Air Operations: No. 464 Squadron Mosquito aircraft NT138, France, 26 July 1944

On the night of 25/26th July 1944 Mosquito NT138 took off from RAF Thorney Island as one of 12 aircraft from the Squadron detailed to bomb and strafe road and bridges, railway line/junctions, sidings and airfields in support of the troops in France. NT 138 failed to return from the mission.

The crew members of NT138 were:

Flying Officer John Robert Crossley Walton (414530) (Pilot) Evaded capture, Discharged from the RAAF: 4 July 1945
Flying Officer Charles H Harper (153382) (RAFVR) (Navigator) Evaded capture, Returned to UK on 24 August 1944

In a later statement Flying Officer Walton reported: “the aircraft took off on an offensive patrol near Orleans France. The aircraft was hit in the bomb bay at 0215 hours. Flares in the bomb bay ignited and the cockpit filled with smoke. A few moments later the 20 mm ammo began exploding. I gave the order to bale out and Flying Officer Harper baled out at 0215. I followed. I saw the aircraft explode as it hit the ground. I landed in an orchard near St Pere. I sprained an ankle and lost one shoe. Hid parachute, harness and mae west in bushes and crawled 2 kms west. Hid in hay field until 1800 when I hailed a Frenchman. He agreed to help and went away and returned later with food. I then removed my battle dress blouse and black tie and rolled up my shirt sleeves. The Frenchman gave me a pitch fork and we walked to his home about half a mile. The remainder of my journey was arranged for me.” Flying Officer Walton returned safe to the UK on 29 August 1944.


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/43/785


Lax, M. (Mark) and Leon Kane-Maguire The Gestapo Hunters: 464 Squadron RAAF 1942-5, Banner Books Maryborough QLD 4650, 1999
Vincent, D. (David) Mosquito Monograph: A history of Mosquitoes in Australia and RAAF operations, David Vincent Highbury SA 5089, 1982

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