Sergeant John Henry POTT

Service No: 400122
Born: Gillingham, England, 7 June 1920
Enlisted in the RAAF: 27 May 1940
Unit: No. 216 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Air Operations: (No. 216 Squadron Bombay aircraft L5447), Libya, 17 November 1941, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Frederick George and Lily Mabel Pott, of Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Port Melbourne VIC
Remembered: Column 246, Alamein Memorial, Egypt
Remembered: Panel 128, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On the night of 16/17 November 1941 Bombay L5447 was detailed to drop parachute troops in the Tmimi-El Gazala area. The aircraft was due back at base at 0330 hours on 17 November. The aircraft was heard over the Fuka satellite aerodrome at that time but it did not land. A message at 0430 hours from the aircraft stated it had made a forced landing, was undamaged and requested a bearing to fix its location. This was given and a dawn search by other aircraft was made. A further message was then received from L5447 saying it was ‘in the air’. Then another message was received saying ‘stand by will call you later.’ A report from the Army confirmed that an aircraft was heard to land but it took off while the Army were trying to locate it. At dawn a flight of Hurricanes searched in the Sidi Barrani area to Tobruk, but failed to locate the missing aircraft, which failed to return to base. Later information established that the aircraft was shot down by a German night fighter over El Gazala. It crashed 10 miles east of El Gazala approximately 500 yards from the coast. Three crew members were killed and three became Prisoners of War.

The crew members of L5447 were:

Leading Aircraftman R W Gowing (546430) (RAF) (Flight Rigger) PoW
Sergeant R P Heard (751885) (RAFVR) (Observer) PoW
Aircraftman I William Humphries (649662) (RAF) (Flight Mechanic)
Pilot Officer Donald Sunman Martin (111325) (RAFVR) (Second Pilot)
Sergeant John Henry Pott (400122) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant C E West (565667) (RAFVR) (Pilot) PoW

There were eleven British Army members (1 Officer and 11 other ranks) on board who were all taken prisoner. Details for these members are not included in the Casualty File.


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, 163/152/141

Book Now Book Now