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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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263 Squadron Crest
25.08.1944 263 Squadron Typhoon Ib MN477 HE:T Plt Off. Sayana P.D.Thyagarajan

Operation: Armed recce, France

Date: 25th August 1944 * (Friday)

Unit: 263 Squadron

Type: Typhoon 1b

Serial: MN477

Code: HE:T

Base: ALG B2, St. Croix

Location: Pont-Audemer France

Pilot: Plt Off. Sayana Puram Duraiswamy Thyagarajan 177663 RAFVR Age 26. Killed

* On this day Paris was liberated from the Nazis.


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, Fg Off. Allan William Campbell J36786 RCAF of Ontario, Canada also killed (See burial details below).

Plt Off. Sayana Thyagarajan with his Typhoon.

The above video depicts footage of Plt Off, then a Sgt, Thyagarajan at 0:10, 0:48 and several other points throughout the film.

Burial Details:

Above: Sayana's grave at La Lande Churchyard.

Plt Off. 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.

Researched by Aircrew Remembered and dedicated to the family of this Pilot. We appreciate the use of photographs supplied by Bharat Rakshak (Oct 2014). Thanks to Xavier Thomas for the video link depicting Sgt. Thyagarajan (Jul 2021).

Fg Off. 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.

RS 08.07.2021 - Addition of video

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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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