Exmouth pensioner in NHS row was an 'oustanding' pilot

AN EIGHTY-eight-year-old man who faces the prospect of no longer being able to receive important NHS funding was a fighter pilot with outstanding ability. This is how John Mejor is described in a number of biographical books, available in the RAF Museum,

AN EIGHTY-eight-year-old man who faces the prospect of no longer being able to receive important NHS funding was a fighter pilot with outstanding ability.

This is how John Mejor is described in a number of biographical books, available in the RAF Museum, London, which pay tribute to fighter pilots involved in aerial combat between 1939 and 1982.

John, who lives in Linksway Nursing Home, Douglas Avenue, was born in Belgium in 1921, and moved to the UK when his father died.

He enlisted in the RAFVR in the summer of 1940 and started flying the following year.

In 1942 he answered a call for volunteers for a special operation which led to him being posted to 603 squadron and flying off to Malta in April.

He was not called upon to fly until May 8 when he was invited by the commander of 126 squadron to join that unit.

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John did so, and on May 10 he attacked a large formation of Ju 87 planes, seeing one explode as his own aircraft, a BR348, was hit and set on fire.

He baled out and saw two splashes which he believed to be his spitfire and the Ju 87.

John was picked up by a rescue launch which had come out looking for another pilot. He was unharmed and out in the air again the next day.

His last operational flight was on June 6, 1944, over the D-Day beaches and was awarded a distinguished flying cross in the same year.

In 1950 he sailed for Canada, undertaking strategic intelligence jobs with the RCAF in Ottawa. After his return, he commanded the 130 squadron during the mid 1950s.

John retired on July 12, 1964. Thereafter, he moved to Exmouth and worked for Devon County Council and becoming chairman of the Devon Conservation Forum.

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