Sergeant John McDowell  -  101 Squadron  
   

Sergeant John Richie McDowell - RAFVR

 

 Sergeant John McDowell was serving as Flight Engineer on board Lancaster Mk.III LM472 coded SR-V2  during an operation to bomb the synthetic oil plant near Brux, in Western Czechoslovakia on January 16, 1945.

 The aircraft left Ludford Magna at 1748hrs and failed to return. Seven of the eight man crew were killed, including Sgt John McDowell.

The crew consisted of:

Name

Service

Trade

Hometown

Age

F/O Frederick McGonigle

RAFVR

Pilot

Glasgow, Scotland

-

Sgt John McDowell

RAFVR

Flight Engineer

County Down, N. Ireland

23

F/Sgt John Knight - POW

RAAF

Navigator

-

-

F/Sgt Warren Hart

RAAF

Bomb Aimer

Mackay, Queensland

20

F/Sgt Laurence Collins

RAAF

W/Op/AG

Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

20

Sgt Robert Beckett

RAFVR

Air Gunner

-

-

Sgt Daniel Conroy

RAFVR

Air Gunner

-

-

P/O Jack Armour

RCAF

Special Equipment Operator

Hamilton, Ontario

27

 Sergeant John Richie McDowell RAFVR born on 17th May 1922, was aged 23 and was the younger of two sons born to Mary Ann and John McDowell of Hillsborough,C o. Down, Northern Ireland. He was known as "Don" to his family and was single and working as an engineer in Belfast before enlisting.

 The seven crewmembers that were killed and taken to Geilsdorf for identification procedures and burial before being interred in the Geilsdorf Cemetery. On 20th December 1945 the bodies of the dead crew members were reinterred to rest in the Berlin War Cemetery. Flight Sergeant Knight, the only survivor, became a prisoner of war.

For additional information on the aircraft and crew see W/O Laurence Collins.

Photos and information courtesy of Ray Collins, research by Linda Ibrom