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An Air Gunner in the Royal Air Force, Flight Sergeant Matthew Miller Hamilton NZ42325 Royal New Zealand Air Force was killed when his Douglas Boston bomber  was shot down on a hill near Vallecorsa, a small village in Italy. Two other of his crew were killed but one survived  and crawled from the wreckage with a broken leg.

Luigi Ceci was in hiding with his family and watched as German Soldiers raced to the crash scene and removed the bodies, Luigi later recovered the bodies and made coffins for them and buried the three airmen.

Sergeant Hamilton was buried 4 times, once by the Germans, once by Luigi again in the Village and finally in the War Cemetery at Cassino.

The crew member who survived was Mick Bradley.

Crew details

P/O.   JENKINS.A.P. (Allen Phill). NZ413078. RNZAF Pilot.
F/Sgt. HAMILTON.M.M. (Matthew Miller). 42325 RNZAF. A/G
Sgt    Moxey PJD "Percy"   1318956  W.Op./Air Gnr. RAF Volunteer Reserve
of Exeter, Devon. UK aged 22
F/O    Bradley AE "Mick" ?127117 Navigator RAF of Worthing ,Sussex. UK

The Demise Of The Boston Bomber

(From For Your Tomorrow Vol.II. Page 214 by Errol W.Martyn.)

Armed Reconnaissance NW of Cassino, over the Ceprano-Arce-Frossinone area.

114 Squadron, RAF (Celone { Foggia No.1}, Italy -232 Wing, Desert Air Force, Mediterranean Allied Tactical air Force).

Boston IIIA BZ365 - took off at 2125, the only one of 10 despatched on intruder operations during the night not to return. Hit in the tail at low-level by flak, apparently killing or mortally wounding the two air gunners. With the Boston shuddering violently and difficult to control, the pilot coaxed it up to provide sufficient height for the navigator  to bale out. As he left the tail broke away and BZ365 immediately rolled over on its back and dived into a hillside, where it exploded on impact. Although suffering from a broken leg from his low bale out, the navigator, with the assistance of an Italian family, avoided capture and returned to the Squadron on 28 May. The three who died were buried in a collective grave in the cemetery at Vallecorsa, 20km south of Frosinone, but were later reinterred at Cassino.

P/O. Jenkins was aged 27, had 474 flying hours and had carried out 11 operational flights.

F/Sgt. Hamilton was aged 29, had 169 flying hours and had carried out 11 operational flights.


Flight Sergeant Matthew Miller Hamilton NZ42325 Royal New Zealand Air Force

New Zealand

1st January 1942         Dad went to Levin to sign up.
25th January 1942      enlisted at the Initial Training Wing Levin ( Flight 3A Course 31)
26th February 1942    Drill Hall , Auckland
2nd March 1942         left from Auckland for Canada

On Arrival in Canada Dad was posted on the

11th April, 1942           to No 3 Wireless School , Winnipeg, Manitoba & then to Composite Training School . Trenton , Ontario
12th September 1942  he proceeded to No 9 Bombing & Gunnery School, Mont Joli, Quebec
4th   December 1942    he was awarded his gunner's badge & promoted to Sergeant
28th December 1942   he was posted to No . 34 Operational Training Unit , Pennfield Ridge New Brunswick
27th February 1943     he proceeded to No 1 "Y" Depot to await embarkment to the UK

United Kingdom

18th March 1943       found Dad at No 3 Personal Reception Centre ,Bournemouth
4th June 1943             he was promoted to Flight / Sergeant
6th June 1943            Dad was posted to No 484 Squadron at Methwold & later Sculthorpe , both in Norfolk (this was a New Zealand Squadron )
Later in June 1943     he was attached to No 1482 Gunnery Flight , West Raynham, Norfolk at the conclusion he returned to No 487 Squadron
15th December 1943   to No 307 Ferry Training Unit , Melton Mowbray , Leicestershire
7th February 1944   as a member of the crew of a bostom bomber he left England on posting to No 114 squadron
3rd March 1944      arrived in Foggia, Italy
21/22nd of April 1944  Dad was killed when his plane was shot down by German heavy flak

Claire Sinclair Paterson
Invercargill, New Zealand

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