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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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453 Squadron Crest
27.07.1944 No. 453 Squadron Spitfire IX MK421 FU-Z Fl/Sgt. Dutneall

Operation: Beach Patrol

Date: 27th July 1944 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 453 Squadron

Type: Spitfire IX

Serial: MK421

Code: FU-Z

Base: B.11 Longues-sur-Mer

Location: South of Caen, France

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Ralph Alan Dutneall AUS/418083 RAAF Age 21. Killed


During a patrol it is understood his aircraft was hit by flak and crashed south of Caen.

Also on the same day 23 year old, W/O. Allan Harold John Harris AUS/412513 flying Spitfire MJ503 FU-A was hit by flak and crashed near Lisieux killing the pilot. 22 year old, W/O. Joseph Armstrong Boulton AUS/420544 flying Spitfire PL315 FU-S also hit by flak but managed to force land, returning to his unit. He was later awarded the DFC.

P/O. Clarence Athol Rice AUS/411643, P/O. Ronald Clyde Ford AUS/403046, Fl/Sgt. Ralph Alan Dutneall AUS/418083, P/O. Keith Frederick Daff AUS/409090.

Earlier on the 03rd May 1944 Fl/Sgt. Dutneall damaged Spitfire MK258 during taxying at RAF Ford - aircraft category B damage, no injuries to the pilot who received a severe reprimand. (Note: MK258 was later abandoned on the 25th July 1944 whilst with 63 Squadron. The pilot Fl/Lt. John Worthington Harder 119026 RAFVR, an American - taken PoW)

Above L-R: W/O. Harris, W/O. Boulton and Fl/Lt. Harder.

Burial details:

Fl/Sgt. Ralph Alan Dutneall. Banneville-La-Campagne War Cemetery. Grave IX.B.5. Born on the 04th June 1923 in Hobart, Tasmania, the son of Alan Robert and Elizabeth Victoria Lilian Dutneall, of 8 Selwood Street, Hawthorne East, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Grave inscription reads: "Alta Petens" (Aim High). Prior to service worked as a clerk with Liverpool and London Globe Insurance in Melbourne.

W/O. Allan Harold John Harris. Banneville-Sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery. Grave VII.F.4. Son of Allan Walter Edwin and Ellen Marjorie Harris, of Yenda, New South Wales, Australia. Grave inscription reads: "He Died That We Might Live".

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.

KTY 26.09.2018

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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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