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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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405 Squadron Crest
04.04.1942 405 Squadron Master L8162 Sq/Ldr. McCormack crew loss

Operation: Training

Date: 4th April 1942 (Saturday)

Unit: No. 405 Squadron (City of Vancouver)

Type: Miles Master

Serial: L8162

Code: K

Base: RAF Pocklington, England

Location: Pocklington

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. John " Mac" McCormack J/4881 RCAF Age 21. Killed

Navigator: Fl/Lt. William "Fethers" Hugh Fetherston J/4530 RCAF Age 25. Killed


Performing aerobatics and during the manoeuvres dived into the ground one mile west of Pocklington - killing both occupants.

No reason for the accident found.

Above L-R: Fl/Lt. Jack McCormack, Toronto; P/O. William Hugh Fetherston, Observer of Avenue Road, Toronto; Sgt. Pilot Norman MacLennan of Glen Ridge, N. J.; Sgt. Gunner Jack Cark, London, Ont.; Sgt. Lloyd Eldon Dodge, Fort William, Ont (1)., Sgt. James Arthur Wymark 925451 (144199) RAF (courtesy Francois Dutil)

Left: Two RCAF pilots see London for the first from an unaccustomed altitude they are P/O. John McCormack of Dufferin St., Toronto and P/O. Gordon Elliott of Montreal. They have been together since their arrival at No. 2 Manning Depot Brandon, Man., and are now "Cashing In" on their training as pilots in a long range bomber squadron in England. Squadron 405. Right: Fl/Lt. John McCormack, Captain of one of the Wellington Bombers attached to a Canadian Bomber squadron now on operations, points to the insignia on his aircraft. (shown larger right) Flight Lieutenant McCormack's home is at 1849 Dufferin Street, Toronto. He was trained under the Commonwealth Air Training plan (courtesy François Dutil)

(1) Sgt Lloyd Eldon Dodge killed on the 22/23rd October flying with 405 squadron. Wellington II Z8419 LQ-V lost over the sea on an operation to Le Havre with all 5 other Canadian crew members.

Fl/Lt. William 'Fethers' Hugh Fetherston and Page of Remembrance.

Burial details:

Sq/Ldr. John McCormack. Barnby-On-The-Moor (St. Catherine) Churchyard. Row E. Grave 3. From Silverthorn, Toronto, Canada - no further details as yet. His father is reported as being an instructor at the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, having flown in the RAF in the first World War. He is also known to have had a brother and a sister.

Fl/Lt. William Hugh Fetherston. Barnby-On-The-Moor (St. Catherine) Churchyard. Row E. Grave 4. Son of Hugh and Alma Fetherston, husband of Helen Clark Fetherston, of 104 Avenue Road, Forest Hill Village, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Researched for the daughter of Fl/Lt. Fetherston and for relatives of Sq/Ldr. John McCormack. With some terrific further information sent by Jim McCormack. Further photographs courtesy Francois Dutil.

KTY 08.12.2019 Photos updated  - courtesy Francois Dutil

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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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