Sergeant Donald Neale  -  12 Squadron  
   

Sergeant Donald John Neale - RAFVR

 

 Sergeant Donald John Neale was serving as Flight Engineer 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

 Sergeant Donald John Neale was the son of Walter Breakey and Dorothy(nee Jeffery) Neale of 9 Sydney Road, Bedford. Donald was their second son, born in Cambridge on the 1st of October 1924. His older brother Walter Albert Jeffery Neale was a motor mechanic before joining the RAF in 1940.

 After leaving school Donald worked as an apprentice turner at W.H.Allen (Rolls Royce Engines) of Bedford. He was exempt from joining up but decided to volunteer, enlisting on the 15th of March 1943 and serving just 17 months before he was killed. Donald is remembered as fun loving and outgoing but was also artistic and enjoyed drawing. He was always drawing aircraft and had many aviation books. A keen sportsman, he excelled at both rugby and football.

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.

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

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