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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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165 Squadron Crest
24.03.1944 No. 165 Squadron Spitfire IX MH827 SK-V P/O. Lewis

Operation: Ranger

Date: 24th March 1944 (Friday)

Unit: No. 165 Squadron (motto: Infensa virtuti invidia - 'Envy is the foe of virtue')

Type: Spitfire IX

Serial: MH827

Code: SK-V

Base: RAF Culmhead

Location: Quimper, France

Pilot: P/O. Eric Russell Lewis AUS/407750 RAAF Age 22. PoW No: 4254 Camp: Stalag Luft Barth Vogelsang


During a ranger operation to the Kerlin Bastard airfield in the morning the aircraft was hit in the radiator by anti-aircraft fire over Quimper, France. A short time later the engine seized and the pilot managed to crash land his Spitfire and was found unconscious. Taken to hospital in Paris with a broken rib and cuts about the head. then taken PoW. Finally liberated by the Russian army on the 16th May 1945.

Burial details:

None - survived the war as F/O. Born on the 15th June 1922 at Adelaide, South Australia. Joined 165 Squadron from 58 Operational Training Unit on the 13th April 1943. As a student he then joined the RAAF. Lived at 63 Halton Terrace, Kensington Park, Adelaide.

For further details our thanks to the National Archives of Australia and to following sources.

KTY 02.05.2019

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 (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', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, 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: 03 April 2021, 15:10

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