13/14.05.1943 No. 10 Squadron Halifax II DT732 XA-X Fl/Sgt. John F. Mills
Operation: Bochum Germany
Date: 13/14th May 1943 (Thursday/Friday)
Unit: No. 10 Squadron
Type: Halifax MkII
Base: RAF Melbourne
Location: Ijsselmeer, 5 miles South West of Harlingen Holland
Pilot: Fl/Sgt. John Franklin Mills AUS/415040 RAAF Age 27. Missing - believed killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. James Cyril Howie 1284957 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Nav: Sgt. John Swanson Macadam 1347046 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
Air/Bmr: Sgt. John William Avent 1336690 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Aeron Jones 1211847 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Charles Maltby 1055780 RAFVR Age 23. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Eric John Charles Howard 1260589 RAFVR Age 27. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 21:42 hrs to join 441 aircraft made up from 135 Halifaxes, 104 Wellingtons, 95 Stirlings and 10 Mosquitoes.
The raid did start well but the bombers were drawn away by decoy markers made by the Germans. It is reported that 394 buildings were destroyed, a further 716 seriously damaged with 302 people killed on the ground.
29 allied aircraft were lost on this raid with total crew killed:102 PoW: 54. Just a single Crew member evading capture.
Shot down by German Nightfighter Oblt. Lothar Linke (1) 12./NJG1 at 02:20 Hrs - an ace, with this his final claim of the war.
The bodies five of the crew were recovered from the sea north west of Polder Zuider Zee on the 26th May 1943.
(1) Lt. Lothar Linke went on to have a total of 27 kills before he lost his life on the 13/14th May 1943 in a crash west north west of Lemmer due to an engine failure. Lothar Linke was flying over the south of Friesland when one of the engines of his Messerschmitt caught fire. He and his radio/radar operator Walter Czybulka had to abandon the aircraft.
Next morning his body was found not far from the wreck of his aircraft. It is believed that he was hit by the tail unit just after he had bailed out. Walter Czybulka landed safely by parachute. He was wounded and taken to a hospital in Leeuwarden. Lothar Linke, a 33 year old veteran who had participated in the ‘Battle of Britain’, was buried at the Noorder Begraafplaats in Leeuwarden. After the war his remains were re-buried at Ysselsteyn in the south of Holland.
Fl/Sgt. John Franklin Mills. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 193. Born on the 28th July 1915 the son of William Thomas Mills and Louisa Cecilia Mills, husband of Edna Geraldine Mills, of 10 Monk Street, South Perth, Western Australia. (Shown left)
Sgt. James Cyril Howie. Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery. Plot 69 Row C Coll. Grave 12. Son of Florence Emma Howie, of Streatham, London, England. Grave inscription reads: He Was Always Carefree Never Sad A Cherished Memory I Hold Of My Lad.”
Sgt. John Swanson Macadam. Lemsterland General Cemetery (Lemmer). Grave C-8-236. Son of David and Isabella B. Macadam, of Wick, Caithness-shire, Scotland.
Sgt. John William Avent. Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery. Plot 69 Row C Coll. Grave 12. Son of John William and Rose Lillian Avent, of Walthamstow, Essex, England. Grave inscription reads: “As Each Year Passes Treasured Memories Of You Son Will Never Fade.” Grave shared with 29 year old, P/O. Edward Hough 145180 RAFVR from Levenshulme, Manchester, England, of 50 Squadron.
Sgt. Aeron Jones. Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery Plot 69 Row C Coll. Grave 13. Son of Rees and Margaret Ann Jones, of Dowlais, Glamorgan, Wales. Grave inscription reads: “His Life A Beautiful Memory His Absence A Silent Grief.”
Sgt. Charles Maltby. Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery Plot 69 Row C Coll. Grave 12. Son of Charles and S. E. Maltby, of Thorner, Yorkshire, England. Grave inscription reads: “Gone From Our Home But Not From Our Hearts.”
Sgt. Eric John Charles Howard. Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery Plot 69 Row C Coll. Grave 13. Son of Charles James Howard and Maud Howard, husband of Clare Patricia Howard, of Holloway, London, England.
Researched Michel Beckers - October 2016 with thanks to Robbie Pearson, Rene Bosman for grave photographs, remainder from the collection of Michel Beckers. For further details our thanks to the following sources: