Seargant James Leonard BUXTON
454 RAAF Squadron
Service No. 1387989 (RAFVR)
Baltimore Squadron - 12.12.44 - 19.4.45
Killed in action 19th April 1945
[Buried - Padua, Col V, C, 3-6, Italy.]
This tribute has been drafted following a letter from Mr. D.L. Buxton, who has advised in ex-service magazines for information from readers about Sgt. Buxton's death during operation in 1945. Ex 454 member Tom Hodgson referred the enquiries to the editor. Excerpt taken from 2000 Bulletin.
Mr. D.L. Buxton of Crawley, West Sussex then wrote the following (edited) letter.
"Sgt. James Buxton 1387989 RAF Air Gunner, who joined 454 RAAF on 30.11.44 was killed in action on 19.4.45 in the Po River area in Northern Italy whilst flying on a night intruder sortie in Glenn Martin Baltimore (Serial No. FW834) with an all RAF crew - Sgt. Lister Pilot, Sgt. Hendry Nav., Sgt. Lauder Wireless Op and Sgt. Buxton Air Gunner.
James Buxton had enlisted in the RAF on 9.4.41. After basic training he was posted to 14 Service Flying Training School (SFTS) from 27.11.41, then 107 RAF Maintenance Unit Middle East from 23.6.42. He commenced pilot training at Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia in Oct.1943, then re-mustered and completed Air Gunner Training at RAF Station Moffat, South Rhodesia in April 1944. He crewed up at No 70 RAF OTU at Shandur, Egypt in Sept,1944. Whilst with 70 OTU he crash landed in a Baltimore at Shandur. He again crash landed at Cesenatico landing ground Italy in Baltimore FW643 after a 454 RAAF Squadron formation bombing raid on San Alberto on 4.1.45. Sgt. Buxton flew in a sortie with another crew (McFadyn, Bayliss and Lawson) on a stores dump north of Argenta on 20.3.45".
The 454 RAAF Squadron's Daily Operational Report on 20th April,1945 records the loss of Sgt. Buxton's crew on an independent night intruding sortie over the battle area in Northern Italy in support of British 8th Army's attacks. "The Squadron suffered its third loss since beginning night intruding when Sgt. Lister and crew failed to return from the night's operations. Sgt. Lister was flying our furthest westward (reconnaissance limit) which reaches to Padua, then up to Brescia, across the southern extremity of Lake Garda and back to the Po River. The crew were all RAF Members".
Sgt. Lister (1673359) Pilot of Coxhoe, Durham
Sgt. Hendry (1804759) Nav (B), Bromley, Kent
F. Sgt. Lauder (1865921) WAG of Hayes, Middlesex
Sgt. Buxton (1387989) AG of Holloway, London.
No distress signal was received and we are all hoping that the boys will turn up safe and sound in a POW Camp.