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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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438 Squadron Crest
15.07.1944 No. 438 Squadron F/O. Ross Eveleigh Johnson

Operation: Artillery attack

Date: 15th July 1944 (Saturday)

Unit: No. 438 Squadron RCAF - Wild Cats (motto: ‘Going down’)

Type: Typhoon Ib

Serial: -

Code: F3-

Base: ALG B - 10. Plumetot

Location: 3.5 miles north west Caen

Pilot: F/O. Ross Eveleigh Johnson J/27232 RCAF Age 21. 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 - courtesy of François.


Although not a loss in the air we feel that a page dedicated to this Canadian fighter pilot is in order. It is then available to relatives looking for information on Ross Johnson.

Born on Saturday the 09th September 1922 in Montreal, Canada. His father also served as a pilot during the first World War. Taking part in the Normandy Invasion the squadron were moved to Plumetot at the temporary Advanced Landing Ground B-10.

The report from his flight commander Fl/Lt. R. Burden stated that he had left on an authorised trip in a 3 ton truck to find some planks to makes shelves to store the squadrons parachutes at the new base. About 3.5 miles from Caen the Germans opened up an artillery barrage - Ross was hit by fragments and killed.

Above and below: In both shots the officer at center rear is 438 squadron commanding officer Sq/Ldr. Jack Rife Beirnes DFC (1)

(1) Sq/Ldr. Jack Beirnes (shown left) was killed on 01st June 1945 when he crash-landed after his engine failed. His wingman Fl/Lt. Ronald Claire Getty wrote in his report: I noticed a black puff come from the engine and a second later the pilot Sq/Ldr. Jack Beirnes called up and said his engine was cutting. He proceeded to a normal forced landing. As he was turning into a field his starboard wing touched the ground the aircraft breaking up on impact. He died of his injuries 10 minutes later. He was buried in the cemetery in Aabenraa, Denmark with full military honours.

Burial details:

F/O. Ross Eveleigh Johnson. Beny-Sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery, Reviers. Grave XV.E.5. Son of Ross and Elsie E. Johnson, of Westmount, Province of Quebec, Canada. Grave inscription reads: “Dearly Beloved Son Of Ross And Elsie Johnson And Brother To Claire”.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Francois Dutil, other sources as quoted below:

KTY - 29.10.2017

KTY - 11.12.2023 Francois Dutil sent funeral photographs

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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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Last Modified: 11 December 2023, 09:26

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