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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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410 (Cougar) Squadron, RCAF Mosquito NF.XIII HK463 F/O. John Robert Steepe

Operation: Beachhead Patrol

Date: 23rd/24th June 1944 (Friday/Saturday)

Unit No: 410 (Cougar) Squadron, RCAF (motto Noctivaga -'Wandering by night')

Type: Mosquito NF.XIII

Serial: HK463

Code: RA:R

Base: RAF Hunsdon, Essex

Location: English Chanel

Pilot: F/O. John Robert Steepe J/22804 (R/117395) RCAF Age 23. Missing - believed killed

Nav: F/O. Douglas Haig Baker J/25179 (R/220567) RCAF Age 28. Killed


Taking off shortly after midnight at 00:15 hrs to patrol the beachhead at Normandy.

The only transmission the crew made was at about 02:00 hrs stating that they had been hit by flak and the aircraft was on fire.

The aircraft crashed in the English Channel 18 miles off Barfleur, France. The body of F/O. Douglas Baker was recovered by a launch, with no trace of the pilot, F/O. John Steepe was found.

Burial and other details:

F/O. John Robert Steepe. Runnymede Mamoria;. Panel 248. Born on the 13th March 1921. Enlisted on the 18th August 1941, Son of Robert John (died 1970, age 87) and Alma B. Steepe, (died 1982, age 94) he had one brother and a sister of 128 Larch Street, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.

F/O. Douglas Haig Baker. Bayeux War Cemetery. Grave IV. F. 16. Born on the 6th June 1917 in Regina, Saskatchewan. Enlisted on the 09th May 1940. Son of Alfred Leonard Percival Baker and Edith Anne Baker (née Otton - died 30th July 1932), brother of Margaret Ainslee of 1915 Cameron Street, Regina, Saskatchewan.

Baker Island, Saskatchewan was named after F/O. Douglas Baker

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to the National Archives, Kew. AIR-27-1802-69/70., Government of Canada WW2 Service Files, Paradue RCAF Archives.

Other Sources listed below:

KTY 20-03-2024

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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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