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Memorial Panel
St. John the Baptist Churchyard, Scampton, Lincolnshire, England

John Hannah   1921 - 1947

Church of St. John the Baptist
The memorial panel and the rose garden is located
in the grounds of the church of St. John the Baptist.

Memorial panel for John Hannah This rose garden is dedicated
to the memory of
Flight Sergeant John Hannah VC
Wireless Operator and Air Gunner
27 Nov 1921 - 7 Jun 1947

John Hannah The grave of John Hannah Rank:
Service No.:
Date of Birth:

Date of Death:

Add. Information:
Flight Sergeant
Victoria Cross (1940)
27 November 1921
Paisley, Scotland
7 June 1947
Markfield, Leicestershire
83 Squadron Royal Air Force
St Jame's Churchyard, Birstall, Leicestershire
Husband of Janet Beaver

The "London Gazette" on 01 October 1940:
The King has been graciously pleased to confer the Victoria Cross on the undermentioned officer in recognition of most conspicuous bravery :

652918 Sergeant John Hannah:

On the night of 15th September, 1940, Sergeant Hannah was the wireless operator/air gunner in an aircraft engaged in a successful attack on an enemy barge concentration at Antwerp. It was then subjected to intense anti-aircraft fire and received a direct hit from a projectile of an explosive and incendiary nature, which apparently burst inside the bomb compartment.
A fire started which quickly enveloped the wireless operators and rear gunners cockpits, and as both the port and starboard petrol tanks had been pierced, there was grave risk of the fire spreading. Sergeant Hannah forced his way through to obtain two extinguishers and discovered that the rear gunner had had to leave the aircraft. He could have acted likewise, through the bottom escape hatch or forward through the navigators hatch, but remained and fought the fire for ten minutes with the extinguishers, beating the flames with his log book when these were empty.
During this time thousands of rounds of ammunition exploded in all directions and he was almost blinded by the intense heat and fumes, but had the presence of mind to obtain relief by turning on his oxygen supply. Air admitted through the large holes caused by the projectile made the bomb compartment an inferno and all the aluminium sheet metal on the floor of this airmans cockpit was melted away, leaving only the cross bearers.
Working under these conditions, which caused burns to his face and eyes, Sergeant Hannah succeeded in extinguishing the fire. He then crawled forward, ascertained that the navigator had left the aircraft, and passed the latter's log and maps to the pilot. This airman displayed courage, coolness and devotion to duty of the highest order and by his action in remaining and successfully extinguishing the fire under conditions of the greatest danger and difficulty, enabled the pilot to bring the aircraft to its base.

Further information on Wikipedia.

Picture of John Hannah
Picture owner: Imperial War Museum
Source: Wikimedia
This work created by the United Kingdom Government is in the public domain.
Grave of John Hannah
Picture owner: Ajahewitt
Source: Wikimedia
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

This page is dedicated to the 10 million victims of World War I and 60 million victims of World War II.
We should always remember the immense grief and loss each war brought to the world.



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