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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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RAF Crest
26.04.1942 58 OTU Spitfire P9555 F/O. Peathyjohns

Operation: Training

Date: 26th April 1942 (Sunday)

Unit: No. 58 Operational Training Unit

Type: Spitfire Ia

Serial: P9555

Code: -

Base: RAF Grangemouth, Scotland

Location: Airdrie, Scotland

Pilot: F/O. 'Billy' Bernard William John Peathyjohns 68158 RAFVR Age 19. Killed


During a training flight collided with another Spitfire flown by 23 year old, P/O. Raymond Archibald Watts 65530 RAFVR.

P/O. Watts managed to nurse his aircraft back to Grangemouth, but sadly F/O. Peathyjohns was killed.

58 Operational Training Unit, Grangemouth, Scotland, Course 19-2:

Front row: F/O. Jan Blaszczyk P-0560 (kia 03;12/1943), P/O. Tomasz Jerzy Jan Legowski P-1800 / 781898 (died 26/11/2011), F/O. Stanisław Grzegorz Kon P-1366 (died 29/11/1984), F/O. Bernard William John Peathyjohns 68158, F/O. Raymond Archibald Watts 65530, P/O. Short, P/O. Rowlands.
Rear row: Sgt. Allen, Sgt. Armstrong, Sgt. Tushingham, Sgt. Jan Józef Zimek 780963 (died 04/12/1986), Sgt. Tadeusz Stanisław Turek P-2217 / 793595 (died 16/01/1993), Sgt. Tadeusz Siemienczuk 783163 (kia 17/04/1942), Sgt. Tomasz Szymonski P-0607 (kia 18/05/1943, Sgt. Bruce.

P/O. Raymond Archibald Watts survived the war, retired on the 19th October 1973 as an Air Commodore holding the CBE and AFC. Passed away on the 20th April 1994 age 75. During his service he flew with 19 Squadron, Flight Commander of 130 Squadron, Commanding Officer 548 Squadron, Commanding Officer 219 Squadron, Test pilot at RAE Farnborough, finally finishing as Director of Flying (Research and Development), MoD.

Note: His name is misspelt on various publications as Peathy-Johns and Peathyjones.

Burial details:

F/O. Bernard William John Peathyjohns. Hither Green Cemetery. Section F. Grave 189. Son of William James Peatheyjohns and Eileen Marie Peathyjohns, of Eltham, London, England. His family grave has the inscription: 'He Gave His Life For His Country'.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the 1333 (Grangemouth Spitfire) Squadron and the Grangemouth Spitfire Memorial Trust who provided me with so much information and assistance during my visit.

KTY 27.11.2019

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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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