Rank & Name: Sgt J. Mingham
Date of Death: 28/04/1941


Sgt John (aka Jack) Mingham, was observer when he and his crew were killed after their aircraft was shotdown by a flak boat. view details

He flew with the same crew during the Battle of Britain.




Awardee of the Battle of Britain Clasp - Although entitlement was revoked by the Air Ministry in 1960 (read more)



Further Information

Jack & Muriel - Boxing day 1939


I have been contacted by Vikki, a relative of John (or Jack) as he was known... and she has submitted the following...

"Jack was born in Littleborough, he was the only son of Tom and Mary Mingham. He and Muriel (who was my grandmother) met while she was still quite young. I've got some of her diaries from when she was sixteen or so and they are clearly 'stepping out' then, she talks about him all the time. They got married on boxing day 1939, quite possibly because he had joined the air force reserves when war looked likely so they knew he was probably going to be called up. Grandma always said that when she said goodbye to him the last time, she knew she wasn't going to see him again... He was 26 when he was shot down and killed. Muriel decided when he was killed that she wanted to get away from Littleborough and go somewhere to start again, so she joined the WAAF, where a couple of years later she met my grandfather Vernon. Her children grew up in contact with Jack's parents, my mother remembers his father as 'grandad Tom'. In the 80's I think it was, the War Graves Commission organised some trips to the various cemeteries across Europe for the war widows and Muriel went along with her daughter Susan (Muriel went on to have four children). It was the first, and as far as I know the only time, that she saw Jack's grave. Whether he is buried there or not I don't know, recovering bodies must have been hard...

Our family has always been annoyed that the bravery of guys like Jack, who were essentially taking part in suicide raids on ships and who the generals (and Churchill) knew were being sent to their deaths, has not been recognised and that medals weren't awarded posthumously to those who died (or to those few that survived) for these missions. It seems very unfair..."


(above) Jack at his post - as an observer - Blenheim Mk.IV (Vikki Watmough)


Jacks crew - P/O Collier & Sgt Powell with Blenheim TR-E - (Vikki Watmough)

Sgt Mingham & Sgt Powell with Blenheim TR-E - (Vikki Watmough)



Jack, P/O Sidney Collier, Sgt Bill Powell (Vikki Watmough)



(Vikki Watmough)

Vikki Watmough sent in a copy of the same photo. This one was found online but noted the airmen as Sgt Finlayson - Sgt McDonagh - Sgt West. When in fact it is (L-R) Sgt Mingham, Sgt Powell and I'm assuming Sgt. West... In his diary, dated Thursday 9th of January 1941, Jack notes "Did a reco of Boulogne and took photos. No cloud cover but saw no fighters and only 2 puffs of flak. At night went to Havant with Charlie West to see "Irene". It would seem then that the previously unknown airmen is in fact Charlie West. The notes that a Sgt.West (obs) was a member of F/Lt Palmer's crew - who was the officer in command of 'A' Flight, to which Jack and Bill's crew was operating under.


Rest In Peace