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RAF aircraft's crash sites in Province of Walloon Brabant:
Perwez

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Last update: 31/07/21

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Elegy to
the Heroes of Silence


* To the 607 Squadron *
* To the crew of P2621*
* To the monument erected in remembrance *
* Cemetery where rest the crew *

Crash site of Hurricane P2621
14/05/1940

aircraft
cest raf squadron
Unit: 607 Squadron
Aircraft: Hurricane
Code: P2621
Base:
Mission: Patrol
Crew officer: Fl/O Sullivan
Incident: Shot down by German fighter

Location: (Prov. Walloon Brabant)

crash

Facts

Hawker Hurricane Mk.I N2424 (AF-E) 607 (County of Durham) Squadron, RAF: Written off (destroyed) when lost (failed to return) from a combat air patrol over the area of Louvain, Belgium. Pilot killed. According to the official Air Ministry file into the incident (File AIR 81/554): "Hurricane N2424 crashed at Perwez, Belgium, 14 May 1940. Flight Lieutenant J L Sullivan: report of death".
Took off from Vitry-en-Artois, Pas-de-Calais department, Hauts-de-France for a combat air patrol in the area of Louvain, and the area south of Brussels. Thought to have been shot down by Fw. Schnell of 4./JG2 flying a Bf109 during an attack on Hs123's. There were reports that Sullivan was shot by a Luftwaffe pilot while he was parachuting from his burning aircraft.
Note that several later published sources contradict which squadron Flt Lt Sullivan was with (some have him with 242 (Canadian) Squadron) and that he was flying Hurricane P2621. RAF 37643 John Lewis Sullivan was one of several hundred Canadians who joined the RAF prior to the war. He was granted a short-service commission on 9 March 1936 (other Canadians commissioned this date were Lionel M Gaunce and Charles L. Olsson).
As of 3 September 1939 he was serving in "B" Flight, No.43 Squadron, Tangmere. On 17 September 1939 he shot down a balloon that had broken loose. On 2 October 1939 he led four armoured Hurricanes that were being delivered to No.1 Squadron in France. Sullivan returned to his unit on 4 October 1939 (whether by sea or air is not stated).
He crashed Hurricane L1825 in a night landing on 7 October 1939 (uninjured). Posted to No.242 Squadron, Church Fenton, 3 November 1939 as "B" Flight Commander. Squadron declared operational on 23 March 1940 and he flew two convoy patrols on the 28th. With Flight Lt D.R. Miller and six NCOs to France, 9 April 1940; recalled 13 April 1940; rejoined No.242 Squadron 17 April 1940; to Manston with three other pilots, 13 May 1940 for service in France; attached to No.607 Squadron, Vitry-en-Artois, Pas-de-Calais department, Hauts-de-France; killed La Carrière, Perwez, Brabant Wallon near Louvain, 17 May 1940.
The official CWGC (Commonwealth War Graves Commission) website lists Flight Lt Sullivan as being a member of 607 (County of Durham) Squadron at the time of his death, but fails to state that he was a Canadian (born Smith Falls, Ontario in 1919).
The reported crash location of Perwez is a Walloon municipality located in the Belgian province of Walloon Brabant, at approximate coordinates: 50°37′N 04°49′E

crash

F/O John L. Sullivan

Sources:
Aviation Safety
The International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC)
Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC)
Aircrew Remembered
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