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Archive Report: Allied Forces

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350 Squadron Crest
13.06.1942 No. 350 Squadron Spitfire Vb W3446 MN-R Sgt. Raes

Operation: Convoy Patrol

Date: 13th June 1942 (Saturday)

Unit: No. 350 Squadron (Belgian)

Type: Spitfire Vb

Serial: W3446

Code: MN-R

Base: RAF Debden, Essex

Location: 120 Sprowston Road, Norwich, Norfolk

Pilot: Sgt. Maurice Herman Marceun Raes 1299915 RAFVR Age 21. Killed


Taking off at 16:50 hrs to patrol a northbound convoy 8 miles east of Martlesham. Some 10 aircraft taking part from the Belgian squadron. After the patrol off the Norfolk coast he became separated from his unit and in extremely bad weather he was provided a vector back to his base at RAF Debden in Essex.

He came in very low over Norwich in a south easterly direction and perhaps due to recent air raids on the city in April and May, the barrage balloon units stood to. They perhaps thought it was an enemy aircraft coming in. His Spitfire hit one of the balloons and it is thought that as he was over a residential area he remained in the aircraft trying to steer it away from houses, when he could have simply baled out.

Sadly, his aircraft crashed at the rear of 120 Sprowston Road at 18:27 hrs, killing him, with the aircraft burning out.

The people of Norwich honoured him on the 10th October 2006 naming a street after him. It is the first time in Great Britain that such an honour was bestowed on a Belgian pilot!

Burial details:

Sgt. Maurice Herman Marceun Raes - initially buried at Brookwood Military Cemetery on the 18th June 1942 at 15:00 hrs, but after the war he, as were most Belgian aircrew, was reinterred at the Brussels Town Cemetery in the Airman's Field of Honour. Born on the 17th June 1921 at Mons in Belgium.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Barry Youngs for bringing this loss to our attention in November 2017. To Jef Pets for grave photograph - March 2019 and also to sources as quoted below:

KTY - 25.11.2017

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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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