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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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105 Squadron Mosquito IN DZ354 F/O. Benjamin Frank Reynolds

Operation: Essen

Date: 12/13th December 1943 (Sunday/Monday)

Unit: No. 105 Squadron 8 Group (motto: Fortis in Proeliis - 'Valiant in battles')

Type: Mosquito B IV

Serial: DZ354

Code: GB-D

Base: RAF Marham, Norfolk

Location: Fort Asperen, Netherlands

Pilot: F/O, Benjamin Frank Reynolds 118712 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Nav: F/O. John Douglass Phillips 138829 RAFVR Age 21. Killed


Taking off at 16:52 hrs with 9 others from the squadron. DZ354 carried 4 x 500 general purpose bombs detailed to attack the Krupps Works in Essen.

Eight aircraft bombed the primary, Fl/Lt. Robert Walter Bray DFC 113927 RAFVR with Fl/Lt. Thomas White Pierce DFC J/8608 RCAF flying Mosquito B IV ML890 was unable to identify the primary target so attacked the Essen area.

Above L-R: F/O, Benjamin Frank Reynolds and /O. John Douglass Phillips

DZ354 was shot down by Hptm. Manfred Meurer of Stab I./NJG 1, flying a Ju 88 from Venlo airfield. This Junkers was equipped, amongst other things, with SN-2 radar and GM-1 (a system for injecting nitrous oxide into aircraft engines). Meurer flew a so-called Moskitojagd operation (Wilde Sau.) The Mosquito crashed at 19:25 hrs killing both of the young crew.

Burial details:1

F/O, Benjamin Frank Reynolds. Herwijnen General Cemeter. Joint grave 5. Son of Frank U. and Dorothy Reynolds; and husband of Kathleen Brenda Reynolds, of Cambridge, England. Epitaph: 'Knowing Well He Is Not Lost Nor Dead But More Alive Than When We Knew Him Here'.

F/O. John Douglass Phillips. Herwijnen General Cemeter. Joint grave 5. Born on the 22nd July 1922 in Weymouth, Dorset. Son of Vernon Cheveley Phillips (died 1979) and Frances Wylie Phillips (née Warren - died 1984) of Wickford, Essex. England. Epitaph: 'O Valiant Heart'.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to the Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, National Archive Kew AIR-27-827-23/24.

KTY 16-04-2024

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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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