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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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401 Squadron Crest
13.07.1942 No. 401 Squadron Spitfire Vb BM650 F/O. J.R.C. Tyre

Operation: Circus 199

Date: 13th July 1942 (Monday)

Unit: No. 401 Squadron (The Rams)

Type: Spitfire Vb

Serial: BM650

Serial: BL782

Code: YO-?

Base: RAF Biggin Hill

Location: Somme Estuary, France

Pilot: F/O. James Russell Courtney Tyre C/1370 RCAF Age 25. Killed

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Frank Alexander Duff R/78406 RCAF Age 23. Killed

We are extremely grateful to François Dutil (438 Squadron Archivist) for supplying photographs and information to Aircrew Remembered in October 2017. All photographs shown within this page are available to relatives at a higher resolution (as are most of those named within this page) - courtesy of François.


During an operation in the late afternoon escorting 12 Bostons from 88 Squadron to bomb Boulogne these two aircraft collided over the Somme Estuary - although both claimed by JG26 unit.

All the bombers returned safely.

In the map of operations above - inserts top left, Fl/Sgt. Duff and below, Fl/Lt. Tyre.

Also lost on this operation Spitfire Vb BM182 of 602 Squadron - Flown by 30 year old, P/O. Edgar Mostyn Innes-Jones NZ/40769 RNZAF - missing believed killed. Further details here.

Above L-R: P/O. Tucker, Fl/Lt. Neal DFC, Fl/lt. Tyre, Sgt. Pope, F/O. Blakeslee, Sgt. McLennan DFM. Front: P/O. Witham DFC.

Above rear: Sq/Ldr. Douglas, Fl/Sgt. Macdonald, F/O. Merritt, Fl/Sgt. Gimbel, Fl/Sgt. Flander, Fl/Lt. Harley, Front: Fl/Sgt. Duff, P/O. Northcott, Fl/Sgt. Denison, P/O. Ferguson.

Above: Fl/Sgt. McLennan DFM, P/O. Morrison, Sgt. Mathewman, Fl/Lt. Tyre, Fl/Lt. Neal, P/O. Tucker, P/O. Smither, P/O. Whitham, Fl/Sgt. Cosburn, Fl/Lt. Merritt, Fl/Sgt. Gimbel, Fl/Sgt. Duff, Sq/Ldr. Hodson, P/O. Ferguson.

Burial details:

F/O. James Russell Courtney Tyre. Abbeville Communal Cemetery Extension. Plot 7. Row A. Grave 5. Born on the 12th April 1917 the son of Cecil Watson Claire Tyre and Gertrude Ellen Tyre and husband of Frances M. Tyre, of Saanichton, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.

Fl/Sgt. Frank Alexander Duff. Villeneuve-St. Georges Old Communal Cemetery. Grave 113B. Born on the 15th May 1919, the son of Peter A. Duff and Esther J. Duff, of South River, Ontario, Canada. Grave inscription reads “In The Shadow Of His Wings There Is Rest”. Also remembered on the family grave as shown at the South River Cemetery, South River, Ontario, Canada.

P/O. Edgar Mostyn Innes-Jones. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 114. Son of Mostyn Humphrey and Mabel Innes-Jones (née Studholme) of Te Kuiti, North Island, brother of Mrs Rosalind Mostyn Barker, Mangapehi of North Island.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Francois Dutil and sources as quoted below:

KTY - 07.10-2017 KTY - 13-01-21 NZ Pilot details added

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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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