David Usher Barnwell

Memorial: Alveston - St Helen's Church

Regiment: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Medals: 1939–45 Star, Distinguish Flying Cross, War Medal 1939–1945

Rank and number: Pilot Officer

Parents: Marjorie and Frank Sowter Barnwell OBE AFC FRAeS BSc,

Home address: Stoke Bishop, Bristol

Date of birth: 1921

Date of death: 14/10/1941

Buried/Commemorated at: No known burial site but commemorated on the Malta Memorial and Alveston War Memorial

Further information:

185 squadron RAFVR (previously in 607 squadron)

David’s squadron was involved in the aerial defence of Malta during which he shot down 5 aircraft between July and early September. In August he joined the specialised night fighting unit and in September was awarded the distinguished flying cross. In September of 1941 The London Gazette reported “This officer has displayed outstanding courage and determination when attacking hostile aircraft of which he has destroyed at least four by night. He has in every way set an excellent example.” David was killed less than a month later whilst on night fighter patrol on the 14th October. He was shot down over the Mediterranean Sea and the last message he ever sent was “Bailing out, engine cut, am bailing out. Am coming down in sea.” His body was never recovered.

By kind permission, this information is based on the following source(s):

This information has been provided by Sarah Hands, Volunteer Researcher for the South Gloucestershire War Memorials Web Site.
By kind permission, this information is based on the following source(s):
The Scotsman 18 October 1941