Frederick Henry Ruffle
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service number 175408
Died on the 23rd November 1944 aged 23 years.
Buried in the churchyard of Holy Trinity Church, High Hurstwood, East Sussex - grave 100.
Son of William and Ellen Elizabeth Ruffle; husband of Nellie Ruffle, of South Tottenham, Middlesex.
______________________________________________________________________________ Sussex Agricultural Express - Friday 26 November 1948IN MEMORIAM.RUFFLE
- Remembering with love and pride our beloved son. F/O Frederick Henry Ruffle, D.F.C. Killed flying 23rd November 1944 - Another year nearer "Until" - Mum and Dad.
Some of the basic details relating to F/O Ruffle have been obtained from the CWGC, The RAF Commands website and the Aviation Safety Network to whom I am grateful. I've just put them together and added a few bits that I've worked out myself and added the newspaper archives report.
Flying Officer Frederick Henry Ruffle was the Navigator on Mosquito MKII, serial No DD736 flying out of RAF Little Snoring, Norfolk. His pilot was Flying Officer J/18833 Charles James Preece RCAF. They were attached to 1692 BSTU (Bomber Support Training Unit). The 'Aviation Safety Network' website shows that the Mosquito "Spun into ground near Kings Lynn Norfolk on 23.11.44 Aircraft seen spiralling out of cloud, righted itself then spun into the ground at East Winch, Norfolk".
BSTUs were the Operational Training Units for prospective Bomber Command Pathfinder crews.
The Aviation Safety Network
also shows that :
The headstone for F/O Preece is at St Thomas a Becketts Church, Clapham, Bedfordshire and he has been linked to this accident as a result of identical date of death and from a dig team that have recovered parts of the aircraft
Fred Ruffle is buried in a war grave at Holy Trinity Church, High Hurstwood, East Sussex. The details of the accident were as described to his widow Nellie Kemp
Flying Officer Ruffle's D.F.C. was awarded for an action in October 1944 and awarded on the 1st December 1944 - therefore it would be a posthumous award.
The WW2 Awards website shows :
DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS (DFC)
Rank: Pilot Officer
Unit: No. 515 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on: December 1st, 1944
Action: Group citation:
"One night in October, 1944, these officers and airmen took part in an operation involving a mine-laying mission. Their task, which necessitated a high degree of skill and perfect co-ordination, was to detract the concentrated fire of the defences. Gun positions and search light defences were relentlessly attacked and a number of them put out of action. The results obtained reflect the greatest credit on the ability and resolution displayed by these officers and airmen, whose efforts contributed materially to the success of a hazardous mission.”
Details: Awarded simultaneously to:
Flight Lieutenant Reginald Arthur Adams
Flying Officer John Roy Lake
Pilot Officer Terrence Alfred Kenneth Groves
Pilot Officer Robert Edwin Preston
Flight Sergeant Robert Bell Dockeray
Flight Sergeant Fred Verity
Flying Officer Preece is buried in Bedfordshire . His CWGC entry shows :
PREECE, CHARLES JAMES
Date of Death:23/11/1944
Regiment/Service:Royal Canadian Air Force Grave Reference: Near S.E. Buttress.
Cemetery:CLAPHAM (ST. THOMAS OF CANTERBURY) CHURCHYARD
Attached is a photograph of Flying Officer Frederick Henry Ruffle's grave in High Hurstwood, East Sussex which I took today.