Jimmy McCairns MM. Fighter Command and SDs pilot remembered at Retford

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by Harry Ree, Jul 4, 2018.

  1. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Permanent tribute to superhuman Retford WWII pilot to be unveiled

    McCairns after surviving the war when he escaped from a German POW camp (MM awarded as a Sergeant Pilot) was killed in a flying accident out of RAF Finningley in 1948 while serving with No 616 Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force....not to be confused with the RAAF.

    He was flying a Mosquito N.F at the time.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2018
    HA96 and Tricky Dicky like this.
  2. HA96

    HA96 Member

    this is so sad and reminds me of Captain Hugh Woollatt, one of my heros, escaping from OFLAG VB in 1941 to be killed in Normandy.
  3. Markyboy

    Markyboy Member

    Michael Codner of 'Wooden Horse' fame was killed in Malaya in 1952 by communist guerrillas. And of course Airey Neave was assassinated in 1979. Such a shame.
  4. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Many such instances of heroism and surviving the war only to be killed in a flying accident or road accident.
    Fate is a strange thing.
  5. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member

    Fl/Lt. James Atterby McCairns. MM. DRC and 2 bars. Croix de guerre. East Retford Cemetery. Nottinghamshire. Grave CC.81.

    Born on the 21st September 1919 at Niagara Falls, New York, USA, the son of Kate Elizabeth and Thomas McCairns, husband of Moira. An English engineer who was working in the United States. His mother brought him to England for the first time aboard the ocean liner Regina sailing from Montreal and arriving in Liverpool on the 18th June 1922. They visited family at Brigg, Lincolnshire before returning to Quebec on the 30th September 1922 aboard the ocean liner Canopic. The family returned to England on the 30th September 1930 from Boston, Massachusetts aboard the liner Duchess of York, the family settled at 20 Chapelgate, Retford, and he completed his education at King Edward VI Grammar School, Retford.

    Sadly, on the 13th June 1948 flying Mosquito NT423 he was killed when an engine failed at low altitude and the aircraft crashed nose first into the ground near RAF Finningley.

    Military Medal 14th August 1942:
    “For escaping from Stalag IXC and returning to England via Spain. He was shot down in Spitfire P8500 06th July 1941.”

    DFC Citation 13th April 1943:
    “This officer has completed many sorties, most of them of a. hazardous nature. He is a courageous and determined pilot, who has set an example worthy of the highest praise.”

    DFC 1st bar Citation 10th August 1943:
    “This officer has completed numerous sorties, displaying a high degree of skill and determination

    DFC 2nd bar Citation 11th January 1944:
    Flight Lieutenant McCairns has participated in a large number of successful operational missions. He is a model of efficiency and his example of determination and devotion to duty has won great praise.”
  6. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member

    Marriages Dec 1946
    McCairns, James A - McBride - Greenwich - 5c 1461
    McBride, Moira C - McCairns - Greenwich - 5c 1461

    1 son born 1948.

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