John Carrington

Squadron Leader – Pilot – 200, 223, 23 Sqns – Hudson/Liberator

Born 1920; educated QRC; son of John R carrington, Dentist; enlisted from Cambridge 1939; 3 tours; 1st tour: Coastal Command; Hudson; West africa 200 Sqn; 2nd Tour: Coastal Command – Liberator B24 223 Sqn; 3rd Tour: Bomber Command Liberator 100 Group 23 Sqn. Awarded DFC for sinking U Boat. Over 90 missions

[Source: CMHA]

2 additions to “CARRINGTON – A. John”

  1. Anabelle adds:

    A very Brave and humble man, i wish i had the priviledge of meeting him. my mother and grandmother have told me brave stories of my grandfather and he sounds like one of the few genuinely good people there are.

    love to you grandpa
    your grandaughter, anabelle

  2. Helen Hanschell adds:

    My mother Pinkie Carrington writes
    John was in the RAF as a pilot and at the time in Coastal Command. He wrote to his mother and father, living in Trinidad, from England to say that he was going abroad with his Squadron but he was not allowed to say where. A returning friend of my brother’s, visiting his parents, told us that he had met John by chance on a London street and John had said “tell my family I am going where there are lots of mosquitoes”. That was all we knew! Africa? India? The Far East?
    Time elapsed. One morning early a telegram came to our door. It said “Contact Bledsoe PAA John”. Daddy had a day of dental appointments, mother was ill and my sister Rieta was looking after her. I was the only one that could be spared. I worked with my father usually as his dental receptionist. “Get into town, Pinkie,” they said, “and find out what you can.”
    It was early days for passenger air-lines and Pan American Airways was one of the first to start, and by then everyone knew what PAA meant. I went to their office. The receptionist looked blankly at my telegram. I explained that it could be important. I asked if they had a pilot called Bledsoe or staff member. No, they had never heard the name. Sadly I moved on to the Censorship Office. I felt sure that PAA meant Pan American and it was the only link.
    The Censorship Office was in a vast building with rows of young women at desks. Many of these people were daughters of English people who had settled in Chile, therefore they could speak Spanish and were useful in a cosmopolitan place like Trinidad. Any letters, messages, codes went through their hands first. I was not allowed in their office (a “HushHush” House!) but had to be received in an unpleasant minute outside hallway. The code letters did not tell them where the telegram came from and they knew nothing. Off to the Cable Office. Messages in those days were not strictly telegrams but were sent by underground cable. Could the Cable Office tell me where the telegram had come from? No, but they were sure that the Censorship Office could. Back to Square One. I returned to Censorship. No, they did NOT know the source of such messages: only censored them if they thought necessary, Feeling desperate I met a man who was a friend and told him my dilemma. He said “Do not let the Cable Office fob you off. They can read those code letters”.
    This time I explained to the Cable Clerk that Flt./Lieut. A.J.Carrington was not going to send a message across the world unless it had meaning and they must help me. He disappeared behind and came back with the information that the cable had come from West Africa or a part of India.
    We never found Bledsoe, but eventually he found us. About two months later around 6.30pm in Trinidad and quite dark, a taxi stopped at the front door and a young middle-aged man, slim and dark haired ran up the front steps and held out a bundle to my mother who had gone to the door. “Mrs. Carrington?” he said with an American accent, “Hold that”. Mother cupped her hands and into them he put a soaking wet bathing suit! Then he said “I was swimming with your son off the coast of Gambia early this morning!” Mother was so delighted. He came in and had dinner with us.
    Mr. Bledsoe was one of a number of Pan Amercan pilots who flew heavy aircraft from the US to the RAF in Africa. These pilots returned to the States in beat-up or out-of-date aircraft and were immensely brave. The amazing thing is they travelled alone without a navigator. “How do you find your way?” we asked. “Instinct and experience” he said. “I fly so many hours south and then I turn left!” He had met John on a trip before but when he left Gambia John was sleeping after night-duty. When John woke, and Bledsoe had gone without our address, he sent us a cable assuming we would go to the PAA office and contact him. Bledsoe said he was one of two brothers doing this work and their names were on the board with the list of Pilots in the Pan American Office.

    Below are John’s citations in the London Gazette.
    CARRINGTON, Asygell Johnstone, F/O (60548, RAFVR) – No.200 Squadron – Distinguished Flying Cross – awarded as per London Gazette dated 12 January 1943. Born 1919 in Port of Spain, Trinidad; home there. Enlisted February 1940. Following text from Air Ministry Bulletin 8877.

    “This officer has completed a large number of operational sorties, many of which have been accomplished over hostile territory in the face of anti-aircraft fire and fighter defences. He has secured excellent photographs, thereby providing valuable and essential information. Flying Officer Carrington has also displayed outstanding ability and devotion in connection with convoy escort duties, shipping reconnaissances and anti-submarine operations.”

    CARRINGTON, Asygell Johnstone, F/L, DFC (60548, RAFVR) – No.225 Squadron – Distinguished Service Order – awarded as per London Gazette dated 26 October 1945.. No citation to DSO in Gazette; following text from Air Ministry Bulletin 20047 and Flight, 13 December 1945.

    “This officer has served in both Coastal and Bomber Commands. He has taken part in attacks against some of the enemy’s most heavily defended targets and achieved many excellent results. An outstanding pilot, Flight Lieutenant Carrington has consistently displayed a high degree of courage and determination, and has never let either adverse weather or enemy opposition deter him from completing his allotted tasks. On two occasions this officer has skilfully flown his aircraft safely back to base after it had been severely damaged by enemy action.”

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