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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
27.09.1941 No 72 Squadron Spitfire Vb P8560 Sgt. Merrett

Operation: Circus 103B

Date: 27th September 1941

Unit: No. 72 Squadron (motto: 'Swift')

Type: Spitfire Vb

Serial: P8560

Code: RN-?

Base: RAF Biggin Hill, Kent

Location: North Sea

Pilot: Sgt. John Graham Merrett AUS/402294 RAAF Age 25. Killed


No further details on his loss, but a disastrous day for fighter command as shown below. The pilot's body was eventually washed up on the 23rd October at Vlissingen.

Also lost on the same operation:

72 Squadron Spitfire Vb AB843 Flown by Sgt. Albert Frederick Binns 1375801 RAFVR missing - believed killed.
129 Squadron Spitfire Vb W3824 Flown by Sgt. J.A Spence-Ross 778253 RAFVR PoW No. 436 Camp: Stalag Kopernikus
308 Squadron Spitfire Vb W3940 Flown by Sgt. Ernest Feliks Watolski 783288 PAF PoW No: 9680 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan.
402 Squadron Spitfire IIb Z5005 Flown by P/O. S.A. Graham J/3707 RCAF PoW No. 3807 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan.
403 Squadron Spitfire Vb AD207 Flown by Sq/Ldr. Roland Anthony Lee Knight DFC. 37772 RAF Killed
603 Squadron Spitfire V R7221 Flown by Sgt. W.J. Allard 1253159 RAFVR PoW No: 9687 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan.
603 Squadron Spitfire V W3233 Flown by Fl/Sgt. William James Archibald R/68551 RCAF Killed
611 Squadron Spitfire Vb W3442 Flown by Sgt. G.T. Evans R/65407 RCAF PoW No: 9663 Camp: L6

Many others returned to units with various degrees of damage.

Burial details:

Sgt. John Graham Merrett. Flushing Northern Cemetery (Vlissingen). Row B. Grave 14. Born on the 03rd November 1915 at Sydney, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Merrett, of 17 Ruby Street, Mosman, New South Wales, Australia. A clerk prior to service. Trained on the Harvard and Yale aircraft. Joined 72 Squadron from 57 Operational Training Unit on the 09th September 1941

Researched for relatives of this pilot. For further details our thanks to the Australian Archive and to the following sources.

KTY 20.05.2019

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: 15 March 2021, 18:54

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