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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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RAF Crest
25/26.02.1944 No.1655 Mosquito Training Unit Mosquito B.IV. DZ312 F/O. Taylor

Operation: Training

Date: 25/26th February 1944 (Friday/Saturday)

Unit: No. 1655 Mosquito Training Unit

Type: Mosquito B.IV.

Serial: DZ312

Code: Not known

Base: RAF Marham, Norfolk

Location: Near Stradsett, Norfolk

Pilot: F/O. Mervyn James Taylor NZ/404965 RNZAF Age 30. Killed

Navigator: F/O. Geoffrey Wilson Mander DFC 148461 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking of at 23:00 on a night cross country exercise.

On return to their base they flew through intermittent rain with very poor visibility and at high speed flew into the ground at 01:30 hrs and disintegrated, killing both the crew.

It is thought that perhaps a contributing factor was the lack of experience of the pilot having accumulated most of his many hours flying in daylight in the South Pacific region.

Burial details:

F/O. Mervyn James Taylor. Cambridge City Cemetery. Grave 13753. Son of George Harry and Clara Adelina Taylor, of Point Chevalier, Auckland, New Zealand. 940 flying hours logged and although the number of operational sorties is not clear it is thought to have been a large number. He had served with 205 Squadron in the Far East, also with 9 Squadron RNZAF in the South Pacific as well as a number of patrols with No.1 Squadron RNZAF in New Zealand.

F/O. Geoffrey Wilson Mander DFC. Bingley Cemetery. Sec A.A. Row 8. Grave 76. Son of Charles Joseph and Emily Mander, of York, England. Grave inscription reads: "A Boy, He Gave His Young Life For England. Be Content. No Honour Of Age Had Been More Excellent". Formerly of 100 Squadron where he is understood to have been awarded his DFC - London Gazette 19th October 1943.

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, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 18.07.2018

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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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