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No. 79 Squadron
RAAF October 25, 1945
Ashcraft August 9, 2019
|Pilot F/Lt Benjamin Bernard Newman, 405875 (MIA / KIA, BR) Ayr, QLD
Crashed August 2, 1945
Built by Supermarine in the United Kingdom as model HF Mk. VIII (High Altitude Fighter) type 360. Assigned Royal Air Force (RAF) serial number MT900. Disassembled and loaded aboard SS Horoata as cargo and shipped overseas to Australia arriving November 30, 1944.
Assigned to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Spitfire Mark HF.VIII serial number A58-654. Reassembled by 1 Air Depot (1 AD). On June 22, 1945 assigned to the 9 Repair Salvage Unit (9 RSU) reserve pool. On July 29, 1945 assigned to No. 79 Squadron with squadron code AL-? (letter unknown).
On August 2, 1945 took off from Pitu Airfield on Morotai piloted by F/Lt Benjamin B. Newman on a mission over Halmahera. Over the Teba River, this Spitfire was hit by anti-aircraft fire and crashed near the head waters of the Tebai River near Titilegon Kampong. When this aircraft failed to return it was declared Missing In Action (MIA). This was the final loss from No. 79 Squadron during World War II.
Afterwards, Japanese personnel located the crash site and recovered and cremated the remains of the pilot and buried them 5 meters away.
Recovery of Remains
The Japanese recovered the remains of the pilot and cremated him and buried his remains 5 meters away. Postwar, the remains of Newman were recovered.
Recovery of Remains
On October 25, 1945 buried at at Morotai Cemetery on Morotai with military honors. Also buried that same day was Flt Lt. Edmond McLeod Stevenson pilot Spitfire "Blondie" A58-419 ditched January 13, 1945 taken prisoner and died April 14, 1945.
Newman was officially declared dead on August 2, 1945. He is buried at Ambon War Cemetery at 28. D. 1.
ADF Serials - Spitfire A58-654
WW2 Nominal Roll - Benjamin Bernard Newman, 405875
CWGC - Benjamin Bernard Newman
FindAGrave - Flight Lieutenant Benjamin Bernard Newman (grave photo)
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August 2, 2020
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