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The Airmen's Stories - P/O G H Holmes


George Henry Holmes was born on 4th April 1914 in Dalston, London, the son of George Henry Charles Holmes and Florence May Holmes (nee Daniel).

His father was killed on 18th June 1917 serving with the 2nd Battalion Suffolk Regiment and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial.

GH Holmes was employed as a bookkeeper when he joined 600 Squadron before the war as an Aircrafthand.

Called up on 24th August 1939, he trained as an Air Gunner and was serving with 600 in early 1940.

He was the gunner in Blenheim L1514 with pilot F/O TN Hayes in the attack on Waalhaven airfield, Rotterdam on 10th May 1940.



Under intense fire and handicapped by petrol fumes from a burst tank, Holmes directed Hayes in the evasive manoeuvres required to escape enemy fighters and was largely responsible for the aircraft's safe return to base, the only one of the six involved to do so.

Holmes was awarded the DFM (gazetted 24th May 1940) and commissioned in August.

On 20th December 1940 Holmes was in Blenheim L1467 returning to Catterick after a searchlight co-operation exercise. R/T contact was lost and the aircraft crashed into the side of a hill west of Richmond, Yorkshire.

The pilot, Sgt. TN Wilson, was killed and Holmes died of his injuries on 25th December.

He is buried in Catterick Cemetery.

His portrait was made by the war artist John Mansbridge (below).





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