02.02.1945 No. 56 Squadron Tempest V JN808 US-G Sgt. J.K. Holden
Operation: Air defence/Ground attack
Date: 2nd February 1945
Unit: No. 56 Squadron
Type: Hawker Tempest MkV
Base: B-60 - RAF Grimbergen Belgium
Location: near Elze, Niedersachsen, Germany
Pilot: Sgt. John Kenneth Holden 1239020 RAFVR Age 23. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
During this period of the war the allies were concentrating on attacks on the German retreating forces with very little opposition from the Luftwaffe. However the now very experienced 88 mm flak units caused huge casualties to the RAF, even if shot down behind enemy lines and the pilot survived the captured aircrew were very often shot out of hand by German civilians or troops.
On 2 February 1945 Sgt. Holden attacked a train at low altitude near Elze understood to have been hit by anti aircraft fire and hit the ground at 11:10 hrs. He was killed and his Tempest was totally destroyed. Its remains were widely scattered on the Teufelsberg heights.
Above grave of Sgt. Holden with his parents visiting shortly after the end of the war.
Sgt. John Kenneth Holden. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave 11.G.15. Son of Herbert and Eva Holden, of 61 Fair Road, Wibsey, Bradford, Yorkshire, England.
Researched Michel Beckers for Aircrew Remembered January 2018. Photographs of Sgt. Holden, Michel Beckers collection, with thanks to Wolfgang Buchhorn for grave photograph.