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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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30th October 1944 627 Squadron Mosquito IV DZ640 Fl/Lt. St John

Operation: Walcheren Island

Date: 30th October 1944 (Monday)

Unit: No. 627 Squadron (motto: 'At First Sight') 5 Group

Type: Mosquito IV

Serial: DZ640

Code: AZ-U

Base: RAF Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire

Location: North Sea

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Anthony Garwyth St John NZ/404472 RNZAF Age 30. Killed

Nav: F/O. La Verne John Dick J/17187 RCAF Are 28. Missing - believed killed


Taking off at 11:01 hrs to mark a strongpoint for the 102 Lancasters and 8 Mosquitoes that were planning to bomb Walcheren Island.

They called another crew at 12:05 hrs that a target indicator bomb had exploded in the bomb bay and they were abandoning the aircraft.

Only the body of the pilot was recovered when it washed up near Ostend in Belgium.

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. Anthony Garwyth St John. Oostende New Communal Cemetery . Plot 9. Row 6. Grave 6. Born on the 31st December 1913 at Nelson. Worked as a clerk for the internal affairs Department of Wellington prior to service. 24th November 1940 enlisted in the RNZAF at Levin. Attached to No. 3 Elementary Flying Training School on the 27th December 1940 before embarking to Canada on the 27th February 1940. Further training with No. 6 Service Flying Training School joining on the 20th March 1941.

Pilots badge awarded on the 10th June 1941 and promoted to sergeant. Embarked for England on the 20th June 1941. Attended RAF College on the27th July 1941. Embarked for Canada late December 1941 to fly as a staff pilot with 41 Service Flying Training School flying Harvard and Ansons. After various posts embarked for England on the 15th February 1944.

After various postings joined 627 squadron on the 01st August 1944. Son of Francis Frederick (died 12th July 1957, age 77) and Fanny Cecil Doris St. John (née Lightfoot - died 14th October 1944, age 50)), of Nelson, New Zealand and husband of Margaret Elizabeth St. John (née Ross), of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. His brothers also served, Sq/Ldr. John Ramsey St John DFC 403476 RAF and Peter St John.

F/O. La Verne John Dick. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 245. Born on the 31st January 1916 at Brantford. Received his commission in December 1941. Son of William (killed 09th August 1918, age 36) and Myrtle Dick (née Sheldrake - died in 1946, age 61) and husband of Isobel L. Dick, of Brantford, Ontario, Canada.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Weekly News of New Zealand, Operation Picture Me, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 09-09-2021

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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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