Sergeant Jonathon G. Marnoch

RAFVR Sergeant Jonathon G Marnoch 3021911 was the son of Jonathan James Marnoch and Mary Marnoch, of Coupar Angus.

Sergeant Marnoch was serving with RAF 12 Squadron as an air gunner on board Avro Lancaster Mk I NN741 PH-O operating out of RAF Wickenby, northeast of Lincoln. On 9 February 1945, at 19.00 hours a message was received from Flying Control that Sergeant Marnoch was ill, and an ambulance was required.

On arrival at the station sick quarters, it was found that he was already dead. The postmortem carried out at No.4 RAF Hospital Rauceby, showed that he had died as a result of asphyxiation due to having vomited into his face mask.

Avro Lancaster NN741 is not recorded in the Operational Record Book for that night’s mission. The incident happened around take-off time, which suggests the other crew did not continue due to the incident.

RAFVR Sergeant Jonathon G Marnoch, age 19, is buried in Coupar Angus Parish Churchyard.

Research by Ken Bruce


Avro Lancaster Mk I NN741 took off one month later at 16.48 on 7 March 1945 from RAF Wickenby on a mission to Dessau, between Berlin and Liepzig. According to a Frenchman who was working in Germany, Lancaster NN741 crashed near Neckartenzlingen in Southern German, a small town on the east bank of the river Neckar, 25 km south of Stuttgart. Investigations after the war found that Lancaster NN741 was hit by anti-aircraft fire over the village, rapidly lost height, exploded on impact and caught fire. The seven crew did not survive and are buried in the Dumbach War Cemetery, Gmund am Tegernsee Germany.

Using oxygen during WW2 was not a straightforward and safe procedure. Air crew breathed (100%) pure oxygen though face masks when taking part in high altitude missions above 15,000 feet. Many it is known ended up before, and after the war ended in sanatoriums, lungs burnt from inhaling the pure oxygen, some reported it as tasting of copper.

In an interview in 2016, Pierre Closterman DSO, DFC & Bar, a Free French fighter pilot ace flying with the RAF during WW2 stated: “I must tell you that everyone’s lungs paid a high biological tax for this. We have all experienced pulmonary problems since the war.”

No.4 RAF Hospital Rauceby became a crash and burns unit under the control of nearby RAF Cranwell. During its tenure as a burn’s unit, plastic surgeon Archibald McIndoe worked at the facility, along with other members of the “Guinea Pig Club”. The Guinea Pig Club, established in 1941 was made up of patients of Archibald McIndoe in Ward III at Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead, Sussex, who had undergone experimental reconstructive plastic surgery, including facial reconstruction, after receiving burns injuries in aircraft. The club remained active after the end of the war, and its annual reunion meetings continued until 2007.

SQUADRON CREST NO.12 SQUADRON (CH 16906) Original wartime caption: Description – A fix’s mask. Motto ‘LEADS THE FIELD’. The Squadron was equipped with Fox aircraft which was to agreat extent responsible for the early reputation of the Unit. The badge, with a motto, also denotes a period in the life of the Unit which was noteworthy in advancing to a marked degree the potentialities of fast daylight bombing. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source:
Wickenby Flugplatz : [Luftwaffe Target Folder] (LBY LUFT 1005) Copyright: © IWM. Original Source:
THE ROYAL AIR FORCE IN BRITAIN, SEPTEMBER 1942 (TR 198) Three Avro Lancaster B Mark Is of No 44 Squadron, Royal Air Force based at Waddington, Lincolnshire, flying above the clouds. Left to right: W4125, `KM-W’, being flown by Sergeant Colin Watt, Royal Australian Air Force; W4162,`KM-Y’, flown by Pilot Officer T G Hackney, (later killed while serving with No 83 Squadron); and W4187, `KM-S’, flown by Pilot Officer J D V S Stephens DFM, who was killed … Copyright: © IWM. Original Source:
A Mighty Machine of British Workmanship – The Avro Lancaster I (Art.IWM PST 7953) whole: the image occupies the majority, set against a white background. The title is separate and positioned across the bottom edge, in white. The subtitle and text are integrated and occupy the majority, in black. All held within a red border. image: a drawing of a Avro Lancaster I aircraft, with cut-away sections to show the internal components. text: THE AVRO LANCASTER I (Four 1,280 h.p. Rolls-… Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: