15.08.1940 No. 234 Squadron Spitfire I R6985 P/O. Vincent Parker
Date: 15th August 1940 (Thursday)
Unit: No. 254 Squadron
Type: Spitfire I
Base: RAF Middle Wallop, Hampshire (10 Group)
Location: English Channel off Isle of Wight
Pilot: P/O. Vincent Parker 42356 RAF Age 21 PoW No: 476 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan
REASON FOR LOSS:
A huge raid made up of some 70 Luftwaffe bombers escorted by over 150 fighters were spotted making their way towards Portland in Dorset late in the afternoon. 234 were scrambled as well as other fighter squadrons.
Shot down over the English Channel off the Isle of Wight at 16:15 hrs. Picked up by a German Motor Torpedo launch and taken to Cherbourg - served the rest of the war as a PoW.
During captivity made frequent attempts to escape resulting in being taken to Colditz. Released by US forces in April 1945 he returned to England, posted to Millfield to train on Tempests (further information below).
The squadron suffered 4 casualties during this operation, the others:
P/O. Richard Hardy 41921 RAF flying Spitfire I N3277 AZ-H force landed in France and taken PoW. Survived the war, passed away in September 1977.Further information available here.
P/O. Cecil Henry Hight 41924 RAF flying Spitfire I R6988 shot down and killed when his parachute failed to deploy fully. Further information available here.
Sgt. Zygmunt Klein 780685 PAF flying Spitfire I P9363 hit and crashed at Twyford - survived. Missing over the English Channel on the 28th November 1940 whilst with 152 Squadron.Further information available here.
Sadly on the 29th January 1946 flying Tempest V EJ859 whilst with 56 Operational Training Unit flying at about 5,000 ft Fl/Lt. Parker was seen to enter a slow roll. When inverted the nose dropped and the aircraft descended in a spiral dive. The pilot was not observed to attempt any recovery action, when at about 100 ft the aircraft appeared to partially recover but then went into a stall and crashed near Felkington, Northumberland, killing the pilot.
Buried at 10:00 hrs on the 02nd February 1946.
Fl/Lt. Vincent Parker. Harrogate Cemetery (Stonefall). Sec. H. Row N. Grave 1. Foster-son and nephew of John William and Edith Parker, of ‘Purono’ Ingham Line, Townsville, Queensland, Australia. Grave inscription reads: "Only Those Who Know Can Tell The Sorrow Of Parting Without Farewell. Mum, Dad And Hona".
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to sources as quoted below: