174 Squadron Typhoon Ib EK186 F/O. James William Bromley Reynolds DFC
Date: 04th May 1943 (Tuesday)
Unit: No. 174 Squadron (motto: 'Attack')
Type: Typhoon Ib
Base: RAF Gravesend, Kent
Pilot: F/O. James William Bromley Reynolds DFC. J/15356 RCAF Age 21. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from Gravesend Airfield at 14:05 hrs. to practice aerobatics. This was the first time he had carried out this exercise in a Typhoon, and, as he was Acting Deputy Flight Commander, had himself authorised the flight. He had served with 174 Squadron for more than twelve months and was considered a very capable pilot.
Nothing further was seen of the aircraft until about 15:00 hrs when a number of people in the Outwood district, near Redhill, heard what they thought was an explosion in the air. On looking up, the wings and fuselage of the aircraft were seen spinning down with other parts, including the complete tail unit, already detached. The height at which the accident happened is variously given as 1,500 ft. There was no evidence that the pilot made any attempt to abandon the aircraft. He was instantly killed on impact.
The main wreckage had struck the ground in an inverted position and was considerably broken up. Interference was small but it had been necessary to break away parts of the monocoque and fuselage in order to extract the pilot. There was no fire.
It is not possible in the present stage of the knowledge of Typhoon accidents to give the cause of this one. There is, however, a possibility that the starboard wing failed first. A review of Typhoon accidents was made at a meeting on the 15th May 1943 and further research has been initiated.
There were two major problems with the Typhoon in its early service. Tail-plane failure and carbon monoxide poisoning. I wonder which came first in this accident?
F/O. James William Bromley Reynolds
DFC. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave 34.I.8. Born on the 10th September 1921 in Pembroke. Educated at Pembroke Collegiate Institute. World as a clerk for Royal Bank of Canada prior to service. Enlisted on the 23 December 1940. After initial training at Toronto, London (Ontario) Then with No. 3 Elementary Flying Training School on the 10th April 1941. No. 1 Service Flying Training School at Camp Borden he was sent Overseas in August 1941. On the 20th October 1941, he was at 59 Operational Training Unit and was sent to 32 Squadron on the 17th December 1941 until the 10th March 1942 when he joined 174 Squadron.
DFC awarded on the 10th September 1942 for brilliant attacks on the enemy gun positions at the assault on Dieppe. F/O. on the 28th October 1942.
Son of James Leslie Reynolds and Margaret Reynolds (née Bromley), Brother of Leslie, Harold (note), John (note), Edward. Jessie and Marguerite of 418 Isabella Street. Pembroke, Ontario, Canada. Epitaph: 'Thou Wilt Keep Him In Perfect Peace Because He Trusteth In Thee'.
(note: John Albert Reynolds R/161588 was killed on the 04th May 1944 whilst with.625 Squadron. W/O.1 Harold G. Reynolds R/82514 PoW No: 27737 Camp: Stalag Lamsdorf whilst with 405 Squadron).
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the National Archives Kew, The Typhoon Project, Government of Canada, Paradie RCAF Archives,
Pages regarding 1943 losses
Pages detailing RCAG Losses
Other sources as quoted below: