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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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151
151 Squadron Mosquito NF.XII MM447 F/O. Alfred Campbell Briant

Operation: Ranger Patrol

Date: 23rd June 1944 (Friday)

Unit: No. 151 Squadron (motto: Foy pour devoir - 'Fidelity unto duty')

Type: Mosquito NF.XII

Serial: MM447

Code: DZ-?

Base: RAF Predannack, Cornwall

Location: Bazouges Sur Loir, France

Pilot: F/O. Alfred Campbell Briant Aus/410624 RAAF Age 21. Killed

Nav: F/O. James Joseph Battle Aus/426250 RAAF Age 29. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off at 10:55 hrs on a day 'ranger; patrol detailed to attack the railway station at La Fleche, France.

The other Mosquito that accompanied them, F/O. William Adam Lindsay 122146 RAFVR with F/O. Alexander Brodie 152876 RAFVR fling Mosquito NF.XII MM438 witnessed what happened.

At approximately 13/;00 hrs. some wagons were seen at La Fleche and they then attacked. Heavy anti-aircraft fire was received and MM447 was hit and struck the ground. killing both the crew members.

Burial details:

The only WW2 CWGC graves in the cemetery.

F/O. Alfred Campbell Briant. La Fleche Communal Cemetery. Row 3. Grave 6. Born on the 24th May 1923 at Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. Enlisted in the RAAF on the 31st January 1942. Son of Leslie Patema Briant (died 02nd February 1992, age 94) and Gladis Buchanan Briant (née Serjeant - died 28th September 1972, age 80), of Surrey Hills, Victoria, Australia. Epitaph: 'In Proud And Loving Memory Of Our Gallant Son'.

F/O. James Joseph Battle. La Fleche Communal Cemetery. Row 3. Grave 7. Born on the 28th October 1914 at Mount Morgan, Queensland, Australia. Enlisted in the RAAF on the 25th May 1942. Son of Timothy John (died 04th November 1929, age 39) and Mary Ellen Battle (née Judge - died 14th June 1977, age 84), of Ashgrove, Queensland, Australia. Bother of Mary Bridget O'Dwyer (née Battle) and John Anselm Battle (died 09th June 1991, age 73), Epitaph: 'Proudly For God And Country In Loving Memory Of Our Dear Son And Brother'.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to the National Archive, Kew. Air-27-1022-11/12. National Archives of Australia. Paul McGuiness RAAF Archives. 151 Squadron Website

Above: Sylvie Carter Oil on canvas. 2024 finalist for the Gallipoli Memorial Club

KTY 04-05-2024

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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', 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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