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Archive Report: Allied Forces

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74 squadron badge
06.07.1941 No. 74 Squadron Spitfire Vb W3176 Fl/Sgt. Carter

Operation: Circus 35

Date: 6th July 1941 (Sunday)

Unit: No. 74 Squadron (Trinidad - Motto: 'I Fear No Man')

Type: Spitfire Vb

Serial: W3176

Code: ZP-?

Base: RAF Biggin Hill ?

Location: Wormhout, France

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Leslie Raymond Carter 754236 RAFVR Age 21. Missing - believed killed


Shot down over France during the afternoon of 6th July along with 2 other Spitfires from the same Squadron. Escorting six Stirlings who were attacking Lille steel works, Hptm. Pingel's first gruppe made contact over Lille but low fuel forced them to break off over the English channel. (P/O. Wilfred Malcolm Skinner 68722 (1) DFM. Spitfire Vb W3208 who became a PoW and 24 year old, Sgt. William Guy Lockhart (2) Spitfire 748117 Vb W3317 who evaded capture but was interned in Spain)

Fl/Sgt. Leslie Carter was shot down by Hptm. Adolph who was commanding officer II/JG26 - his 19th victory. The Spitfire W3176 crashed at Wormhout at 14:45 hrs.

Fl/Sgt. Carter flying Spitfire I X4554 escaped an earlier incident whilst serving with 41 Squadron. On 11th October 1940 at 16:25 hrs. another Spitfire I X4052 flown by 25 year old, F/O. Desmond Hugh O'neill collided with him. Fl/Sgt. Carter managed to bail out safely, however F/O. O'neill although managed to bail out, lost his life as his parachute failed to open.

(1) On the 30th August 1940 flying Spitfire X4022 he collided with P/O. Edward Churches NZ/39900 RNZAF - both pilots survived. P/O. Wilfred Malcolm Skinner PoW No: 1623. Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan. Passed away on the 26th June 2003.

P/O. Edward Walter Gillie Churches sadly listed as missing - believed killed on the 19th April 1941 flying Spitfire P7381 during a routine patrol.

(2) Sgt. William Guy Lockhart: After his evasion he, then as a W/Cdr. flying with Bomber Command with 7 Squadron, was shot down flying Lancaster III JB676 MG-K on the 28th April 1944. Killed with all his crew.

Burial Details:

Fl/Sgt. Leslie Raymond Carter. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 35. Born on the 15th April 1920 at St. Albans, the son of Albert William and Jeanetta Caroline Carter, of Shenley, Hertfordshire, England.


F/O. Desmond Hugh O'neill. Streatham Park Cemetery. Square 7A. Grave 12104. Son of Lt.-Col. Edward Martin Marie O'Neill, and Ethel May O'Neill, of Glasnevin, Co. Dublin, Irish Republic and husband of Muriel O'Neill.
P/O. Edward Walter Gillie Churches. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 63. No further information - are you able to assist?

Researched for Mark Carter - nephew of Fl/Sgt. Leslie Raymond Carter. With thanks to the sources as quoted.

KTY Updated 03.02.2019

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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', 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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