12.02.1942 No. 19 Squadron Spitfire Vb AD332 Sgt. Reid
Date: 12th February 1942 (Thursday)
Unit: No. 19 Squadron
Type: Spitfire Vb
Serial: AD332 (1)
Base: RAF Ludham, Norfolk
Location: North Sea, off the coast of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
Pilot: Sgt. Donald Thomas Ewen Reid 778394 RAF Age 21. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Operation 'Fuller' was the name given to attack the two battle cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and the cruiser Prinz Eugen that left the port of Brest to journey up the Englaish Channel to Norway. The convoy were heavily protected by large numbers from the Luftwaffe and many air battles took place with heavy losses on both sides.
Mr. John Allan, who has researched his loss provided us with his research:
“From the ORB we know that Reid and AD332 took off as part of a 10 aircraft patrol at 15:26 (He was White 2). The weather conditions were described as being “very difficult - with haze from 800 feet to the cloud base which varied from 2000 / 8000 feet”.
Reid is stated to have become separated from the squadron in cloud soon after take-off with it later being reported that his body had been picked up by a trawler off Yarmouth.
The ORB states that many friendly bomber aircraft were observed during the patrol and considerable shipping activity was also seen but there is no mention of any enemy aircraft or ships having been encountered.
Based on these reports I think it most unlikely that Donald Reid was shot down. The weather conditions, with a combination of haze and varying cloud base which would have resulted in a lack of a clear horizon, would have been conducive to spatial disorientating and I would suggest that the most likely reason for his aircraft to crash was a loss of control in challenging weather.”
John Allan - December 28th 2016
(1) AD332 built at the Castle Bromwich factory and fitted with the Merlin 45 engine.
Left and above Scottow Cemetery as visited by Aircrew Remembered 2012. Also shown is the family memorial in South Africa.
Sgt. Donald Thomas Ewen Reid. Scottow War cemetery, Norfolk. Grave 267. Son of Dr. William Ewen Reid and Kathleen Reid, of Stutterhein, Cape Province, South Africa. Grave inscription reads: “Eternal Rest Grant Unto Him O Lord And Let Light Perpetual Shine Upon Him.”
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of the pilot. With thanks to the following for further information supplied, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses' Vol. 2, Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Genealogical Society of South Africa and John Allan.
(Relatives / friends who would like a copy of the grave photograph at a higher resolution, please email us and we will gladly send you a copy)