27.02.1945 464 Squadron Mosquito FB.VI PZ309 SB:Z Flt.Lt. John F. Filteau
Operation: Night Intruder
Date: 27th February 1945 (Tuesday)
Unit: 464 Squadron (RAAF)
Type: Mosquito FB.VI
Base: B.87 Rosieres-en-Santerre, France
Location: ½ mile west of Sovet, Belgium
Pilot: Flt.Lt. John Frederick Filteau J10125 RCAF Age 26. Killed
Nav: Fg.Off. H.I. Storen J45432 RCAF Age? Injured.
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking of at 19:26 hrs being part of a force of 11 aircraft from the Squadron detailed to attack enemy lines of communications behind the front. This included bombing and strafing trains, coaches, marshalling yards, motor transport and power stations.
According to the ORB:
”The aircraft did not return. The navigator bailed out and is safe but suffering from loss of memory. Consequently, it has not been possible to ascertain the fate of the pilot or what happened to the aircraft"
Correspondence uncovered from the US Military Police described that:
At approximately 21:00 hours, 27 February 1945, a Mosquito Bomber crashed ½ mile west of Sovet, Belgium. A civilian who witnessed the crash informed this headquarters that the plane was on fire while in the air. The bomb load that the plane was carrying exploded at the time of the crash.
Sgt. Victor R. De Vivo, 32642914, of this organisation arrived at the scene of the crash at 22:00 hours. Upon arriving Lt. G. Wagenseil, of the 506 MP Bn was present and he informed Sgt. De Vivo that he was in complete charge and would submit a full report to his headquarters. A closer investigation of the plane was not possible since the plane was still burning and there was a possibility of unexploded bombs.
While at the scene, cries for help were heard. Hurrying in the direction of the cries, Sgt. De Vivo came upon Flt.Lt. John F Fliteau, J10125 of the RCAF, He appeared to be seriously injured. An ambulance was called and Flt.Lt. Fliteau was taken to the 130th General Hospital, where he died later. The man's name, number and organisation were obtained from his identification tags.
Further correspondence uncovered from a Col. A.L Bonham-Carter, a British Liaison Officer described that:
The first Col. Bonham-Carter heard about Fg.Off. Storen was that he walked into the Headquarters of the 296th US Military Police Company at Namur about 08:00 hours (the morning after the crash). He immediately arranged for him to be taken round to his quarters at the hotel and for his batman to see that he had a bath and breakfast etc. At the same time he rang up HQ. 2nd, TAF notifying the crash and requesting transport.
Later, his batman rang him and stated that he was certain the Fg.Off. Storen was suffering from concussion and that a doctor should see him as soon as possible. He arranged this with the 50th Field Hospital where he was taken later. Col. Bonham-Carter unfortunately, arrived at the hotel shortly after he had been taken to the hospital so never actually saw him but learnt that evening, that he was to be evacuated to England.
Col. A.L Bonham-Carter went on to describe:
"I have personally visited the scene of the crash. There was practically nothing left of the plane. From statements of civilians the plane was on fire while in the air and the bomb load exploded at the time of the crash, so both pilot and navigator must have baled out. Flt.Lt. Filteau was found at not a great distance from the scene of the crash."
Flt.Lt. John Frederick Filteau. Hotton War Cemetery. Grave III.C.6. Born on the 8th September 1918 in Calgary, Alberta. Son of Frederick Francis and Verna Hannah (née Hamley) Filteau. (His father predeceased him in 1938). Husband to Mary Catherine (née McGuffin) Filteau of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Aircrew Remembered has been contacted by Jennifer Smith, a niece of Flt.Lt. Filteau, and informed us that Mary Catherine Filteau passed away in February 2021, aged 101.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks sources as quoted below.