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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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401 Squadron Crest
07.05.1944 No. 401 Squadron Spitfire IX MH483 P/O. Dowbiggin

Operation: Sweep

Date: 07th May 1944

Unit: No. 401 Squadron (The Rams)

Type: Spitfire IX

Serial: MH483

Code: YO-?

Base: RAF Tangemere

Location: Near Laon, France (note)

Pilot: P/O. Thomas William Dowbiggin J/85321 RCAF PoW Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria


We are extremely grateful to François Dutil (438 Squadron Archivist) for supplying photographs and information to Aircrew Remembered in October 2017. All photographs shown within this page are available to relatives at a higher resolution (as are most of those named within this page) - courtesy of François.


REASON FOR LOSS:

During a ’Sweep over Lille.

The pilot P/O. Dowbiggin tried to switch fuel tanks when the engine faltered - the engine then failed and he was forced to crash land his Spitfire.

Sq/Ldr Lorne Maxwell Cameron J/15378 RCAF and his wingman then strafed the aircraft to prevent it falling into enemy hands.

The pilot was attempted to make contact with the Belgium resistance which he did and remained with them for some three months prior to being betrayed and then taken PoW. Liberated by the allis on the 02nd May 1945.

(note) Some publication have Laon as the area he came down. Others state that he came down in Belgium, just across the border from France. It seems likely that he did come down in Belgium as he tried to join the resistance at Grand Reng before he was eventually captured at Rouveroy and first being held at the famous St. Gilles Prison in Brussels.

Burial details:

None, survived the war.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Francois Dutil and sources as quoted below:

KTY - 11.10.2017

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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Last Modified: 01 April 2021, 17:17

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