It is with great sadness that I must pass on the sad news that John De Hoop has passed away. John flew as Wireless Operator, with the Wylie Wakelin’s crew between October 1944 and January 1945, before completing his tour with 5 Ops with S/L Bob Rodgers.
I had the pleasure, albeit brief ,of meeting John and his lovely wife Helen on a number of Association Reunion weekends, in fact on my first reunion, less than a year after my Father had died, I had the pleasure of John and Helen’s company at their table for the reunion evening meal, John had a dry sense of humour and a forthright way of telling it how he was.
John was a tireless supporter of the Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park and spent much of his time campaigning and supporting fund raising events.
In a post of some 3 years ago, John’s wife Helen wrote up a piece to describe the veterans efforts:
“About three years ago a group of Bomber Command veterans (12) were organized out of our local Aircrew Association to raise funds for the building of the BC Memorial in London. A super lady PR was recruited and also a number of authors of WW2 books and a collection of prints and other pictures of WW2 aircraft.
A venue for the display and sale of the items was investigated and we were lucky to find a keen aircraft enthusiast in the owner of a string of Garden nurseries. On each occasion a stall is set up to sell the memorabilia which are signed by the veterans with name and Squadron. With some publicity, large numbers of people have come often being the same people who have previously attended. Up to the moment we have raised in excess of £30,000.
Although the monument is now built the RAF Benevolent is left with the task of the maintenance of the structure so we are carrying on with the fund-raising for as long as we can.
Last week our team were invited to a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace and were introduced to Princess Anne which was a nice recognition of our efforts.
Some of us veterans who were in the TV programme ”Bomber Boys” broadcast last year, have been in demand to give talks to various organizations for which we have received extra donations for the Fund. One very rewarding venue (not monetary) has been visiting schools to talk to the children as part of the national curriculum.”
Watch ‘Bomber Boys’ here.
I am sure you will all join me in passing on the most heartfelt of thought to Helen and the family at this sad time.
If you wish to donate to the Bomber Command Memorial you can do so here.