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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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RAF Crest
01st July 1943 3 Flying Instructors School Oxford I X6858 Fl/Lt. Munro DFC and bar.

Operation: Training

Date: 01st July 1943 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 3 Flying Instructors School. 23 Group

Type: Oxford I

Serial: X6858

Code: -

Base: RAF Castle Coombe, Wiltshire

Location: Bishopswood, south of Wickwar, Gloucestershire

Pilot (Ins): Fl/Lt. Kenneth Munro DFC and bar. Aus/408168 RAAF Age 28. Killed

Pilot (U/T): Fl/Lt. William Wilson Colledge DFC. J/8207 RCAF Age 25. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

On a low level training exercise - but not authorised to fly below 250 ft.

It is not known who was piloting when the aircraft clipped some trees, control lost and crashed at 11:00 hrs. Both crew members killed.

Fl/Lt. Munro DFC Citation L/G. 15th November 1942: 'As Captain of aircraft this officer has displayed exceptional determination. He has participated in several sorties and in spite of hazards and difficulties, has always attempted to complete his allotted task. On a recent occasion, when returning from Genoa, he skilfully overcame a difficult situation and landed his aircraft safely. In November during a flight to Turin, one engine in his aircraft failed whilst still some distance from the target. With admirable resolution he continued his mission, bombed his target, and eventually accomplished the return journey safely. Throughout his operational career, this officer has displayed indomitable courage and unswerving devotion to duty'.

Fl/Lt. Munro Bar to DFC Citation L/G. 11th June 1943: 'Since being awarded the DFC in November 1942, this officer has completed a number of operational sorties. At all times he has displayed unswerving determination to complete his tasks regardless of adverse weather or enemy opposition. On one occasion, his aircraft was attacked simultaneously by a FockeWulf 190 and a Messerschmitt 110. The Messerschmitt 110 was shot down, and by skilful evasive action the attack of the Focke Wulf 190 was frustrated. Throughout his operational career, Flight Lieutenant Munro has shown courage and devotion to duty of the highest order'.

Fl/Lt. Munro with his crew whilst at 10 Squadron (Courtesy AWM)

Fl/Lt. Colledge DFC Citation: 'Fl/Lt. William Wilson Colledge was captain of an aircraft detailed recently to complete an ant-submarine patrol. While so engaged he was attacked by four JU88's and a running flight ensued which lasted thirty six minutes. During this encounter one enemy aircraft was destroyed and two others damaged. Much credit is due to this officer for his coolness and skill whilst under fire and for his continued devotion to duty which made this success possible'.

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. Kenneth Munro DFC and bar. Bath Cemetery (Haycombe). Plot 51. Sec. H. Row V. Grave 253. Born on the 21st June 1915 at Auckland, New Zealand. A costing clerk for Cadbury, Fry and Pascall prior to enlisting on the 31st January 1941 at Hobart. Son of Keith and Agnes Nancy Munro, of Burnie, Tasmania, Australia. A.M.I.A.A. Grave inscription: 'From Distant Lands They Heard The Call And Answered'. 569 flying hours logged with 87 on the Airspeed Oxford. Previously served in 19 Operational Training Unit and 10 Squadron.

Fl/Lt. William Wilson Colledge DFC. Bath Cemetery (Haycombe). Plot 51. Sec. H. Row T. Grave 253. Son of William Wilson Colledge and Mary A. Colledge, of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Grave inscription: 'God Keep Thee Wheresoe'er Thou Art In His Great Universe Today'. 30 Operational sorties completed.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew 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, Operation Picture Me, AWMN, Weekly News of New Zealand, NAA, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 30-01-2021

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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