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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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453 Squadron crest
10.12.1942 No. 453 Squadron Spitfire Vb EN824 FU-U Fl/Lt. J.W. Yarra

Operation: Roadstead (1)

Date: 10th December 1942

Unit: No. 453 Squadron (RAAF)

Type: Spitfire Vb

Serial: EN824

Code: FU-U

Base: RAF Martlesham Heath

Location: North Sea off Holland

Pilot: Fl/Lt. “Jack” John William Yarra DFM AUS/402823 RAAF Age 21. Missing - believed killed


Taking part in a Roadstead during the morning when shot down by flak from both Westkapelle and flak ships. Believed to have come down in the North Sea.

Also lost with Jack Yarra was 20 year old, P/O. Mathew Henry Ivor De Cosier AUS/405575 RAAF. Flying Spitfire Vb BL899 FU-W. Neither bodies nor aircraft recovered.

Above: The Yarra brothers! Jack on the left with his younger brother Robert on the right - Robert was also to be killed later in the war - page dedicated to his loss also on our website. (courtesy AWM)

Above left: Jack receiving his DFM from Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Malta, Lord Gort. Right: Jack in the centre during training in Australia in a Tiger Moth. (courtesy AWM)

(1) Roadstead - Low level attacks on coastal shipping.

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. John William Yarra DFM. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 108. Born on the 24th August 1921 at Stanthorpe, Queensland, the son of Alfred Ernest and Harriet Yarra, of Grafton, New South Wales, Australia.

P/O.Mathew Henry Ivor De Cosier. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 111. Born on the 03rd October 1922 at Melbourne, the son of Matthew Norman and Carmen Christian de Cosier, of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to sources as quoted below as well as the Australian Archives:

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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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Last Modified: 18 March 2021, 12:31

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