Sub-Lieutenant Francis Dawson-Paul
Francis Dawson-Paul was born in London in February 1916. He originally joined the Reserve of Air Force Officers (RAFO) in August 1934, but had to resign in May 1937 due to ill health.
The members of the RAFO normally served as instructors at reserve flying schools who were training pilots for the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR). He was commissioned into the Fleet Air Arm in September 1939, training with 758 Squadron at Eastleigh to provide Telegraphist Air Gunners (TAG). Whilst there he took a short Fighter Course in May 1940 and was then loaned to the RAF joining 7 OTU at Hawarden where he converted to Spitfires.
Dawson-Paul joined 64 Squadron at Kenley on 1 July where he was one of 15 officers on strength with the squadron. He took part in his first squadron sortie and participated in the destruction of a Do.17 off Beachy Head in conjunction with 145 Squadron that evening. He claimed downing an Me.109 in an evening sortie over Rouen on 5 July, force-landing at Hawkinge when returning to base. On another evening sortie, on 7 July, he claimed an Me.110 off Calais; F/O Jeffrey also claiming an Me.110 on the same sortie. On 8 and 9 July, 64 Squadron failed to make contact with the enemy but on the afternoon of 10 July the squadron claimed 4 Me.110s and 2 others damaged; Dawson-Paul claimed 2 of them. Dawson-Paul claimed an Me.109 on 13 July, with another on 25 July. Dawson-Paul was shot down on an interception patrol later that day, although recovered by a German E-boat, he was badly injured and died of his injuries on 30 July, although word had reached the squadron that he was a prisoner of war on 1 August.
Francis was the son of Joseph Dawson-Paul and Flavie Leonie Paul, of Chelsea, London.
Rest in peace Sir and thank you for your service.