Who’s looking for Jimmy?

This researcher is.

I am working on a book about WW2 and still searching for additional information on Spitfire-pilot Jimmy Abbotts (403 Sqn). At the end of July 1943 he became a prisoner of war after an emergency landing in the village of Hillegom in the western part of Holland. After the war he returned to his hometown Owen Sound. I love to get in contact also with his family. Anybody any suggestions?

Herman van Amsterdam

Any ideas?

Robert Charles Medforth 403


Newspaper article dated 1944

Niagara Falls NY Gazette 1944 Feb-Apr Grayscale – 0237

7 thoughts on “Who’s looking for Jimmy?

  1. This little bit of information found here…


    Name is spelled Abbotts

    Will Write to Relatives
    Boulton told of meeting many Canadians and said he planned writing their relatives to tell about the camp and the menu.
    Among Canadians he mentioned were: Scruffy Weir, Toronto; Hunk Sprague, whose home he believed to be Toronto. FO. Jimmy Lago, Timmins, Ont.; PO. Jimmy Abbotts, Owen Sound, Ont.
    Boulton said Abbotts was shot down last August or September and gave him “all the gen.”
    Making a short visit to his old outfit, Boulton looked extremely fit in his new battle dress, with the D.F.C. ribbon, the 1939-43 Star, ribbons to show he had volunteered and a gold wound stripe. He was welcomed like a hero when he reached the air station last night and one of the first to greet him was Group Capt. W. R. MacBrien of Ottawa, commanding officer of a Canadian fighter sector, who instructed him at Camp Borden after Boulton joined the R.C.A.F. in 1939.

  2. Another one here…


    Named Abbots

    Ten Pilots Share Credit For Destroying Hun Aircraft

    (By Alan Randal, Canadian Press Staff Writer)
    With the R.C.A.F. Somewhere in England, June 24, 1943 — (CP) — Mess room chatter:
    The Wolf Squadron of the RCAF claims credit for frightening one Nazi pilot to death. Ten pilots were along on the show and each of them has been credited with 1-10th of an aircraft destroyed. Two of these are Pilot Officer Jimmy Abbots, of Owen Sound, Ont., who was a sergeant at the time, and Sgt. Don Hamilton, of Moncton, N.B.

    “We just scared it into the sea,” said Flying Officer Norman Fowlow, of Windsor, N.S. Pilot Officer Dean Dover, of Toronto, and Fowlow fired at the Jerry, but nobody was nearer than 400 yards and the enemy went un-hit but crashed into the sea without firing a shot in return.
    Fowlow says you don’t feel particularly excited firing at an opposite number in the Luftwaffe. “You are more or less too busy working out the range and wondering if by any chance there’s anybody getting you lined up for a burst at the same time,” he said.

  3. http://rcafassociation.ca/magazine/canadas-military-air-power-heritage/403-squadron-orb/403-squadron-operations-record-book-1943/

    Search Abbotts

    Saturday, 27 March, 1943

    It was overcast with 10/10ths cloud, some drizzle and a slight wind which, improved in the late afternoon. The only flying that was done was one short engine test by Sgt Brown. A movie show of the ‘Zigfield Girl’ was shown in the Wing Pilot’s Room, which helped fill time on a duff day. Sgt J.E. Abbotts was posted back to the Squadron from AFDU. He had been with us at Catterick. LAC Church A.E.H. was promoted to the rank of T/Cpl. Cpl J. McCormick, Armourer, was posted to 419 Squadron.

  4. Thursday, 29 July, 1943

    It was very warm, bright and clear today with very few clouds. 12 Group Ramrod 22: The Wing went to Cotishall for this operation and took-off from there, led by W/C Johnson. The role of the Wing was top cover to Marauders. Rendezvous was made South of Southwold at 12,000 feet with the bombers who turned back when they were within 20 miles of Ijmuiden. Our Wing continued on to the target before crossing out at the coast over Zandvoort at 22,000 feet. Soon after crossing the coast, enemy aircraft were seen below and sections of 421 Squadron were detailed to attack while 403 Squadron remained as top cover. In the following engagement, W/C Johnson fired on one, which is claimed as damaged, and P/O Linton of 421 fired on one, which he saw crash SW of the Schipol aerodrome and is claimed as destroyed. About the same time, F/L Fowlow with 421 Squadron destroyed a ME 109, which was seen to crash SW of Amsterdam. Sgt Dixon of 421 attacked the other ME 109 of the pair that were flying together and claimed this one as damaged. 421 Squadron later got one more 109 that was claimed as destroyed and was seen to crash. P/O J.E. Abbotts and F/L Goldberg, both of 403 Squadron were flying with 421 Squadron and were bounced southwest of Amsterdam. P/O Abbotts was last seen in this area and is posted as missing. No one saw him being attacked. 403 Squadron gave cover throughout the entire engagement and were not engaged themselves. There was moderate light and heavy flak encountered in the Amsterdam -Schipol and Noordwijerhout area. The Wing crossed the coast on the way out in the Noordwijerhout area at various heights and times, pancaking at Cotishall at about 1115 hours. The Wing took-off by 1115 hours and the Sections were as follows:

    Blue Section Red Section Yellow Section
    F/L Dover S/L Godefroy F/O Ogilvie
    F/O Preston P/O Gray F/L Southwood
    F/O Lambert F/O Middlemiss F/O Dowding
    F/O Foster F/O Brannagan F/O Browne

    P/O J.E. Abbotts and F/L Goldberg flew as White 3 and 4 with 421 Squadron. Red 2, P/O Gray, returned from the sweep and landed at Kenley, his a/c being u/s.

  5. Excerpt


    Epic of heroism of a new kind. fire while hanging on the tail, and lived to tell about it. He is P.O. James Abbotts of Owen Sound, Ont., now a prisoner of war in Germany. When he bailed out of his spinning plane, he found himself dangling behind with the chute cords tangled inside the cockpit. It was his weight on the tail-planes which brought the machine out of its dive and it landed in occupied territory. The pilot was only slightly Injured.

  6. I contacted the Abbott family about ten years ago. The amazing story about Jimmy Abbotts is that he survived the crash-landing of his Spitfire. Few readers might appreciate from the brief description above, but Abbotts tried to bail out of his Spitfire, but his parachute got tangled up in the aircraft antenna and cockpit riggings. Miraculously, even though Abbotts was unconscious the aircraft entered a balanced and very shallow spin – no one was at the controls and Abbotts unconscious body was hanging out one side. As the aircraft spun in an ever-decreasing diameter turn it narrowly missed the top of a barn, by inches, before “landing” ever so softly in the field beyond. Everyone on the ground witnessed this “crash”, and upon reaching the aircraft Abbotts only just began to wake up. When I spoke to the family in 2003-2004 I learned that Jimmy Abbotts died in a drunk-driving accident in the 1950s. The family sent me a chunk of Abbotts propellor – something he had held onto for many years. I will share pictures of Abbott with Pierre.

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