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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.

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403 Squadron badge
19.08.1942 No. 403 Squadron Spitfire Vb AR439 P/O. Gardiner

Operation: Dieppe Raid

Date: 19th August 1942 (Wednesday)

Unit: No. 403 Squadron R.C.A.F.

Type: Spitfire VB

Serial: AR439

Base: R.A.F. Manston

Location: St. Aubin-le-cauf, France

Pilot: P/O. John Edwin Gardiner J/8140 R.C.A.F. Age 23. Killed


During the landing at Dieppe which they were providing cover from the Luftwaffe, two Spitfires collided and crashed at St. Aubin-le-cauf five miles south east of the landing. Both pilots were killed in the mid-air collision.

The other pilot killed was P/O. Norman Monchier.



Above and left St. Aubin-le-cauf, Cemetery, France as photographed by our Kate Tame in 2012. Any relative who would like a higher resolotion of these photographs we would be happy to email them to you free of charge.

Burial Details:

P/O. John Edwin Gardiner. St. Aubin-le-cauf, Cemetery, France. Son of the Hon. James Garfield Gardiner, M.P., and Christie Violet Gardiner, of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He was the eldest son of James Gardiner, the most prominent Liberal politician of the day in Western Canada. James Gardiner also lost two brothers in the first world war – also lost his wife, Violet who took her own life in 1944 following her unbearable grief of their loss.

Researched for relatives of P/O. Gardiner. Thanks to Kate Tame for grave photographs, further information courtesy Les Allison and Harry Hayward “They Shall Not Grow Old”. Thanks also to Commonwealth Graves Commission. 

‘Letters Home’ written by Canadian Plains Research Center.

A book containing all his letter sent home by John was published in 2004. ISBN No: 0-88977-157-X by the Canadian Plains Research Center. ‘Letters Home’.

Acknowledgements: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (both on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 26 May 2014, 21:56

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