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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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165 Squadron Spitfire Ic EP155 Fl/Sgt. William Brown

Operation: Ramrod 154

Date: 25th July 1943. (Sunday)

Unit: No. 165 Squadron (motto: Infensa virtuti invidia - 'Envy is the foe of virtue')

Type: Spitfire Ic

Serial: EP555

Code: SK-C

Base: RAF Ibsley, Hampshire

Location: Stoppeldijkpolder

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. William Brown Aus/409288 RAAF Age 23. Killed


Taking off at 14:04 hrs together with 11 others to provide top cover for 18 B-26 Marauders from 323 Bomber Group.on an operation to bomb the coke ovens at Ghent, Belgium. Three Spitfies returned early due to problems with their aircraft.

During the return trip the squadron were bounced by a large number pf Fw190's. The radio transmission were extremely poor and distorted. As a result of the first attack P/O. Imbert flying Spitfire Vc EE603 SK-M crashing at Borssele and Fl/Sgt Brown were both shot down at 15:04and 15:09 hrs respectfully by Hptm. Karl Borris, Gruppenkommandeur of I./JG 26, flying a Fw190A from Woensdrecht airfield.

F/O. Douglas 'Duke' Warren J/9735 (1) flying Spitfire Vc AB790 and his No. 2 Fl/Sgt. John Henry Curry flying Spitfire AR609 SK-E were forced to lose height during the action. They became seperated and F/O. Warren reported seeing an aircraft out of control over Axel. Shot down by Oblt. Arthur Beese of I./JG 26. Crashed into Westerschelde 10 km south-east of Vlissingen. His body was never knowingly recovered.

F/O. John Kenneth Dudley 80617 RAfVR of 122 squadron flying Spitfire Vb AB972 was shot down by Fw. Peter Ahrens of 3./JG 26. Crashed 1 km nw of Oostkapelle, injured and treated at Bethesda hospital Vlissingen. Taken PoW No.1646 Stalag Luft Bankan, near Kreulberg, Upper Silesia, he survived the war.

The remainder of 165 squadron returned safely and landed at 16:00 hrs.

Above L-R: Hptm. Karl Borris, Oblt. Arthur Beese (Courtesy Kracker database)

Burial and other details:

Fl/Sgt. William Brown. Flushing Northern Cemetery (Vlissingen). Row F. Grave 28. Born on the 04th December 1919 in Dumbarton Road, Patrick, Scotland. Worked as Electrical Draughtman prior to Enlisted on the 15th August 1941 at Melbourne .Son of John and Isabella Spiers Brown, of 17 St. Davids Street, North Geelong, Victoria, Australia. Fiancee; Miss Furlon, 329 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne, Australia. Epitaph: 'He Chose The Hard Road. Lived And Died Our Loved One And Hero'.

P/O. André Norbert Imbert. Born on the 04th May 1920. Initially buried in Vlissingen (Flushing) in 1949 exhumed and reinterred in Kapelle (French Field of Honour in Netherlands) No further details.

Fl/Sgt. John Henry Curry. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 136. Son of Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Curry, of Charlton, London, England. Had previously been shot down flying Spitfire BM518, on the 09th February 1943 - evaded capture and returned.

Above Bruce left with Douglas Warren

(1) Douglas “Duke” Warren died on Sunday the 28th August 2011, aged 89. He joined the RCAF at age 18 in 1940, along with his identical twin brother Bruce. Both served as flight commanders with No 165 Squadron in Europe, a unique situation in the annals of the conflict. He remained in the RCAF for 37 years. Bruce, known as “Duke Mk I” was killed on the 05th April 1951, age 28 while test-flying the CF-100 Canuck.

Above L-R: Fl/Sgt. Brown, Fl/Sgt. Curry and P/O. Imbert

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of these pilots with thanks to the Paradie RCAF Arcives, Australian National Archives, Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, National Archive Kew, AIR27-1087-29/30. Australian Archives.

Other pages that may interest you:

Pages regarding Australian losses

Pages detailing Canadian losses

Other sources as quoted below:

KTY 03-12-2023

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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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