Lucas, John Robert (No. R/78281)

Lucas, John Robert

Flight Sergeant (Pilot)

No. R/78281, 153 (RAF) Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force

Killed in an aircraft accident on Wednesday 18 February 1942 (aged 20)

Buried:

Ballyhalbert (St. Andrew’s) Church of Ireland Churchyard, Ballyeasborough, Co. Down (Grave 3)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Canadian Virtual War Memorial (Internet)

Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance

Ballyhalbert (St. Andrew’s) Church of Ireland Church, Ballyeasborough

BIOGRAPHY

John Robert Lucas was born in Toronto on 6 July 1921 and he was a son of John Noble Lucas, who was born in London, and Caroline Lucas (nee Williamson) who was born in Belfast.

During the First World War John Noble Lucas served with the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force and, after the war, he worked as an electrician.  John Noble Lucas and Caroline Williamson were married on 20 August 1920 in Toronto and they lived at 833 Sammon Street, Toronto.

In November 1940 John Robert Lucas joined the Royal Canadian Air Force and during the Second World War he served with 153 (RAF) Squadron based at RAF Ballyhalbert.  On 18 February 1942 he was the pilot in a Boulton Paul Defiant aircraft (T3914) that crashed into the sea off Kearney, Co. Down.  There were unconfirmed reports that he had been attempting to avoid another aircraft.  Both crew members were killed and four days later their bodies were recovered from the sea near Burial Island to the north of Portavogie.  The two men who died were Flight Sergeant (Pilot) John Robert Lucas and Flight Sergeant (Air Gunner) Cecil Thomas Deane.

Flight Sergeant John Robert Lucas (No. R/78281) was buried in Ballyhalbert (St. Andrew’s) Church of Ireland Churchyard, Ballyeasborough, Co. Down on 26 February 1942 and his mother added an inscription to his CWGC headstone:

IN LOVING MEMORY

OF MY DEAR SON

TO KNOW HIM WAS TO LOVE HIM

‘TILL WE MEET AGAIN’

Flight Sergeant John Robert Lucas (No. R/78281) was 20 when he died and he is commemorated on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial (Internet); on Page 91 in the Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance and in Ballyhalbert (St. Andrew’s) Church of Ireland Church, Ballyeasborough.