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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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434 Squadron Crest
17/18.12.1944 No 434 Squadron Halifax III NR118 WL-U Fl/Lt. James M. Parrott

Operation: Duisberg

Date: 17/18th December 1944 (Sunday/Monday)

Unit: 434 Squadron

Type: Halifax III

Serial: NR118

Code: WL-U

Base: RAF Croft, Yorkshire

Location: Pesche near Couvin, Belgium

Pilot: Fl/Lt. James Murray Parrott J/21253 RCAF Age 23. Killed

Fl/Eng: P/O. Leslie Homer Janzen J/94289 RCAF Age 24. Killed

Nav: F/O. Samuel Henry James Pearce J/27505 RCAF Age 28. Killed

Air/Bmr: P/O Allan Edward Kurtzhals J/94600 RCAF Age 24. Killed

W/Op/Air Gunner: P/O Herbert Brown RCAF Baled out - safe

Air/Gnr(M/U): Fl/Sgt. Alexander Divitcoff J/209473 RCAF Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr(Rear): W/O 2 Gordon Wiliiam Olafsen J/192540 RCAF Age 22. Killed


Took off at 02:50 from RAF Croft in North Yorkshire. It is thought that this aircraft was caught in the blast from other aircraft which collided during/after the raid. There is no confirmation of this as yet. 

The crew of NR118 Left to right: Jimmie Parrott, Henry Pearce, Allan Kurtzhals, Herbert Brown, Leslie Janzen, Gordon Olafsen, Alex Divitcoff.

P/O. Brown did manage to escape and landed in safe territory (Charleroi) north of the crashed aircraft. The crew who died were initially buried by the Americans at Le Fosse, but later after the war moved to Leopoldsburg.

The ammeter recovered from the crash site of NR118.

David Mole at the inauguration of the memorial for the NR118 crew and the other two pictures on the right show the original burial site at Fosse Cemetery.

(1) Janzen Lake in Saskatchewan is named after P/O. Janzen.

Burial Details:

Fl/Lt. James Murray Parrott. Leopoldsburg War Cemetery. Grave: VIII.B.15. Son of the late Mr. and Mrs Weslie Parrott of Markham, Saskatchewan, Canada. Husband of Patricia (née Hopper) Brother to Don who also served in the RCAF and Margaret Casselman.

P/O. Leslie Homer Janzen. Leopoldsburg War Cemetery. Grave: VIII.B.14. Son of Peter and Marie Janzen of Erwood, Saskatchewan, Canada.

F/O. Samuel Henry James Pearce. Leopoldsburg War Cemetery. Grave: VIII.B.18. Son of Frank Harold and Margaret Wilson of Calgary, Alberta, Canada and husband of Mary Elizabeth A. Pierce of Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.

P/O Allan Edward Kurtzhals. Leopoldsburg War Cemetery. Grave: VIII.B.17. Son of Alexander and Mabel of Salmo, British Columbia, Canada.

Fl/Sgt. Alexander Divitcoff. Leopoldsburg War Cemetery. Grave: VIII.A.18. Son of Thomas and Antina of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

W/O 2 Gordon Wiliiam Olafsen. Leopoldsburg War Cemetery. Grave: VIII.B.16. Son of Guttorm and Barbara Olafsen of Steveston, British Columbia, Canada.

This great selection of photographs have been received by us from Mr. David Mole - further information follows on other losses by David and we would like to express our sincere gratitude for this information received. Also many thanks to the niece of Allan Kurtzhals, Dale Plante for her research and corrections.This way these people will never be forgotten and for the surviving relatives and aviation researchers we can now show the faces to the names placed on graves by the CWGC who carry out such tremendous work. Further information from sources quoted below.

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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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