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F/O D F Neilson and Crew
F/O Neilson and crew were posted to 550 Sqdn from R.A.F. Station, Wickenby w.e.f. 19.3.44:
- F/O D F Neilson RCAF (P)
- Sgt C A Bennett F/Eng)
- F/O H B Brett RCAF (Nav)
- F/O C Stocks (A/B)
- Sgt A T Paget (W/Op)
- Sgt E W Webb (MU/AG)
- F/O J M McKay (R/AG)
Lancaster LM134 was flown by the F/O Neilson crew when it was lost on 16/17 June 19 to Sterkrade (one of three 550 Lancasters lost on this operation). On this occasion the crew was slightly different with two of the usual crew (the F/Eng and the A/B) replaced by stand-ins, plus a 2nd pilot (on his first op) flying. Thus the crew flying on this occasion was as follows:
- F/O D F Neilson RCAF (P) KIA
- W/O J K Murray RCAF (2nd P) KIA
- Sgt J E Legg F/Eng) KIA
- F/O H B Brett RCAF (Nav) KIA
- F/Lt A D McConnell DFC RNZAF (A/B) KIA
- Sgt A T Paget (W/Op) KIA
- Sgt E W Webb (MU/AG) KIA
- F/O J M McKay (R/AG) KIA
F/Lt A D McConnell DFC (RNZAF) was the Squadron Senior Bombing Officer. He was standing in for F/O Stocks the regular A/B who was in sick quarters with a foot wound.
The entry on the 550 Squadron Roll of Honour is available here.
Other information about the flight and the target available here.
The death of W/O Murray left a headless crew (who were, after the loss of W/O Murray, transferred away from North Killingholme station). See W/O J K Murray and crew.
Amersfoort (Old Leusden) Cemetary in Holland
|F/Lt Alex McConnell (RNZAF) DFC
Thanks to Robin Hill for making the photo available
Request For Information15/09/2014
Do you have any information about crew members of the F/O D F Neilson crew who were lost on 16/17 June 1944 on ops to Sterkrade? Eight crew were lost (2nd pilot was flying) and two of the regular crew members were replaced by stand-ins on that raid, so relatives of quite a large number of air-crew (some of whom may have survived the war having not been flying that fateful night).
The aircraft came down in the area of Veenendaal in Holland. There are plans afoot for a memorial at the crash site. Thus the search is on for relatives of crew who may wish to be present at any unveiling (ca. June 2015, details not yet confirmed).
Please email the web-site (contact details below) if you contact details for anyone who may be interested in further information.
There will be a commemoration event for the F/O Neilson crew on 17th June 2016 in Rhenen, The Netherlands.
Thus far, the afternoon schedule is as follows:
- 13.00: The Mayor of Rhenen welcomes the invited people (representatives from Canada, England, New-Zealand and the Royal Air Force of The Netherlands).
- 14.00: Unveiling of the Memorial Stone; the names of the eight crew-members are engraved.
- 14.45: End of formal ceremony.
If you need more information then please contact: Gerard van der Vliet.
See the Rhenen Memorial web-page.