Flying Officer John Russell DIXON

Service No: 434607
Born: Brisbane QLD, 4 October 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 6 January 1943
Unit: No. 1658 Conversion Unit (RAF), RAF Station Riccall
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 1658 Conversion Unit Halifax aircraft JB789), Selby, Yorkshire, 10 May 1944, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery, Yorkshire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Joseph Eric and Mary Dixon, of Eagle Junction, Queensland, Australia
Roll of Honour: Clayfield QLD
Remembered: Panel 121, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 10 May 1944, Halifax JB789 took off from RAF Riccall for night training circuits and landings exercise. The aircraft took off and climbed normally but two minutes after take-off at 0102 hours the aircraft struck the spire of the St John Church and crashed in Port Holm Drive, Selby, Yorkshire. The aircraft caught fire on impact and all on board were killed. The aircraft also demolished four properties in Port Holm Drive, and at least 14 civilians were killed or seriously injured.

The crew members of JB789 were:

Flying Officer John Russell Dixon (434607) (Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Noel Joseph Knight (423420) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Thomas Roy Laver (426752) (Pilot)
Sergeant Derrick McDermott (1111437) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant Peter Hilary Rockingham (1622397) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant John Roper (424822) (Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Bernard Kevin Storer (426702) (Bomb Aimer)

The civilians killed were:

Edith Eleanor Calvert, Aged 43 Years
Jean Calvert, Aged 10 Years
James Mather, Aged 64 Years
Brian Osbourn, Aged 11 Years
Doris Osbourn Aged 37 Years
Patricia Osbourn, Aged 6 Years
William Henry Osbourn, Aged 38 Years
James Sayner, Aged 65 Years


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/9/304

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