Holden, John


Holden, John
J Holden


30 items. The collection concerns Sergeant John Holden (1521290 Royal Air Force) and contains photographs, documents and correspondence. he flew operations as a wireless operator with 49 Squadron and was killed 10 June 1944.

The collection has been loaned to the IBCC Digital Archive for digitisation by Andrew Whitehouse and catalogued by Barry Hunter.

Additional information on John Holden is available via the IBCC Losses Database.




IBCC Digital Archive


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Holden, J

Collection Items

Johnnie Holden
A full length portrait of Johnnie in Sidcot Suit and flying gear.
On the reverse 'My little Yatesbury WOP June 42- June 44. Missing June 9/10 over Lyon-la-Foret.
There is also a handwritten poem.

Johnnie Holden
A half length portrait of Johnnie in trainee uniform. Handwritten is 'Lots of Love, Green Eyes, Johnnie'.
On the reverse 'Johnnie, my Yatesbury WOP/AG. July 1942. ACC/ No. TCC!
Missing June 9/10 neat Lyon-la-Foret. Later reported killed. Buried at…

List of Prisoners of War
A list of men held as prisoners. There are 79 names.

The Bomber Boys Prayer
A poem about bombers and their crew.

List of Lost Aircrew
A list of ten airmen lost during the war. It covers surnames starting 'HO', identifying the men by surname, rank, forenames, service number, age, trade, date killed and burial details (where known).

The Hemmens Story
A complicated story of how Hemmens was mixed with four aircrew who survived a Halifax crash. They were all arrested on their way to Paris. They were sent to Fresnes prison then Buchenwald where Hemmens died due to medical neglect.

Crash and Crew of Lancaster ND533
A list of the crew that perished during the crash.

Certificate of Educational Fitness for Aircrew
A note stating that Johnnie has the required educational standard for remustering as Pilot.

Letter to Leading aircraftwoman Hayhurst from Flying Officer EJ Detheridge
He writes that Johnnie is missing but hopes that he may be safe, likely as a prisoner of war.
A handwritten annotation states 'Died in crash'.

Annotated Map of Seine Maritime
The map is annotated with the crash site near Lyons la Foret, my home, my mother village and Miss Lavandier.

Lancaster Parts
Two photographs of unidentified Lancaster parts.

Forest Grave
A second grave marked with a cross and a propeller blade.

Forest Grave
Grave of one of the Lancaster aircrew marked with a cross and a French flag.
On the reverse 'Lyon la Foret. Photo taken by local people & given to British Army/smuggled film.

Flight Lieutenant White
Head and shoulders of F/Lt White with his name annotated on the front.
On the reverse 'Chalkie - died in crash'.
[Holden's pilot was Flying Officer Bryan Esmond Bell.]

Flying Officer Bryan Esmond Bell
Ahead and shoulders portrait of Bryan Bell annotated with his name.
On the reverse 'Skipper F/O Tim Bell. Died in crash'.

Flying Officer Philip Derek Hemmens
Head and shoulders of Phil Hemmens with his name annotated on the front.
On the reverse 'Survived crash -died in Buchenwald. 152583. Bomb aimer. Willie. F/O Phil Hemmens'.

Flying Officer Duncan MacFadyen
A half length portrait of Duncan MacFadyen with his name annotated on the front.
On the reverse 'Nav. Mac. (F/O) Died in crash'.

Johnnie Holden and Crew
Six photographs from an album.
#1 is Johnnie Holden as a trainee. It is signed on the front 'Lots of Love, Green Eyes, Johnnie x'.
#2 is a full length portrait of Johnnie Holden in flying kit.
#3 is a grave in the woods.
#4 is a head and…

Christmas Card from Marjorie Bell
A card sent by Marjorie Bell.

Poem by WB Yates
Handwritten is 'Johnnie Holden - killed June 1944. Collected poems of WB Yates'. Included is 'When you are old'.

Pierre Madry raises his Hat to the Crew of a British Bomber
An account of the crash of Lancaster ND533 written by Pierre Madry. It is followed by an address given by Air Commodore Eustace at a ceremony for the crew of the Lancaster.
Finally there is an address by Abbe Plante, parish priest of Lyons-la-Foret,…

Luggage Label from Jo
The luggage label has Jo's address on one side and a good luck message on the other.

Recommendation for Training as Airman Pilot
RAF Form 494 completed by John Holden.

A W/OP's Lament
A poem about a wireless operator lying, dying. His body is full of aircraft parts. There is also a 'Chad' sketch and reference to Gremlins.

Christmas Card to Leading Aircraftwoman Hayhurst from Johnnie Holden
A card sent by Johnnie to Josy from RAF Market Harborough featuring a Wellington flying low over the sea.
View all 30 items

Collection Tree

  • Holden, John