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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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01st May 1942 457 Squadron Spitfire VB BM188 Fl/Lt. North DFC

Operation: Circus 150

Date: 01st May 1942 (Friday)

Unit: No. 457 Squadron RAAF. 11 Group

Type: Spitfire VB

Serial: BM188

Code: BP-?

Base: RAF Redhill, Surrey

Location: Unkown

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Harold Leslie North DFC. 41608 RAF Age 22. Missing - believed killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

26th August 1940. Whilst serving with 43 Squadron flying Hurricane I V7259 was badly damaged after contact with HE111's baled out with wounds to his head and shoulders. Admitted to the Royal Sussex Hospital, Chichester but returned to to the squadron on the 10th September.

Taking off from RAF Redhill at 18:30 hrs leading 11 others to provide cover to Hurribombers on an operation to the Shell factory in Marquise in France.

On the return journey just prior to crossing the French coast enemy aircraft intercepted the squadron. Fl/Lt. North together with his No. 2 Sgt. Peacock flying BM251, were last seen diving on an enemy aircraft with 10 enemy aircraft diving into them.

The two pilots have no known graves.

Above L-R: Fl/Lt. Harold Leslie North DFC, P/O. George Gray Russell Aus/402253 shot down on the 04th April 1942 flying Spitfire VB BP859 PoW No: 27 Stalag Luft Sagan, Sq/Ldr. Peter Malam Brothers CBE, DSO, DFC and Bar. Retired in 1973 as Air Officer Commanding Military Air Traffic Operations and Director of Public Relations. Passed away the 18th December 2008, aged 91.

Burial details:

FlLt. Harold Leslie North DFC. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 66. Born on the 31st October 1919 at Dunedin. Prior to being selected for a RAF short service commission on the 31st August 1928 worked as a collection clerk for G.H.M. Moir solicitors. Awarded his wings on the in May 1939. Son of William Charles Dingey North and Ruby Rogers North (née Brooks), of Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand. Credited with five enemy aircraft destroyed, 3 probables with 3 others as damaged.

Sgt. Andrew Francis Peacock Aus/403371. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 113. Born on the 11th August 1920 at Lake Cargelligo Australia. Son of Harold and Charlotte Agnes Pearl Peacock, of Canberra, Australia

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Ian Banks, Jenifer Lemaire and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, AWMM, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 15-02-2021

Acknowledgements: 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', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', 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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