18th January 1945 145 Squadron Spitfire LF.VIII JF878 F/O. Newman
Operation: Armed Reconnaissance
Date: 18th January 1945 (Thursday)
Unit: No. 145 Squadron (motto: Diu noctuque pugnamus - 'We fight by day and night')244
Type: Spitfire LF.VIII
Base: RAF Bellária, Italy
Location: Cavarzere, Italy
Pilot: F/O. Andrew George Patterson Newman NZ/414664 RNZAF Age 24. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off leading 5 others at 11:30 hrs on a armed reconnaissance operation. 15 plus barges were seen stationary in the River Adige. F/O. Newman with N. 2, Fl/Sgt. Britton (1) dived to bomb the target but both missed.
They'd dived again strafing the barges then F/O Newman broke away and started strafing buildings on the banks of the river. One of these exploded whilst F/O. Newman flew over at 100 ft. he continued flying at the same height when his engine caught fire the Spitfire then dived into the ground, the pilot was killed.
Earlier on the 12th August 1943 whilst with 154 Squadron F/O. Andrew Norman was forced to bale out of his Spitfire, he was rescued uninjured from the sea - no further details on this incident.
(1) Born on the 04th September 1921 at Tetbury, England. Fl/Sgt. Blagdon Cecil Britton 198805 RAFVR survived the war. Promoted to Pilot Officer 1461392 in May 1945.
Burial / Personal details:
Buried initially at the crash site but reinterred later as shown below.
F/O. Andrew George Patterson Newman, Padua War Cemetery. Grave VI.B.14. Born on the 01st November 1920 at Timaru. Worked as an apprentice mechanic for Watson Motors prior to service. Enlisted on the 17th August 1941 at Levin after 14 months in the army. Son of Charles William Newman, and of Harriet Madalene Newman (née Bain), of Timaru, New Zealand. 767 flying hours logged and completed 167 operational sorties. Credited with 2 enemy aircraft destroyed.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to National Archives AIR/27/987, Jenifer Lemaire and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, AWMM, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below: