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The Airmen's Stories - P/O J J Walsh

 

John Joseph Walsh, from Bassano, Alberta, Canada joined the RAF on a short service commission in June 1939, completed his training and joined 225 Squadron, an army co-operation unit with Lysanders.

Walsh volunteered for Fighter Command in August 1940 and was posted to 6 OTU Sutton Bridge on 5th September to convert to Hurricanes. He was then posted to 615 Squadron at Prestwick on the 21st and served with them for the remainder of the Battle.

 

Above: 615 Squadron in November 1940

On wing: Sgt. RH Smyth, Sgt. AR Moore

Standing: Adj. GC Perrin, F/O DGA Stewart, F/Lt. JRH Gayner, P/O NJ Wheeler, P/O JJ Walsh,

F/O CN Foxley-Norris, F/O PH Hugo, F/O A Eyre, P/O LN Landels, S/Ldr. JR Kayll

Kneeling: Adj. R Mouchotte, Sgt. ET Cosby

 

In January 1941 Walsh was serving in Egypt, having arrived via the Takoradi ferry route. He and three other pilots flew to Malta in a Sunderland on the 20th as reinforcements for 260 Squadron.

On 25th February Walsh damaged a Do215. Later in the day he was shot down by Me109’s of 7/JG26 over St Paul's Bay and baled out. He was picked up by a destroyer, with a leg broken in four places and a broken arm. He died in hospital on 2nd March 1941 from pneumonia, possibly brought on by shock.

Walsh was 23. He is buried in the Naval Cemetery, Cappucini, Malta.

 

 

 

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