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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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3 Squadron Crest
19.08.1942 No. 3 Squadron Hurricane IIc BD867 QO-Y Sgt. Stirling David Banks

Operation: Dieppe

Date: 19th August 1942 (Wednesday)

Unit: No 3 Squadron

Type: Hurricane IIc

Serial: BD867

Code: QO-Y

Base: RAF Shoreham

Location: English Channel off Dieppe, France

Pilot: Sgt. Stirling David Banks R/72892 RCAF Age 19. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Understood to have been hit by ground fire whilst attacking gun positions in Dieppe harbour, last seen 9 miles north of Dieppe.

Sgt Banks body was recovered from the sea by the Germans the following month on the 25th September, burial details as shown below.

The squadron lost or damaged 3 other aircraft during the raid, the others:

Hurricane IIb AM286 Flown by 25 year old, Sq/Ldr. Alex Edward Berry DFC 43023 RAF from Canterbury, New Zealand - killed when attacked by Fw 190 whilst attacking gun positions at Dieppe harbour.
Hurricane IIc BE371 Flown by Fl/Lt. H.E. Tappin, hit by ground fire, returned and aircraft repaired.
Hurricane IIb AG665 Flown by F/O. E.J. Pullen, hit by flak, returned and aircraft repaired.

Operation Dieppe (courtesy Wikipedia):

"The Allied air operations supporting Operation Jubilee resulted in some of the fiercest air battles since 1940. The RAF's main objectives were to throw a protective umbrella over the amphibious force and beach heads and also to force the Luftwaffe forces into a battle of attrition on the Allies' own terms. Some 48 fighter squadrons of Spitfires were committed, with eight squadrons of Hurricane fighter-bombers, four squadrons of reconnaissance Mustang Mk Is and seven squadrons of No. 2 Group light bombers involved. Opposing these forces were some 120 operational fighters of Jagdgeschwader 2 and 26 (JG 2 and JG 26), the Dornier Do 217s of Kampfgeschwader 2 and various anti-shipping bomber elements of III./KG 53, II./Kampfgeschwader 40 (KG40) and I./KG 77.

Although initially slow to respond to the raid, the German fighters soon made their presence felt over the port as the day wore on. While the Allied fighters were moderately successful in protecting the ground and sea forces from aerial bombing, they were hampered by operating far from their home bases. The Spitfires in particular were at the edge of their ranges, with some only being able to spend five minutes over the combat area. The raid on Dieppe saw the baptism of fire for the new Spitfire Mark IX, the only British fighter that was equal to the Fw 190 fighter. Six squadrons, four British and two Canadian were flying the new Spitfire Mark IX at Dieppe.

During the battle, the RAF flew 2,500 sorties over Dieppe, and achieved a narrow victory over the Luftwaffe. The intense air fighting prevented the Luftwaffe from making major attacks on either the landing or the evacuation of the Allied forces, who consequently did not suffer very much from attacks from the air. However, in achieving the goal of the "greatest air battle" that would cripple the Luftwaffe over France, Operation Jubilee was less successful. During the air battles over Dieppe, the Royal Air Force lost 91 aircraft shot down and 64 pilots (17 taken prisoner, the rest all killed) while the Royal Canadian Air Force lost 14 aircraft and nine pilots. Additionally, the British lost six bombers over Dieppe. The Luftwaffe lost 48 aircraft, another 24 seriously damaged with 13 pilots killed and seven wounded. However, RAF intelligence at the time claimed that the Allies had shot down 96 German aircraft, thus winning a major victory. In reality, the Luftwaffe in France was back to full strength within days of the raid."

3 Squadron Hurricane IIc BD867 QO-Y (courtesy IWM)

Burial Details:

Sgt Stirling David Banks. Abbeville Communal Cemetery Extension, Plot 7. Row D. Grave 3. Son of Ira David and Alice H Banks, of Conway (Poplar Grove) Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Researched for relatives of the pilot and also to all those who lost their lives at Dieppe that day. With thanks to sources as mentioned below.

KTY 18.12.2016

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: 18 December 2016, 20:29

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