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Thread: S/Ldr K C D Dart DFC ex. 204 Sqn

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    Default S/Ldr K C D Dart DFC ex. 204 Sqn

    Hello,

    Does anyone know why S/Ldr. Dart DFC ex 204 Sunderlands was killed flying a 703 Naval Air Squadron Mosquito? I have the following details from Colin Cummings' 'The Price of Peace':

    '21/3/45 - Mosquito XXXIII, TW235 of 703 Naval Air Squadron crashed at Rust Hall, Kent. S/L Dart lost control of the aircraft during low level aerobatics and the Mosquito dived into the ground. He was the sole occupant of the aircraft.'

    I saw in Flypast magazine an advertisement placed by a stone mason's company and one of the memorials they featured as an example of their work was a memorial to S/Ldr Dart. I emailed them to see if they could say who had commissioned the memorial (allowing for customer anonimity), but had no reply.

    Any information concerning this officer would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Sam

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    Hi Sam
    CWGC has Dart as dying on 21/3/46,post war, and his Unit as 703 Sqn FAA. The photo of the headstone should be looked at to see if it is standard CWGC pattern.It was not unusual for memorials to be erected at the wishes of family and Dart was cremated at Kent County Crematorium at Charing, his name is apparently on a panel at the Crematorium where there were 60 Service Cremations. His wife and parents came from Tunbridge Wells and what you saw may have been placed closer to their homes.
    Regards
    Dick
    Last edited by Dick; 9th December 2009 at 17:38.

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    Hi Sam,
    Just following on from Dick, 703 NAS were disbanded in 1944 and reformed April 45 as an AIR Sea Warfare Developement Unit, it's possible he transferred to them.

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    Dear Dick and Alan,

    Thanks for posting the information.

    You're quite right, I owe Mr.Cummings an apology it was 21/3/46 that S/Ldr Dart was killed and it's listed in his 'Final Landings'. I made a typo in my original notes and 'cut & pasted' the details of the crash directly to my post.

    From the photo, which is quite a small part of a full page ad, I didn't initially think it looked as though the memorial is in a crematorium. Now you mention it, that could well be the case. It certainly isn't a CWGC stone, but a black stone with a Mosquito engraved beside the words.

    703 sqn's role as an AIR Sea Warfare Developement Unit would tie in well with his wartime service on Sunderlads, when he made two attacks on U-boats that I know of. One seemed to produce a large slick of oil, but there's no loss listed for that date in various books etc.

    I might try to email the stone masons again to see if they can give the actual location of the memorial.

    Thanks again for you help,

    Sam

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    Hi Sam
    Don't be misled by the Crematorium.I get the impression from the CWGC entry for S/Ldr Dart that his name is on a panel covering all 60 of the WW2 cremations there, from 1939-1947, and would likely be in "official" format. What your picture may show could easily be a private addition by the Family,either at the Crematorium or at another site closer to their homes which were in Tunbridge Wells.
    With what you say of Dart's experience he would have been a likely candidate for ASWDU which continued in operation into the 60's. 703 Sqn may have been an administrative convenience whilst ASWDU was being set up and remember that Coastal Command flew largely under the operational control of the Admiralty right though the war, and probably a little way beyond, although it was always an RAF Command
    Regards
    Dick
    Last edited by Dick; 10th December 2009 at 17:14.

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    Sam, Here is the citation for his DFC from the LG, I don't know if adds anything:
    Air Ministry,
    4th November, 1941.
    ROYAL AIR FORCE.
    The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the following awards in recognition of gallantry displayed in flying operations against the enemy:
    Distinguished Flying Cross.
    Flying Officer Kenneth Charles Daymond DART (42397), No. 204 Squadron.
    Flying Officer Dart, as captain of an aircraft, carried .out an important reconnaissance from which he brought back valuable information. On the return journey his aircraft was attacked by four enemy fighters which carried out concerted attacks for 10 minutes. The first burst of fire from the leading enemy aircraft put the aircraft's rear turret out of action besides causing other damage and wounding three of its crew. Flying Officer Dart, by skilful manoeuvring, saved his aircraft from further damage and enabled his remaining guns to damage one of the fighters which then disappeared. Flying Officer Dart's aircraft was then joined by another aircraft and, between them, they shot down an enemy fighter into the sea. Flying Officer Dart has continuously displayed exemplary courage, coolness and skill in action.
    Fourth Supplement (LG 35334 dated 4 Nov 41) to LG dated 31 Oct 41

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    Dick, Alan and Terry,

    Thank you all for your help. It's been a great help and given me more to think on.

    Excuse the delay in replying, but my on line forays are infrequent!

    Best wishes,

    Sam

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