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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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68 Squadron Crest
05.09.1942 68 Squadron Beaufighter IF X7842 WM:V WO. Karel Richter

Operation: Training exercise

Date: 5th September 1942 (Saturday)

Unit: 68 Squadron (Vzdy Pripraven - ‘Always Ready’)

Type: Beaufighter IF

Serial: X7842

Code: WM:V

Base: RAF Coltishall, Norfolk

Location: Poultry Farm, Spixworth Road, Norwich, Norfolk

Pilot: WO. Karel Richter 788029 RAFVR Age 39. Killed

Obs: Flt Sgt. Jaroslav Kovanda 787832 RAFVR Age 29. Killed


All Czechoslovakian crew taking off from RAF Coltishall on a night training exercise. Shortly after take off it is understood that a fire broke out in one of the wings, thought to have been caused by trapped fuel vapours.

They crashed at 23.40 hrs in the grounds of Poultry Farm, Spixworth Road, Norwich. We are indebted to Pat Littleboy who’s husband was living at the farm at the time.

The beaufighter - the heaviest armed aircraft used by the RAF during the war with 4 x 20mm cannons, 2 x 303 machine guns in the port wing, 4 x 303 in the starboard wing.

Beaufighter IF X7842 pictured here with another crew.

Above and below, graves at Scottow Cemetery, Norfolk (photographed by Aircrew Remembered April 2014 anyone who wishes to have a higher definition of these photographs are welcome to contact us.)

Burial details:

WO. Karel Richter. Scottow Cemetery, Norfolk. Grave 281. Husband to Zdenka Richter from Vysočany in Prague, Czechoslovakia

Flt Sgt. Jaroslav Kovanda. Scottow Cemetery, Norfolk. Grave 280. Next of kin details not available - can you add to this information? From Czechoslovakia.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Peter Croft ‘History of 68 Squadron Peter Croft’, Pat Littleboy and family. Thanks to Karel Filip for the information regarding WO. Richter whose wife was a Great Aunt. (Jun 2021).

RS 01.07.2021 - Update to NoK details for WO Richter.

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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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Last Modified: 01 July 2021, 12:52

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