Updated: February 4, 2011
70th Anniversary of the death of a young Bajan pilot
Someone in Barbados must have a photo of George Harold Frederick INNISS
Let’s help France remember a young Bajan who died so far from home.
On February 4, 1941 Royal Air Force Pilot Officer George Inniss of 106 Squadron lifted off from Funningley in his Hampden bomber on a mission to mine the coast of France near St-Nazaire. With him were Flying Officer William THOMAS, Sergeant Jack FRANCO and Sergeant Frederick COLSON.
Inniss was just 24 years old, born in Barbados. His crew mates were as young as 18. They all died that night when their aircraft was shot down and crashed near St.Pète-en-Retz between St.Nazaire and Nantes, Loire-et-Atlantique, France. Inniss and his friends are buried in the Pont-du-Cens Communal Cemetery.
The French town is planning a commemoration in May of 2011 to remember George Inniss, his crew and some other young men whose aircraft crashed nearby.
Photos of crew members William THOMAS and Frederick COLSON
Here is a website showing photos of crew member Frederick Colson and the graves in 1946.
We received the following email from Jonathan Ives who is assisting the town in finding relatives and photos. How about it folks? Let’s do what we can to help France remember a young Bajan who died so far from his home.
Dear Barbados Free Press,
I wonder if you can help. I’m trying to trace the family of an airman from Barbados who was killed in France in 1941. The Town in France where his Bomber crashed is planning a commemoration in May of 2011, and I am helping them to trace living relations to invite.
His name is :
Name: INNISS, GEORGE HAROLD FREDERICK
Initials: G H F
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Pilot Officer (Pilot)
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force
Unit Text: 106 Sqdn.
Date of Death: 04/02/1941
Service No: 43036
Additional information: Son of Charles H. Inniss and Caroline Inniss, of Barbados. Arts Graduate of Durham University.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead Grave/Memorial
Reference: Plot L. Row A. Grave 15.
I had made initial contact through a family history website with his niece in Barbados, Valerie Gittens who also lives in Barbados, but have not heard from her in more than 9 months.
I know there was another famous Barbadian airmen named Wing Commander, Aubrey Inniss, DFC who was celebrated on the National Postage Stamps, but I don’t believe he was related to George.
If we can trace the families we can a) invite them to the commemoration and b) Get some biographical information and perhaps a picture, to add to the dedication website here:
Jonathan Ives jonathan.ives (at) gmail.com