Basil Gantz

Navigator, 19 Squadron
Service number 1395278
Died 18 Aug 1944
Buried Belgrade War Cemetery
Age 24

Headstone Inscription
‘WHO GAVE HIS LIFE FOR THE FREEDOM OF OTHERS. MAY HE REST IN PEACE’


Basil was born in October 1921 in Hampstead to Hyman and Harriet nee Goldman. Basil had an older brother Norman who served in the army and a younger brother Dennis who died in 1937. Basil enlisted into the RAF in 1940 when he was twenty.

Basil was the navigator of Beaufighter JL910 which took off from Biferno aerodrome in Italy. The aircraft flew towards Kododesh in Albania before heading towards the target in Bogdanci in North Macedonia to bomb trains and camouflaged buildings. Basil’s aircraft was seen to break away from the formation and was thought to have difficulty in climbing. It passed over the first hill and then disappeared into a valley where it failed to make any further communication.

19 Squadron Operations Record Book