Portrait of 410234 Flying Officer (FO) Keith Ross Holland DFC, RAAF, 540 Squadron RAF, born in ...

Place Europe: United Kingdom, England
Accession Number SUK11895
Collection type Photograph
Object type Black & white - Print silver gelatin
Place made United Kingdom: England, Oxfordshire
Date made c March 1944
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


Portrait of 410234 Flying Officer (FO) Keith Ross Holland DFC, RAAF, 540 Squadron RAF, born in Wentworth, NSW, at RAF Station Benson. FO Holland, a surveyor and civil engineer before enlisting in Melbourne on 5 December 1941, embarked for training in Canada under the Empire Air Training Scheme on 23 June 1942, arriving in the UK on 27 March 1943. After service with the RAF's 543 Squadron, a photographic reconnaissance unit flying Spitfire aircraft, he underwent conversion training to fly Mosquito aircraft and joined No. 540 Squadron RAF, another photographic reconnaissance unit, on 28 October 1943. He flew reconnaissance missions from RAF Benson, Oxfordshire, and, between November 1943 and February 1944, from RAF Leuchars in Scotland. While based at RAF Leuchars he flew photographic reconnaissance missions over Denmark and the German Baltic coast, including the Peenemunde flying bomb base; he also flew over Berlin in daylight to obtain the first photographic evidence of the destruction of the city following the Allied raids on the city. For this work he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross; the citation in the London Gazette of 7 March 1944 mentioned his 'courage on numerous operations against the enemy'. From RAF Benson, he performed reconnaissance of targets as far as Beslau, Leizig, Poland and Italy. He was lost on operations when his aircraft crashed at Steinfeld, near Rostock, Germany, on 27 October 1944, while heading for the Stettin-Berlin area to carry out further photographic reconnaissance.