10.11.1943 No. 197 Squadron Typhoon Ib JP588 OV-V F/O. Soors
Operation: Night Intruder
Date: 10th November 1943 (Wednesday)
Unit: No. 197 Squadron
Type: Typhoon Ib
Base: RAF Tangmere, West Sussex
Location: English Channel?
Pilot: F/O. Martin Lambert Soors 131867 RAFVR Age 24. Missing - believed killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
During a night intruder operation to Poix-de-Picardie and on return to his base the aircraft and pilot went missing. We have no further details on the loss and welcome any new information. Additional details on the pilot, kindly supplied by Mehdi Schneyders are as shown below.
On left: P/O. Jean Parisse, a Belgian WAAF and P/O. Martin Soors. Right: 58 Operational Training Unit. Course 32-A, RAF Grangeouth Scotland. Rear row: Sgt. Farren, Fl/Sgt. Pigot, Fl/Sgt. Palliser, Sgt. Meyer, Sgt. Shenberger. Middle row: Sgt. Kawnik, Sgt. Dale, Capt. Millet, Sgt. O'Neill, Sgt. Felton Front row: P/O. Jongbloed, P/O. Krajewski, P/O. Soors, F/O. Knapik, P/O.Waterman.
F/O. Martin Lambert Soors. Runnymede Memorial Panel 1 / 29.
Further information: Born in Liège, Belgium on 9th February 1909. Joined the Aéronautique Militaire belge and received his wings in 1930. When Belgium was invaded by Nazi Germany on the 10th May, 1940, he was an instructor at the Goetsenhoven Flying School (Brabant province, now Flemish Brabant province). Martin Soors was evacuated along with his unit to France.
After the capitulation of the Belgian Army (signed on May 28th, 1940), most of the Belgian airmen returned to Belgium (following orders). Arrested on the national soil by the Germans, Martin Soors became a prisoner of war and was sent to Stalag IIbB, which was situated near the village of Hammerstein in Pomerania (now the town of Czarne in Poland).
In 1942, Martin Soors managed to escape and finally reached Great Britain (after crossing Spain). As a flyer, he joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. His training completed, he was posted to No. 197 Squadron, equipped with Hawker Typhoons.
Researched by Mehdi Schneyders and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to sources as quoted below. Also to Chez Gaston, Air Espace Lucht Ruimtevaar for use of some of the photographs.