The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. J White
John White, of Lanarkshire, joined the RAFVR in March 1938 as an Airman u/t Pilot. Called up on 1st September 1939, he completed his training and joined 72 Squadron at Gravesend on 19th June 1940.
He claimed a Do17 destroyed on 2nd September and probably destroyed a He111 and damaged a Do17 on the 7th. In this engagement his Spitfire, R7022, was damaged and he made a forced-landing at Eynsford, slightly injured in the forehead and one leg.
On the 11th White claimed a Do17 destroyed and probably another, on the 14th a shared He111, on the 15th destroyed a He111 and shared a second, on the 23rd probably destroyed a Me109 and on the 27th he probably destroyed a Ju88 and a Do17 and damaged another Do17.
On this day White made a forced-landing after his header tank was damaged in combat with Me109’s over Sevenoaks. He was awarded the DFM (gazetted 24th December 1940).
In June 1941 White was a Flight Sergeant with 73 Squadron in the Western Desert. On the 14th he was one of six pilots who went to strafe Gazala. Heavy flak was encountered and White's Hurricane, V7383, was damaged. Whilst attempting to land he spun in and crashed at Sidi Barrani.
He died of his injuries, aged 25, and is buried in Halfaya Sollum War Cemetery, Egypt.
Photographs courtesy of Colonel C R Romberg RA, British Embassy Cairo