Last Post - Flight Officer Robert Howard Shiells

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last post shiells

Source: reconstructed according to

Lost Bomber Report

Serial MZ807. 45 Halifax Mk.111. Part of a batch of 360 HP61 Halifax Mk.B.111. Delivered by English Electric Co. (Salmesbury & Preston) between 23Jun44 and 14Jul44. MZ807 was initially issued to No.422 Sqdn. Airborne 1749 Dec. 02, 1944 from Skipton-on-Swale... Those killed are buried in Choloy War Cemetery. See below for images of the gravesite and headstone. F/S Mallory was treated for his injuries in a French Hospital.


Click here to read the entire report.


Photos of Robert Howard Shiells are provided courtesy of Sheila Fredrickson, Gibsons, B.C., niece of Robert Howard Shiells, Al Mallory, son of Lorne Mallory, and the Canadian Archives. In some cases, they were clipped from the larger images.

Above from left to right are Clarence Christenson, Canadian Army, Brother-in-law of Robert Shiells, Robert Shiells, Jean Shiells, Canadian Army, sister of Robert, and David Matthews, brother in law of Robert Shiells. David is Sheila Fredrickson’s father. He was in the Reserves.

. Image courtesy of Sheila Fredrickson, . Gibsons, B.C., niece of Robert Howard Shiells.

Choloy Cemetery

Choloy War Cemetery was created as the last resting place of military personnel recovered from isolated sites and small churchyards in north-eastern France where permanent maintenance of the graves was not possible. It is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The land was a gift from the people of France as shown in the plaque below.

choloy plaque - gift of people of france


In Memory of

J/38422, 433 Sqdn., Royal Canadian Air Force
who died age 28
on 02 December 1944

Remembered with honour


Commemorated in perpetuity by
the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The headstone of Flying Officer Robert Howard Shiells beside his crew members at Choloy War Cemetery, image courtesy of Al Mallory, Son of F/S Lorne Mallory.

The image below of Flying Officer Robert Howard Shiells at Choloy is provided courtesy of The War Graves Photographic Project. The Project has kindly posted the photo of the crew with each crew's headstone on their site.

the wargraves photographic project logo

shiells headstone image provided by the war graves commission

Click here to see the "They Shall Not grow Old" entry for F/O Robert Howard Shiells

Canada's Bomber Memorial contains the names of 10,063 brave Canadian members of Bomber Command who died during World War II. To see images of the beautiful Memorial at Nanton, Alberta, click here. Toward the bottom of the second column of this panel one can see the name of Robert Howard Shiells.

This image above from Canada's Bomber Command Memorial was taken by Lloyd and Susan Campbell.


Flying Officer Robert Howard Shiells was born in Montreal, Canada. The tall, slender young man joined the Royal Canadian Airforce in 1942, and was trained as an Air bomber. He crewed up with the W.H. Cook crew of 433 Squadron. The crew departed at 17:00 hours for an operation near Hagen Germany, crashing in France at 23:00 hours on Dec 2/3, 1944. It was the first flight of the W.H. Cook crew in Halifax MZ 807. F/O Robert Shiells is the son of Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Shiells of Montreal, and the husband of Aileen Chadderton Shiells of Montreal.

Ops Report December 2/3, 1944

31 Halifaxes from 408, 415, 420, 424, 425, 426, 427, 429, 432, 433, and 434 squadrons were joined by 48 Lancasters from 419, 428 and 431 squadron on an attack at Hagen. The crews were over the target at between 16,000 and 18,000 feet, releasing 1,424,000 lbs of high explosives and 262,000 lbs of incendiaries. According to reports, bombing was accurate with severe damage being caused. A factory making batteries for U-Boats was completely destroyed. All crews commented on the severe icing to and from the target on this night.

Source: courtesy of Richard Koval


F/Lt W. Cook RCAF and crew, flying Halifax III MZ-807 coded BM-C, failed to return from this operation.

Sgt R. Ainsworth RAF

F/O J. Grant RCAF

F/O R. Shiells RCAF

F/O J. Pittman RCAF

F/Sgt L. Mallory RCAF– injured


6 crew were killed and one injured.


Click here to read the entire ops report.