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Hunter, Howard John (Corporal)

Killed in Action 1944-September-24

Birth Date: 1921-April-28 (age 23)

Born: Irochu Alberta

Son of Howard Alvin Hunter and Ola May Hunter, of Calgary. Alberta, Canada.

Home: Calgary, Alberta

1 PDC- Personnel Dispatch Centre
Air Chief MarshalA/C/M
Air MarshalA/M
Air Vice MarshalA/V/M
Air CommodoreA/C
Group CaptainG/C
Wing CommanderW/C
Squadron LeaderS/L
Flight LieutenantF/L
Flying OfficerF/O
Pilot OfficerP/O
Warrant Officer 1st ClassWO1
Warrant Officer 2nd ClassWO2
Flight SergeantFS
Senior AircraftmanSAC
Leading AircraftmanLAC
Aircraftman 1st ClassAC1
Aircraftman 2nd ClassAC2
Radar Mechanic
Service Numbers

1 Personnel Dispatch Centre, RAF Pershore, 437 Sqn Dakota III aircraft KG 653 was one of 15 transports enroute to India in very poor weather with dark low clouds, heavy rain, thunder and lightning when it was attacked by fighters over Germany. The fighters tried to force it down but it went into a dive, suffered structural failure pulling out and crashed four miles south-west of Neuleiningen, Germany (mhuxt

Radar Mechanic, Cpl HJ Hunter (RCAF) was killed. Please see Beach, LI for complete casualty list and detail

Cpl Hunter was originally buried at Neuleiningen Cemetery, near the crash site, exhumed in 1948 and reburied at the Rheinberg War Cemetery

Canada Source Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Canada Primary Source Library and Archives Canada Service Files (may not exist)

Corporal Howard John Hunter was exhumed and reburied.

Google MapCalgary, Alberta
First Burial
Google MapNeuleiningen Cemetery, Germany, Near Crash Site
Google MapSoldaten Friedhof Alliierte Piloten 2WK
2 K 25

Dakota KG653

Douglas Dakota Skytrain C-47 DC-3 AC-47 R4D Spooky Gooney Bird

Douglas C-47 Dakota
Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum

Development of the Douglas DC-3 started in early 1935 with the prototype flying by the end of the year. The first production aircraft was delivered to American Airlines in July 1936 and soon orders were pouring in from US and overseas airlines. The US Air Corps became interested in the DC-3 and ordered a military version, called the C-47 or Dakota. It had many capabilities, including dropping paratroops and supplies, evacuating the wounded, troop transportation and glider towing. Eventually, about 10,000 C-47s were built for the US military.

During WW II, the Royal Air Force received about 1,930 Dakotas and they became the RAF's main wartime transport aircraft. The RCAF took delivery of its first Dakota in March 1943, and at its peak had 169 on strength. Within Canada, they were operated by four transport squadrons and several ferry squadrons.

Overseas, Dakotas equipped RCAF 437 Squadron in Europe and RCAF 435 and 436 Squadrons in South East Asia. 437 Squadron was formed in England September 1944, where it supported the British and Canadian Armies fighting in Europe. Its most important actions involved glider towing for the airborne landings at Arnhem and the Rhine crossing at Wesel.435 and 436 Squadrons were formed in India in October 1944. They flew Dakotas in support of the British 14th Army in Burma where they dropped supplies to the British troops fighting the Japanese in the jungle.

At the end of WW II, all three squadrons were transferred back to England to provide air transport for the Canadian occupation forces in Germany. Dakotas continued in service with the Canadian Armed Forces until 1989, when 402 Squadron, based in Winnipeg, retired the last of them. Of the nearly 13,000 DC-3s built, many are still in service today, over 75 years after the aircraft's first flight.

The Museum's Dakota was built for the USAAF and was delivered to the Royal Air Force in February 1944 as FZ692 and the Royal Canadian Air Force 437 Squadron in September 1944. It was later renumbered as 12945 as part of the Canadian Armed Forces where it served with 424 Squadron for Search & Rescue at CFB Trenton. It performed JATO ignition in flight at the 1970 Canadian National Exhibition Air Show on the Toronto waterfront.

After it was struck off strength by the Canadian Armed Forces in 1973, the aircraft ended up with Environment Canada, where it was used for mineral and environmental surveys. C-GRSB was donated to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in May 2014.

FZ692 has been restored to the paint scheme it would have worn at the end of World War II with 437 Squadron RCAF. FZ692 flew 208 operational trips with 437 Squadron and 16 with 233 Squadron for a total of 224. It ended up flying hundreds of individual legs between airfields in Europe. FZ692 participated in two major airborne operations, Normandy and the Rhine Crossing. It carried 298 casualties to medical aid and repatriated 456 prisoners of war. It carried over 5,100 passengers to destinations around Europe and carried over two hundred tons of freight (414,368 lbs). CWHM

YouTube C-47 Skytrain

Wkikpedia Wikipedia C-47 Skytrain

General Harold A Skaarup Web Page

Museum CWHM Flightlines

Museum Canada Aviation Museum Dakota Overview

Canada Source Dakota Maintenance Manual

CASPIR Aircraft Groups:
RCAF On Strength (175), RCAF Leased (1), RCAF 400 Squadron (124), Canadian Aircraft Losses (96), Canadian Museum(5)
last update: 2023-07-22 19:20:00

Dakota Mk. III KG653

C-47A-20-DK 42-93546 to USAAF May 31, 1944. To RAF as Dakota III KG653 via RAF Montreal Jun 6, 1944. RAF UK Jun 12, 1944. Assigned to No. 1 Ferry Unit, but operated by No. 437 (T) Squadron, RCAF, when it was lost in Europe on 24 September 1944, carrying ground crew destined for RCAF Dakota squadrons in the Far East. Apparently strayed off course in bad weather during delivery flight to Middle East. Shot down by Hptm Lulius Meimberg in Bf 109G-14 of JG 53/Stab II at Neuleiningen, Germany Sep 24, 1944. 2 crew and 20 passengers killed.


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