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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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56 Squadron Crest
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

Serial: JN808

Code: US-G

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.

Buriel details:

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.

MB - 10.01.2018

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 and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), 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', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 10 January 2018, 23:12

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