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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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72 Squadron Crest
10.07.1941 No. 72 Squadron Spitfire V W3181 Sgt. Raymond F. Lewis

Operation: Circus 51

Date: 19th July 1941 (Saturday)

Unit: No. 72 Squadron (11 Group)

Type: Spitfire V

Serial: W3181

Code: Not known - named “City of Leeds I” (1)

Base: RAF Gravesend

Location: English Channel

Pilot: Sgt. Raymond Frederick Lewis 754684 RAFVR Age 20 Missing - believed killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking part in Circus 51 (escort of 3 Stirling bombers on an operation to bomb the power station at Lille in France) during the afternoon. Attacked by units of JG26 and is understood that Sgt. Raymond Lewis ditched in the English Channel - neither the pilot's body or aircraft were recovered.

We welcome any additional information on this loss or the pilot.

(1) “City of Leeds I” - various cities collected money to assist in the war effort. Each bore a name suggested by the donor and this was marked, according to official instructions, in four-inch yellow characters on the engine cowling, but this ruling was not rigidly applied. Some limiting factors were necessary in order that camouflage was not compromised.

Burial details:

Sgt. Raymond Frederick Lewis. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 47. Son of Edwin and Elizabeth Daisy Lewis of Shirley, Southampton, England.

With thanks to William Warwick and Carolyn Richardson for bringing this loss to our attention. Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to sources as quoted below:

KTY - 11.09.2016

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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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