The Airmen's Stories - P/O D M Slatter
Dudley Malins Slatter, of Southsea was born on 7th March 1914 and joined the RAF in September 1935 as an Aircrafthand. After the outbreak of war he remustered as an Airman u/t Air Gunner, completed his training and was a Sergeant with 141 Squadron in June 1940. Slatter was commissioned on 3rd July.
Above: Slatter (left) with Gard'ner
With no operational experience, the squadron flew south to West Malling on 12th July. Shortly after 09.00 hrs on the 19th twelve Defiants moved to the forward airfield at Hawkinge. At 12.23 hrs they were ordered off to carry out an offensive patrol twenty miles south of Folkestone. Three were left behind with engine trouble. During the patrol the nine Defiants were surprised by a force of Me109's of III/JG51 and in less than a minute four were shot down.
Slatter was flying with P/O JR Gard'ner in Defiant L7016. This aircraft was one of the four rear machines immediately shot down. Unlike the other three victims it did not catch fire and Gard'ner brought it down on the sea four miles off Dover. The Defiant sank, Gard'ner was able to extricate himself at a considerable depth but Slatter was not seen again.
He was 26 and is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 10.
Above image courtesy of Dean Sumner