The Aircraft Registry

Typhoon Mark I-B Tail Numbers

P-phoon

A beautiful rendition of MN-375 by the famous aviation artist Walter Drohan. Copyright Walter Drohan. Used with permission. You can see more of Mr. Drohan's work an his website CANADIAN AIR FORCES 'MUSEUM'

 

This listing is crsoss linked with the This Day In History segment and the 439 Squadron Book of Remembrance - I (WWII) , to provide additional detailed background information on circumstances, as recorded in the Squadron's war diaries and other pages found on this website. The list of 439 Typhoon  tail numbers was compiled by and is provided by Canadian author John BradleyUsed with permission and appreciation. For additional information on the Typhoon visit  thisisme.ca

Colour Legend

Yellow entries - aircraft losses as a result of operational flying  or training accidents NOT attributable to enemy action, either directly or indirectly, 

Cyan text -  aircraft losses directly or indirectly attributable to enemy action and considered as damaged beyond repair.  

White entries are Webmaster's notes and or comments.

 

EK219 5V-X  
JP931 5V-M  
JR264 5V-H Crashed into the sea off Beachy Head on the 10 Apr 1944 killing the pilot F/O Paul Elfner
JR299 5V-S  
JR324 5V-M While landing in the No2 position, the aircraft crashed after being caught in the slipstream of No.1  at Funtington on the 4 Apr 1944, severely injuring the pilot F/O Andy Clarke. The aircraft was a complete write-off.
JR326 5V-B  
JR362 5V-F Typhoon aircraft JR362 was taxiing along the perimeter, about 1800 hrs, 28 April 1944, behind an aircraft of 440 Squadron which turned off the perimeter track to a road leading into dispersal, when an M.T. vehicle which appeared in front of JR362 resulted in a crash, causing slight damage to the aircraft and severe damage to the vehicle.
JR379  
JR401 5V-P  
JR444 5V-J  
JR500 5V-X Small X on the nose of the aircraft. Following a successful A&E test on the 3 Nov 1944, the aircraft participated in a a mock dog-fight. Upon on recovering from a tight turn, the aircraft flicked (stalled) and hit a house killing the pilot J.21003 F/O R.N. MacDonald of Glace Bay, NS.
JR506 5V-X Suffered flak damage while attacking a flak position. Date, location and fate of aircraft unknown.
JR521

Typhoon "M"

On the 8 Aug 1944 while enroute to the target F/O Ivan W. Smith had engine trouble and turned back. The engine  packed up almost immediately and he made a long glide from 10000 feet to crash land in a field near St. Germain d'Ectot (W7763). F/O Smith had trouble setting the aircraft down but finally, after slicing both wings off in a line of trees, the fuselage and cockpit intact, slid through a couple of hedges and came to rest. Ivan climbed out unhurt. He was immediately whisked up by an army  unit and returned to his unit. 
JR931 5V-M  
LL603 Unknown airframe that was flown by 439 on four separate mission dates, the 12th, 13th, 19th and the 25th of  July 1944.
MM989 Spun into the Ground near B.110 Osnabruck on 14 Apr 1944. There is no reference to aircraft losses in 439's Diary for this date, but there is an entry that mentions that the only two Squadron Typhoons serviceable were being used for "Ops" by 438 & 440 Squadrons. As to which squadron or the pilot's fate is unknown at this time.
MN124 Shot down by flak near Borken on the http://www.thisisme.ca/439squadron/325.htm. Blue one (F/O Bob Hiltz) received a direct hit in his starboard wing and it blew off. The plane spun to earth and he was seen to bail out; however his parachute didn't appear to open fully and he hit the ground south of the target at considerable speed.
MN136  
MN144 5V-H Damaged by enemy fighters during "Bodenplatte" on 1 Jan 1945. The aircraft was repaired . It is this same aircraft flown by F/L Shaver when he shot down an ME-262 on the 14 Feb 1945.  Considerable light flak was encountered on  2 Mar 1945 and F/L Lyal Shaver  was seen to be hit, flick on his back, dive into the ground and burst into flames in the area E8546 near Buldern. 
MN151 5V-R On the 22 Feb 1945, on his second mission of the day J21837 F/L Babe Swingler noticed a lone transport between Haldern and Mehr, north-west of Wesel. He made one orbit and then the Squadron dove down. When F/L Swingler was about 2000 feet, all hell seemed to break loose. It was evidently a flak trap, judging by the amount of 20 MM which seemed to fill the sky. Unfortunately F/L Shaver never had a chance, and although no explosion was seen, F/O McBride noticed a small column of black smoke on the ground in the area at Map reference A1552. 
MN152 John Bradley's research indicates that this aircraft was shot down by flak on 9 Sep 1944 near Vlissingen.

