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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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198 Squadron Crest
20.09.1943 198 Squadron Typhoon Ib JP723 Flt.Sgt. Broad.

Operation: Rhubarb

Date: 20th September 1943 (Monday)

Unit: 198 Squadron

Type: Typhoon Ib

Serial: JP723

Code: TP:F

Base: RAF Manston

Location: Vladslo, Belgium

Pilot: Flt.Sgt. Ronald Frederick Broad 1336532 RAFVR Age 22. Killed


Taking part in a rhubarb operation during what has been described as atrocious conditions. 198 Squadron took off during the afternoon to attack trains and other targets in the Bray-Dunes and Roeselare region.

Above Flt.Sgt. Broad as an aircrew trainee probably at one of the seven British Flight Training Schools (BFTS) in the southern United States (Courtesy of Patricia Williams)

Flt.Sgt. Ronald Frederick Broad (courtesy Jeff Mart)

Flt.Sgt. Broad and Fg.Off. Houston were both hit by flak as they attacked ground targets at low level. Fg.Off. Houston in JP735, TP:R came down in the Rouen area at 14.35 hrs, taken PoW, sadly Flt.Sgt. Broad was killed when his aircraft crashed at Vladslo just 10 minutes later at 14:45 hrs, where he is buried. His is the only CWGC grave in the town’s cemetery.

Fg.Off. Allan James Houston (124486) PoW No. 2620, Stalag Luft 3

A great loss to the squadron as they had been very experienced and had been in this squadron for over a year. He had joined when the Squadron had reformed at RAF Digby on the 8th December 1942 as a Sergeant.

Left: The grave of Flt.Sgt. Broad - the single CWGC grave at Vladslo Cemetery, Belgium. Any relative who would like a high resolution of this are invited to contact us. (courtesy Keith Donaghy)

Burial details:

Flt.Sgt. Ronald Frederick Broad. Vladslo Churchyard, Belgium. Son of Frederick Harold and Gertrude Elizabeth Broad, of Leytonstone, Essex, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Keith Donaghy who visited the grave, planted a small flower in remembrance and contacted us. Thanks also to Jeff Mart - relative who sent us his photo in October 2014.

Also to the late John Cripps - 198 Squadron Association and his wife, who is trying so hard to maintain John's work, in his memory. Updated with new information by Aircrew Remembered (Feb 2021). Thanks to Patricia Williams for the photograph of Flt.Sgt. Broad from her mother's collection (Feb 2021).

Flt.Sgt. Broad had an earlier lucky escape when on the 10th June 1943 he crashed his Typhoon EK142 at Martlesham Heath whilst trying to avoid a Spitfire that had crossed in front of him. Flt.Sgt. Broad started flying again on the 3rd September after a lengthy layoff from injuries sustain in the accident.

Shown below extracts from former Typhoon pilots and video footage.

RS 24.02.2021 - New photograph of Flt.Sgt. Broad added

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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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