28.07.1944 No. 613 (City of Manchester) Squadron DH.98 Mosquito FB Mk VI NS987 SY-? Fl/Lt. Joseph George Oliver MiD
Date: 28 July 1944 (Friday)
Unit: No. 613 (City of Manchester) Squadron - Motto: "Semper parati" ("Always ready")
Badge: In front of two wings conjoined at base, a fleur de lys
Type: De Havilland DH.98 Mosquito FB Mk VI
Base: RAF Lasham, Hampshire
Location: Paston Gunnery Range, near Mundesley, Norfolk,
Pilot: Fl/Lt. Joseph George Oliver MiD 119921 RAFVR Age 28 - Killed
Obs: F/Lt. Alan James Baker 120075 RAFVR Age 26 - Killed
We appeal to anyone with further information and/or photographs to please contact us via our HELPDESK
REASON FOR LOSS
On Friday 28 July 1944 three Mosquitoes of No. 613 Squadron, including NS987 piloted by Fl/Lt. Joseph George Oliver were detailed to fly from RAF Lasham in Hampshire to RAF Swanton Morley in Norfolk where they were to undertake an air to ground firing pactice at the Paston Gunnery Range some 20 miles or so, east of the airfield.
During firing practice Mosquito NS987 was seen to dive and pass over the target at about 50 feet. The aircraft then went into a steep left hand turn, stalled and crashed on the gunnery range. It was considered that there was a possibility that the aircraft had been hit by a ricochet.
Both the pilot and his observer, Fl/Lt. Alan James Baker, were killed in the crash.
Some six months earlier on 14 January, Fl/Lt. Oliver and his then navigator, Sgt. Harry Williams 1053581, had crashed in Northern France after attacking the V1 site at Longuemort near Abbeville. Helped by local resistance the two airmen evaded capture and eventually reached Pau on the edge of the Pyrenees and some 85 km from the Spanish border on 16 April. Sgt. Williams however was captured by the French police and became a prisoner of war whilst Joseph Oliver made good his escape via Spain and Gibraltar before arriving back in the UK at Whitchurch Airfield near Bristol.
BIOGRAPHICAL DETAILS OF THE CREW
Fl/Lt. Joseph George Oliver MiD was born in 1915 at Lambeth, London the son of Archie Oliver ( an Instructor of Physical Culture) and Mary Sarah Oliver nee Ransom later of Brixton. He had two sister, Phyllis M. Oliver born 1913 and Joan G. Oliver born 1921.
He married Joan Mary Tanner in 1938 at Lambeth. Their daughter Janet E. Oliver was born in 1939 at Luton. Joan Mary Oliver also died at this time, probably in child birth.
1381053 Sgt Joseph George Oliver was commissioned as a Pilot officer on probation (emergency) on 6 December 1941 (London Gazette 21 April 1942) confirmed in this appointment and promoted to Flying Officer war subs. on 1 October 1942 (London Gazette 4 December 1942). The date of his promotion to Flight lieutenant is not known. It was announced in the London Gazette of 1 January 1945 that he had been Mentioned in Despatches.
F/Lt. Alan James Baker was born in 1917 at Willesden the son of James Albert and Florence Adeline Baker nee Moore of Kew Gardens.
BURIAL DETAILS, MEMORIALS AND EPITAPHS
Fl/Lt. Joseph George Oliver was cremated and his remains were buried at Lambeth Cemetery, London - Grave reference: Sec. I.3. Gen. Grave 116
The grave inscription reads
Our dear son Joseph
Also his wife Joan Mary
Died 13.11.1939 age 24
F/Lt. Alan James Baker was buried at Richmond Cemetery, Surrey - Grave reference: Block 9. Grave 8124
No inscription or epitaph
Researched by Aircrew Remembered researcher Roy Wilcock for David Chown and all relatives and friends of the members of this crew - September 2017
With thanks to the sources quoted below.