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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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488 crest
08th January 1945 488 Squadron Mosquito NF.XXX MM815 W/O. Niederer

Operation: Interception practice

Date: 08th January 1945 (Monday)

Unit: No. 488 Squadron RNZAF 149 Wing 85 Group (motto: Ka ngarue ratau - 'We shake them')

Type: Mosquito NF.XXX

Serial: MM815

Code: ME-?

Base: B48, Amiens, France

Location: Nurlu, France

Pilot: W/O. Rex Keith Niederer NZ/426179 RNZAF Age 24. Killed

Nav: F/O. George Bruce Lawrence NZ/4211018 RNZAF Age 22. Killed


Taking off at about 20:52 hrs on a Interception practice patrol.

At 20,000 ft. the aircraft fell out of control crashing at Nurlu at 21:42 hrs killing both of the crew members. No cause was established.

Burial details:

W/O. Rex Keith Niederer. St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen. Block "S". Plot 1. Row G. Grave 21. Born on the 20th November 1920 at Invercargill. Worked as a clerk for NZ Loan and Mercantile Agency Company prior to service. Enlisted on the 30th May 1942 at Woodbourne. Son of Louis Andrew and Dorothy Jeannette Niederer (née Monteath), of Gorge Road, Southland, New Zealand. 445 Flying hours logged, 34 solo on the Mosquito.

F/O. George Bruce Lawrence. St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen. Block "S". Plot 1. Row M. Grave 4. Born on the 15th February 1922 at Wakefield. Worked as a electrical engineering cadet for Southland Electric Power Supply. Enlisted 04th January 1943. Son of George Taylor Lawrence and Emily May Lawrence (née Williams) of Wakefield, New Zealand. 310 Flying hours logged.

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:

KTY 09-02-2021

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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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