The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. D A Sewell
Donald Alec Sewell of Hall Green, Birmingham was born on 20th July 1915 and educated at Wellesbourne House School there. He joined the RAF at Halton in January 1932 as an Aircraft Apprentice and passed out in December 1934 as a Fitter, Aero Engines.
He later applied for pilot training and was selected. His first recorded posting was to 73 Squadron and he went with them to France in September 1939.
On 2nd January 1940 he force-landed near Nancy when his oil pressure dropped. He was unhurt. On 1st March Sewell was part of a flight that pursued He111's over Saarbrucken but were themselves attacked by Me109's of JG53. Sewell, in Hurricane L1958, was shot down and brought the aircraft down near Brulange, again escaping without injury.
Above: Sewell (right) with 'Cobber' Kain of 73 Squadron in France. Kain was killed in a flying accident on 7th June 1940 (IWM).
By the time of Dunkirk he had been posted to 17 Squadron at Kenley. On 25th August 1940 Sewell claimed a Me109 destroyed, on 3rd September he shared a Do17 and on 8th November he probably destroyed two Ju87's. From 26th November to 24th December 1940 Sewell was at CFS Upavon for an instructor's course on Masters and Tutors.
Commissioned in November 1941, Sewell later made the transition to Bomber Command. He was killed on 19th March 1944 as a Squadron Leader with 166 Squadron, operating in Lancasters from Kirmington, Lincolnshire.
Lancaster III ND705 was lost without trace on a sortie to Frankfurt.
Also lost were:
P/O DWC Hawken
F/Sgt. RA Glasson RAAF
F/Sgt. JG King RAAF
Sgt. CW Lloyd
Sgt. LS Preator
Sgt. WJ Proffitt
Sgt. R Emson
Sewell was 28 and is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 201.
Above image courtesy of Dean Sumner