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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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609 Squadron Crest
07.10.1940 No. 609 Squadron Spitfire III N3238 Sgt. Alan N. Feary

Operation: Patrol

Date: 07th October 1940 (Monday)

Unit: No. 609 Squadron

Type: Spitfire III

Serial: N3238

Code: PR-?

Base: RAF Middle Wallop

Location: Watercombe Farm south of Warmwell

Pilot: Sgt. Alan Norman Feary 742301 RAFVR Age 28. Killed


A Battle of Britain ‘Ace’ when he was shot down over Warmwell. He did manage to bale out but it seems that he was too low for the parachute to deploy.

18th July 1940 Ju88 unconfirmed over Swanage
12th August 1940 Bf109E over East coast, Isle of Wight
13th August 1940 Ju87 over Lyme Regis Bay
13th August 1940 Bf110 Damaged over Lyme Regis Bay
14th August Ju88 over Boscombe Down
25th August Bf110 damaged over Warmwell - Poole
25th August Bf110 over coombe Keynes
07th September Bf109E Probable over North London
07th September Ju88 damaged over North London
24th September Do17 5km south Isle of Wight
25th September Do17 damaged over Bristol Channel
(Information courtesy Chris Shores - ‘Aces High’)

The above photograph is marked Jubilant pilots of 609 Squadron pose at RAF Warmwell after the successful action against Junkers 87’s of II/STG 2 on the afternoon of 13th August 1940 (courtesy Gerard John Drake-Feary)

Standing L-R: P/O. ‘Red’ E.Q. Tobin, P/O. ‘Osti’ Ostazewski, P/O. Geoff Gaunt, P/O. Paul Edge, P/O. Stephen Beaumont, Fl/Lt. Frank Howell, Sq/Ldr. George Darley, Fl/Lt. ‘Butch’ J.H.G. McArthur, Sgt. Alan N. Feary, P/O. T. Nowierski, P/O. Teeny Overton. Front: P/O. Mile Staples, Fl/Lt. David Crook, P/O. Mick Miller.

Notes on photograph: F/O. Eugene Quimby Tobin 81622 RAF Age 24 71 (Eagle Squadron) Killed on the 07th September 1941. P/O. Piotr Ostaszewski-Ostoja DFC 76741 PAF Survived war, believed to have died on the 08th May 1965 Age 55. P/O. Geoffrey Norman Gaunt 91230 RAF (Aux) Killed 15th September 1940. Fl/Lt. Frank Howell Shot down 18th July 1940 Spitfire I R6634, baled out, safe. F/O. Tadeusz Nowierski 76803 PAF Spitfire I N3223 Baled out safe - died on the 02nd April 1983 Age 76, P/O. P/O. Mike E. Staples Spitfire I N3231 Baled out - safe 07th October 1940.

A pensive Sgt Alan Norman Feary of the 609 Sqn, hands in pocket surveys Middle Wallop dispersal amidst tin-hatted ground crew during August 1940. The pilot on his right enjoying a cup of tea is Tadeusz Nowierski. (courtesy Gerard John Drake-Feary)

Burial details:

Sgt. Alan Norman Feary. Warmwell Churchyard (Holy Trinity) South Part. Son of Thomas and Maud Victoria Feary, of Derby, England. The grave inscription reads: ‘One Of The Few In The Battle Of Britain.’ born in Derby in 1912. Educated at Derby Municipal Secondary School, worked in the Borough Treasurer's Department. He joined the RAFVR in July 1936 and did his flying training at Burnaston aerodrome. Awarded his flying badge on 18th November 1938, Feary was called up on 1st September 1939. He was posted to 9 FTS, Hullavington for advanced training in December.

On 6th April 1940, Feary went to 5 OTU, Aston Down, where he converted to Blenheims before joining 600 Squadron at Manston on 4th May. He was then posted to 609 Squadron at Northolt on 11th June 1940.

Researched with information and photographs supplied by Mr. Gerard John Drake-Feary, his grandson who contacted us in January 2016 and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot, thanks also to sources quoted below.

Airman/women also buried within Warmwell Churchyard (Holy Trinity) - included in the hope that relatives may contact us with further information on their loss:

P/O. Harold John Akroyd 86360 RAF 152 Squadron 08th October 1940 (Shot down over Lyme Regis - aircraft Spitfire N3029 crashed and he suffered severe burns - died the following day)
Sgt. Derek Dundonal Audley 778599 RAFVR 266 Squadron 24th October 1942 (Killed flying a Typhoon when it broke up in the air)
Sgt. George Benjamin Holt Birdsell 938323 RAFVR 101 Squadron 02rd April 1941 (killed with all crew returning from an operation in a Wellington due to severe weather)
Fl/Lt. Herbert John Blackshaw DFC. 111980 RAFVR 263 Squadron 16th May 1940
F/O. Edgar Brearley J/15157 RCAF 263 Squadron 16th April 1943. (Presumably shot down over the Channel in Whirlwind P6995 - body washed ashore)
F/O. Claud Osmond HInks 73512 RAFVR 14th September 1940
Fl/Sgt. Geoffrey Maurice Campbell Hipkin 223906 RAF 01st April 1941 (WW1 Vet)
Sgt. Jaroslav Hlavac 747542 RAFVR 56 Squadron 10th October 1942 (Czechoslovakia)
Fl/Sgt. Peter Alastair Jardine 711019 RAFVR 263 Squadron 21st September 1942 (South Africa Killed in Whirlwind P7003 after crashing into the ground)
Fl/Lt. John Connolly Kennedy 40052 RAF 238 Squadron 13th July 1940 (Australia - returning from combat aircraft stalled and crashed)
AC1. Kenneth Wilfred Leonard 553254 RAF 152 Squadron 01st April 1941 (possibly killed during air raid?)
Sq/Ldr. Terence Gunion Lovell-Gregg 29244 RAF 87 Squadron 15th August 1940 (New Zealand - killed in a Hurricane after being shot down)
P/O. Gerard Glasson Osborne 80447 RAF 266 Squadron 28th November 1942 (Typhoon Ib R7687 ZH-Q flying accident)
Sgt. Tadeusz Włodzimierz Pytlak 783497 PAF 302 Squadron 09th September 1941 (Poland Flying Hurricane IIb Z3676 WX-H)
AC1. William Ernest Richardson 1359731 08th April 1942
LACW Eileen Mary Winifred Riley 446540 WAAF 18th December 1942
P/O. Lanceleot Dalrymple Sandes DFC. 42892 RAF 59 Squadron 26th March 1941 (killed with all crew on Blenheim IV V6065 returning from an operation in bad weather)
Cpl. Victor Albert Tompkins 541779 RAF 03rd April 1941 - Born Christchurch, Bournemouth 19th April 1918.
(Note: A wallet belonging to Cpl. Tompkins has recently been discovered and the kind person who contacted us in December 2018 would like the relatives to have it returned - please contact us in the first instance) UPDATE: February 2022 his niece contacted us and the member of the public posted them. A great result!
Sgt. Sidney Richard Ernest Wakeling 741501 RAFVR 87 Squadron 25th August 1940 (killed flying Hurricane V7250)

KTY 19.03.2016 Further information added.

KTY 03-03-2022 Niece contact us regarding Victor Albert Tompkins

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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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