The Airmen's Stories - F/O J C Carver
John Champion Carver was born on 30th January 1916 and educated at Winchester College and Christ Church College, Oxford, where he read Chemistry. He was a member of the University Air Squadron and was commissioned in the RAFVR in August 1938.
Above: Carver in 1934.
He was employed by ICI Singapore before the war and did some flying with the VR in Malaya in 1939.
Carver was called to full-time service at the outbreak of war. He joined 87 Squadron at Church Fenton from 6 OTU on 1st October 1940.
Above image courtesy of the collection of F/O R Watson.
He was a Flight Commander in 247 Squadron at Portreath by June 1941 and on 31st July he shared in the destruction of a Do17. In September Carver was promoted to Acting Squadron Leader and posted to HQ 10 Group.
He returned to operations in January 1942, when he was given command of 118 Squadron at Predannack. Carver took part in the attack on the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau on 12th February.
On 13th March he baled out after his Spitfire was hit by return fire from a Ju88. As he left the aircraft he struck his face against the hood and was stunned. His parachute opened and he came to in the sea. After some difficulty in disentangling himself from the shrouds he inflated his dinghy and set out to paddle the seventy miles to the English coast. After 57 hours, in wintry conditions, Carver was within seven miles of his objective when he was picked up by a Royal Navy vessel, whose attention he attracted by blowing his whistle.
Carver was awarded the DFC (gazetted 10th April 1942).
He was reported 'Missing' on 6th June 1942 in action over Cherbourg. His Spitfire Vb BL984 was shot down by Fw190s.
He is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial, panel 65.
Above image courtesy of Dean Sumner