John is not remembered on the war memorial at Christchurch Park.
Born: 22nd November 1908, Ipswich.
Died: 13th August 1943; age 34.
Residence: 136a, Chertsey Road, Twickenham, Middlesex.
Employed: a Metropolitan Police Officer – John joined the Metropolitan Police on 16th February 1931. His warrant number was 120819. He served on V Division which covered the London Borough of Kingston.
Rank: Sergeant/Navigator; Service Number: 1392161.
Regiment: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, 39 Squadron.
Relatives Notified & Address: Husband of Kathleen Mary Cole, of Twickenham, Middlesex.
1911 10, Levington Road, Ipswich.
John was 2 years old and living with his parents & siblings.
John Bertie Cole, 31, an Engine Machinist – General Engineer, born Ipswich.
Lilian Ethel Cole (nee Cuckow), born Ipswich.
Violet May Cole, 5, born Ipswich.
Elsie Maud Cole, 4, born Ipswich.
Archibald Cole, 2 months, born Ipswich.
In 1937, Brentford, Middlesex, John married Kathleen Mary Hancock, born December 1913, Twickenham, Middlesex.
The ENGLAND & WALES REGISTER 1939.
John, a Police Constable and his wife Kathleen, were residing at 23, Erncroft Way, Twickenham, Middlesex.
Probate to Kathleen Mary Cole – widow.
12th August 1943
Aircraft: Bristol Beaufighter X; serial number: JM415 (V); based at Protville, Tunisia. On the 12th August John was flying as navigator for his pilot Warrant Officer W.K. Patterson in JM415. They were one of eight aircraft detailed to attack a 5,000 ton merchant vessel off the coast of Naples. The formation failed to find the ship but were spotted by 4 Me109 and 2Fw190 fighters which came in to attack. One Beaufighter (LK862) was shot down but made a successful ditching and both crew members survived. JM415 was badly shot up but the pilot managed to get it back to base. However John had been severely wounded and died shortly after.
Aircraft information courtesy of John Allan.
Metropolitan Police information courtesy of Kevin Lynott.