Joan Beatrice Ada Taylor was the daughter of George William Taylor and Beatrice Whittingham. She had two brothers, William George Edward Taylor and Earnest Herbert Taylor. Their mother Beatrice passed away in 1928 from Tuberculosis. Three year old Joan was then raised by her mother's brother Bertie Whittingham and his wife Fanny.
Joan was employed in the boot department of the Nile Road branch of the Gillingham Co-operative Society. She was also the member of the Bible Class of the Camden Road Baptist Mission.
Fanny, Bertie and Joan all resided at 61 Corporation Road in Gillingham, Kent, England. On June 6, 1944 in the early hours of the morning the home was stuck by a WWS American B26 Marauder airplane that had just suffered a mid air collision with another plane. Both Joan - 19 years old and her Aunt Fanny - 60 years old perished in this accident.
There was a large civic funeral for both Joan and Fanny which was attended by many of the community including the Mayor of Gillingham. Floral tributes were in abundance. Unfortunately her brother William and Earnie were serving abroad in the war and were not able to attend her funeral.
June 6, 1944 was D-Day and the Marauders were part of a group flying on a mission. The 42-96050 587th Bomb Squadron and 42-96263 587th Bomb Squadron were involved in the mid air collision over Gillingham, Kent, England at aproximately 5:05 am. Poor weather was said to have been the primary cause of the accident. Heresay testimony of civilians in the vicinity on Gillingham, Kent indicates that one aircraft was flying around beneath the overcast. The other aircraft came down out of a large black cloud and the two collided. No actual eyewitnesses were found.
The 42-96050 587th Bomb Squadron crashed into homes on Corporation Road in Gillingham, killing the entire crew and four civilians. Six homes were demolished. The 42-96263 587th Bomb Squadron crashed into an orchard at the East Court Farm in Gillingham, Kent also killing all the crew.
The crew of the 42-96050 was:
-Witcher Terrell Berger
-Ltd Warren D Rodgers
-Sgt Edward H Monaghan
-Sgt George S Knight
-Sgt Alffred M Zussa
-Cpl Forrest W Pafenberg
The 42-96263 Crew was:
-Lt Claude W Kline Jr
-Lt Emil Ostrowski
-Sgt George S. Rogers
-Sgt Raymond F Sablatura
-Sgt Joseph Amato
-Sgt James F Bechtler
The civilians killed in Gillingham were:
Fanny F Whittingham
Joan Beatrice Taylor Neice of Fanny
Percy Montague Williams
George Thomas William Gandon
For more information please see:
Gravesite Details Civilian War Dead