27.10.1941 No. 401 Squadron Spitfire Vb W3601 Fl/Sgt. Thompson
.Operation: Fighter Sweep
Date: 27th October 1941 (Monday)
Unit: No. 401 RCAF Squadron (The Rams)
Type: Spitfire Type Vb
Base: RAF Biggin Hill, Kent.
Location: Martin Hill near Deal, Kent
Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Stanley Lewis Thompson R/61455 RCAF Age 21. Killed (1)
REASON FOR LOSS:
With eleven other aircraft from 401 Squadron while making a sweep over the French coast near Dunkirk, the formation was suddenly attacked by a large force of Me 109’s from JG26.
Although, during the engagement, Fl/Sgt. Thompson’s Spitfire was severely damaged, he managed to nurse the aircraft back to Dover where, in his attempt to bail out, he was killed.
Above left: Sgt. Omer Levesque, Fl/Sgt. Stanley Thompson, Sq/Ldr. Dean Nesbitt and Sgt. 'Goldie' Golden. Right: Fl/Sgt. Stanley Thompson
The sortie was particularly costly for the Ram’s with five aircraft being lost.
In addition to Thompson, F/O. Clarence Wallace and P/O. John Small were killed in this action, while Fl/Lt. Floody (2) and Sgt. Hodgkinson (3) were shot down and became prisoners of war.
A further 401 squadron Spitfire was lost this day, with Sgt. Whitney bailing out safely over Sandwich, Kent.
It is interesting to note that Fl/Lt. Wally Floody OBE was a key member of the mass breakout from Stalag Luft. III known as ‘The Great Escape’. Floody, who had a mining background, was instrumental in the building of the tunnels by which over seventy airmen made their escape from captivity.
(1) Thompson Creek in Saskatchewan is named after Fl/Sgt. Thompson - the plaque placed by his family reads: Thompson Creek flows into the Torch river east of this site at 53.39 N 104.27 W named in memory of Stanley L. Thompson Davidson, Saskatchewan Royal Canadian Airforce. Flight Sergeant Spitfire pilot killed in action over the English Channel October 27 1941, Age 21 Buried at Brookwood Cemetery, England "Not dead to us who loved him, Not lost, but gone before" Placed by his family.
(2) Some publications have Fl/Lt. Floody as killed - this is of course not the case.
(3) Sgt. Hodgkinson became the Luftwaffe ace Adolf Galland's 93rd victory.
Fl/Sgt. Stanley Lewis Thompson. Brookwood Military Cemetery, Surrey. Grave Ref. 36.A.2. Son of James Harry and Olivia Thompson, brother to Olivia and May, of 83 St. Clair Avenue West, Davidson, Saskatchewan, Canada. Enlisted in the RCAF in June 1940, trained in Toronto.
Jennifer Thompson wrote to us on the 13th November 2016: “I am a niece of Stanley Lewis Thompson. He had thirteen siblings, two named Gladys and Nettie died of influenza in 1919, before he was born. His other siblings were Bertha, Lillian, Helen, Olivia, May, Robert, Harriet, Leslie, Glen, Alex, and Grace. May and Olivia lived on St. Clair Avenue, Toronto during the war, the family home was Davidson, Saskatchewan.”
Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and RCAF specialist, Colin Bamford for relatives of the pilot. With thanks also to Jennifer Thompson for further family details. Also to Francois Dutil for pilot photographs.