The Airmen's Stories - F/O J C Carriere
John Charles Carriere was born in Quebec, Canada in 1915 and joined the RAF on a short service commission in January 1939. He was posted to 219 Squadron when it was reformed at Catterick on 4th October 1939.
219 Squadron ‘B’Flight
Standing: Sgt. RV Cook, Sgt. GT Williams, Sgt. C Beveridge, P/O RV Baron, P/O RC Hall, Sgt. S Austin, Sgt. DC Bunch, Sgt. E Combes
Seated: Sgt. HF Grubb, Sgt. EG Grubb, P/O WGM Lambie, F/O JC Carriere, F/O HG Goddard, F/Lt. JH Little, F/O JG Topham, P/O GM Head, P/O J Sinclair, Sgt. OA Dupee, Sgt. HK Crook.
Centre on ground unknown.
He went to 229 Squadron at Digby on 23rd October and rejoined 219 Squadron, then at Redhill, on 9th December 1939.
Carriere was on a searchlight co-operation flight in Blenheim L8724 on 6th August 1940 when he collided with high tension cables and crashed into a river. The aircraft was written off but Carriere and his gunner, Sgt. C Beveridge, survived.
Beveridge was treated for facial injuries and returned to duty but Carriere was admitted to hospital with facial injuries and was non effective sick for a month. He did not fly again until 12th September.
In September 1941, 140 Squadron was formed as a photo reconnaissance unit based at Benson in Oxfordshire with six Spitfires and six Blenheims, tasked with photographing German bases and fortifications in Occupied Europe, particularly on the Atlantic coast.
Carriere joined the squadron on 1st August at Hendon after taking a specialist training course at Duxford, when the squadron was still called 1416 Flight.
His first month of service was busy, he flew ten sorties over the UK, carrying out mapping and defence areas photography for the Army.
His first operational mission was on 27th September 1941 when he took a Spitfire to St. Valery, on the French coast north of Dieppe, bringing back 'satisfactory' photographs. A further seven sorties were flown that month.
Over the next 15 months while he was with 140 Squadron, he flew an average of two sorties per week, including a January 1942 night sortie in a Blenehim - rocked by violent electrical storms - over the Channel Islands using air burst 'flashbomb' illumination to obtain pictures of Sark.
On 6th November 1942 he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, and was posted away from the squadron to serve as a flying instructor shortly afterwards.
In January 1944 Carriere transferred to the RCAF and he was released in Canada on 28th November 1945 as a Flight Lieutenant.
Additional research courtesy of Paul Allonby.