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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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fighter command crest
12th April 1945 244 Wing Spitfire LF.VIII MT685 W/Cdr. Bary

Operation: Close bombing support

Date: 12th April 1945 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 244 Wing Mediterranean Allied Tactical Air Force

Type: Spitfire LF.VIII

Serial: MT685

Code: -

Base: Bellaria, Italy

Location: North East Imola, Italy

Pilot: W/Cdr. Ronald Edward Bary DSO. DFC. MiD. NZ/41818 RAF Age 29. Killed


Taking off at 11:43 hrs. leading two 92 squadron Spitfires. Over the target at 12:15 the pilot instructed the others to circle overhead while he dived and marked. As he passed through 4000-5000 feet one of his bombs blew up and the fighter disintegrated.

It was assumed that one of the 500 lb. bombs exploded prematurely, either while still attached to the aircraft or immediately upon release, there being no evidence of flak in the area at the time.

Burial details:

W/Cdr. Ronald Edward Bary DSO. DFC. MiD. Faenza War Cemetery. Grave VIII. D. 21. Born 09th June 1915 at Taranaki, New Plymouth. A law clerk for the justice department at Palmerston North prior to service. Enlisted on the 1st January 1939. Son of Edward and Gladwys Muriel Bary (née Knapp), of Palmerston North. Husband of Doreen Mary Bary (née Somerville), of Christchurch, Canterbury. 1540 fling hours logged and having completed 370 operational sorties. Previously served with 229, 274 250 and 80 Sqns, and 239 Wing. Credited with 2 enemy aircraft destroyed, 4 shared, 3 probables and 3 others damaged. Grave inscription: 'You Live In Our Hearts, We Will Never Forget'.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Ian Banks, Jenifer Lemaire and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, AWMM, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, AWMM, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 02-02-2021

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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', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. 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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