Pilot Officer Paul A Baillon – 609 (West Riding) Squadron
Paul Abbott Baillon was born at Upton, Northampton, on 1 April 1914. He was educated at Ratcliffe College, Leicester, from 1924-
On 27 October 1940, during his first engagement with the enemy, and flying Spitfire P9503, he encountered a Junkers Ju88 somewhere over Salisbury, but was hit by return fire. His aircraft was badly damaged and oil spewed over his windscreen, thereby severely limiting his vision and preventing him from having any chance of landing safely. Paul therefore elected to bail out, and as he floated safely down to earth he watched his Spitfire crash in flames close to a small wood near Upavon on Salisbury Plain.
Very sadly, and almost exactly a month later, in the late afternoon of 28 November 1940, 609 Squadron encountered the Messerschmitt Me109s of Jagdgeschwader 2 ‘Richthofen’ led by Major Helmut Wick in a dogfight over the Needles on the Isle of Wight. At the time Wick was the Luftwaffe’s leading fighter-
His body wasn’t found until the following year when he was washed ashore in Normandy, the Germans affording him the honour of a military funeral and burying him at St Marcouf. When the new Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery was being constructed in Bayeux post-