05.10.1944 No. 439 Squadron Typhoon Ib MN765 F/O. Royce A. Johns
Operation: dive Bombing and strafing double track railway Germany
Date: 5th October 1944 (Thursday)
Unit: No. 439 Squadron
Type: Hawker Typhoon Mk1b
Base: RAF Eindhoven (B.78), Belgium
Location: Zevenaar, near Emmerich, Germany
Pilot: F/O. Royce Allen Johns J/21959 RCAF Age 25. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
F/O. Royce Johns was hit by flak while flying on a sortie towards Speelberg, near Emmerlch. His aircraft was seen to explode when it crashed into a steeple in the town of Zevenaar.
Above family images - used with permission courtesy Dru W. Johns - April 2017
Above as shown, Below: Zevenaar Steeple after Typhoon MN765 crash (courtesy Liemers Museum - Gelders Schuttersmuseum Zevenaar)
Believed to be the last photograph taken before his death (courtesy François Dutil)
F/O. Royce Allen Johns. Zevenaar Roman Catholic Cemetery, Zevenaar, Gelderland, Netherlands. Grave 52. Born on the 12th July 1919 at North Battleford, the son of Charles and Lenora Johns, husband of Bernice Johns of Loon Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada. His grave is the only CWWG within the cemetery. F/O. Johns was one of the Squadrons leading pilots at the time and after over 70 operations was due to become the Station Commander. Epitaph reads: “Greater Love Hath No Man Than This That A Man Lay Down His Life For His Friends.”
Research for Aircrew Remembered by Michel Beckers. With thanks to Shelley Pershick for photographs of the pilot and also to Paul Moerenhout for grave photo. Others from the Michel Beckers collection.
Also thanks to Bob Gerritsen and the Liemers Museum - Gelders Schuttersmuseum Zevenaar - April 2017.