3 Squadron Typhoon IB R8979 F/O. Douglas Ross Hall
Date: 18th May 1943 (Tuesday)
Unit: No. 3 Squadron (RAF) (motto: Tertius primus erit - 'The third shall be the first'). 11 Group
Type: Typhoon IB
Base: RAF West Malling, Kent
Location: Huncheneville, Métigny, France
Pilot: F/O. Douglas Ross Hall NZ/413061 RNZAF Age 21. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 06:05 hrs with seven others to attack an airfield at Poix in France.
The attack was a success but it came at a high cost. Almost immediately the formation was bounced by enemy fighters with the loss of 5 Typhoons from the fighters or defensive anti-aircraft fire.
R8979 was hit by flak, crashed and burned out at Huncheneville near Métigny.
The others lost:
Typhoon IB R8835 QO-M Flown by F/O. Leonard George Gill 119885 RAFVR - Shot down by Bf109 southwest of Abbeville - Killed.
Typhoon IB R8879 QO-D Flown by 20 year old, Sgt. Victor Bailey - Sot down by Bf109 near Poix - Missing - believed killed.
Typhoon IB DN598 QO-Z Flown by 21 year old, F/O. Robert Inwood DFC. 130468 RAFVR Shot down by Bf109 near Poix - Missing - believed killed.
DFC Citation LG 04th December 1941: 'This officer has completed numerous sorties at night, including many intruder operations over enemy occupied territory. In June, 1942, during an intruder sortie over an airfield in Holland, he destroyed an enemy aircraft. On another occasion in July, he destroyed a Junkers 88. Although his own aircraft was damaged in the combat, P/O. Inwood flew it safely back to base. He has always displayed great courage and determination.
Typhoon IB DN246 QO-A Flown by 21 year old, Fl/Sgt. Frederick Keene Whitall 1334726 RAFVR Shot down by Bf109 near Poix - Missing - believed killed.
A poem was written by their colleague F/O. George Andrew Whitman RCAF. Read it here.
Burial and personal details:
F/O. Douglas Ross Hall. Poix-De-Picardie Churchyard. Row E. Grave 10. Born on the 10th August 1921 in Auckland. Educated at Auckland Grammar School. A clerk for Wright Stephenson and Company of Auckland. Enlisted on the 25th May 1941 as a pilot under training. With No. 3 Elementary Flying Training School on the 06th July 1941. With No, 2 Flying Training School on the 16th August 1941. Pilot badge awarded on the 29th September 1941 and promoted to sergeant on the 08th November 1941. Embarked for England on the 17th November 1941, Further training with 56 Operational Training Unit 17th March 1942. Joined 3 squadron on the 19th May 1942 and completed 18 operational sorties. Awarded commission on the 20th September 1942. A total pf 490 flying hours logged. Son of Harry and Mary Hall, of Auckland City, New Zealand
F/O. Leonard George Gill. Abbeville Communal Cemetery. Plot 6. Row J. Grave 20. Born on the 16th August 1917 in Cardiff Wales. Enlisted on the 30th June 1940. Joined 3 squadron on the 30th March 1942 Son of Leonard and Annie Gill (née Evans - died in 1934) Remarried 4 years later to Nellie Irene Hanbury of 14 Kimberley Terrace, Llanishen, Wales.
Sgt. Victor Bailey. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 141. Son of Alfred and Alice Bailey, of Ingrow, Yorkshire, England.
F/O. Robert Inwood DFC. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 125. Born in Blaina, Wales. Son of Edith M. Inwood, of Abertillery, Monmouthshire, Wales.
Fl/Sgt. Frederick Keene Whitall. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 139. Son of Edward K. and Mary A. Whitall, of Horsell, Surrey, England.
Above: L-R: Rear; CC Deller, Leonard James Brennan NZ/413020 killed 26th September 1944, Stephen William George Bishop NZ/413013 killed 16th October 1942, FW Kilgour, MJ Millener, Roy William Raharuhi N/Z412737 Died 30 July 1974.
Centre; RB Hendry, Joseph Ronald Potter N/Z/413119 Died 23 September 2013, JH Keedwell, GL Wallace, WB Cookson, George Edward Scott McNaughton NZ/413099 killed 7 July 1944, MD Muggeridge, George Rowan Jackson NZ.413078 killed 29 March 1943.
Front; WF Hayes, Douglas Ross Hall NZ/413061 killed 18 May 1943, Sidney Lewis Spilman NZ/413138 died 18 September 2020, R Kassler, ASR Macalister, Stanley Charles Jones NZ/413085 killed 11 February 1942, James Frederick Ashby NZ/413169 died 1 October 2003, RD Steel, BJ Doyle. (courtesy Air Museum of New Zealand)
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Weekly News of New Zealand, Air Museum of New Zealand, Museum of Transport and Technology, Auckland, other sources as quoted below: