19/20.04.1943 No. 151 Squadron Mosquito NF.II DZ755 F/O. David A. Sparrow
Operation: Night Ranger (1)
Date: 19/20th April 1943 (Monday/Tuesday)
Unit: No. 151 Squadron (Fighter Command)
Type: Mosquito NF.II
Code: Not known (are you able to assist?)
Base: RAF Wittering, Cambridgeshire
Location: Smeerling, Netherlands
Pilot: F/O. David Alistair Sparrow 126770 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Nav: F/O. Victor Gordon Brown 50223 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
We welcome contact from the relatives - in particular the pilot, his fiancee's son would like to hear from you.
REASON FOR LOSS:
Crew attached from HQ, fighter Command. Part of a flight of four Mosquitoes from the squadron on this patrol. Lost on a Night Ranger patrol after crossing the Frisian Islands over the coastline of Holland. Understood that they were shot down by anti aircraft fire at 02:13 hrs - crashing at Smeerling in the Netherlands. The other three aircraft returned safely.
Another Mosquito was also lost this night, that of a 410 Squadron DZ694 - Flown by 21 year old Fl/Sgt. William James Reddie (2) R/91868 RCAF of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, with his navigator, 21 year old Sgt. Kenneth Evans 1321850 RAFVR of Morden, Surrey, England. Their Mosquito the first of the war to be shot down by a night fighter. (Both crew members missing and commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial)
(1) Night Ranger: Freelance flights over enemy territory by units of any size, the intention was to occupy and tire enemy fighters.
(2) Reddie Lake north of Gauer Lake in Manitoba, Canada was named after Fl/Sgt. William James Reddie in 1995.
F/O. David Alistair Sparrow. Onstwedde General Cemetery. Plot A. Row E2. Grave 9. Son of Joseph Albert and Janet Marian Sparrow, of Gravesend, Kent, England. Also commemorated on the memorial plaque in St. Peter and St. Pauls Church Luddesdowne and a stall carrying his name in the church of St. George, Gravesend, Kent. RAF number prior to commission 932291. Grave inscription reads: ‘Wherever He Went There Was Happiness.’
F/O. Victor Gordon Brown. Onstwedde General Cemetery. Plot A. Row E2. Grave 8. Son of Reginald and Eleanor Brown, nephew of Mr. J.H. Bailey, of Friern Barnet, Middlesex, England. Grave inscription reads: Always Happy And Smiling And Loved By All. Especially John, Vi, Pam and Jean.’
Researched and dedicated for Will Atkinson, whose mother was engaged to the pilot prior to his loss. Also to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources as quoted below.