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The Airmen's Stories - P/O J B McColl


John Brian McColl of Waterdown, Ontario, Canada joined the RCAF on 1st October 1939. He arrived in Britain from Canada on 20th September 1940 and went to 112 (RCAF) Squadron, which served as a holding unit to supply Canadian pilots to other squadrons.




On 21st September 1940 McColl and eight other Canadian officers arrived at 6 OTU Sutton Bridge. After converting to Hurricanes McColl joined 615 Squadron at Prestwick on 5th October. He and other new pilots were posted to 607 Squadron at Tangmere on the 9th.

McColl moved to 73 Squadron at Castle Camps on 5th November 1940 and left with it from Debden on the 9th, bound for Birkenhead en route to the Middle East. The squadron boarded the carrier HMS Furious on the 10th and flew off to Takoradi on the 29th.

The Hurricanes flew in easy stages to Heliopolis, via Lagos, Accra, Kano, Maidugari, Khartoum, Wadi Halfa and Abu Sueir.

The pilots were attached to 274 Squadron in the Western Desert in December. The squadron began to operate on its own account in January 1941.

On 4th February 1941 McColl shot down a Caproni 133.

He was posted back to the UK on 31st March 1941, joined 401 (RCAF) Squadron on 28th June and moved to 403 (RCAF) Squadron on 12th November 1941. His subsequent service is currently undocumented until 28th September 1944 when he was serving with 416 RCAF Squadron and damaged a Me262 near Nijmegen.

McColl was released to the RCAF Reserve on 26th February 1945 as a Flight Lieutenant. He died in 1982.



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