Rank & Name: F/L Stephen Gerald Du-Plooy D.F.C
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Date of Death: N/A


It appears that Stephen Du-Plooy received his DFC whilst serving with 59 Sqdn. Whilst with 206 Sqdn he was co-pilot but on posting to 59, it appears he had his own crew. They took part in the 1000 Bomber Raid on Bremen in June 1942.

In Feb. 1943, he and his crew attacked an unknown U-Boat.

The following information was found in regards to a flying accident prior to his service with 59 Sqdn. source

On 14th November 1941 this aircraft was seriously damaged at Thornaby airfield and one airman sadly was killed with three being injured. The aircraft is thought to have struck an air-raid shelter on airfield when the pilot was attempting an emergency landing after the aircraft developed engine trouble in the circuit.

Pilot - Sgt Henderson RAF. Slightly injured.
Second Pilot / Observer - Sgt Stephen Gerald Du-Plooy RAFVR (446035). Uninjured.
Wireless Operator / Air Gunner - Sgt Horace Archer RAFVR (1354346), aged 21, of Fulwood, Preston. Cremated Carleton, Poulton-le-Fylde, Blackpool, Lancashire.
Wireless Operator / Air Gunner - Sgt Ashton RAF. Slightly injured.

Hudson N7318 was built to contract 791587/38 by The Lockheed Aircraft Corporation at Burbank, California and was shipped to the UK arriving at the Lockheed Assembly Division, UK Ltd. in November 1939. After assembly, testing and acceptance and a short period of MU storage it was taken on charge in by 206 Squadron at Bircham Newton in May 1940. The aircraft moved with the unit when they moved to St.Eval on 30th May 1941. The aircraft appears to have been used to rescue the Commander in Chief of Free Polish Forces, General Wladyslaw Sikorski and his staff from Bordeaux, France, in June 1940. The photograph above (found on Facebook) shows the crew involved in the rescue of General Sikorski (Du-Plooy is second from the right). NOte the airmen on the far right, carrying a homing pigeon in a cage. These were released in case of an emergency to help locate the crew, via attached messages. N7318 may have been slightly damaged in a landing accident at Docking on 10th August 1940 and was repaired. On 19th July 1941 6 (C)OTU was reformed at Thornaby and the aircraft was allocated to them. As a result of the mishap on 14th November 1941 Cat.E2/FA damage was recorded on the paperwork.

Stephen Du-Plooy received his commission (128959) on 3rd August 1942 to the rank of P/O on probation. He was a South African national serving in the RAFVR and after 6 (c)OTU he was posted to 59 Squadron in Coastal Command. In March 1943 he was awarded the DFC with the citation stating..

"Since joining this squadron P/O Du-Plooy has taken part in numerous anti-shipping patrols, always displaying exceptional keenness. He also participated in the "1,000 Bomber" raid on Bremen, spending 40 minutes over the target area to ensure accurate bombing, despite considerable opposition from anti-aircraft fire and night lighters. During July 1942, he completed four attacks on enemy convoys off the Dutch coast sinking one large-sized vessel. On other occasions he has made long and perilous sorties, often in very poor weather."

He resigned his commission in the RAF as F/Lt on 3rd June 1946.

Further Information

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