18/19th August 1944 226 Squadron Mitchell II FW216 Fl/Sgt. Hart
Operation: Flare Drops
Date: 18/19th August 1944 (Friday/aSaturday)
Unit: No. 226 Squadron (motto: on sibi sed patriœ - 'For country not for self'). 137 Wing. 2 Group. 2nd Tactical Airforce.
Type: Mitchell II
Base: RAF Hartford Bridge, Hampshire
Location: Tordouet, France
Pilot: Fl/Sgt. John Moore Hart NZ/424460 RNZAF Age 28. Killed
Obs: Fl/Sgt. Joseph Robert Hunter R/170618 RCAF Age 21. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: W/O 1. Robert Edward Clarke R/69558 RCAF Age 37. Killed (note)
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Ernest Leslie Dunn NZ/421966 RNZAF Age 23. Killed
Air/Gnr: F/O. Alexander Kozlof J/27922 RCAF Age 23. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 00:30 hrs on a flare dropping operation over the Vimoutiers area, France.
No exact details regarding how they were brought down by anti aircraft fire15km NE of Vimoutiers, crashing at Tordouet. All five crew were buried at the scene of the crash - later reinterred.
) Not to be confused with P/O. Robert Edward Clarke J/11210 Killed whilst with 7 squadron flying Stirling W7569 on the 17th September 1942.
Burial and personal details:
Fl/Sgt. John Moore Hart. Bretteville-Sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery. Grave XXII. A. 5. Born on the 20th August 1916 at Hastings. Worked on the Tupurupuru sheep Station, Masterton prior to service. Enlisted on the 02nd May 1942 at Rotorua. Trained at No. 2 Elementary Flying Training School on the 24th July 1941. Embarked for Canada on the 24th December 1942, Further training at No. 7 Service Flying Training School. Awarded pilots badge and promoted to sergeant on the 11th June 1943. Further training at 34 Operational Training Unit flying the Ventura. Embarked for England on the 24th November 1943. Following attachment to various units joined 226 squadron on the 21st July 1944. Son of John A. Hart and of Jessie Agatha Hart (nee Moore), of Masterton, Wellington, New Zealand. A total of 435 flying hours logged and completed 16 operational sorties
Fl/Sgt. Joseph Robert Hunter. Bretteville-Sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery. Grave XXII. F. 7. Worked for the signals department with Toronto Railways prior to service. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Hunter. Brother of Joan of Belleville. Ontario, Canada. Grave inscription: 'He Gave His Life For Us'.
W/O 1. Robert Edward Clarke. Bretteville-Sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery. Grave XXII. F. 6. Enlisted in RCAF on 22nd June 1940. RAF training at No. 16 Operational Training Unit flying the Hampden. Joined 226 squadron on the 23rd March 1944 from 180 squadron. Son of Stephen Francis and Helen Bernice (nee Adams) Clarke, of Atlanta, Georgia, USA and husband of Vera Joyce Clarke, of Putney, London, England. Served in the US Marines from 05th March 1929 - 06th October 1939 before going to Canada. Also served in 486 and 180 squadrons. Grave inscription: 'Till We Meet Again'.
Fl/Sgt. Ernest Leslie Dunn. Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery. Grave H. 33. Born on the 25th February 1921 at Hikurangi. Worked as a farmer in the Whakapara district prior to service. Enlisted ar Rotorua on the 21st March 1942. Embarked for Canada on the 29th May 1942. After training awarded his Air gunner badge and promoted to sergeant on the 05th April 1943. Further training at 34 Operational Training Unit flying the Mitchell. Following attachment to various units joined 226 squadron on the 20th July 1944. Son of Edward Dunn and of Mary Flemington Dunn (nee Boyd - died 01st January 1982, age 81) husband of of Puhi Puhi, Auckland, New Zealand; husband of Kathleen Mary Dunn (née Stanley), Brighton, Sussex, England.
F/O. Alexander Kozlof. Bretteville-Sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery. Grave XXII. F. 4. Born on the 07th June 1921. Enlisted in RCAF on the 21st September 1942. Joined 226 squadron on the 20th July 1944 from 13 Operational Training Unit. Son of Roman and Barbara Kozlof (nee Alapnovich) and husband of Annie Kozlof, of Fruitland, Ontario, Canada. Grave inscription: 'Your Memory Is As Dear Today As In The Hour You Passed Away. Love, Wife Ann'.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Francois Dutil, Jenifer Lemaire and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below: