The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. L A W Rasmussen
Lauritz Andrew Woodney Rasmussen was born in Auckland, New Zealand on 10th September 1921, the son of Frederick Woodney Rasmussen and Annie Shaw Rasmussen.
He was educated at Auckland Grammar School. In early 1939 he joined the 3rd Auckland Regiment as a territorial soldier.
At the outbreak of war Rasmussen volunteered for aircrew duties. He reported to the Ground Training School, Weraroa on 18th December 1939 and moved to the Air Observers' School, Ohakea in mid-January 1940 for a Lewis gunnery course.
Rasmussen sailed for the UK on 26th April in the RMS Rangitiki. On 17th July he was posted to 5 OTU Aston Down and, after being awarded his air-gunner's badge, he joined 264 Squadron at Kirton-in-Lindsey on 29th August.
At 2205 on 4th September 1940 he was crewed with F/O DKC O'Malley in Defiant N1628, they were ordered to take off on an interception patrol. For some reason the aircraft remained at low altitude until striking the ground near Northorpe, about 3 miles west of the airfield. Both men were killed.
Rasmussen is buried in Kirton-in-Lindsey Burial Ground.
He was the youngest of the New Zealanders who took part in the Battle of Britain and had only 19 hours as an Air Gunner at the time of his death.