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Cooper, John Herbert (Flight Lieutenant)

Prisoner of War 1944-July-18

Male Head

Birth Date: unkown date (age unknown)

432 (B) Sqn- Squadron
Saeviter Ad Lucem Ferociously toward the light
RAF East Moor
Flight Lieutenant
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
Service Numbers
PoW: 7607

Halifax B.Mk.VII NP706

Bombing Caen France 1944-July-18 to 1944-July-18

(B) Sqn (RCAF) East Moor

Battle of Normandy

942 aircraft - 667 Lancasters, 260 Halifaxes, 15 Mosquitoes - to bomb 5 fortified villages in the area east of Caen through which British Second Army troops were about to make an armoured attack, Operation Goodwood.

The raids took place at dawn in clear conditions. 4 of the targets were satisfactorily marked by Oboe and, at the target where Oboe failed, the Master Bomber, Squadron Leader E. K. Creswell, and other Pathfinder crews used visual methods. American bombers also attacked these targets and a total of' 6,800 tons of bombs were dropped, of which Bomber Command dropped more than 5,000 tons. Elements of two German divisions, the 16th Luftwaffe Field Division and the 21st Panzer Division were badly affected by the bombing, the Luftwaffe Division particularly so. Operation Goodwood made a good start. This raid was either the most useful or one of the most useful of the operations carried out by Bomber Command in direct support of the Allied armies.*

The aircraft bombed from medium heights, 5,000--9,000 ft, but army artillery and naval gunfire subdued many of the Flak batteries and only 6 aircraft- 5 Halifaxes and 1 Lancaster - were shot down. No German fighters appeared; Allied air superiority over the battlefield by day was complete.

source: The Bomber Command War Diaries, Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt

Halifax VII aircraft NP 706 QO-J was shot down by flak fourteen miles north-east of Falaise, France, at Boulogne during operations to Caen, France.

Pilot Officer RE Burton (RCAF) survived the crash but died from his wounds. Buried initially near the crash site, he was exhumed and reburied at the Bretteville-Sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery, France.

Four Canadians, F/L JH Cooper (RCAF), Flying Officer RP Dryden (RCAF),Sergeant SD Wright (RCAF), and Warrant Officer Class 1 KE Elliott (RCAF) were taken as Prisoners of War WO2 A Zacharuk (RCAF), Sergeant HE Oakeby (RAF) were Evaders.

Took off from East Moor at 03:26 in Halifax Mk VII (Sqn code QO-J Bomber Command) on an operation to bomb fortified positions facing the Allied push towards Caen, France.

Shot down in flames by flak and crashed in the target area.

Killed: Pilot Officer Robert Elwood Burton RCAF J/87892 KIA Bretteville-Sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery grave XIV. A. 2.

POWs includes Cooper: Flying Officer Robert Page Dryden RCAF J/24224 POW camp not listed. WO Kenneth Earl Elliott RCAF R/153470 POW camp not listed. Pilot Officer Samuel Dawson Wright RCAF R/164205 POW camp not listed.

Evaders: Sergeant Henry Ernest Oakeby RAF Evader. Warrant Officer Class 2 A Zacharuk RCAF R/159388 Evader.

Google MapCaen France

Halifax NP706

Handley Page Halifax

(RAF Photo, 1942)(Source Harold A Skaarup Web Page)A Royal Air Force Handley Page Halifax Mk. II Series I (Serial No. W7676), coded TL-P, of No. 35 Squadron, RAF, based at Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire in the UK, being piloted by Flight Lieutenant Reginald Lane, (later Lieutenant-General, RCAF), over the English countryside. Flt Lt Lane and his crew flew twelve operations in W7676, which failed to return from a raid on Nuremberg on the night of 28/29 August 1942, when it was being flown by Flt Sgt D. John and crew.

The Handley Page Halifax is a British Royal Air Force (RAF) four-engined heavy bomber of the Second World War. It was developed by Handley Page to the same specification as the contemporary twin-engine Avro Manchester.

The Halifax has its origins in the twin-engine HP56 proposal of the late 1930s, produced in response to the British Air Ministry's Specification P.13/36 for a capable medium bomber for "world-wide use." The HP56 was ordered as a backup to the Avro 679, both aircraft being designed to use the underperforming Rolls-Royce Vulture engine. The Handley Page design was altered at the Ministry to a four-engine arrangement powered by the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine; the rival Avro 679 was produced as the twin-engine Avro Manchester which, while regarded as unsuccessful mainly due to the Vulture engine, was a direct predecessor of the famed Avro Lancaster. Both the Lancaster and the Halifax would emerge as capable four-engined strategic bombers, thousands of which would be built and operated by the RAF and several other services during the War.

On 25 October 1939, the Halifax performed its maiden flight, and it entered service with the RAF on 13 November 1940. It quickly became a major component of Bomber Command, performing routine strategic bombing missions against the Axis Powers, many of them at night. Arthur Harris, the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Bomber Command, described the Halifax as inferior to the rival Lancaster (in part due to its smaller payload) though this opinion was not shared by many of the crews that flew it, particularly for the MkIII variant. Nevertheless, production of the Halifax continued until April 1945. During their service with Bomber Command, Halifaxes flew a total of 82,773 operations and dropped 224,207 tons of bombs, while 1,833 aircraft were lost. The Halifax was also flown in large numbers by other Allied and Commonwealth nations, such as the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), Free French Air Force and Polish forces. Wikipedia

YouTube Halifax Heavy Bomber WWII

General Harold A Skaarup Web Page

Wkikpedia Wikipedia Halifax Bomber

Museum National Air Force Museum of Canada

CASPIR Aircraft Groups:
RCAF On Strength (5), RCAF 6 Group (1596), RCAF 400 Squadron (1443), Canadian Aircraft Losses (1562), Canadian Museum(2)
last update: 2023-12-08 20:34:11

Halifax B.Mk.VII NP706

QORAF RoundelJ
Served with No. 432 (B) Squadron, RCAF. Failed to return from raid on Caen, 18 July 1944.

432 (B) Sqn Saeviter Ad Lucem ("Leaside")

History of the Squadron during World War II (Aircraft: Wellington X, Lancaster II, Halifax III, VII)

The Squadron was the twelfth RCAF bomber squadron to be formed overseas in WWII. It was formed on May 1, 1943 at Skipton-on-Swale, Yorkshire, UK as a unit of No 6 (RCAF) Group of RAF Bomber Command: indeed, it was the first bomber squadron to be formed directly into No 6 Group. Using the squadron identification letters QO it flew Vickers Wellington Mk X medium bombers until it moved to East Moor, Yorkshire on 19th September 1943, when it re-equipped with Avro Lancaster Mk II aircraft. East Moor was part of No 62 (RCAF) Base. The squadron re-equipped with Handley Page Halifax Mk III aircraft in February 1944, and with Halifax Mk VII in July of that year, and continued with them until the squadron was disbanded at East Moor on May 15, 1945.

In the course of operations the squadron flew 246 missions, involving 3130 individual sorties, for the loss of 73 aircraft. 8980 tons of bombs were dropped. Awards to squadron members included 2 DSOs, 119 DFCs,1 Bar to DFC, 1 CGM, 20 DFMs and 1 Croix de Guerre (France). Battle Honours were: English Channel and North Sea 1943, Fortress Europe 1943-44, France and Germany 1944-45, Biscay Ports 1944, Ruhr 1943-45, Berlin 1943-44, German Ports 1943-45, Normandy 1944, Rhine, Biscay 1943.Moyes, Kostenuk and Griffin

Squadron History (Bomber Command Museum PDF)

Maps for Movements of 432 Squadron 1943-45

MAP 1: 432 Squadron Bases 1943-45 (marked in green). Right-click on image to display enlarged in new tab

432 Squadron History Summary 1943-45

History of the Squadron Post-WWII (Aircraft: Canuck)

The squadron was re-formed at Bagotville, Quebec as an All-Weather Fighter unit on 1 October 1954. The squadron flew Avro CF-100 Canuck aircraft on North American Air Defence until it was disbanded on 15 October 1961.

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