Flight Lieutenant John Joseph DUNNE DFC

Service No: 422148
Born: Auckland, New Zealand, 9 November 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 25 April 1942 (at Sydney NSW)
Unit: No. 9 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Bardney
Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), 5 December 1944
Died: Air Operations: (No. 9 Squadron Lancaster aircraft NF937), Germany, 14 February 1945, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Rheinberg War Cemetery, Kamp Lintfort, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Martin Savory Dunne and Elsie Margaret Dunne, of East Brighton, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Sydney NSW
Remembered: Panel 121, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

DFC Citation: “This Officer is a most capable and conscientious Captain of aircraft. He has completed many sorties during which he has attacked a variety of targets. On one occasion when over an enemy target his aircraft sustained heavy damage. The controls were affected and the bomber went into a steep dive. Much height was lost before Flying Officer Dunne succeeded in levelling out. He afterwards flew the badly damaged aircraft to an airfield in this country. On a recent occasion he flew with great distinction in an attack of Flushing. This Officer has displayed considerable courage and devotion to duty.”

At 0747 hours on 14 February 1945 Lancaster NF937 took off from Bardney for a daylight mission armed with a Tallboy bomb and headed for a railway viaduct east of Paderborn. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base. Post war it was established that the aircraft crashed 200 yards east of Sasserath, a village 11 kms south south east of Bad Muenstereifel, Germany. All the crew members had been killed.

The crew members of NF937 were:

Flight Lieutenant John Joseph Dunne DFC (422148) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant John Frederick Jordan (1150197) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner)
Flight Sergeant James William Knight (1613421) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Horace John Ockerby (629786) (RAF) (Flight Engineer)
Flying Officer Cuthbert Lawson Philpott (151758) (RAFVR) (Bomb Aimer)
Pilot Officer John Thomas Rose (J/92419) (RCAF) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Pilot Officer Maurice Joseph Thain (186232) (RAF) (Navigator)

Flight Lieutenant Dunne had flown 26 operational sorties.


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record

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