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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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263 Squadron Crest
13.10.1944 263 Squadron Typhoon Ib MN476 Plt.Off. John Thould

Operation: Patrol

Date: 13th October 1944 (Friday)

Unit: 263 Squadron

Type: Typhoon

Serial: MN476

Code: HE:?

Base: Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) B-70 Deurne (Antwerpen)

Location: Staakheuvel, Belgium

Pilot: Plt.Off. John Thould 175972 RAFVR Age 24. Killed


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.

Burial details:

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:

RS 22.11.2019 - Review and update of information

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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 (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', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, 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: 31 March 2021, 10:03

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