The Airmen’s Stories – P/O J R Caister

James Russell Caister was born on 19th October 1906 and joined the RAF as an Aircrafthand about January 1925. He later applied for pilot training and was accepted.

He served in Palestine in the thirties as a Sergeant-Pilot.

Above: with 603 Squadron

Sgt. JR Caister, P/O HK MacDonald, P/O GK Gilroy, P/O JS Morton, F/Lt. GL Denholm, F/O IS Ritchie


In early 1940 Caister was serving with 603 Squadron at Dyce. On 16th April he shared a Do17. Caister shared a Ju88 on 3rd July 1940, shared a Do17 on the 6th and shared a He111 on the 12th.

Commissioned in August, Caister claimed a He111 destroyed on the 30th and a Me109 on 3rd September. Three days later he was shot down over the Channel off Manston. He landed his damaged Spitfire, X4260, in France and was captured.

Above: Caister after capture with bandaged head.


He was awarded the DFM (gazetted 13th September 1940).

At some time Caister was in Stalag Luft III.

He was released from captivity in early May 1945 and left the RAF on 8th June 1946 as a Flight Lieutenant.

He died in 1994.