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Archive Report: Allied Forces

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414 Squadron Crest
17.06.1943 No. 414 Squadron Mustang I AP206 F/O. Frederick L. Vaupel

Operation: Instep patrol

Date: 17th June 1943

Unit: No. 414 Squadron RCAF

Type: Mustang I

Serial: AP206

Base: RAF Portreath

Location: English Channel off Lizard, Cornwall

Pilot: F/O. Frederick Leroy Vaupel J/7420 RCAF Age 30. Killed


A tragic series of events - all through a lack of communication from fighter command, for sure the cause.

Events taken from the squadron ORB’s for that fateful day:

At 17.00 hrs F/O. Bernhardt, Vaupel, Chapman and Brown took off for Redannack and were airborne on instep at 19.00 hrs. At 20.30 hrs when returning towards Lizard  - they saw two aircraft which appeared to be Spitfires escorting a small ship. When first seen these aircraft were about 5 miles away and all aircraft were flying at zero feet. F/O. Bernhardt led his section to investigate and the other aircraft approached our section head on as the distance narrowed  -  our section divided. F/O. Chapman flying as No 3 and F/O. Brown as No. 4 broke to port. F/O. Vaupel flying No 2 on F/O. Bernhardt was quite a bit behind his leader. 

Left: F/O. Frederick Leroy Vaupel (see credits)

At this time. F/O Chapman said over the R/T. "It's Okay Bernie, they're Spits". At 1000 yards the leading Spitfire opened fire at F/O. Bernhardt. He then returned fire on this aircraft  and fired a continuos burst until the range decreased to 100 yards. No others in our section fired their guns. 

As F/O. Bernhardt passed the Spitfire which had been firing at him he saw battle letters "VZ" and recognised it from 412 Squadron. F/O. Vaupel was seen to start a sudden climb, reached about 1,500 ft. and then flick over and crashed into the sea. No trace of pilot or aircraft was found, although F/O. Chapman gave a” Mayday" call. 

Our remaining aircraft broke off and made for base. 

Shortly after this engagement, one of the Spitfires AR522, crashed into the sea from about 1,500 ft and the pilot F/O. Lloyd Powell (1) of 412 Squadron was lost.

Neither of the Squadrons had been warned about each others presence!

Right: Runnymede Memorial Panels

Burial Details:

F/O. Frederick Leroy Vaupel. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 175. Son of Ernest William and Nancy Vaupel, of Port Elgin, Ontario, Canada

(1) F/O. Lloyd Woodrow Powell DFC J/15339 RCAF. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 174. NoK details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

Researched for relatives of pilots. With thanks to Mr Christopher Clarke in Canada and also the daughter of George Burroughs for the supply of information and photograph. Thanks also to Jack Brook for serial number of F/O. Powell's Spitfire.

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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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