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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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412 Squadron Spitfire IX PL159 F/O. William Henry Laurie Bellingham

Operation: Dive bombing - reconnaissance

Date: 19th November 1944 (Sunday)

Unit: No. 412 Squadron (motto: Promptus Ad Vindictam - 'Swift to avenge')

Type: Spitfire IX

Serial: PL159

Code: VZ-?

Base: B.88 Heesch

Location: Boeckelt, north east of Geldern, Germany

Pilot: F/O. William Henry Laurie Bellingham J/25376 RCAF Age 21. Killed


Taking off on a dive bomb rail target and armed reconnaissance sortie. At 11:40 hrs he was shot down by anti-aircraft fire and crashed at Boeckelt.

A terrible day for the squadron losing three other pilots:

Spitfire IX PL245 flown by Fl/Lt. Philip Marcel Charron J/16584 RCAF - shot down and killed by FW190 from JG26 over Veen.
Spitfire IX PL130 flown by F/O. James Webster Johnston J/37120 RCAF - shot down and killed by FW190 from JG26 over Veen
Spitfire IX PL204 flown by W/O. Ambrose John Comeau R/64563 RCAF - shot down by FW190 from JG26 over Veen and taken PoW. Camp Stalag Lamsdorf PoW No. 31613.

Burial and other details:

F/O. William Henry Laurie Bellingham. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 14.F.6. Born on the 06th February 1923 in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia. Educated at Magog High School and Sir George William College in Montreal. Worked for Vickers Ltd in Montreal as as an aerospace constructor. Enlisted on the 23rd March 1942. Wings awarded on the 16th April 1943 at Service Flying Training School in Uplands, Ontario. Joined 412 squadron on the 03rd August 1944 from 61 Operational Training Unit.

Son of William and Bertha Bellingham (née Hinton), brother of Cyril Oswald and Brian Oliver of 6 Hatley Street, Magog, Province of Quebec, Canada. Epitaph: 'This Is The Day On Which He Entered Into The Eternal Light. For Ever Loved'.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to National Archives Kew, AIR27-1808-21/22, Paradie RCAF archives, Government of Canada.

Other pages that may interest you:

Pages regarding 1944 losses

Pages detailing RCAF losses

Other sources as quoted below:

KTY 03-11-2023

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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', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. 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: 03 November 2023, 15:53

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