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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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37 Squadron Crest
13/14.07.1944 No. 37 Squadron Wellington X MF121 Lt. Daniel R. Hjelm SAAF

Operation: Marshalling Yards

Date: 13/14th July 1944 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: No. 37 Squadron

Type: Wellington X

Serial: MF121

Base: RAF Tortorella, Italy

Location: Not known - target area perhaps.

Pilot: Lt. Daniel Reinhold Hjelm 328638V SAAF Age 24. Killed

Pilot 2: Fl/Sgt. Alexander Barr Hart AUS/426339 RAAF Age 22. Killed

Nav: Lt. J.P. Blanc 211492V SAAF Age 28. Killed

Air/Bmr: F/O. William Frederick Freeman 156411 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Dennis Victor Barnes 1048199 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. James Thomas Welsh 1585063 RAFVR Age 21. Killed 

Relatives of Fl/Sgt. Hart would very much like to make contact with other relatives of this crew.


Taking off from the landing base at Tortorella, Italy at 20.27 hrs to attack the Lambrate marshalling yards in Milan. 

Second pilot to Wellington MF121 - Fl/Sgt. Alexander Barr Hart (courtesy Kristina Gilson)

The fuel load taken was 750 gallons with a bomb load of 9 x 500 lbs. 

Nothing further was heard from the aircraft after take off, it failed to return. 

Above: area of operations, below: 37 Squadron Wellingtons in formation.

Milan War Cemetery (courtesy Elena Rossi)

Burial details:

Initially buried in Limoto Cemetery prior to being moved in 1947 to the British Cemetery in Milan. (together with 5 others - ‘Limoto’ is as described on official documents, although we are unable to place this)

Lt. Daniel Reinhold Hjelm. Milan War Cemetery. Grave II.C.13. Son of Klas A. and Mina Hjelm of South Africa.

Fl/Sgt. Alexander Barr Hart. Milan War Cemetery. Grave II.C.11. Son of Harry and Bethea Sword Hart, of ‘Leabrae, Lily Avenue, Yeronga, Queensland, Australia. Born on 11th June 1922. Enlisted 20th June 1942.

Lt. J.P Blanc. Milan War Cemetery. Grave II.C.6. Son of Dr. M.A. Blanc and Mrs. N. Blanc, of Melsetter, Southern Rhodesia.

F/O. William Frederick Freeman. Milan War Cemetery. Grave II.C.15. Son of Frederick Jonas Freeman and Kate Bartlett Freeman, of Southfields, Surrey. England.

Fl/Sgt. Dennis Victor Henry Barnes. Milan War Cemetery. Grave II.C.15. Son of Henry Sidney and Marguerite Elizabeth Barnes, of Lee, London, England.

Sgt. James Thomas Welsh. Milan War Cemetery. Coll. grave VI. D. 1-7. Son of James and Annie Maria Welsh, of Dagenham, Essex, England.

Sources for further details our thanks to the following, Kristina Gilson from Australia - relative of Fl/Sgt. Hart. National Archives of Australia. Elena Rossi for cemetery photograph. Commonwealth War Graves Commission ‘RAAF Database’.

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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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