Ferris, John Sherman

Personal Information

Rank WO2
Forename(s) John Sherman
Surname Ferris
Gender M
Age 23
Date of Death 22-10-1943
Next of Kin Son of John Wesley Ferris and Abigail Louise Ferris (née Symon), of Glammis, Kincardine Township, Bruce County, Ontario, Canada.

Aircraft Information

Aircraft Handley Page Halifax II
Serial Number LW293
Markings EY-L

Memorial Information

Burial/Memorial Country Germany
Burial/Memorial Place Hanover War Cemetery
Grave Reference 16. B. 1.

IBCC Memorial Information

Phase 2
Panel Number 163

Enlistment Information

Service Number R/129539
Service Royal Canadian Air Force
Group 4
Squadron 78
Trade Air Gunner
Country of Origin Canada

Miscellaneous Information

John was born at Glammis, Kincardine Township, Bruce County, Ontario on 31 December 1919. His father was a farmer born Glammis and his mother born at Cargill, Ontario. He had three sisters, Marjory, Velma and Grace. The schools he attended were S.S#.1 Kincardine Township, Ontario.1927-1932 (Entrance); Paisley Con.school Ontario 1932-1936 (Jnr Matric and part Senior). John’s sport interests were softball, hockey, skating and tobogganing. From 1936 until enlistment John worked on the farm with his father. Before enlistment he was at #10 Basic Training Centre, Kitchener. Pte. 28 August 1941-15 September 1941.
He enlisted at London, Ontario on 16 September 1941, embarking from Canada on 21 August 1942. He arrived in the U.K. at 3PRC on 2 September 1942, 20 OTU on 21 September 1942, 1652 CU 30 December 1942, 102 Sqn 18 February 1943, 1658 CU 11 March 1943 and 78 Squadron 7 April 1943.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The National Archives

Fellow Servicemen

Last Operation Information

Start Date 22-10-1943
End Date 23-10-1943
Takeoff Station Breighton
Day/Night Raid Night
Operation Kassel. 569 aircraft, 43 losses (7.6%), due to the German controller correctly assessing that the raid was on Kassel. Blind H2S marking overshot the target but 8 out of 9 visual markers were accurate. German decoy markers drew off some of the main force but otherwise the raid was exceptionally accurate and concentrated leading to a firestorm. Over 26000 homes were destroyed and a further 26000 damaged. Some 63% of housing in the city became unusable, resulting in 100-120,000 people being displaced. The number of industrial, public and military buildings destroyed are too numerous to list Of particular note, however, was that the railway system was badly damaged and the three Henschel factories which produced the V1 bomb were all seriously damaged. This certainly pegged back the V1 deployment capability significantly. The number of dead was around 5600
Reason for Loss Crashed at Vörden, 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: https://secure.nationalarchives.gov.uk/login/yourdetails. 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.