Sergeant Joseph Beckett Thompson (566058) served with the Royal Air Force During World War Two. Born in Magheragall, Co. Antrim, he was the son of Thomas Thompson and Sarah Thompson.
He attended Lisburn Junior Technical High School before joining the RAF as an Aircraft Apprentice in September 1932. By August 1935, he passed out as a qualified fitter. In the following years, he undertook pilot training and gained his wings. At the outbreak of war in September 1939, Thompson served with RAF 25 Squadron at Northolt. He was one of “The Few” who perished during the Battle of Britain.
Joseph Beckett Thompson crashes
Thompson died on 31st July 1940 at the age of 24. He was the pilot of Bristol Blenheim Bomber L1408 and had taken off to test the Airborne Interception radar system. During the mission, his plane collided with Blenheim L6722 of RAF 29 Squadron over the Bristol Channel.
Aircraftman EJ Toy and Mr DM Gordon, a civilian radar engineer from No 32 Maintenance Unit died on board Thompson’s craft. The occupants of the other plane; Sergeant E Waite, Sergeant CJ Richardson and Leading Aircraftman T Ward of No 32 Maintenance Unit were also lost.
Joseph Beckett Thompson’s grave is in plot 194, Magheragall Church of Ireland Churchyard, Co. Antrim.