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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. J McConnell


John McConnell was born on 18th May 1918 in Belfast and joined the RAFVR about June 1939 as an Airman u/t Pilot.

Called up on 1st September 1939, he did his elementary flying at No. 1 EFTS Hatfield and went on to 10 FTS Ternhill for No. 20 Course, which ran from 13th May to 17th August 1940.

He arrived at 6 OTU Sutton Bridge on 18th August. After converting to Hurricanes he joined 145 Squadron at Dyce on 11th September.

McConnell shared in the destruction of a He115 SE of Kinnaird Head on 2nd October. The aircraft had already been hit by anti-aircraft fire.

On 7th November 1940 McConnell was shot down by a Me109 of JG2. He baled out, slightly injured, and landed at Earnley Mill. His Hurricane, P8816, crashed at Birdham, SW of Chichester.

Commissioned in October 1942, McConnell retired from the RAF on 29th January 1958 as a Flight Lieutenant.

He died on 24th May 1965 and lies in Clandeboye cemetery, Bangor, NI.

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