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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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439 Squadron Crest
05.10.1944 No. 439 Squadron Typhoon Ib MN765 F/O. Royce A. Johns

Operation: dive Bombing and strafing double track railway Germany

Date: 5th October 1944 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 439 Squadron

Type: Hawker Typhoon Mk1b

Serial: MN765

Code: 5V-?

Base: RAF Melsbroek (B.58), Belgium

Location: Zevenaar, near Emmerich, Germany

Pilot: F/O. Royce Allen Johns J/21959 RCAF Age 25. Killed


F/O. Royce Johns was hit by flak while flying on a sortie towards Speelberg, near Emmerlch. His aircraft was seen to explode when it crashed into a steeple in the town of Zevenaar.

Above as shown, Below: Zevenaar Steeple after Typhoon MN765 crash (courtesy Liemers Museum - Gelders Schuttersmuseum Zevenaar)

Burial details:

F/O. Royce Allen Johns. Zevenaar Roman Catholic Cemetery, Zevenaar, Gelderland, Netherlands. Grave 52. Born on the 12th July 1919 at North Battleford, the son of Charles and Lenora Johns, husband of Bernice Johns of Loon Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada. His grave is the only CWWG within the cemetery. F/O. Johns was one of the Squadrons leading pilots at the time and after over 70 operations was due to become the Station Commander. Epitaph reads: “Greater Love Hath No Man Than This That A Man Lay Down His Life For His Friends.”

Research for Aircrew Remembered by Michel Beckers. With thanks to Shelley Pershick for photographs of the pilot and also to Paul Moerenhout for grave photo. Others from the Michel Beckers collection.

Also thanks to Bob Gerritsen and the Liemers Museum - Gelders Schuttersmuseum Zevenaar - April 2017.

KTY 28.04.2017 - New photos added

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: 28 April 2017, 21:28