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Archive Report: Allied Forces

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403 squadron crest
19.08.1941 No. 403 Squadron Spitfire V R7260 KH-R P/O. Dick

Operation: Circus 81

Date: 19th August 1941

Unit: No. 403 Squadron RCAF

Type: Spitfire V

Serial: R7260 (The Bristol Air Raid Warden - name of aircraft)

Code: KH-R

Location: In English Channel off Dover, England

Pilot: P/O. N. R. D. Dick RCAF Baled out - safe.

REASON FOR LOSS:

Extract from form F. Pilots personal Combat Report.

I was yellow 4, 403 (Canadian) Squadron, on Circus 81. When at 26,000 ft. North of St. Omer I sighted 15/20 e/a (enemy aircraft) heading N/W below at 15,000 ft. and Squadron Commander ordered us to attack. Whilst diving I saw an Me.109F attacking Yellow 3 from behind and fired a 2-second burst at 400 yards range, but missed and e/a took evasive action by half rolling to port. I was flying then at 24,000 ft. in a northern direction and made a sharp right hand climbing turn and pulled up. I then saw 3 Me. 109F's in line abreast above flying east at 26,000 ft. I fired a 7-second burst from 250 yards range at centre one and black thick smoke poured from its belly.

I saw tracers strike cockpit and fuselage, a further 2-second burst was then given at 75 yards range and e/a blew up and spun down vertically in flames.

The other two e/a then dived away towards the south. I was then alone and could see none of our aircraft and was about to turn for home when I sighted 6 Me. 109's in sun 2,000 ft. above me at 24,000 ft. flying N/W in loose formation. I made for cloud cover and when making coast near Gravelines I saw a Spitfire at 1,000 ft. above me at approx.: 18,000 ft. being attacked from rear quarter starboard side by one Me.109F.

Left: P/O. Dick in the cockpit of his Spitfire

I pulled my nose up and fired a 4-second burst into his belly at 150 yds. range. Shortly after, black smoke and flames came from his belly and he was last seen diving to starboard with flames coming from his belly. I then saw another e/a below at 15,000 ft. and used up the rest of my ammunition with a 2-second burst at 350 yards range, but did not see result, although I think I hit his tail.

During this time I was attacked on port and starboard side by 2 e/a. My starboard wing tip was struck by 3-cannon shell and broke off. The port wing was also hit by cannon. On making a left hand turn I found a cannon shell had struck base of control column, rendering my right aileron useless and being unable to straighten out I used heavy right rudder to pull her up.

When at, 6,000 ft, I see-sawed for cloud cover and was again attacked from astern the radiator panel was hit and also my reflector sight and the cockpit filled with white smoke. I yanked emergency cockpit cover, which blew off. On my port side I saw another Me.l09F l,000 yards away about to attack. I went down in a slow left hand dive and lost 3,000 ft. As I recovered from dive, I saw e/a turn for France. I levelled out and found engine failing, so I used hand pump and injected fuel to keep going. When 2,500 ft. over Channel I found myself losing control and on sighting Cliffs of Dover I realised I could not make land, and jettisoned my helmet.

From 2500 to 2000 ft. I called Mayday on button 'D' and at 1800 ft, baled out clear from port side of aircraft. My parachute opened easily.

Whilst floating down I inflated my Mae West. on the way down I lost one flying boot and my revolver. As my feet touched the water, I tried to release parachute, but I missed hitting the release. I was dragged 3 or 4 feet below the surface and then managed to release myself.

I pulled the Dinghy towards me and partially inflated it by giving it one full turn, then being exhausted I hung on to dinghy and when on top of a high wave I saw 6/7 Spitfires orbitting above me and also Rescue Boat approaching, which reached me about 10 minutes later.

(Sgd) N.R.D. Dick P/O.

"B" Flight, 403 Canadian Squadron.

With thanks to the following: 'Fighter Command Losses' - Norman Franks.

KTY 12.05.2016 Aircraft code amended - courtesy Klaus Meyer

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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