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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. J D Fletcher


John Denys Fletcher does not appear in the usual records of Births but is recorded as arriving in Southampton on the ss 'Walmer Castle' on 14th June 1920 aged one, accompanied by his mother Catherine.

The CWGC records him as the son of Arthur Newbold Fletcher (1878-1936) and Catherine Fletcher, of Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire.

The ship had sailed from Cape Town so its possible that he was born there. His father is not recorded on the ship's manifest.

He attended Oakham School in Rutland between 1932 and 1935, he was appointed house prefect and received his sporting colours in running, boxing and rugby. In the CCF he rose to corporal.


Fletcher is seated, second from the right.

Above images courtesy of Oakham School.


Fletcher joined the RAFVR about July 1939 as an Airman u/t Pilot. Called up on 1st September 1939 he completed his training at 7 EFTS and 10 FTS and joined 3 Squadron in late August 1940.

He made his first sortie on 2nd September. Commissioned in January 1941 Fletcher had postings with 1 Squadron, 3 Squadron again and then 258 Squadron at Debden on 18th October 1941. When 258 were posted to Singapore in November 1941 Fletcher remained behind, having been posted to 91 Squadron.



Fletcher was lost on a shipping reconnaissance off the French/Belgian coast on 8th February 1942 in Spitfire Vb W3132. His body was washed ashore and he is buried at Middelkerke Communal Cemetery in Belgium.






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