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The Airmen's Stories - P/O J S B Jones

 

John Sinclair Bucknall Jones was born on 17th February 1919 at Marlborough, Wiltshire, the only son of Group Captain JHO Jones and his wife, Charlotte.

He was educated at Canford School and entered RAF College Cranwell in January 1938 as an Honorary Kings Cadet. He was awarded the RM Groves Memorial Prize.

After the outbreak of war Cranwell cadets who had not completed their courses were enlisted in the regular RAF on 7th September 1939 as Airmen u/t Pilots.

 

 

 

 

Jones graduated on 1st October 1939 and was granted a permanent commission. He joined 152 Squadron, then reforming at Acklington with Gladiators which were quickly replaced by Spitfires.

On 27th February 1940 he shared, with P/O TS Wildblood, in the destruction of a He111 which crashed into the sea ten miles east of Coquet Island, Northumberland. The crew baled out and Jones reported their position. They all drowned before a rescue vessel arrived. Jones was a pall bearer at the funeral.

On 12th July 152 moved south to Warmwell. On the 25th Jones was credited with the destruction of a Me109 in the Portland area. He reported 'Fired short burst with full deflection at 150 yds. Black smoke issued from enemy, which turned sharply left and down. Fired further long burst at 50 yds with slight deflection. Enemy broke up behind cockpit and rolled onto its side pouring smoke thickly. It was seen to plunge vertically into the sea 3-5 miles south of Portland. Rounds fired: 2,110'.

On 11th August four aircraft from 152 were bounced by 109s over the Channel. Spitfire R6614, flown by Jones, was hit by cannon rounds. F/Lt. DPA Boitel-Gill recorded that he saw Jones bale out and circled him as he descended to provide protection against enemy fighters. He reported the position of Jones as about 10 miles off Swanage. The town's lifeboat was launched but could not find the pilot. It was felt at that it was likely that he had been wounded and did not have the strength to stay afloat.

Three Spitfires from 152 and a Blenheim from 604 Squadron were despatched for a further search without success. It has been suggested that Jones was picked by a He59 float plane which was attacked and destroyed on the water by the Blenheim, but his presence has not been substantiated.

Jones was 21. His body was washed ashore at Yport, Normandy The Germans buried him in the local cemetery on 11th September. On 25th June 1947 he was re-interred in Sainte Marie Cemetery, Le Havre. The destruction of his aircraft was credited to Hauptmann Armin Ettling of 7 JG/2.


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