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Thread: John Frederick Ellis, No.84 Squadron

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    Default John Frederick Ellis, No.84 Squadron

    On 26 June 1944, No.84 Squadron (Vultee Vengeance dive bombers) was detailed to attack to attack a fuel depot. Near the target, Flying Officer Bert Finnie’s cockpit filled with smoke. Suspecting that the Vengeance was on fire, he told his gunner (Flying Officer J.F. Ellis) to prepare to bale out. “I’m ready when you are”, came the reply. Finnie pulled out of the formation and turned for base. Looking around, he discovered that Ellis had disconnected the intercom and was about to exit. Finnie was unable to stop him. The gunner’s parachute opened and he apparently landed in trees. Other aircraft spotted the parachute but no sign of Ellis. Meanwhile, the cockpit smoke cleared away, although the aircraft hydraulics were unserviceable. The pilot used emergency procedures to open the bomb doors, jettison his bombs and lower his undercarriage to land. The smoke was traced to vaporised hydraulic fluid leaking from the oil cooler.

    The name of John Frederick Ellis is on the Singapore Memorial (i.e. no known grave). Beyond the above details, can anyone shed light on his fate ? Was he captured and executed ? Or just vanished ?

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    Hello,

    The aircraft involved in the above incident was Vengeance III FD105 'U'.

    An account can be found here:

    The Air Battle of Imphal
    Franks,Norman
    London:William Kimber,1985.
    pp.180-1 & 216.

    Franks mentions (p.181); 'Ellis was presumed to be in Japanese hands, but nothing was heard of him and later his death was officially presumed.'

    Finnie was involved in a similar incident on 6/4/1944 (Vengeance II AN828), with AUS407150 F/O (W.Op./Air Gnr.) Ronald Eric GABRIELSON RAAF. On that occasion, his Wop/Ag returned on foot six days later.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 5th April 2014 at 04:14.

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