The Airmen's Stories - F/Lt. M R Atkinson
Matthew Richard Atkinson, of Gosforth, Northumberland was born on 13th December 1915 in Newcastle. His parents were Richard Littledale Atkinson (1881-1961) and Rachel Atkinson (nee Billson 1880-1970).
He was awarded Aero Certificate 13862 at Newcastle-on-Tyne Aero Club on 20th May 1936, his occupation was declared as 'motor sales'.
He joined the RAF on a short service commission and began his elementary flying training as a pupil pilot in November 1936.
He was posted to 11 FTS Wittering on 6th February 1937 and after completing his training he joined 52 Squadron at Upwood, Huntingdonshire on 4th September 1937. At that time 52 was using Audax and Hart light bombers but was re-equipped with Battles in 1939. The squadron was disbanded in early April 1940.
Atkinson volunteered for Fighter Command and on 20th September 1940 he joined 43 Squadron at Usworth.
He married Winifred Hilda Molteni in January 1942 in Northumberland.
He was killed on 26th June 1942 as a Squadron Leader flying in Wellington IC, Z9812 'Z' of No. 1481 Flight, which crashed into the North Sea off the Dutch coast during the third '1000 Bomber' raid against Bremen.
Atkinson was 26 and is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, panel 65.
Also lost were:
Sgt. W Waller RAFVR
Sgt. AN Blackley RAAF
Sgt. DH McIntosh RAAF
Sgt. JG O’Sullivan RAAF
(Above image courtesy of Dean Sumner).