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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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64 Squadron Crest
09.04.1941 No. 64 Squadron Spitfire IIa P7784 SH-L P/O. John H. Rowden

Operation: Rhubarb

Date: 9th April 1941 (Wednesday)

Unit: No. 64 Squadron

Type: Spitfire Mk IIA

Serial: P7784

Code: SH-L

Base: RAF Hornchurch, Essex 

Location: near Fort-Mardyck  5 km west of Dunkerque France

Pilot: P/O. John Hampton Rowden 83249 RAFVR Age 28. Killed 

REASON FOR LOSS:  

Attacked and shot down by an Me109 of II/JG51 flown by Hauptmann Josef Fözö. The aircraft apparently came down near a flak battery within the airfield at Fort-Mardyck, creating huge interest as shown by the series of photographs. Some of which we have decided not to place on the page of remembrance or we have masked.

Above P/O. John Hampton Rowden with photographs below showing the wreckage (courtesy Michel Beckers)

Area of operations 

Note: Built at the Castle Bromwich Factory and fitted with the Merlin XII Engine.

P/O. John Hampton Rowden at rear 3rd from the left

Burial details:

P/O. John Hampton Rowden. Dunkirk Town Cemetery. Plot 2 Row 1 Grave 44. Husband of Catherine Rowden (née Finch) of Vernon Avenue, Rugby, England.

Researched by Michel Beckers, with photographs supplied by the Rowden family and Edward McManus. Other sources as quoted in the section below.

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: 15 March 2015, 22:03

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