IN MEMORy by Pierre Vandervelden

The visit to Commonwealth graves in Communal Cemeteries & Churchyards in Belgium & France

BEAUREPAIRE Communal Cemetery (Oise France)

A. L. Pitfield - J. Ballantyne
Photo Courtesy Alain Octavie (Fr)
F/L Alan Leonard Pitfield DFC
Born Hobart, Tasmania, Australia 02 July 1917 (the eldest of 5 children), he grew up at 40 Montagu Street, Lenah Valley; an inner suburb, 5km from city.
He attended the Friends’ School, Hobart; (one of 20 Quaker schools in the world).
He was Air Cadet at Point Cook, Victoria (near Geelong, 25 km s/w of Melbourne) from 15/07/1935 to 14/07/1936. He embarked Melbourne on the RMS Strathnever on 14/07/1936 for London England, as one of a group of seven, to take up a Short Service R.A.F. Commission.
21/08/1936, granted a five year Short Service Commission as a P/O, in the General Duties Branch of the Royal Air Force, 21/03/1938, F/O, 21/03/1940, F/O.
Reason of loss: "Take-off at 0830 hrs from Molsy a few days before the fall of France to attack pontoon bridges at Pont Pointe at St.Valery.
Others in the attack witnessed the attack by the Battle L5334 on the northern end of the bridges but then he disappeared below the level of nearby trees after a tremendous amount of ground fire, and Crashed near Beaurepaire (Oise) 38 km south east of Beauvais, France.
The attacks on the bridges were classed as successful and during the bombing they also strafed troop concentrations on the banks of the river."
16/07/1940, Alan was awarded the DFC.
Extract from citation.
“During May 1940, he took part in six night and one day operational flights in ‘Battle’ aircraft carried out in spite of strong enemy opposition, and under difficult weather conditions. He displayed magnificent courage and devotion to duty, and his skill and keenness were a splendid example to the Pilots of his Flight.”
from his nephew Bob Nichols, Hobart, Tasmania

2 casualties

United Kingdom Sergeant (Obs.) Royal Air Force 88 Sqdn. Age: 23 Date of Death: 12/06/1940 Service No: 580936

United Kingdom Flight Lieutenant Royal Air Force 88 Sqdn. Age: 22 Date of Death: 12/06/1940 Service No: 39007

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Casualties informations come usualy from Commonwealth War Graves Commission, see links for more informations © Pierre Vandervelden - Belgium