Flight Lieutenant Bernard Hughes  -  12 Squadron  
   

Flight Lieutenant Bernard John Hughes - RAFVR

 

 Flight Lieutenant Bernard John Hughes was serving as Navigator on board  Lancaster Mk.I LM230 coded PH-A  during an operation to Kiel on August 26/27, 1944. The aircraft left Wickenby at 2009hrs and failed to return, the aircraft and crew were lost without a trace.

The crew consisted of:

Name

Service

Trade

Hometown

Age

F/L Charles Taylor

RNZAF

Pilot

Auckland, New Zealand

24

Sgt Donald Neale

RAFVR

Flight Engineer

Bedford

19

F/L Bernard Hughes

RAFVR

Navigator

Hove, Sussex

33

Sgt Dennis Webb

RAFVR

Bomb Aimer

Croxley Green,Herts.

-

F/O Stanley Greengrass

RAFVR

W/Op/AG

Blaby,Leicester

-

Sgt John Overee

RAFVR

Air Gunner

Dagenham,Essex

23

F/O John Bell RAFVR - DFC

RAFVR

Air Gunner

Moseley, Birmingham

24

 Flight Lieutenant Bernard John Hughes RAFVR was born on the 30th of December 1910 and was the son of John and Ann Hughes. He was nicknamed "Pat" after an American tennis player at Wimbledon He married Josephine (Hearn) at Battle Registry Office, Sussex, on the 9th of September 1937 .Their son, David J Hughes was born in Brighton on the 11th of September 1940.

Abbreviated Career in the Royal Air Force

17th June 1940 enlisted in RAF

4th Oct.1940 Joined the RAFVR as Aircraftsman 1253162 OC2 ACH A/Obs RAFVR

4th Oct.1941 commissioned in Cambridge as Probationary Pilot Officer-GD Branch

19th May 1942 served in Egypt with 55 Squadron, navigating a Baltimore AG 764 G(PRO) 27th August 1942 in command of Road Party moving Flight B to base landing ground LG 86

3rd September 1942 AG807 P Sgt Baff(pilot),Sgt Cloden & Sgt Parson, attack on Axis MRs Deir el Razil area

1st October 1942 Made Flying Officer. Pilot was Sergeant Kelly Edwards, other crew Sgt McLoughlin & Sgt Hewton

6th November 1942"Due to the swift collapse of the enemy, further operations were curtailed"

1-15th december1942 "enjoyable fortnight at Lydda,Palestine"

16th Feb 1943 F/O Hughes transferred to 454 Squadron

10th March 1943-No 75 OTU

4th October 1943 made Flight Lieutenant 107912

3rd December 1943 22P.T.C.

11th Jan 1944-I.P.D.E.

2nd March 1944-83 OTU

23rd May 1944-No 11 Base conversion Course

21st July 1944 transferred to 12 Squadron as Navigator

 After news of the crew’s loss, Josephine Hughes wrote to the Overee family in March 1945: "My little boy is now four years old, so you can imagine what a great comfort he is to me and just longs for his daddy’s return. Pat often spoke of his crew and said how well they worked together and had great faith in his pilot."

LANCASTER MARK 1 – LM 230 (PH – "A") The Shillelagh

 A post war investigation carried out by the Missing Research & Enquiry Services(No 4 Unit) concluded that body remains and parts of an aircraft had been found in Brodersdorf woods. The body remains being buried at Kiel. It is thought that the remains were either from Lancaster HK 556 of 115 squadron or Lancaster LM230.German records indicate that an aircraft crashed in the Gemeinde Brodersdorf at 23.10 hours on the 26/27th August 1944,exploding with all bombs on board, leaving a huge water filled crater with a depth of at least twenty feet. The German records report that the crew were presumably dead The report remains on the file of F/O Donald Holder RNZAF pilot of HK556/F.

Bernard and his crew have no known grave and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

Photo courtesy of the Hughes family & Christine Mills, research by Linda Ibrom