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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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234 Squadron Crest
23.07.1942 No. 234 Squadron Spitfire Vb AR285 P/O. John D. Webster

Operation: Sweep

Date: 23rd July 1942 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 234 Squadron (10 Group)

Type: Spitfire Vb

Serial: AR285

Code: AZ-?

Base: RAF Portreath, Cornwall

Location: English Channel off France

Pilot: P/O. John Dorset Webster NZ/405351 RNZAF Age 24. Missing believed killed


Taking off at 15:20 hrs for a sweep between Plousecat and Guissény the unit encountered flak and light machine gun fire near Landerneau as well as encountering enemy aircraft.

The squadron lost four pilots during this operation, apart from P/O. Webster who is thought to have come down in the English Channel. (some reports state that he baled out - missing)

The others lost from the Squadron:

Spitfire Vb AD454 Flown by Sgt. W.H.T. Farmer 570023 RAFVR Taken PoW No: 25657 Camp: Stalag Lamsdorf (344)
Spitfire Vb AD541 Flown by Sgt. David Gordon Fuggle 1333176 RAFVR - Missing - believed killed.
Spitfire Vb AB864 Flown by P/O. Jorgen Billy Thalbitzer 110594 RAFVR - Taken PoW - Oflag XXIB - further details follow.

Burial details:

P/O. John Dorset Webster. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 117. The son of Lewis Dorset Webster and of Adele Marie Webster (née Avery), of New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand. 406 Flying hours logged and on his 91st operation.


Sgt. David Gordon Fuggle. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 83. No further details on next of kin - are you able to assist?

P/O. Jorgen Billy Thalbitzer. Vestre Cemetery (Copenhagen). No further details on next of kin - are you able to assist?

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

KTY - 05.11.2017

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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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