Webmaster's Note: There is no record of this aircraft in 439 diaries and may be a typo  Refer instead to MP152 further down this page.

MN194  
MN210 5V-U also 5V-D Shot down by flak over Guernsey on  the 5  Jun 1945 during a pre-emptive strike on German radar installations prior to the D-Day invasion. The pilot J8146 F/L John Saville was killed.
MN213 Ayr, Scotland 17 Feb 1944 - This evening at approximately 20:45 hours, Typhoon aircraft 213 caught on fire, and was not extinguished until two hours later. The cause has not, as yet, been established. The four cannon were loaded & kept going off for at least 45 mins. The aircraft is a complete write-off.
MN265  
MN308  
MN309  
MN310 5V-U John Bradley's notes indicate that this aircraft  crashed near St-Pierre-la-Veille after being struck by flak on 12 Aug 1944.

Webmaster's Note: 439 Squadron Operations record Book indicates that F/O Moen was flying tail number MN691 on this mission. However, this must be incorrect as 439's own 541 form shows MN691 flying several missions long after this date (Mar 1945).  It just shows that even "official" documentation can be error prone. 

12 Aug 1944 - The aircraft flown by F/O R.O. Moen was struck in the radiator by light flak. Moe pulled away from his flight and headed about due northeast losing height rapidly as he went. F/O Brown J. who was flying as his number two, followed him down. Moen jettisoned his hood at 1000 feet and crashed landed near St. Pierre de Vicille (T816396). The aircraft exploded and burned on contact with the ground. No hope is held for "Dickie" Moen. 

MN316 5V-P According to 439 Records aircraft MN316 was received from Redhill on the 4 June, 1944
MN345 Crashed near Deventer on the 6 Nov 1944 due to a glycol (engine coolant) leak caused by flak damage. F/O J.A. Brown was taken prisoner when he bailed out of his crippled aircraft. Landing  on the Rijksstraatweg (the main street which runs from Deventer to Apeldoorn, and goes through Twello), he was captured by the Germans and taken away in the direction of Deventer.(Kroniek-Jul 1999)
MN348 Shot down by flak on the 3 Dec 1944 near Munster. Blue three, J.22803 F/L W.L. Saunders  was pulling up when several bursts of flak (presumably 40mm) were seen around him by Blue 4 (F/O Sweeney). They both climbed into scattered cloud over the target and upon breaking cloud, F/L Saunders could not be seen anywhere. Soon after Blue one, (F/L Carr) reported a crashed aircraft on the ground at map reference A.7767
MN352  
MN356 5V-X  
MN357 Shot down by flak on the 19 Nov 1944 near Maeseik.

Webmaster's Note: Although there is no record of this incident in 439 diaries for this aircraft on this date, the aircraft may have been borrowed by another squadron which was quite the norm at the time. 

MN362  
MN364  
MN368  
MN370  
MN375 5V-S On 18 August 1944 and on his second sortie of the dayJ21136 F/O R.A. Brown suffered a shrapnel wound in his leg and some damage to his aircraft. Ray landed at Carpiquet and has now been invalided to hospital in England, and will be out of action for about a month.

A/C abandoned over Luxembourg because of fuel starvation near Nijmegen on the 28 Sep 1944. A/C crashed. On the last show, F/O J.A. Cote J.14529, became separated from his section mate in the dark and became lost. He asked for a homing to base but apparently his R/T receiver was U/S and he could not get it. The pilot successfully evaded capture and returned to his unit sometime later.

MN379 5V-E Force landed north-east of Gelfern after being struck by flak near Volkel on the 2 Oct 1944. A small amount of light flak was fired from the vicinity of the target and the aircraft flown by P/O McBride was hit in the oil radiator. The four aircraft turned towards base but P/O McBride found it necessary to make an emergency landing at E.6916 (15 miles east of base). P/O  McBride was whisked up by an American patrol and a number of Huns came out of the woods nearby to destroy his aircraft. P/O McBride was returned to us unharmed later that day with his fingers still crossed.
MN401 5V-G According to 439 Records aircraft MN516 was received from Redhill on 26 April, 1944. Shot down by enemy fighters south east of Vimoutiers on the 19 Aug 1944. One pilot failed to return however, and his Squadron mates watched the clock until the endurance of F/O RA Porritt's Typhoon was up. Then they realised that something must have happened  to "Porky". His aircraft was last seen  flying in a normal manner over the target area but no further trace  of him was seen or heard. "Porky" is reported as missing. 
MN417 Shot down by flak near Carpiquet on the 15 June 1944. As the Squadron was pulling out of the target area, heavy flak from Caen ????? destroyed the aircraft flown by F/O Jake Ross, the tail section of his machine was shot-up, the engine caught fire and crashed, but Jake bailed out and it is presumed that he landed safely in the front line just 1 mile north of Caen. His parachute opened nicely.
MN424 22 Jan 1945 - After the dive they climbed to 8000 feet and re-formed, then set course for base and when approaching base, F/O Kubicki had a bit of engine trouble and forced landed near Valkenswaard rendering his aircraft a Cat. AC. 

