26.09.1942 No. 401 Squadron Spitfire IX BR981 P/O. Hokan
Operation: Circus - Morlaix
Date: 26th September 1942 (Saturday)
Unit: No. 401 Squadron (The Rams)
Type: Spitfire IX
Base: RAF Biggin Hill
Location: English Channel
Pilot: F/O. Junius Lyman Edward Hokan J/6833 RCAF Age 20. Missing - believed killed
We are extremely grateful to François Dutil (438 Squadron Archivist) for supplying photographs and information to Aircrew Remembered in October 2017. All photographs shown within this page are available to relatives at a higher resolution (as are most of those named within this page) - courtesy of François.
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from base to escort 36 x B.17’s to bomb the airfield at Morlaix. Weather forecast was totally inaccurate as giving winds at 35 mph which turned out to be far higher.
Rendezvous over Bolt Head at around 16:15 hrs and to overtake the bombers and if missed to orbit for 3 minutes over the target and then return home.
The winds encountered were reported to be closer to 100mph! Many of the aircraft from 133, 64 and 401 Squadron began to run out of fuel. 133 Squadron lost 11 Spitfires, some simply through running out of fuel, some shot down, with most of the pilots surviving as PoW’s. 64 Squadron lost 1 Spitfire - BR603, pilot, Sgt. Calder escaping with injuries, aircraft written off.
Above left: F/O. Junius Lyman Edward Hokan. Right: Sgt. Bob Lawlor and Sgt. Doug Wright.
401 Squadron lost two aircraft, Sgt. Wright flying Spitfire BS311 crashed at Torquay through fuel shortage - survived. P/O. Hokan was heard over the radio: “Out of petrol, bailing out, so-long boys, will see you tomorrow”. He was last seen in a gradual dive and has not been picked up, despite air-sea rescue searches.
F/O. Junius Lyman Edward Hokan. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 99. Son of Kauri Lyman Hokan and Ella Grace Hokan, of St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Francois Dutil and sources as quoted below: