Bazin James 607 *

90281 Flight Lieutenant James M Bazin AAF – 607 Squadron

James Michael Bazin was born in Kashmir, India but returned to the UK and was brought up in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. He joined 607 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force at Usworth in May 1935, flew his first solo on 11 November and was commissioned in December. He was called into full-time service on 28th August 1939.

607 Squadron was ordered to France on 13 November 1939 to join the Air Component of the BEF and it’s Gloster Gladiators were flown from Acklington down to Croydon and two days later across the Channel to Merville.

On 11 May 1940 now flying Hawker Hurricanes, Bazin shot down his first He111 north of Douai and next day he destroyed another near Brussels. The squadron suffered heavy losses in the fighting in France and was withdrawn to England, re-assembling at Croydon on 22 May and thence returning to the home-base at Usworth for rest and refitting.

Bazin claimed a Do17 destroyed and another damaged during the Luftwaffe’s large raid on the North on 15 September 1940 and on the 30th he claimed a Ju88 shot down and probably a second. Bazin, who had been shot down once in France, crash-landed at Hurn on 5 October when his engine failed in Hurricane P3668. He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 25 October 1940), the citation stating that he had destroyed ten enemy aircraft.

In early 1941 Bazin was posted from 607 and at some time he served as a Controller in the 14 Group Operations Room at Inverness. He did a flying refresher course in November 1943, a Beam Approach Training course in December and in January 1944 was posted to 16 (Bomber) OTU. He converted to Lancasters at 1660 Conversion Unit and, after Lancaster Finishing School, he joined 49 Squadron at Fiskerton in May 1944.

In late June he was given command of 9 Squadron at Bardney. By the end of the war Bazin had carried out twenty-five operational sorties, including a raid on the German battleship Tirpitz. He was released from the RAF in May 1945 as a Wing Commander and was awarded the DSO (gazetted on 21 September 1945).

Post-war Bazin resumed his career as an engineer and rejoined 607 Squadron in November 1946, commanding it from late 1949 until 1952.

He died on 9 January 1985 and his ashes were scattered in Tangmere churchyard.

Posted in Memorial Stones.