Bio / Text:
Richard Allan SHANNON
From the National Archives AIR/27/1818 417 Squadron ORB
10th Dec 1944 (ORB says JF958 but it wasn't as this aircraft was still flying in January)
Two pilots of the squadron were killed in a mid-air collision while orbiting a target over enemy territory on a late morning "Rover Paddy'" mission today. P/O R.A. Shannon (CAN.J.89211) and W/O 2 R.W. Rideout (CAN.R.161149) in 5 and 6 positions, of a section of six Spitfires led by F/L L.J. Hurrell, (CAN.J.20013), were circling an enemy target awaiting instructions from "Rover Paddy'". The air in the area was considerably congested by Spitfires of "Tactical Reconnaissance" and a formation of medium bombers which were bombing a target in the immediate vicinity.
The target was to be indicated by shellfire. The shell was not observed by the leader, F/L Hurrell, who was keeping his Section clear of the "Tac R" Spitfires and the Bombers. The shell was observed, however, by P/O R.A. Shannon who was instructed by F/L Hurrell to check location of the target with Rover Paddy. Shannon broke formation and took up the No.1 position, but was not followed by his No. 2 W/O Rideout.
In his report on the accident, F/L Hurrell writes: "As we continued to orbit, Shannon proceeded with identification of the target on the R/T with "Rover Paddy" at the same time maintaining a steep turn to Port. He had just finished with target identification when I observed a large pall of black smoke and aircraft wreckage within the formation's circle of orbit. I immediately called all sections to formate on my aircraft in order to ascertain whether or not it was one of our aircraft or a "Tac R" kite. As I did not see the actual impact, it was not until we were in battle formation that I discovered Rally Red 5 and 6 were missing"