06.03.1945 No. 64 Squadron Mustang III KH451 Fl/Sgt. J. B. van Mesdag
Operation: Not known
Date: 06th March 1945 (Tuesday)
Unit: No. 64 Squadron
Type: Mustang III
Base: RAF Bentwaters, Suffolk
Location: Bury Road, Lawshall, Suffolk
Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Johannes Bartholomeus Jat Van Mesdag 195516 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Very little is known regarding this loss. It is reported that the aircraft dived out of cloud into the ground on Bury Road, 7 miles North West of Lawshall during the night of Tuesday 6th March. Cause unknown.
64 Squadron were mainly involved with bomber escort during this period.
Prior to war breaking out he was studying in the USA. During that period he lived in Ardsley, Hudson, New York. Then joined the Dutch forces in Canada before being sent to the UK, arriving on Monday 17th August 1942. Gaining his wings on the Friday 26th November 1943.
Joined 64 Squadron on December 28th 1944. It is known that he was credited with one enemy aircraft shot down. During service with the Dutch airforce his rank was 2nd Lt.
Fl/Sgt. Johannes Bartholomeus Jat Van Mesdag. Cambridge City Cemetery. Grave No. 15561. Also commemorated on the Het Nieuwe Lyceum Memorial, Hilversum, Netherlands. Mill Hill Memorial Table, London. Son of Mr. and Mrs. J.S. van Mesdag, of Hilversum, Holland. Grave inscription reads: ‘Den Vaderlant Ghetrouwe Blijf Ick Tot In Den Doet’. (Written in Old Dutch we understand from Johannes that it means "I remain married to the Fatherland even in death." Born on 3rd October 1923.
Memorial at All Saints Church, Lawshall, Suffolk (courtesy Geoffrey Gillon - January 2017)
Researched for relatives of Fl/Sgt. Van Mesdag in the hope that they view this memorial - Johannes B van Mesdag, nephew of the pilot, contacted us in August 2015.
Thanks to John Gibson for the great memorial photo's and for bringing this loss to our attention. To Rob Philips for research material, Also to Geoffrey Gillon for memorial photograph.