Jackson Barrett Mahon

Military

Object Number - UPL 20611 - 'Barry' Mahon 121 Eagle Sqn RAF.

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 1945.
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

Connections

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Units served with

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: Spitfire
  • Nicknames: Barry
  • Unit: No 121 'Eagle' Squadron

Missions

  • Date: 19 August 1942
  • Official Description: 2d Lt Samuel F Junkin Jr of 309th Ftr Sq, 31st Ftr Gp, flying a Spitfire in support of the amphibious raid on Dieppe, shoots down a German fighter, this being the first aerial victory won by an Eighth AF fighter pilot flying from the UK.

Places

Events

Event Location Date Description
California, USA California, USA.

Born

Bakersfield, CA, USA 1921-02-05

Other

Joined RAF

England, UK Joined RAF, 1941.

Died

Las Vegas, NV, USA 1999-12-04 4-Dec-99 (aged 78) Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

Other

On combat Op's

Great Britain, United Kingdom By winter 41 was flying combat with No 121 (Eagle) Squadron.

Other

98 missions /5 kills / 2 probables / 3 damaged

Saint-Omer, France 1942-04-01 - 1942-08-19 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.

Other

Shot down, bailed out

Dieppe, France 1942-08-19 19-Aug-42 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.

Other

Captured

English Channel Off Dieppe 1942-08-19 Landing in the sea, he was taken prisoner.

Other

Prisoner Of War POW

Stalag Luft III, Zagan, Poland 1942-08-19 - 1945-04-29 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.

Other

Awarded British DFC

England, UK 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."

Other

Private pilot to Errol Flynn

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

Other

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

Date17 Jun 2022 14:30:48
ContributorAl_Skiff
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

Date12 Jun 2020 21:22:38
Contributorfugari
Sources

corrected date of DFC award and removed DSO has he was never awarded this decoration

Date26 Feb 2016 12:12:39
ContributorAl_Skiff
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

Date26 Oct 2015 09:59:37
ContributorAl_Skiff
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

Date26 Oct 2015 09:35:02
ContributorAl_Skiff
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

Jackson Barrett Mahon: Gallery (5 items)