LEST WE FORGET

Flying Officer Ronald George DAWSON

Service No: 412245
Born: Date, Location unavailable
Enlisted in the RAAF: Date unavailable
Unit: No. 464 Squadron
Died: Air Operations: (No. 464 Squadron Mosquito aircraft SZ999), Denmark, 21 March 1945, Aged 27 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of George Francis and Constance Sophia Dawson, of Undercliffe, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Bangalow NSW
Remembered: Panel 283, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 109, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Mosquito SZ999 took off from Rosiere en Santerre, France, at 0845 hours on the 21 March 1945, as part of a force of 6 aircraft from the Squadron detailed to attack the Gestapo headquarters, Copenhagen, Denmark. SZ999 failed to return from the mission. Post war enquiries by a Missing Research and Enquiry Unit found no trace of the missing aircraft or crew.

The No. 464 Squadron Operations Record Book reports as follows: “The formation initially landed at Fersfield and took off again at 1100 hours for the target. 464 Squadron aircraft were in the second box and flying conditions were not good. There was considerable heavy and light flak encountered in the harbour area and the target was attacked at 100 feet. Unfortunately the CO of No. 21 Squadron RAF ((Wing Commander Peter Andrew Kleboe (88440) (RAFVR)) who had just left 464 Squadron to command No. 21 Squadron, flew* into a building about 1.5 miles from the target and smoke caused difficulty for the following aircraft. The buildings were well and truly pranged. The whole operation was a classic example of precision bombing and was up to previous standards. Two No. 464 Squadron crews were missing.”

* Wing Commander Kleboe’s Mosquito aircraft Navigator was Flying Officer Reginald John Ward Hall (C/14919) (RCAF)

The crew members of SZ999 were:

Flying Officer Ronald George Dawson (412245) (Pilot)
Flying Officer Fergus Thomas Murray (172131) (RAFVR) (Navigator)

No. 464 Squadron lost Mosquito RS609 (Flying Officer John Herbert Palmer (401850) (Pilot)) on 21 March 1945.

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/9/576

Bibliography:

Lax, M. (Mark) and Leon Kane-Maguire The Gestapo Hunters: 464 Squadron RAAF 1942-5, Banner Books Maryborough QLD 4650, 1999
Vincent, D. (David) Mosquito Monograph: A history of Mosquitoes in Australia and RAAF operations, David Vincent Highbury SA 5089, 1982