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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.


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55 Squadron Crest
02/03.08.1944 No 55 Squadron Martin Baltimore FW553 J P/O Jack Dean

Operation: Attack barges, River Po Estuary, Lombardy, Italy

Date: 2/3rd August 1944 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No. 55 Squadron

Type: Martin Baltimore V

Serial: FW553

Code: J

Base: Cecina, Tuscany, Italy

Location: Frassinelle Polesine area, Italy (1)

Pilot: P/O. Jack Dean 183397 RAFVR Age 27 Killed (2)

Nav: P/O. Donald William Noyes 183409 RAFVR Age 24 Killed (3)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: W/O. Leonard Fynn 1121140 RAFVR Age 23 Killed (4)

Air/Gnr: W/O. Clifford Tom Crawley 1390092 RAFVR Age 23 Killed (5)

REASON FOR LOSS:

Ten aircraft from the Squadron took off from Cecina airstrip for a night operation to attack barges in the River Po Estuary and on the east coast of Italy. The aircraft were also to patrol roads in the Florence - Forli areas. Both barges and Military targets were successfully attacked. Nothing was heard from Pilot Officer Jack Dean's aircraft after take-off. It may have been shot down by a night fighter or hit by flak and crashed in the Frassinelle Polesine area near Rovigo

Martin Baltimore aircraft based at Cecina, Italy (courtesy IWM) and bombing of the Po River, Italy (courtesy Australian War Memorial)

Map showing the area of the crash near Rovigo, Italy

Cecina airstrip was just 3 km from the town of Cecina and under a 1000 mtrs from the coast. The airstrip came under Allied control in June 1944

Jack Dean, Donald William Noyes, Leonard Fynn and Clifford Tom Crawley had all trained together and arrived at No 55 Squadron in September 1943. They were all due to be posted off the Squadron on the 3 August 1944.

Jack Dean front row 4th from the right (courtesy Ian Warburton) Can you identify any of these men?

Burial details:

Left: Padua War Cemtery. Padua War Cemetery lies in the zone of the Allied breakthrough in the spring of 1945 when, despite some resistance, the town was captured by Indian troops. (courtesy CWGC) Middle: P/O. Donald William Noyes is remembered on the Pontypridd War Memorial (courtesy Helen -. Right: W/O. Leonard Fynn is commemorated on the Winsford War Memorial, Cheshire

The crew were first buried in Frassinella (1) (it is presumed that the aircraft crashed in that area) and were re buried in the British Empire Cemetery, Padua which is now Padua War Cemetery on 9 April 1946

F/Sgt. Jack Dean (courtesy Ian Warburton)

P/O. Jack Dean. Padua War Cemetery. Grave Ref: Coll grave II. G. 6-9. Son of Edward and Edith Annie Dean of Huyton, Lancashire. M.P.S. (Lond) (2) Flight Sergeant Jack Dean 658788 was serving with No 55 Squadron 26 September 1943 and was awarded a 'Good Conduct Medal' 22 June 1944. Jack had just been promoted to commission as Pilot Offices 21 July 1944 as per London Gazette 10 October 1944. Jack was a qualified pharmacist before first enlisting in the Army and then transferring to the RAF. At the time of his death Jack's address was Police House, Archway Road, Huyton Nr. Liverpool

P/O. Donald William Noyes. Padua War Cemetery. Grave Ref: Coll grave II. G. 6-9. Son of William Rhys Noyes and Margaret Eleanor Noyes of Ewenny, Glamorgan (3) Flight Sergeant Donald William Noyes 933165 was serving with No 55 Squadron 26 September 1943 and was promoted to Warrant Officer 1 October 1943. Donald is remembered on the Pontypridd Roll of Honour

W/O. Leonard Fynn. Padua War Cemetery. Grave Ref: Coll grave II. G. 6-9. Son of William and Lucy Fynn of Wharton, Winsford, Cheshire (4) Sergeant Leonard Fynn 1121140 was serving with No 55 Squadron 26 September 1943 and was promoted to Flight Sergeant 1 May 1943 and to Warrant Officer 1 May 1944. At the time of his death Leonard's address was 30 Princess Street, Winsford, Cheshire. Leonard is commemorated on the Winsford War Memorial, Cheshire

W/O. Clifford Tom Crawley. Padua War Cemetery. Grave Ref: Coll grave II. G. 6-9. Son of Clifford and Dora Crawley of Bellingham, London (5) Flight Sergeant Clifford Tom Crawley 1390092 was serving with No 55 Squadron 26 September 1943 and was promoted to Temporary Warrant Officer 16 July 1944

Researched by: Kate Tame Aircrew Remembered and for all the relatives and friends of the crew. With special thanks to Ian Warburton cousin of P/O Jack Dean, Carl Rogerson - Carls Cam, Helen - Geograph British and Ireland Project, British Newspapers Archive, and other research sources as indicated below

KT. Page uploaded 03.06.2016

Acknowledgements: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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