AR banner
Search Tips Advanced Search
Back to Top

• Kracker Archive
• Allied Losses
• Archiwum Polish
• Paradie Canadian
• Searchable Lists

Info LogoAdd to or correct this story with a few clicks.
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.
Check our Research databases: Database List


We seek additional information and photographs. Please contact us via the Helpdesk.

453 Squadron Crest
25.07.1944 No. 453 Squadron Spitfire IX NH494 Fl/Sgt. Allan Dowding

Operation: Armed recce

Date: 25th July 1944 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 453 Squadron

Type: Spitfire IX

Serial: NH494

Code: FU-?

Base: Advanced Landing Ground B.11 Longues, France

Location: Near Lisieux, France

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Allan William Dowding AUS/425139 RAAF Age 24. PoW No: 658 Stalag Luft Bankau (Bakow, Poland), near Kreuzburg (Klucsbork, Poland) (although for the final months at Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria - he was promoted the following month to W/O.)

We are indebted to Mr. Paul Watts who's father served with 453 Squadron and sent Aircrew Remembered over 400 photographs of the Squadron in January 2018. Anyone interested in the Squadron and are able to identify any of the pilots / ground crew are invited to contact us.


During armed recce attacked by Me109 and the hit by ant-aircraft fire. Aircraft became uncontrollable and the pilot was forced to bale out. During this he struck the tail plane injuring his hip and shoulder. Landed in the middle of a German artillery position and was captured immediately.

As was normal at the time his family were notified and as they had no information as to his fate he was listed as missing.

It wasn't until late August they learnt that he was alive and taken PoW. The information came from 22 year old, F/O. Colin Russell Leith AUS/411790 RAAF who was also shot down on the same operation. Flying Spitfire PL313 he was forced to crash land, captured and then managed to escape and make his way back to England. He had been held initially with W/O. Dowding.

Also lost during this operation from the Squadron, 21 year old W/O. 'Clarrie' Clarence Alfred Seeney AUS/414519 Spitfire PL227. Hit power lines whilst strafing troops on the Argenton - Vimoutiers Road at 06:45 hrs and killed instantly. Further information here.

Burial details:

None - survived the war as PoW. W/O. Allan William Dowding was born on the 19th August 1921 and lived at 'Fairlands'. Goodiwindi, Queensland, Australia. 'Liberated' by the Russians in April 1945 and returned to England in mid May 1945 - left for Australia on the 08th August 1945. Left the service on the 25th January 1946 we understand. Prior to service worked as a Chauffeur but his trade lists him as a Stockman.

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

KTY - 23.01.2018

Pages of Outstanding Interest
History Airborne Forces •  Soviet Night Witches •  Bomber Command Memories •  Abbreviations •  Gardening Codenames
CWGC: Your Relative's Grave Explained •  USA Flygirls •  Axis Awards Descriptions •  'Lack Of Moral Fibre'
Concept of Colonial Discrimination  •  Unauthorised First Long Range Mustang Attack
RAAF Bomb Aimer Evades with Maquis •  SOE Heroine Nancy Wake •  Fane: Motor Racing PRU Legend
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.
Click any image to enlarge it

Click to add your info via ticket on Helpdesk •Click to let us know via ticket on Helpdesk• Click to buy research books from Amazon •Click to explore the entire site
If you would like to comment on this page, please do so via our Helpdesk. Use the Submit a Ticket option to send your comments. After review, our Editors will publish your comment below with your first name, but not your email address.

A word from the Editor: your contribution is important. We welcome your comments and information. Thanks in advance.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember them. - Laurence Binyon
All site material (except as noted elsewhere) is owned or managed by Aircrew Remembered and should not be used without prior permission.
© Aircrew Remembered 2012 - 2024
Last Modified: 01 April 2021, 20:22

Monitor Additions/Changes?Click to be informed of changes to this page. Create account for first monitor only, thereafter very fast. Click to close without creating monitor