P/O John Adamson Shepherd RAF 41621, 1 Squadron, KIA 05/06/1940

Discussion in 'War Cemeteries & War Memorial Research' started by Wolf-Pak-Zeta-001, Dec 31, 2020.

  1. CWGC: buried at St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, Seine-Maritime, France.

    Does anyone know of P/O Shepherd's final combat mission in June 1940? Or any of his combat missions in the May/June 1940 timeframe. The RAF No.1 Squadron ORB's are either incomplete or missing from that timeframe.

  2. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

  3. Thanks Dave.

    Looks like The National Archives casualty report is not digitised. So, I would need to request a copy.

  4. Any thoughts on information sources available for either patrols or combat records for May/June 1940 timeframe for P/O Shepherd?

    Am assisting the family/relatives with this research.

  5. Markyboy

    Markyboy Member

    Hi, I’ll have a look through the books I have and see if there’s any mention.
  6. Markyboy

    Markyboy Member

    D3A24ABC-4B71-4D0A-A602-8F5811543201.jpeg 3F06E993-739A-403B-90F2-38362CEC8E54.jpeg

    Slim pickings I’m afraid from The Battle of France Then and Now.
    CL1 likes this.
  7. Thank you for sharing the pages from The Battle of France Then and Now.

    Maybe it's just me, however, there's limited information on a few of the pilots that were KIA or MIA or even those who became POW's with RAF No 1 Squadron during the May/June 1940 timeframe?
    CL1 likes this.
  8. Markyboy

    Markyboy Member

    Seems to be. The start of the 1 squadron section in Squadrons Up by Noel Monks mentions how very much incomplete the records are compared to 73 squadrons. All focus for losses seems to be on Clisby for 1 squadron and Kane for 73.
  9. It's true! The squadron ORB's, including Appendices for No. 73 Squadron on the National Archives site are mostly complete for this timeframe vs. say No. 1 Squadron. Similar situation for No. 85 Squadron vs. No. 87 Squadron for comparison. Perhaps it was a function of how quickly the Squadrons were having to retreat, and also their ability to move their log books with them as they did so?

    There would have been reports sent to 67 Wing HQ as duplicates of the squadron ORB's? Perhaps the HQ logs might contain the missing information?
  10. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Accident Hawker Hurricane Mk 1 , 05 Jun 1940
    Hawker Hurricane Mk.I (serial not recorded) 1 Squadron, RAF: Written off (destroyed) 5 June 1940 when lost (Failed To Return) for Combat Air Patrol. Pilot killed. According to the official Air Ministry file into the incident (File AIR 81/780): "Pilot Officer J A Shepherd: report of death; Hurricane crashed at Rouen, France, 5 June 1940"

    Took off at 05:50 hours on 5 June 1940 from RAF Chateaudun, France for a combat air patrol. Sighted and engaged the enemy - a formation of Heinkel He 111s, escorted by Bf 110s - and was shot down in air to air combat over Rouen, either by a Bf 110 or return fire from the He 111s that they were attacking. Pilot killed in action.

    Crew of Hurricane:
    Pilot Officer (Pilot) John Adamson Shepherd, RAF 41621 (Canadian), killed in action 05/06/1940, buried at St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, Seine-Maritime, France

    Note that the serial number of the Hurricane being flown by P/O Shepherd was apparently not recorded.

    Wolf-Pak-Zeta-001 likes this.
  11. Thanks Kyle! Excellent narrative and content!

    Sad ending for P/O John Shepherd.

    According to the family, all three of the Shepherd brothers served in WWII, with two out of the three being KIA.
  12. In both Peter Caygill's book "All Things First No. 1 Squadron at War 1939 - 1945" and Andrew Kimbell's book "The One History Forgot David Alwyne Pemberton - A Life Story" there is a reference to a combat which took place on June 1st, 1940 where P/O John A. Shepherd was shot down - baling out over Dieppe and arriving safely back with the Squadron. Am unable to find this reference in either Norman Franks RAF Fighter Command Losses Vol I, or Peter Cornwell's The Battle of France: Then and Now. The Form 540 for No. 1 Squadron makes no reference to this combat on June 1, 1940.

    Would this reference come from the Wing 67 Combat reports and does some one have access to confirm?
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  13. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    Victoria Times-Colonist 8 June 1940 pg 13

    john adamson shepherd.png
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  14. Wow! Haven't seen that newspaper clipping before. Thank-you for sending that along.

    It mentions June 1, 1940 when P/O Shepherd lost his life. Official reports have it as June 5, 1940.
  15. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    That article was in just about every newspaper in Canada, with that date. I have no doubt you have the correct date. I only posted the one from Victoria as hometown casualties often rated a photo.

    Also noticed he didn't rate a Province of British Columbia Death Registration like any RCAF KIA from the province did, Canadian or not.


  16. Thanks Dave.

    After I received your posting yesterday I subscribed to the Newspapers.com Publisher Edition to open up the aperture on available newspapers in my search.

    Sad to say that the P/O John Shepherd's family didn't keep his letters that he wrote to them, which are highlighted in many of the newspaper articles. I've been helping the current generation of family members piece together Shepherd's military history, including how to go about applying for his military service record with the GOV.UK.

    Am still trying to find the source of No. 1 (F) Squadron diaries, and combat records for the month of June that are referenced in the books above.

    Kind regards,
  17. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    Hi Chris,

    I hope you didn't have to pay their usual rate. I would have been happy to pull up every article.

    I really hope the current generation isn't expecting service record like the kind the RCAF generated. RAF records are usually three or four 11x17 sheets.


    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021
    Wolf-Pak-Zeta-001 likes this.
  18. Hello Dave,

    I was able to get a fairly reasonable 6 month rate, which should be a sufficient timeframe to extract the information I'm looking for. Though, that was very kind of you to offer pulling up every article! :)

    The military service records that the RCAF generated were quite detailed, including a "report card" type of grading for their pilots. Good reading.

    Kind regards,

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