Webmaster's Note: Information provided by John Bradley indicates that the aircraft in question force landed near Eersal on the 22 Jan 1945. Aircraft repaired.

MN427 5V-Y  
MN435 5V-A New to the Squadron on the 14th May 1944
MN464 5V-N

10 June 1944 - As the Squadron was landing at the base, one 500 lb bomb became dislodged from the port bomb rack of W/C Judd's aircraft. The bomb bounced end over end down the runway and F/O Smith in aircraft MN464 following close behind struck the bomb with his starboard wheel. The aircraft ground looped throwing off the wheel. One ???? was damaged.

8 July 1944 - While crossing over the enemy lines just west of Caen, a barrage of heavy flak caused damage to the aircraft flown by J20648 F/O F.M. Thomas. Frank reported damage to his aircraft, adding that he was turning back. In attempting an emergency landing at B-4 Beny-sur-Mer, the aircraft suddenly fell out of control at 100 ft. on the final approach. The machine dove, burst into flames, and one bomb exploded. F/O Thomas was thrown clear of the burning wreckage and died instantly. 

MN472  
MN482 5V-R Destroyed on landing at B.78 Eindhoven on the 26 Dec 1944. Blue 4 (F/O Kubicki) became short of fuel so they returned to base where Blue 4 made a belly landing as his indications showed his port wheel to be unlocked and he had insufficient gas to carry out any emergency measures.
MN516 5V-W According to 439 Records aircraft MN516 was received from Redhill on 28 April, 1944. John Bradley's notes show that MN516  did a force landing at Horsham on the 24 May 1944 due to an engine fire., while Squadron records report that in the course of the return to base, S/L Norsworthy's aircraft (MN516) caught fire and crash landed in a field near Ford. Pilot unhurt. 
MN521  
MN529 5V-T  
MN547 Force landed due to a glycol leak near Sneek on the 19 Nov 1944. As they crossed the area E.5470 they met some very heavy flak and the first burst hit Blue four (F/OP Hiltz) almost directly and he broke off and made for our lines streaming glycol and gas - he made a successful belly landing at K.655843 about 3 miles northeast of Maeseyk, Belgium, and was picked up  and returned by a British Ack-Ack Battery.
MN553 5V-K John Bradley's notes indicate that this aircraft nick-named "Butcher Boy" was shot down by flak near La Pont de Vers on 12 Aug 1944

Webmaster's Notes: Like the entry for MN310, the aircraft in question is not mentioned in the 541 for this date, although 439 suffered two aircraft and pilot losses on this date. The first was F/O Moen (see entry for  MN310), and the second was F/O Allen, who according to the 541 was flying MN969. Yet MN969 is recorded as flying operations as late as 22 Oct 1944, so it was not MN969 that was brought down on this date. It must have been MN553.....Yet....What is even more confusing is that according to the 541, MN553 flew a mission on the 28th August 1944, two weeks after it was supposedly shot down. Adding to the confusion is No wonder historians loose their hair at an early age. Anyway, we will assume that  John Bradley's data is is factual and assign the following entry to MN553, because the date and location match, if not the tail number.

12 Aug 1944 -  As soon as our Squadron arrived over the target area, all the flak boys gave us a very generous reception. The aircraft flown by F/O Ernie Allen in No. 2 position was struck in the starboard wing and main tanks at about 5000 feet and fell out of control . F/O Stelter, No. 3, saw Ernie's wing being chipped by flak, then enveloped in smoke and the aircraft turn to starboard. Ernie managed to clear the ship and was last seen swinging safely down to earth under a gleaming white parachute. It was presumed that Ernie reached ground near the second target at  Le Pont des Vers, and near Segrie Fontaine, map reference 985288, and is now in enemy territory

MN555 Suffered  light flak damage on the 13 Aug 1944. Red Section, led by F/L Burton, combed the road from Flers to Athis and slightly eastward. The Section claimed  a three ton truck as a flamer at T905254 and F/l Burton saw his fire strike a light tank on the edge of the orchard at T883227. As he was breaking to [port following this last attack, his aircraft MN555 was struck simultaneously on the trailing edge of both mainplanes by flak (40mm). A chunk of wing and flap about 10 inches each way, was knocked out of each mainplane about three feet from the wing root. One side of the fuselage was sprayed by shrapnel, and the monocoque also damaged. Red section returned safely to base.
MN569

Typhoon "T"

According to 439 Records aircraft MN569 was received from Redhill on 29 April, 1944. John Bradley's research indicates that this aircraft was shot down near Rips on  1 Jan 1945 by flak during "Bodenplatte". 

