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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. J S Hamilton


James Sutherland Hamilton was born on 23rd April 1919 in Carlisle, the son of James Hamilton (1889-1965) and Dorothy Georgina Hamilton (nee Shearer 1889-1969).

His father was a 'carpet colourist' and may have been connected with James Templeton & Company of Glasgow, one of the leading carpet manufacturers in Britain during the 19th and 20th centuries.

His work took the whole family, now living in Edinburgh, to Canada at some time in the 1930s, they are recorded as disembarking from the 'Duchess of York' at Greenock on 10th July 1936 having boarded at Montreal.

He had a sister, Dorothy Margaret Hamilton (1913-1999), in 1939 a stenographer.

The next trace of JS Hamilton is in the 1939 Census where his profession is given as 'aircraft inspector Blackburn Aircraft Brough'.

He is thought to have joined the RAFVR about June 1939 as an Airman u/t Pilot. Called up on 1st September 1939, he completed his training and joined 248 Squadron on 25th September 1940.


While based at Dyce Hamilton met Jessie McBeth Geddes (1916-2006) and at sometime in May 1940 she became pregnant by him. Whatever plans they may have made came to nothing after his death.

A son was born on 26th February 1941 in Aberdeen. Jessie emigrated to New Zealand and married, her son was brought up as Ian Ferrier, he died in Whakatane, NZ in 2017.


On 13th December 1940 Hamilton was captain of Blenheim R3625, detailed to fly from Sumburgh to Wick for operations . He collided with another Blenheim, L9455 captained by P/O JD Dodd, whilst formating and they both crashed into the sea and sank.

Both aircraft were also carrying groundcrew and ten men were lost.

Those lost were:


P/O JD Dodd

P/O AH Pettet
Sgt. A Hook
LAC LSJ Bright
AC1 AEH Moore


Sgt. JS Hamilton
Sgt. JH May

Sgt. HW Walmsley
AC1 S Julian
AC1 GW Monks

Hamilton was 22. He is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, panel 15.


Above image courtesy of Dean Sumner.

He is also commemorated alongside the family graves in Strathaven Cemetery, South Lanarkshire.



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