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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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418 Squadron Crest
8/19.06.1944 No. 418 Squadron Mosquito FB.VI NT140 F/O. Johnson

Operation: Intruder

Date: 18/19th June 1944 (Sunday/Monday)

Unit: No. 418 Squadron (RCAF)

Type: Mosquito FB.VI

Serial: NT140

Code: Not known

Base: RAF Holmsley South, Hampshire

Location: Lost without trace

Pilot: F/O. Benjamin Peter Johnson J/13591 RCAF Age 22. Missing - believed killed

Nav: F/O. Robert Douglas Taylor J/25192 RCAF Age 23. Missing - believed killed

Some reports state that they crashed near Chateauroux, France. Louise Barber, a friend of the family of F/O. Taylor, are in contact with a French Historical Group who may have connections with an eye witness of the crash! Further details may follow.


During a night intruder operation to the area of Bourges / Avoid airfield the Mosquito was reported as lost without trace.

The Mosquito had only just been taken delivery from 60 Operational Training Unit on the 12th June. Further information regarding the Squadron (courtesy Wikipedia):

418 Squadron RCAF was Canada's highest-scoring squadron in World War II, in terms of both air-to-air and air-to-ground kills, and in terms of both day and night operations. The Squadron's most active period was 1944, when assigned to Intruder and Ranger sorties across occupied Europe.

These sorties, made at low level to escape radar detection, took 418 Squadron crews into the heart of enemy territory, there to wreak havoc among departing or returning Luftwaffe night-fighter crews (Intruder sorties), or to shoot up enemy airfields, or indeed anything else of military value, in Ranger sorties.

Left: F/O. Robert Douglas Taylor courtesy Louise Barber and the family of F/O. Taylor.

As an Intruder squadron, 418 Squadron aircraft did not carry radar sets - even at night targets had to be found, identified, lined up, and attacked all with the naked eye. The squadron's success speaks volumes of the skill of its crews that it achieved such success under these conditions.

Burial details:

F/O. Benjamin Peter Johnson. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 246. Son of George R. and Vivian K. Johnson. Native of USA.

F/O. Robert Douglas Taylor. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 248. Son of Leslie G. and Jessie D. Taylor, of Sorrento, British Columbia, Canada.

Researched for Louise Barber and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources indicated below:

KTY 11.02.2017

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 (both 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', 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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Last Modified: 12 February 2017, 00:28

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