An Old Coathamian – Not Forgotten

James Alonzo DIXON

No. 32004 Wing Commander (Pilot), Royal Air Force;
No. 404 (Coastal Fighter) Squadron,
Royal Canadian Air Force.

Died 13 July 1942, age unknown.

Buried in Dyce Old Churchyard, Dyce,
Aberdeen, Scotland, Grave 39.

No. 404 (Coastal Fighter) Squadron was a squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force formed in Britain in 1941 under the operational control of RAF Coastal Command. In July 1942 it was stationed at RAF Dyce outside Aberdeen in Scotland (now Aberdeen Civil Airport) and it flew Bristol Blenheim fighter-bombers mainly on anti-shipping operations. The squadron contained a mixture of RCAF and RAF personnel.

Wing Commander Dixon, a regular RAF officer and pilot, was posted in as the squadron’s commander in June 1942, but was killed less than a month later, along with his sergeant-observer, while performing low-level aerobatic training over Dyce airfield. He was the most senior-ranked Old Coathamian to die on active service in the Second World War.

James Alonzo Dixon came to Coatham Grammar School in April 1926 and joined School House. Details of his parents have yet to be established but he came as a fee-paying boarder and lived in Wynneholme, the school’s smaller residence for boarders. He joined one of the older forms and played hooker for the rugby 1st XV in its inaugural season 1927-28, alongside Coulthard (q.v.). He continued to play in his last year, 1928-29, and was awarded his school colours. He left school in July 1929, having passed his School Certificate examinations. In 1940 he was on the first published list of Old Coathamians in H.M. Forces, where his rank of Flight Lieutenant RAF was noted. He was first recorded on the School’s Roll of Honour in December 1944.