The story behind a comment

This comment deserves to be shared. I am hoping someone might help this reader.

Hi Pierre

It’s been a while since I was last in touch with you (2014) regarding a sand coloured bag from a car boot sale and that it had written on the side of the bag is the name of F/L J R Tracey (John Robert Tracey)

23 Squadron

The reason I am asking is I was wondering if you ever got any feedback from anyone regarding this chap you did send me some info I am still very curious and any other info would be greatly appreciated.

You said that you have found out that he was a Flight Lieutenant (War Substantive) 1943 general duties branch that’s all I know so far.

| Date: | 11-APR-1945

| | Time:

| | | Type: | de Havilland Mosquito FB.Mk VI

| | Owner/operator: | 605 (County of Warwick) Sqn RAF

| | Registration: | PZ464

| | C/n / msn:

| | | Fatalities:

| Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2

| | Airplane damage: | Written off (damaged beyond repair)

| | Location: | Nr Berlín – Germany

| | Phase: | En route

| | Nature: | Military

| | Departure airport: | B.71 Coxyde (B)

| | Destination airport:
| |

Narrative: PZ464 FBVI 605 Missing from night intruder 11.4.45 Crew: F/Lt (62690) John Robert TRACEY (pilot) RAFVR – killed F/Lt (131.763) Frank BERESFORD (nav.) na PZ464.

Strange as it may seem his family lived in Birmingham six or seven miles from where I live. I live on the West Bromwich/Dudley border in an area called the Black Country due to all the industry or the lack of it these days. I live on top of hill where we can see for miles around Birmingham, West Bromwich Dudley, Halesowen, Cradley Heath, etc. All heavy industrial areas. We had on the top of the hill where I live AAA barracks and anti-aircraft guns one of the large guns inherited the name Big Bertha on one sad occasion they fired a faulty round, It landed a couple of miles away on the boat pub were a wedding party were having there celebration so many killed and injured.

Intruder mission, I think. flying around German aerodromes waiting for night fighters coming in to refuel and rearm.

They were called Night Bandits. I wrote something on the blog.

He may have been a footballer before the war?

I have been trying to find out if he did play for Nott’s County FC I have checked the date of birth and there were no other people born around the same time as he was with the same name so it is still possible he could have played I seem to be drawing a blank, what type of mission do you think he was on and how sad for him to have died less than 1 month from the end of the war in Europe.

I found this on an Aussie site. It says that PZ464 belonged to various squadrons at different stages in its life 605 sqn 464 sqn RAAF 605 sqn and then I presume 23 sqn where it didn’t return from its mission with both on board killed. Where can I find out the date the aircraft was registered? I will have another look tomorrow to see if I can find out anything more about the aircrew. Please keep me informed if you come across info as I find it all very interesting.

You also said you could not find anywhere in your notes about 23 Squadron with those two airmen’s names during that time period. Tracey must have been doing his second or third tour. This is what is most interesting. RAF airmen flew more than one tour of operations. His name is not honoured anywhere!

This is why I want to find more about him and the bag is just a pretext. You have history in your hands my friend! You said we have to write this and pay homage to this pilot and navigator.

I would love to find out what medals he would have been awarded and any other theatres of operations he may have flown in.

Kind Regards (Keep up the good work you do)

Steve Gilbert

What we know…


23 Squadron
Ju 88 Destroyed at Foggia, Italy
F/L J.R. Tracey and F/O F. Beresford
23 Squadron
Ju 88 Probably destroyed at Foggia, Italy
F/L J.R. Tracey and F/O F. Beresford

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