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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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438 Squadron Crest
01.01.1944 No. 438 Squadron Typhoon Ib PD556 F3-Q Fl/Lt. Wilson

Operation: Bodenplatte (‘Baseplate’)

Date: 01st January 1945 (Monday)

Unit: 438 Squadron (Wildcat)

Type: Typhoon Ib

Serial: PD556

Code: F3-Q

Base: RAF B78 Eindhoven

Location: B78 Eindhoven, Netherlands

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Peter Wilson J/9876 RCAF Age 31 Wounded


We are extremely grateful to François Dutil (438 Squadron Archivist) for supplying photographs and information to Aircrew Remembered in October 2017. All photographs shown within this page are available to relatives at a higher resolution (as are most of those named within this page) - courtesy of François.


REASON FOR LOSS:

The Luftwaffe had planned an all attack on allied airfields in Belgium, Holland and France in late December to assist the Ardennes offensive. They recognised that the allies posed the biggest threat to success. Due to bad weather it was postponed to dawn on the first January.

During once such attack on B78 Eindhoven JG3 attacked. Fl/Lt. Wilson was the acting C/O and leading 8 aircraft on the airfield at 09:20 hrs he aborted takeoff and pulled to the side of the runway mid-way down. He was found immediately after the attack on the ground by his aircraft unconscious with an abdominal bullet wound, he died an hour later. Fl/Lt. Wilson was to take command and be promoted Squadron Leader the very next day on the 02nd January, 1945.

Understood to have been shot down by Major Heinz Bär of Stab/JG 3, who was flying a Focke-Wulf Fw190 D-9 from Lippspringe airfield in Germany. (courtesy Francois Dutil - July 2021)

Also lost from the squadron 22 year old, F/O. Ross Keller in Typhoon PD503 F3-R taxying behind Fl/Lt. Wilson he managed to take off, but was immediately shot down with the aircraft breaking up. His body was discovered still in the cockpit.

Above L-R: P/O. Ricard Gordon Crosby C/22655 DFC, P/O. Donald James Campbell J/94418, Fl/Lt. Pete Wilson J/9876, P/O. Joseph Henri Louis Philippe Jodoin J/93577 - Eindhoven, Netherlands. (with thanks to Francois Dutil for correction - April 2021)


Burial details:

Fl/Lt. Peter Wilson. Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery. Grave: XV.D.1. Son of Thomas W. and Edith J.P. Wilson and nephew of Fred K.H. Bates, of North Vancouver, British Columbia. Assistant Headmaster, Chesterfield School, North Vancouver, Canada. Grave inscription reads: “Greater Love Hath No Man St.John XV.13”.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Francois Dutil, other sources as quoted below:

KTY - 03.11.2017

Pages of Outstanding Interest
History Airborne Forces •  Soviet Night Witches •  Bomber Command Memories •  Abbreviations •  Gardening Codenames
CWGC: Your Relative's Grave Explained •  USA Flygirls
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, 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: 03 July 2021, 16:07

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