The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. J F Wise
John Francis Wise joined the RAFVR in April 1939 as an Airman u/t Aircrew. Called up on 1st September 1939, he completed his training and was serving as an Air Gunner with 141 Squadron at Turnhouse in early July 1940.
The squadron flew south to West Malling on the 12th. Shortly after 09.00 hrs on the 19th, twelve Defiants moved to the forward airfield at Hawkinge.
Above: Wise before qualifying as an Air Gunner (the photo was labelled 'Jackie') and (below, centre) with his AG badge but before promotion to Sergeant. Other personnel unknown.
Above images courtesy of the Wise family.
At 12.23 hrs they were ordered off to carry out an offensive patrol twenty miles south of Folkestone. Three were left behind with engine trouble. During the patrol the nine Defiants were surprised by a force of Me109’s of III/JG51. Wise's aircraft, L6983, was hit in the engine. The pilot, F/O IN MacDougall, ordered Wise to bale out. He then managed to get the aircraft back to West Malling.
Wise was never heard of again. He was 20 years old and is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 21.
Above image courtesy of Dean Sumner