13.10.1944 263 Squadron Typhoon Ib MN476 Plt.Off. John Thould
Date: 13th October 1944 (Friday)
Unit: 263 Squadron
Base: Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) B-70 Deurne (Antwerpen)
Location: Staakheuvel, Belgium
Pilot: Plt.Off. John Thould 175972 RAFVR Age 24. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
At 1145 hours on the 13th October 1944 Plt.Off Thould and seven other Typhoons took off from their base at Deurne on an army close support mission to attack guns and infantry some 20 miles east of the base.
Plt.Off Thould was flying as #2 to Sqn.Ldr Rutter, the CO of the Sqn, and was hit by flak whilst in the dive. His aircraft burst into flames and spiralled straight in. According to eye witness accounts Plt.Off Thould had very little chance of bailing out. (263 Sqn ORB).
The aircraft crashed about 3½ miles east of Hoogstraten at the hamlet of Staakheuvel.
Plt.Off. John Thould. Merksplas Communal Cemetery. Grave 1. Son of Mrs. E. E. Thould, of Worcester, England.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Frank Mahieu and his colleagues for visiting the cemetery and photographing this and other graves in the area. Any relative who would like a higher resolution of his grave photo are welcome to contact us. Thanks to Maurice Laarman for providing the location of the crash. Other sources as quoted below: