Preparation
  Sergeant John Richmond - 429 Squadron  
 

Sergeant John Richmond - RAFVR

 
 Sergeant John Richmond was serving as Flight Engineer aboard Halifax Mk. BIII NR197 coded AL-Z during a mine laying operation to Sandefjord, Norway on December 28/29, 1944. The aircraft departed Leeming at 1600hrs as one of four squadron aircraft sent to drop mines in the Oslo Fjord in an attempt to stop shiploads of German soldiers bound for the Eastern front. Three of the aircraft dropped their mines in the designated area. Halifax NR197 set course for Sandefjord on the South Eastern coast of  Norway, carrying  four mines, three which would detonate after a short time in the sea and the fourth after four days. The other aircraft witnessed it spin out of control and crash upon impact near the target area, all of the crew perished.

The other crewmembers were:

Name Service Trade Hometown  Age
F/O Bertram Drewery  RCAF Pilot Charing Cross, Ontario 25
Sgt John Richmond  RAFVR Flight Engineer Gravesend, Kent 23
F/O Lloyd Catheralle  RCAF Navigator New Westminster, B.C 23
F/O Joseph Cullen  RCAF Bomb Aimer Ottawa, Ontario 25
P/O Adam McDonald  RCAF W/Op/AG Masterville,Quebec 28
F/Sgt Karl Kelly  RCAF Air  Gunner New Liskeard,Ontario 20
F/Sgt James Giblin  RCAF Air  Gunner Ontario 27

 Sergeant John Daniel Richmond RAFVR was the son of Alexander Buchan and Elizabeth Richmond and brother of Gordon and Thomas of Gravesend, Kent.

 An eye witness described how after hearing the air raid warning signal, he saw a large bomber coming in from the North East at a low altitude. Itís lights were flashing alternatively red and green from the wing tips of the aircraft as it passed Framnes mechanical workshop and he later heard the German AA guns fire at the aircraft. Shortly afterwards, he heard an explosion and was told later that an aircraft had crashed  into the Jahres Chemical Factory where he worked. Another eye witness remembers the German soldiers cheering as the damaged bomber was hit by German AA Guns from Sandefjord  harbour.

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John Richmond beside Halifax rear turret.

 

 The Jahres Chemical factory was totally destroyed in the crash and many houses were destroyed or damaged. Felix Gunszt, supervisor at the factory was killed along with two other civilians.

A Memorial service was held  after the war, where a stone was laid at the spot where the Halifax crashed, in memory of the crew and civilians who lost their lives in the crash.


 

 
  Photo courtesy of John Daniel Richmond (nephew of Sgt Richmond), research by Linda Ibrom.