Failed to return

Flying the unarmed Spitfire PRIVs of No 1 Photographic Reconnaissance Unit on sorties over occupied Europe was a hazardous job, especially when the mark was outclassed by the latest opposition. Several pilots found out the hard way, such as Wallace Devereux, shot down — and rescued — in August 1942

Plt Off Wallace Devereux next to Spitfire PRIV BP917 in front of a blister hangar at St Eval in June 1942.

It was with a mixture of relief and trepidation that Wallace Devereux watched as the big Dornier flying boat slowly circled his position and then alighted on the water — relief because he would soon be rescued, trepidation because it would mean captivity in a German prisoner of war camp.

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