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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 89079
Last updated: 26 November 2021
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Date:03-NOV-1941
Time:
Type:Boulton Paul Defiant Mk I
Owner/operator:96 Squadron Royal Air Force (96 Sqn RAF)
Registration: N1575 & 1 x U
MSN: 128
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Newtown -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Wrexham
Destination airport:
Narrative:
Engine fire 3.11.41 while searching for T4008. Crashed near Newtown .
Crew:
Flt. Lt. Verity & Sgt Armstrong safe.
Motto Latin: Nocturni obambulamus; ("We prowl by night")
On 18th December 1940 No 422 Flight, a night fighter unit stationed at RAF Shoreham was renamed to No. 96 Squadron. The unit operated as a night fighter squadron.
WHAT FOLLOWS IS AN EXTRACT FROM THE SQUADRON RECORDS AT KEW.
RAF Form 540. 96 Squadron Operations Book. Page 1.
“Wrexham. 2-11-41.
Quite a lot of flying was done this evening. A dozen sorties logged in between 10 & 11 hours.

3-11-41.
Within a week of the successful emergency parachute jumps by P/O Phoenix & Sgt Seales, two more jumped and, with the exception of one air gunner, who was injured, landed without injury.
At 01:40 hours. Squadron Leader R. J. B. Burns & his air gunner F/O W. R. Smith were forced to abandon their A/C over Wales. They were lost owing to R/T failure & eventually were faced with fuel shortage.
Neither Burns or Smith were found until the following morning & therefore F/Lt Verity and Sgt Scott took off in two Defiants to search the Welsh mountains for traces of their commanding officer. Both these pilots met with trouble.
F/Lt Verity & his gunner, Sgt Armstrong, flying N1575, were forced to bale out and Sgt Scott & his Obsever, a ground staff corporal made a forced landing.
F/Lt V. B. S. Verity DFc. Baled out at 1000 feet above the actual ground level and landed near Tregynon, near Newton, Montgomeryshire. This was Verity’s second successful parachute jump. His gunner was Sgt R. Armstrong, he landed uninjured near New Mills, near Newton.
Sgt A. E. Scott was one of the original members of this squadron from the days of 422 flight found himself lost in bad weather with his R/T receiver U/S. His Observer was a ground staff Corporal, who had no instruction in baling out. So, Sgt Scott therefore decided to fly easterly and make the low ground & attempt a forced landing. This he did successfully & but for the U/C failure common to Defiants, would have landed intact.
Towards the end of the run, when the machine had almost stopped, the Torsion Link broke and the machine settled down, with damaged airscrew & fuselage. Both the pilot and the Obs’ were uninjured.”


By June 1944 however it was in Kent and able to provide night fighter defence over the Normandy invasion fleet and beaches. From June 1944 the squadron became involved in countering V-1 flying bombs. On 12th December 1944 the squadron disbanded.

Crew:
N1575:
F/Lt Victor Bosanquet Strachan Verity RAF. Pilot. Baled Out. Safe.
Sgt Armstrong RAF. A/Gnr. Baled Out. Safe.
‘Unknown’ (Incomplete records. November missing.)
Sgt Scott RAF. Pilot. Safe.
Cpl ‘Unknown’ Obs. Safe.
Wreckage:
The site of N1575 was all easily removed.
The landing site of the unrecorded Defiant is unknown. But easily removed.
Additional information:
Victor Bosanquet Strachan Verity was born in Timaru, New Zealand on 5th November 1919. He was educated at the Boys High School there, after which he worked on his father's farm.
He applied for a short service commission in the RAF in early 1938, was provisionally accepted in September and sailed for the UK in the RMS Tainui on 1st February 1939.
Verity volunteered for night fighters and was posted to 422 Flight at Shoreham on 15th October. On the 7th of December, the Flight moved to Cranage and became the nucleus of 96 Squadron, charged with the night defence of Liverpool, Manchester, and Birmingham. In March 1941 the squadron began to replace its Hurricanes with Defiants and moved to RAF Wrexham.
His tally while with 96 sqn’ was:
2x Heinkel He 111. 3 x Junkers Ju88. All were night-time victories.
Verity was awarded the DFC and was posted overseas to the PTO. On his return as a Squadron Leader, in June 1945 he went to HQ 12 Group and later in the month moved to a staff job at RAF Hereford.
In November 1945 Verity returned to New Zealand and went on to the Reserve in January 1946. He returned to farming until 1959, when he took his family to England and started a roofing business in Northampton.
He returned to New Zealand in 1969 and died in Wellington on 2nd February 1979.

Sources:

The Defiant File’ published by Air Britain Publications, ISBN 0-85130-226-2
Down in Wales - Terrance Hill
discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk
aircrewremembered.com
www.airhistory.org.uk
www.bbm.org.uk
www.rafweb.org


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
15-Jan-2011 16:26 ThW Added
12-Jan-2012 13:15 Nepa Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Departure airport]
23-Aug-2013 17:53 JINX Updated [Aircraft type, Cn, Operator, Departure airport]
02-Apr-2015 10:08 Giggs Updated [Aircraft type, Operator]
13-Feb-2017 14:24 ORD Updated [Operator, Source, Narrative]
03-Sep-2017 15:53 Nepa Updated [Operator, Narrative]
30-Oct-2021 09:52 Davies 62 Updated [Registration, Total occupants, Source, Narrative]

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