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Jackson Barrett Mahon

Military

Mahon was born in Bakersfield, California, and learned to fly while in high school. In 1941 he joined the Royal Air Force, and by the winter was flying combat with No 121 (Eagle) Squadron, composed of American volunteers. Pilot Officer Mahon damaged three German fighters, two FW-190s in April and an Me-109 in May, before scoring his first confirmed victories of two FW-190s, downed in the Saint-Omer area, on June 8, 1942. On July 31 he destroyed two more FW-190s over the Berck-Sur-Mer area and became an Ace while covering the commando raid on Dieppe, August 19, 1942, his 98th fighter pilot mission. At 08:30, flying his Spitfire Vb, nicknamed "Barry", Mahon shot down an FW-190 and another FW-190 before his plane was hit and he was forced to bail out of the burning ship. Landing in the sea, he was taken prisoner. Although Mahon filed a claim for shooting down two Germans that day, he was only given credit for one after the war. Thus, for a tally-record of five confirmed, two probables, three damaged, in 98 combat missions and other brave and heroic deeds, Mahon received the British Distinguished Flying Cross in 1985.
Officially listed as "missing", the British Air Ministry awarded him the Distinguished Flying Cross, noting in his citation that he was "an extremely skillful and confident pilot, whose courage, especially when attacking superior numbers of hostile aircraft, had been unsurpassed."
As a German prisoner, Barry was sent to Stalag Luft III, a special prison camp the Germans reserved for airmen. Barry's first escape was nearly successful, he reached the Czech border before he was recaptured, due to feet so sore he couldnt go on and was placed in solitary confinement. When returned to the prison camp population, he escaped again, this time in 1943.
Recaptured, he was back in the "cooler" when 76 of his comrades slipped out through tunnels in what would later be called "The Great Escape". But for his confinement at the time of the escape, Barry would have been among them.
It was a stroke of fortune for the man who would later serve as a technical advisor during creation of a 1963 movie in which Steve McQueen would portray Barry's character.
Finally liberated by Patton's 3rd Army 29th April 1945. After the war he became the personal pilot for, and later the manager of, Errol Flynn. Having produced a number of Flynn and Gina Lollobrigida pictures, as well as a considerable output of children's programs, Mahon established The Production Machine, a high-tech film production company in Hollywood, making motion pictures for theatrical and television release. Mahon was the first movie producer to adapt and apply computer technology (as well spreadsheet applications, such as MultiPlan) to the breakdown, scheduling, budgeting and financial analysis of feature-length motion pictures and movies-of-the-week for Columbia Pictures.
Mahon was married to Clelle until his death. He is the father of Columbia/CBS producer Doris Keating.
Awards: DFC and DSO.

Service

Units served with

  • No. 121 'Eagle' Squadron

    No. 121 'Eagle' Squadron

    Squadron
    'On 14 May 1941, No. 121 was reformed at Kirton-in-Lindsey as the second 'Eagle' Squadron to be manned by American volunteers. Equipped with Hurricanes, it began defensive patrols in October but in November it converted to Spitfires. It moved to North...

Aircraft

  • BM405 'Barry'

    Spitfire
    Supermarine Spitfire BM405 Mk Vb, Built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory. ...

Missions

  • VIII Fighter Command DIEPPE SUPPORT

    19 August 1942
    31st Fighter Group despatches 123 Spitfires in support of the landings at Dieppe, France. 8 are lost. These are the first operations of VIII Fighter Command units under VIII Fighter Command control. ...

Associated Place

  • Kirton-in-Lindsey

    Military site : airfield
    Used as an RFC and RAF Home Defence landing ground during the First World War, Kirton-in-Lindsey was built during 1938-40 as an RAF fighter station. It had two grass runways, 10 hardstandings, three grouped C hangars and four over-blister hangars....

  • Martlesham Heath

    Military site : airfield
    Opened in 1917 as home to the RFC Aeroplane Experimental Unit, Martlesham Heath became well known during the 1920s-30s as home to the Aircraft and Armament Experimental Establishment. Used as an RAF fighter station from 1939, with only a grass airfield...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Bakersfield, CA, USA 5 February 1921

5th February, 1921
Bakersfield, California, USA.

Joined RAF England, UK 1941

Joined RAF, 1941.

On combat Op's Great Britain, United Kingdom December 1941

By winter 41 was flying combat with No 121 (Eagle) Squadron.

98 missions /5 kills / 2 probables / 3 damaged Saint-Omer, France 1 April 1942 – 19 August 1942

P/O Mahon damaged three German fighters, two FW-190s in April and an Me-109 in May, before scoring his first confirmed victories of two FW-190s, downed in the Saint-Omer area, on June 8, 1942. On July 31 he destroyed two more FW-190s over the Berck-Sur-Mer area and became an Ace while covering the commando raid on Dieppe, his 98th fighter pilot mission.

Shot down, bailed out Dieppe, France 19 August 1942

19th August, 1942 08:30, flying his Spitfire Vb, nicknamed "Barry", Mahon shot down an FW-190 and another FW-190 before his plane was hit and he was forced to bail out of the burning ship.

Captured English Channel Off Dieppe 19 August 1942

Landing in the sea, he was taken prisoner.

Prisoner Of War POW Stalag Luft III, Zagan, Poland 19 August 1942 – 29 April 1945

Sent to Stalag Luft III, a special prison camp the Germans reserved for airmen. Later at Stalag VII-A at Moosburg, before liberation by Patton's 3rd Army.

Awarded British DFC England, UK 1985

British Air Ministry awarded him the Distinguished Flying Cross, noting in his citation that he was "an extremely skillful and confident pilot, whose courage, especially when attacking superior numbers of hostile aircraft, had been unsurpassed."

Died Las Vegas, NV, USA 4 December 1999

December 4, 1999 (aged 78)
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

Lived in California, USA

California, USA.

Private pilot to Errol Flynn

After the war he became the personal pilot for, and later the manager of, Errol Flynn.

Post war career Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Became a Movie director and established The Production Machine, a high-tech film production company in Hollywood.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
26 February 2016 12:12:39 Al_Skiff Changes to unit associations and place associations
Sources

EAGLES of the RAF - The World War II Eagle Squadrons by Phillip D Caine.
http://www.uswarmemorials.org/html/people_details.php?PeopleID=3579

Date Contributor Update
26 October 2015 09:59:37 Al_Skiff Changes to biography
Sources

EAGLES of the RAF - The World War II Eagle Squadrons by Phillip D Caine.
http://www.uswarmemorials.org/html/people_details.php?PeopleID=3579

Date Contributor Update
26 October 2015 09:35:02 Al_Skiff Changes to awards, place associations and mission associations
Sources

EAGLES of the RAF - The World War II Eagle Squadrons by Phillip D Caine.
http://www.uswarmemorials.org/html/people_details.php?PeopleID=3579

Date Contributor Update
29 July 2015 20:53:58 Al_Skiff Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, nickname, nationality, highest rank, role, biography, events, unit associations and media associations
Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barry_Mahon
http://www.homeofheroes.com/wings/part2/0_introduction.html

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