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Thread: Sgt Frank Henry Reeve Died 13/08/1944

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    Default Sgt Frank Henry Reeve Died 13/08/1944

    A query picked up on AB-IX.. I don't suppose anyone can provide a registration district, cause for the death of Sgt Frank Henry Reeve #520220 with a date of death on 13/08/1944 aged 32 Buried COMPTON GREENFIELD (ALL SAINTS) CHURCHYARD.

    I could not find him in the Times for a cause of death...

    Thanks
    Paul;

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    Age 32 Chicester Ditrict, Sussex
    http://www.ukbmd.org.uk/genuki/reg/districts/chichester.html
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Thanks Dennis

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    To put some context on this query...

    Geoff Negus posted on AB-IX

    "In his book, "Spitfire: Portrait of a Legend" (John Murray 2007), Leo McKinstry
    quotes an incident which is acknowledged to the 2006 book by Fred Roberts,
    "Duxford to Karachi: An RAF Armourer's War".

    In May 1945 a group of airmen of 485 Squadron was grouped around a Spitfire as
    its engine started up in preparation for a bomber escort sortie. One of them,
    Flight Sergeant Frank Reeves, stood on the left wing tip.

    McKinstry then directly quotes from Roberts:
    "The engine involuntarily went from ticking over to 3,000 rpm and maximum power
    in one brief, roaring surge. The machine whipped nose-down over the chocks and
    the tail flicked high in the air, as I could see the fitter wrenching at the
    throttle in the cockpit. A great deluge of earth and debris exploded upwards and
    two airmen were catapulted high in the air like helpless tumbling puppets. The
    stubs of the propeller blades clawed the Spitfire round to the left through an
    arc of ninety degrees, as the left chock held firm, but the right wheel pushed
    its chock clear. A body hurtled through the air out of the maelstrom, then the
    engine stopped dead, leaving a vibrating, shocking silence. I ran to the
    crumpled body, but Frank Reeves had died instantly."

    I haven't yet been able to check the ORB, but Frank Reeves is not listed by the
    CWGC. As 485 was a RNZAF squadron I've had a look at Errol Martyn's "For Your
    Tomorrow", but he is not listed there, either. At this time 485 was based at
    Selsey.

    Can anybody shed light on Flt Sgt Reeves, please?"

    "

    Errol Martyn replied

    Excerpt from Gerard Morris’s Spitfire – The New Zealand Story:


    “Serial MK256 ... 16-4-44 Airframe Fitter Sgt Frank Reeves acting as engine
    sergeant was hit by a piece of propeller blade when the aircraft tipped over
    on its nose. He was the only ground-crew member to die during the
    Squadron’s four and a half year existence. The a/c was damaged Cat.AC and
    repaired on site. Attributing this accident to MK256 is speculative.”


    Be that as it may, there is still no matching CWGC entry to be found for
    this man.

    However,in May 1945 485 Squadron was based on the continent. In May 1944 the Squadron
    was based at Selsey..

    What is interesting is Sgt Frank Henry Reeve Died 13/08/1944 not Reeves death was registered at Chicester Ditrict, Sussex. Not far from Selsey... So guess what I think...!

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    Flight 21st December 1944
    Died on Active Service
    Sgt F. H Reeve

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    I should have added the full details from Death index:

    3rd Quarter 1944 (Jul Aug Sep)
    REEVE Frank H Age 32 District: Chichester
    Reference: Vol. 2b Page 485

    You can order that death cert with those reference numbers.

    We have seen it as not uncommon for men/women killed while servicing aircraft to get the DOAS listing. I'd think KOAS myself but the DOAS fits in.
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Default Wikipaedia

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No._485_Squadron_RNZAF has some good information about 485 Sqn...

    Dee

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