|Birth: ||Jun. 24, 1917|
|Death: ||May 10, 1944, France|
Casualty of WWII, John was a Sergeant (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)in 619 Sqdn. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.Service no.1581026. He was 27 and the son of Roger and Alice Presland, nee Wright; he left a widow, Ruby Presland,nee Betts, of Tottenham, Middlesex.
Civil Registration:Births Sep 1917
Presland John R Wright Wellingbro 3b 177
Marriages Jun 1942
Presland John R Betts Wellingbro' 3b 436
Betts Ruby Presland Wellingbro' 3b 436
His brothers and sisters were- Alfred George, Lillian, Eva and Roger.
Story below is taken from a letter sent to John's family and is taken from the book 'Irthlingborough's War Dead 1939-1945'
"At approximately 0100 hours on the night of 9/10th May 1944, a four engined aircraft, thought to be a Halifax (619 Squadron) coming from the bombing of Acheres, circled the region of Epone-Aubergenville with an engine on fire. One member of the crew baled out, the parachute failing to open and he fell near the railway station of Epone. The aircraft tried to crash land but exploded and burnt. The wounded rear-gunner was taken prisoner, the remaining six were killed. By the time the villagers arrived at the crash scene everyone was dead so the end must have been quick. It would have been the equivalent of a high speed car crash. Ray's (John Raymond Presland) body was not burnt but was lifted from the wreckage intact. This was probably because the position he occupied in the aircraft was in the forward area, close to the cockpit. The people of Aubergenville are naturally interested in building up a picture of the very real people who occupy the graves in their cemetery.
Please give my best love to Mrs Grinden (formerly Presland). I think Ray wanted her to know what happened, otherwise what were the chances of a guy from New Zealand managing to track you down using the wrong name and getting the right person? A slim chance indeed.
When Ray's body was lifted from the wreckage intact his ring, engraved with the initials R.P. was removed from his finger and returned to his family. It was later given to his daughter Jean.
John Aitkin was a relative of one of John Presland's crew who researched the crash of John's aircraft.
Note: ***SEE MEMORIAL TO John Milford Aitken FOR 7 MORE PHOTOS***
Aubergenville Communal Cemetery
Departement des Yvelines
Plot: Grave 1.
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: geoffrey gillon
Record added: Nov 02, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 43828635