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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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Fleet Air Arm Crest
11.11.1943 No. 886 Squadron Seafire L.IIC LR693 Sub/Lt. Colbeck

Operation: Wing Air Exercise

Date: 11th November 1943 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 886 Squadron FAA (3rd Naval Fighter Wing)

Type: Seafire L.IIC

Serial: LR693

Code: Not Issued

Base: HMS Ringtail, Burscough, Lancashire

Location: Yealand Redmayne, Lancashire

Pilot: Sub/Lt. Ralph Austin Colbeck RNZNVR Age 21. Killed


During a low level wing formation exercise two Seafires collided with the aircraft crashing at Yealand Redmayne. The other Seafire NM929 from the same base but with 808 squadron also crashed killing 23 year old, Sub/Lt. Eric Alwyn Philpott.

Burial details:

Sub/Lt. Ralph Austin Colbeck. Burscough Bridge Churchyard (St. John The Baptist). Sec. E. Grave 2566. Son of Wilfred Howard Buckley Colbeck and of Mary Winifred Colbeck (née Clarke), of Puru, Auckland, New Zealand. No grave inscription as the New Zealand Government at the time set a precedent that due to charges being levied, some families may not be able to afford this - consequently no New Zealand CWGC are inscribed. For further information please see "Your Relatives CWGC Details Explained".

Sub/Lt. Eric Alwyn Philpott. Arnold Cemetery. Class A. Cons. Grave 121. Son of Henry and Amy Etta Philpott, of Woodthorpe, Nottingham, England. Grave inscription reads: "Life Is All The Sweeter That He Lived".

Thanks to Medals Reunited New Zealand for bringing this loss to our attention.

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 - 19.04.2018

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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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