The Airmen's Stories - F/O P C B St.John
Peter Cape Beauchamp St.John was born on 25th May 1917. His father was a stockbroker's clerk who served in the RNVR in WW1 as an officer concerned with pay. The family lived in Chesham, Buckinghamshire.
In 1935 PCB St. John became an articled clerk with AD Mackintosh and Co, estate agents, in Mount Street, London W1. On 15th June 1936 he joined the TA in Chelsea as a Sapper, Royal Engineers.
He later joined the RAF on a short service commission and began his initial training on 27th September 1937. St. John was posted to 3 FTS South Cerney on 11th December and with his training completed he joined 87 Squadron at Debden on 9th July 1938.
He arrived at 5 OTU Aston Down on 23rd March 1940 to convert to Spitfires and was then posted to 74 Squadron at Hornchurch on 20th April.
Over Dunkirk on the 27th he shared in destroying a Do17. On 10th July St. John possibly destroyed a Me109 and damaged another and on the 28th he claimed a Me109 destroyed,
He was admitted to Princess Marys RAF Hospital, Halton on 9th August 1940 and was non-effective sick until the 26th. He made his next flight on the 27th, on AA co-operation.
On 11th September he claimed a He111 destroyed and on 17th October a Me109.
He was shot down and killed in combat with Me109's on 22nd October. His Spitfire, P7431, crashed at South Nutfield, Surrey.
St John was 23, he is buried in St Mary's churchyard, Amersham.