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Archive Report: Allied Forces

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74 crest
74 Squadron Spitfire XVI TB353 Fl/Lt. Peet DFC

Operation: Armed Recce

Date: 20th March 1945 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 74 Squadron (motto: 'I Fear No Man'). 145 Wing

Type: Spitfire XVI

Serial: TB353

Code: 4D-?

Base: RAF North Weald

Location: At the base

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Wallace Wentworth Peet DFC. NZ/41933 Age 25. Safe


During an armed reconnaissance operation, the aircraft was hit by antiaircraft fire. The pilot managed to return to base but the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.

DFC Citation 02nd October 1945:

'Fl/Lt. Peet had completed a tour of operational duty, including bomber escort duty, armed reconnaissance's, and missions in close support of the army. His target had included enemy troop concentration, railway sidings, observation posts, and gun positions. In the course of these missions, this Officer has destroyed at least one enemy aircraft and also destroyed or damaged many road vehicles. Fl/Lt. Peet has, at all times, displayed great courage and fine leadership'.

Burial details:

None: Fl/Lt. Wallace Wentworth Peet DFC. survived the war Born on the 24th July 1920 at Dannevirke. Enlisted in the RNZAF on the 08th February 1941. Trained with 6 and 9 Service Flying Training Schools in Ontario andd Prince Edward Island, Canada and awarded his pilots badge on the 07th November 1941. Served with No.122 Squadron. He completed 67 operational sorties over the Channel, including participating in the Dieppe raid operation. Following a 'Rest' as an instructor transferred to No.74 Squadron as a Flight Commander, and completed another 70 operational sorties.

Served in the Mediterranean, re-equipped with Spitfire IXs back in the UK., and went operational in May 1944. Subsequently engaged over the Normandy beachhead, the Squadron transferred to 2nd Tactical Air Force in July and began operations as a 'Spit-bomber' unit. In August, now based in France, Fl/Lt. Peet was involved with both ground attacks and bomber escort duties up until the German surrender. After the War Peet transferred with a reduced rank to the Royal Air Force on the 22nd October 1946 and was promoted to Flying Officer on the 11th July 1949, subsequently serving in the Malayan campaign.

He died suddenly in hospital on the 27th December 2005, at age 85. He had been moved there from the Morriston and Brombil House Nursing Home, Neath. Husband of the late Barbara. Father of Brian, Christopher and the late Gordon Peet.

His medals including his Distinguished Flying Cross, G.VI.R., dated 1945; 1939-1945 Star; Air Crew Europe Star with France and Germany bar; Defence Medal; War Medal; New Zealand Service Medal; General Service Medal 1918-62, one bar, Malaya sold at auction in March 2014 for £2040.00.

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

KTY 25-12-2021

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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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