12.08.1941 41 Squadron Spitfire Va R7274 Sgt. Allan L. Bull
Operation: Circus 70
Date: 12th August 1941 (Tuesday)
Unit: No. 41 Squadron
Type: Spitfire Va
Serial: R7274 ('West Riding')
Base: RAF Hornchurch, Essex
Location: West of Hazebrouk, France
Pilot: Sgt. Allan Lindsay Bull AUS/400219 RAAF Age 23. PoW No: 99 Camp: Various - Stalag Fallingbostel
REASON FOR LOSS:
12 Hampdens from 5 Group were sent to raid Saint-Omer and Gosnay as diversion for the main operation carried out by some 54 Blenheims. They were sent to Knapsack and the Quadrath power stations near Cologne. The purpose of their operation was to hopefully draw the Luftwaffe fighters back to the west to assist Russia.
Flying at 1500 ft the squadron were attacked by Luftwaffe fighters. After taking evasive action Spitfire R7274 was hit in the tail by flak, although the pilot tried to gain some control of the aircraft it proved impossible and so baled out at about 1000 ft coming down about a mile from the German airfield at Saint-Omer. German guards immediately captured him.
Another Spitfire was also lost by the squadron, R7210 'City of Liverpool' flown by Sgt. Raymond L. Chapman 971230 RAFVR also shot down. The pilot eventually ending up at Stalag Kopernikus.
None - survived the war as a PoW, sadly passed away in 1997 age 79. Born on the 25th February 1918 in Bairnsdale, Victoria, Australia. Enlisted in Melbourne on the 21st July 1940 - trained at Camp Boden and Debert in Canada. Arriving in United Kingdom on the 20th April 1941 and joined 57 Operational Training Unit. After the war on the 09th September arrived back in Australia. Left the RAAF as a Warrant Officer having completed 80 operational flying hours. Awards: 1939-45 Star, Aircrew Europe Star, War Medal 1939-45, Australia Service Medal 1939-45, Returned from active service badge.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to sources as quoted below in addition to the Australian National Archives and the great RAF Commands Forum:
In addition we recommend further reading of the publications; 'Blood Sweat and Courage' written by Steve Brew ISBN: 978-1781552964 the story of 41 Squadron RAF 1939-1942 Also by the same author: 1942 - 1945 'Blood, Sweat and Valour' ISBN: 978-1781551936. Nearly 2000 pages of 41 Squadron service history written by the 41 Squadron archivist.