Family’s plea to learn details 
of airman’s life

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He sacrificed his life fighting for his country and now his family wants to know more about his life.

Sergeant Ronald Hoole, of Mirfield, and his crew were all killed during their first mission to Germany in March 1944.

17th Nov 1943

17th Nov 1943

The flight engineer was on board a Lancaster bomber when it was intercepted by a German night fighter and shot down.

His niece, Louise Dexter, recently found a photograph of Sgt Hoole taken months before his death.

Her uncle had returned home on leave to Mirfield after completing a two-year training course.

He was set to join his crew at RAF Fiskerton, in Lincolnshire, and was pictured with a young woman before he left for duty.

Mrs Dexter said: “I would be very pleased to hear from anyone who might recognise the young lady in the photograph, as it would mean a great deal to me to know her name and a little more about her.”

On March 15, 1944, Sgt Hoole and his crew – all aged between 19 and 23 – were called into action to fly deep into occupied Germany.

The crew were among a fleet of 863 aircraft heading to Stuttgart, a dangerous mission which had seen 2,500 crews lost during raids only months earlier.

But unbeknown to them, the German Luftwaffe had found a way of locking on to the aircraft’s radar system, which proved fatal.

As they approached Stuttgart, they were met by German fighter planes and shot down.

Realising the aircraft would not make it home, they turned towards the neutral country of Switzerland.

They crashed into a field near the village of Bolstern 18 flying minutes from the Swiss border. All the crew were killed.

Sgt Hoole’s name is listed on the Ings Grove Park Memorial in Huddersfield Road.

Mrs Dexter would like to hear from anyone who may recognise the woman in the photography. Phone her on 07717 536611.