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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
28.08.1943 No. 709 Squadron Seafire III NN193 Lt. Farrer DSC

Operation: Training

Date: 27th August 1945 (Monday)

Unit: No. 709 Squadron Fleet Air Arm

Type: Seafire III

Serial: NN193

Code: Not known

Base: St. Merryn, Cornwall (HMS Vulture)

Location: Sea off Treligga

Pilot: Lt. Matthew Cameron Farrer DSC. RNZNVR Age 23. Missing - believed killed


Taking part in a cliff top firing practice when it dived into the sea killing the young New Zealand pilot.

DSC: London Gazette 25th July 1944:

'Operations Veritas and Ridge (1) - Air strikes on German shipping off Norway April 1944'.

(1) This was a British carrier-borne air attack, otherwise known as ‘Ridge’, after 'Planet' and the abandonment of 'Brawn', by elements of Admiral Sir Bruce Fraser’s Home Fleet to harry German shipping plying to and from the west coast of German-occupied Norway, to reconnoitre Narvik, and also to add verisimilitude to the 'Fortitude North' deception and cover plan (26/28 April 1944).

The substantial British force deployed for this double operation comprised the fleet carriers Furious and Victorious, escort carriers Emperor, Pursuer, Searcher and Striker, and a number of cruisers and destroyers. ‘Veritas Able’ (otherwise ‘Ridge Able’) involved air attacks on German coastal shipping in the area of Bodø, resulting in the sinking of three ships (15,083 tons) from a German southbound convoy for the loss of six aircraft to fighters and anti-aircraft fire, while ‘Veritas Baker’ (otherwise ‘Ridge Baker’) was to have involved attacks on German coastal sipping in the area of Rorvik, but had to be cancelled as a result of bad weather. (see credits and link)

Above rear: Lt. Aitken, Lt. J.F. Lowder, Lt. Aggleton, Lt. M. Wargent. Front: Lt/Cdr. G.W. Bird, Lt/Cdr. C.E. Gibson, Lt/Cdr. D.M.R. Wynne-Roberts, Lt. M.C. Farrer.

Burial details:

Lt. Matthew Cameron Farrer DSC. New Zealand Naval Memorial, Devonport, Auckland. Panel 8. Born on the 04th June 1922 at Hamilton, the son of Matthew Roland and Dorothy Lucy Clare Farrer (nee Margetts), of Te Kuiti, New Zealand.

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, Royal Navy Research Website, Christopher Chant and his interesting website 'Codenames of ww2', other sources as quoted below:

KTY 25.08.2019

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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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