Traces of World War 2 
RAF - No. 603 Squadron
10/05/1940 - 30/06/1940

      home - latest update 16 April 2008

603 SQUADRON - Fighter, Supermarine Spitfire Mk I

History | Operations and losses | Sources | Links | Books | Questions and/or remarks

Within two weeks of the outbreak of war in September 1939, the squadron began to receive Spitfires and passed on its Gladiators to other squadrons during October. It was operational with Spitfires in time to intercept the first German air raid on the British Isles on 16 October, when it destroyed the first enemy aircraft to be shot down over Britain in the Second World War. It remained on defensive duties in Scotland until the end of August 1940, when it moved to southern England for the remaining months of the Battle of Britain, returning to Scotland at the end of December. In May 1941, the squadron moved south again to take part in sweeps over France until the end of the year.

Turnhouse 5 May 1940
Hornchurch 27 August 1940

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Operations and losses 10/05/1940 - 30/06/1940
Not all operations listed; those with fatal losses are.

12/06/1940: training flight, UK. 1 Plane lost, 1 KIA

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LOSSES 01/01/1940 - 09/05/1940 (incomplete)

Pilot Officer (Pilot) Gordon I. Thomson, RAF (RAFO) 70878, 603 Sqdn., age unknown, 19/03/1940, Bognor Regis Cemetery, UK

Spitfire L1025 603 Sqn undercarriage jammed after heavy touch and go landing aircraft abandoned nearTyninghame, East Lothian on 26-4-40. P/O Basil Stapleton, 41879. See RAF Commands Forum, Spitfire L1025

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12/06/1940: ?, UK

Spitfire Mk I
Serial number: L1050, XT-?
Operation: training flight
Lost: 12/06/1940
Pilot Officer Donald K.A. MacKenzie, RAF 90861, 603 Sqdn., age 23, 12/06/1940, Colinton Parish Churchyard, Southern Extension, UK
Crashed near Balerno, SW of Edinburgh. The service number of P/O MacKenzie indicates that he transferred from the Auxilliary Air Force to the RAF.

CWGC, RAF Commands Forum: P/O MacKenzie (with thanks to Amrit, Paul McMillan and Doug Cuthbertson)

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Air of Authority - 603 Squadron
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database
Australian War Memorial
Bail-outs for 1940
Canadian Virtual War Memorial
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Royal Air Force - 603 Squadron
RAF Battle of Britain - 603 Squadron
RAF - Campaign Diary - The Battle of France (May-June 1940)
RAF Museum: British Military Aviation in 1940
RAF Order of Battle, France, 10th May 1940
Royal Air Force History Section
The Royal Air Force, 1939-1945
The Second World War - a day by day account

The War in France and Flanders, 1939-1940, by Major L.F. Ellis, 1954

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Darlow 'Five of the Few: survivors of the Battle of Britain & the Blitz tell their story' (2006)
A S Kennedy '603 City of Edinburgh fighter squadron: record of some of its achievements' (Scotsman 1943)
R Hillary 'The last enemy' (Macmillan 1975)
D Ross 'Richard Hillary: the definitive biography' (Grub St 2000)
D Ross 'Stapme: the biography of S/Ldr Basil Gerald Stapleton DFC' (603 Sqn 1940-41) (Grub St 2002)
Ross et al 'The Greatest Squadron of them all: the definitive history of 603 Squadron' (2 vols 2006)

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Air Aces
Airwar over Denmark
Allied World War II Casualties in the Netherlands
Armée de l'Air - Order of Battle, 10th May 1940
Australian Wargraves
Axis History Factbook
De Belgen in Engeland 1940-1945 (in Dutch)
Belgian Aviation History Association Archaeological Team
British Aircraft Directory
British Aviation Archaeological Council - Books and research links
Canada's Air Force History
HMS Cavalier
Ciel de Gloire (in French) RAF Squadrons
CWGC Cemeteries Germany
CWGC Cemeteries Netherlands
Czechoslovak airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
Danish WW2 Pilots

Dutch Pilots in RAF Squadrons
Eagles Squadrons (American pilots in the RAF)
Håkans aviation page (from Sweden, in English)
'High flight', poem by John Gillespie Magee
An Irish Airman Foresees His Death, poem by W.B. Yeats
Jagdgeschwader 27 (in German)
Luchtoorlog ('Arial War', in Dutch, with many photos)
Land Forces of Britain, the Empire and Commonwealth
The Luftwaffe, 1933-1945
Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum
The National Ex-Prisoners of War Association
Nordic Aviation during WW2 aircraft of WW2
Polish Air Force 1940-1947 Operations Record Books
RAF Battle of Britain
RAF Upwood
De Slag om de Grebbeberg
Warbird Alley
War over Holland
World War II Aircraft wrecksites in Norway
The Lancastershire Aircraft Investigation Team
Luftfahrt-Archäologie in Schleswig Holstein (in German)
North East Diary 1939-1945
Wartime Leicester and Leicestershire

The Aerodrome - Aces and Aircraft of World War 1
WW1 Cemeteries

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This page is dedicated to the men of 603 Squadron.

© Bart FM Droog / Rottend Staal Online 2008. Permission granted for use of the data gathered here for non commercial purposes, if this source is mentioned with a link to