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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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771 Squadron Crest
26.04.1944 771 Squadron Skua II L2951 Sub. Lt. (A) Weatherall

Operation: Training

Date: 26th April 1944 (Wednesday)

Unit: No. 771 Squadron. Fleet Air Arm (motto: Non Nobis Solum - 'Not unto us alone')

Type: Blackburn Skua II

Serial: L2951

Code: -

Base: HMS Tern, Twatt, Orney

Location: North Atlantic Ocean

Pilot: Sub. Lt. (A) Louis Frank Weatherall RNZNVR Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr. LA (TY). Derrick Read RN FX.113680 Age 19. Missing - believed killed


It seems that following an engine failure the pilot attempted to ditch into the sea at between 14:30 - 15: hrs.

A search was instigated at the position some 6 miles west of Stromness, but only the body of the pilot was recovered by a surface vessel.

Burial details:

Sub. Lt. (A) Louis Frank Weatherall. Kirkwall Cemetery. (St. Olaf's). Plot 33. Grave 8. Born on the 11th March 1933 at Invercargill, the son of Francis William and Louisa Culf Weatherall (née Mason), of Ettrick, Otago, New Zealand. A civil servant for Lands and Survey Department at Wellington. Enlisted on the 01st October 1941 and awarded his pilots badge on the 08th May 1942.

LA (TY). Derrick Read. Lee-On-Solent Memorial. Bay 5, Panel 3. Born on the 11th February 1925 at Frontbeck, the son of Richard and Annie Read, of Crook, Westmorland, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew 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, Weekly News of New Zealand, also to Aviation Research Group Orkney and Shetland, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 29.01.2020

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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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