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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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500 Squadron Crest
21.02.1942 No. 500 Squadron Hudson III VAM697 MK-K Sgt. Orgar

Operation: Operation Shadow

Date: 21st February 1942 (Saturday)

Unit: No. 500 Squadron (Coastal Command - 16 Group)

Type: Hudson III

Serial: VAM697

Code: MK-K

Base: RAF Bircham Newton, Norfolk

Location: North Sea - lost without trace

Pilot: Sgt. Frederick Douglas Orgar 957398 RAFVR Age 23. Missing - believed killed

Obs: P/O. Robert Crozier NZ/401641 RNZAF Age 24. Missing - believed killed (1)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Clarence Leslie Broadfield 1164579 RAFVR Age 20. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Roy Livingstone Pitkin 776091 RAFVR Age 22. Missing - believed killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Four Lockheed Martin Hudsons coastal reconnaissance aircraft of 500 Squadron took off from Bircham Newton, Norfolk, on Operation “Shadow” off the Danish coast. They were searching for German shipping and naval vessels.

‘MK-Q’ was the first to depart 14:55 hrs. returned at 16:10 owing to a suspected engine failure. ‘MK-H’ departed at 15:05 hrs and returned 18:00 hrs. as both engines out, probably due to icing. ‘MK-A’ departed at 15:15 hrs. and later sighted two Danish trawlers at 54° 27’ N; 4° 26’ E, sailing on a NW course. Nothing further sighted. ‘MK-A’ crash-landed at Leuchars (RAF base south of Dundee).

‘MK-K’ took off at 15:28 hrs but did not return. The aircraft was lost without trace over the North Sea, it’s crew of four missing. All were later commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial

(1) The brother of P/O. Robert Crozier was also listed as missing believed killed on the 03rd March 1944. Flying with 23 squadron on Mosquito LR253 when both crew were lost.

Burial details:

P/O. Robert Crozier. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 115. Born in Invercargill on the 16th June 1917 to Robert Frederick Crozier (b. 1882; Newcastleton, Roxburghshire, Scotland) and Annie Swallow Crozier (née Stewart; b. 1884; Southland, New Zealand). Robert was their first child and the eldest of three boys (Robert was followed by Alexander, b. 4 May 1920 and David, b. 25 November 1921).

When war broke out, Robert joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force and trained to become a pilot. He was eventually posted to 500 Squadron RAF and flew reconnaissance in Lockheed Martin Hudsons. Robert had 203 flying hours to his credit, however the operation he took on 21 February 1942 was only his fourth.

Sgt. Frederick Douglas Orgar. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 90. Son of Frederick Foster Orgar and Elsie Anita Orgar, of Woodford Green, Essex, England.

Fl/Sgt. Roy Livingstone Pitkin. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 75. Son of Alfred William Pitkin, and of Ethel Maud Pitkin, of Hitchin, Hertfordshire, England.

Sgt. Clarence Leslie Broadfield. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 79. Son of John Edward and Alice Victoria May Broadfield.

Researched by Michael Ward - Robert and Alexander were his father’s first cousins (his father, born 1928, always spoke very fondly of Rob and Alec, and was in training as a bomber navigator when the war came to an end). Also many thanks to Robert Crozier for photographs. Page dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, Papers Past. Air Ministry Squadron Operations Records, National Archives, Kew. Catalogue reference: AIR/27/1942. Other sources as quoted below:

KTY 20.07.2018

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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