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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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401 Crest
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

Serial: BR981

Code: YO-?

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.


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.

Burial details:

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:

KTY - 15.10.2017

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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', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. 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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