Bio / Text:
Bryan Vincent Draper, from Barry in South Wales, joined the RAFVR about April 1938 as an Airman u/t Pilot. Called up on 1st September 1939, he was commissioned in December and arrived at 11 Group Pool St Athan on the 28th. After converting to Spitfires he was posted to No. 2 Ferry Pilot Pool on 25th January 1940. He moved to 74 Squadron on 17th February.
Draper shared a Do17 on 25th May, damaged a Do17 and a Me109 on 10th July, destroyed a Ju88 on 14th September and destroyed a Me109 and probably another on 17th October. The confirmed Me109 made a belly-landing at Manston. The pilot was captured unhurt.
On the 20th Draper's Spitfire, P7355, was severely damaged in combat over south London, during which he claimed the probable destruction of a Me109. Draper made a crash-landing with a seized engine. He claimed three Ju87’s destroyed and a Me109 damaged on 14th November and a Me109 destroyed the next day. He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 24th December 1940) and was posted away to CFS Upavon on 30th December 1940 for an instructor's course.
He then went on to instruct at the RAF College Cranwell and was posted out in a similar capacity to Canada. Promoted to Flight Lieutenant on 10th March 1942, he returned to England in December 1943 and undertook a conversion course on Mosquitos. Draper then joined 45 Squadron at Kumbhirram, India on 19th February 1945. The squadron was engaged in flying ground attack missions against the
Japanese in support of the Burma campaign.
On 28th February whilst flying Mosquito FB IV HR457 on a shallow glide bombing attack the aircraft was seen to break up in mid-air 40m SE of Mandalay.
Draper and his crewman W.O PR James were both killed and are buried in Taukkyan War Cemetery, Rangoon - Joint grave 26. D. 19-20.
Son of John Robert and Nellie Draper; husband of Yvonne Bettina Draper, of Chaldon, Surrey.
In 2006 a plaque was unveiled at Whitgift School, Croydon, bearing the names of the eight 'old boys' who had served in the Battle of Britain
Battle of Britain Monument London