Webmaster's Note: According to the 541 for this date MN569 was not flying with 439 Squadron. It may have been on loan but most probably transferred to 438 or 440 Squadron, as the last time it was flown with 439 was on the 3 August 1944.

MN572 According to 439 records this aircraft was received  27 Apr 1944 from Redhill. This airframe is not part of John Bradley's compilation.

On the 15th of May 1944, F/L Dadson made a forced landing in  MN572 a few miles north of Catfose Aerodrome. (Reason unknown.)

MN574 New to the Squadron on the 14th May 1944.

John Bradley's research indicates that this aircraft blew up over the target at Mesmil-Frementel on the 18 Jul 1944

Webmaster's Note: There is no record of this incident in 439 diaries for this aircraft on this date.  John's notes may be a typo as this aircraft flew on many occasions after this date and as late as 5 Oct 1944, and may have been meant for MN575 ( see next entry).

MN575 18 Jul 1944 - The target, Mesmil-Frementel, was attacked in a dive from West to East from 7000 ft to 2600 ft. Very little flak was seen throughout the mission. The aircraft flown by J218356 F/O J. Kalen of Sudbury, Ont. was seen to explode during the initial stage of the attack dive. F/O Kalen was believed to have been killed by the explosion. The aircraft, pilot still aboard, dived into the forest. 
MN580 New to the Squadron on the 14th May 1944
MN581 Force landed at Nordhorn on the 2 April 1945 after the engine failed. On completing the attacks, J23864 F/L DG Cleghorn called on the R/T saying that his engine was running rough and that he thought that he was hit by flak. He tried to make the Dutch border but could not quite make it, landing about nine miles north of Nordhorn at the approximate map reference V5543, after which he called up on the R/T again saying that he was alright. Captured as a POW.
MN589 Gone missing after a dogfight with the Jerries during the German air offensive known as Bodenplatte, the aircraft was believed  to be shot  down by an FW-190 on  1 Jan 1945 near Helmond  killing the pilot F/O Samuel Angelini
MN603  
MN626 5V-A  
MN659  
MN663 Aircraft abandoned over the Channel; after being struck by flak on the 23 Jun 1944. F/O Ray Brown had engine trouble on his return journey and baled out south of the Isle of Wight. The fellows feel that he wasn't in the sea long enough even to get his feet soaked. He was taken to Calshot where he spent the night and was equipped with part of a zoot suit.
MN665 John Bradley's notes indicate that this aircraft was damaged when its wingtip struck an object on the ground while strafing on the 2 Aug 1944. Aircraft repaired.

Squadron records show that while landing at his home base, W/O Gray was unfortunate enough to catch a wing tip but fortunately did not ground loop, but rendered the aircraft Cat A.C.

MN691 John Bradley's research indicates that this aircraft was severely damaged while starting up at Flensburg on 31 July 1945 when the engine caught fire. Aircraft was not repaired.

Webmaster's Note: Although there is no record of this incident in 439 diaries for this aircraft on this date, the aircraft may have been borrowed by another squadron which was quite the norm at the time. 

MN692  
MN716  
MN765 On the 5 Oct 1944 over Speelberg  J.21959 F/O R.A. Johns was hit by flak whilst flying towards Speelberg, near Remerich, and his aircraft blew up when it crashed into a steeple in the town of Speelberg, Germany, at E.9864
MN776 John Bradley's notes indicate that this aircraft burned up following a belly landing at B-5 Camilly on the 27 June 1944 after the engine failed on approach.

Squadron records for the 27 June 1944 report that F/O Babe Swingler had some tough luck when he force landed at 121 due to engine failure, his machine caught fire and burned all personal & service clothing and equipment which he carried.

MN791 Shot down south of Coesfeld  by a FW-190 on the 29 Dec 1944.  Blue 3 - (F/O Laurence) having knocked out two already and to the north he saw a FW 190 and a Typhoon (Blue 4,  R87186 W/O 1 Church, S.A. dog fighting and then the Typhoon spun into earth and burst into flames. WO Church managed to bail out and was captured, finishing the remainder of the war as a POW.
MN801  
MN869 5V-A Destroyed on the ground by the German air offensive Bodenplatte at B.78 Eindhoven 1 Jan 1945
MN870 5V-P On the 13 Aug 1944, F/O Ivan Smith as Blue 3, heard his No.2 F/O P.N. Bernhart call over the R/T and say "I've been hit in the cockpit, we had better get home." F/O Bernhart flew his disabled back and landed safely despite a blown port tire. Investigation of the aircraft disclosed a number of shrapnel holes in the port mainplane, main petrol tank and gun bays as well as a damage to the port wheel. Suffered severe flak damage. Aircraft repaired. 

