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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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486 Squadron Crest
13.04.1945 No. 486 Squadron Tempest F.V SN184 SA-F Sq/Ldr. Taylor-Cannon

Operation: Armed Reconnaissance

Date: 13th April 1945 (Friday)

Unit: No. 486 Squadron 140 Wing. 2 Group. 2nd Tactical Air Force (motto: Hiwa hau Maka - Beware of the Wild Winds')

Type: Tempest F.V

Serial: SN184

Code: SA-F

Base: B112, Hopsten, Germany

Location: Dömitz, Germany

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Keith Granville Taylor-Cannon DFC Bar. NZ/412284 RNZAF Age 23. Missing - believed killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Sq/Ldr. Taylor-Cannon was the commanding officer having taken over from Sq/Ldr. Ernest Umbers in February following his loss. Information on that can be found here.

Taking off at 10:15 hrs with 7 others from the squadron on an armed reconnaissance.

During an attack on enemy transport was hit by 88 mm flak whilst flying over the bridge at Dömitz. He managed to bale out and was seen to land in the village of Damnatz - even though the other pilots had noticed his parachute had ben damaged.

After war end a British soldier who was serving in the Royal Engineers and taken PoW nearby at the time stated that he had seen the pilot and that although wounded he was taken away by the Germans. He was never found and is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

DFC Citation:

"Throughout a long operational tour this pilot has displayed enthusiasm, courage and devotion to duty. He has taken part in numerous bombing sorties against military targets and by his determination to press home his attacks, regardless of enemy opposition, has played no small part in the success achieved. In addition Flight Lieutenant Taylor-Cannon has inflicted much damage on enemy shipping, shared in the destruction of a large enemy vessel and destroyed two Messerschmitt 109s."

DFC Bar Citation:

"Squadron Leader Taylor-Cannon has participated in a large number of sorties, and has led his flight and often the squadron with skill and determination, always pressing home his attacks whatever enemy opposition was encountered. The success achieved by the squadron has been mainly due to his brilliant leadership. A typical example of this occurred recently when his formation of seven aircraft was attacked on the 27th December 1944 by 30 enemy aircraft. Although outnumbered, Squadron leader Taylor-Cannon with dauntless courage unhesitatingly led the squadron in to attack. In the ensuing fight he personally destroyed one enemy aircraft of the four brought down by his squadron."

Burial details:

Sq/Ldr. Keith Granville Taylor-Cannon DFC Bar. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 284. Born on the 20th December 1921 at Oamaru. the son of Lewis Lear Taylor-Cannon and Alice Louisa Taylor-Cannon (née Naylor), of Alexandra, Otago, New Zealand. A student prior to service. A total of 968 flying hours logged and completed 406 operations.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 31.07.2019

Acknowledgements: 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', 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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