12/13.03.1941 No 102 Squadron Whitley V T4326 DY-K Fl/Lt. Long DFC.
Date: 12/13th March 1941 (Wednesday/Thursday)
Unit: No. 102 Squadron 4 Group (motto: Tentate et Perficite - 'Attempt and achieve')
Type: Whitley V
Base: RAF Topcliffe, Yorkshire
Location: Noord-Deurningen, Netherlands
Pilot: Fl/Lt. Frank Hugh Long DFC. 36190 RAF Age 24. Killed
Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Archibald Martin Watts-Read 16258 RAF Age 35. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Vincent Hallas 553968 RAF Age 18. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Ernest Hugh Goodall 935854 RAFVR Age 31. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. William Edward Van Klaveren 903056 RAFVR Age 20. PoW
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from RAF Topcliffe in Yorkshire at 19:40 hrs - 72 aircraft from various squadrons to Bomb Berlin.
4 of which failed to return. 2 from this squadron, the other:
Whitley V T4140 DY-H Flown by 32 year old, P/O. Frederick George Malim 83279 RAF killed with the other pilot 23 year old, F/O. Eaton Geoffrey Cubitt 72480 RAFVR. The remaining 3 crew escaped injured after the aircraft crash landed at Docking in Norfolk. Sadly the W/Op/Air/Gnr. on that crew, Sgt. Rudolf Dey Davidson 971260 RAFVR from Aberdeen lost his life just 3 months later on an operation to Bremen - all that crew on Whitley V T4269 also killed.
Whitley T4326 was hit by flack and came down 00:05 at Noord-Deurningen in the Netherlands. Sgt. Van Klaveren was taken PoW but tragically contracted diphtheria (1) and died on the 04th May.
Prior to forming his own crew the pilot was trained by fellow New Zealander F/O. Kenneth Neil Gray 40342 RAF. He was awarded the DFC along with Fl/Lt. Long as on two occasions they skilfully managed to return their Whitley aircraft and crew despite severe icing and with one engine kept stopping they continued on their operation to Prague. The return trip totalled some eight hours.
Sadly F/O. Gray was also to lose his life on the 01st May 1941 flying Whitley V N1500 during a transit flight - all the crew together with 2 passengers were killed with just 1 surviving seriously injured.
Fl/Lt. Long trained P/O. Geoffrey Leonard Cheshire and became very close friends. We understand that his loss deeply affected Cheshire.
Fl/Lt. Frank Hugh Long DFC. Denekamp Protestant Cemetery. Collective grave 1-4. Born on the 16th June 1916 in Masterton, the son of William Hugh and Amy Amelia (née Reid) Long of Masterton. New Zealand. Husband of Margaret Eva Long (née Rainey)
Sq/Ldr. Archibald Martin Watts-Read. Denekamp Protestant Cemetery. Collective grave 1-4. Born on the 05th October 1906 in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, the son of Cecil and Kate Mary Watts-Read (née Edwards) from Moseley, Birmingham, England.
Sgt. Vincent Hallas. Denekamp Protestant Cemetery. Collective grave 1-4. Born on the 30th June 1922 in Lockwood, Huddersfield, the son of Beatrice Hallas from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England.
Sgt. Ernest Hugh Goodall. Denekamp Protestant Cemetery. Collective grave 1-4. Born on the 09th July 1909 in Shipley, the son of Ernest Hill and Emily Goodall (née Bone) from Shipley, West Yorkshire, England.
Sgt. William Edward Van Klaveren. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave 2.H.20. Born on the 15th April 1921 in Long Ashton, the son of George and Emily Lucy van Klaveren (née Minchington) from Yatton, Somerset, England. Grave inscription reads: "We Remember With Love And Honour He Who Laid Down His Life For Us".
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Simon Muggleton for some details, the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, Oleg Marin for details on crew, other sources as quoted below:
(1) Diphtheria is an infectious disease caused by the bacterial microorganism known as Corynebacterium diphtheria. It's spread by coughs and sneezes, or through close contact with someone who's infected. You can also be infected by sharing items, such as cups, cutlery, clothing or bedding, with an infected person. Treatment is with antibiotics.