25.08.1944 No. 263 Squadron Typhoon Ib MN477 HE-T P/O. Sayana P.D.Thyagarajan
Operation: Armed recce, France
Date: 25th August 1944 (Friday) (1)
Unit: No. 263 Squadron
Type: Typhoon 1b
Base: ALG B2 St. Croix
Location: Pont-Audemer France
Pilot: P/O. Sayana Puram Duraiswamy Thyagarajan 177663 RAFVR Age 26. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Shot down by flak and crashed near Pont-Audemer France. It is thought that "Tiger Rajan" (as he was well known) had been heavily hit by ground fire and he tried to force land the Typhoon, the aircraft hit a row of Poplar trees and the aircraft flipped upside down and blew up in the orchard - killing him instantly.
British soldiers had already retrieved his body when the village priest turned up and he insisted that he be buried in the local churchyard rather than at the crash site - as was normal at the time.
One of five Typhoons, six Spitfires and two Mustangs lost this day. A second Typhoon from 263 Squadron MN883, crashed near Theillement, 26 year old, F/O. Allan William Campbell (1) J/36786 RCAF of Ontario, Canada also killed.
(1) On this day Paris was liberated from the Nazis.
P/O. Sayana Thyagarajan with his Typhoon.
Right: Sayana's grave at La Lande Churchyard.
P/O. Sayana Puram Duraiswamy Thyagarajan. La Lande, France. La Lande is a village and commune about 65 kilometres north-west of Evreux and 12 kilometres south-west of Pont-Audemer. The one Commonwealth war grave in the churchyard is near the south wall and the small entrance gate. Son of Suna Duraiswamy and S. D. Duraiswamy, of Pondicherry, South Arcot, India. We appreciate the use of photographs supplied by Bharat Rakshak October 2014.
(1) F/O. Allan William Campbell. Bretteville-Sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery. Grave XXVI.C.7. Son of William A. and Christine McNeill Campbell, husband of Viola Campbell, of Sarnia, Ontario, Canada.