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
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.
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: