View Aircrew Details
Surname CANN   Initials L N B   First Name LINDSAY NORTHCOTE BEAVIS  
Decorations DFC  
Rank Flight Leutenant   Unit RAF   Service No. 136936  
Age 23  Deceased 17/12/1944  Previous Squadron  
Comments Aa Armistice day approaches, one local man has uncovered a remarkable tale of wartime bravery and comradeship.

Gordon Ball, chair of Cameron Community Council, vowed to find OTU all he could about the pilot who saved the life of former Squadron Leader Jack Harrild more than 60 years ago, when he heard his friend's story.

Mr Ball said his research led him on an "extraordinary journey" and he'd been intrigued at the way comradeship played such a huge part in uniting people.

During the Second World War, Mr Harrild (87) who lives in Strathkinness with his wife, Joan, was posted to the Pathfinder Force 635 Squadron, at Downham Market, flying one of the most famous bombers of the war, the Lancaster.

On the way back from a successful bombing raid over Germany, on September 13, 1944, his aircraft was hit and left vulnerable to further attack.

He and his crew faced a difficult and lonely trip back to British soil when he noticed an aircraft from a different squadron 156 appearing alongside.

The pilot, Lindsey Cann, tucked himself under the badly damaged starboard engine and wing and escorted the crippled aircraft safely back to Downham Market.

Jack wrote and thanked Lindsey on behalf of himself and his crew for his unselfish act in protecting them.

He got a reply to the effect that it was no more than his duty and he and his crew had been very touched by his letter.

It was the first time anyone had bothered to thank them.

Read more in this week's St Andrews Citizen.

Last Updated: 08 November 2007 12:00 PM

Grave Photos of the Cemetery and Crew by Jerome Le Blanc  
Address Cheshire  
Cemetery CLICHY NORTHERN CEMETERYHauts-de-Seine, France  
Grave Location Plot 16. Row 12. Coll. grave 19.  
Additional Info Son of Basil Claude and Elsie Cann, of Timperley, Cheshire.  
War Graves Link 2235050  Grave Photo ** YES ** Cemetery Photo ** YES **
Award Date Citation / Reference Squadron

Distinguished Flying Cross.
Flying Officer Lindsay Northcote Beavis CANN (136936), R.A.F.V.R., 156 Sqn.

Distinguished Flying Medal.
1602488 Sergeant Raymond Victor FISHER, R.A.F.V.R., 156 Sqn

This officer and airman were pilot and navigator of an aircraft detailed for an attack on an oil refinery at Sterkrade one day in October, 1944.
In the run-in the aircraft was heavily engaged by anti-aircraft fire. A shell exploded near the bomber and fragments smashed through the pilot's windscreen. Flying Officer Cann was struck in the arm and shoulder. Although bleeding profusely he continued his run. Not until the target had been bombed did he seek assistance. Sergeant Fisher promptly dressed his captain's wounds and applied a tourniquet to his arm. He then removed his almost fainting comrade from the pilot's seat, took over the controls and afterward flew the aircraft back to this country. When nearing base, Flying Officer Cann, although very weak from the loss of blood, took over the controls and executed a perfect landing on the airfield.

This officer set a fine example of courage and fortitude. Sergeant Fisher also proved himself to be a valiant and resourceful member of aircraft crew and proved a tower of strength in a difficult situation. 
Source Date Comments
ORB  6/10/1944  STERKRADE. F/O L.N.B. CANN's aircraft was hit and damaged by predicted flak near the target. F/O CANN was wounded. He pressed on however and bombed the target, and got the aircraft away from the defences. He was by now in a bad state and the Navigator Sgt R.V. FISHER, assisted by the Wireless Operator removed the half fainting Captain to the rest bed, where he "Passed Out". In the meantime the Flight Engineer and the Navigator 2 abandoned the aircraft by parachute. Sgt Fisher took over the controls and flew the damaged aircraft to within sight of this aerodrome. The captain had by now sufficiently recovered and he took over and sucessfully landed here. 
ORB  25/10/1944  F/O L.N.B. CANN (Pilot) awarded immediate DFC and Sgt R.V. FISHER immediate DFM. 
LG 36820  28/11/1944  DFC Joint Commendation 
ORB  17/12/1944  1 missing F/L L.N.B. Cann DFC