Checkpoint Dec 2014

Written by Reverend Henk Fonteyn, here’s an article about the Hees ceremony in the December 2014 issue of Dutch veterans’ newsletter ‘Checkpoint’. Henk served with the Dutch Army in Afghanistan four times, and is now retired.

Checkpoint dec 2014. nr 10. p24-25

Checkpoint dec 2014. nr 10. p24-25 (1)

For those not familiar with Dutch, here’s a translation into English thanks to the diligence of Mr. Everard Bakker…

checkpoint 2014-12 Br

Royal Air Force Air Historical Branch

This department of the RAF deals with enquiries about various aspects of RAF history, whether from serving and former members of the RAF, or from other interested parties, for example researchers and the next of kin of personnel killed in action. They are constrained by Data Protection legislation and other factors in deciding what is appropriate to release, and to whom. Here’s their website…

Some of their formerly-exclusive holdings, such as Aircraft Movement Cards (Form 78) are already released to the RAF Museum London…

and other documents (such as Operations Record Books over a certain age for individual Squadrons) are available via the National Archives…

Supermarine Spitfire LF.IX MK365 of RCAF 421 Sqdn

The pilot RCAF J/16295 F/O John (‘Jack’) M. Calvert reportedly made an emergency landing in this airframe in the vicinity of Nijmegen on 2 Oct 1944, after it sustained damage during battle with FW190s between Arnhem and Nijmegen. He claimed one FW190 damaged and another probably destroyed, was unharmed and returned to flying straight away. The same was not true of the airframe, which allegedly was later struck off charge. Here’s a summary of the Movement Card on Avialogs…

…and here’s a link for RCAF 421 Sqdn with a photo including Jack Calvert…

Looking for further details of the landing site, as well as anything more on the pilot or the airframe. Feel free to weigh in if you have anything relevant!

Avro Lancaster III ED969 (GT-S) of 156 Squadron

This aircraft crashed at 0130hrs on 9 Oct 1943 at Altendorfer Moor near Osten, on an operation out of RAF Warboys to Bremen. The crew were:

RAF 156081 P/O Francis John Fry (P) KIA
RCAF J/23472 F/O W. C. Poole (Nav) POW
RAF 1453171 Sgt. Ralph Eric Dykes (WOp) KIA
RAF 1723161 Sgt. Edward Roy Boreham (F/E) KIA
RCAF R/127747 Sgt. A. C. E. Green (B/A) POW
RAF 1325772 W/O Percy Joseph Jennings (M/U Gnr) KIA
RAAF 414895 F/S A. H. Burrows (R/G) POW

Here’s the Loss Card (pgs. 32-33)…

Johannes ‘Joop’ Jillings

On the left in this photo, this man served with the RDNAS and RAF 320 (Dutch) Squadron.

There’s a memorial taking place on 18 December, and we’re urgently seeking relatives who might want to know about it or to attend. He was born 15 Feb 1916 in Sneek, and died on 29 Dec 1944 in Boncelles during the Battle of the Bulge in Mitchell II FV928 (EV-K) of 180 Squadron out of RAF Melsbroek to Vielsalm. He married Margaret Blakeborough (1 Nov 1914 – 29 Jan 1986) on 21 Aug 1943, and his son, also Johannes Jillings (‘John’) was born 25 Apr 1945 in Morpeth and died about Jun 1971 in the Derby area. Other possible family names associated with his family tree are Abbot, Beemster, Punter and Noordeloos, although these are less sure.

Any connection to anyone you know? Please get in touch without delay!

Thank you.

Avro Lancaster I W4842 (ZN-H) 106 Sqn 28 May 1943

This 5 Group Lancaster, named ‘Fema Dora’, left RAF Syerston at 2200hrs on 27 May 1943 on an operation to Essen. It was badly damaged, and on the return flight over the Netherlands bounced off the waters near Warmond before coming to rest by happy accident on Lakerpolder (Google Maps link…),+Netherlands/@52.2042523,4.5315724,2556m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x47c5cc3b7f3e8d1b:0x2a422e6cf6787361

Based on the 106 Sqn. ORBs, the crew consisted of:

RAF 1336699 Sgt. Edward A. (‘Ted’) Robbins (Capt./P.)
RAF 645605 Sgt. John Seedhouse (Flt. Engr.)
RAF 1433571 Leslie C. (‘Les’) Carpenter (Nav.)
RAF 1113920 Leslie (‘Les’) Calvert (Air Bmr.)
RAF 1125243 George F. Calvert (WOp.)
RAF 1379964 Sgt. Howard J. (‘Spud’) Taylor (Mid-Upr. Gnr.)
RAF 1410554 Sgt. John M. (‘Jack’) Denton (R. Gnr.)

They were recovered by Dutch locals, but unfortunately fell into German hands and were made POWs.

Here’s sketch drawn by Les Calvert in David Layne’s father POW Wartime Log…

Here are some other links to Les Calvert’s story…

Accounts differ as to the fate of the airframe. One source has that it was broken up soon afterwards, but another tale says that it was recovered by the Luftwaffe and possibly repainted in German colours.

106 Squadron relocated to RAF Metheringham in November 1943.

Here, thanks to Dick Breedijk, is another album of photos relating to the aircraft, the crash site, and the crew…

…and here’s a memoir including Howard ‘Spud’ Taylor…

Czech Spitfire pilots identified!

In response to a couple of recent Twitter posts by aficionado Jacqueline T. Cotton…

and thanks to the diligence of Tom Dolezal, an expert on the WWII Czechoslovak squadrons, here (family names first) are the names of the men pictured…

“OK, single airman foto is FÜRST Bohomír, a bio is here:

which also has that foto.

The group foto is at Prague Ruzyne airport 5 August 1945,

and for id left > right in back row:

Maršík Josef – 313 Sqn
Zouhar Karel – – 313 Sqn
Masařík František – 313 Sqn
Vavřínek František – – 313 Sqn
Liškutín Miroslav DFC – 312 Sqn
Skirka Jindřich – 310 Sqn
Vindiš František DFC – 310 Sqn
Mlejnecký František – 312 Sqn
Sokol Josef – 310 Sqn
Špaček Otto – 313 Sqn
Dobrovolný Jaroslav – 313 Sqn
Sláma Karel – 313 Sqn
Střihavka Jaromír – 310 Sqn
Palička Vladimír – 313 Sqn
Stryk Karel – 313 Sqn
Velvarský Bohuslav – 313 Sqn
Ruprecht Josef – 313 Sqn

in front:

Kučera Otmar DFC. – 313 Sqn”

There’s plenty more about WWII Czechoslovak airmen and their squadrons on Tom’s blog here…