01.05.1942 No. 401 Squadron Spitfire Vb AD134 P/O. J.R. Patton
Operation: Circus 150
Date: 01st May 1942 (Friday)
Unit: No. 401 Squadron (The Rams)
Type: Spitfire Vb
Base: RAF Biggin Hill, Kent
Location: English Channel, approx 5 miles off Le Harve
Pilot: P/O. John Randolph Patton J/15106 RCAF Age 26. 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 part in a Circus to St. Omer when they Squadron was attacked by fighters from JG2.
P/O. Patton was hit and came down in the Channel some 5 miles off Le Havre. Neither his body or remains of the aircraft were found and he is commemorated on both the Runnymede Memorial and the memorial in Ottawa, Canada.
Fl/Lt. Eugene Lawrence Neal C/1640 RCAF (1) (later awarded the DFC and became the Commanding Officer of 401 Squadron - survived the war, no further details) was also hit but managed to bale out wounded, south of Portsmouth and rescued.
Above left: P/O. G.B. Murray and P/O. J.R. Patton. Right: P/O. G.F. Newton and Fl/Lt. E.L. Neal.
L-R: P/O. John Randolph Patton, Sq/Ldr. Douglas, Sgt. Jim Flander, P/O. Gerald Bickle Whitney, P/O. Hugh Merritt, Sgt. Slim Cosburn, Fl/Sgt. James Whitham, Sgt. Alec Blakely, Sgt. Jerry Denancrede, P/O. Hugh Godefroy, P/O. Ormston. Front: Sgt. Don Morrison, Sgt. Chuck Pope, Sgt. Frank Duff.
(1) DFC Citation - Fl/Lt. Eugene Lawrence Neal. L/G. 29th May 1942::
"This officer has proved himself to be a skilled and determined pilot. He has participated in sweeps, convoy patrols, and other operations. Throughout he has displayed keenness and has set an inspiring example. On one occasion his aircraft was very extensively damaged by enemy fire; despite this he skilfully landed it in a field. On another occasion after several combats and running short of petrol he was forced to leave the aircraft by parachute whilst over the sea. he was rescued some two hours later. He has destroyed a Messerschmidt 109 and assisted in the destruction of another."
P/O. John Randolph Patton. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 101. Born on the 14th July 1916 in Barrie, the son of John and Jessie A. Patton of 62 William Street, Barrie, Ontario, Canada. First served with 132 Squadron before joining 401 Squadron on the 16th November 1941.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Francois Dutil and sources as quoted below: