Name at birth – Johan Pieter Marie van der Heijden.
Born: 23rd February 1924, North Brabant, Netherlands.
Died: 10th November 1945; age: 21; Crashed near Wheaton Aston Airfield, Staffordshire.
London Gazette – 1st September 1945 – Flight Sergeant – R.A.F.V.R.
Rank: Pilot Officer; Service Number: 200908.
Regiment: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Mr & Mrs P.H.J. van der Heijden.
Brother to Pieter Robert Maire van der Heijden.
Father: Pieter Hendrik John van der Heijden, born November 1886, Oudenbosch, North Brabant, Netherlands – died 1949, ‘Brabant’, Sproughton, Suffolk. Superintendent – Beet Sugar Factory.
Mother: (Nelly) Cornelia Fredericka van der Heijden (nee Augustijn), born March 1891.
John attended Ipswich School.
On the 19th March 1937, John and his father & siblings (originally from the Netherlands) took British Nationality. They were listed in the London Gazette on the 6th April 1937.
Pieter Hendrik Johan van der Heijden, a Manager; residence – Sproughton Road, Sproughton.
Johan Pieter Marie van der Heijden
Maria Dymphina Cornelia van der Heijden
Pieter Henrik Johan van der Heijden
Pieter Robert Maire van der Heijden.
John is also remembered on the Ipswich School Chapel war memorial.
10th November 1945
Aircraft – de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito PR.Mk 34; Serial Number: RG204 of the Radar Controlled Air Survey Unit. Controls lost and broke up in the air following the failure of the starboard engine on a radar calibration flight. John was killed. The Navigator bailed out successfully.
John’s bother, Pieter Robert Maria van der Heijden, of ‘Brabant’, Sproughton, also lost his life – ranked a Squadron Leader/Pilot, 40190, of the Royal Air Force, 541 Squadron. Killed 8th February 1943. Taking off from RAF Mount Farm, Oxfordshire, he failed to return from a photo reconnaissance mission to Rotterdam in a Supermarine Spitfire PR.Mk IVT. Pieter is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, panel 292.
Both John & Pieter are remembered on the war memorial at All Saint’s Church, Sproughton, and on their parents headstone at Ipswich New Cemetery.