Flying Officer John Charles PATON

Service No: 433130
Born: Orange NSW, 25 September 1914
Enlisted in the RAAF: 25 February 1943
Unit: No. 90 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Tuddenham
Died: Air Operations: (No. 90 Squadron Lancaster aircraft PA254), Germany, 9 March 1945, Aged 30 Years
Buried: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany.
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William Charles and Ethel Alice Paton; husband of Joan Charlton Paton, of Gordon, New South Wales. Australia
Roll of Honour: Sydney NSW
Remembered: Panel 128, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Knox Grammar School Old Boy’s War Memorial, Wahroonga NSW

At 1037 hours on 9 March 1945 Lancaster PA254 took off from Tuddenham detailed to carry out a G-H raid on the Emscher Lippe benzol works at Dattein, Germany. The aircraft was carrying two navigators for the mission. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it failed to return to base. The aircraft was shot down by anti-aircraft fire and crashed on a railway station at Waltrop, 8 miles north west of Dortmund. Seven of the crew members were killed and one was taken prisoner.

The crew members of PA254 were:

Flight Lieutenant Bernard Joseph Aldhous MID (179997) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Pilot Officer Charles Foy (190367) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)
Pilot Officer Charles Dixon Palmer (190381) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Flying Officer John Charles Paton (433130) (Navigator)
Sergeant Stephen Power (2220555) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flight Sergeant Alan Smee (1872063) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant A F C Smith (1810113) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner) PoW
Pilot Officer Ronald South (195242) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)

Sergeant Smith later stated “about 3 minutes after bombing we were hit by ack-ack. The intercom went dead. With the turret facing port I was able to see the port wing on fire and a larger fire in the fuselage near the H2S (radar) installation. Losing consciousness through lack of oxygen, I climbed out of the turret and that is the last thing I remember. I recovered consciousness falling through space and pulled the ripcord. I was captured later by the Germans and released by the Americans.”


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, 166/32/693
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line