30/xii/43 – Last Patrol of 1943 & Loss of F/Sgt Behrent and F/Sgt Breward

30th December 15:30
DH Mosquito XII HK227 ME-E (A/I Mk.VIII)
Pilot: P/O Scott
Navigator (R): Self
NFT & CINÉ-GUN
A/I still not good, but workable
0:45

17:40
BULLSEYE & PATROL – Searchlights
3 murders – 1 Mosquito & 2 Stirlings. Then orbiting, waiting for Huns which failed to appear
2:35

Only 3 days after returning from a Patrol with an engine fire, followed by a brake failure on landing, HK227 is back on Operational duties. This shows the effectiveness of the ground crews who must have worked every hour of the day to keep the Squadron’s aircraft flying!

Sadly today also saw the loss of F/Sgt Ernie Behrent and his Navigator F/Sgt Noel Breward. The New Zealand crew were killed after their aircraft crashed into the sea during a GCI exercise. The ORB records the loss as follows:

“A fatal crash took place today. F/Sgt Behrent E.H (New Zealand, pilot) and his operator, F/Sgt Breward N. (New Zealand) took off at about 22:00 hours and about 10 minutes later the plane crashed into the sea. Other pilots flying at the same time state that they saw a glow in the sky and later a glow on the water in the vicinity of the crash. The bodies were not recovered, The aircraft was Mosquito Mk XIII HK375.”

Their names are duly recorded in the Roll Of Honour.

And so Broody’s war comes to an end for 1943. There is still much more to come!

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