PvH War Grave Mathews, General Cemetery Sneek

Kerkhoflaan Sneek

Kenneth Mathews 1916-1943 (Commonwealth War Casualty)

On October 20, 1943, a Mosquito night fighter from an RAF squadron stationed at Church Fenton Air Base, North Yorkshire (UK), carried out a so-called "intruder" mission. On board were pilot Kenneth Mathews and navigator Derek Charles Burrow. Near the Zoutepoel, on the eastern shore of the Sneekermeer, their plane was intercepted by a German night fighter. In the process, Mathew's Mosquito was fired upon. After a gliding flight, the plane hit the water surface of the Sneekermeer lake. The plane continued to slide until it was stuck half on the bank, half in the water. Kenneth Mathews was killed in the process. His navigator managed to clamber out of the aircraft at the last moment. He was subsequently made a prisoner of war, but Burrow survived the war.

Since the shooting down of this Mosquito was never claimed by a German pilot, it can be doubted that there was a German night fighter. It is possible that Mathew's plane was shot down by mistake by another British night fighter. Indeed, eight Mosquitos left that night for similar actions.