Flight Sergeant John Middleton -  158 Squadron  
   

 

Flight Sergeant John Middleton - RAFVR

 

 Flight Sergeant John Middleton was serving as Wireless Operator on aboard Halifax Mk.BIII PN347 coded NP-X during an operation to Kaman on March 3/4, 1945. After being diverted to Middleton St.George, they were ordered to disperse due to enemy activity. At around 0030hrs they were shot down by an  Ju.88 night-fighter and crashed at Sledmere Grange killing all on board.

 This was one of Operation Gisela casualties. It is believed that the aircraft responsible for shooting them down was that of Hauptman Johan Dreher 13/NJG3,which was to later crash after hitting a tree close to Elvington airfield and which crashed into a house killing three civilians. 

The crew consisted of:

Name Service Trade Hometown  Age
F/L Christopher Rogers  RAFVR Pilot Northampton 22
P/O Cyril Muir  RAFVR Flight Engineer Carterton,Oxfordshire 21
F/O  Douglas Harris  RAFVR Navigator Cheddar, Somerset 21
Sgt Robert  Houldey  RAFVR Bomb Aimer Hartbury,Gloucestershire 21
F/Sgt John Middleton  RAFVR W/Op/AG Twickenham -
Sgt John Dent  RAFVR M/U Gunner Alne,Yorkshire 20
Sgt Edward Farrow  RAFVR Rear Gunner  Aldeby,Norfolk 19

 John Wilfred Middleton RAFVR known as “Johnnie” was  born in Twickenham, England Growing up, he and Gordon Tisbury of 405 Squadron ,were inseparable till war intervened. He was flying his 31st Operation at the time of his death, his previous Ops were:

15/10/1944 Duisberg(F/O.N.Tilston,RCAF)
21-10-1944 Hanover(recalled)
23-10-1944 Essen
25-10-1944 Essen
28-10-1944 Domberg
29-10-1944 Zouteland
30-10-1944 Dusseldorf
21-11-1944 Essen
30-11-1944 Duisberg
12/02/1944 Hagen
12/12/1944 Essen(returned early)
24-12-1944 Essen/Mulheim airfield
26-12-1944 St.Vith
28-12-1944 Opladen
29-12-1944 Coblenz
30-12-1944 Cologne
01/02/1945 Ludwigshafen
01/05/1945 Hanover
01/06/1945 Hanau
14-1-1945 Saarbrucken
16-1-1945 Magdeburg
22-1-1945 Gelsenkirchen
13-2-1945 Bohlen
14-2-1945 Chemnitz
20-2-1945 Reisholz
21-2-1945 Worms
23-2-1945 Essen
24-2-1945 Kamen
27-2-1945 Mainz
03/02/1945 Kamen

Before posting to 158 squadron on October 2, 1944, he trained at 1663 Heavy Conversion unit at Rufforth.

He flew as Wireless operator to F/Lt. C.A. Rogers crew.

F/Lt. C.A. Rogers crew

Flight Sergeant Middleton is buried in Harrogate (Stonefall) cemetery.His crew mates rest in local Churchyards of their home towns. 

Photos and information courtesy of Eddie Fell, research by Linda Ibrom