Barton CJ

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Cyril Joe Barton
Flying Officer
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Born: 5th June 1921
Elveden, Suffolk, United Kingdom

On 30 March 1944 in an attack on Nuremberg, Germany and while 70 miles (110 km) from the target, Pilot Officer Barton's Handley Page Halifax bomber was badly damaged by two night fighters, and two fuel tanks were punctured, both the radio and rear turret disabled, the starboard inner engine was on fire and the intercom lines were cut.

Despite several determined attacks by a Junkers Ju 88 night fighter, and with the aid of his crew, Barton managed to avoid further attacks.

A misinterpreted signal resulted in three of the crew bailing out, and Barton was left with no navigator, bombardier or wireless operator. He pressed on with the attack however, releasing the bombs himself.

On the return journey as he crossed the English coast the fuel ran out and with only one engine working he crashed trying to avoid the houses and pit head workings of the village of Ryhope, near Sunderland. He was pulled alive from the wreckage but died before reaching the hospital. One miner died, when he was hit by part of the crippled plane, but the remaining three crew members survived