03.11.1944 No. 66 Squadron Spitfire IX PT930 LZ-G Fl/Sgt. Woodhouse
Date: 03rd November 1944 (Friday)
Unit: No. 66 Squadron
Type: Spitfire IX
Base: ALG B.60 Grimbergen
Location: Behind allied lines
Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Eric Hodgson Woodhouse 1394660 RAFVR Age 21. Survived
REASON FOR LOSS:
During a dive-bombing operation during the afternoon his aircraft was hit by flak. The pilot managed to force land his aircraft behind Allied lands.
The Squadron lost two other aircraft this day:
Spitfire IX PV353 Flown by Fl/Sgt. L. Sinnot - after being hit by flak in the morning. The pilot crash landed his aircraft. Although the aircraft was struck off charge, the pilot survived, injured.
Spitfire IX PT540 Flown by Fl/Lt. Stanley Bruce De Vere (1) - also hit by flak but managed to land the aircraft with sight injuries.
This was thought to have been at least his second escape.
On the 26th August 1944 flying Spitfire IX MJ150 he was also hit by flak whilst strafing a motor transport column but managed to bale out near St. Paer in Normandy. Aircraft struck off charge.
None - pilot survived the war as Flying Officer with service number 188694 and a holder of the DFC. By April 1945 he had flown 338.25 hours in Spitfires, 191.25 of which were operational, he was still only 21 years old. In July 1945 he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his "keenness and enthusiasm" during his extended tour of duty. Born on the 10th July 1923. Eric Woodhouse after leaving the service studied art at St Martin’s School of Art, London, before joining the Catholic Truth Society where, for the next 40 years he was responsible for the publication of thousands of pamphlets, books and Bibles, many of which he illustrated himself.
Passed away on the 25th June 2009 age 85 - survived by the four sons and two daughters of his marriage, in 1950, to Teresa Brown. This was dissolved and he married in 1976 Sheila Schrader. She died in 1992.
(1) Fl/Lt. Stanley Bruce De Vere DFC NZ/413037 RNZAF Born on the 28th April 1923. Passed away on the 03rd September 2000 age 77.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to sources as quoted below. Also to Blair Hampton, relative of P/O ‘Big Mac’ Ian Douglas McLeod who also flew this aircraft for photograph of the Spitfire.