Monday, 27 April 2015

Illingworth, John - Sergeant

(No soldier photo available)
158 Sqdn.
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died 13 April 1944
Age 22

Sergeant John Illingworth was the flight engineer on board a Halifax bomber which crashed soon after take-off from No. 1663 Heavy Conversion Unit at Rufforth, Yorkshire. The aircraft, which was taking part in a night exercise, came down on farmland near Healaugh, seven miles from York. There were no survivors.

John was the son of John and Elizabeth Jane Illingworth. He was aged 22. He attended Baxenden Methodist School and later was a member of the Young Men's Institute. Prior to joining the R.A.F.V.R. in 1941, he worked at Messrs. Waddington's Hazel Mill, Acre.

John's body was brought home, and after a memorial service at Baxenden Methodist Church, he was laid to rest in St.John's, Stonefold, Churchyard. The coffin was draped with the R.A.F. station flag and representatives from his squadron were present. Amongst the many floral tributes from his family and friends were wreaths from his Commanding Officer and all ranks at his station and also one from his squadron. John lies in Grave No. 90B.