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The Airmen's Stories - F/O J W Hamill


John Warren Hamill was born in Hamilton, New Zealand on 16th March 1916, the son of John Edward and Ruth Myrtle Hamill.

He was educated at Wanganui Collegiate School. He went to work for a newspaper and in July 1936 became manager of the Opera House cinema in Oamaru.



Hamill applied for an RAF short service commission in December 1937 and was provisionally accepted. He sailed for the UK on 7th April 1938 in the RMS Rangitata. In mid-May he began his elementary flying at 4 E&RFTS, Brough and was posted to 3 FTS, South Cerney on 23rd July. With the course completed, he was posted to No 1 AACU at Henlow on 4th March 1939, as a staff pilot.

On 26th May 1940 Hamill was posted to 6 OTU Sutton Bridge and after converting to Hurricanes he joined 229 Squadron at Digby on 8th June.

Hamill injured his ears in a power dive after a He111 on 14th July and was admitted to hospital. On 11th December, with his tour completed, Hamill went to 4 Ferry Pilot's Pool at Kemble.

On Christmas Eve he was detailed to deliver a Hurricane from 20 MU to 247 Squadron at Roborough. The weather was bad, with rain and low cloud. After apparently losing his way, Hamill crashed in the Mendip Hills, about three miles from Cheddar Gorge, and was killed.

He is buried in Wells Cemetery, Somerset.


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