Sergeant John Henry LOVELL DFM

Service No: 408145
Born: Stanley TAS, 17 May 1917
Enlisted in the RAAF: 3 January 1941
Unit: No. 207 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Langar
Awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM), 20 November 1942
Died: Air Operations (No. 207 Squadron Lancaster aircraft L7546), France, 7 November 1942, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Champignol-lez-Mondeville Churchyard, Aube, France
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Earnest Carrington Lovell and Ellen Linda Lovell, of Smithton, Tasmania, Australia
Roll of Honour: Smithton TAS
Remembered: Panel 125, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

DFM Citation (five DFMs were awarded – Pilot Officer Wilson, Flight Sergeant Rose, Sergeant Lovell, Flight Sergeant Perrin and Flight Sergeant Peck): “As Pilot, Navigator, Air Bomber, Wireless Operator/Air Gunner, and Rear Gunner respectively, these airmen flew in an aircraft whish took part in an attack on Le Creusot on 17 October 1942. Shortly after taking off engine trouble developed. Despite great efforts, Sergeant Wilson was unable to continue his mission and course was set for base. Near to the French coast, while flying at only 40 feet above the sea, the aircraft was attacked by three enemy float planes. In the face of a trying situation Sergeant Wilson displayed fine airmanship, and, splendidly supported by his gunners, whose skill destroyed two of them and drove off the third, he eventually flew the aircraft back to an aerodrome in this country. During the combat, Flight Sergeant Rose coolly continued his duties and his subsequent navigation was of the greatest assistance to his pilot. Throughout, this crew displayed great courage, high skill and perfect teamwork.”

At 1801 hours on the night of 7 November 1942 Lancaster L7546 took off from Langar detailed to bomb Genoa, Italy. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and failed to return to base. The aircraft crashed at Champignol-lez-Mondeville (Aube), 11 kms south west of Bar-Sur-Aube, France. All the crew members were killed.

The crew members of L7546 were:

Sergeant William Alfred Henry Ball (523218) (RAF) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant John Henry Lovell DFM (408145) (Air Bomber)
Flight Sergeant Charles Woodrow Wilson Peck DFM (R/100368) (RCAF) (Rear Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Arthur John Perrin DFM (1258979) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant William James Rose DFM (778285) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Robert Peter Strain (R/92290) (RCAF) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Pilot Officer A V R S Wilson DFM (135004) (RAFVR) (Pilot)


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, 163/139/187

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