Personnel Index - Detail
Square 348 Grave 42
P/O Irvine was posted to 49Sqn on attachment from RAF Cottesmore prior to re-posting.
He flew two operations with 49Sqn before being posted to 106Sqn.
He was killed on active service (24/5/40) and is buried in the Coventry (London Road) Cemetery.
Location information kindly provided by Ian Woolley, Friends of London Road Cemetery.
Extract is from Bill Chorley's Bomber Command
The aircraft was based at RAF Finningley and, at 23:08, hit the cable of a barrage balloon operated by No.6 Balloon Centre - 916/917 Sqn. The Hampden crashed into the Coventry & North Warwickshire Cricket Ground, Binley Road, Coventry.
Earlier in his career, P/O Irvine had a lucky escape as desrcibed below.
December, 1939: At 21.00hrs on 20 December the squadron received instructions to bomb the pocket battleship 'Deutschland', which had been reported in the vicinity of the Norwegian coast. They were then required to return to the Scottish base of Leuchars. The following day, the 21st, twelve Hampdens took-off from their Scampton base.
Over Lincoln they met up with twelve Hampdens of 44 Squadron from Waddington and under the command of W/Cmdr Sheen, the formation headed towards the North Sea, passing over Skegness. On reaching the Norwegian coast, they turned northwards and spread out in line abreast as they hunted for the 'Deutschland'. But the search was in vain, and at the limit of their range the Hampdens turned and headed for Scotland. Sleet and rain showers reduced visibility on the return flight and the two squadrons became separated. The Scampton flight made landfall in Northumberland where it was intercepted and recognised as friendly by twelve fighters of 43 Squadron.
By 15.47hrs most of the formation were landing at nearby Acklington. Meanwhile, 44 Squadron had crossed the coast south of Dunbar. Hurricanes of 72 Squadron intercepted them and informed control that they were Hampdens. No 602 Squadron Spitfires from Drem (the same base as the Hurricanes) were also scrambled, and without at first recognising the aircraft, proceeded to shoot down two of the Hampdens.
At Acklington, one of 49 Squadron's aircraft short of fuel was having problems. Piloted by Sgt Marshall it crashed into a Chapel at Broomhill on the edge of the aerodrome.
As a result, the pilot was seriously injured and sadly two members of the crew were killed. Also injured in the crash was the 2nd pilot/navigator, P/O J.M.D. Irvine.
Sgt E Marshall (Injured)
P/O JMD Irvine (Injured)
AC1 E. Humphrey (Killed)
Sgt S.Potts. (Killed)