Shot down by flak on the 28 Oct 1944 near Deventer. The leader had barely commenced his dive when the flak came up, first a trickle of 20mm then a dense curtain of 40mm and soon the 88's added to the barrage to create one of the fiercest flak situations the pilots have yet encountered. It was inevitable that someone would get hit, unfortunately it was J.22035 F/O M.P. Laycock of Fairey Glen, Saskatchewan, whom fate had decreed: he burst into flames and spun into the ground, presumed killed.

MN894 Shot down by flak near Mayen on the 24 Dec 1944. After attacking various targets, they went down on some vehicles just outside the little village of Schonberg, inside Belgium where terrific flak was encountered. Red 3 C.1191 A/F/L Ken Sage received a hit between Mayan and Monreal, west of Keblens and flicked on his back, then crashed into the deck, burning up at map reference L.0579.
MN914  
MN936 John Bradley's research indicates that this aircraft was shot down by flak on the 24 Mar 1944 near Dingden.

Webmaster's Note: There is no record of this incident in 439 diaries for this aircraft on this date. The earliest mention of this airframe is in the entry for the 25 Feb 1945, and the latest shows this aircraft flying on the 23 Mar 1945.

MN969 5V-A John Bradley's notes indicate that this aircraft was shot down by flak  12 Aug 1944 location unknown. 

Webmaster's Note: This is the most confusing date in the annals of 439's wartime history. (See entries for MN310 and MN553). As mentioned previously MN969 is known to have been flying operationally right up to 22 Oct 1944 when it experienced a landing accident. 

22 Oct 1944 - Red four (F/L Saunders) came in to land oblivious of the fact that his port tire was flat, on landing he went off the runway to the port and then up on his nose and over on to his back; much to everyone's relief, he got out of the mess with only a bump on his head. Fate of aircraft unknown.

MN989  
MN999  
MP117 Written off at B-160 Kastrop, reason unknown on the 22 Jun 1945

Webmaster's Note: There is no record of this incident in the 540 or 541 for this aircraft on this date. However, the entry for 3 May 1945 reports it as being flown by F/O George Burden on his fateful flight. This is must be in error as MP117's last known flight was carried out without incident on the very next day (4 May 1945) when it flew on  two additional operations. It may have been on loan to another squadron, (which was the norm at the time) when it was damaged and subsequently written off.  

MP134 On the 22 Jan 1945  over Uetterach the Squadron started its dive at 8000 feet diving vertically and during which we were met with a heavy barrage of concentrated light and heavy flak. S/L Crosby blew up at 6000 feet. His aircraft was seen to disintegrate in the air after the bombs were released. His No.2, F/O Harrison, observed 40 M strikes on the aircraft before it blew up. F/O Roberts was hit in the starboard wing from the flying debris. Unbelievably, S/L Crosby survived this ordeal and his recounting of the episode can be seen in the entry for the 26 Jan 1945
MP136 John Bradley's notes indicate that this aircraft blew up after being struck by flak while attacking Hertogenbosch on the 22 Oct 1944.

Webmasters Note: 439 records state that no flak was seen in the area. The entry states : 22 Oct 1944 - The dive was from north to south and about 60 degrees. A small cloud obscured the target somewhat, and the confusion was increased when Red three (F/O RV Smith) blew up in the dive, scattering smoke and debris in the path of the five aircraft following;  due to all those  distractions, the bombing was scattered, though several bombs fell on the Headquarters. Blue Four, reported seeing a parachute falling northwest of the target and it is hoped F/O Smith landed safely, although in enemy territory. It is as yet a small mystery as to what caused Red three to explode, no flak being seen in the area F/O Smith was subsequently captured as POW

