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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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19 squadron badge
12.02.1942 No. 19 Squadron Spitfire Vb AD332 Sgt. Reid

Operation: Fuller

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


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.

Burial Details:

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)

KTY 28.12.2016 New information added

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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