Name: John William Thompson

Lest we forget
Rank: Pilot officer and Flying officer, Unit: 619 Squadron, Division: Royal Air Force

Name: John William Thompson | | | Service Personnel Information | Essay | Military Service Record | Grave Reference | | Additional information/links | | | Work Citied | Archival Reference | Internet Sites | =

Service Personnel Information

  • Name: John William Thompson
  • Service Regimental Number: J.28977 (service), R-177939 (Regimental)
  • Rank: Pilot officer, flying officer
  • Height/weight: 5 feet and 2 1/4 inches, 116 1/2 pounds
  • Colour of eyes: Green
  • Marital status: Not Married
  • Religion: Roman Catholic
  • Address: 200 Hampton Street
  • Next of Kin (and relationship): Mother: Annette Clare Thompson, Brother: Allan Thompson, Sister: Marquerite Marie (Thompson) Blaydes
  • Date of enlistment: July 2, 1942
  • City and province of enlistment: Winnipeg Manitoba


Before the War
Born on May 18th, 1921, John William Thompson, or also known as Jack, grew up in Winnipeg Manitoba. John had green eyes and brown hair. He grew up in a house on 200 Hampton Street with his Roman Catholic family. John’s family consisted of his mother Annette Clare Thompson, his father Aorthor William Thompson, his Brother Allen Thompson and his sister Marquerite Marie Thompson. On April 10th, 1930 Aorthor William Thompson Passed away When John was just 8 years old at the time, leaving him and his sibling to take care of each other and their mother. (Military Records)
John’s hobbies were mostly the sports that he played. He played Golf, Baseball, swimming, tennis, bowling and Skiing. John attended St Anne’s and St James from pre-school all the way up to grade 8 in the year of 1927 to the year of 1935. John Thompson had only attendedSt. Paul’s for his Grade 9 year in 1935 to 1936. While at the school, John took courses like Religion, Grammar, Composition, Spelling, Literature, Math, Algebra, Science, History, Latin and French. According to the Military Records, John was “deficient in English, Math and Physics. After his one year atSt Paul’s, John moved on to St James Collegiate from 1936 to 1938. John Graduated at the age of 17. (Military Records)
After John went through school he worked a number of jobs. He first worked at the Coruos Hotel as an elevator operator. He worked there from 1938 all the way to 1940 and left because there was “no chance for advancements.” In 1940, John Thompson worked at I. Eatou Company. Here, he worked a part time job. John moved on to office work at R.F. Spices. He worked here for one year from 1941 to 1942. In the year 1941 John took an extra office job at Foot liquor because the other job was only seasonal. Finally in 1942, John worked at an oil and gas company called “American No. 18.” John worked there as an assistant mechanic. (Military Records)
On July 2nd, 1942, John William Thompson enlisted in the Royal Air force inWinnipegManitoba. At this point in his life, John was 21 years old when enlisted as well as five feet and two and a quarter inches tall and weighed only 116 and a half pounds. John Registered for flying duties and more specifically as a pilot in the Royal Air Force. (Military Records)
World War 2
While fighting in the war, John became a navigator on the sixth of August, 1943. John was the navigator for the Royal Air Force Squadron 619. John worked with several other men in this squadron. His Captain was Flight officer Pettigrew, 2nd pilot was pilot officer Korslake. The engineer for Squadron 619 was Sergeant Moir, and Sergeant McDonald was their air bomber. Squadron 619 also had an operator named Sergeant Smith and two gunners named Adams and Lowe. (Military Records)
The Royal Air Force Squadron No. 619 was formed on the 18th of April in 1943 at Woodhall Spa Lincolnshire, as stated by RAF.UK (Bomber Command, No. 619). Squadron 619 was a major bombing squad and they were equipped withLancaster planes. The 619 squadron had a number of bases; these bases where located in “Woodhall Spa Lincolnshire, Coningsby Lincolnshire, Dunholme Lodge Lincolnshire, Strubby Lincolnshire, and Skellingthorpe Lincolnshire” (Bomber Command, No. 619).
John Thompson joined the 619 squadron when it was set up at Dunholme lodge and his squad flew theLancastermark 3. According to J. Rickard, “The Lancaster Mk III was constructed on the same Avro construction lines as the Mk I, with the choice of engine dependant on availability” (Rickard, 1). Squadron 619’sLancasterwas equipped with Packard Merlin engines. The Mk III was being built in 1942 and entered the war in 1943 and was one of the many bomber planes to carry the famous bouncing bombs in the Dambusters raid (Rickard, 1).
While Soldiers were fighting the war over in Europe, people in Canadawhere doing their part to try and raise awareness about the war. On February 19th, 1942,WinnipegManitoba Participated in an event known as “If Day.” The purpose behind “If Day” was “to stage a fake Nazi invasion ofManitoba” (Newman, 1). The “Nazi Soldiers” were supposed to “occupy and administer the province for the rest of the day” (Newman 1). According to Paul Newman, a writer for the Winnipeg tribune at the time, “The Nazi war machine was converging on Winnipeg at 6 Am, the sirens sounded and troops were stationed 5 miles from city hall” (Newman, 1). By 9:30 AM,Winnipeg was forced to surrender along with Brandon, Flin Flon, Selkirk and many otherManitoba towns. This “Nazi force,” has madeManitoba a German province. If Day was an important event during the war because people saw the war as not there problem because it was “over there,” but If Day made them realize that anything they do can help end the war.
Back in Europewhere the war was being fought, John William Thompson went on an overseas mission with squadron 619 on September 27th, 1944. They were sent on an air operation to Karlsruhe, Germany. Like most other missions, they were told to keep radio silence and it was after the fact that squadron 619 hadn’t reported in when they were supposed to, they were deemed missing. On the same day he was declared missing, John Thompson was declared dead only a couple of hours afterwards. John’s mother Annette was sent a letter officially declaring her sons death on September 29th 1944. While he was in the army John had received a number of medals. He had received the Star medal, the French and German Star, the Defence Medal, the War Medal and he had received the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal twice.
After The War
After the War and more specifically after John’s last mission toKarlsruheGermany, all the soldiers were buried at a memorial site or cemetery. John William Thompson was buried at Runnymede Memorial site which is a memorial to the soldiers that fought in the Air Force. Runnymede Memorial is located in theUnited Kingdom and more specifically in surrey, which is situated at Englaefield Green, near Egham. It is roughly 32 kilometres by a road west ofLondon. InsideRunnymede, John’s grave is panel 248. John was an important member of his squadron and even in the air force because of his key position as a navigator. The navigator is one of the most important parts of a squadron because they are the ones that set the path of the aircraft and makes sure it stays on path. For this reason, John played an important part in the war.
Since John fought in World War 2, his name can be found in the Book of Remembrance on page 461.