MP139  
MP145 Shot down by flak near St. Vith on the 27 December 1944. J.44311 F/O B.E. Bell, leading the other pair searched the area and went down in attack on sighting something. On pulling out, he was seen pouring black smoke. Red 1 came to his aid and noticed flames coming from the radiator. he advised him to bail out and F/O Bell did so but appeared to hit himself on the tail plane and was seen hanging limp in his parachute as he floated earthward. He fell inside German lines at P.7690. Pilot captured and taken as POW.
MP151 5V-R Shot down by flak on the 22 Feb 1945 near Haldern. J21837 F/L Babe Swingler noticed a lone transport between Haldern and Mehr, north-west of Wesel. He made one orbit and then the Squadron dove down. When F/L Swingler was about 2000 feet, all hell seemed to break loose. It was evidently a flak trap, judging by the amount of 20 MM which seemed to fill the sky. Unfortunately F/L Shaver never had a chance, and although no explosion was seen, F/O McBride noticed a small column of black smoke on the ground in the area at Map reference A1552. 
MP152  Shot down near Vlissingen, Holland, map reference D.4614 on the 9 Sep 1944. Intense light flak was thrown up from the target area and the aircraft flown by J.21152 F/O G.W. Hewson was hit at the bottom of the dive. The aircraft streamed glycol and then black smoke. Hewie pulled up and baled out. His parachute opened safely and he was last seen floating down easily into the inlet. He may have touched down on the mainland. F/O Hewson was subsequently captured as a POW.  See WW II Memoirs of F/O G.W. Hewson on this site.
MP173  
MP177  
MP182  
MP192  
PD448 Shot down by flak on the 19 Aug 1944 south of Ticheville This time the Hun set up some flak posts and gave his transport some protection. The bulk of the MET attacked was found in this area just to the east of Vimoutiers and once again the keen marksmanship of the pilots built up a considerable bag. F/O Bernhart watched F/L Ken Scharff pull up dust after a successful attack, saw his starboard wing become damaged by flak and saw the aircraft dive into the ground exploding on impact. F/L Scharff was presumed killed instantly. 
PD451 5V-A Crashed at B-78 Eindhoven on the 22 Mar 1945. A tire burst when F/O Adam Saunders touched down, the aircraft went off the runway and over on its back (Cat B), but the pilot was undamaged.
PD458 John Bradley's notes indicate that this aircraft crashed following an engine fire near Goch on the 27 Sept 1944 caused by flak damage.

Webmaster's Notes: According to 439 Sqn records  the only aircraft loss on this date was  MN574. However, MN574 is shown flying operationally well after this date. So once again we have to rely on Mr Bradley's keen detective work

27 Sept 1944 - A train with six goods trucks was then attacked and damaged at map reference A.0323 south of Geldern. In the first attack, J.88900 P/O W.A. Gray (ex R.129277 W/O 2 Gray W.A.) pulled his aircraft away streaming glycol from the radiator. F/O Lawrence informed W/O Gray of that, but Nick carried out a second attack on the train. The section set course for home almost at once and Nick kept losing height as he came. The white glycol trail turned to black as the aircraft caught fire and spun into the ground from about 1,000 feet. W/O Gray did not bale out despite repeated instruction to do so. He is believed killed.

PD459 Struck by flak and crashed while on approach to B-78 Eindhoven on the 26 Dec 1944. Blue 4 (F/O Kubicki) became short of fuel so they returned to base where Blue 4 made a belly landing as his indications showed his port wheel to be unlocked and he had insufficient gas to carry out any emergency measures
PD461 Damaged by enemy fighters during Bodenplatte 1 Jan 1945. The aircraft was repaired.
PD465 5V-Y Another mystery !!!

John Bradley's research indicates that this aircraft was shot down by enemy fighters from JG-26 while attacking Breda on the 24 Sep 1944.

439's form 540 recounts the following: F/O R.W. Vokey (J25397), the last addition to our Squadron is missing from operations. He took-off with the Squadron at 06:35 hours for an Armed Recce of the Breda-Gorinchem-Dordrecht area. F/O B.P. Swingler led the section in which F/O Vokey flew when they dove onto horse-drawn vehicles. On being attacked by flak, F/O Swingler broke sharply and watched his No. 3 attack, when F/O Vokey was not seen, he looked around and saw burning wreckage across the river at map reference 0450.

While the form 541 states that:  While carrying out an attack against a ground target, F/O R.W. Vokey (J25397) apparently pressed it home too long and failed to recover from his dive in time. Burning wreckage (aircraft) was seen in the area, presumably that of F/O Vokey. No flak was seen throughout the show and all other aircraft returned unharmed to base.

So what brought down F/O Vokey ... enemy fighters, enemy flak, or pilot error ? Help me John !

