Monday, 3 August 2015

Military Monday - James Frederick Elson

James Frederick Elson was born near Paris, Ontario on October 9, 1918 and graduated from Paris District High School in June of 1937.  He was in Montreal on his way to join the British Navy the day Canada declared war on Germany. He landed in England on September 19, 1939 and enlisted in the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy on January 29, 1940.  He attended Portsmouth and Gosport Naval schools. He married Dorothy E. Jeffreys of Winchester on December 20, 1940.  After many months of study and flight training, Jim was assigned to Squadron No. 809 and was posted to the aircraft carrier H.M.S. Victorious.

On August 3, 1942, H.M.S. Victorious set out from Britain to participate in Operation Pedestal - a convoy mission to re-supply Malta. On August 7, Leading Airman James F. Elson lost his life when his plane went down into the sea. His name is listed on the Lee-On-Solent Memorial. He was 23 years old.

From the Commonwealth War Graves Commission:

The principal base of the Fleet Air Arm, Lee-on-the-Solent, Hampshire, was chosen as the site for the memorial to the almost 2,000 men of that service who died during the Second World War and who have no known grave.

Lee-On-Solent Memorial of the Fleet Air Arm