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F/O John Dundee Lorrimer - 37 Sqdn

F/O John Dundee Lorrimer - 37 Sqdn
Author: Nortx40
Time Stamp:
05:44:51 Thursday, June 1, 2006

For some years now I've been searching for details on Ft/Sgt John Dundee Lorrimer, 1387713 of 37 Sqdn, 205 Group. He completed two operational tours during 1943-44 when he often acted as Navigator with F/O C.F. Gilbert & F/O E.D. Upson (both of RAAF)

I've been told that his nickname was 'Paddy' which leaves me wondering if he came from Northern Ireland or could it be Scotland as his (2nd)name suggests?

Eventually, on the 19th April '05 I received information from Terrence Brown that (According to the London Gazette) Lorrimer received a commission on 9th May 1944 - Lorrimer was therefore promoted to F/O (176873) on 9th November 1944.

As I have made no further progress with my research on F/O Lorrimer I am wondering if anybody on the board could come up with any new suggestions on how I could locate either him or his family?

My Uncle flew with a total of 9 other airmen during his time with 37 Sqdn and fortunately (After a lot of work) I've managed to make contact with the families of all but one of these men - F/O Lorrimer.

Any help would be great and much appreciated,

David Griffith

P.S. Happy New Year to everybody on the board !

RE: F/O John Dundee LORIMER 37 Sqdn
Author: DonClark
Time Stamp:
06:34:38 Thursday, June 1, 2006
[font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 06-Jan-06 AT 06:51 AM (GMT)[/font][p][font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 06-Jan-06 AT 06:45%A0AM (GMT)[/font]

If you have not already done so, you might try contacting:

37 Squadron Register

Norman Lees, Ulverston, 47 Links Gardens, Burnham on Sea, Somerset, TA8 2PU: tel 01278 789432 (current as of Dec 2000 according to Frank Haslam's invaluable RAFRA site

I could see no obvious reference to Lorimer in Kevin Mears' Wise Without Eyes: 37 Squadron 1939-1945, but it carries no index. Contact:

Searching the London Gazette online

using first name and middle name showed two entries, both consistent as LORIMER. The RAF entry also differs as to rank on commission.

Issue 36612 14 July 1944



Appointment to commission.

As Plt. Offs. on prob. (emergency): %97

F/Sgt 1387713 John Dundee Lorimer (176873) with effect from 9th May 1944

I regret I was unable to find his advancement to F/O under either spelling, and using the usual variations (middle name surname, surname first name, punctuated surname 1st init, surname service no, service no)

An earlier 1939 entry records his appointment to the Post Office:

Gazette Issue 34646 18 July 1939

Civil Service Commission, July 18, 1939.

In pursuance of the Provisions of His Majesty's Order in Council of the 22nd July, 1920, the Civil Service Commissioners hereby announce the undermentioned Assignments to the Treasury Classes, Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, etc., for the month of June, 1939



Post Office:

Male Sorters, London or

Male Sorting Clerks and Telegraphists (Postal), London Postal Region:

John Dundee Lorimer

RE: F/O John Dundee LORIMER 37 Sqdn
Author: Nortx40
Time Stamp:
10:56:11 Thursday, June 1, 2006

Thanks for taking the time to check out those details - It's news to me about Lorimer working for the Post Office and who knows, although it may appear as a small detail it may just be the turn of luck I've been waiting for - (So far I've concentrated my search for info in Northern Ireland & Scotland)

All the best for 2006!

Thanks again,

David Griffith

RE: F/O John Dundee LORIMER 37 Sqdn
Author: DonClark
Time Stamp:
12:01:41 Thursday, June 1, 2006
[font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 06-Jan-06 AT 12:32 PM (GMT)[/font][p]David,

You're welcome. With the new spelling it only just occurred to me to check the Commonwealth War Graves Commission,

Sadly, John Dundee Lorimer did not survive the war, dying in service with 117 Squadron then flying Dakotas out of Hmawbi near Rangoon in Burma, on 8 Sep 1945.


Initials: J D

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Flying Officer

Regiment: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Unit Text: 117 Sqdn.

Date of Death: 08/09/1945

Service No: 176873

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Column 447.


Clearly the same man, consistent with the gazette details as to name, & service no. and with his being commissioned from F/Sgt.

Frank Haslam's RAFRA site shows the Oct 2000 contact as

117 Squadron

Fred Hain, 7 Brackley Gate, Morley, Ilkeston, Derbyshire DE7 6DJ: tel 01332 882995

A check of the BT telephone directory online

shows six J Lorimers in the Dundee area.

For the 117 Squadron Operations Record Book, you may wish to visit the National Archives, though you can check the Catalogue first here:

Browsing from the AIR27 (117 Sqn Operations Record Books subseries) refs shows only

AIR 27/906 Appendices 1945 June- Dec.

for some reason the ORB as such does not display

See also Plan your visit:


RAF Operational records:

Shores Bloody Shambles Vol III Air War For Burma is rather unlikely to mention this event, as Shores diary form pretty much concludes at the Japanese surrender. My own copy is with a mate at present so I can't check. 117 Squadron is briefly mentioned by Probert in Forgotten Air Force. There is no immediately obvious published history of the Squadron.

For potted histories see Air of Authority

and the RAF site

RE: F/O John Dundee LORIMER 37 Sqdn
Author: Nortx40
Time Stamp:
21:37:38 Thursday, June 1, 2006
[font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 06-Jan-06 AT 09:39 PM (GMT)[/font][p]Don,

I really cannot thank you enough for sending me those details - it seems obvious to me that you really know your stuff !

