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Flying Officer Richard John Watts Askwith

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Flying Officer Richard John Watts Askwith

Birth
Ottawa, Ottawa Municipality, Ontario, Canada
Death 28 Apr 1942 (aged 22)
Noordschans, Moerdijk Municipality, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands
Burial Bergen op Zoom, Bergen op Zoom Municipality, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands
Plot 27. A. 5.
Memorial ID 12726731 View Source
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Military Service
Service Number: C/1611
Force: Air Force
Unit: Royal Canadian Air Force
Division: 418 Sqdn.

Flying Officer / Pilot.

Richard was the eldest of two boys born to John and Joan (nee Watts) Askwith. He attended Lisgar Collegiate from 1933 to 1937 and while there was active in sports as a member of the ski team. Other athletic pursuits included swimming, riding, tennis, football, hockey, cricket and sailing. Following junior matriculation, he was employed as a junior clerk at Canadian General Electric.

Prior to enlistment, he had been taking a flying course at the Ottawa Flying Club. He had 1 hour and 30 minutes of flying time logged as a student pilot flying a Taylor Cub.

On Apr 27, 1942, Richard was taken on strength at 418 Squadron. The squadron was formed in Nov 1941 as part of No. 11 Group, Fighter Command. It was tasked to patrol enemy airfields and dispense of the enemy as they launched operations against the Allies and generally disrupt enemy operations. It first saw action on Mar 27, 1942 in a bombing run to Belgium. The following evening, it took on the true role of "intruder" by launching patrols to various airfields such as Lille, France and Gilze-Rijen, Holland.

Richard was shot down and killed on his first operational mission over Holland, as Pilot on Boston Z2240.


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