21 August 1942 – Pilot Officer Mitch Johnston?


Comment by Steve Nickerson

Hi Pierre. Wondering if you were able to identify the last four pilots in the August 1942 403 at Catterick photo. I believe the pilot behind F/O Olmsted and next to Marshall in the second row is Mitch Johnston.

That pilot has a bar on his sleeve which means it would be plausible since he was a Sergeant on August 11 1942…

From the squadron’s ORBs

Tuesday, 11 July, 1942

Weather 6/10ths cloud with the wind at 10 to 15 mph from the NW. At 1200 hours, a scramble was done by Blue Section, P/O Gardiner and F/O Wiejski, over the base and returning in 20 minutes without contact being made. General flying was done by ‘A’ Flight – aerobatics, cine gun, tail chase and formation. Good news for the Squadron, for today commissions were granted to six NCO pilots: F/S G.D. Aitken, F/S H.S. Anderson, Sgt H.J. Murphy, F/S C.R. Olmsted, Sgt M. Johnston and Sgt Monchier, all effective 20 June, 1942. This action will strengthen the Squadron immeasurably and prove a real factor in building up morale. Word was received that the AOC of the Group has recommended that court-martial action be taken against P/O J.E. Gardiner after a review of the Summary of Evidence.

And then a Pilot Officer on August 16…

Sunday, 16 August, 1942

The Squadron took off at 0845 hours for Manston, landing at North Weald owing to bad weather and arriving at Manston at 1400 hours. The second ground party left by train, owing to bad weather at Catterick. The weather was fine at Manston but two a/c overshot on landing (AA736 and AA979). P/O H.S. Anderson broke a shoulder blade and was taken to hospital while P/O M. Johnston was uninjured.


Original photo

BB1 - HR



Colorised by Doug Banks

New version

Pilot Officer Mitch Johnston

Pilot Officer Mitch Johnston?


Contribution by Ronny Bosmann – About H.C. Byrd/Bijdrage van Ronny Bosmann – Over H.C. Byrd

Hallo Pierre mijn vriend Maarten Koudijs heeft een boek geschreven,met daarin weer aandacht voor H.C. Byrd. En een foto van de dodenherdenking 2020.

Groetjes Ronny.


Hello Pierre my friend Maarten Koudijs has written a book, with in it again attention for H.C. Byrd. And a photo of the Remembrance Day 2020. Greetings Ronny.