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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. D Bell


Derek Bell of South Shields, County Durham was born in December 1918, the son of John Pickering Cuthbert Bell and Lily Walker.

Bell enlisted in the RAF in 1938 as an Aircrafthand. He later remustered as an Air Gunner. He served with 23 Squadron in the Battle of Britain.

He married Rose Walker in July 1941 in North Kesteven, Lincolnshire.

He was killed on 27th December 1941, serving with 50 Squadron, which was operating Hampden bombers from Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire.

Hampden I AE428 was shot down by flak whilst laying smoke in support of the Commando landing on Vaagso Island. It was hit by flak and crashed into the Vågsfjord.

Also lost were:

P/O R Watson
Sgt. JD Williams

Sgt. RN Smith (Rhodesia) was rescued.

Bell was 23. He is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial, panel 39.



Above image courtesy of Dean Sumner.


His younger brother, also John Pickering Cuthbert Bell, a ship's engineer, was killed aged 26 when he fell into the hold of the ss Silver Guava in San Francisco in March 1949.


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