Failed to Return

F/O C J Jones & Crew

F/O Cyril John Jones and his crew (below) were posted to 550 Sqdn from 11 Base w.e.f 15/10/1944:

The picture below is of F/O Jones and crew.

Click image F/O Jones and crew, October 1944:
L-to-R: P/O Jones (P), F/O Buckmster, Sgt Harvey, Sgt Webb, Sgt Main, Sgt Blair, Sgt Spewart

While on it's 101st sortie 550 Squadron Lancaster PA995 / BQ-V ("The Vulture Strikes"), piloted by F/O Jones was shot down during the raid on Dessau on 7/8 March 1945 (one of three 550 Sqdn Lancs lost that night). However on this flight the crew was slightly different to the usual Jones crew in that the two air-gunners were not the orginal crew members:

Click image F/O Jones RCAF
Click image F/O Buckmaster RCAF
It would appear that Jack Buckmaster was one of seven players from the 1942 Grey Cup winning Toronto RCAF Hurricanes who lost their lives in WWII. See: http://vintagewingsofcanada.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/go-long-searching-for-toronto.html
Click image P/O Harvey RCAF
Click image F/O Stevenson and P/O Buckmaster
P/O Buckmaster RCAF flew with the F/O Jones crew and was killed in action when PA995 / BQ-V ("The Vulture Strikes") was lost during the raid on Dessau on 7/8 March 1945. See: F/O C J Jones crew
P/O Stevenson RCAF DFC See: F/O I A Stevenson crew
The photo is annotated on the rear
"Ford belonged to F/Lt who took over "T" and went missing. Hope they made it.
The Austin Salon APJ 446 provided cook's tour."
Click image Stevenson and Buckmaster
Annotation on the rear of the photo
Click image Dessau Raid 7/8 March 1945 - three 550 Squadron Lancasters were lost on this raid
Including PA995 / BQ-V "The Vulture Strikes"

Three of the crew (F/O Jones, F/O Buckmaster, W/O2 Harvey, all RCAF) were killed, while the remaining four became PoWs (although Sgt Smith did later escape and was able to return to his unit in North Killingholme).

The entry on the 550 Squadron Roll of Honour is available here.

Other information about the flight and the target available here.

Station Narrative No.18

Station Narrative No. 18, dated 13th April 1945. This is a report by S/Ldr Brian Dermer Senior Intelligence Officer (SIO) of the debrief of Sgt Smith at North Killingholme in which is recorded a note stating that at the Oberursel PoW interrogation centre Sgt Webb was informed by the interrogator that the remainder of the crew (i.e. F/O Jones, F/Sgt Harvey and P/O Buckmaster) were all PoWs. Thus the report states in the header that all three of the RCAF servicemen listed as KIA above were in fact "POW per Sgt Smith".

The Canadian Veterans web-site lists the three men as KIA and two are commemorated on the walls at Runnymede while the third is buried in Nederweert War Cemetery in the Netherlands (links to photographs of the Runnymede panels and the Nederweert gravestone are available from the 550 Squadron Roll of Honour link above).

The evidence is that the three Canadians survived the crash. It is therefore likely that they were thereafter murdered.

Thanks to Neil Pelham, son of Sgt. Pelham, for making available information from his father's records.

Click image PA995-station-report, Page 1
Copy kindly made available by Neil Pelham
Click image PA995-station-report, Page 2
Copy kindly made available by Neil Pelham

Recent Research

There follows below a selection of pages from the POW and De-briefing reports from the Canadian archives concerning the F/O Jones crew - source: LAC/Ottawa, RG 24 File being gratefully acknowledged.

Click image
Image kindly made available by Jörg Helbig: source LAC/Ottawa, RG 24, Vol 24957, Buckmaster J
Click image
Image kindly made available by Jörg Helbig: source LAC/Ottawa, RG 24, Vol 24957, Buckmaster J
Click image
Image kindly made available by Jörg Helbig: source LAC/Ottawa, RG 24, Vol 24957, Buckmaster J
Click image
Image kindly made available by Jörg Helbig: source LAC/Ottawa, RG 24, Vol 24957, Buckmaster J
Click image
Image kindly made available by Jörg Helbig: source LAC/Ottawa, RG 24, Vol 24957, Buckmaster J
Click image
Image kindly made available by Jörg Helbig: source LAC/Ottawa, RG 24, Vol 24957, Buckmaster J
Click image
Image kindly made available by Jörg Helbig: source LAC/Ottawa, RG 24, Vol 24957, Buckmaster J
Click image
Image kindly made available by Jörg Helbig: source LAC/Ottawa, RG 24, Vol 24957, Buckmaster J

The Photograph

In October/November 2012 a documentary for Canadian TV was completed which featured, among others, a former football player with Toronto RCAF Hurricanes who served in the 550 Squadron. Seven players from the 1942 Grey Cup winning Toronto RCAF Hurricanes lost their lives in WWII, including P/O J Buckmaster (Nav) in the F/O Jones crew.

The Photograph: A one hour documentary on a Grey Cup winning football team decimated by World War II. For TSN, produced by Infiedfly Productions.

See: http://vintagewingsofcanada.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/go-long-searching-for-toronto.html