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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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151 Squadron Crest
19/20.04.1943 No. 151 Squadron Mosquito NF.II DZ755 F/O. David A. Sparrow

Operation: Night Ranger (1)

Date: 19/20th April 1943 (Monday/Tuesday)

Unit: No. 151 Squadron (Fighter Command)

Type: Mosquito NF.II

Serial: DZ755

Code: Not known (are you able to assist?)

Base: RAF Wittering, Cambridgeshire

Location: Smeerling, Netherlands

Pilot: F/O. David Alistair Sparrow 126770 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Nav: F/O. Victor Gordon Brown 50223 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

We welcome contact from the relatives - in particular the pilot, his fiancee's son would like to hear from you.


Crew attached from HQ, fighter Command. Part of a flight of four Mosquitoes from the squadron on this patrol. Lost on a Night Ranger patrol after crossing the Frisian Islands over the coastline of Holland. Understood that they were shot down by anti aircraft fire at 02:13 hrs - crashing at Smeerling in the Netherlands. The other three aircraft returned safely.

Another Mosquito was also lost this night, that of a 410 Squadron DZ694 - Flown by 21 year old Fl/Sgt. William James Reddie (2) R/91868 RCAF of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, with his navigator, 21 year old Sgt. Kenneth Evans 1321850 RAFVR of Morden, Surrey, England. Their Mosquito the first of the war to be shot down by a night fighter. (Both crew members missing and commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial)
(1) Night Ranger: Freelance flights over enemy territory by units of any size, the intention was to occupy and tire enemy fighters.
(2) Reddie Lake north of Gauer Lake in Manitoba, Canada was named after Fl/Sgt. William James Reddie in 1995.

Burial details:

F/O. David Alistair Sparrow. Onstwedde General Cemetery. Plot A. Row E2. Grave 9. Son of Joseph Albert and Janet Marian Sparrow, of Gravesend, Kent, England. Also commemorated on the memorial plaque in St. Peter and St. Pauls Church Luddesdowne and a stall carrying his name in the church of St. George, Gravesend, Kent. RAF number prior to commission 932291. Grave inscription reads: ‘Wherever He Went There Was Happiness.’

F/O. Victor Gordon Brown. Onstwedde General Cemetery. Plot A. Row E2. Grave 8. Son of Reginald and Eleanor Brown, nephew of Mr. J.H. Bailey, of Friern Barnet, Middlesex, England. Grave inscription reads: Always Happy And Smiling And Loved By All. Especially John, Vi, Pam and Jean.’

Researched and dedicated for Will Atkinson, whose mother was engaged to the pilot prior to his loss. Also to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources as quoted below.

KTY 15.08.2015

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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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