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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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John Talbot Lovell Shore MC AFC
John Talbot Lovell Shore MC AFC RAF

Acknowledgment from Mark and Ian Shore

“Our father was killed when we the eldest of us was only seven. As we grew up we learned about his wartime exploits and we can remember being given, as children, a copy of his personal report on the escape from prisoner of war (PoW) camp and successful return to UK, typewritten by our grandmother. We were, of course, proud that he had been awarded the Military Cross and his medals have been a valued heirloom. Nonetheless the details of our father’s RAF service remained sketchy.

Some clarity was achieved when we three brothers got the opportunity to go to visit the place where our father had been killed in a flying accident in N Wales. Then, following a meeting between Ian with the legendary Jimmy James, we all got the opportunity to go over to Barth to visit Stalag Luft I, repeating a visit Mark had made 10 years previously when he made first contact with the redoubtable Helga Radau. She is the archivist at Barth who has developed a museum of the PoW camp where our father’s exploits are featured.

These activities, visits to the National Archives at Kew, discussions with Ian’s mother, combined with the newly available power of the internet, have resulted in more research which has revealed, among other things, the extent of our father’s secret wartime research into the efficacy of balloon wire cutters fitted to the leading edge of aircraft wings. This work, which, perhaps unsurprisingly, led to three forced landings, was recognized by the award of the Air Force Cross.

The outcome of the research was a lot of material; however we were unclear about how this could be made more widely available in an easily read format. We were, therefore, delighted to be approached by Kate Tame, of Aircrew Remembered offering to feature our father on their website. She demonstrated her research credentials by finding us through some material already available but in different, dispersed websites. The discovery that her father has served with the same squadron as our father, IX(B) Squadron, and at the same time, was the icing on the cake. We are very grateful for all the work Kate has done to assemble and present all the material that honours our father’s achievements and records his premature death, which prevented him from contributing further to our lives”

“Per Ardua ad Astra”

And from Kate Tame

“I had no idea when I started this page of remembrance that I would open up a true story of courage and devotion to duty and find the man behind the uniform. A man that had to parachute to safety, endure being a prisoner of war, made his first attempt to escape within days of being captured. Who after his escape and “home run” then spent some of his career in the Royal Air Force as a test pilot flying into barrage cables!

To meet two of John Talbot Lovell “Death” Shore’s sons Mark and Ian was an honour in itself, but to be entrusted with their years of research was an amateur genealogist dream”

The following pages give you the reader an insight into this remarkable man John Talbot Lovell Shore MC AFC RAF

“To remember is an honour”

John T L Shore standing in front of a Vickers Wellesley. John's crashed Wellington K for Katie and John T L Shore (courtesy of the Shore family)

The loss of Wellington IC R1335 (K for Katie) The account of what happened to the aircraft and the crew in the early hours of 28th March 1941. The SOS message sent and the words “I’m forced to land”

Parachute landing to Amsterdam a true transcript of John’s own words transcribed by his son Ian Shore. This page details what happen when he knew that his beloved “Katie” wasn’t going to make it. The barking dog that brought hope and meeting up with four of his crew

John T L Shore’s own account of his escape and home run. John’s own story of his escape and journey in a foreign country with no money or papers to meeting the family that kept his watch and returned it after the war to his arrival in Stockholm

A journey of discovery. This journey undertaken by John Shore’s sons tells the story of retracing their father’s footsteps of his escape and visiting Stalag Luft I Barth. Their meeting with Helga Radau and seeing the memorial dedicated to the prisoners

A Friend of my fathers. Ian Shore recalls his meeting with Bertram Arthur “Jimmy” James. The infamous escaper who recalled his time as a friend of “Death” Shore while they were prisoners of war in Stalag Luft I Barth. There coming together to dig a tunnel and his meeting with John after the war

Avro Lincoln RF511, 1950. The last flight for John Talbot Lovell Shore MC AFC RAF and his crew. With 1628 solo flying hours John Shore was a very experienced and much respected pilot. He was a test pilot who had made 330 impacts into barrage wires. The aircraft was on a night training exercise and due to extremely poor weather and visibility crashed into the side of a mountain in Wales

John Shore’s Royal Air Force Career describes from his date of entry into the Royal Air Force to his death in 1950. It also details some of his more unusual postings. His temporary loan to the Air Ministry Film Training Unit to his work in the Research Department.

Avro Lincoln aircraft (courtesy of IWM) Memorial Plaque places at the site of the crash (courtesy of the Shore family)

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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Last Modified: 19 February 2019, 13:41

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