PD478 Shot down by flak near Haltern on the 15 Dec 1944. After climbing up S/L Crosby resumed an easterly course, crossing the railway north of Haltern. They met a heavy barrage of heavy flak. Red Four (J.7827 F/L C.A. Lambert) received a direct hit and with his engine out, he attempted to belly land. Picking out a large field, he overshot slightly and went through a clump of trees, tearing a wing off and flipping on his back in the process at map reference A.5556. Smoke was seen emanating from the aircraft but no fire. No word on the R/T was heard and  it is not known whether he is safe or not. 
PD492 Shot down by USAAF P-47s near Duren on the 24 Dec 1944. On the return home they were attacked by two Thunderbolts and broke into them, the Thunderbolts turned with them after damaging Red 3 (F/L Sage) in a head on shot, making his aircraft a Cat. *** They then shot at Red 4 R74061 F/Sgt Wright W.A. who went over on his back and straight down in flames at map reference F.1545. He was seen to bail out but his parachute didn't open (presumed killed).
PD554 5V-T Damaged beyond repair  during Bodenplatte on 1 Jan 1945.
PD557 Engine damaged by flak and forced to land in no man land on the 18 Oct 1944. The aircraft was repaired. Due to the terrific head wind, they had not crossed the Rhine as they anticipated and emerged beneath cloud just north of Arnhem; they were met by a hail of flak, mostly 40mm. Red two (F/O Davis) was hit in the engine and developed an oil leak forcing him to make a crash landing, however, he was able to was able to reach our lines and returned safely by road.
PD564 5V-M Force landed at B-86 Helmond on the 10 Feb 1945 during an air-test. Aircraft was repaired. Three A&E tests were also made, one of which was carried out by WOII Bud Propas who pranged his aircraft at B-86 Helmond when the motor cut out on him. As far as we know, the aircraft burst into flames and Bud was dragged out but not before suffering burns to his face and fracture to the base of his skull. At present he is on the dangerously ill list. 
PD592  Typhoon PD592 made forced landing in Holten (eastern part Netherlands) piloted by F/O John D. Flintoft of No. 440 Sqn  RCAF on 24th February 1945.
Source: Martin J.G. Hols
PD592  
PD603 5V-H  
PD607 Shot down by flak North-east of Roermond on the 19 Nov 1944. The light flak at this point was terrific, described as coming up in "sheets" from the small forest to the north of the target and gave the impression of being automatically controlled. Red Four J.37648 F/O J.G. Martin was hit badly and was seen streaming glycol. Red Three (F/O Jack Roberts) stayed with him as he attempted to glide to our lines. Losing height all the time, he then appeared to think it wiser to bail out which he did at a point about ten miles northeast of Roermond, Holland, at map reference K.8696. F/O Roberts watched him bail out. His parachute streamed out but failed to open fully and he fell rapidly towards the ground landing in a clump of trees. It was very doubtful whether he survived.
PD608 5V-G Damaged by enemy fighters during Bodenplatte 1 Jan 1945 . On the 21 Feb 1945 F/O Harrison (No.2) had his windscreen oiled up, and on landing, he swung off to the right, going into a soft spot causing him to go on his nose. He was unhurt and the aircraft only had a broken airscrew. 
PD610  
R8897 5V-C  
R8926 5V-B  
R8971 Flew into a hill near Cummnock Scotland on the 20 Feb 1944 killing the pilot F/O E.L. Dixon (J20973) of Toronto.
R8977 5V-D  
RB195 5V-D  
RB198 1 Jan 1945 - Finding a whole in the cloud east of St-Vith, F/L Carr dove below cloud with the aircraft in line astern. The ceiling was about 100 to 1500 feet. They found about 7 trucks and one house amongst trees at the side of the road. In the attack they got 3 flamers, and two damaged. F/L Carr got hit with a 40 M. in his starboard wing at the trailing edge rendering his aircraft a Cat AC. It blew quite a hole!
RB202  
RB204 Damaged by flak and force landed near Bestmerborg on the 14 Jan 1945. Light flak was thrown up over the target area which hit F/O J.A. Cote's aircraft causing a bad glycol leak and he was informed of this. He made a successful forced landing about four miles south, south-west of Bestmerberg and then called up on the R/T stating that he was alright. 
RB206  
RB232  
RB233 5V-F  
RB255 5V-S  
RB257 5V-S Damaged during the Bodenplatte offensive at B-78 Eindhoven 1 Jan1945. The aircraft was repaired.
RB262 5V-X Struck by flak on 24 Mar 1945. Not believed to have been repaired. Another gun, a multi-barreled  affair was shot at but no results were observed. (A2154) Pulling up from the last effort, Hugh (F/O Fraser) had the unpleasant experience of being hit by a 40 MM shell just back of the well on the fuselage, his kite was found to be a Cat AC in inspection. They hastily beat a retreat to base landing at 11:10 hours.
RB281 5V-X "Nicky" Also had a small "x" near the nose. This aircraft had 3 victories all by the same pilot, F/O Hugh Fraser consisting of two FW-190s, and a ME-262 (9K+Hn from 5/KG(J)51).  2 Mar 1945 - After circling the base once, F/O Hugh Fraser had his engine seize on him and had to a wheels up  force landing near Eindhoven just north of the airfield. It did not do the aircraft any good but he got out unscratched, whilst his kite was a Cat AC. The cause of the failure was unknown. The aircraft was repaired.  
RB286 5V-A On the return trip from a rail cutting mission, the aircraft made an emergency landing at Mill on the 6 Feb 1945, with F/L Vic LeGear at the controls. The engine, its job finished, promptly died. A hasty check of F/L LeGear's a/c showed a small flak hole in the port wing, a bad glycol leak in the radiator, and filter at the rear of radiator knocked out of position, thus rendered Cat. AC.
RB317 John Bradley's research indicates that this aircraft was force landed at Laffeld due to flak damage on the 20 Jan 1945. 

