© 2009 454 & 459 RAAF Squadrons


454 RAAF Squadron


Warrant Officer Keith Stewart Wedgwood


Pilot No. 401260


Date of birth:  10 April 1915


Place of Birth: Melbourne Vic


Date of Enlistment: 5 Jan 1941


Next of Kin : Elspetch Wedgwood


Killed in Action:  23 July 1943


OPERATION "THESIS"


A retaliatory raid that would be a large combined air strike against various ports and military establishments on Crete.  8 crews were chosen for this mission.  

Squadron Leader L.H. Folkard, RAFVR


FLIGHT CREW -  FA 390 - FIRST WAVE - 23.7.1943


Squadron Leader L.H. Folkard, RAFVR - POW

Flying Officer D.F. Hutchinson, RAAF - POW

Flying Officer W.W. Dyer, RAFVR -- POW

Warrant Officer K.S. Wedgwood - KIA


One of 8 crews selected for the "Thesis" Raid of Crete was to relieve pressure from the German operation "Huskey" - the Allied invasion of Sicily and avenge the execution of 100 Cretans who had been shot after assisting a Commando raid on the island.


454 were to provide 2 box formations of 4 aircraft each - each loaded with six 250 lb bombs.  A 230 mile flight.  The mission resulted in 5 aircraft lost over Crete.  


Folkard's crew were 100 feet above Suda Bay and the ground fire was intense, the aircraft was hit with serious damage.  Folkhard managed to crash land on a sandy beach near Heraklion.


 You can read more about this mission in Mark Lax's book "Alamein To The Alps".  .


Doug Hutchinson, an Australian describes in Mark's book his experience.... "I dragged Keith Wedgwood through the gap left by the broken turret, I dragged him clear of the burning aircraft, but he appeared to be dead.  I then had to turn my attention to the others who needed help."  During all of this Doug did not realise that part of his left foot was missing.



Buried at the Commonwealth War Cemetery, Suda Bay, Greece


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Lest We Forget

Keith Stuart WEDGWOOD