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The Airmen's Stories - F/Lt. D G Parnall

 

Denis Geach Parnall was born on 3rd April 1915, the son of George Geach Parnall, who had left the family business in Bristol and founded Parnall Aircraft Ltd. He had a home at Trevigue, St Gennys in Cornwall.

Denis attended Clifton College and Downing College, Cambridge, where he read Mechanical Sciences. A member of the University Air Squadron, he was commissioned in Class 'AA' of the RAFO in December 1936. He relinquished this and transferred to the RAFVR in January 1938.

 

 

 

He was granted a permanent commission in the RAF in September 1938, as a University Entrant. Parnall was appointed Personal Assistant to the AOC Reserve Command on 15th April 1939.

He arrived at 5 OTU Aston Down on 6th May 1940 and after converting to Hurricanes was posted to 249 Squadron at Leconfield on 28th May.

On 8th July Parnall shared a Ju88, on 15th August he destroyed a Me110 and on 2nd September he destroyed a Me110 and damaged two others, on the 7th he shared in the destruction of a He111, on the 11th shared another and on the 15th he probably destroyed a He111 and damaged a Me109.

He was shot down and killed during a patrol over Gravesend on 18th September 1940. His Hurricane, V6685, crashed and burned out by the A12 road, near Furness Farm, Furze Hill, Margaretting, Essex.

Parnall was 25. He is buried in the churchyard of St. Genesius at St. Gennys.

 

 

 

 

Land at Crackington Haven (above), close to the family home, was presented to the National Trust in 1959 by W/Cdr. AG Parnall, brother of DG Parnall.

A plaque at the site reads 'Given to the National Trust in 1959 by Wing Commander AG Parnall in memory of his brother F/Lt. Denis Parnall R.A.F and all those who gave their lives in the Battle of Britain 1940'

 

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