Sergeant John Overee  -  12 Squadron  
   

Sergeant John Walter William Overee - RAFVR

 

 Sergeant John Overee was serving as Mid Upper Gunner 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 John Walter William Overee RAFVR, was the son of Walter Alfred and Caroline Sarah Overee of 382 Rainham Road South, Dagenham, Essex.

 John was born in 1921 in the East End of London and had a younger brother, Reginald Alfred born in 1923. Reginald served as Wireless operator in 21 squadron of the South African Air Force mainly in Italy.

 John’s first entry in his log book is dated the 9th of December 1943 and he appears to have met Charlie Taylor, the crews pilot, on the 26th of March 1944 when they had a training flight in Wellington Bomber (JA 453). They trained together and with the rest of the crew until June 1944 when John went to Ingham Gunnery School (RAF Ingham served as a satellite for Hemswell) for a week on a course. They were reunited at Sandtoft (CTU) before moving to Hemswell(LFS) on the 15th of July.

 Mr and Mrs Overee requested a list of all the crew members next of kin from the RAF and wrote to them all after John was posted as missing. They never gave up hope that he would return home one day.

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.

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

Photo courtesy of the Sharon Overee, research by Linda Ibrom