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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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68 Squadron Crest
25/26.07.1944 No 68 Squadron Mosquito NF.XVII MM679 Fl/Lt. Frederick J. Kemp

Operation: Anti-Diver patrol

Date: 25/26th July 1944 (Tuesday/Wednesday)

Unit: No. 68 Squadron

Type: Mosquito NF.XVII

Serial: MM679

Code: Not known (Callsign ‘Ferro 19’)

Base: RAF Castle Camps, Cambridgeshire

Location: North Sea/Thames Estuary

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Frederick John Kemp 101548 RAFVR Age 30. Killed

Nav: F/O. James Donald Farrar 142059 RAFVR Age 20. Missing - believed killed


Taking off from RAF Castle Camps, Cambridgeshire on an anti diver patrol over the Thames Estuary. They were vectored to intercept a Diver (VI Flying Bomb) when it exploded - they were then vectored to another at 04:12 hrs at position M8512 - following that contact was lost.

Following a visit by Fl/Lt. Barker, who had arrived on the 27th July to investigate the disappearance, the crew were posted as ‘missing’.

It is assumed that the body of Fl/Lt. Kemp was later washed up - but we have no details on this.

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. Frederick John Kemp. Charlton Cemetery (Greenwich). Sec. X. 2nd Gen. Grave 60. Son of Frederick Joseph Kemp and Annie Kemp (née Ames), husband of Ellen Kathleen Mary Kemp (née Smith), of Charlton, England. Grave inscription reads “Greater Love Than This No Man Hath that A Man Lay Down His Life For His Friends“.

F/O. James Donald Farrar. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 206. Born on the 5th October 1923 in Carlshalton, the son of Donald Frederick and Margaret Margaret Farrar (née Hadgraft), of Carshalton, Surrey, England.

Further information: (courtesy Wikipedia and other sources) James Farrer lived in Carshalton, a small village in Surrey, England, attended the local grammar school, Sutton Grammar School, before working in London. The younger brother of the aeronautical engineer David J. Farrar - references to David appear throughout his published writings - and first cousin of Stewart Farrar. As James had volunteered for the RAF, he was called up in February, 1942 and received his commission as Pilot Officer the following year, serving with 68 Squadron. James Farrar's collection of poetry and prose was published in 1950 in an anthology entitled, "The Unreturning Spring", edited by Henry Williamson. An abridged version, "Spring Returning" edited by Christopher Palmer, was published in 1986.

Seven poems from "The Unreturning Spring" were set to music in 1965 by Trevor Hold as a song cycle for soprano, baritone and chamber orchestra.

His life has also been documented by Alwyn Trubshaw, Farrar's former English teacher from Sutton Grammar School. Trubshaw has been quoted as saying, "I say taught English, but it would be truer to say I taught English in his presence only. He had no need of my teaching. He was a natural born writer."

More recently, the Autumn of 2008 heralded a resurgence of interest in James Farrar, with a public performance of his writings taking place at The Charles Cryer Theatre, in Surrey and re-publication of "The Unreturning Spring".

A sample of his poetry can be read in our poetry section.

Researched by Stephen Hunnisett for Aircrew Remembered - September 2016 and dedicated to the relatives of the crew with thanks to sources as quoted below:

KTY 13.09.2016

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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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