F/O Geoffery A Rolph Pilot RAF
Aircraft: Mosquito LR 269
Squadron: 613 RAF
Date of crash: 11/12/1943
Related Airmen:Sgt John V Newton RAFVR
F/O Geoffery Alan Rolph 48639 (Pilot)
Pilot buried Wembley Burial Ground
Died 11/12/1943, aged 27
Royal Air Force 613 sqdn.
Son of Ernest W. P. Rolph and Lucy J. Rolph, of Wembley.
11/12/1943, Departed from RAF Lasham airport. Bad visibility, crashed into a hill on low level bombing exercise.
Although unconfirmed, as the precise detail of the mission are not known, it appears that at least one aircraft crashed in the local vicinity whilst using the range. On 11 December 1943 de Havilland Mosquito MKVI LR269 of No 613 (City Of Manchester) Squadron (No 2 Group 2nd Tactical Air Force), took off from RAF Lasham on a low level practice bombing mission. The aircraft crashed after flying into hills 11 miles north east of Andover, with the loss of both crew, F/O Geoffrey Rolf & Sgt John Newton. The crash site puts the aircraft in the vicinity of Woodcott so its likely the Mosquito was using the bombing range at the time. No 613 Squadron was working up for its first missions in late 1943 so the date of the crash ties in with this, with their first bombing attack made on 31 December 1943, to a Noball target near Maintenay.
Sgt John Newton
Sgt John Vincent Newton 1451836 (Nav/Bomber).
Nav.B. Haltemprice Cem.
Died 11/12/1943, aged 21 Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. 613 sqdn.
Son of William Lionel and Nora Emily Newton, of Hessle.
Unfortunately unable to get a licence to dig from the MOD.