3 Squadron Typhoon IB EJ961 F/O. Richard Michael Hastings Purdon
Date: 30th June 1943 (Wednesday)
Unit: No. 3 Squadron (motto: Tertius primus erit - The third shall be the first'). 1 Group. 2nd Tactical Air Force
Type: Typhoon IB
Base: RAF Manston, Kent
Location: North Sea
Pilot: F/O. Richard Michael Hastings Purdon J/16351 (R/92322) RCAF Age 21. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off on a low level shipping attack off the French coast.
According to his service file: 'This aircraft made its attack on a convoy and came out between the convoy and the harbour, both of which were firing a large amount of flak at this aircraft. This was the last seen or heard of this aircraft. Understood to have been brought down at around 23:00 hrs.
Understood the his body was washed ashore on either the 27th or 29th of July at Loon Plage near Dunkirk and that he was buried in the Municipal Cemetery, Dunkirk."
F/O. Richard Michael Hastings Purdon. Dunkirk Town Cemetery. Plot 2 Row 4 Grave 14. Born on the 28th April 1922 in Vancouver. Enlisted on the 24th February 1941. Trained with No. 4 Initial Training School in Edmonton, 21st June - 26th July1941. No. 8 Elementary Flying Training School, in Vancouver, 27th July - 11th September 1941, No. 3 Service Flying Training School in Calgary 12th September - 06th December 1941. Pilot badge awarded on the 05th December 1941.
Embarked for England on the 09th February 1942 arriving at No. 3 Personnel Reception Centre on the 20th February 1942. At No. 9 Pilot Advanced Flying Unit, then 59 Operational Training Unit on the 02nd June 1942. Joined 3 Squadron on the 25th August 1942.
Son of Richard Henry Featherstonhaugh Purdon and Mary Barbara Purdon (nee Boston), Brother of Mary Gwendoline and Audrey Felicite.of 3906 West 36th Avenue, West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Epitaph: Pro Aris Et Focis. 'Come Unto Me'.
Purdon's uncle was Major General William Brooke Purdon, DSO, OBE, MC, (shown right) Born on the 28th December 1881. From 1938 to 1941 he was Honorary Surgeon to King George VI. In 1940 he was awarded the post of Deputy Director Medical Services Western Command. After retiring from the British Army he took up the role of Agent in London of the Northern Ireland Governm. Died 1 December 1950 aged 68.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to National Archive, Kew, Government of Canada, Paradie RCAF Archives.
Pages regarding 1943 Losses
Pages detailing RCAF Losses
Other sources as quoted below: