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
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.”
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.