Josephine (Jose) JOHNSTON (formerly MOSS nee HICKEN)
Leonard Edward MOSS


My great aunt Jose's first husband was Leonard Edward Moss. His plane was shot down in World War 2 on 28 August 1942 and he died along with his 6 crewmates. Their plane was discovered in May 2005 and excavated. Unidentified human remains were discovered in it of 3 men.  If some of those remains were not Len's, then he was one of those unidentified, buried at the time the plane crashed.    A formal funeral was held in Delden, Holland on 28 August 2006

Link to story here.

Jose was 5 months pregnant with their child when Len went missing and she lost the baby the same month as losing Len. 

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Great uncle Bob Johnston R.N.Z.A.F visiting Christchurch, New Zealand 1945 - with his sister Doris [my grandmother]

Len's friend Robert 'Bob' JOHNSTON (my grandmothers brother) made a pact with Len to look after his (Len's) wife (Jose) if anything was to happen to him, they were already  friends. Bob, a wireless operator and tail gunner was himself shot down twice during the war.

After Len's death, their friendship deepened and Jose and Bob married on 11 September 1943 at the Coventry Registry Office, Coventry, England. This marriage produced 2 children, Robert Jnr. and Gillian.  

Coventry remained their home with Bob dying  20 February 1993 and Jose 10 March 1999.

Thanks go to Zoe Linkson for the photograph of Leonard Moss, for finding me via my website; alerting me to and its loyal followers and the hunt for Leonards family.




Archive report: Allied Forces 1939-45

Excerpt from "Bomber Command: Reflections of War - The Heavies Move in 1941-May 1943 by Martin Bowman

Short article with a photo of the coffin bearing the remains found in the plane

Len's Commonwealth War Graves Commission record

1979 - Jose and Bob with their granddaughter Zoe, England

1945 New Zealand visit - Jose with second husband Bob (left) and brother in law Norman Johnston

1945 New Zealand visit - Jose (far right) with her sister in law (my grandmother) Doris KENNEDY and Doris' children Dorothy (standing), Bruce (sitting on pram) and John (babe in pram)

1945 New Zealand visit - My grandfather (left) John (Jock) KENNEDY with his brother in law Bob JOHNSTON


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