Born: 1919, Ipswich.

Died: 27th September 1943; age: 23; killed when aircraft was lost during a raid on Hanover.


Rank: Squadron Leader/Pilot; Service Number: 40715.

Regiment: Royal Air Force, 103 Squadron.


Medals Awarded: Distinguished Flying Cross. Air Ministry, 6th October 1942. Royal Air Force. The King has been graciously pleased to approve the following awards in recognition of gallantry displayed in flying operations against the enemy:- Distinguished Flying Cross. Acting Flight Lieutenant John Herbert Kennard (40715), Reserve of Air Force Officers, No 103 Squadron. One night in September, 1942, Flight Lieutenant Kennard was captain of an aircraft detailed to attack Bremen. When about 15 miles from the target the bomber was attacked by an enemy fighter, the fire which stunned the rear gunner and caused the bombers aileron controls to jam. Displaying commendable courage and flying skill, Flight Lieutenant Kennard eventually evaded his attacker and flew on to his target which he bombed and photographed. While in the target area his aircraft was hit fire from the ground defences which caused damage to the port fuel tanks. A serious amount of petrol was lost but despite this and the difficulty of controlling the aircraft, due to the jammed aileron, Flight Lieutenant Kennard reached this country and made a safe landing. His courage and determination to complete his allotted task were worthy of high praise.


Grave Reference:

Collective Grave 8.C. 14-15.

Hanover War Cemetery,

Lower Saxony,



Father: George Herbert Harry Kennard, born September 1889, Folkstone, Kent. A Gents Clothing Retail Manager.

Mother: Maud Eva Kennard (nee Offord), born November 1884, Ipswich.

Parents residence: 35, Marlborough Road, Ipswich.

Newspaper picture from the Evening Star – 7th October 1942.

John was educated at Ipswich School.


On the 2nd August 1941, at St. George’s Church, Millom, Cumbria, John married Joan Reading, born May 1919, born India – an Assistant Secretary Officer – W.A.A.F.

They had 1 daughter.


    John, Joan and baby June outside Buckingham Palace, 9th December 1942 after his D.F.C. investiture.

Probate to Joan Kennard – widow.


John is also remembered on the Ipswich School Chapel war memorial.



27th September 1943

Aircraft: Lancaster; serial number: DV221. The aircraft was lost during a raid on Hanover, Germany, possibly to flak or a night fighter.


Stanley Allan Morey D.F.C. Flying Officer/Navigator; age 24 (killed the day after his birthday); R.A.A.F.

Thomas Coulton Latham D.F.M. Flying Officer/Wireless Operator/Air Gunner; age 22; R.A.F.

Arthur Harrison D.F.M. Pilot Officer/Air Gunner; age 19; R.A.C.F.

Ronald Norman Faulkner; Flying Officer/Air Bomber; age 22; R.A.F.V.R.

Alan Davidson; Sergeant/Air Gunner; age 23; R.A.F.V.R.

John Edward Griffiths Aston D.F.M. Flight Sergeant/ Flight Engineer; R.A.F.V.R.


John and Flight Engineer John Aston flew together on almost all the operations they took part in. John Aston received the D.F.M. on the same mission to Bremen in September 1942.

Extra information courtesy of Barry.

Photograph courtesy of John’s family and David Fell


One Comment

  • I have been in touch with Jake’s widow and family, she married an American and moved to the USA, subsequently having children and grandchildren.


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