Pilot Officer Ronald Frederick Reader

 

Unit : 298 Squadron, 38 Group, RAF.

Service No. : 1294559

 

Pilot Officer Reader's aircraft was shot down on the 6th June. The following is his M.I.9 evasion report:

 

Left : Allied Beach-head 12 Jun 44.

Arrived : Gosport, 13 Jun 44.

Date of Birth : 21 Jul 20.

R.A.F. Service : Since 7 Jul 41.

O.T.U. : 11 O.T.U. (Westcott).

Conversion Unit : 1665 (Tilstock).

Post in crew : Rear gunner.

Peacetime Profession : Farmer.

Private Address : 19, Leslie Avenue, Sandringham, Auckland, New Zealand.

 

Other members of crew (believed safe in France):-

F/O Anderson (pilot) (S/P.G.(-) 1958),

F/O Evans (bomb aimer) (S/P.G.(-) 1964),

Sgt. Annon (navigator) (S/P.G.(-) 1966),

F/Sgt. Lewis (wireless operator) (S/P.G.(-) 1965),

Sgt. Forrest (flight engineer) (in hospital).

 

My experiences up to the time of baling out are as related by F/O. Anderson in his report.

 

I baled out on 6 Jun 44 and landed in an orchard East of Escoville (France 1:250,000, Sheet 8, U 1171, approximately 5 miles N. East of Caen).

 

My parachute was entangled in the trees. I hid my mae west. My right leg was injured as I baled out, and my left foot was bruised in landing.

 

I began walking South and lay under a hedge at dawn. I remained in this position till 10 Jun, as I was unable to move because of my injuries, and German gun positions were established about one mile distant on each side of my hiding place.

 

On the morning of 10 Jun I was compelled to move because of heavy rain. I walked North in short stages in an attempt to reach the Allied lines. Later in the day I was too exhausted to go further, and I hid in a hayloft. In the evening I went to the farm where I was given food. I returned to the hayloft, where I spent the night, and on 11 Jun a party of British paratroops came to the farm. I learnt subsequently that the farmer had informed the paratroops that I was hiding there.

 

The paratroops conveyed me to their base in a jeep. I was then taken to Divisional Headquarters, where I spent that night, and sent to the beach on 12 Jun. I was then sent by boat to the U.K.

 

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