The Airmen's Stories - P/O J Lonsdale
John Lonsdale, of Stockton-on-Tees, joined 608 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force before the war as an Aircrafthand. About May 1939 he remustered as an Airman u/t Pilot and began flying training.
Above: Lonsdale is the subject of a prank at 608's Annual Camp at Warmwell 1939.
Above: also prewar with 608 Squadron AAF - P/O J Lonsdale seated front left, Sgt. WA Peacock standing top left, Sgt. L Davies seated bottom right, others currently unknown.
Called up on 24th August 1939, Lonsdale completed his training, was commissioned in late June 1940 and arrived at 7 OTU Hawarden on 1st July. After converting to Hurricanes he joined 3 Squadron at Wick on 15th July.
Lonsdale flew his first operational sortie on the 24th, a scramble. His second sortie came the next day, when he and F/O DAE Jones were scrambled and shared in the destruction of a He111 off Kinnaird Head.
On 1st October Lonsdale made a forced-landing near Chryston, Lanarkshire, in Hurricane P3261, because of a fuel shortage. The aircraft was a write-off but Lonsdale was unhurt.
He assumed command of ‘A’ Flight of 3 Squadron on 21st October.
Lonsdale was killed on 26th November 1942 as a Flight Lieutenant, still serving with 3 Squadron, aged 28.
Flying from Hunsdon, his Hurricane IIb AM280 collided with Sgt. A Rankin in Z5449 over Norfolk. Rankin was able to bale out, unhurt.
Lonsdale is buried in Durham Road Cemetery, Stockton-on-Tees.
Above image courtesy of Dimitrios Corcodilos