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Archive Report: Allied Forces

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611 squadron crest
03.08.1941 No. 611 Squadron Spitfire V W3257 FY-E Fl/Lt. Lock Fl/Lt. Eric Stanley Lock ('Sawn Off') D.S.O. D.F.C. and Bar, M.i.D.

Operation: Rhubarb.

Date: 3rd August 1941 (Sunday)

Unit: 611 Squadron

Type: Spitfire V

Serial: W3257

Coded: FY-E

Location: Calais, France

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Eric Stanley Lock ('Sawn Off') DSO. DFC. and Bar, MiD. 81642 RAFVR Age 22. Missing.

REASON FOR LOSS: 

Took-off from Hornchurch for a Rhubarb in Calais area. Went down to strafe some soldiers and vehicles on a road near the Pas-de-Calais. Signalling the attack to his wingman, F/O Lock was seen to peel off from the formation and prepare for the ground strafing attack and was not seen again. Many searches took place following the war by both the RAF and the CWGC to no avail.

Fl/Lt. Eric Stanley Lock with his Spitfire. (Interesting photograph as Fl/Lt Lock is seen here wearing a Luftwaffe 'Swim Vest') 

At the time of his death Fl/Lt. Lock was credited with 26 enemy aircraft victories (shown below) and all of these within a one year period!

DFC. Citation:

'This officer has destroyed nine enemy aircraft, eight of these within a period of one week. He has displayed great vigour and determination in pressing home his attacks'.

DFC. Bar:

'In September, 1940, whilst engaged on a patrol over the Dover area, Pilot Officer Lock engaged three Heinkel 113's one of which he shot down into the sea. Immediately afterwards he engaged a Henschel 126 and destroyed it. He has displayed great courage in the face of heavy odds, and his skill and coolness in combat have enabled him to destroy fifteen enemy aircraft within a period of nineteen days'.

DSO. Citation:

'This officer has shown exceptional keenness and courage in his attacks against the enemy. In November, 1940, whilst engaged with his squadron in attacking a superior number of enemy forces, he destroyed two Messerschmitt 109's, thus bringing his total to at least twenty-two. His magnificent fighting spirit and personal example have been in the highest traditions of the service'.

MiD. in March 1941.

Combat record:

15th August 1940 1 x Bf110
5th September 1940 2 x He111 2 x Bf109
6th September 1940 1 x Ju88
9th September 1940 2 x Bf109
11th September 1940 1 x Ju88 1 x Bf110
14th September 1940 2 x Bf109
15th September 1940 1 x Bf109 1 x Do17
18th September 1940 1 x Bf109
20th September 1940 1 x He113 1 x Hs126
5th October 1940 1 x Bf109
9th October 1940 1 x Bf109
11th October 1940 1 x Bf109
20th October 1940 1 x Bf109
17th November 1940 2 x Bf109
6th July 1941 1 x Bf109
8th July 1941 1 x Bf109
14th July 1941 1 x Bf109
In addition to this he also had a further 9 'probables'.

Road named after Eric, in Bayston, Shrewsbury

Burial Details: 

None - Fl/Lt. Lock is still classed as missing

Fl/Lt. Eric Stanley Lock. DSO. DFCC. and Bar, MiD. is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 29. In addition his name lives on in several places within Shropshire, including a new road named after him in the 1970's. The members bar at the Shropshire Aero club is also named after him - a local scout group is named as the 1st Bayston Eric Lock Scout Troop. He also has a memorial bench at Shrewsbury Castle.

Born on 19th April 1919 and educated privately at Prestfelde Public School, London Road, Shrewsbury. 

Eric Stanley Lock was born to a farming and quarrying family, whose home was in the rural Shropshire village of Bayston Hill. On his 14th birthday his father treated him to a five shilling, fifteen-minute flight with Sir Alan Cobham's Air Circus. At 16 he left school and joined his father's business. In 1939 he made the decision that if there was going to be a war, he wanted to be a fighter pilot, and so immediately joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and learned to fly.

On the outbreak of World War II in September 1939, as a trained pilot Lock was immediately called up to the Royal Air Force as a Sergeant Pilot. After further training at No.6 Flying School RAF Little Rissington, he was commissioned as a Pilot Officer (Service Number 81642)[7] and posted to No. 41 Squadron at RAF Catterick, North Yorkshire, flying Spitfires. In July 1940 Lock was granted a seven-day leave pass and returned to Bayston Hill to marry his childhood sweetheart, Peggy Meyers, a former Miss Shrewsbury.

Operations from RAF Catterick were organised to defend the industrial assets of the north, as well as the transport hubs of the rivers Humber, Tees and Tyne. Being so far north they were out of reach of most Luftwaffe fighter patrols, bar the odd reconnaissance mission. However, although missing out on the fierce combat of the Battle of Britain, bomber campaigns from occupied Norway occurred from mid-1940 as the Germans tried to press home their attack. On 15 August 1940, Lock gained his first victory when he shot down a twin-engined Messerschmitt Bf 110 that was escorting a bomber formation at 20,000 feet (6,100 m).

On his wedding day to Peggy, July 1940

Married his fiancee Peggy Meyers, a former Miss Shrewsbury. With thanks to the following: The C.W.G.C., 'Fighter Command Losses' - Norman Franks. Wikipedia.

KTY 22.07.2015 Map added

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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