17.06.1943 No. 414 Squadron Mustang I AP206 F/O. Frederick L. Vaupel
Operation: Instep patrol
Date: 17th June 1943
Unit: No. 414 Squadron RCAF
Type: Mustang I
Base: RAF Portreath
Location: English Channel off Lizard, Cornwall
Pilot: F/O. Frederick Leroy Vaupel J/7420 RCAF Age 30. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
A tragic series of events - all through a lack of communication from fighter command, for sure the cause.
Events taken from the squadron ORB’s for that fateful day:
At 17.00 hrs F/O. Bernhardt, Vaupel, Chapman and Brown took off for Redannack and were airborne on instep at 19.00 hrs. At 20.30 hrs when returning towards Lizard - they saw two aircraft which appeared to be Spitfires escorting a small ship. When first seen these aircraft were about 5 miles away and all aircraft were flying at zero feet. F/O. Bernhardt led his section to investigate and the other aircraft approached our section head on as the distance narrowed - our section divided. F/O. Chapman flying as No 3 and F/O. Brown as No. 4 broke to port. F/O. Vaupel flying No 2 on F/O. Bernhardt was quite a bit behind his leader.
Left: F/O. Frederick Leroy Vaupel (see credits)
At this time. F/O Chapman said over the R/T. "It's Okay Bernie, they're Spits". At 1000 yards the leading Spitfire opened fire at F/O. Bernhardt. He then returned fire on this aircraft and fired a continuos burst until the range decreased to 100 yards. No others in our section fired their guns.
As F/O. Bernhardt passed the Spitfire which had been firing at him he saw battle letters "VZ" and recognised it from 412 Squadron. F/O. Vaupel was seen to start a sudden climb, reached about 1,500 ft. and then flick over and crashed into the sea. No trace of pilot or aircraft was found, although F/O. Chapman gave a” Mayday" call.
Our remaining aircraft broke off and made for base.
Shortly after this engagement, one of the Spitfires AR522, crashed into the sea from about 1,500 ft and the pilot F/O. Lloyd Powell (1) of 412 Squadron was lost.
Neither of the Squadrons had been warned about each others presence!
Right: Runnymede Memorial Panels
F/O. Frederick Leroy Vaupel. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 175. Son of Ernest William and Nancy Vaupel, of Port Elgin, Ontario, Canada
(1) F/O. Lloyd Woodrow Powell DFC J/15339 RCAF. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 174. NoK details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?
Researched for relatives of pilots. With thanks to Mr Christopher Clarke in Canada and also the daughter of George Burroughs for the supply of information and photograph. Thanks also to Jack Brook for serial number of F/O. Powell's Spitfire.