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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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183 Squadron Crest
24.10.1943 No. 183 Squadron Typhoon Ib JP542 F/O. Gerald E. Rawson

Operation: Roadstead

Date: 24th October 1943 (Sunday)

Unit: No. 183 Squadron

Type: Typhoon Ib

Serial: JP542

Code: HF-Not known

Base: RAF Predannack

Location: English Channel of Cherbourg

Pilot: F/O. Gerald Edmond Rawson NZ/404943 RNZAF Age 25. Missing - believed killed


Taking off at 17:30 hrs from RAF Warmwell when, during a very low level attack on a large merchant vessel moored in Cherbourg harbour believed to have been shot down by flak. Neither the pilot or aircraft were recovered.

Also lost from the squadron during this operation:

Typhoon Ib JP396 Flown by 30 year old, Sq/Ldr. Arthur Vincent Gowers DFC. 40166 RAFVR from Boscombe, Hampshire, England. Missing - believed killed
Typhoon Ib JP428 Flown by F/O. P.W.B. Thomas - Taken PoW after baling out some 12 miles north of the harbour.
Typhoon Ib JP368 Flown by F/O. D.N. Munrowd - safe, after a crash landing at RAF Warmwell - aircraft written off.

Burial details:

F/O. Gerald Edmond Rawson. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 198. Son of Ernest Arthur and Florence Rawson, of New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand and husband of Edith Mary Rawson.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Errol Martin “For Your Tomorrow Vol’s 1-3”, Auckland Cenotaph and to sources as quoted below:

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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', 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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