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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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486 Squadron Crest
25.10.1942 No 486 RNZAF Typhoon Ib R8814 P/O. Pearse

Operation: Coastal Patrol

Date: 25th October 1942 (Sunday)

Unit: No. 486 Squadron RNZAF (11 Group)

Type: Typhoon Ib

Serial: R8814

Code: SA-?

Base: RAF West Malling, Kent

Location: Willesborough, Kent

Pilot: P/O. 'Shorty' Jesse Pearse NZ/40427 RNZAF Age 23. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off at 09:35 hrs as leader of a section. 30 minutes later black smoke began to pour from the Napier Sabre engine and the pilot informed the others that he had to return to base. Complete engine failure followed very shortly and P/O. Pearse called to say he was baling out. However it appeared that the parachute caught on the cockpit surround as the aircraft spun into the ground.

Napier Sabre engine (courtesy Wikipedia):

"Problems arose as soon as mass production began. Prototype engines had been hand-assembled by Napier craftsmen and it proved to be difficult to adapt it to assembly-line production techniques.
Quality control proved to be inadequate, engines were often delivered with improperly cleaned castings, broken piston rings and machine cuttings left inside the engine. RAF Mechanics were overworked trying to keep the Sabres running and during cold weather they had to run them every two hours during the night so that the engine oil would not congeal and prevent the engine from starting the next day.
These problems took too long to remedy and the engine gained a bad reputation. To make matters worse, mechanics and pilots unfamiliar with the different nature of the engine, tended to blame the Sabre for problems that were caused by incorrect handling. This was exacerbated by the representatives of the competing Rolls-Royce company, which had its own agenda. In 1944, Rolls-Royce produced its own version called the Eagle."

Burial details:

P/O. Jesse Pearse. Maidstone Cemetery. Plot C.C. 1. Grave 137. Born on the 22nd April 1919, the son of George and Isabella Pearse, brother to John, Sam and Dick of Whakatane, Auckland, New Zealand. Total of 391 flying hours logged with 41 on this type - had taken part in 22 operational sorties.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum for use of photographs, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 17.11.2017

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 and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 17 November 2017, 14:40

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