The Airmen's Stories - F/Lt. J M Bazin
James Michael Bazin was born in Kashmir, India on 2nd December 1913 but returned to the UK and was brought up in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
He joined 607 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force at Usworth in May 1935. He flew his first solo on 11th November and was commissioned in December. He was called for full-time service on 28th August 1939.
He married Elizabeth Anna Richardson in Newcastle in late 1939.
607 Squadron was ordered to France in November to join the Air Component of the BEF. On the 13th its Gladiators were flown from Acklington down to Croydon and two days later to Merville.
On 11th May 1940 Bazin shot down a He111 north of Douai and next day he destroyed another near Brussels. By this time 607 had Hurricanes. The squadron suffered heavy losses in the fighting in France and was withdrawn to England, re-assembling at Croydon on 22nd May.
Bazin claimed a Do17 destroyed and another damaged on 15th September 1940 and on the 30th he claimed a Ju88 shot down and probably a second. Bazin, who had been shot down once in France, crash-landed at Hurn on 5th October when his engine failed in Hurricane P3668. He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 25th October 1940). Although the citation stated that he had destroyed ten enemy aircraft, most were shot down in France and details are not known.
In early 1941 Bazin was posted from 607 Squadron and at some time he served as a Controller in the 14 Group Operations Room at Inverness. He did a flying refresher course in November 1943, a Beam Approach Training course in December and in January 1944 Bazin was posted to 16 (Bomber) OTU. He converted to Lancasters at 1660 Conversion Unit and, after Lancaster Finishing School, he joined 49 Squadron at Fiskerton in May 1944.
In late June he was given command of 9 Squadron at Bardney. By the end of the war Bazin had carried out twenty-five operational sorties, including a raid on the German battleship Tirpitz. He was released from the RAF in May 1945 as a Wing Commander and was awarded the DSO (gazetted 21st September 1945).
Bazin resumed his career as an engineer and rejoined 607 Squadron in November 1946, commanding it from late 1949 until 1952.
He died on 9th January 1985. His ashes were scattered in Tangmere churchyard.