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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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401 Squadron crest
28.08.1942 No. 401 Squadron Spitfire IXb BS180 Fl/Sgt. Sinclair

Operation: Circus 210

Date: 28th August 1942

Unit: No. 401 Squadron

Type: Spitfire IXb

Serial: BS180

Code: YO-?

Base: RAF Biggin Hill

Location: As above

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Andrew Lloyd Sinclair J/17656 RCAF Age 23. Safe

We are extremely grateful to François Dutil (438 Squadron Archivist) for supplying photographs and information to Aircrew Remembered in October 2017. All photographs shown within this page are available to relatives at a higher resolution (as are most of those named within this page) - courtesy of François.


Previous combat reports (N/A: AIR/50/136)

07th July 1944 Spitfire IXB Time up: 11:22 hrs. Down: 13:35 hrs. "I was flying Blue 4 when we ran into 4 109's. I chased 3 of them into the area of Lisieux where I was able to single one out. I fired about 3 second burst at about 250 yards. The Me109 didn't seem to be hit and the chase went down to almost the deck where he pulled up and tried to half roll. This was at about 500 ft. He then flew right into a group of trees where he burst into flames. I claim 1 Me109 destroyed".

07th July 1944 Spitfire IXB Time up: 11:22 hrs. Down: 13:35 hrs. "Returning from Lisieux area 3 FW 190's made an attack on me. I broke around trying to get onto the tail of one of them, the other two having disappeared. I finally ended up with a head on attack. I gave him a second burst. He flew on straight and level for a short distance, burst into flames and crashed. The height where this took place was about 2,000 ft. Cine camera was used for both combat. I claim a FW190 destroyed".

Left: Fl/Sgt. Andrew Lloyd Sinclair on left with William Kennedy Ferguson (killed on the 17th August 1942 - see here for brief details)

28th August 1944 Spitfire IXB Time up: not stated "I was flying Blue 2 in 401 Squadron Circus 210 escorting 12 Fortresses to bomb Meaulte. When over Amiens at 26,000 ft I saw 2 Fw190's coming in to attack my section from above and from NW. I broke away from my section and turned to meet them head on. I picked on one Fw and fired head on with cannon and machine gun from 250 yards to point blank range. I saw strikes along the fuselage as he broke away and pieces of his A/C were flying off between the cockpit and tail. As he swerved away black smoke was pouring out. This was the last I saw of the E/A as I was then attacked by another E/A. I claim this Fw190 as damaged".

He returned to base with category B damage to Spitfire BS180. (1) Later on in January 1945 as Fl/Lt. Sinclair he was awarded the DFC. Served with 185 Squadron in Malta remained in the RCAF after the war.

During this Circus, the squadron lost another pilot:

Spitfire IXb BR628 flown by 23 year old, Fl/Lt. James Whitham DFC. J/15281 RCAF from Ottawa, Canada - killed over Amiens.

02nd October 1944 Spitfire IXB Time up: 11:34 hrs. Down: 13:30 hrs. "I was flying Blue 1 in a section of 4 when we made contact with 8 long nosed 190's south of Nijmegen flying west. After one second bursts I saw strikes on one but was unable to see what happened to it as it half rolled downing cloud at 6,000 ft while I attended to other aircraft. G.G.S and cine camera used. I claim 1 x Fw190 as damaged".

(1) Spitfire IX BS180 was later lost over the English Channel on the 23rd September 1943. Fl/Sgt. Wiktor Kempka 303 (Polish) Squadron was rescued.

Burial details:

None - pilot survived the war.

Others mentioned in this page:

Fl/Lt. James Whitham DFC. St. Pierre Cemetery, Amiens. Plot 1. Row B. Grave 12. Son of Charles and Lilian Whitham and husband of Margaret Craig Whitham, of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

P/O. Jack Kenneth Ferguson. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 100. Son of Kenneth Farquhar Ferguson and Roberta Scott Ferguson, of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to François Dutil and sources as quoted below. 'Flying For Your Life' website has further information on this and other pilots, well worth a visit.

KTY - 12.11.2017

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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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