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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
26.05.1940 19 Squadron Spitfire I N3200 Sqn Ldr. Geoff Stephenson

Operation: Operation Dynamo.

Date: 26th May 1940 (Sunday)

Unit: 19 Squadron, RAF

Type: Spitfire I

Serial: N3200

Code: QV:?

Location: On beach, Dunkirk, France.

Pilot: Sqn Ldr. Geoffrey Dalton Stephenson 26165 RAF PoW No: 254 *

* Oflag 4c, Colditz Castle, Colditz in Lower Saxony, Germany

(Note: Discovered in the 1980’s after sands had shifted on the beach. The wreck is recovered and then stored for over 25 years in a Normandy Museum. Purchased by American enthusiasts, then finally shipped to Duxford for restoration/rebuild by the Aircraft Restoration Company. Mr Guy Martin joined the team and a documentary is planned for screening on Channel 4 in October 2014.)


His aircraft was shot down in combat whilst covering the evacuation at Dunkirk and forced landed on the beach near Dunkirk. Sqn Ldr. Stephenson was captured and became a PoW.

He spent the war in a number of German prison camps, making many escape attempts, and eventually was sent to Colditz Castle in Poland, the ultimate high security German Prisoner of War camp. He was part of the team that built the famous Colditz glider.

Above N3200 being examined by German soldiers (archives)

Burial details:

None - Survived the war

Before the war, he was a member of the RAF aerobatic team

He was also personal pilot to King George VI.

Air Commodore Stephenson headed a six-man team from the central fighter establishment RAF, whose headquarters are at West Raynham near Fakenham, Norfolk. They were at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, home of the Air Proving Ground Centre, on an exchange tour.

He was killed on the 8th November 1954 whilst test flying a F-100A-10-NA Super Sabre of the USAF at Eglin Air Force Base. The aircraft went out of control and crashed before he could eject.

He was flying at 13,000 feet as he joined formation with another F-100, flown by Capt. Lonnie R. Moore, jet ace of the Korean campaign, when his fighter dropped into a steep spiral, impacting at 14:14 hrs in a pine forest on the Eglin Reservation, one mile NE of the runway of Pierce Field, Auxiliary Fld. 2.

Above: F-100A Super Sabre similar to the type flown by Air Commodore Stephenson when he was killed in November 1954

With thanks to Juliet Hodgkinson for pointing out an error, now corrected. Guy Martin, Mark Sublette, from South Carolina, USA for his work with the Wikipedia page. Thanks to Sean for pointing out the error regarding PoW details (Nov 2021) Additional acknowledgments below.

RS 18.11.2021 - Correction to PoW details and update

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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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Last Modified: 18 November 2021, 05:47

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