Webmaster's Note: Although Squadron records indicate that aircraft RB377 was lost on this date, RB377 flew well beyond the date in question. So once again, we will side with John Bradley's findings.

20 Jan 1945 - The Squadron then strafed the town (Laffeld), and in his second attack, F/O Jack Sweeney, was hit by light flak, apparently in the radiator. He called up the Squadron informing them that his motor had cut. He was at 1000 feet and he glided due west getting about 2 miles from the target at map reference E.8272 before he touched down. He then called up on the R/T saying he was O.K. and starting to run. No word has been received from him since but we are all holding out good hopes. He was subsequently taken as a POW.

RB324 5V-E

While on a mission on the 28 April, 1944 F/O Hallford was  unknowingly hit in the engine and tail-wheel pivot by flak. Landing at 20:00 hours. Hallford's tail-wheel assembly collapsed on landing and his rudder was damaged.

RB326  
RB337  
RB369 5V-Q  
RB377 5V-W On the first show of the day 29 April 1945, F/O Buck McGibbon pranged his kite (RB377) on the runway due to the stiff crosswind and no brakes, but finger trouble is also suspected.  This aircraft was erroneously reported in the 541 as being shot down by flak on the 20 Jan 1945. See entry for RB317 above.
RB387 Damaged on landing at Warmwell on the 17 Apr 1945 when the landing gear collapsed. The flying for the day amounted to 49 sorties on dive-bombing and one casualty occurred when F/O Murray Hallford's aircraft dropped a fairing on pulling out of a dive, then touching down at the drome, his undercarriage collapsed and the aircraft was rendered a Cat AC.
RB389  
RB391  
RB402 5V-P  
RB435 30 Mar 1945 - Brought  down by flak over Lingerich J29881 A/F/L W.G. Davis and F/L Mac McCully carried out an independent search after No. 3 and No. 4 had broken away. F/L McCully observed three MET below and went down to make an attack followed by F/L Davis; Mac pulled up after a couple of squirts and noticed flak all around his  and Bill's aircraft followed by a flash under the mid-section of the latter's kite. F/L Davis was then seen to do three slow rolls from about 500 feet and subsequently crashed  and exploded on impact at B6894 which is approximately four miles south of Lengerich. he is considered as missing, presumed killed.
RB441 5V-Z  
RB449  
RB456 5V-H  
RB477  
RB495  
RB499 On the 26 Jan 1945, the aircraft, piloted by F/O Don Elsley, experienced a loss of power and was forced to land at E759193.  It was badly mauled in the radiator, port wing and fuselage, after crashing through an iron fence and a ditch, rendered a Cat B. Cause believed to be  due to fuel or ignition trouble.
RB510  
SW400  
SW420  
SW423 5V-J Shot down by flak at Ratzeburg while attacking a railway marshalling yard on the 23 Apr 1945. Two trains were seen in marshalling yards near Ratzeburg, but before they could be attacked, intense accurate light flak started coming from the yards, so the aircraft broke away. F/L Johnny McCullough was hit, and crash landed about six miles south-east of Ratzeburg at T1153. He called up from the ground to say that he was O.K.

Webmaster's Note: As of 30 Apr 1945, F/L McCullough was still listed as missing. although there is no further mention of him in 439's journals, it is presumed that he was taken as a POW .

SW428  
SW443 5V-M John Bradley's research indicates that this aircraft was shot down by flak over Eringen on the 3 May 1945. 

Webmaster's Note: There is no record of this particular airframe in the 540 or 541 on this date. However, the entry for 3 May 1945 does report an aircraft (MP117) loss on this date along with its pilot F/O George Burden.

3 May 1945 - Blue Section found another train just west of Pinneberg. A dive on this was met by a hail of light flak from the train. F/O George Burden flying as Blue Two received a direct hit and his aircraft burst into flames. He crashed on the northern outskirts of the village of Esingen.(Eringen??)

SW446 5V-B  
SW460 5V-D  
SW462  
SW498  
SW524 5V-F  
SW525 John Bradley's research reveals that this aircraft made a wheels up forced landing 6 miles south-east of Ratzeburg on the 23 Apr 1945 after being damaged by flak.

Webmaster's Notes: There is no record of this aircraft flying on this date with 439 Squadron in the 541 for 23 Apr 1945. The only casualty mentioned on this date is aircraft  SW423 (see entry above). Unless, again, the aircraft in question was on loan to a sister squadron.

SW534  

 

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