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Posted on 03/17/2016


Photo taken on March 11, 2016



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John McBride Dempster
War Dead
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1944
WWII
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RAF
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Coningsby Cemetery
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Lincolnshire
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Flying Officer John McBride Dempster D.F.M.

Flying Officer John McBride Dempster D.F.M.
Coningsby Cemetery, Lincolnshire.

Name: DEMPSTER, JOHN MCBRIDE
Nationality: Canadian
Rank: Flying Officer, Air Gunner
Service No: J/17206
Date of Death: 13/02/1944
Age: 20
Regiment/Service: Royal Canadian Air Force, 617 (R.A.F.) Sqdn
Awards: Distinguished Flying Medal
Grave Reference: Row 64. Grave 1254
Additional Information: Born 15/06/1923. Son of John Gass Dempster and Margaret Dempster, of Vancouver, British Columbia.

Flight Officer John Dempster DFC (J/17206) died after completing a raid on Antheor Viaduct. He was in Lancaster DV382 from 617 Squadron when the aircraft was lost in an accident. On the night of 12th February, ten aircraft left RAF Woodhall Spa (Lincs) for RAF Ford (West Sussex) to be re-fuelled before continuing to the viaduct in southern France. DV382 was armed with one ‘Blockbuster’ bomb. Dempster was the rear Air Gunner. He had previously been awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal for the destruction of two enemy fighters.

The results from the mission were mixed, but direct hits are believed to have been scored. Nine aircraft successfully returned to RAF Ford, one aircraft had to land at Sardinia. The weather in the early hours of the 13th was poor, with low visibility due to fog and low cloud cover. Sqn Ldr W. R. Suggitt, who was the pilot, made the decision to head back to RAF Woodhall Spa. The aircraft flew into trees just after take off, disintegrated and burst into flames.

The pilot was pulled from the wreckage alive by local farmers but he died a few days later. The rest of the crew died on impact.

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