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The Airmen's Stories - P/O L L G Javaux

 

Lucien Leon Gustave Javaux was born on the 16th August 1911 in Namur, Belgium and studied Law at Namur and Brussels. During this time he acquired a civilian flying licence. In August 1934 he became eligible for military service and joined the First Aviation Regiment. His 14-month service ended on 16th October 1935 by which time he held the rank of Sergeant. He was then on the reserve and was recalled for further training in 1936 and 1938, in September of 1938 he was commissioned. Despite his civilian pilot’s licence he was assigned as an Observer throughout his service.

Mobilized on 26th August 1939, he was posted to the 3rd Air Regiment flying Fairey Foxes. After the Belgian surrender his unit withdrew to airfields in France and following the French armistice on 22nd June Javaux escaped by ship to England. He was commissioned in the RAF on 13th August 1940 and posted to 235 Squadron, by the end of November he had completed 17 operational sorties as an Observer in Blenheims. Recommended for pilot training, he qualified at EFTS Odiham and 11 SFTS at Shawbury.

After further training at 2 OTU Catfoss he was posted to 143 Squadron flying Blenheim IV's on coastal operations. On 17th June 1942 Javaux was one of eight crews drawn from 143 to form the nucleus of a newly-forming 236 Squadron, equipped with Beaufighters. His service with 236 was short as he was posted, probably against his will, as an instructor at 9 OTU Catfoss on 27th July 1942. He was again a member of a draft from this unit that formed the nucleus of 2 OTU at Crosby-on-Eden where he instructed on Beaufighters and Beauforts.

At his own request he went back on operations, joining 143 Squadron once more on 9th January 1943, at this time operating Beaufighters from North Coates.

His next posting was to 272 Squadron in August 1943 which operated Beaufighters over the Mediterranean from bases in Egypt. This was a short posting as by September 1943 he was flying Mosquitos with 681 Squadron, based at Dum Dum (Calcutta) in India.

On 18th October 1943 he was detailed to ferry Mosquito PR IX LR441 from Allahabad to Dum Dum. En route the combination of darkness and torrential rain made him decide to put down at the RAF airfield at Rianchi, though the runway could only be marked by lorry headlights. On his fourth approach the aircraft was seen to descend into a river bank short of the runway.

Javaux and his navigator, Sgt. Arthur Clifford Harper, were killed.

They were both interred at Rianchi cemetery but in October 1961 Javaux was re-interred at the family vault in Fleuris, Belgium.

 

Photos and additional research courtesy of Andre Bar at www.bamfbamrs.be/RAF/index.htm


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