Who Remembers Joseph Simpson Shaw?

His nephew Robert Harris whose father was Eugene Gagnon’s Navigator.

Joseph Simpson Shaw who joined the RAF with my father straight out of University.  He was killed on 17th September 1942 on a raid over Essen and is buried in the Reichswald War Cemetery on the Belgian/German border. He was a Pilot Officer and was the pilot of a Wellington 1C with 15 OTU based at RAF Harwell, Oxfordshire and I believe this was his first mission.  I remember being told that he trained in Canada.  His service number was 120603.

Searching for people who might be related somehow to Pilot Officer Joseph Simpson Shaw.

Information on the Internet about that Pilot Officer.

The mission he flew on…


16/17 September 1942


369 aircraft, including aircraft from the training groups. 39 aircraft

– 21 Wellingtons, 9 Lancasters, 5 Stirlings, 3 Halifaxes, 1 Whitley

– lost, 10.6 per cent of the force.

Although much of the bombing was scattered, this was probably the most successful attack on this difficult target. There were 33 large and 80 medium fires. 8 industrial and 6 transport premises were hit. The Krupps works were hit by 15 high-explosive bombs and by a crashing bomber loaded with incendiaries. There was much housing damage. In Essen and its immediate surroundings, 47 people were killed and 92 injured.

Many other towns were hit, in particular Bochum with 50 fires and 4 people dead, Wuppertal with 13 dead, Heme with a large fire in a lorry garage and Cochem, a small town on the Moselle 90 miles south of Essen, which received 1 bomb load destroying 4 houses and killing 15 people.

Similar case … from another OTU…


Excerpt from that link… 

16th September 1942 to Essen 12 aircraft with 1 missing and the Crew killed including Peter, his aircraft took off at 19.49 hrs with a very experienced crew of Instructors and was never heard from again.

Whether the aircraft was attacked by a German fighter or shot down by flak is not known but it is possible that it crashed due to technical failure ie the prop falling off which was a frequent event with Lichfield Wellingtons.

The irony of it all is that this was the last bombing raid carried out from Lichfield as the loss of Instructors could not be tolerated any longer, and it is most likely that Peter would have survived the War as an Instructor although there were those who went back to flying more Operations by choice due to boredom.

I remember being told that he trained in Canada…