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The Airmen's Stories - F/Lt. J G Cave


John Geoffrey Cave was born in July 1915 in Huddersfield. His father John Henry Cave served with the West Riding Regiment throughout WW1 and was demobbed as a Staff Sergeant on 3rd March 1919. He had married Ethel Armitage on 16th June 1914 in Huddersfield.

In 1921 the family took a resettlement package offered by the Canadian Government and sailed to Quebec, arriving there on 29th April 1921. They settled in Calgary, Alberta.

In 1925 JG Cave was registered as privately educated at the Vernon Preparatory School in British Columbia.

In 1936 he returned alone to Britain, landing at Liverpool on 14th April. In October 1936 he joined the RAF on a short service commission and began his training on the 12th.

On 16th January 1937 he was posted to 8 FTS Montrose. After completing his training he joined 25 Squadron at Hawkinge on 7th August 1937.

On 5th November 1937 he was aloft in Hawker Demon K3983 with Aircraftman James Dale, aged 19, as passenger. The aircraft collided with Demon K4538 whilst in formation at 1200 feet between Dover and Deal. Dale froze in his seat despte entreaties from Cave to bale out. Cave parachuted at the last minute and landed safely, the other aircraft also landed safely.

Dale was found unconscious in the wreckage at East Langdon and later died of his injuries in the Royal Victoria Hospital, Dover.

Cave was still serving with the squadron in August 1939 and was then 'B' Flight Commander. On 30th August he took command of a flight of four experimental AI Blenheims, on attachment to 25 Squadron. He resumed command of 'B' Flight on 4th September.

He married Lois Sarah Hall at Folkestone on 14th October 1939.

On 31st January 1940 Cave was posted to RAF Halton as non-effective sick and admitted to hospital there.

He joined 600 Squadron at Manston on 29th March 1940. He was posted to 242 Squadron at Coltishall on 11th August but flew no operations with it before being posted away on 3rd October 1940.

Late in the war, Cave went into Aircraft Control. He stayed in the RAF postwar and died in the RAF Hospital Uxbridge on 1st February 1962.

At the time of his death he was the senior Squadron Leader in the Aircraft Control Branch.

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