1941 US/Raf eagle units Orkney

Discussion in 'US Units' started by Tracing Grandad, Jul 30, 2019.

  1. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Is this the correct chap. ? .

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  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Flying Officer
    Service Number 61956
    Died 27/04/1942
    Aged 29
    71 (Eagle) Sqdn.
    Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
    Son of Bernard J. and Dorothy Van Liew Flynn,of Washington, D.C., U.S.A.; husband of Margaret Flynn. Graduate of Notre Dame University.


    Seems like it Ozzy - number matches

    I cannot access the full file perhaps someone with Ancestry US access could oblige
    Reports of Deaths of American Citizens Abroad, 1835-1974
    View Image
    Record information.
    John Flynn
    abt year
    dd/mm/1942 location
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019
  3. He was killed in action 1942
  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

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  5. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

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  6. Thank you so much for all your help and pointers. I have now accessed the death of americans fighting overseas file, turns out he had a “special” passport which usually means a diplomatic one! He is more intriguing by the minute.
  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  8. Yes thanks. He seems to “vary” his name either John F Flynn or John Van Liew Flynn, but given his special passport the diplomatic connection could explain that
  9. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member


    F/O John F Flynn Killed in Action (KIA)

  10. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    Information on the setting up of the Eagle Squadrons is in this link to the book First in the Air - The Eagle Squadrons of World War II by Kenneth C Kan.

    Although there is no specific mention in that book of of diplomatic passports, it would be understandable that as citizens of the neutral USA, they would have diplomatic passports to provide some sort of protection, as they could have travelled via or joined up in Canada or incase of capture by the Germans, or invasion of Britain.

    This could be similar to the "work around' arranged to avoid loss of US citizenship. In 1940 a US citizen would forfeit his citizenship if he swore allegiance to another government, so instead of pledging an oath to King George VI, they pledged to obey the Commanding Officers orders.

    The book also mentions 3 pilots from the 32 original US volunteers, who arrived in France April/May 1940 to fight with the French Air Force in 1940, escaped to England after the fall of France, but does not name them.

    John Flynn was involved in a friendly fire incident in 1942, when he hit the Hurricane aircraft of fellow 71 Sq pilot John Alexander.
    John Keith Alexander - Aircrew Details - Aviation Directory

    Flyn's death notice appears in a UK publication (maybe the Times) in November 1942. The marriage shown there seems to have been in the UK in Uxbridge Middlesex Registration District Oct-Dec 1940, although his entry on the American Air Museum in Britain gives his enlistment as 1941 in Canada into the RCAF. His photo on that site was donated by a named person, his sister in law.

    Attached Files:

  11. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    The UK publication is Andrews Newspaper Index Cards,
    Andrews Newspaper Index Cards, 1790-1976
    This unique card index was compiled in England from the 1790s until about 1970 and features a collection of notices from newspapers and various official sources, such as the London Gazette. Approximately 250,000 cards include announcements of births, marriages, obituaries, and deaths abroad; notices of wills, unclaimed estates, and filings under the Colonial Probates Act of 1892 (which recognized probates from courts in British possessions); and advertisements for missing persons and people seeking next of kin. The original newspaper clippings on the cards sometimes include annotations referring to additional information from other sources.
    The cards can have content on both the front and back. The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies notes that the index can be “useful for locating information about individuals who seem simply to disappear.”

    The marriage record you mention is
    England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1916-2005
    Name: John Van L Flynn
    Registration Date: Oct 1940
    [Nov 1940]
    [Dec 1940]
    Registration Quarter: Oct-Nov-Dec
    Registration district: Uxbridge
    Inferred County: Middlesex
    Spouse: Clarice M Fisher
    Volume Number: 3a
    Page Number: 388
    A copy of this document might explain more, and assume the M after Clarice could be Margaret

    I understand that all of 71 Sqdn flew Spitfires in 1942 not Hurricanes - so not sure where that comes from
    No. 71 Squadron (RAF) during the Second World War
    September 1941-September 1942: Supermarine Spitfire VB

  12. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    Hi TD,

    Did not mean to be too mysterious, but looks like I use the same family history website as you. Was trying to be discreet & prevent too much detail getting in a web search, until I knew how much tracing grandad had found in his death of americans fighting overseas file.

