In the sea near Cape Mondego
RAF 304 FTU
Bristol Beaufighter XIC JL895
Portreath (GB) → Gibraltar → Middle East
F/Sgt James Thomas William Jones GB †
Sgt Alfred Arthur James Hunt GB
The aircraft departed to Gibraltar in the morning around 8 o'clock escorting American night fighters on the way to the Middle East.
The first time they saw land after leaving England was near Cape Mondego and they followed the coast line that was about 15 miles away.
Five minutes after seeing land Hunt remembers a strong explosion, and the next thing he remembers was being in the water. He saw some fuel tanks floating and reached one of them. Around 11.30 hours a fishing boat picked him up. The fishermen took him to Figueira da Foz and told him that they had heard an explosion coming from the sea and were able to see the airplane sinking in the water.
The navigator was taken to an hospital where he stayed until June 8. In the following weeks he was housed in Hotel Europa but was still receiving medical care in the hospital because of arm wounds.
On July 21 he was taken to Lisbon where he took a flight to the UK, arriving in Bristol the next day.
Jones was considered Missing and is remembered in the Runnymede Memorial.
* Evade & Escape Report - National Archives - London, Kew
* Portreath ORB - National Archives - London Kew
* Comonwealth War Graves Comission - site CWGC