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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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107
22/23rd April 1944 107 Squadron Mosquito FB.V1 HX854 P/O. McJennett

Operation: Training

Date: 22/23rd April 1944 (Saturday/Sunday)

Unit: No. 107 Squadron (motto: Nous y serons - 'We shall be there') 138 Airfield HQ. 2 Group. 2nd Tactical Air Force

Type: Mosquito FB.V1

Serial: HX854

Code: OM-?

Base: RAF Lasham, Hampshire

Location: Moundsmere Manor, Hampshire

Pilot: P/O. Frank George Andrew McJennett NZ/401348 RNZAF Age 21. Killed

Nav: F/O. Owen Edward Parry Newcater 137156 RAFVR Age 36. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off at about 01:40 hrs on a training exercise but with his landing lights on.

A few minutes later crashed after striking a tree at Moundsmere Manor, west of the airfield, both members of the crew were killed instantly.

The accident was probably caused by attempting to extinguish the lights while unfamiliar with the position and operation of the switch. Since the aircraft struck the tree with the port tailplane and cleared it with the main plane, we conclude he was pulling up the airplane viciously.

The aircraft then cleared a line of trees of the same height as the tree he struck and 170 yards from it, before coming down steeply and crashing 80 yards further on. There is evidence that the aircraft stalled, dropping its starboard wing and swinging through 90 ̊ of starboard before hitting the ground. The aircraft then exploded and a small fire ensued.”

Burial and personal details:

P/O. Frank George Andrew McJennett. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave 8.A.16. Born on the 11th May 1922 at Wellington. Worked as a clerk for Selfridges Limited of Wellington prior to enlisting. Served 10 months in territorial army before enlisting at Levin on the 17th May 1940 as aircrafthand under training. Initial training at No. 2 Elementary Flying Training School commencing on the 03rd June 1940. Ohakea 24 May 41 where he trained on Hawker Hinds and Airspeed Oxfords. Initial Training Wing on the 02nd March 1941. Remustered as a pilot under training on the 03rd March 1944. Further training at No. 2 Elementary Flying Training School commencing on the 12th April 1941 to No. 3 Flying Training School on the 24th May 1941. Pilot badge awarded on the 17th June 1941 and promoted to sergeant on the 10th August 1941.

Embarked for England on the 31st August 1941 arrived 19th October 1941 at No. 3 Personnel Reception Centre. No. 9 Service Flying Training School on the 22nd November 1941 training on the Miles Master. No. 1 Anti-Aircraft Co-operation Unit on the 09th March 1942 flying the Hawker Henley aircraft. With 57 Operational Training Unit on the 22nd September 1942. No. 12 Pilots Advanced Flying Unit on the 22nd November 1942. Promoted to Fl/Sgt on the 01st December 1942. No. 13 Operational Training Unit on the 06th April 1943. No. 307 Ferry Training Unit on the 28th July 1943. Awarded commission on the 27th November 1943. Joined 107 squadron on the 15th February 1944. 2 Group Leadership course 17-25th August 1944, then returned to squadron.

The only son of Andrew McJennett and of Frances Evelyn McJennett (née McWhirter), of Invercargill, New Zealand. 711hrs (17 solo on Mosquito)

Rear; Malcolm Cyprian Bridge NZ/405248 - Died 8 February 2005, Alastair Easson Dinnie NZ/411384 - killed 20th November 1942, Frederick Victor Campbell NZ/411367 - Died 20th August 2004 (later DFC), Harold George Hicks NZ/411405 - killed 30th January 1944, Ronald Frank Lander NZ/411416 - killed 28th June 1942, Leonard Percival Kerr NZ/411412 - killed 07th August 1942, MW Waters, S Thynne, IW Russell, John Alexander Tovey NZ/411474 - killed 10th December 1942, Frank George Andrew McJennett NZ/401348 - killed 23rd April 1944, CR Hesketh.

Centre; HW Player, JEA Cox, James Stephen Oien NZ/411438 - Died 19 July 1979 , Clifford George Pullen NZ/402541 - killed 07th August 1942, Valance Trent Bowie NZ/402450 - killed on the 30th November 1942, EN Leach, DE Walker, David James Tottman NZ/411473 - killed 07 November 1942, NA Williamson, RL Sommerville, Francis Seymour Hunt NZ/411407 - killed 22nd January 1943, JA Ross.

Front; NM Aickin, Leslie Kitchener Duncan NZ/411387 - killed 07 December 1941, Norman Archibald McMillan NZ/411426 - killed 21st February 1943 , Maurice Daniel Hampson NZ/405257, Harry Kinder NZ/411413 - killed 08th December 1942, Bartholomew John Kelleher NZ/391306 - died 13 November 1996, ET Bennett, GC Spratt, Edward James Twigg NZ/41378 - killed 27th February 1943, Henry Scoresby Shepherd NZ/411459 - killed 12 August 1943.

F/O. Owen Edward Parry Newcater. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave 24.D.17. Born on the 04th October 1907. Studied at Borough Road College from 1926 to 1929, later known as Brunel University.

Son of John and Jessica Newcater and husband of Lydia Newcater, of Watford, Hertfordshire. B.A. Hons. Grave inscription: 'The Dearly Loved Husband Of Lydia And Father Of Margaret And Susan'.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks 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:

KTY 23-09-2021

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Acknowledgements
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, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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