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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
08.11.1942 No. 401 Squadron Spitfire IX BS391 F/O. D.R. Manley

Operation: Circus 235

Date: 08th November 1942 (Sunday)

Unit: No. 401 Squadron (The Rams)

Type: Spitfire IX

Serial: BS391

Code: YO-?

Base: RAF Biggin Hill, Kent

Location: Calais area, France

Pilot: F/O. Douglas Russell Manley J/9358 RCAF Age 20. Killed

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.


For the Circus Operation on this day they were escorting 38 x B-17’s that were to bomb Fives/Lille with 12 other B17’s on a diversion raid to Abbeville/Drucat. The entire Gruppe from JG26 were scrambled as well as others from III./JG2. Despite 7 Spitfires being shot down, the escort defended the bombers well. P/O. Gimbel from 401 Squadron claimed one Fw190 together with Sq/Ldr. Hodson.

Above: As described - see below for DFC award for P/O. Cosburn.

F/O. Douglas Russell Manley was one of these shot down, sadly he was killed, the other pilot shot down this day Fl/Lt. Donald Robert Morrison DFM DFC J/15475 RCAF survived as a PoW.

London Gazette 15th January 1943:

‘During the past year Pilot Officer Cosburn J/15709 has participated in numerous operational sorties. He has proved himself to be a courageous and skilful fighter pilot and has destroyed one enemy aircraft, shared in the destruction of another and damaged others. He has at all times set an inspiring example of enthusiasm and determination’.

Burial details:

F/O. Douglas Russell Manley. Pihen-Les-Guines War Cemetery. Grave 1.B1. Born on the 17th September 1922, the son of Robert William Manley, Q.C., and Velma Rose Manley, of Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Canada.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Francois Dutil also to Len for grave photo, other sources as quoted below:

KTY - 08-10-2017

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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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