25th June 1945 614 Squadron Mosquito B.25 KB531 Fl/Lt. Jay
Operation: Reinforcement flight
Date: 25th June 1945 (Monday)
Unit: No. 614 Squadron (County of Glamorgan) (motto: 'Codaf I geisio - I rise to search)
Type: Mosquito B.25
Base: Amendola, Italy
Location: Mediterranean Sea
Pilot: Fl/Lt. Walter Edward Jay NZ/425397 RNZAF Age 20. Missing - believed killed
Nav: P/O. Henry Claude Willis 189940 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at around 12:02 hrs. to deliver the aircraft and crew to Malta.
On nearing Malta the pilot called to say that he found the port wing heavy and uncontrollable. Shortly after 13:20 hrs. a Malta based air-sea rescue launch 30 miles north east of Valetta reported that they had seen a Mosquito spiral into the sea.
P/O. Willis managed to bale out at about 450 ft. but died after receiving multiple injuries when the starboard propeller caught and tore his parachute. His body was the only one recovered from the crew.
Fl/Lt. Walter Edward Jay. Malta Memorial. Panel 19. Born on the 02nd December 1924 at Auckland. Prior to service worked as an apprentice carpenter working for his father. Enlisted in the RNZAF on the 29th May 1942. Son of Thomas Charles and Mildred Beatrice Jay (née Jones), of Whangarei, Auckland, New Zealand. Previously served in 37 squadron where he completed 14 ops, and 8 ops with 104 squadron. 583 flying hours logged with 50 on the Mosquito. Completed a total of 22 operational sorties.
Nav: P/O. Henry Claude Willis. Malta Naval Cemetery (Capuccini). Prot. Sec. (Officers'). Plot E. Grave 32. Son of James Henry and Florence Laura Willis, of Wolverhampton, England. Grave inscription: 'To The Glorious Memory Of Our Beloved Son Who Gave His Life For His Country'.
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, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below: