GREENIDGE – John Alexander

J86525 – Pilot Officer – RCAF – 419 Sqn – Halifax – KIA 30/3-1944 (at 26) – Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, UK

Son of John and Eva Greenidge, of Port of Spain, Trinidad, British West Indies.

[Source: CMHA, CG, CWGC]

2 additions to “GREENIDGE – John Alexander”

  1. Patrick Greenidge adds:

    The following entry appears in the daily operations of Royal Canadian Air Force Group 6 Bomber Command on the 29/30 March 1944

    49 Halifaxes from 419, 427, 428, 431, and 434 squadrons were ordered on an attack of the rail yards at Vaires sur Marnes. The crews were over the target at between 12,000 and 13,000 feet, releasing 470,000 lbs of high explosives. According to reports, this attack took place in a bright moonlight and severe damage was caused. 2 ammunition trains blew up with great force.

    P/O J. Greenidge RCAF and crew from 419 squadron, flying Halifax II HR-912 coded VR-F, failed to return from this operation.

    Sgt. W. Sinclair RAF
    P/O T. Lowe RCAF
    P/O V. Lunney RCAF
    W/O1 E. Humphreys RCAF
    Sgt. M. Wheeler RCAF
    P/O E. Surridge RCAF
    All were lost without a trace.

    As a postscript the comment “failed to return” means that the aircraft could have hit by enemy flak/nightfighters or simply crashed. One way of discovering its fate and that of the crew is to track down other crew members on duty that night with P/O Greenidge and who were debriefed after the operation.

    Also please note the John Alexander “Sandy” Archibald served in 419 squadron and not in 414, which was mainly involved in reconnaisance flying Mustangs, as indicated above.

    John Greenidge was the elder brother of James Douglas Greenidge d/131685, who served as a Guardsman in the Canadian Grenadier Guards, 22nd Armoured Regiment, a unit of the 4th Canadian Armoured Division. He was killed on 15th August 1944 aged 23 being involved in the relief of Falaise in Normandy. He is buried in the Canadian Memorial cemetry at Bretteville-sur-Laize, Normandy. Both brothers went to The Lodge School, a secondary school in Barbados and are remembered on memorial tablets on the school hall’s entrance.

    Spare a thought for John and Eva Greenidge, who lost their only two children within 5 months of each other to the war.

  2. Susan Campbell adds:

    Researching Trinidad 1919-56, interested in those who gave their lives in the war against fascism – that they should be remembered.

    And yes certainly thinking of the parents who lost both their sons – our children are always our children.

    Thank you for your addition to knowledge about P/O Greenidge.

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