Pilot Officer Colin Douglas BELL

Service No: 403317
Born: Sydney NSW, 5 October 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 6 January 1941
Unit: No. 127 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Air Operations (No. 127 Squadron Spitfire aircraft PD326), off the Dutch Coast, 11 September 1944, Aged 25 years
Buried: Oostende New Communal Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium
CWGC Additional Information: Son of David A. and Amy Bell, of Lidcombe, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Lidcombe NSW
Remembered: Panel 118, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 11September 1944 Spitfire PD326 along with other aircraft from the Squadron was detailed to carry out an armed reconnaissance attack on shipping between Flushing (Holland) and Breskens. PD326 was flying as Yellow 1. Very heavy anti-aircraft fire was encountered and as a large splash in the water was seen by Yellow 2 as he pulled away, it was thought to have been caused by the crashing of PD326. Pilot Officer Bell’s body was washed ashore at De Haan, 3 miles north east of Ostend, Belgium, at about 1010 hours on the 10 October 1944.

Squadron Leader Bradley (RAF) the Officer Commanding No. 127 Squadron in a letter to Pilot Officer Bell’s father dated 15 September 1944 stated: “Dinger” had been with the Squadron for a long period and in that time he has made himself indispensable and a fine fighter pilot. He has always been an asset to me in No. 123 Squadron in the Persian and Iraq Forces and later in the Western Desert: he returned to England with this Squadron and has remained with us in France.”


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/56/699

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