Courtney, James Boyd

Personal Information

Rank P/O
Forename(s) James Boyd
Surname Courtney
Gender M
Age 23
Date of Death 05-03-1943
Next of Kin Son of Alex and Margaret Courtney (née Boyd), of Lawton, North Dakota, USA. Husband of Edna May Courtney (née Eastment), of Hornchurch, Essex. Date of marriage 21 November 1942 at the Church of St.Peter in the Forest, Woodford Green, Essex.

Aircraft Information

Aircraft Short Stirling I
Serial Number R9271
Markings WP-Q

Memorial Information

Burial/Memorial Country United Kingdom
Burial/Memorial Place Runnymede Memorial
Grave Reference Panel 175.

IBCC Memorial Information

Phase 2
Panel Number 149

Enlistment Information

Service Number J/16713
Service Royal Canadian Air Force
Group 3
Squadron 90
Trade Air Gunner
Country of Origin United States of America

Other Memorials

Location Roadside location, Tilbury Juxta Clare, Essex
Country United Kingdom
Memorial Type Inscribed Marble Memorial
Memorial Text In memory of the Airmen of XC Sqn, No 3 Bomb Group flying operations from here with the Mk 1 Stirling Bomber December 1943 until May 1943
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Location St. Mary & All the Saints Church, Little Walsingham, Norfolk
Country United Kingdom
Memorial Type Inscribed Stone Tablet
Memorial Text In loving memory of Henry Philip Lee Warner AFC DFC. Only Son of Philip Henry & Mary King Lee Warner. Actg S/L RAFVR killed in action over Germany Aug 26th 1944 in his 32nd year
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Location Village Green, Tuddenham, Suffolk
Country United Kingdom
Memorial Type Inscribed Memorial atopped with Inscribed Silver Sun-Dial
Memorial Text For all those who served their country as part of XC Sqn RAF
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Location St. Mary's Church, Tuddenham, Suffolk
Country United Kingdom
Memorial Type Framed Sqn Roll of Honour
Memorial Text They grow not old as we that are left grow old. Age shall not weary them nor the years condemn. At the going down of the Sun and in the morning, we will remember them
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Miscellaneous Information

James was born on 23 February 1920 at Lawton, North Dakota, USA. Both of his parents were born in Ireland but the whole family had Amercian citizenship. His mother died in 1941 and his father in 1943. He had two brothers , William who lived in Seattle and David Anderson, who was in Washington in the US army. He also had four married sisters: Lillian, Hannah, Agnes and Alice. He attended Eastview School in Lawton 1928-1934 (general) and then in 1934-1938 when he studied Business Law. (High School entrance, USA). Grade XI. His sport interests were basketball, baseball, and hunting and both ice and roller skating. His hobby was stamp collecting. Between 1938 and 1939 he took on a couple of short term labouring jobs ( 2 weeks and 2 months) and then the US. CCC course, 1939-1940, where he was a labourer and also an Editor.
James enlisted in Winnipeg on 10 March 1941 and after training arrived in the U.K. at 3 PRC on 26 December 1941. He was then at 7 AGS on 6 June 1942 and 14 OTU on 7 July 1942. No more movements are shown in his records. Sadly James was to lose his life on 5 March 1943 from 90 Squadron.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The National Archives

Fellow Servicemen

Last Operation Information

Start Date 05-03-1943
End Date 06-03-1943
Takeoff Station Ridgewell
Day/Night Raid Night (0% moon)
Operation Essen. 442 aircraft, 14 losses (3.2%). This raid included the 100000th raid of the war. 56 aircraft turned back due to technical defects, 3 of which were Oboe equipped target markers. The remaining PFF Mosquitoes marked the target perfectly, however, despite the usual haze that obscured the town. Some 160 acres of destruction were wreaked with 53 separate buildings of the Krupps works hit. More than 3000 residential properties were destroyed.
Reason for Loss Crashed just east of Sankt Peter, Germany

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Casualty Pack

IBCC is delighted to introduce a unique facility to link the Losses Database to the relevant RAF Casualty Pack on the National Archives website. This project is the result of on-going collaboration between IBCC, the MOD Records Office and National Archives, Kew. This document describes what Casualty Packs are, when they were created, the process of making them available to the public and then goes on to describe the process by which you can view the contents of the packs. Casualty Packs (CPs) were created by the RAF whenever there was serious injury or loss of life associated with operational activity within the RAF. This includes operational flying losses, enemy action due to air raids, road accidents either on station or even off-station if they involved RAF vehicles. Deaths due to natural causes in service or accidents that did not involve RAF vehicles did not generally give rise to a CP.

CPs were originally given a unique reference number by the RAF. Each begins with the letter ‘P’ and is followed by six digits, then an oblique (forward slash) and the finally the year in which the incident took place- for example P396154/42.

The CPs are in the process of being made available to the general public as they are passed from the MOD Records Office, Portsmouth to National Archives, Kew. This process requires some rework to the files which is very time consuming, so the process of making them all available to National Archives will take several years. They are being made available in increasing date order.

Once CPs arrive at National Archives they are assigned a unique AIR81 number, so each CP has both a P-number and an AIR81 number. Both are searchable on the National Archives website under ‘Search the catalogue’ and both are included on the IBCC website.

The AIR81 reference on the IBCC website is a link to the file on the National Archives website. When you click on it, the relevant page will open in a new tab on your browser.

There is currently no plan to digitise AIR81 files, partly because they are fragile and partly because the information they contain can at times be sensitive, even harrowing, since they may contain exhumation reports and even photographs of corpses. Family members wishing to read the AIR81 files relating to their ancestors are advised to exercise caution and be guided by National Archives warnings where appropriate.

There are two means for accessing AIR81 files- to attend in person or to order a copy by post.

To attend in person, the attendee should first create a Reader’s Ticket. This can be done online by following this link: Then click on the AIR81 reference on the IBCC website and click Order in Advance. Enter your Reader’s Ticket number and state the date on which you intend to visit. National Archives will have the file ready for you when you arrive, saving you time. When you visit Kew, you must quote the Reader’s Ticket number and take along two forms of ID- one bearing your signature and one bearing your address. When you view the files, you are permitted to take photographs of each page, should you wish.

Alternatively, if you wish to order a copy by post, please be aware that there is a charge for this service based on the number of pages in the file. Click on the AIR81 reference on the IBCC website and then click Request a Copy. There is an £8.40 charge for National Archives staff to access the file and give you a quotation for the copying service. The process takes around 24 days to complete and can be expensive.

IBCC wishes to thank the staff at the MOD Records Office and National Archives for their engagement and assistance in making this facility available to our website users.