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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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684 (PR) Squadron
02.11.1943 684 (PR) Squadron Mosquito PR.II DZ697, Fg Off. Ernest A. Fielding

Operation: Photographic Recce

Date: 2nd November 1943 (Tuesday)

Unit No: 684 (PR) Squadron, South East Asia Command (SEAC)

Type: Mosquito PR.II

Serial: DZ697

Code: None

Base: RAF Aldergrove, Ireland

Location: Thanatpin, Burma

Pilot: Fg Off. Ernest Angus Fielding 113753 RAFVR Age 23. KiA

Navigator: Fg Off. Robert Alfred Turton MiD 40744 RNZAF Age 22. KiA


DZ697 departed RAF Dum Dum at 07:00 hrs to Chittagong and Departed from Chittagong at 09:00 hrs on the morning of 2nd November 1944 for a Photo Recce over Rangoon but failed to return

Records show that the crew were still with 681 Sqn at the time of their loss, although they were flying with 684 (PR) Sqn.

It was first thought that they had been shot down near Rangoon. After hostilities ceased villagers from Kyaungyi, near Pegu, described seeing an aircraft coming from the direction of Rangoon and then disintegrate at position 17 20N, 96 40E (Thanatpin, Burma). No enemy activity appeared to be involved in the loss. The two crew were thrown out of the aircraft as it broke up and were buried where they fell, in adjacent paddy fields about ½ mile from the village. It seems likely that the Mosquito suffered from a catastrophic structural failure.

All Mosquito operations in South East Asia Command (SEAC) was halted on the 12th November after a series of crashes through structural failures. It was initially thought the problem was do to with the climatic conditions affecting the glue used in the manufacture of the aircraft.

Close inspections of the squadron’s Mosquitoes revealed that the majority had cracking in their main spar. By the end of November the squadron was down to four airworthy Mosquitoes, the remainder having been sent to No. 1 Civilian maintenance Unit (CMU) Kanchrapara for repair. After inspections operations commenced again.

Burial details:

Above: Taukkyan War Cemetery (Courtesy of the TWGPP)

Above: Grave marker for Fg Off. Fielding (Courtesy of the TWGPP)

Fg Off. Ernest Angus Fielding. Taukkyan War Cemetery 23A.A.12. Inscription: “IN LOVING EVER-GREEN MEMORY. “THY WAY. NOT MINE. OH LORD.” MOTHER.” Born in 1st Qtr of 1920 in Rugby, Warwickshire. Son of George and Hilda Winifred (née Stewart) Fielding, of Rugby, Warwickshire, England.

Above: Fg Off. Turton MiD, left (Courtesy of Laurin Espie - FindAGrave); right Grave marker (Courtesy of the TWGPP)

Fg Off. Robert Alfred Turton MiD. Taukkyan War Cemetery 23A.A.11. Son of Alfred and Myra Turton, of Kakahi, Taumarunui, Auckland, New Zealand.

Sgt. Turton was Mentioned in Despatches (MiD) which was promulgated in the London Gazette 11th June 1942.

Robert's name is on the Roll of Honour in the Taumarunui War Memorial Hall, Hakiaha Street, Taumarunui, King Country, New Zealand.

Researched by Ralph Snape from Aircrew Remembered and dedicated to the relatives of the crew.

Thanks to ‘The War Graves Photographic Project for their great work.

Other sources listed below:

RS 25.11.2022 - Initial Upload

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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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