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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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239 squadron badge
239 Squadron Mosquito NF30 NT331 crew escape death

Operation: Patrol (Bomber Support)

Date: 16/17th April 1945 (Monday/Tuesday)

Unit: No. 239 Squadron

Type: Mosquito NF-30

Serial: NT331

Code: HB-?

Base: Brussels -  Melsbroek B.58 (Advanced landing ground)

Location: Base - Melsbroek, Belgium.

Pilot: F/O. John Hutton Bridekirk AUS/33404 RAAF Severly Injured

Nav: Fl/Lt. Terence Gilronan Glasheen AUS/413984 RAAF Injured

We would like Helen Glen to contact us as her email address we have on file is no longer valid and we have been contacted by a former pilot who knew Ross Leake very well and would like to make contact with you


Took off at 02.03 hrs to patrol over Prague but crashed almost immediately and burst into flames. The pilot F/O. Bridekirk was trapped in his seat and was saved by his navigator Fl/Lt. Glasheen who dragged the pilot clear.

F/O. Bridekirk was treated at No. 8 RAF general hospital for severe leg injuries (leg severed) whilst Fl/Lt. Glasheen received treatment at SSQ. (Station Sick Quarters) Melsbroek for severe shock and burns to his hands and arms.


F/O. Bridekirk and right prior to leaving Manly NSW with his fathers car ( courtesy of Helen Glen, niece of John) 

With thanks to Bill Chorley - "Bomber Command Losses Vol. 6" and to Helen Glen for sending me these photographs.

181 Squadron Typhoon in a camouflaged hanger at Melsbroek B.58 (Advanced landing ground) 1944 (IWM)

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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', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. 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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