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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. J C O Medworth


John Charles Oswald Medworth was born in Tooting, London on 3rd October 1918 and joined 600 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force in 1938 as an Aircrafthand. Called up on 24th August 1939, he remustered as an Airman u/t Air Gunner and served with 600 until June 1940 when he was posted to 25 Squadron at North Weald.

Medworth flew three X-Raid sorties in the following month, including, on the 4th, with F/Sgt. Lingard as his pilot, a successful interception of an He115 seaplane.

When 25's Blenheims were replaced by Beaufighters in December 1940 Medworth retrained as a Radar Operator. He moved in this role to 29 Squadron at West Malling in May 1941.

He continued to fly night sorties out of West Malling until transferring to instructional duties at an OTU in September, his 'A' Flight CO at this time being Guy Gibson.



Promoted to Warrant Officer in March 1942 and re-mustered as a Navigator (Radar) in July, he returned to an operations in September, when he joined 85 Squadron, operating Havocs until these were replaced by Mosquitos in October. In early 1943 W/Cdr. J ‘Cat’s Eyes’ Cunningham assumed command of 85. Medworth and F/O Sutcliffe damaged a Fw190 in June.

On the night of 22nd/23rd August, flying with S/Ldr. GL Howitt DFC, he contributed to the destruction of the first Me410 to be brought down over British soil. Off Harwich they intercepted a Me410 of 15./KG2 and shot it down near Chemondiston outside Ipswich.

One crewman baled out, the other was killed when his parachute failed.

Commissioned in April 1943, Medworth was posted to No. 9 Group in October 1943, followed by further operational duties at the Fighter Interception Unit at Ford, Sussex, where he served until March 1944.

Posted then to HQ 84 Group, he was with them at the end of the war. Released in 1946 as a Flight Lieutenant, Medworth re-enlisted in August 1947 and served in the Fighter Control Branch until retiring in August 1964.

He died in February 2007 in Camborne, Cornwall.


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