Flying Officer John Charles Elliott
John Charles Elliott was born in Clinton, Ontario in January 1921. He was the son of Gabriel Milford Elliott and Mary Elliott (nee Glen) and had a sister Margaret.
Although he was born in Canada, John put his nationality down as Irish on some of his paperwork and his religion as Protestant. He enlisted in October 1940, not long after leaving school.
Although he had been in the Cadet Corps for a year, he didn’t have any previous work experience that was considered useful by the RCAF, having just had summer jobs behind the counter of the local drugstore. He doesn’t appear to have been that interested in sports either, playing baseball and swimming occasionally. Reports on his character say he was hard working; a ‘good type’, and ‘keen to serve in any category.’ Elliott was accepted for pilot training and applied himself diligently. However, aerobatics didn’t come naturally to him and he was deemed an average pilot.
On the 9th February 1942, he married Jeanne Elizabeth Hatton and seven months later, was posted overseas to Britain. Having completed his operational training, he joined 402 squadron in February 1943 and was then transferred to 403 squadron exactly one month before he was killed in action.
On 20th June 1943, 403 and 421 squadrons took part in Circus 313, a heavily escorted bombing raid.
The primary purpose of these offensives was to lure enemy fighters up for a brawl and they certainly got one this time. 403’s Blue section became separated from their squadron and soon found themselves in trouble. Sgt. Windsor was hit and seen with smoke pouring from his aircraft.
Pilot Officer Elliott, flying Spitfire IX (BR637), had oxygen trouble and the section was forced to a lower altitude, as he struggled for air. Despite their efforts to stay with him, Elliot was lost in thin cloud and probably never recovered from his dive.
The two remaining members of Blue section were now vulnerable, turned for the coast but soon found themselves under attack from 20 FW190s. Pilot Officer McWilliams got hit and was last seen in a spin with a gaggle of enemy aircraft following him down. Flight Lieutenant MacDonald was the only member of Blue section to make it back unscathed.
John Charles Elliott was 21 years old when he died. Having no known grave, he is commemorated on panel 173 of the Runnymede Memorial.
Rest in peace Sir and thank you for your service.