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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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fighter command crest

Operation: Training

Date: 15th October 1942 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 52 Operational Training Unit

Type: Spitfire IIA

Serial: P7966

Code: Presentation Spitfire: 'Manxman'

Base: RAF Aston Down, Gloucestershire

Location: RAF Quedgeley

Pilot: P/O. Keith Thomas Beange NZ/416440 Age 21. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

During a height-climbing exercise dived into a shed of 7 Maintenance Unit at RAF Quedgeley.

The shed caught fire and a 32-year-old civilian, Etta Elizabeth Emma Jelf was killed instantly when she was struck by the tail wheel.

Considerable fire damage was caused with several others injured.

Spitfire 'Manxman' P7966 was the former aircraft of Wing Commander Douglas Bader, a RAF Fighter Ace, when he started leading the Tangmere Wing in March of 1941.

Burial details:

P/O. Keith Thomas Beange. Cirencester Cemetery. Plot 5. R.C. Row FFF. Grave 16. Born on the 23rd August 1921 at Hamilton. Worked as an electrical engineer gor Turnbull and Jones Ltd prior to enlisting at Levin on the 30th November 1941. Son of Daniel Thomas Beange and Frances Beange (née Clark), of Grey Lynn, Auckland, New Zealand. 261 Flying hours logged

Etta Elizabeth Emma Jelf. Daughter of John Francis and Ellen Jelf, of 6 St. Mary's Square.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, AWMM, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 28-01-2021

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Acknowledgements
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', 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: 02 May 2022, 11:13

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