    Fairly new to posting here so unsure of some protoculs.
  13. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    john flynn death of us citizen abroad.jpg
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  14. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    Hi Travers,

    Flynn held a Special passport owing to his service in the US Treasury Attache's office in London. Nothing to do with any protection.


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  15. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    I understand that but sometimes keeping details discreet can lead to people going up the garden path. What I mean by that is that if all the details are out in the open then otherscan see whats what and often find the holes in what we think we have found.
    As in the marriage details, the ones above I now believe to be wrong,[scrub this and see next post] others may not, the reason I say that is that there are 1 x John Flynn marriage directly to a Margaret [his official wifes name as per CWGC] and as he died in April 1942 then it throws up the possibility that the marriage details are :
    Name: John J Flynn
    Registration Date: Apr 1942
    [May 1942]
    [Jun 1942]
    Registration Quarter: Apr-May-Jun
    Registration district: Brighton
    Inferred County: Sussex
    Spouse: Margaret B Young
    Volume Number: 2b
    Page Number: 601
    So possibly married a few days or weeks prior to his death. The John J maybe as in other records they provide the full forename but then repeat the initial.

    Without having this open discussion we wouldnt have got this far - this is all assuming that this is our man, it may not be.

    We have had quite a number of these types of threads previously and it needs posters to be open and honest, in fact this thread was going nowhere until a possible service number was thrown into the ring, and from that we are now where we are - but still unsure if this is the correct person or not - doubt we will ever actually know.

    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
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  16. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    OK scrub that last marriage details record - it doesnt work
    England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1916-2007
    Name: John D Flynn
    Registration Date: Oct 1943
    [Nov 1943]
    [Dec 1943]
    Registration Quarter: Oct-Nov-Dec
    Registration district: Brighton
    Inferred County: East Sussex
    Mother's Maiden Name: Young
    Volume Number: 2b
    Page Number: 326

    If John snr died in April 1942 then he couldnt have fathered a son in Oct 1943

  17. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    I think you have to go a bit further back, TD.

    I believe his wife's maiden name was Morrissey with a marriage at Brentford in the March 1937 Qtr.

    Two children from this union. Margaret P. in the March 1938 Qtr and Michael J. in the September 1939 Qtr.

    Both born at Brentford as well.
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  18. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Thanks alieneyes - I was assuming [always a bad thing to do] that he came over to the UK in 1940/1941 and after being in Orkney moved south and then married, however I see how foolish I was, as he now appears on the 1939 Register

    1939 England and Wales Register
    Name: John V Flynn
    Gender: Male
    Marital status: Single
    Birth Date: 2 Feb 1913
    Residence Year: 1939
    Address: 4
    Residence Place: City of Westminster, London, England
    Occupation: Clerk U S Treasury D?? {suggest this is Dept]
    Schedule Number: 6
    Sub Schedule Number: 2
    Enumeration District: AYNN
    Registration district: 62

    So do we think he came over in Sept 1936?

  19. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    I was going on his passport being issued in Washington, DC 3 September 1936.

    I wonder if he knew this bloke?

    I'm also reminded of how much the State Department hated OSS members who operated under Embassy cover. They embossed "Office of Strategic Services" on the backs of their passports, thus assuring their covers were exposed.
  20. I found documents relating to him travelling to the UK in 1936. There are also some documents in another language which looks like German. These docs are grouped with a 1911 census in Lancashire but the details aren’t readable. His special passport was issued in Sep 1936. As to being sure, it is really difficult but that photo on the American airmen website is a dead ringer for my older brother, like literally. Even the facial expression.

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