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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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23 Squadron Crest
02/03.03.1944 No. 23 Squadron Mosquito FB.VI LR253 YP-M F/O. Crozier

Operation: Offensive patrol

Date: 02/03rd March 1944 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: No. 23 Squadron (238 Wing, Mediterranean Allied Coastal Air Force)

Type: Mosquito FB.VI

Serial: LR253

Code: YP-M

Base: RAF Alghero, Sardinia

Location: Lost without trace

Pilot: F/O. Alexander Crozier NZ/415749 RNZAF Age 23. Missing - believed killed (1)

Navigator: Fl/Sgt. John Harold Pownall 1337555 RAFVR Age 22. Missing - believed killed


Alexander went missing near Padua, Italy on the 02 March 1944, while on an offensive patrol over the Po Valley area near Padua, Italy. His Mosquito took off at 19:05 hrs. and was lost without trace, the two crew are commemorated on the Malta Memorial, Malta.

(1) The family lost another son earlier in the war. P/O. Robert Crozier NZ/401641 RNZAF. Missing - believed killed on the 21st February 1942. Whilst with 500 squadron flying Hudson VAM697 MK-K lost with all three other crew and commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

Burial details:

F/O. Alexander Crozier. Malta Memorial. Panel 16, Column 2. Born in Ohakune on the 4th May 1920 to Robert Frederick Crozier (b. 1882; Newcastleton, Roxburghshire, Scotland) and Annie Swallow Crozier (née Stewart; b. 1884; Southland, New Zealand). Alexander was the second of their three boys. (Robert, b. 16th June 1917, and David, b. 25th November 1921). When Alexander died, he left a fiancé Jean Esther Wright, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. L.W. Wright, of 44 Weka Street, Frankton Junction. They had announced their engagement in August 1943. (Advertised in the New Zealand Herald. Volume 80. Issue 24674. 28 August 1943, Engagements. Page 4)

As with his older brother, Robert, before him, Alexander joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force and trained to become a pilot. He was eventually posted to 23 Squadron, RAF (Alghero, Sardinia: 238 Wing, Mediterranean Allied Coastal Air Force). Alexander had clocked up 734 flying hours before his final 10th operational sortie.

Navigator: Fl/Sgt. John Harold Pownall. Malta Memorial. Panel 14, Column 1. Son of Walter L. and Mary L. Pownall, of Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, England.

Researched by Michael Ward - Robert and Alexander were his father’s first cousins (his father, born 1928, always spoke very fondly of Rob and Alec, and was in training as a bomber navigator when the war came to an end). Also many thanks to Robert Crozier for photographs. Page dedicated to the relatives of this crew 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, Papers Past. Air Ministry Squadron Operations Records, National Archives, Kew. Catalogue reference: AIR/27/1942. Bob Boston for Malta Memorial photographs. Other sources as quoted below:

KTY 20.07.2018

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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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