22. Killed
Pilot: Sgt. F. Lawrence 1330629 PoW No. 1721 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from RAF Manston at 11:25 hrs on a Roadstead to the Hook Of Holland. Attacking the convoy with cannon fire and bombs - the squadron reported the 7 ships had been damaged. Luftwaffe fighters then came to their aid and they were attacked by JG1 and 2 who claimed 4 Typhoons shot down.
3 Squadron lost 3 aircraft, the other two as described above. F/O. Little was shot down at 12:17 hrs, his body was washed up at Walcheren near Westkapelle on the 12th July and buried the following day. P/O. Benjamin was shot down at 12:00 hrs, his body recovered by a German Minesweeper and brought back to Rotterdam. Sgt. Lawrence shot down at 12:15 hrs and taken PoW.
175 Squadron lost a Typhoon later that day, DN408 Flown by Fl/Sgt. Osmond R. Kelsick who was rescued after crashing into the sea. From 197 Squadron, 26 year old, Sq/Ldr. Alan Henry Corkett 41903 flying Typhoon Ib DN357 OV-Q suffered an engine failure and taken PoW.
F/O. Alan Trevor Little. Flushing Northern Cemetery (Vlissingen). Row F. Grave 23. Son of James and Louisa Little, of Timaru, Canterbury, New Zealand and husband of Pegg C. Little, of Timaru. A total of 372 flying hours logged.
P/O. Colin George Benjamin. Rotterdam General Cemetery (Crooswijk). Plot LL. Row 2. Grave 47. Ben on the 13TH October 1920, the son of Cyril Hastings Benjamin and Eva Eleanor Benjamin, of 7 Carter Street, Gordon, New South Wales, Australia. Grave inscription reads: “His Duty Fearlessly And Nobly Done. Ever Remembered”.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Cenotaph, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below: