SCOTT John Wardle

118600 Flying Office (Bomb Aimer) John W. SCOTT, RAFVR

218 (Gold Coast) Squadron

118600 Flying Officer [Bomb Aimer] John W. Scott, RAFVR 218 [Gold Coast] Squadron, was killed in action 29 April 1943, aged 22.  He is buried at grave reference A.11.6, Esbjerg [Fourfelt] Cemetery, Esbjerg, Denmark [1] and commemorated on Cockfield War Memorial.

Family Details

John Wardle Scott was born 19 September 1920, the son of John G. and Cicily Scott.  The family lived at Ferndale House, Cockfield where John G. Scott was the elementary school head teacher and special constable.  John W. Scott worked as an apprentice chemist [pharmacist].[2]

Service Details

The service details of Flying Officer John W. Scott have not been researched.

No. 218 Squadron RAF was a squadron of the Royal Air Force. It was also known as No 218 (Gold Coast) Squadron after the Governor of the Gold Coast (modern-day Ghana) and people of the Gold Coast officially adopted the squadron.[3] The squadron reformed from “A” Flight of No 57 Squadron on 16 March 1936 at Upper Heyford and was equipped with Hawker Hinds.  These were replaced by Fairey Battles in January 1938 and in September these were taken to France as part of the Advanced Air Striking Force.  Along with other Battle units, the squadron suffered heavy casualties in the fighting of May 1940 and by June its personnel had to be evacuated back to the UK due to lack of aircraft.

Back in the UK, the squadron re-equipped with Blenheims, joining No 2 Group and began attacks against coastal shipping and invasion barges in the Channel ports.  However, its days as a light bomber unit were numbered and in November it converted to Wellingtons at Marham and transferred to No 3 Group.  The squadron conducted it first night raid on 22 December and these continued with Wellingtons until February 1942, when the squadron re-equipped with Stirlings.  In July the unit re-located to Downham Market, where it stayed until March 1944, when it moved to Woolfax Lodge.  In August it moved again to Methwold, where it converted to Lancasters, but in December it moved to Chedburgh, where it remained until it disbanded on 10 August 1945, but before disbanding, it transferred to the transport role.[4]

218 Squadron was in service with No.1 Group, AASF, No.2 Group and No.3 Group 1936 to 1945.  The following account is of the mission 28/29 April 1943:  [5]

“The largest minelaying operation of the war took place on the 27/28th, when 160 aircraft were involved off France and the Frisians. This number was surpassed on the following night, however, when 207 aircraft were despatched to sow their vegetables in northern waters, where they laid a massive 593, a figure which would stand to the end of hostilities. Mining often required aircraft to fly low to establish their position, and this made them easy targets for light flak from marine batteries and flak ships, and 22 aircraft failed to return on this night. It was a harrowing night for the Stirling brigade, which lost 7 out of the 32 taking part, a massive 21.9%, and it was a particularly chastening experience for 218 Squadron, which had three empty dispersals to contemplate at Downham Market. EF356 and BF515 fell to nightfighters over Denmark, with just one survivor from the crew of Sgt Hailey in the former, and none from the crew of F/L Berridge in the latter, the pilots on their fifteenth and twenty second sorties respectively. BF447 also crashed on Danish soil, cause uncertain, and two men survived to be taken prisoner from the crew of P/O Brown, who was on his eleventh operation with the squadron, having previously served with the secret 138 Squadron at Tempsford.”

It is likely that Flying Officer J.W. Scott was with BF447 which crashed in Denmark – further enquiries are being made to confirm the position.

Burial: Esbjerg [Fourfelt] Cemetery, Esbjerg, Denmark

118600 Flying Officer [Bomb Aimer] John W. Scott, RAFVR 218 [Gold Coast] Squadron, was killed in action 29 April 1943, aged 22.  He is buried at grave reference A.11.6, Esbjerg [Fourfelt] Cemetery, Esbjerg, Denmark [6] and is commemorated on Cockfield War Memorial.  Esbjerg is a major port on the west coast of Denmark.  The cemetery contains 272 burials of the Second World War.


[1] Commonwealth War Graves Commission

[2] 1939 England & Wales Register




[6] Commonwealth War Graves Commission