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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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464 Squadron Crest
27.02.1945 464 Squadron Mosquito FB.VI PZ309 SB:Z Flt.Lt. John F. Filteau

Operation: Night Intruder

Date: 27th February 1945 (Tuesday)

Unit: 464 Squadron (RAAF)

Type: Mosquito FB.VI

Serial: PZ309

Code: SB:Z

Base: B.87 Rosieres-en-Santerre, France

Location: ½ mile west of Sovet, Belgium

Pilot: Flt.Lt. John Frederick Filteau J10125 RCAF Age 26. Killed

Nav: Fg.Off. H.I. Storen J45432 RCAF Age? Injured.


Taking of at 19:26 hrs being part of a force of 11 aircraft from the Squadron detailed to attack enemy lines of communications behind the front. This included bombing and strafing trains, coaches, marshalling yards, motor transport and power stations.

According to the ORB:

”The aircraft did not return. The navigator bailed out and is safe but suffering from loss of memory. Consequently, it has not been possible to ascertain the fate of the pilot or what happened to the aircraft"

Correspondence uncovered from the US Military Police described that:

At approximately 21:00 hours, 27 February 1945, a Mosquito Bomber crashed ½ mile west of Sovet, Belgium. A civilian who witnessed the crash informed this headquarters that the plane was on fire while in the air. The bomb load that the plane was carrying exploded at the time of the crash.

Sgt. Victor R. De Vivo, 32642914, of this organisation arrived at the scene of the crash at 22:00 hours. Upon arriving Lt. G. Wagenseil, of the 506 MP Bn was present and he informed Sgt. De Vivo that he was in complete charge and would submit a full report to his headquarters. A closer investigation of the plane was not possible since the plane was still burning and there was a possibility of unexploded bombs.

While at the scene, cries for help were heard. Hurrying in the direction of the cries, Sgt. De Vivo came upon Flt.Lt. John F Fliteau, J10125 of the RCAF, He appeared to be seriously injured. An ambulance was called and Flt.Lt. Fliteau was taken to the 130th General Hospital, where he died later. The man's name, number and organisation were obtained from his identification tags.

Further correspondence uncovered from a Col. A.L Bonham-Carter, a British Liaison Officer described that:

The first Col. Bonham-Carter heard about Fg.Off. Storen was that he walked into the Headquarters of the 296th US Military Police Company at Namur about 08:00 hours (the morning after the crash). He immediately arranged for him to be taken round to his quarters at the hotel and for his batman to see that he had a bath and breakfast etc. At the same time he rang up HQ. 2nd, TAF notifying the crash and requesting transport.

Later, his batman rang him and stated that he was certain the Fg.Off. Storen was suffering from concussion and that a doctor should see him as soon as possible. He arranged this with the 50th Field Hospital where he was taken later. Col. Bonham-Carter unfortunately, arrived at the hotel shortly after he had been taken to the hospital so never actually saw him but learnt that evening, that he was to be evacuated to England.

Col. A.L Bonham-Carter went on to describe:

"I have personally visited the scene of the crash. There was practically nothing left of the plane. From statements of civilians the plane was on fire while in the air and the bomb load exploded at the time of the crash, so both pilot and navigator must have baled out. Flt.Lt. Filteau was found at not a great distance from the scene of the crash."

Burial details:

Flt.Lt. John Frederick Filteau. Hotton War Cemetery. Grave III.C.6. Born on the 8th September 1918 in Calgary, Alberta. Son of Frederick Francis and Verna Hannah (née Hamley) Filteau. (His father predeceased him in 1938). Husband to Mary Catherine (née McGuffin) Filteau of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Aircrew Remembered has been contacted by Jennifer Smith, a niece of Flt.Lt. Filteau, and informed us that Mary Catherine Filteau passed away in February 2021, aged 101.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks sources as quoted below.

RS 30.03.2021 - New research results added to the narrative

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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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Last Modified: 30 March 2021, 10:43

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