13/14.07.1944 No. 37 Squadron Wellington X MF121 Lt. Daniel R. Hjelm SAAF
Operation: Marshalling Yards
Date: 13/14th July 1944 (Thursday/Friday)
Unit: No. 37 Squadron
Type: Wellington X
Base: RAF Tortorella, Italy
Location: Not known - target area perhaps.
Pilot: Lt. Daniel Reinhold Hjelm 328638V SAAF Age 24. Killed
Pilot 2: Fl/Sgt. Alexander Barr Hart AUS/426339 RAAF Age 22. Killed
Nav: Lt. J.P. Blanc 211492V SAAF Age 28. Killed
Air/Bmr: F/O. William Frederick Freeman 156411 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Dennis Victor Barnes 1048199 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. James Thomas Welsh 1585063 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Relatives of Fl/Sgt. Hart would very much like to make contact with other relatives of this crew.
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from the landing base at Tortorella, Italy at 20.27 hrs to attack the Lambrate marshalling yards in Milan.
Second pilot to Wellington MF121 - Fl/Sgt. Alexander Barr Hart (courtesy Kristina Gilson)
The fuel load taken was 750 gallons with a bomb load of 9 x 500 lbs.
Nothing further was heard from the aircraft after take off, it failed to return.
Above: area of operations, below: 37 Squadron Wellingtons in formation.
Milan War Cemetery (courtesy Elena Rossi)
Initially buried in Limoto Cemetery prior to being moved in 1947 to the British Cemetery in Milan. (together with 5 others - ‘Limoto’ is as described on official documents, although we are unable to place this)
Lt. Daniel Reinhold Hjelm. Milan War Cemetery. Grave II.C.13. Son of Klas A. and Mina Hjelm of South Africa.
Fl/Sgt. Alexander Barr Hart. Milan War Cemetery. Grave II.C.11. Son of Harry and Bethea Sword Hart, of ‘Leabrae, Lily Avenue, Yeronga, Queensland, Australia. Born on 11th June 1922. Enlisted 20th June 1942.
Lt. J.P Blanc. Milan War Cemetery. Grave II.C.6. Son of Dr. M.A. Blanc and Mrs. N. Blanc, of Melsetter, Southern Rhodesia.
F/O. William Frederick Freeman. Milan War Cemetery. Grave II.C.15. Son of Frederick Jonas Freeman and Kate Bartlett Freeman, of Southfields, Surrey. England.
Fl/Sgt. Dennis Victor Henry Barnes. Milan War Cemetery. Grave II.C.15. Son of Henry Sidney and Marguerite Elizabeth Barnes, of Lee, London, England.
Sgt. James Thomas Welsh. Milan War Cemetery. Coll. grave VI. D. 1-7. Son of James and Annie Maria Welsh, of Dagenham, Essex, England.
Sources for further details our thanks to the following, Kristina Gilson from Australia - relative of Fl/Sgt. Hart. National Archives of Australia. Elena Rossi for cemetery photograph. Commonwealth War Graves Commission ‘RAAF Database’.