John Colton Was a Typhoon Pilot

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John Colton Typhoon

F/L Colton flew Typhoon SF-K, shown on the airfield at Eindhoven, on July 10 and 11, 1944. On Dec. 31, 1944, his friend, Pilot Officer James ‘Paddy’ Shemeld, was killed while flying SF-K after it was hit by flak. P/O Shemeld has no known grave.

Photo Credit: © Imperial War Museum.

John Colton died on May 14th, 2013.

John Colton

F/L John Colton, age 22.
Photo Credit: Courtesy John Colton.


Flight Lieutenant (retired) John Colton, age 89, from Sherbrooke, Que., is a survivor.

He was only 19 when he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in January 1942, and 20 when he received his wings and went overseas for further training. Flying single-seat Hawker Typhoon fighter-bombers with Number 137 Squadron, Royal Air Force, during the Second World War, he carried out 104 operational sorties. It was an extraordinary feat, considering that Typhoon pilots flew an average of only 17 sorties before being shot down or reported as missing.


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