RAF Australians - Wing Commander John Mervyn Lander (DFC)

Discussion in 'Biographies' started by spidge, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. spidge

    spidge Active Member

    Wing Commander John Mervyn Lander (DFC)

    In Memory of
    Wing Commander JOHN MERVYN LANDER
    D F C

    89078, 22 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
    who died age 28
    on 20 January 1945
    Son of George Herbert and Frances Gertrude Lander, of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
    Remembered with honour

    Australian Flyer Killed in India.

    News was released in Melbourne yesterday of the death by accident in India of Wing Commander John Mervyn Lander (DFC) youngst son of Mr G.H. Lander f 121 Mont Albert Road Canterbury and the late Mrs Lander.

    When a jeep he was driving on the Chittagong road on January 20th overturned, he was trapped underneath and drowned in a shallow pool of water. Wing Commander Lander who was 28 had a distinguished flying career. At outbreak of war he worked his own passage to England and joined the RAF in December 1939. Commissioned in November 1940, he was attached to Coastal Command as a Beaufort Torpedo Bomber Pilot. His operations against German shipping included strikes against the pocket Battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau.

    Transferred to the Middle East early in 1942, he was awarded the DFC for outstanding bravery in an attack on a German convoy in the Sicilan Narrows. In October 1943 in Ceylon he was promoted to the rank Wing Commander and appointed commanding officer of a Beaufighter squadron. He was credited with sinking an enemy tanker, a troop laden transport and a Destroyer.

    Wing Commander Lander as educated at Melbourne Grammar School. A fine all round athlete, he was one of Australia's outstanding hurdlers and was pre-selected for training for the Olympic Games until they were cancelled by the war.

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