F/Sgt Lorimer acted as Nav. on my late Uncle's first 19 operations (including the disasterous raid on the R.I.V. factory in Turin on 24/11/43) The skipper on that trip was F/O Gilbert (RAAF) and the crew successfully baled out of Wellington HZ 513 over Northern Corsica.

I still keep in contact with the Wop/Ag of that crew (An 83 year old Londoner who now lives in Florida) and I will pass on to him the sad news about 'Paddy' Lorimer.

It's been six years since I started researching my Uncle's RAF career and it's come as a surprise to me that I have been able to locate families in the U.K.,Australia & New Zealand.

Non of this would have been possible without the help and generosity of people such as yourself who have taken the time to look through their files or 'Point me in the right direction'

To each and every researcher on the board (not forgetting Ross) I say an enormous 'Thank You'

Best wishes to you all for the future,

David Griffith

RE: F/O John Dundee LORIMER 37 Sqdn
Author: DonClark
Time Stamp:
23:24:38 Thursday, June 1, 2006
[font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 06-Jan-06 AT 11:43 PM (GMT)[/font][p]I'm a bit pressed on other matters at present which may account for slight forgetfulness in following leads. The date of Lorimer's death set a small bell ringing, and this am it occurred to me to check Cummings "The Price of Peace", with the following sad result.

08-Sep-45 KN593 Dakota IV 117 Sqn Nyaunggonale Burma 41 casualties

The aircraft was evacuating former prisoners of war of the Japanese. It broke up after entering a developed cu-nim cloud. The Accident Card records that both the AOC and the C in C wanted a further explanation and it seems surprising that a senior squadron commander, with well over 2000 flying hours, would deliberately enter a cu-nim cloud with a heavily laden aircraft. It seems exceptionally cruel that the passengers, who had endured such awful treatment at the hands of the Japanese, should perish just as they were being repatriated.

Wing Commander Arthur James SAMSON 30 DFC

Flight Sergeant Kenneth Harold GOAD

Flight Lieutenant Bernard BRIDGE 39

Flight Sergeant Derek BATSMAN 22

Flight Lieutenant James Forties CUTHBERT 37 DFC & Bar

Flying Officer Thomas Watkin HUMPHRYS 28 DFC

Flying Officer John Dundee LORIMER

Flight Sergeant Bruce ELLIS 26

Squadron Leader Robert Philip Brent GROTRIAN 36

Major John Cooper SCOTT 37 The Worcestershire Regiment

Corporal Herman Robert Francis ABLITT 33 198 Field Ambulance RAMC

Lance Sergeant Ernest Albert ARTHUR 88 Field Regiment RA

Gunner James Bellingat BRYCE 38 RA

Signalman George Kenneth CHADWICK 26 Royal Signals Battery

Quartermaster Sergeant Harry COTTERILL 44 6 HAA Battery RA

Gunner John James CRAWFORD 29125 Anti Tank Regiment RA

Bombardier Fred DAWES 33 5 Searchlight Regiment RA

Lance Sergeant Manley Ernest DE ROUX 40 9th Battalion Royal Northumberland Fusiliers

Private Horace EDWARD 26 RAMC

Lance Sergeant Ernest Joseph EDWARDS 29 2nd Battalion The Gordon Highlanders

Private James FERROW 25 6th Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment

Private Ronald Gordon Victor GADD 23 2nd Battalion East Surrey Regiment

Sergeant Robert Henry HAWTHORN 37 3 HAA Regiment RA

Gunner Norman Frank HENDY 23 5 Searchlight Regiment RA

Bombardier Fred HIGHLEY 24 80 Anti Tank Regiment RA

Gunner Bernard Owen Edward HUGGETT 33 11 Coast Regiment RA

Private Lawrence JEEPS 24 2rd Battalion Cambridgeshire Regiment

Sergeant Alan Ross KNIGHT 30 80 Anti Tank Regiment RA

Gunner Ronald Cecil LEWIS 37 6 HAA Regiment RA

Private George Edward MARSKELL 23 5th Battalion Suffolk Regiment Lance

Bombardier Ronald MURFIN 28 9 Coast Regiment RA

Gunner John David PAYNE 39 35 LAA Regiment RA

Gunner John Dinder PEARS 29 11 Coast Regiment RA

Driver Marshall PRICE 33 RASC & RAMC

Sergeant Horatio George RADFORD 38 Royal Signals

Gunner William Joseph RANDELL 39 5 Searchlight Regiment RA

Signalman Leslie Frederick Noel ROY 29 Royal Signals

Constable SAMAD BIN PANJAR 41 Straits Settlement Police

Private Andrew SKELDON 29 2nd Battalion Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders

Sergeant Vernon THOMAS 29 3 HAA Regiment RA

Lance Corporal Francis John WARREN 31 RASC

"Their Name Liveth For Evermore"

RE: F/O John Dundee LORIMER 37 Sqdn
Author: Nortx40
Time Stamp:
03:46:28 Saturday, July 1, 2006

I was just starting to scribble a letter to the Air Historical Branch to see if they could let me have more details on the loss of F/O Lorimer's Dakota when your latest information appeared on the noticeboard.

I think the word 'Tragic' springs to mind on 41 occasions.

Many thanks for that latest info Don,

David Griffith

RE: F/O John Dundee LORIMER 37 Sqdn
Author: Jack Powers (Guest)
Time Stamp:
04:06:56 Saturday, July 1, 2006
Don, you are a brilliant researcher and we can be grateful for receiving the knowledge available in these website addresses. Congratulations and best wishes, Jack.

RE: Research
Author: DonClark
Time Stamp:
12:07:42 Saturday, July 1, 2006

Pleased to be be able to add material of interest, and greatly value your remarks, Sir.