The Airmen's Stories - Sub/Lt.(FAA) J C Carpenter
Jack Conway Carpenter was born at Bexhill, Sussex on 6th March 1919, the son of Noel and Ida Carpenter, formerly of Toronto. The family returned to Canada later in 1919 and resettled in Toronto. JC Carpenter was educated at Upper Canada College and in 1938 he was Cadet Captain in the College Corps (below).
The family returned to the United Kingdom in June 1938. From their new home in Anglesey, Wales, Carpenter applied for admission to Greenwich Naval College. Being six months too old for normal entry as a Midshipman, he joined the Air Branch of the Royal Navy on 1st July 1939, rated as Midshipman (A).
(Above: Carpenter (seated centre) with his family in Toronto in 1938 before they all moved back to the UK. Behind him is F/O Fred Carpenter RCAF, who went on to become an Air Vice Marshal and later Major General FS Carpenter AFC CD after the three Canadian armed services were amalgamated)
He did his elementary flying training at 14 EFTS Elmdon and moved on to 7 FTS Peterborough on 11th December 1939 on No. 7 (FAA) Course, which ended on 27th May 1940.
In response to Churchill’s request to the Admiralty for pilots, Carpenter was one of those attached to the RAF on 15th June 1940. He was seconded from HMS Daedalus. He arrived at 7 OTU Hawarden on 17th June, on No. 1 Course. After converting to Hurricanes, Carpenter joined 229 Squadron at Wittering on 1st July and moved to 46 Squadron at Digby on the 23rd.
(All images above courtesy of the Carpenter family)
Carpenter destroyed a Me110 near North Weald on 3rd September and two days later he shot down a Me109 in the Southend area.
On 8th September he was shot down during an attack on enemy aircraft over Sheppey. He baled out but fell dead. His Hurricane, P3201, crashed at Bearsted, Maidstone.
Carpenter’s body was taken to the Royal Navy Dockyard at Chatham, from whence it was returned to his family at Llanfaethlu, Anglesey. He was buried at sea, off Borthwen Beach, on 16th September 1940.
(Above) Carpenter is also commemorated on the Fleet Air Arm Memorial at Lee-on-Solent, Hants.