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The Airmen's Stories - P/O K Mathews


Kenneth Mathews was born in Feltham, Middlesex on 19th March 1916, the son of Fred and Elsie Mathews.

He attended Harrow County School from 1927 to 1933 and after leaving he joined the staff of the Royal Geographical Society as a Junior Assistant.

He joined the RAFVR about March 1939 as an Airman u/t Pilot. Called up on 1st September 1939, he completed his training at 8 FTS Montrose on No. 18 Course, which ran from 9th April to 26th July 1940.

He had married Phyllis Edna Goulding in October 1939 in Southampton.



Mathews was commissioned and arrived at 5 OTU Aston Down on 3rd August. After converting to Blenheims he joined 23 Squadron at Wittering on 18th August.

He commanded 534 Squadron, a Turbinlite Havoc unit at Tangmere, from September 1942 until its disbandment on 25th January 1943.

Mathews was killed on 20th October 1943 as a Squadron Leader with 25 Squadron, operating Mosquitos from Church Fenton.

He failed to return from a bomber-support sortie over Germany in Mosquito NFII DZ689. The cause is unknown, the aircraft coming down at the edge of a large lake, Sneekermeer, in Holland.

His navigator, F/O DC Burrows, baled out and was captured on landing. He was a PoW until the end of the war.

Mathews was 27. He is buried in Sneek Cemetery.


Above image courtesy of the International War Graves Photographic Project.

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