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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. J F R Jones


John Ferdinand Read Jones was born in South Shields on 28th October 1918 and educated at Ripon Grammar School. On leaving, in October 1936, he began a student apprenticeship at Armstrong-Whitworth Aviation.

Jones joined the RAFVR on 22nd January 1938 as an Airman u/t Pilot and began his elementary flying training at 9 E&RFTS Ansty.

Called up after the outbreak of war, he went to 11 FTS Shawbury for No. 14 Course, which ran from 21st September to 6th November 1939 for RAFVR pilots requiring advanced training only.



Jones joined 601 Squadron at Biggin Hill on 6th November. When the squadron’s Blenheims were replaced by Hurricanes in early 1940 he was posted to 25 Squadron at North Weald, arriving on 28th February.

On 21st September Jones was severely injured in a crash while landing at Hendon on a non-operational flight from North Weald. After a lengthy recovery he rejoined 25 Squadron at Church Fenton on 27th March 1942.

Jones was attached to 54 OTU, also at Church Fenton, to convert to Beaufighters, after which he rejoined 25 on 3rd May. He did a Beam Approach course at Watchfield in May and spent two weeks at 1489 Gunnery School in August 1942.

On 27th October 1943 Jones completed his second tour and was posted to 62 OTU Ouston as an instructor. He again rejoined 25 Squadron, then at Coltishall, on 27th April 1944, for his third tour. On 5th October he shot down a He111 off the Norfolk coast in Mosquito HK357, with F/O R Skinner as his radar operator.

On 7th May 1945 Jones and Skinner were approaching Ingolstadt on a flight from Castle Camps in Mosquito NF30 MV530 when they were hit by AA fire from an American unit. Skinner was injured when the aircraft crash-landed on fire.

Jones went to the Empire Air Navigation School at Shawbury on 29th July 1945, stayed there three months for a course and reported afterwards to HQ 11 Group Uxbridge on 5th November. During his service he received two Mentions in Despatches.

Jones was released from the RAF in January 1946 as a Flight Lieutenant and joined British South American Airways on the 19th of the month.

He went to British Overseas Airways on 1st October 1949 when the two airlines amalgamated. He retired in October 1973 as a Senior Captain.

Jones died in 1997.

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