War hero dies aged 93

John Charrott
John Charrott

A Fairlight man who played a key role in preventing the Nazis from developing the atomic bomb has died aged 93, following a short illness.

John Charrott flew countless dangerous missions over occupied territory during the Second World War with 138 Squadron.

The squadron worked with the Special Operations Executive, dropping and picking up agents from occupied zones.

John cites his most significant mission as being in February 1943 when the squadron dropped a team of Norwegian Commandos north of the Heavy Water factory at Rjukan to enable them to successfully destroy a hydro plant.

Their efforts cut off supplies for scientists trying to develop a hydrogen bomb.

A Flight Lieutenant, awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, John flew 36 missions.

Friend and Pett Royal British Legion comrade John Pulfer said: “The survival rate for missions rarely exceeded six.

“John was a super guy, a lovely man.

“He was fit and looked 20 years younger than his actual age.

“We used to attend Legion meetings together in Pett. He will be greatly missed.”

Following his wife Margaret’s death in 2010, John moved to Cumbria to be nearer to his daughter Marion.

Cumbria had special memories for him as he and Margaret spent their honeymoon at the Borrowdale Hotel near Keswick in February 1945.

John, a former teacher, was a member of Fairlight Players.

As befits the timing of his passing and his distinguished wartime career in the RAF, a Royal British Legion standard bearer attended his coffin at the Carlisle Crematorium, at 3pm on Monday (November 10).