John Hodgson was born on 7th July 1918 on Sillinghurst Farm, Birtle, Bury, son of Thomas and Minnie Hodgson.
He had two older sisters, Jessie and Marjorie and attended Birtle School , leaving at age 11 and winning the County Scholarship to Bury Municipal Secondary School.
After leaving school at 16 he started work as a Junior Clerk in the Cashiers Office at Walmsleys Paper Making Engineers in Bury – the largest company in the district, supplying paper making machinery worldwide.
He was conscripted into the militia just prior to the outbreak of war in 1939. His first active service abroad was in France in the Army as a Despatch Rider. He then saw action on the beach at Dunkirk where he remained for a week.
John then realised he had the necessary qualifications to become a pilot and so requested a transfer into the RAF and trained as a pilot in Georgia, America.
He started learning to fly in September 1941 in Georgia.
He returned to England to fly many successful raids over Germany as a Halifax Bomber pilot.
John continued his RAF service for some time after the end of the war in 1945 and eventually becoming a Flying Instructor himself.
Flying History No 6 EFTS Sywell – commenced 2.2.44 completed 6.4.44
No 15 P.A.F.U. – commenced 28.4.44 completed 22.5.44
No 1 Beam Approach School Watchfield - date commenced 25.5.44 completed 28.5.44
No 10 O.T.U. Abingdon commenced 24.7.44 completed 15.9.44
No 1652 conversion unit Marston Moor – commenced 29.11.44 completed 17.1.45 102 Ceylon Squadron Pocklington - 1 March 1945 – Flying Ops
John Hodgson (Pilot), Sgt M. Horncastle (BA), Sgt L. White (Nav)
Sat Down: Sgt M Munyard (WOp), Sgt W Alliston (Rear AG), Sgt E. Manley (M.U.G.), Sgt A. Pollock (FE)
On the back of the photo we have to following names: (We understand that we have names missing... can you help???
Standing: F/O A.F. Bannatyne - F/O A. Maxie McVicar (Aus) - P/O John Hodgson - Beckett - F/O Bill Petersen (NZ) - Ian Adams (NZ) - ??? - ???
NOTE: We have been able to add to some of the names on the card already..
11 March 1945 – DY-C - PP203 - Self - 6 crew - ops Essen
12 March 1945 - DY-C - PP203 - Self - 6 crew - ops Dortmund
13 March 1945 – DY-C - PP203 - Self - 6 crew - ops Barmen
15 March 1945 – DY-F PP186 - Self 6 crew - ops Bottrop Oil Storage Depot
18 March 1945 – DY-J RG485 - Self - 6 crew - ops Witten
22 March 1945 – DY-M RG505 - Self - 6 crew - ops Dulmen
24 March 1945 – DY-J RG485 - Self - 6 crew - ops Sterkrade
4th April 1945 – DY-O - RG503 - Self - 6 crew - ops Harburg Oil Refinery This plane would be ditched on the 10/05/45
9 April 1945 – DY-C - PP203 - Self - 6 crew - ops Mining Flensburg Fiord
11 April 1945 – PP177 - Self - 6 crew - ops Nuremberg
18 April 1945 – DY-C - PP203 - Self - 6 crew - ops Heligoland