13/14.05.1943 No. 78 Squadron Halifax II JB873 Sgt Dane Location: Between Oud-Heverlee and Haasrode, Belgium.
Mission: Bochum, Germany.

Date: 13/14th May 1943

Time: 03.07 Uhr. (German time)

Unit: No.78 Squadron RAF

Type: Handley Page Halifax II

Serial No: JB873

Coded: EY - J

Location: Crashed between the two villages of Oud-Heverlee and Haasrode, Belgium.

Pilot: Sgt Gerald. Herbert. Dane MID 146425 – Killed.

2nd Pilot: Sgt James. Howard. Body 658465 – Killed.

Sgt A. C. P. Minnitt – Captured POW.

Sgt R. G. Goddard 1333556 – Evaded capture and returned.

Sgt L. Adams 1390851 – Captured POW.

Sgt J. W. Pople 1388502 – Captured POW

Sgt A. Beatson 1698487 – Captured POW.

Sgt F. W. Webb 1388371 – Captured POW


Took off from its base at Linton-on-Ouse at 23.29 hours. Was attacked and shot down by a night fighter of Lt Wolfgang Schnaufer II./NJG1 and crashed between Oud-Heverlee and Haasrode (Brabant). Both pilots who were killed were laid to rest in the Haasrode Churchyard. The only evader, Sgt Goddard returned to the UK and was decorated with the DFM, details being gazetted 17th August 1943.

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The wreck of Halifax JB873 appears to be near a barn, above the rear turret and below the tail wheel (Jeckel)

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Burial detail:
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Sgt Dane and Sgt Body both rest in the Haasrode Churchyard, Belgium. (Photos Marcel Rosvelds)

Pilot: Sgt Gerald. Herbert. Dane MID 146425 Age 20
Haasrode Churchyard Belgium Grave 1.
Son of Herbert Victor and Beryl Florence Dane of Belvedere, Kent. His brother Eric John also died on service.

2nd Pilot: Sgt James. Howard. Body 658465 Age 21
Haasrode Churchyard Belgium Grave 2.
Son of Charles and Mary Ellen Body, of Frittenden, Kent.

Researched and compiled by Melvin Brownless with special thanks to Horst Jeckel, August 2013. (Updated by David King May 2019)

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