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Desmond George Ridings

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Portrait, Weekly News - This image may be subject to copyright

Portrait, Weekly News - This image may be subject to copyright

Identity

  • Title
  • Forenames
    Desmond George AWMM
  • Surname
    Ridings AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    • NZ412354 AWMM
    • WWII 412354 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi / Hapū / Waka / Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    12 September 1921 RNZAF Biographies (R17845615) RNZAF Biographies (R17845615)
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    • WW2 Parents: Mr. & Mrs. E. G. Alderton of Whangarei AWMM
    • WW2 Mrs. F. M. Alderton (M) 67 Mains Avenue, Whangarei AWMM
  • Relationship status

Service

Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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Embarkations

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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes
    Killed in Action, Cause of Death AWMM

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Educated at Glenbervie and Hora Hora primary schools, he later became a pupil of Whangarei High School and on completing his education, joined the staff of Bargain Stores. He was a very keen sportsman, prominent in both hockey and yachting circles.

    Originally reported missing in May, his death was officially presumed dead after advice from the Red Cross HQ in Geneva. He was buried at Dortmund, Germany.

    He had been a member of the Pathfinders, their role being to locate targets and light them up with glares in order that the following aircraft were able to bomb more accurately. Before his death, he gained membership of the exclusive Caterpillar Club by leaping from his aircraft when an electrical storm damaged it. Enlisting in the RNZAF, he left NZ in 1941, and after receiving six months training in Canada was transferred to England. Ranked as an air gunner when he left NZ he was promoted to sergeant wireless operator in Canada, and in England was appointed to the rank of flight-sergeant.

    During the first phases of his operational flying, he was serving in Wellington bombers but when reported missing was serving in a Lancaster. He had completed many raids over enemy territory and was over the Ruhr when reported missing.

    In 1998 Adriaan de Winter and Ton van Alphen undertook a project in the Reichswald Forest Cemetery photographing all the headstones of New Zealanders buried there.

    Attended Hora Hora and Whangarei District High Schools (Source: RNZAF Biographies (R17845615)) AWMM
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Death

About death

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  • Death
    5 May 1943 AWMM
    Age 22 AWMM
    GermanyEurope AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany AWMM 3:00 AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference

Memorials

Memorial

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  • Memorial name
    Auckland War Memorial Museum, World War 2 Hall of Memories AWMM

Roll of Honour

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Sources

Sources

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  • External links
  • References
    • Northland roll of honour and servicemen of WW II [electronic resource]. (2002). Whangarei, N.Z.: Returned Services Association. AWMM
    • Martyn, E. (1998-2008). For Your Tomorrow (Vols. 1-3). Christchurch, N.Z.: Volplane Press. AWMM
    • This record is a work in progress and was partially compiled from the “Database of New Zealand Airmen who took part in Advanced Air Training in Canada during WW2”. Researched by Ivan and Lorna Lindsey of Tauranga. N.Z. 2003 – 2012. Reproduced with permission. AWMM
    • RNZAF [Royal New Zealand Air Force] Biographies of Deceased Personnel 1939 - 1945 (Bound Volumes) - Qu - Sl. Archives New Zealand (R17845615) - Former archives reference: AIR118 AWMM
    • List of RNZAF [Royal New Zealand Air Force] Personnel - List of Personnel Killed or Missing in Various Theatres, 1940 - 1945. [Missing - But Presumed Dead on Lapse of Time - Officers, Airmen]. Archives New Zealand (R17845743) AWMM
    • Please note that the 12 volumes of the "RNZAF [Royal New Zealand Air Force] Biographies of Deceased Personnel 1939-1945" held at Archives NZ (formerly known as AIR118) should be used in conjunction with Errol Martyn's "For Your Tomorrow". FYT reflects detailed examination of all of the AIR118 bios which contain many inaccuracies and omissions. AWMM
    • List of RNZAF [Royal New Zealand Air Force] Personnel - Embarkation Lists, November 1940 - July 1942. Archives New Zealand, Wellington (R17845762). AWMM

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