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Wing Commander
Service No:
Date of Death:
Royal Air Force
44 Sqdn.
Panel Reference:
Panel 118.
Additional Information:
Son of John Hennah Nettleton and Ethel Nettleton; husband of Betty Isobel Nettleton, of Paignton, Devon.


The London Gazette for 24th April, 1942, contains the following particulars: Squadron-Leader Nettleton was the leader of a bomber formation detailed to attack, in daylight on 17th April, 1942, the Diesel engine factory at Augsburg in Germany, a target of high military importance. To reach it and return meant a flight of one thousand miles over hostile territory. German fighters attacked, and only the leading bomber and one other remained to fly to the still distant target. Squadron-Leader Nettleton, with great spirit and almost defenceless, brought these two remaining aircraft, mostly at only fifty metres above the ground, to Augsburg, where they encountered intense anti-aircraft fire. Through fire from point-blank range, bombs were dropped on the target. The second aircraft was hit, burst into flames, and crash-landed. The leading aircraft, though riddled with holes, flew safely back to base, the only one of six to return. Squadron-Leader Nettleton, who has successfully undertaken many other hazardous operations, displayed unflinching determination as well as leadership and valour of the highest order.

CWGC Archive Online (2)

Grave Registration Reports (GRRs) are standard forms which detail graves for which the Commission is responsible within a particular burial ground. They provide basic details of the individuals, such as name, service number, rank, regiment, unit and date of death, and are listed in Plot, Row and Grave order.
These are lists of individuals commemorated on memorials or screen walls and reflect the details and layout inscribed on the panels. Individuals are commemorated in this way when their loss has been officially declared by their relevant service but there is no known burial for the individual, or in circumstances where graves cannot be individually marked, or where the grave site has become inaccessible and unmaintainable.


This collection of documents was assembled by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and its predecessors as part of the processes involved in the commemoration of individuals. As a result, they contain many corrections and alterations which reflect their use as working documents. For further information concerning the history of the collection, please see our About Our Records page.

Please be advised that some of the documents, especially the burial returns and exhumation reports, may contain information which some people may find distressing. The original archive records and their digital copies remain the property of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, but are available for re-use for private and non-commercial purposes.




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