The Airmen's Stories - P/O D C Shepley
Douglas Clayton Shepley was born at Carlton-in-Lindrick, Nottinghamshire on 14th July 1918, the youngest of five brothers. He was at Oundle School from September 1931 to 1935, when he left to join his father's business.
In January 1938 Shepley entered RAF College Cranwell as a Flight Cadet. After graduating in September 1939 he joined 152 Squadron, then reforming at Acklington.
Above: he married Frances Ethel Linscott in mid-1940 in Bromley, she is referred to as Ruby elsewhere.
On 8th and 11th August 1940 Shepley claimed Me109s destroyed. He was reported 'Missing' on the 12th after an attack on Ju88s south of the Isle of Wight in Spitfire K9999.
He was 22. He is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 10.
After Shepley's death his mother and widow raised £5,700 in North Derbyshire and South Yorkshire to buy a Spitfire. The aircraft, W3649, a Mk. Vb, was named Shepley and issued to 602 Squadron on 16th August 1941.
It was taken over by Group Captain FV Beamish for his personal use and carried the code FV-B. He was flying it when he and W/Cdr. RF Boyd spotted the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau.
The Spitfire was lost in action on 28th March 1942 when Beamish was shot down and killed.
His sister Jeanne Shepley was lost on 17th October 1939 when the ss Yorkshire was torpedoed.
His brother F/Lt. George Rex Shepley DFC was killed when his Lysander II P9127 of 16 Squadron was shot down in error over Dunkirk by Spitfires. He is buried in Pihen-les-Guines War Cemetery.
Above image courtesy of Dean Sumner