PERSONALIA
 
Name:  Barton, Cyril Joe
Date of birth: June 5th, 1921 (Elveden, Suffolk, Great Britain)
Date of death:  March 31st, 1944 (Ryhope, Durham, Great Britain)
Nationality:  British
BIOGRAPHY: 
Service number 168669.

Cyril Barton was brought up in New Malden, Surrey, where he had attended Beverley Boys School and Kingston College. He volunteered for aircrew duties and joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, RAFVR on 16 April 1941, qualifying as a Sergeant Pilot 10 November 1942. He then trained at No. 1663 Heavy Conversion Unit at Rufforth, Yorkshire. On 5 September 1943, Barton and his crew joined no.78 squadron, and Barton was commissioned as a Pilot Officer three weeks later. Undertaking their first operational sortie against Montlucon, Barton completed 9 sorties with No.78 squadron until 15 January 1944, and was then posted to No.578 Squadron. Their second sortie with the new squadron was to Stuttgart in Halifax LK797. Barton was promoted to Flying Officer on March 26th. By 30 March 1944, they had completed 6 sorties in LK797 - which the crew had named "Excalibur".
In a letter to his mother, to be opened in the event of his death, he wrote: ĎI hope you never receive this, but I quite expect you will.
I know what ops over Germany means and I have no illusions about it. By my own calculations, the average life of a crew is 20 ops . . .í
He was killed on his 19th bombing operation and posthumously was rewarded the Victoria Cross.
     
VICTORIA CROSS (VC)
Rank: Pilot Officer
Unit: 578 Squadron Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Awarded on: December 5th, 1944
Action: On 30 March 1944 during an air raid on Nuremburg, Germany, Pilot Officer Bartonís Halifax was badly damaged by anti-aircraft fire. At that moment he was approximately 110 kilometres away from his target. As a result of a misinterpreted signal three men of Pilot Officer Bartonís aircrew bailed out. Although he now had lost his navigator, air bomber and wireless operator he continued his mission and was able to release his bomb load. On his way home his Halifax ran out of fuel while crossing the English coast. With only one engine running Pilot Officer Barton crashed while avoiding a village. He was killed instantly.
Details: Pilot Officer Bartonís Victoria Cross is publicly displayed at the Royal Air Force Museum in Hendon, England.
Cyril Joe Barton is Buried at the Bonner Hill Road Cemetery, Kingston-upon-Thames, Great Britain.
 
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Picture source:   - Find a Grave Homepage
Information source(s):   - Victoria Cross Reference
- The Register of the Victoria Cross - published by This Engeland 1997 - ISBN 0906324270
- Special thanks to Iain Stewart from The History of the Victoria Cross
- The Victoria Cross.net
- Aircrew Remembrance Society
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