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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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541 Squadron crest
09.01.1945 No. 541 Squadron Spitfire PR XI PL900 Fl/Lt. Joseph de Puysseleyr DFC

Operation: Photo Reconnaissance 

Date: 09th January 1945 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 541 Squadron

Type: Spitfire PR XI 

Serial: PL900

Base: RAF Benson, Oxfordshire

Location: Watford, Hertfordshire.

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Joseph de Puysseleyr DFC. 100652 RAFVR Age 27. Killed


On the 9th January he left with others from his unit to photograph installation in Berlin. It is thought that the aircraft had been damaged by flak. Although he managed to return he crashed near Watford, killing him instantly.

Above: Fl/Lt. Joseph de Puysseleyr DFC. (see credits)

Spitfires from 541 Squadron (courtesy Imperial War Museum)

DFC awarded 15th September 1943. Citation reads:

‘This officer has successfully photographed enemy objectives ranging from places in Norway to the South of France. Despite frequent opposition from enemy fighters and ground defences, he has successfully completed his missions.’

Left: Dorchester (St. Brinius) Roman Catholic Church (see credits)

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. Joseph de Puysseleyr DFC Dorchester (St. Brinius) R/C. Church. Wife of Pearl Johanna (nee Oxley) Born in Gwent on the 17th October 1918. Arrived in England after France collapsed on August 5th 1940. Trained at 58 O.T.U. in Grangemouth, Scotland before joining 131 Squdron. Further squadrons he served with - 350, 543, 541 Squadrons and 1 Photo Reconnaissance Unit Also awarded the Croix De Guerre 1940, Crois Des Évadés (posthumous), Knight In Leopldsorde with Palmes (posthumous)

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Josette Bens and Mr. Alain Rosseels from Belgium for further information and photographs, WW2 Awards, Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Oxfordshire Villages website for Church photograph.

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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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