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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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15.07.1943 No. 602 Squadron Spitfire Vb EN840 Fl/Lt. Strudwick D.F.C.

Operation: Ramrod

Date: 15th July 1943 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 602 Squadron

Type: Spitfire Vb

Serial: EN840

Base: RAF Bognor, West Sussex

Location: Cayeaux area, France

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Arthur Sidney Ronald Strudwick DFC. RAFVR Age 22. PoW Stalag Luft Sagen and Belaria


During a ramrod operation during the afternoon of the 15th July 602 squadron engaged in combat with Fw 109's from JG26 over Cayeaux, France whilst escorting bombers on the way to bomb Poix. He was hit but managed to bale out.


Three other Spitfires from 602 Squadron were also shot down:

Spitfire Vb AR428 Flown by Fl/Sgt H. Hannah, baled out, wounded and made PoW.
Spitfire Vb BL971 Flown by 27 year old New Zealander Fl/Sgt. Richard G.J. McKenzie, killed.
Spitfire Vb AD290 Flown by Canadian Sgt. A.T. Tysowski, made PoW.

Fl/Lt Strudwick escaped an earlier incident on the 3rd March 1942. Returning from a sweep in the Dunkirk area  he was hit by flak, managed to nurse the Spitfire Vb W3956 back to base but it was written off during the following crash landing.

Note: This Spitfire EN840 was built at the Castle Bromwich factory and fitted with the Merlin 45 engine. Spitfire Vb W3956 was built at the High Post works and first flown on the 27th September 1941, also fitted with the Merlin 45 engine.

Left: Air Commodoe Arthur Strudwick at the end of his RAF Career.

Burial Details:

None, Fl/Lt. Arthur Sidney Ronald Strudwick remained in the RAF until 1976. Flew the Meteor on his return, reaching the rank of Air Commodore at the end of his career. Further information can be read in his Daily Telegraph Obituary, re-printed on our website with full permission.

Researched for relatives of the pilot. With thanks to the following for further information supplied Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses' Vol. 2, Aviation Prints for Spitfire information, Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

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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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