John "Jack" KEEDWELL 1913 - 1943 RAF reserve (General)

by slowhands @, proud of his ancient Dean Forest roots, Wednesday, February 22, 2023, 09:37 (477 days ago) @ slowhands

SERGEANT JOHN KEEDWELL
Son of Thomas and Janet Mary Keedwell, of Purton, Berkeley.
Service Number: 925015
Regiment & Unit/Ship Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 158 Sqdn.

Date of Death Died 04 April 1943

Age 29 years old

Buried or commemorated at SLIMBRIDGE (ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST) CHURCHYARD

Births Dec 1913 (>99%)
Keedwell John Cox Axbridge 5c 745


John Keedwell was the son of Thomas Keedwell and Janet Cox, John was born on 2 October 1913 in Axbridge, Weston Super Mare, Somerset.

John's first career was as a journalist with the Bristol World before he joined the police force, initially in Norwich and latterly in Bath.
However, his interest in aviation led him to taking flying lessons and gaining his civil pilot's licence while still serving in the police force. The Western Daily Press and Bristol Mirror of Friday 29 January 1937 records him joining the Bristol and Wessex Aeroplane Club as a new pilot member. Later in February the same newspaper speculates that as John has received permission from his Chief Constable to take up flying it might one day see Bath police controlling race-meeting traffic from the air.

John joined the RAF and undertook his basic flying training in Canada. He went on to join 1658 Heavy Conversion Unit based at Ricall airfield near York where he was trained to fly Halifax bombers. He joined 158 Squadron at RAF Lissett on 14 March 1943 along with the six men who were to form his crew. Two weeks later the crew flew their first operational mission to St Nazaire. On 3 April 1943 they were detailed to attack Essen on their second operational mission and took off from Lissett airfield at 19:40 in Halifax HR754; the third operational sortie for the aircraft. They pressed home the attack and returned home. For unknown reasons the aircraft flew very low and overshot its approach to the airfield and crashed at 00:48 in the morning of the 4th between Stud Farm and Wassand Hall, located east of the village of Sigglesthorne, 3 miles WSW of Hornsea in Yorkshire. John and three of his crew members were killed, two were injured and only Flight Sergeant Leonard Froud, the rear gunner, escaped unscathed.

John is commemorated in four places, the City of Bath Police Memorial on the ground floor of Bath Police Station in Manvers Street, Bath, the main Bath memorial, the 158 Squadron memorial at Lissett and in the church of St Mary the Virgin in Berkeley. He is buried in the churchyard of St John's Church Slimbridge

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Ἀριστοτέλης A Gloster Boy in the Forest of Dean ><((((*>


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