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Douglas Rivers Bagnall
File:Douglas Rivers Bagnall Photograph.jpg
Bagnall outside his tent in North Africa in 1942
Born (1918-09-23)23 September 1918[1]
Died 2001
Place of birth Auckland, New Zealand
Place of death Hereford
Allegiance Flag of New Zealand.svg New Zealand
Service/branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Years of service 1938–1965[1]
Rank Wing Commander
Service number 40790
Commands held No. 40 Squadron RAF (1943)[1]
Awards Distinguished Service Order
Distinguished Flying Cross (United Kingdom)
Distinguished Flying Cross (United States)
Wing Commander Douglas Rivers Bagnall DSO DFC (September 23, 1918 – 2001) led a number of successful Vickers Wellington operations in support of Allied forces in Sicily, Italy and the North African desert during World War II.[1]

Early life and educationEdit

Douglas Rivers Bagnall was born in Auckland, New Zealand to Alfred Ernest Bagnall and Henrietta[2] and was educated at King's Preparatory School and King's College, Auckland before reading commerce at Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington.[1]


Bagnall trained for the RAF as a pilot and was commissioned in 1938. In March 1943, aged 24, he was promoted to wing commander with No. 40 Squadron RAF which flew Vickers Wellington bombers.[1] He was awarded a Distinguished Service Order for his part in an attack on marshalling yards at Battipaglia in 1943[3] and the American Distinguished Flying Cross in 1944.[4]

Personal lifeEdit

He married Caroline Welham in 1945.[1] He retired in 1965 as a wing commander and died in Hereford in 2001.[5]


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