06.06.1940 No. 152 Squadron Spitfire I K9896 P/O. Bell
Date: 06th June 1940 (Thursday)
Unit: No. 152 Squadron. 13 Group. (motto: 'Faithful Ally')
Type: Spitfire I
Base: RAF Acklington, Northumberland
Location: Catterick Airfield
Pilot: P/O. Bewsher Eric Bell 41653 RAF Age 20. Seriously injured
REASON FOR LOSS:
Thought to be returning from an operational flight and moving back to his base from West Hartlepool.
At 21:50 hrs. the pilot attempted to land at RAF Catterick when the undercarriage struck a dispersal pen. The Spitfire flipped over and landed on its back.
The pilot was removed from the wreckage seriously hurt. He died the following day at the military hospital in Catterick from severe spinal injuries.
The aircraft was declared beyond economic repair and struck off charge on 16th June 1940.
P/O. Bewsher Eric Bell. Catterick Cemetery. C. of E. Sec. Row M. Grave 12. Born on the 15th October 1919 at Gisborne, the son of John Dunsterville Bell and of Lena Forde Bell (née Forde-Matthews), of Gisborne, Auckland, New Zealand. Prior to service worked as a clerk at the Public Trust Office. A total of 281 flying hours logged, with 8 operational sorties. Grave inscription: "Beloved Son Of Mr And Mrs J.D. Bell Gisborne, New Zealand. Thy Will Be Done".
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below: