27th October 1944 540 Squadron Mosquito PR.XVI NS654 F/O. Holland DFC
Operation: Photographic Reconnaissance
Date: 27th October 1944 (Friday)
Unit: No. 540 Squadron photoreconnaissance squadron (motto: Sine qua non - 'Indispensable') Coastal Command. 106 Group
Type: Mosquito PR.XVI
Base: RAF Benson, Oxfordshire
Location: Steinfeld, near Rostock, Germany
Pilot: F/O. Keith Ross Holland DFC. Aus/410234 RAAF Age 22. Killed
Nav: F/O. Geoffrey John Bloomfield 151271 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 10:45 hrs. Lost on operations when his aircraft crashed at Steinfeld, near Rostock, Germany, while heading for Stettin-Berlin area to carry out further photographic reconnaissance.
It is thought that they were possibly shot down by Fw. Wolfgang Seeling flying an Me262. (courtesy Kracker Archive)
The Germans recovered the bodies of the crew and buried them on the 30th October 1944 at the Wernemuende New Cemetery in plot C.F.R in graves marked 1 and 2 and marked as unknown. An American graves team exhumed the bodies in August 1947 and moved them to the central identification depot at Strasbourg.
A motor car was purchased by F/O. Holland together with a F/O. Jack Hector Irwin. F/O. Irwin was killed on the 10th May 1944 together with his navigator, F/O. Leopold Moody. Also with 504 Squadron on Mosquito PR.XVI LR421.There had been confusion on the ID of F/O. Bloomfield as a letter written by F/O. Moody was found on his body - reported as being washed ashore on the 31st August 1944?)
DFC Citation: London Gazette of 7th March 1944 mentioned his 'courage on numerous operations against the enemy'.
Reinterred from Wernemuende in 1948.
F/O. Keith Ross Holland DFC. Heverlee War Cemetery. Grave 6.E.5. Born on the 24th September 1922 at Wentworth, New South Wales. surveyor and civil engineer before enlisting in Melbourne on the 5th December 1941, embarked for training in Canada under the Empire Air Training Scheme on the 23rd June 1942, arriving in the UK on the 27th March 1943. After service with the RAF's 543 Squadron, a photographic reconnaissance unit flying Spitfires, he underwent conversion training to fly Mosquitos and joined 540 Squadron RAF, another photographic reconnaissance unit. Son of Herbert George and Ada Elspeth Holland, of Mildura, Victoria, Australia. Grave inscription: 'A Good Scout His Duty Nobly Done, One Of Australia's Best'.
F/O. Geoffrey John Bloomfield. Heverlee War Cemetery. Grave 6.E.4. Son of Robert James Bloomfield, and of Gertrude Elizabeth Bloomfield, of Wallasey, Cheshire, England. Grave inscription: 'To The Everlasting Memory Of A Very Dear Son And Brother'.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to NAA , Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Kracker Archive, AWMN , other sources as quoted below: