Henry Howard Maginn

Sergeant Henry Howard Maginn's name appears on Portadown's War Memorial. He died in September 1942 on the return from a bombing raid on Dusseldorf, Germany.


Henry Howard Maginn


Sergeant Henry Howard Maginn from Portadown, Co. Armagh served with RAF 15 Squadron as an air gunner in Bomber Command. His final mission was a huge bombing raid over Dusseldorf, Germany.

Sergeant Henry Howard Maginn (637636) served in the Royal Air Force during World War Two. At his time of death, he was an air-gunner with RAF 15 Squadron.

Known to family and friends as Harry, he was the son of William Maginn and Adelaide Maginn of Portadown, Co. Armagh. He was the husband of Emma Maginn of Portadown, Co. Armagh. Maginn was a member of Dr. Kane’s Crimson Star Loyal Orange Lodge 417 in his hometown.

Sergeant Maginn died on 11th September 1942 aged 29-years-old. He was the air-gunner on board Short Stirling BF347 LS-J on a mission to Dusseldorf, Germany. The crew took off from RAF Bourn, Cambridgeshire at 2105hrs as part of a flight of 478 other planes. Among them were 242 Wellingtons, 89 Lancasters, 59 Halifaxes, 47 Stirlings, 28 Hampdens, and 14 Whitleys.

Pathfinders marked the area using “Pink Pansies” to light up the city. The raid on Germany was a success with 39 factories in Dusseldorf and 13 in Neuss damaged enough to halt production. RAF bombs also destroyed 8 public buildings, damaging 67 more. They devastated 911 houses, causing serious damage to 1,506, and light damage to 8,340. 19,427 people became homeless as a result of the huge attack. 120 people died on the ground in Dusseldorf with a further 12 killed in Neuss.

The Royal Air Force lost 33 planes. Among the total were 20 Wellingtons, 5 Lancasters, 4 Stirlings, 3 Halifaxes, and 1 Hampden. Enemy retaliation caused the deaths of 60 crewmen. Among them was Portadown man Harry Maginn.

His Stirling bomber came under attack from Luftwaffe night fighters, which caused severe damage to the plane. The pilot attempted a crash landing at RAF West Malling, Kent. The plane crashed and all on board died.

RAF 15 Squadron in Bomber Command

Imperial War Museum Photo: HU 62975 (Part of the Imperial War Museum Photograph Archive Collection). Short Stirling B Mark IIIs of RAF 15 Squadron and RAF 149 Squadron being prepared for a raid at a Bomber Command airfield. Photo used under Fair Dealing.

Remembering the crew of BF347

The following died on board Short Stirling BF347 LS-J as it crash-landed near RAF West Malling, Kent on 11th September 1942.

Last NameFirst Name(s)RankRoleInfo
BannisterHarry ErnestFlight SergeantPilot1111864. 31 years old.
WilliamsHenry EricSergeantObserver657180. 25 years old.
HigginsClarence WilliamPilot OfficerObserver48518. 28 years old.
PittendrighWilfred ErnestSergeantWireless Operator / Air Gunner1291394. 21 years old.
MaginnHenry HowardSergeantAir Gunner637636. 29 years old.
PrimeNorman AllanSergeantAir Gunner536221. 25 years old.
MansfieldSidney PhariesSergeantAir Gunner1210919. 20 years old.

Henry Howard Maginn’s grave is in Section A, Plot 5, Grave 10 of Seagoe Cemetery, Portadown, Co. Armagh. His headstone bears the inscription:

Worthy of remembrance. And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in Thee.

His name also features on the Portadown War Memorial in front of St. Mark’s Church, Portadown, Co. Armagh.

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