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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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131 Squadron Crest
30.06.1943 No. 131 Squadron Spitfire Vc AB504 Fl/Sgt. Chandler

Operation: Escort

Date: 30th June 1943 (Wednesday)

Unit: No. 131 Squadron

Type: Spitfire Vc

Serial: AB504

Code: NX-?

Base: RAF Exeter, Devon

Location: English Channel

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. John Lincoln Chandler NZ/415407 RNZAF Age 22. Missing - believed killed


Taking off at 09:45 hrs. with another from the Squadron on escort duty to a convoy south Plymouth.

After about an hour into the sortie whilst flying at about 800 ft. P/O. Chandler called his No. 2 stating that he was having trouble with his engine. Said that he was climbing and to send out a 'Mayday' signal. Moments later the aircraft ditched about a mile south off Eddystone Lighthouse. Despite a search nothing was found of the aircraft or the pilot.

On the 29th June 1942 P/O. Chandler was on board the 12,435 tons SS Waiwara from Auckland bound for London. At 06:10 hours the unescorted ship was torpedoed by a U-Boat some 400 miles north-northwest of the Azores. 8 were lost but 97 survived, picked up by a Norwegian ship and landed in Now York.

Burial details:

Fl/Sgt. John Lincoln Chandler. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 18. Son of Edward Fred Chandler, and of Evelyn Marguerite Chandler, of Tapu, Auckland, New Zealand. A total of 349 flying hours logged. His brother, P/O. Edward Fred Chandler also lost, believed killed - a pilot with 485 Squadron. Further details can be found here.

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:

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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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