Emmett Jay LONGSTAFF was born on March 31st 1917 in France.
Sadly at this time I have found no additional information on Jay’s childhood or early life.
Jay arrived on No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron w.e.f 13th March 1943 from No.1657 Conversion Unit based at RAF Stradishall. His pilot was 20 year old Pilot Officer David Frederick Howlett RAF VR who flew his customary 2nd pilot op on March 22nd with F/Lt Nielson to the docks at St Nazaire. Unfortunately the operation was abandoned due to bad weather. Within a week P/O Howlett was back over St Nazaire docks, this time with his crew. The crew successfully bombed the docks on a number of well placed red TI Markers, on return they reported two bombers shot down over the target area. The crews next trip was on April 4th with the northern coastal port of Kiel was the intended target, this was again successfully attacked in face of a spirited flak barrage. The crew did not operate again until the crew attacked Stuttgart on the 14th, on this operation their Stirling BF505 HA-Z was hit and damaged by heavy flak, no injuries to the crew were reported. The very next night the crew were briefed to attack Mannheim, aloft at 22:00hrs in Short Stirling Mk.III BF514 HA-X the crew never returned. The Stirling was intercepted and shot down by Major Kurt Holler of Stab III./NJG4 at 00:14hrs crashing 15 kms south of Sedan, it was his 16th victory. Fortunately two of the crew survived, sadly Jay Longstaff was not one of them.
Son of Joseph and Mary B Longstaff of Denver, Colorado. USA.
Thanks to Sharon Willis in the US for the press cutting