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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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453 Squadron Crest
25.07.1944 No. 453 Squadron Spitfire IX NH494 Fl/Sgt. Allan Dowding

Operation: Armed recce

Date: 25th July 1944 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 453 Squadron

Type: Spitfire IX

Serial: NH494

Code: FU-?

Base: Advanced Landing Ground B.11 Longues, France

Location: Near Lisieux, France

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Allan William Dowding AUS/425139 RAAF Age 24. PoW No: 658 Stalag Luft Bankan, near Kreulberg, Upper Silesia (although for the final months at Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria - he was promoted the following month to W/O.)


We are indebted to Mr. Paul Watts who's father served with 453 Squadron and sent Aircrew Remembered over 400 photographs of the Squadron in January 2018. Anyone interested in the Squadron and are able to identify any of the pilots / ground crew are invited to contact us.


REASON FOR LOSS:

During armed recce attacked by Me109 and the hit by ant-aircraft fire. Aircraft became uncontrollable and the pilot was forced to bale out. During this he struck the tail plane injuring his hip and shoulder. Landed in the middle of a German artillery position and was captured immediately.

As was normal at the time his family were notified and as they had no information as to his fate he was listed as missing.

It wasn't until late August they learnt that he was alive and taken PoW. The information came from 22 year old, F/O. Colin Russell Leith AUS/411790 RAAF who was also shot down on the same operation. Flying Spitfire PL313 he was forced to crash land, captured and then managed to escape and make his way back to England. He had been held initially with W/O. Dowding.

Also lost during this operation from the Squadron, 21 year old W/O. 'Clarrie' Clarence Alfred Seeney AUS/414519 Spitfire PL227. Hit power lines whilst strafing troops on the Argenton - Vimoutiers Road at 06:45 hrs and killed instantly. Further information here.

Burial details:

None - survived the war as PoW. W/O. Allan William Dowding was born on the 19th August 1921 and lived at 'Fairlands'. Goodiwindi, Queensland, Australia. 'Liberated' by the Russians in April 1945 and returned to England in mid May 1945 - left for Australia on the 08th August 1945. Left the service on the 25th January 1946 we understand. Prior to service worked as a Chauffeur but his trade lists him as a Stockman.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Paul Watts and sources as quoted below:

KTY - 23.01.2018

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, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (both on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), 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 CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 23 January 2018, 22:51

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