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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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27.08.1947 Ferry Flight Mosquito FB.VI. HR375 Sq/Ldr. Berney

Operation: Ferry Flight

Date: 27th August 1947 (Wednesday)

Unit: Ferry Flight RNZAF

Type: Mosquito FB.VI

Serial: HR375

Code: Not known

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Richard Bruce Berney DFM. MiD. AFC. MiD. DFC (USA) NZ/40750 RNZAF Age 30. Missing - believed killed

Nav: Fl/Lt. Bernard James Beadle NZ/426159 RNZAF Age 33. Missing - believed killed


On a ferry flight from Britain to New Zealand.

Taking off during a leg at 10:19hrs from Mauripur in Pakistan en route to Santa Cruz, Bombay the escape hatch fell off. The crew landed back at the airport to have the undamaged hatch refitted. Then departed again.

Nothing further was heard from the crew but it was believed to have crashed in the Gulf of Kutch during a monsoon storm. Later that day a Dakota taking part in the search sighted what appeared to be a wing in the Arabian Sea some 20 miles off Okha. A sloop was sent to the area to carry out a search but failed to find anything.

Above: Panel 287 Runnymede Memorial (courtesy Andrea Ruddick)

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. Richard Bruce Berney. DFM. AFC. MiD. DFC (USA) Runnymede Memorial. Panel 287. Born on the 09th December 1916 at Eketahuna, the son of John Hanson Berney and Margaret Ann Berney (née George), of Masterton, Wellington, New Zealand. A farm worker for H.C. George of Alfredton prior to service. A total of 2220 flying hours with 9 of these on the Mosquito. Completed 66 operational sorties during the war. 34 with 115, 20 with 75 and 12 with 528 Squadrons.

Fl/Lt. Bernard James Beadle. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 287. Born on the 31st January 1914 at Riverton, the husband of Amelia Veronica Beadle (née Crosbie - later Shirley) A brass finisher working for G. Methven and Company at Dunedin prior to service. It is understood that Bernard served in Canada and Britain during the war but did not take part in 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, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 24.08.2019

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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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