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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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RAF Crest
16.04.1943 No. 34 EFTS, Fairchild Cornell I FJ654 Sgt. John Richard Mason

Operation: Training

Date:16 April 1943 (Friday)

Unit: No.34 Elementary Flying Training School

Type: Fairchild Cornell I

Serial: FJ654

Code: Not known

Base: RCAF Assiniboia, Saskatchewan, Canada

Location: Assiniboia, Saskatchewan, Canada

Pilot Instructor: Sgt. John Richard Mason 1218537 RAFVR Age 21 - Killed (1)

Trainee Pilot: LAC. John Hugh Evans 1670972 RAFVR Age 20 - Killed (2)


Pilot Instructor Sgt. John Richard Mason and Trainee Pilot LAC John Hugh Evans were both killed when their trainer aircraft, Fairchild Cornell FJ654 crashed on 16 April 1943. Further details are unknown; in fact the location of the crash is somewhat blurred.

"They Shall Grow Not Old" by Les Allison and Harry Hayward gives Medicine Hat, Alberta as the location; this is believed to be an error for several reasons. First, the two British airmen killed were both buried at Assiniboia some 250 miles east of Medicine Hat. Second, the book entry states that they were killed at at Medicine Hat, Alberta but it was No.34 SERVICE Flying Training School (SFTS) that was based here. No. 34 ELEMENTARY Flying Training School (EFTS) was based at Assiniboia where they are buried. Third, Sgt. Mason and LAC Evans were killed flying a Fairchild Cornell which, along with Tiger Moths were flown at Assiniboia but not at Medicine Hat where they only flew Harvards and Airstream Oxfords.



(1) Sgt. John Richard Mason was born on 6 March 1922 at Basford, Nottinghamshire the son of John William Mason and Ines Kathleen Mason nee Earp. He had an elder sister Vera born in 1920 and the family lived at 19 Trevose Gardens, Sherwood, Nottingham. His father was a Lace Manufacturer.

John Richard Mason entered Nottingham High School on 20 September 1934 and left on 31 July 1939. He was a member of the school Officer Training Corps, passed the OTC Certificate A in 1938 and was the Drum Major in 1939. He won his First XI colours and was Captain of Cricket. (Courtesy Nottingham High School Archives) He was also a keen ice skater and excelled at barrel jumping.

He is commemorated on the Nottingham High School War Memorial and St. Martin's Church War Memorial, Sherwood, Nottingham.

(2) LAC John Hugh Evans was born in 1922 at Holywell the son of Hugh and Sarah Ann Evans nee Ames of Bryn Celyn, Holywell, Flintshire, Wales. He had a sister Gertrude W. Evans born in 1926, a brother David H. Evans born in 1927, a brother William T. Evans born in 1933.

He is commemorated on the Holywell War Memorial.


Sgt. John Richard Mason was buried at Mount Hope Cemetery, Assiniboia, Saskatchewan, Canada - Chapel Plot. Grave 5

LAC John Hugh Evans was buried at Mount Hope Cemetery, Assiniboia, Saskatchewan, Canada - Chapel Plot. Grave 6

Researched by Aircrew Remembered researcher Roy Wilcock for Nottingham High School and all the relatives and friends Sgt. John Richard Mason and LAC.John Hugh Evans - June 2016

With thanks to the sources quoted below.

RW 12.06.2016

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 (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', Franek Grabowski, 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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