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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
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

Serial: KH451

Code: SH-?

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.

Burial Details:

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.

KTY Page updated 19.01.2017

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: 19 January 2017, 20:31

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