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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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263 Squadron Crest
14.06.1944 Typhoon Ib MN661 Sq/Ldr. Henri A.C. Gonay DFC Croix de Guerre, Bronze Palm

Operation: Recce - anti-shipping

Date: 14th June 1944 (Wednesday)

Unit: No. 263 Squadron

Type: Typhoon Ib

Serial: MN661

Base: RAF Harrowbeer, Yelverton, Devon.

Location: Northern part of Jersey, Channel Islands

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Henri Alphonse Clement Gonay DFC Croix de Guerre with Bronze Palm. 81635 RAFVR Age 32. Killed


During an anti-shipping attack with 8 other typhoons MN661 was hit by the heavy flak defences on the island or the ships they were attacking. He attempted to crash land the aircraft but was killed on impact.


Above: Typhoon Ib, this one from 164 Squadron

Left: Sq/Ldr. Henri Alphonse Clement Gonay DFC Croix de Guerre with Bronze Palm (courtesy Johny Recour)

His DFC Citation (awarded posthumously on 2nd July 1944) reads:

"Sq/Ldr. Gonay has completed 138 operational sorties and has displayed outstanding ability, courage and determination which have contributed largely to the successes achieved by his squadron. Squadron Leader Gonay has destroyed one enemy aircraft (Heinkel He 59 of Seenotflug-Kommando 2) and damaged a further three. He also sunk a 100 ton support vessel."

Burial Details:

Formerly buried in St. Helier War Cemetery, Channel Islands, but was reinterred in Belgium in 1949.

Sq/Ldr. Henri Alphonse Clement Gonay DFC Croix de Guerre with Bronze Palm. Brussels Town Cemetery Belgian Airmen's field of honour, Evere, Belgium. Next of Kin details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information? He was married and had a daughter we understand. 

Further information: Born in Theux on 21st July 1913, at 18 he joined the Belgian Air Force in 1931 - proved to be an exceptional plot and was soon placed as an instructor. Boarded the Queen Emma after France capitulated arriving in England on the 23rd June 1940. Trained on Blenheims within Coastal Command. After that he trained with 58 OTU on Spitfires. Later converted to Typhoons and joined 263 Squadron

Researched for relatives of the pilot with thanks to the following for further information, Johny Recour from Belgium, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses' Vol. 3, Aircrew Remembered own archives.

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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: 23 April 2015, 12:14

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