David Farquhar Capel

Pilot Officer David Farquhar Capel served with the Royal Australian Air Force and was with RAF 220 Squadron at Ballykelly when he died in the FK207 crash.

Pilot Officer

David Farquhar Capel

404602

Pilot Officer David Farquhar Capel served with the Royal Australian Air Force and was with RAF 220 Squadron at Ballykelly when he died in the FK207 crash.

Pilot Officer David Farquhar Capel (404602) served with the Royal Australian Air Force. During World War Two, he saw action with RAF 220 Squadron based in Northern Ireland.

Capel was born in Bingara, Gwydir Shire, New South Wales, Australia on 6th June 1920. He was the son of Raymond Cecil Capel and Irene May Capel of Goodniwindi, Queensland, Australia. On 11th October 1940, he enlisted in the RAAF in Brisbane.

On 10th August 1942, Capel was an observer on board Boeing B-17 Fortress IIA FK207. The plane was part of no. 15 Group Coastal Command operating from RAF Ballykelly, Co. Londonderry.

220 Squadron at RAF Ballykelly

Imperial War Museum Photo: CH 7693 (Part of the Air Ministry Second World War Official Collection). Fortress Mark I AN537 ‘NR-L’, of 220 Squadron RAF based at Ballykelly, Co. Londonderry, on patrol over a convoy. The aircraft radar aerials, serial number and unit code letters have been obliterated by the wartime censor.

Fortress FK207 Crash

The crew of six, including Capel, took off from Ballykelly at 1946hrs on 10th August 1942. On an operational patrol, their task was to provide a night time escort to convoy ONS 120. Hours later, at around 2330hrs, the Fortress crashed near RAF Nutts Corner killing all on board.

The plane lost speed while turning and collided with rising ground in bad weather while returning from the convoy mission. Capel was twenty-two years old.

The aircraft passed over the drome at Nutts Corner at about 2330hrs, turned left as if to turn in on the runway. When immediately downwind of the runway the aircraft dived into the ground, caught fire and disintegrated with the bomb load exploding. The weather at the time was poor with low cloud which forced the aircraft to fly very close to rising ground.

Court Of Inquiry

This appears to be a case of losing flying speed in a turn at too low an altitude to permit recovery.

Group Captain Commanding – RAF Ballykelly, Co. Londonderry

Remembering The Crew

Capel is one of three members of the six-man crew buried in Northern Ireland. The remaining aircrew bodies returned to their hometowns in the United Kingdom.

Last NameFirst Name(s)RankRoleInformation
GarciaHSergeantWireless Operator / Air GunnerBuried in St Catherine's Church of Ireland Churchyard, Killead, Co. Antrim.
FosterPGSergeantWireless Operator / Air GunnerBuried in Glenavy Roman Catholic Churchyard, Co. Antrim.
SandersonGAWarrant OfficerPilotBuried in Kingston Cemetery, Portsmouth, UK.
BristowEWFlight SergeantCo-PilotBuried in Bear Road Borough Cemetery, Brighton, UK.
FretterVCSergeantWireless Operator / Air GunnerBuried in Astley Cemetery, Leicestershire, UK.
CapelDFPilot OfficerObserverBuried in St Catherine's Church of Ireland Churchyard, Killead, Co. Antrim.

David Farquhar Capel’s grave is in Section 23, Grave 8 of St Catherine’s Church of Ireland Churchyard, Killead, Co. Antrim.

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