Denis Joseph Passadoro - Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

WW2 Memorial Profiles - West Mersea

79476 Flight Lieutenant
117 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Born 13 December 1911, Genoa, Italy
Died 5 February 1943
Buried in Tobruk War Cemetery. Inscription is "Remembered with Honour". In Memory of Flight Lieutenant 79476, 117 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who died on 05 February 1943
Commemorated on West Mersea War Memorial

Denis Joseph Passadoro of The Firs, West Mersea was the younger son of Mr & Mrs Howard Passadoro. Denis had a brother Charles who was in in the Calcutta Light Horse and and was killed in a riding accident 13 April 1940, and he had a sister Audrey Caroline who married Theodore Charles Tapp and also lived at The Firs.

The Passadoro family moved settled in Mersea in the 1920s and by 1939 all three siblings with their families were living in The Firs. Their father Howard has an interesting background. He was born in Newport, Monmouthshire, was also known as Carlo Howard Passadoro, and was a Welsh-Italian footballer who won four Italian Football Championship titles with Genoa C.F.C. between 1899 and 1903. His parents were Genoese and his father is listed in the 1881 census as a coal exporter living in the Roath area of Cardiff.

Denis entered the RAF May 1940 and in August 1940 was sent to the Middle East.
From RAF Record of Service
Dennis Joseph Passadoro. Father deceased. Born 13 December 1911 Genoa, Italy. Number 79476
Civilian Occupation: 1928 - 1934. Manager of Station Branch. The Gramaphone Co. Hayes, Middx.
1.2.41 Acting Flying Officer
1.6.42 Flight Lieut (Temp)

Married 22 June 1942 St Joseph's (RC), Cairo
Next of Kin: Villa 53, Road 12, Maadi (?), Cairo, Egypt
Mrs E.O Passadoro Mother, West Mersea Essex
Mrs Easton 719 Currey Rd, Durban, S. Africa.
Medical Boards 21.5.40 (first entry)
Movements 27.5.40 A.M.U. (first entry)
4.8.40 H.Q. R.A.F. Middle East
5.2.43 Killed in Action. Casualty to Aircraft.
Permanent Home Address The Firs, West Mersea.
[The Service Record sheets do not mention 117 Squadron.]

From Operations Record Book for RAF Station, El Adem. National Archives AIR 28/252
Hudson EW877 crashed on take off at 0435 hours. 12 occupants were killed and one seriously injured (died later). The occupants were:- Major General H. Williams, Col. C.F.D. Baker. F/Lt H.O. Knowles. F/Lt D.J. Passadoro. W/O A.G. Eddy (Aus 406240) [ Pilot ]. S/Ldr. R.J. Peacock. 928686 F/Sgt. Corfield. L.J. 642375. F/Sgt Hancorn. B. 614842 F/Sgt. Dixon G.W. 932188 Stg Manning J.H. 1451849 Sgt. Toy. T.C.
Mail and important documents were salvaged.
Funeral of victims took place at Tobruk Cemetary. W/Cdr Vincent and a party of Senior N.C.O.s and other airmen attended. Rev. Haythornthwaite C.C.S. officiated.
Court of Inquiry on Hudson EW 877 crash assembled. G/Cpt Griffiths HQRAFME presided.
President and members of Court of Inquiry returned to Cairo.

79476 Flight Lieutenant Denis Joseph Passadoro
On the 5 February 1943, Flt Lt Passadoro was an Intelligence Officer on board Hudson EW877 of 117 Sqn when it crashed shortly after take off from El Adam at 4.35am killing 11 on board and dangerously injuring 1. It was suspected that the cause of the accident was due to trouble in the starboard engine but there was insufficient evidence to establish the primary cause.

117 Squadron RAF moved to Egypt in November 1941 to provide transport services. It was equipped with Lockheed Hudson light bombers - a military version of the Lockheed Super Electra airliner. The Hudson normally carried a crew of 6.
Denis Passadoro was probably a passenger on the aircraft.

Essex County Standard - February 13th, 1943
We regret to record the death of Flight Lieut Den(n)is Joseph Passadoro R.A.F.V.R. who has been killed on active service in the Middle East. Flight Lieut Passadoro was the younger son of Mrs Passadoro of The Firs, West Mersea and had been mentioned in despatches. He was married in June last to Miss Suzanne Easton of Durban. His elder brother Charles was killed in the earlier part of the war while on active service in India. Both Charles and Den(n)is were widely known and liked in the district and were very good on all outdoor sports, the water especially attracting their attention at mersea, where they spent many happy hours afloat, and taking part in regattas etc. The greatest sympathy will be extended to their mother and to Mrs Tapp, their only sister.

Passadoro - On February 5, 1943 on active service in the Middle East, Flight Lieutenant Den(n)is Joseph Passadoro, R.A.F.V.R. son of Mrs Passadoro of The Firs, West Mersea, Essex and of the late Howard Passadoro of Genoa, Italy and husband of Suzanne (née Easton).

With thanks to
RAF Air Historical Branch
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Roger Bullen
Essex County Standard

Source: Mersea Museum