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The Airmen's Stories - Sub/Lt. (FAA) F Dawson-Paul


Francis Dawson Paul was born in London on 18th February 1916.

His father, Joseph Dawson Paul (1886-1976) was a director of the Boulton & Paul engineering company. His mother, born Flavie Leonie Ozanne (1892-1962), flew as a passenger in some of the company's early aircraft.



Francis ('Frank') attended Harrow School, in the same house as his father.




Francis was awarded Aero Cerificate 11403 at the Norfolk & Norwich Flying Club on 9th September 1933.

He was commissioned in the RAFO in August 1934, had two promotion but resigned on 5th May 1937 because of ill-health.

At some time he was an instructor at the London Transport Flying Club.

He was commissioned in the Fleet Air Arm on 26th September 1939 and trained with 758 Squadron at HMS Raven at Eastleigh. After a short Fighter Course there from 27th May 1940, he was loaned to the RAF on 23rd June and went to 7 OTU Hawarden where he converted to Spitfires.



Above: Hawarden June 1940 - Dawson-Paul standing second from right.



On 1st July Paul was posted to 64 Squadron at Kenley. On the evening of this day he shared in destroying a Do17 south of Beachy Head. He claimed a Me109 destroyed on the 5th in combat over Rouen and made a forced-landing at Hawkinge on the way back. Paul claimed a Me110 destroyed on the 7th, two more and probably a third on the 10th, a Me110 on the 13th and a Do17 on the 24th.

Paul destroyed another Me109 on the 25th. On this day he was shot down into the Channel off the south coast in Spitfire L1035. He was picked up by a German E-boat, severely wounded.

Paul died five days later.

He is buried in Hardinghen churchyard, France.







This airman's surname appeared inconsistently in the records, sometimes as Paul and sometimes as Dawson-Paul, both with and without a hyphen. A decision was made to use Dawson-Paul (subsequently confirmed as correct by his family who made contact) but a visit to his grave revealed that the CWGC had decided to use Paul alone.

His first name is also recorded as Frank by the CWGC and other sources.



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