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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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409 Squadron Crest
23.06.1945 No. 409 Squadron Mosquito MM567 KP-E Fl/Lt. John Skelly

Operation: Transit

Date: 23rd June 1945 (Saturday)

Unit: 409 Squadron RCAF (148 Wing, 84 Group)

Type: Mosquito NF. Mk. XII

Serial: MM567

Code: KP-E

Base: B.106, Twente, Netherlands

Location: Field - 1 mile from airfield at Twente, Netherlands

Pilot: Fl/Lt. John Henry 'Skeeter' Skelly J/24501 RCAF Age 23. Killed

Nav: F/O. Peter James Lim J/44685 RCAF Age 23. Killed

Px: Fl/Lt. James William George NZ/40722 RNZAF Age 28. Killed


Taking off at 10:00 hrs for a transit flight to B.105 Drope, Germany. During an attempt to formate with another Mosquito, dived into the ground shortly afterwards at 10:07 hrs. Two Dutch civilians on the ground in the fields busy making hay were also killed.

Left: Pilot. Fl/Lt. John Skelly Right: Navigator, F/O. Peter Lim, Fl/Lt. James George (courtesy Kit Kennard, Auckland Museum)

The passenger, Fl/Lt. George was returning to his squadron, 485 at Dope. He was an experienced aircrew member but his first 23 operations were as an air gunner with 75 Squadron, another with 57 Squadron prior to retraining as a pilot. He had completed a total of 30 operations (1043 hrs)

Above: The civilian casualties (Courtesy John Rothman)

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. John Henry Skelly. Enschede Eastern General Cemetery. Grave 188. Born on the 16th April 1922. Understood to be from Enderby, British Columbia, Canada. Son to Ernest and Ada Skelly. Brother to David, and three sisters, Betty, Tina and Florence Skelly.

F/O. Peter James Lim. Enschede Eastern General Cemetery. Grave 189. Born on the 23rd March 1922, the son of Harry and Margaret Lim, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Fl/Lt. James William George. Enschede Eastern General Cemetery. Grave 190. Son of Walter and Margaret George, of Papatoetoe, Auckland, New Zealand.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Kit Kennard for photographs and information, Catherine Clement for details sent to us - July 2017. Errol Martyn - For Your Tomorrow Vols 1-3. Also thank you to Andy Baker for the grave photographs. Thanks to Allan Cooper, the nephew of Fl/Lt. Skelly, for the Next of Kin update.

RS - 12.11.2018 Update to Fl/Lt. Skelly's details

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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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