23.06.1945 No. 409 Squadron Mosquito MM567 KP-E Fl/Lt. John Skelly
Date: 23rd June 1945 (Saturday)
Unit: 409 Squadron RCAF (148 Wing, 84 Group)
Type: Mosquito NF. Mk. XII
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
REASON FOR LOSS:
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)
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.