Letter to Vera Gill from OC 617 Squadron



Letter to Vera Gill from OC 617 Squadron


Provides confirmation that her husband was missing as a result of air operations on 21 March 1945. Explains circumstances of loss of aircraft and states it was unlikely that any crew survived. Comments that her husband had completed 45 operations. Mentions provision for personal effects, warns of a disclosure of information. Offer sympathy.




Temporal Coverage



One page typewritten letter


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SGillK1438901v30075, SGillK1438901v40009


No. 617 Squadron,
R.A.F. Station,
Woodhall Spa.
22nd. March 1945.

Dear Mrs Gill:

It is with deep regret that I write to confirm my telegram informing you that your husband, Flying Officer K. Gill, DFC, is missing as a result of air operations on March 21st. 1945.

He was Navigator of a Lancaster aircraft detailed to attack a target in the Bremen area. This machine was engaged by the enemy flak defences, and received a direct hit. The aircraft fell out of the formation, and went down out of control. It is a very painful duty for me to tell you that I do not consider any of the crew survived. Sometimes, however, the seemingly impossible occurs, and there are survivors. If this does happen we should hear from the International Red Cross in due course.

Your husband was a very valuable member of the Squadron. He had completed 45 sorties over enemy territory, a fine record.

His personal effects have been collected by the Committee of Adjustment Officer on this Station, who will pack them carefully, and send them to the Royal Air Force Central Depository, Colnbrook, Slough, Bucks., from whom you should receive a communication in the near future.

The paragraph in my telegram concerning the disclosure of information to the Press was inserted because any premature disclosure may jeopardise the chances of escape for the crew, should they still be at large in enemy territory.

Please accept my sincere sympathy and you may rest assured that I will communicate with you immediately, should I receive any further news. If there is any way in which I can help you, do not hesitate to write.

Yours Sincerely [signature]
[underlined] NO. 617 SQUADRON. [/underlined]

Mrs. K. Gill,
23, Sycamore Avenue,



J E Fauquier, “Letter to Vera Gill from OC 617 Squadron,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 13, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/35860.

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