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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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26.04.1941 No. 54 O.T.U. Defiant I N1568 Sgt. Crozier

Operation: Night flying exercise.

Date: 26th April 1941

Unit: No. 54 O.T.U. (Operational Training Unit)

Type: Boulton Paul Defiant I

Serial. N1568

Code: ?

Base: R.A.F. Church Fenton

Location: Thorp Arch, near Wetherby, Yorkshire.

Pilot: Sgt. Frederick Charles Eric Crozier 908262R.A.F.V.R. Age 20.  Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. George Bell 802438 R.A.F. Age 29.  Killed


Taking off from R.A.F. Church Fenton at 01.00 hrs. Shortly afterwards at 02.00 hrs they were involved in combat with a Ju 88 night fighter flown by Lt Pfeiffer of NJG2. 

During evasive action at low level, the Defiant hit a tree, crashed and exploded killing both airmen instantly. 


Fl/Sgt George Bell with letter to his family (reproduced for web page)


A memorial plaque dedicated to the two fallen on the 29.04.2007 can be found at Thorp Arch Church. It was erected by the brother of the pilot and the family of Fl/Sgt. Bell on April 29th 2007.

Burial detail:

Sgt.Frederick Charles Eric Crozier. Standon (St.Mary) Churchyard. Son of Frederick William and Adelaide Bertha Crozier, of Standon, England.

Fl/Sgt. George Bell. Paisley (Hawkshead) Cemetery. Sec. S. Grave 1222. Son of Daniel and Charlotte Bell, of Paisley; husband of Mary Bell (nee Lawe), of Paisley, Scotland.

With thanks to the C.W.G.C.

Acknowledgements: 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', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', 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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