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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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487 crest
04/05th July 1944 487 Squadron Mosquito FB.VI HX917 W/O. Ward

Operation: Intruder

Date: 04/05th July 1944 (Tuesday/Wednesday)

Unit: No. Unit: No. 487 Squadron RNZAF (motto: Ki te mutunga - 'Through to the end'). 140 Wing. 2 Group. 2nd Tactical Air Force

Type: Mosquito FB.VI

Serial: HX917

Code: EG-E

Base: RAF Thorney Island, Sussex

Location: Donnemain-St-Mamès, France

Pilot: W/O. Bryan Ward NZ/403484 RNZAF Age 24. Killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. Frederick Allen Read 1529486 RAFVR Age 21. Killed


Taking off for intruder operations against road and rail movements in Western France.

Brought down in flames near the village of Donnemain-St-Mamès, 4km NW of Châteaudun, the Mosquito passing low over the village before it crashed. Both crew died when their parachutes failed to deploy in time, and are buried at Donnemain-St-Mamès.

Another 487 Squadron was also lost; NT131 Flown by F/O. Ronald Charles Ostend Beazer - both crew killed.

Burial and personal details:

W/O. Bryan Ward. Donnemain-Saint-Mames Communal Cemetery. Grave 2. Born on the 08th August 1919 at Napier. A clerical cadet for the Post and Telecommunications Department. Enlisted on the 28th September 1940 at Levin. Awarded pilots badge and promoted to sergeant on the 22nd March 1941.Joined 487 squadron on the 03rd January 1944 from 13 Operational Unit. Son of Herbert and Ethel Ward (née Johnson), and stepson of Ernest Victor McLachlan, of Napier, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. 920 flying hours logged and on his 26th operational sortie.

Fl/Sgt. Frederick Allen Read. Donnemain-Saint-Mames Communal Cemetery. Grave 1. Son of J. G. Read, and of Gertrude Read, of Warrington, Lancashire, England. Grave inscription: 'Deep In Our Hearts Your Memory Is Kept We Who Loved You Will Never Forget'.

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, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 18-03-2021

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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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