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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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488 Squadron Crest
02/03.02.1944 No. 488 Squadron Mosquito NF.XIII HK363 Fl/Sgt. Watson

Operation: Training

Date: 02/03rd February 1944 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No. 488 Squadron RNZAF (11 Group)

Type: Mosquito NF.XIII

Serial: HK363

Code: ME-?

Base: RAF Bradwell Bay, Essex

Location: As above

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Keith James Watson NZ/421799 RNZAF Age 20. Killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. Ernest Frank Edwards NZ/422378 RNZAF Age 26. Killed


Taking off at about 00:05 hrs on an airfield canopy searchlight exercise when at 01:40 hrs the aircraft crashed out of control a mile south of the airfield. It is thought that the pilot may have been temporary blinded when caught in the beams.

Burial details:

Fl/Sgt. Keith James Watson. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave 2.K.1. Born on the 10th March 1923 in Palmerston North, New Zealand, the son of David James Watson and of Emily Millicent Watson (née Fuller), of Pohangina, Wellington, New Zealand. 397 Flying hours logged - 38 of these solo on Mosquito. 2 operational sorties flown. A motor mechanic, joining the RNZAF in March 1942.

Fl/Sgt. Ernest Frank Edwards. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave 2.K.1A. Born on the 23rd April 1917 in Wakefield, New Zealand, the son of Archibald and Florence Helen Edwards and grandson of Wallace Edward Fairhall, of Wakefield, Nelson, New Zealand. 216 Flying hours logged. An orchard worker prior to joining the RNZAF in March 1942.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Errol Martyn - For Your Tomorrow Vol’s 1-3, Auckland War Memorial Cenotaph, Weekly News. Victoria University of Wellington Library. Other sources as indicated below.

KTY - 03.11.2017

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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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