Isle of Wight Incident 1944

Here’s a story shared by Dr Marie Johnson about her late Father – Cpl Donald Wesley Johnson:

I thought these pictures from my Dad’s time in the RAF during WWll from January 1942 until February 1946 might be of some interest and be worth putting on the website. I have his service record and that shows he served in ASR units 30, 61, 22 and 4 at various times.

I obtained his service record to try and substantiate my uncle’s account of a tragedy my father experienced. My father, not untypically for his generation I believe, spoke very little of the dark aspects of his service so we only heard of this after he died.

My uncle wrote in an on-line forum:

Just before D Day he came home on a 48 hour pass – when he returned to his base the Isle of Wight he found his crew of 11 young men all shot dead – with their boat still smouldering after being attacked by an enemy Fighter plane. My Brother was instructed by his C/O to collect all pay books, dog tags, and personal items belonging to these brave men – and finally to write to the next of kin of all the deceased. This episode was the worst experience of my brothers young life – and within three weeks through the shock he had lost all his hair.

The service records say nothing about this incident, indeed they seem to suggest my father was in Sullom Voe in the Shetlands from March 1944.