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Thread: Jarrett 149 Sqn Missing 9/4/41 X3167

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    Default Jarrett 149 Sqn Missing 9/4/41 X3167

    Dear All,

    I am trying to find out more about the loss of Wellington X3167 of 149 Squadron that
    was lost on the night of the 9th of April while on operations to Kiel after taking off from
    Mildenhall.
    The crew were:

    Sgt J.B.C.Jago, Sgt F.M.Jarrett, P/O J.A.Graham RNZAF, Sgt A.W.Rose, Sgt P.E.M.Mertens,
    and Sgt A.G.Coster.

    All of the crew (except Jarrett and Martens) were recovered and are buried in Kiel cemetery.

    I know Jarrett was from London, and that he was a pre war pilot, however I was wondering
    if anybody had the ORB's to check if he was the second pilot on this trip as I think it may
    have been his first op.

    I was also wondering if anybody had any further details about the loss of the aircraft,
    other than what I have above from Bomber Command Losses.

    Any help would be great,

    Johnnie

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    Default Jarret

    Hello Johnie,

    Just let you know that F/Sgt Mertens P.E.M. is a Belgian. There is a N° but I do not know if it is his number 915446.

    Best regards

    Rene

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    Default

    Thanks for that. Do you have any idea when he came over to the UK. Was it
    prior to the war?

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    Default

    Johnnie,

    From my 'For Your Tomorrow - A record of New Zealanders who have died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Services Since 1915 (Vol One: Fates 1915-1942)':

    Tue 8/Wed 9 Apr 1941
    Bomber Command
    Raid on Kiel, Germany (by 160 aircraft - 4 lost)
    149 Squadron, RAF (Mildenhall, Suffolk - 3 Group)
    Wellington IC X3167/H - captained by Sgt J B C Jago, RAF, and brought down near Holtenau, on the northern outskirts of Kiel. Two of the crew were lost without trace and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. The bodies of their four comrades were recovered, including that of the observer, who was buried in the Garrison cemetery at Kiel, but later reinterred in the Kiel War Cemetery.
    Observer: NZ401207 Plt Off John Alastair GRAHAM, RNZAF - Age 24. 180hrs. 3rd op.

    And draft bio for Graham for Vol Three:

    GRAHAM, Plt Off John Alastair.
    NZ401207 (prev. A401207);
    b Hastings 31 May 16;
    Hastings HS & Wanganui Collegiate;
    sheep farmer - father's farm at Mangatahi.
    RNZAF Levin/GTS as Air Observer u/t 7 May 40,
    1AOS 3 Jun 40,
    Air Observer Badge [wef 21.9.40] & Comm 23 Sep 40,
    att RAF & emb for UK 6 Oct 40,
    1 Depôt 30 Nov 40,
    11OTU (Wellington) 14 Dec 40,
    149 Sqn (Wellington - 3 ops) 22 Mar 41,
    kao 9 Apr 41.
    Kiel War Cemetery - 2.B.11, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.
    Son of John & Catherine Graham, Netherby, Mangatahi.
    [phot. TWN 23.4.41].

    TWN = 'The Weekly News', the illustrated pages of which feature a small photo of him (scan or print available from the RNZAF Museum at a modest fee - info@airforcemuseum.co.nz)

    Errol

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    Default

    Thanks for that. I had the info from "for your tomorrow" but the bio is great.

    As it was brought down near the target can we assume it was hit by flack?
    Where did you get the information from for the loss report as Bomber
    Command Losses just state missing and I assumed it must have gone down
    over the sea due to two of the crew still being listed as missing.

    Johnnie

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    Default

    CWGC have P E M Mertens as 915446 Sgt (although he may have held a temporary acting Flt Sgt rank). Have a look at the 'Mertens' on CWGC - they may be related. One of them has his NoK as living in Hammersmith, London, with a possible English mother, so the family may have been settled in England for some time.
    915446 is in a large block of numbers issued in Sep 39 at Uxbridge (nr London). Blocks of numbers specifically for Belgians were not issued until Nov 41 (and after). So your man is likely to have been in UK before WW2 started. If he is on CWGC then it is possible(?) that he had taken British citizenship (or was in the process of taking it, or was born in England) when he Enlisted.
    HTH
    Peter Davies

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnie214 View Post
    Thanks for that. I had the info from "for your tomorrow" but the bio is great.

    As it was brought down near the target can we assume it was hit by flack?
    Where did you get the information from for the loss report as Bomber
    Command Losses just state missing and I assumed it must have gone down
    over the sea due to two of the crew still being listed as missing.

    Johnnie
    An RNZAF postwar bio held on his service record states: "Later information was received from a German source through the International Red Cross Committee that Pilot Officer Graham had lost his life when the aircraft was shot down at Holtenau in Germany, and that he was buried in the Garrison Cemetery at Kiel."

    Erroll

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    Default

    Thanks for both of those replies. Sounds like Mertens probably had been in
    England for a while then.

    So was the aircraft probably shot down by flak rather than a night fighter?
    Are there any recorded victories in that area, or would it be to close to
    the target for night fighters to operate?

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