Flight Sergeant John Donald HANCE

Service No: 424409
Born: St Kilda VIC, 19 November 1920
Enlisted in the RAAF: 12 September 1942 (at Sydney NSW)
Unit: No. 15 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Mildenhall
Died: Air Operations: (No. 15 Squadron Lancaster aircraft NF916), Germany, 5 November 1944, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Rheinberg War Cemetery, Kamp Lintfort, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Arthur John and Florence May Hance; husband of Gladys Lillian Hance, of North Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Sydney NSW
Remembered: Panel 123, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 0955 hours on 5 November 1944 Lancaster NF916 took off from Mildenhall on a day mission to bomb Solingen, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it failed to return to base. Other crews on the same mission reported seeing the aircraft disintegrate in mid-air and that no parachutes were seen to open. A later report from a Missing Research and Enquiry Team stated “the aircraft crashed in the afternoon of 5 November 1944 at Halfershof in Kreis Solingen, Germany.” All the crew members were killed.

The crew members of NF916 were:

Flight Lieutenant Hugh Orme Cato (424147) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant John Donald Hance (424409) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant William Henderson (1592158) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner)
Warrant Officer Harry Hounsome (1445125) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant Kenneth Frederick Knox (2209802) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Pilot Officer David Thomas Lee (419688) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Terence Jack Priddle (1610620) (RAFVR) (Bomb Aimer)


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 A705, 166/17/813

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