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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.
Further data available at Allied Losses & Incidents database

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350 Squadron Crest
23.01.1945 No.350 Squadron Spitfire XIV NH711 Fl/Sgt. Huens

Operation: Armed Recce

Date: 23rd January 1945 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 350 Squadron (Belgian - 11 Group)

Type: Spitfire XIV

Serial: NH711

Code: MN-?

Base: ALG: Y.32 Ophoven, Belgium

Location: Heckhalenfeld, Germany

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Robert Nicolas Huens 1899804 RAFVR Age 25 Killed


The family of Kathleen Dunphy would like to make contact with the pilot's family to return a photograph she has held since his loss - contact us in the first instance.


REASON FOR LOSS:

During an armed reconnaissance flight with 2 over Spitfires from the squadron over the area of St Vith a German stronghold being an important road and railway junction they came under fire from a German anti-aircraft battery based near the town.

Spitfire NH711 was the only one hit and it is thought the pilot was killed instantly, the aircraft coming down a short distance away at Heckhalenfeld, just over the border into Germany.

The American forces of the 117th Infantry Regiment, 30th Infantry Division retook the town later the same day.

Burial details:

Initially buried at Heckhalenfeld - on the 18th April 1949 he was repatriated and buried in the family vault as described below.

Fl/Sgt. Robert Nicolas Huens. Rixensart Communal Cemetery. Born on the 12th September 1919 at No. 8 Rue Aviateur Huens (named after him in June 1949) Rixensart, Belgium.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Stephen Dunphy, the son of Kathleen Dunphy who had been the girlfriend of the young Belgium pilot, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 14.10.2018

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, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), 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', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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