27.07.1944 No. 453 Squadron Spitfire IX MK421 FU-Z Fl/Sgt. Dutneall
Operation: Beach Patrol
Date: 27th July 1944 (Thursday)
Unit: No. 453 Squadron
Type: Spitfire IX
Base: B.11 Longues-sur-Mer
Location: South of Caen, France
Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Ralph Alan Dutneall AUS/418083 RAAF Age 21. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
During a patrol it is understood his aircraft was hit by flak and crashed south of Caen.
Also on the same day 23 year old, W/O. Allan Harold John Harris AUS/412513 flying Spitfire MJ503 FU-A was hit by flak and crashed near Lisieux killing the pilot. 22 year old, W/O. Joseph Armstrong Boulton AUS/420544 flying Spitfire PL315 FU-S also hit by flak but managed to force land, returning to his unit. He was later awarded the DFC.
P/O. Clarence Athol Rice AUS/411643, P/O. Ronald Clyde Ford AUS/403046, Fl/Sgt. Ralph Alan Dutneall AUS/418083, P/O. Keith Frederick Daff AUS/409090.
Earlier on the 03rd May 1944 Fl/Sgt. Dutneall damaged Spitfire MK258 during taxying at RAF Ford - aircraft category B damage, no injuries to the pilot who received a severe reprimand. (Note: MK258 was later abandoned on the 25th July 1944 whilst with 63 Squadron. The pilot Fl/Lt. John Worthington Harder 119026 RAFVR, an American - taken PoW)
Above L-R: W/O. Harris, W/O. Boulton and Fl/Lt. Harder.
Fl/Sgt. Ralph Alan Dutneall. Banneville-La-Campagne War Cemetery. Grave IX.B.5. Born on the 04th June 1923 in Hobart, Tasmania, the son of Alan Robert and Elizabeth Victoria Lilian Dutneall, of 8 Selwood Street, Hawthorne East, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Grave inscription reads: "Alta Petens" (Aim High). Prior to service worked as a clerk with Liverpool and London Globe Insurance in Melbourne.
W/O. Allan Harold John Harris. Banneville-Sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery. Grave VII.F.4. Son of Allan Walter Edwin and Ellen Marjorie Harris, of Yenda, New South Wales, Australia. Grave inscription reads: "He Died That We Might Live".
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.