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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.


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41 Squadron Crest
20.07.1942 No. 41 Squadron Spitfire Vb AD356 EB-I Sgt. Reginald C. Allan

Operation: Rhubarb France

Date: 20th July 1942 (Monday)

Unit: No. 41 Squadron

Type: Spitfire Mk.VB

Serial: AD356

Code: EB-I

Base: RAF Debden

Location: near Le Harve, France

Pilot: Sgt. Reginald Connell Allan AUS/401755 RAAF Age 23. Killed.

REASON FOR LOSS:

On 20th July 1942 Spitfire AD 356 was flying in formation with other aircraft from the Squadron carrying out a Rhubarb along the French coast at a height of 50 to 100 feet, when a large transport was observed on the coast road. The formation dived to attack at the conclusion of which AD356 was seen to make a crash landing in a cornfield.

The pilot lost his life.

P/O. Slack (RAF) of White Section 41 Squadron, later filed this report:

“White 1 attacked a large transport on the coast road. White 2 was flying 300 yards behind on the starboard side and I was White 3, 300 yards behind White 2 on the port side of White 1. White 4 (flown by Sgt. Allan) should have been on my port and behind me. When White 1 and White 2 had finished their attacks and broken away, I came in very low and opened fire.

On reaching 150 yards or closer to the target, I noticed a plane slightly in front and to the starboard side also firing. This turned out to be White 4 who was very low indeed.

I immediately ceased firing and noticed the wing of this aircraft break off about half way between the wing tip and the wing root, and then did a half orbit and saw the aircraft hit a corn field to the port of the road. It was very badly damaged and the engine began to give off flames.

At first I imagined it was one of Razzle Blue section flying to our starboard about 100 yards away, but as they were not attacking on our road I naturally thought I was safe to come in low as the two front aircraft had broken off the attack.”

Burial details:

Sgt. Reginald Connell Allan. Ste. Marie Cemetery, Le Havre, France. Plot: Div. 67. Row E. Grave 9. Born 19th February 1919 - Melbourne, Australia. Son of George and Alma Allan, of 80 Arthurton Road, Northcote, Victoria, Australia. Prior service in RAAF he served with 108 Battery, 8th Field Brigade for 18 months (Service No: 331028). An apprentice cutter prior to military service.

Researched by Michel Beckers for Aircrew Remembered - January 2016. Photographs from the Michel Beckers collection.

M.B. 13.01.2016

Acknowledgements: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 13 January 2016, 14:56

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