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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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85 Squadron crest
01/02.04.1943 No. 85 Squadron Mosquito II DD742 Sq/Ldr. Sutton DFC.

Operation: Ranger - Le Bourget/St. Dizier

Date: 1/2nd April 1943 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: No. 85 Squadron

Type: Mosquito II

Serial: DD742

Base: RAF Hunsdon, Hertfordshire

Location: Shoreham to Hove railway line, Sussex

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. "Scruffy" Kenwyn Roland Sutton DFC. MiD. NZ/36182 RNZAF Age 23. Seriously Injured (3)

Navigator: F/O. Stanley Robert Streeter DFM 50119 RAF Age 22. Killed (1)

REASON FOR LOSS:

Returning from a Ranger patrol (2), it is thought that it may have been damaged when tragically the Mosquito was hit by a Canadian crew manning an anti-aircraft unit from near Hove, Sussex, crashing into the embankment on the Shoreham to Hove railway line.

The pilot, New Zealander Ken Sutton, partner of Stanley since May 1941, tried to get the aircraft down but finally baled out at very low level (500 ft), losing his left arm and foot when he hit the propeller during baling out. Navigator F/O. Streeter DFM had been wounded during the friendly fire incident, unable to get out being killed in the crash.

Above left: Sq/Ldr. Ken Sutton D.FC. Right: F/O. Stanley Streeter DFM (courtesy Country Books, Derbyshire via Keith Townsend)

Moseley Grammar school and Memorial

(1) F/O. Stanley Robert Streeter DFM was a former pupil of Moseley Grammar school (Now a secondary/grammar School). We are working very closely with the school's historians to remember all the ex pupils who died whilst serving with the RAF and recorded on the school memorial.

(2) 'Ranger' - Large formation freelance intrusion over enemy territory with aim of wearing down enemy forces.

(3) Sq/Ldr. Sutton was born on the 18th May 1919 in Wellington, New Zealand. Awarded the DFC on the 27th March 1942 continued to fly with the aid of a prosthetic arm. Operation/s carried out on the 02 April at Brighton and Hove Hospital between 18:00 - 19:15 hrs. by Dr. F.E. Feilden FRCS (Edinburgh) He passed away in Kapiti, New Zealand on the 6th July 2003, age 83. Ashes buried at Awa Tapu Cemetery, Kapiti.

DFC gazetted 27th March 1942:

'This officer has proved himself to be a first class operational pilot. He participated in the first intensive air fighting in France during May and June 1940. During one sortie, he destroyed one and damaged another enemy aircraft before being shot down himself. Since then Flight Lieutenant Sutton has taken part in numerous patrols both by day and by night. As a flight commander he has shown sterling qualities and he has been mainly responsible for the high standard of efficiency in his flight'.

MiD Mention in Despatches gazetted 14th January 1944:

'For bravery in action and meritorious fulfilment of duty with 605 Sqn RAF (Boston)'
Left: This painting by Bernard Arnold was commissioned by Stanley's parents and presented to St. Jude's church where Stanley and his brothers had been servers. (courtesy Geoffrey Gillon)

Burial details:

F/O. Stanley Robert Streeter DFM. Buried at Birmingham (Brandwood End) Cemetery Sec. B.8. Cons Grave 197 on the 7th April 1943. Son of Arthur Humphrey and Edith Gertrude Streeter, of King's Heath, Birmingham, England. Epitaph reads: ‘Tell England We Died For Her And Here We Rest Content.’ The youngest of three boys. Left the local grammar school in 1936 and went to work with his father at a large textile firm, but after a year there he joined Birmingham Small Arms Company Limited (BSA) as an engineering apprentice.

Already in training as an observer with the RAF when war broke out and in July 1940 he joined 144 Squadron at RAF Hemswell in Lincolnshire. In January 1941, he was posted to 23 Squadron at RAF Ford in Sussex, part of Fighter Command.

On the 19th May 1942, he was presented with the Distinguished Flying Medal by King George VI at Buckingham Palace. In August he was a pall-bearer at the funeral of HRH Duke of Kent in Windsor. He had served under Wing Commander, (later Group Captain Peter Townsend and then in January 1943 at his posting to RAF Hunsdon in Hertfordshire, he served under Wing Commander Johnny ‘cats-eyes' Cunningham.

With thanks to the following: Keith Townsend historian of Moseley Secondary/Grammar school memorial records, Mr. Edward Paul, Geoffrey Gillon, Norman Franks - "Fighter Command Losses" Vol 2, the CWGC, P.A. Chapman ‘Colours of the Day’. Also to Malcolm Laird of Ventura Publications for log book details on pilot - March 2017.

KTY - 15.03.2017 New details added

KTY - 12.09.2018 Award details added

KTY - 07.04.2019 New photos added

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', 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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