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John Burgess


  • Title
  • Forenames
    John AWMM
  • Surname
    Burgess AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    WWII 4211008 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
  • Relationship status
    Unknown AWMM Single AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards

Training and Enlistment

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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
    POW - Bankau AWMM
    Homberg raid AWMM
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
    WW2 21 April 1945 AWMM Russian AWMM
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes

Last known rank

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  • Last rank

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Enlisted in Army in 1933, transferred to RNZAF September 1942

    He had to study his maths prior to being accepted. He was originally a member of Flying Officer R C Leslie’s crew and had flown on a number of the same operations that Horace Callow’s (NZ427185) crew had previously flown.

    Captured after the Homberg raid, his sixth operation. Flight Sergeant Burgess was the air bomber on a Lancaster which was part of a raid on Homberg when it was brought down over the Netherlands. Five of the crew were killed, one evaded capture and Burgess was taken prisoner. (Martyn (1998-2008)

    He was a POW interned at Bankau until advancing Russian forces forced the Germans to evacuate the camp on 19 January 1945 and march John and the other prisoners for 21 days west towards Luckenwalde where they arrived in 8 February 1945. His diary describes the march with each stop and a food ration of “3.5 loaves of bread, 24.5 Rye biscuits, an small packet of honey, some tinned meat, 30 half cups of soup and 10 spuds”.

    After the war John returned to Wellington married a returned nurse (Japan, Egypt, Italy), they had 3 children and he continued as a builder.

    Manuscript "In memory of Flying Officer Horace Callow and the crew of RAF 75 (NZ) Squadron Lancaster Bomber ME752 AA-Z lost in Action 21 July 1944.." A Brief account of military service and photograph is found in the Manuscript Unpublished by Noel Fisher 2007 on file in The Armoury resource Centre AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    1985 AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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  • External links
  • Documents
    • Chorley, W. (1997). Royal Air Force Bomber Command losses of the Second World War (Vol. 5). Leicester, England: Midland Counties Publications. AWMM
    • Martyn, E. (1998-2008). For Your Tomorrow (Vols. 1-3). Christchurch, N.Z.: Volplane Press. AWMM
    • This record is a work in progress and was partially compiled from the “Database of New Zealand Airmen who took part in Advanced Air Training in Canada during WW2”. Researched by Ivan and Lorna Lindsey of Tauranga. N.Z. 2003 – 2012. Reproduced with permission. AWMM
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