Died: 25th June 1943; age; 27; Aircraft crashed into the IJsselmeer near Eskimolaan, 20km NW of Harderwijk.
Residence: 47, Shafto Road, Ipswich.
Formerly of 49 Squadron – August 1942 – posted March 1943 – 106 Squadron.
Rank: Flight Sergeant/Wireless Operator/Air Gunner (tail); Service Number: 990571;
Regiment: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, 106 Squadron.
Medals Awarded: Distinguished Flying Medal – Gazetted 18th May 1943.
‘This N.C.O. has completed 19 operational sorties and 113 hours flying as a Wireless Operator in the Squadron Commander’s crew. He has participated in two daylight attacks on Le Creusot and Osnabruck and his work, both in the air and on the ground, has been of the highest order. He alone, being responsible for the efficiency of his equipment, has maintained it at the high pitch that is necessary, and in the air he has been of the greatest assistance to the Navigator. On one occasion when serious compass trouble could have caused the abandonment of a sortie to Italy, by wireless aids alone he enabled the Navigator to ascertain his position and carry on accurately to the target and back to his country. His cheerful disposition and willingness to assist his crew in every way have been a source of constant inspiration and I most strongly recommend him for the award of the D.F.M.’
British Plot 2, Grave 8.
Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Joseph & Elizabeth Pass; husband of Ruby May Pass, of Ipswich.
In 1942, Ploughley, Oxfordshire, Joe married Ruby May Tyrrell, born March 1920.
They had 1 son.
Probate to Ruby May Pass – widow.
25th/26th June 1943
Aircraft: Lancaster Mk1; Serial number: W4367; Based at Syerston, Flintham, Nottinghamshire. On the night of the 25th/26th June 473 RAF bombers went on a mission to Gelsenkirchen, an industrial city in the Ruhr. The city was heavily bombed and the Nordstern refineries were extensively damaged restricting the production of jet fuel for a long time. At 22:45 whilst returning from the mission W4367 at an altitude of 4000m was shot down by a German night fighter Oblt Hans Leickhardt. Five of the seven bodies were washed ashore along the coast of Holland, identified and buried. The remaining two crew members Hiram Davies and John Welch were never officially identified and our commemorated on the Memorial to the Missing, at Runnymede, Surrey.
Edward Ernest Tyler; Sergeant/Flight Engineer; age 19; R.A.F.
Peter John Page; Pilot Officer/Pilot; age 22; R.A.F.V.R.
James Hancock; Flight Sergeant/Navigator; age 31; R.A.F.V.R.
Hiram Edwin Davies; Flight Sergeant; age 22; R.A.F.V.R.
John Charles Welch; Flight Sergeant ; age 22; R.A.F.V.R.
John MacMillan; Flight Sergeant/Air Bomber; age 32; R.A.F.V.R.
Photograph courtesy of PATS – www.teunispats.nl
Extra information thanks to Langston.
Every year a small service and ceremony is held by the local town members, cadets and veteran organisations for the 43 airmen who are buried and remembered at Harderwijk General Cemetery. Flowers are placed on every grave.
Images courtesy of Ruud Slangen