Jones, George Edwin

Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Northop Memorial

Name / Enw: Jones, George Edwin

Regiment/Catrawd: Royal Air Force

Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: 570782 ( 240 Squadron)

Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Runnymede Memorial

Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: Panel 36

Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: UK

Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:

23rd December 1941. See below for more details.

George Edwin Jones was the son of  George Jones Snr and his wife Mary. George Snr and Mary had arrived in Northop in 1929 when he became the headmaster of Northop School.

Once we had been told by George Edwin Jones’s nephew Dave, that George had been killed when the Catalina Flying Boat he was in crashed, then we began to dig around to try to find out more. We came across the website of Joe O’ Loughlin -who was a boy in County Fermanagh during WW2. His memories of those times have sparked a deep interest in the men and planes  based in Northern Ireland during the war years. Joe has included a Roll of Honour on his site which includes the name of George Edwin Jones and the crewmates who perished with him. We contacted him via his website to ask him if he could tell us anything more about the crash.

We reproduce his reply below.

“Dear Vivien,
Thank you for your query on Catalina W8418,I am pleased that you found my site so useful. I do have a copy of the crash report for the plane.Date of crash 23rd December 1941Time of crash 20-00Codes W8418Squadron 240Base Castle Archdale, Co. Fermanagh. Northern Ireland. Crashed near/in Pembrooke Dock, Pembrokeshire. Crash Due to Bad weather conditions.

The full list of the six who died is given including F/Sgt. George Edwin Jones. 570782 RAF. I can let you have the full six names if you require them. One of the crew F/O Vladimir Victro Havlicek. J/3112. was RCAF. Canadian All names are on Runnymeade panel 32 to 59. There were three survivors:- P/O. Paterson, Sgt. Murphy and Sgt. Missett.

I was born in Belleek, Co. Fermanagh in 1932 and remember the planes in the air every day. About 360 young men died while serving on the base on Lough Erne. All names are in my Roll of Honour. I have writen a book ‘Voices of the Donegal Corridor’ that gives the stories of a number of crashes connected to Lough Erne. But W8418 in not included. If you would like a copy do let me know. Just let me have your land mail address. I will be pleased to give you any further help that I can.  W8418 was probably diverted to Prembrooke Dock on returning from patrol. Castle Archdale base was only opened in Feb. 1941.Planes also operated from nearby Killadeas including Sunderlands.

Warmest regards for 2009 from Joe O’Loughlin”

Once we had been told by George Edwin Jones’s nephew Dave, that George had been killed when the Catalina Flying Boat he was in crashed, then we began to dig around to try to find out more. We came across the website of Joe O’ Loughlin -who was a boy in County Fermanagh during WW2. His memories of those times have sparked a deep interest in the men and planes  based in Northern Ireland during the war years. Joe has included a Roll of Honour on his site which includes the name of George Edwin Jones and the crewmates who perished with him. We contacted him via his website to ask him if he could tell us anything more about the crash. We reproduce his reply below.

Names of the crew members from that ill fated flight on 23rd December 1941.

Those who died

  • Pilot Officer Anthony George William Debonnaire, RAF Volunteer Reserve.
    Aged 25. The son of Rene George Joseph and Mary Agnes Debonnaire of Northampton.
  • Flight Sergeant Frederick Rees Lewis, 529516 240 Squadron RAF.
    Son of Mr and Mrs FSF Lewis.
  • Stanley Lockett, 1051999 240 Squadron RAF Volunteer Reserves.
    Aged 21. Son of William and Alice Locket Great Sankey, Lancashire.
  • Flight Sergeant James Souter Gray, 936555 Volunteer Reserves RAF.
    Son of David and Elizabeth A Gray Dundee.
  • Flight Sergeant George Edwin Jones, 570782 240 Squadron.
    Son of George and Mary Jones of Northop.
  • Flight Officer Vladimir Victor Havlicek, RCAF.

The Survivors

  • Pilot Officer Paterson
  • Sgt Murphy
  • Sgt Missett

Links
Learn more about the use of Catalina Flying Boats based on Lough Erne in Northern Ireland in WW2 on www.joeloughlin.co.uk and in this BBC article.