Military Service Record

  • Age (at death):23
  • Force: Royal Air Force
  • Unit: 619 Squadron
  • Service Number: J. 28977
  • Honours and Awards: Star, French and German Star, Defence Medal, War Medal, Canadian Volunteer Service Medal (C.V.S.M)
  • Photograph:
  • Next of Kin (and relationship): may have changed since he enlisted
  • Date of Death: September 27, 1944
  • Country of Burial: United Kingdom
  • Cemetery: RunnyMede Memorial
  • Grave Reference: Panel 248
  • Location: Surrey, situated at englaefield Green, near Egham. 32 Km by road west of London.
  • Book of Remembrance: Page 461

Grave Reference

  • Name of Cemetery: RunnyMede Memorial
  • Grave Reference: Panel 248

    The RunnyMede Memorial where John is buried
    The location of the RunnyMede Memorial.
    The Page where John's name is listed

Include the diagram of the cemetery if possible. Also provide some information about the cemetery if possible.

Additional information/links

Where John's house should be
The Lancaster Mark 3
the C.V.S.M
The Defence Medal
The War Medal
The France and Germany Star

Work Citied

  • "John William Thompson."Veterans Affairs Canada. N.p., 12 Oct. 2011. Web. 23
    Apr. 2012. <
    1808732>. I am using this website because it contains information on
    where John Thompson is buried and it also gives the location of the
    cemetery where he is buried.

  • Newman, Micheal. "February 19, 1942: If Day ."Manitoba History13 (1987): n.
    pag.The Manitoba Historical Society. Web. 29 Apr. 2012.
    <>. I am using
    this page because it contains information as to what was happening in
    Winnipeg and Canada and what they were doing to raise the importance of
    this war.

  • Royal Canadian Airforce. "Squadron 619."
Bomber Command. N.p., 6 Apr. 2005. Web. 29 Apr. 2012.
<>.I am using this website
because it contains a little bit of information on the squadron John was in.

  • Veterans Affairs Canada. "The Book of Remembrance, The Second World War-1944."
    Veterans Affairs Canada. N.p., 10 Nov. 2011. Web. 29 Apr. 2012.
    <>. I
    am using this website because it contains information on what page John
    Thompson is located on in the book of remembrance and it also contains a
    picture of the page.

  • Canadian Volunteer Service Medal . N.d. The Royal Canadian Regiment. N.p., n.d.
Web. 15 May 2012. <

  • The France and Germany Star. N.d. Northeastmedals. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 May 2012.

  • Green, Brett. Avro Lancaster B.Mk.III. 2007. Scaleworkshop. Testors, n.d. Web.
15 May 2012. <>.

  • Perrin, Tony. Air Forces Memorial, RunnyMede. 22 Feb. 2010. Panoramio . N.p.,
n.d. Web. 15 May 2012. <>.

  • "RunnyMede Memorial ." Map. Googlemaps. Google, n.d. Web. 15 May 2012.

  • 200 Hampton Street. N.d. Google Maps. Google, n.d. Web. 15 May 2012.

  • Veterans Affairs Canada. Book of Remembrance. N.d. Veterans Affairs Canada .
N.p., n.d. Web. 15 May 2012. <>.

  • Walter Dixons WWII Medals. N.d. RichardaClarke. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 May 2012.

  • WW2 Defence Medal. N.d. mycollectors. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 May 2012.

Archival Reference

Military File of John W. Thompson.

Internet Sites (Lancaster Mark 3 Picture) (RunnyMede Memorial Picture),or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1440&bih=809&um=1&q=Runnymede%20Memorial&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=il (RunnyMede Memorial Map) (Book of Remembrance Page),+Winnipeg,+MB&aq=0&oq=200+hampton+street+winn&vps=1&sll=51.437985,-0.564873&sspn=0.037934,0.090895&vpsrc=0&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=200+Hampton+St,+Winnipeg,+Division+No.+11,+Manitoba+R3J+0G2 (Picture of where Johns house should be) (Picture of the War Medal) (Picture of the France and Germany Star) (Picture of the C.V.S.M Medal) (Picture of the Defence Medal) (Information on If Day)


example from LAC