24th January 1945 257 Squadron Typhoon IB PD464 Fl/Lt. Lunn
Date: 24th January 1945 (Wednesday)
Unit: No. 257 Squadron (motto: Thay myay gyee shin shwe hti - 'Death or glory') 146 Wing. 84 Group. Second Tactical Air Force
Type: Typhoon IB
Base: B70. Deurne, Belgium
Location: Vuren, Netherlands
Pilot: Fl/Lt. John Davis Lunn NZ/416864 RNZAF Age 23. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 15:00 hrs. on an interdiction over Rotterdam, but as the target was obscured by cloud successfully attacked a railway bridge south west of Utrecht being the secondary target.
On reforming and climbing the squadron came under intense flak. His aircraft was seen to explode in the air with the wreckage falling on the north bank of the river Waal. He was buried there in the village cemetery
The squadron lost another on this operation:
Typhoon IB PD495 ZY-B flown by F/O. M.J. Cheyney thought to have been hit by flak, force landed 8 miles South East of Borken just over the border in Germany. Taken PoW but survived the war.
Burial and personal details:
Fl/Lt. John Davis Lunn. Vuren General Cemetery. (The only Commonwealth grave in the cemetery). Born on the 23rd May 1921 at Alexandra.Worked as a bank officer for the National Bank of New Zealand prior to service. Enlisted at Rongatai on the 10th December 1941.Trained in Canada and awarded his pilot badge and commissioned on the 22nd January 1943. Attached to 55 Operational Unit on the 18th May 1943 for training on the Hurricane. Also served in 156 and 195 squadron. Joined 257 squadron on the 17th February 1944. Son of John Lunn and of Joan Hammond Lunn (née Davis), of Alexandra, Otago, New Zealand. 527 flying hours logged and on his 122nd operational sortie.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, AWMM, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below: