Date: 21st February 1944 (Monday)
Unit: No. 488 Squadron (motto: Ka ngarue ratau - 'We shake them')
Type: Mosquito NF.XIII
Base: RAF Bradwell Bay, Essex
Location: At base
Pilot: F/O. Tohunga Richard Riwai NZ/421764 RNZAF Age 25. Killed
Nav: Fl/Sgt. Ian Clarke NZ/425491 RNZAF Age 24. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
After taking off at about 05:35 hrs to carry out a patrol the aircraft crashed almost immediately.
HK367 came down among the steel anti-invasion defences on the mud flats one mile from the airfield. No reason for the accident has been ascertained.
F/O. Tohunga Richard Riwai. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave 2.K.2. Born on the 13th September 1918 at Otaki. Worked as a clerk for the Native Department at Rotorua prior to service. Enlisted at Rotorua on the 07th March 1942. Trained at 3 SFTS and 1 SFTS in New Zealand. Awarded his pilots badge on the 19th October and his commission on the 19th December 1942. Embarked for England on the 10th January 1943. After conversion training at 60 and 63 Operational Training Units joined 488 squadron on the 07th December 1943. Son of Ripai and Pita Riwai, of Rotorua, New Zealand. Husband of Katie Riwai (nee Ratete) and father of three children. A total of 417 flying hours logged, 33 of these solo on the Mosquito. On his 3rd operational sortie.
Above: RAF Bradwell Bay Memorial - name plates placed either side for lost aircrew.
Fl/Sgt. Ian Clarke. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave 2.K.1B. Born at Mataura on the 12th December 1919. Worked for NZR at Hamilton as a clerk prior to service. Enlisted at Waipapakauri on the 30th May 1942. Embarked for Canada on the 10th November 1942. Awarded his navigators badge on the 18th April 1942 and promoted to sergeant. Embarked for England on the 28th May 1943. After conversion training at 60 and 63 Operational Training Units joined 488 squadron on the 07th December 1943. Son of William Henry and Robina Jane Clark (nee Stevens), of Pukehina, Te Puke, New Zealand. On his 3rd operational sortie. (note spelling is Clarke not Clark as the CWGC has listed)
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, other sources as quoted below:
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember
them. - Laurence
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