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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. J B Gothorp

 

When the list of Clasp holders for inclusion on the monument was being drawn up, some candidates had minimal details about their service.

According to the 25 Squadron Operational Record Book 'EC Gothorpe' flew two operational sorties with 25 Squadron, on 1st August and 25th October 1940 from Martlesham Heath and Debden respectively, as a radar operator.

He flew a third sortie on 8th November 1940, outside the Battle period.

It now (May 2024) appears that 'EC' was a misprint of 'AC' for Aircraftman, though all surviving operational aircrew of this rank should have been promoted to Sergeant in September 1940, and that the true identity of this airman was John Barker Gothorp.

 

 

He was born on 10th May 1915 in Morton-on-Swale, Northallerton Yorkshire.

Gothorp was awarded Aero Certificate 14296 on 1st September 1936 at the York and Leeming Flying Club, his profession recorded as 'Engineer'.

His name is recorded against service number 938831, this would have been issued to someone enlisting at the Recruiting Centre, Cardington, Bedfordshire between September 1939 and August 1940.

The 1939 Census has him living at Leeming and employed as a 'Ground Engineer/Aircraft Licenses'.

Though he was a qualified pilot it seems likely that his background would have steered him towards a role in radar-carrying aircraft.

He married Joan Pickering in Wensleydale in April 1945.

Gothorp died in York in June 2000.

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Unfortunately the erroneous entry had been recorded on the monument in good faith (below).

 


 

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