112 Squadron Gladiator II N5910 Sq/Ldr. Sq/Ldr. Nedwill AFC
Operation: Airfield patrol
Date: 26th March 1941 (Wednesday)
Unit: No. 112 Squadron 'W' Wing. 201 Group (motto: 'Swift in Destruction')
Type: Gladiator II
Base: Yanina, Greece
Location: Paramythia, Greece
Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Richard John Courtney Nedwill AFC. 34169 RAF Age 27. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from Paramythia (on detachment from Yanina) at 17:20 hrs to relieve another pilot on a defence patrol.
After 30 minutes the pilot was instructed to land at which point N5910 broke off independently at 20,000 feet and dived to 12,000 feet. It then entered another dive and made an aileron turn before coming straight down to crash on the perimeter of the airfield.
It is thought that the highly experienced pilot had blacked out during the dived.
The aircraft belonged to 112 squadron but Sq/Ldr. Nedhill had been promoted to the commanding officer of 211 squadron on the 22nd of March.
Burial and personal details:
Sq/Ldr. Richard John Courtney Nedwill. Phaleron War Cemetery. Coll. grave 5. D. 16. Born on the 02nd June 1913 at Christchurch. Educated at Christ's College in Christchurch. Member of Canty Aero Club obtaining his 'A' licence on the 30th October 1933. Embarked for England in January 1934. Selected for a short service commission. At RAF Uxbridge as a pilot under training 16th March 1934. With No. 3 Flying Training School on the 03rd April 1934. Commissioned to pilot officer on the same day.
Pilot badge awarded on the 07th February 1935. With 25 squadron on the 04th March 1935 flying the Fury and Demon. Attached to Home Aircraft Depot for a parachute course 20-24th May. Attached to No. 1 Flying Training School for fleet fighter conversion 09th March - 05th May 1936. Attached to Calshot for floatplane training 06th - 12th May, attached to Gosport for deck training 13th May - 05th June. Fleet carrier HMS Furious for deck landing training 06th - 16th June. With Central Flying School on the 01st May 1938. With No. 10 Flying Training School as flight instructor 16th July 1938. To the Middle East and No. 4 Flying Training School as instructor on the 11th November 1938. Promoted to squadron leader on the 07th June 1940. 211 squadron on the 22nd March 1941 as commanding officer, flying the Blenheim. A total of 2003 flying hours logged.
Awarded the AFC: 'This officer has been employed as a flying instructor at No.4 Service Flying Training School for over two years, and is at present in charge of advanced training. He is a most capable pilot and an excellent exponent of the art of front gun attack. Through his perseverance and hard work, he has produced excellent results. Squadron Leader Nedwill has completed over 1,000 hours of instructional flying'.
Son of Dr. Courtney Llewelyn Nedwill 30th April 1929, age 52), and of Ida Constance Nedwill (née Peache - died 18th December 1954, age 72) of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand. Epitaph: 'They Shall Mount Up With Wings As Eagles'.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot 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, Air Museum of New Zealand, Museum of Transport and Technology, Auckland, other sources as quoted below: