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Archive Report: Allied Forces

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185 crest
19th January 1943 185 Squadron Spitfire Vb EP701 Sub/Lt. (A) Pratt

Operation: Training

Date: 19th January 1943 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 185 Squadron (motto: Ara fejn hu - 'Look where it is')

Type: Spitfire Vb

Serial: EP701

Code: GL-?

Base: Hal Far, Malta

Location: Mediterranean Sea off Dingli, Malta

Pilot: Sub/Lt. (A) Ernest Frank Pratt DSC. RNZNVR Age 24.


An 828 squadron Albacore pilot based at Hal Far. Attached informally to 185 squadron Royal Air Force.

During practice flying it seemed that he was blinded by the sun and crashed into the sea 400 yards off Dingli at 09:15 hrs. An extensive search was made but revealed just a floating air bottle.

DSC Citation LG 04th May 1943: For bravery and skill in many air operations against the enemy.

Burial and personal details:

Sub/Lt. (A) Ernest Frank Pratt. DSC. New Zealand Naval Memorial, Devonport, Auckland Panel 9. Born on the 04th August 1918 at Wellington. Enlisted in the RN/FAA on the 31st October 1940. Pilots badge awarded together with his commission on the 04th October 1941. Served with 785, 769, 786, 830, 828 squadrons flying the Albacore, Swordfish and Hurricanes. Crashed into the sea on 21/22nd March 1942, no injuries. Attacked by friendly Spitfire on the 16th October 1942, no injuries but aircraft damaged. Embarked for Malta in July 1942. Son of Colonel Frank (NZEF - 52692) and Mrs. Hessie Pratt (nee McFaul), of Linwood, Christchurch. New Zealand.

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 23-03-2021

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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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