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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.


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.

 

Above: Lonsdale is the subject of a prank at 608's Annual Camp at Warmwell 1939.

 


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.

 

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