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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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486
06th September 1943 486 Squadron Typhoon IB EK 119 SA-H P/O. Fitzgibbon

Operation: Ramrod S.35

Date: 06th September 1943 (Monday)

Unit: No. 486 (NZ) Squadron (motto: Hiwa hau Maka - 'Beware of the Wild Wind'). 11 Group

Type: Typhoon IB

Serial: EK119

Code: SA-H

Base: RAF Tangmere, Sussex

Location: English Channel off Berneval

Pilot: P/O. Roderick Herbert Fitzgibbon NZ/411874 RNZAF Age 22. Missing - believed killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off at 07:30hrs with the squadron to escort fighter bombers on railways at Serqueux in France.

On return and after crossing the French coast they spotted an E-boat off Berneval. The formation leader W/Cdr. Desmond James Scott (1) NZ/40779 RNZAF decided to attack and P/O. Fitzgibbon as his no. 2 followed him.

During the diving attack part of the tail of EK119 broke off and he dived into the channel about a mile from the coast. His body was never knowingly recovered.

(1) Desmond James Scott DFC and bar. OBE. MiD. Later to become a Group Captain was the youngest to obtain that rank in the Second World War in the RNZAF. Born on the 11th September 1918 Ashburton, Canterbury. Passed away on the 08th October 1997 at Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand, aged 79.

Burial details:

P/O. Roderick Herbert Fitzgibbon. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 198. Born on the 20th October 1920 at Culverden. Worked as a Engine Mechanic for Mocketts Motors of Culverden prior to service. Enlisted at Levin on the 23rd March 1941. Awarded pilots badge on the 26th July 1941 and promoted to sergeant on the 08th September 1941. Joined 486 squadron from 55 Operational Unit ((Spitfires) on the on the 10th March 1942. Received his commission on the 15th April 1942. Son of Martin and Rose Fitzgibbon (nee Wood), of Culverden, Canterbury, New Zealand. A total of 615 flying hours logged. On his 206th operational sortie 4 of these flying a Hurricane. Credited with 1 enemy aircraft destroyed with a further 2 shared destroyed.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, AWMM, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 16-04-2021

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Acknowledgements
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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