BELCHER, Francis Hugh


rank: W/O
status: pow
airforce: RCAF    (no: R71258 )
born: Roblin Canada

added by: Calvin Wickham

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Bio / Text:

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Francis Hugh Belcher was the son of Frank Belcher a farmer from Roblin, Manitoba who had emigrated from England in 1906.

Frank served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in France during WW1, being awarded the Military Medal.

Francis joined the RCAF completing his initial training in Canada in March 1941. Travelling to England he completed his training and joined the newly-formed Canadian 412 Squadron as a Sergeant pilot at the beginning of July. He was posted to 403 Squadron on 23 August 1941.

Having been promoted to Warrant Officer he left 403 on 6 April 1942 for an overseas posting. The ORB states that 'W/O Belcher was away today for his overseas posting. Nice chap, Belcher, quiet and unassuming, he does his work well; we wish him the best of luck.' Before the end of the month he flew to Malta as part of Operation Calendar joining 601 Squadron.

While on Malta he claimed for a damaged Re2001 (Spitfire serial unknown).

At the end of June he travelled with 601 to Egypt. On the 6 July he took part in an operational flight of four Spitfires. They met 3 Ju 88s and 3+ Me 109s and flak was also experienced. Belcher and one other pilot, William John Edgar Hagger, failed to return. Belcher became a POW but Hagger was killed.

Francis returned to Canada after the war and died in 2000.


Squadrons add
RAF 403 Squadron 1941-08-23
RAF 412 Squadron 1941-07-03
RAF 601 Squadron 1942-04-14


W3109 Practice Formation 1941-08-24
P8380 From Hornchurch to Debden 1941-08-25
P7368 Formation Flying 1941-08-28
P7911 Convoy Patrol 1941-08-28
P7352 Training Combat 15000' Note: ORB says 7350 but that is not 403 sqdn 1941-08-29
P8090 Local Formation 1941-09-02
P8380 Local formation. Note: ORB has ‘F’ 8580 but that is not a Spitfire 1941-09-13
P7438 Local formation 1941-09-15
P8380 Local formation 1941-09-15
P7438 Formation Jumping Practice 1941-09-17
W3938 Cannon firing 1941-09-17
P8380 Battle climb. Note: ORB has ‘F’ 8560 1941-09-18
W3604 Local formation 1941-09-20
W3426 Operation: Search for unidentified aircraft 1941-09-21
AB982 Local formation 1941-09-25
Air test. No ID given 1941-09-25
R6890 To Martlesham 1941-10-03
AD317 Cannon test 1941-10-04
R6890 Cloud flying 1941-10-05
AD273 Convoy patrol. Note: ORB has ‘C’278 1941-10-06
AB981 Convoy patrol 1941-10-11
AD258 Local formation and cloud flying 1941-10-11
P7438 Convoy patrol 1941-10-12
AA834 Engine test 1941-10-12
W3426 Convoy patrol 1941-10-13
W3426 Convoy patrol 1941-10-13
W3426 Convoy patrol 1941-10-14
AD317 Formation and cloud flying 1941-10-14
R6890 Convoy patrol 1941-10-17
W3426 Convoy patrol 1941-10-18
W3604 Convoy patrol 1941-10-18
AD208 Scramble 1941-10-19
P7438 Convoy patrol 1941-10-20
AD317 Practice interception on a Blenheim 1941-10-20
AD258 Convoy patrol 1941-10-21
AD208 Local flying 1941-10-22
AD208 Convoy patrol 1941-10-23
AA835 Convoy patrol 1941-10-23
P7438 To Sutton Bridge for air-to-air firing 1941-10-24
AA834 Air-to-air firing 1941-10-26
P7438 Convoy patrol 1941-10-28
AD258 Convoy patrol 1941-10-28
AD208 Camera gun practice 1941-10-29
W3822 To Sutton Bridge for air-to-air firing 1941-11-01
AA834 Scramble 1941-11-02
AD317 Convoy patrol 1941-11-03
W3822 Convoy patrol 1941-11-04
AA835 Scramble 1941-11-06
W3431 Convoy patrol 1941-11-08
W3426 Scramble 1941-11-10
AD198 Convoy patrols 1941-11-20
AB981 GCI co-operation 1941-11-22
AB981 Cine gun practice 1941-11-23
W3431 Aerobatics 1941-11-23
AB981 Convoy patrol 1941-11-23
AD208 Convoy patrol 1941-11-25
AD206 Scramble 1941-11-25
AD208 Camera gun practice 1941-11-26
W3431 Convoy patrol 1941-11-27
R6890 Scramble 1941-11-30
AD208 Camera gun practice 1941-11-30
AD208 Convoy patrol 1941-12-05
W3431 Practice interceptions 1941-12-07
AB981 Convoy patrol 1941-12-08
AB981 Convoy patrol 1941-12-08
AD208 Convoy patrol 1941-12-08
AD208 Cloud flying 1941-12-09
AD258 Convoy patrol 1941-12-09
AB981 Cine gun practice 1941-12-11
BL337 Cine gun practice 1941-12-12
W3426 Cine camera gun training 1941-12-13
BL337 Drogue towing air firing 1941-12-15
AD258 Practice interceptions 1941-12-17
AD273 Dog fighting 1941-12-17
AD208 Martlesham Heath to North Weald 1941-12-24
AD208 Sector reconnaissance 1941-12-24
W3170 Convoy patrol 1941-12-28
AB940 Convoy patrol 1941-12-28
R6890 Local flying formation practice 1942-01-05
BL337 Hunsdon to North Weald 1942-01-06
BL337 Hunsdon to North Weald 1942-01-06
W3431 No details. Note: ORB has ‘F’3421 1942-01-09
AB981 Air firing 1942-01-10
AD208 Air firing 1942-01-10
AD273 Cine gun 1942-01-11
W3426 Formation flying 1942-01-14
AD208 Cine gun and formation 1942-01-17
AD208 Cine gun and formation flying 1942-01-17
AD208 Op: Scramble interception 1942-01-21
W3426 Non-operational to Martlesham 1942-01-22
W3426 Op: QO and scramble 1942-01-22
W3426 To North Weald 1942-01-22
AA967 Two convoy patrols 1942-01-25
AB981 Pin pointing exercise 1942-01-26
AD273 Section formation 1942-01-27
AD273 Convoy patrol 1942-01-28
AB981 Camera work 1942-02-07
AD273 Convoy patrol 1942-02-08
W3426 To Hunsdon 1942-02-10
BL337 Practice squadron formation 1942-02-11
R6890 GCI co-operation 1942-02-14
AD208 Convoy patrol 1942-02-15
W3426 Cloud flying formation camera gun 1942-02-16
AD208 Formation flying 1942-02-17
W3431 Camera gun 1942-02-18
W3431 Convoy patrol off Shoeburyness 1942-02-19
AB978 Martlesham to North Weald 1942-03-15
BM123 Air to ground cannon test 1942-03-17
AD208 Convoy patrol 1942-03-23
BL590 Fighter sweep 1942-03-23
BL590 Operational sweep 1942-03-24
BL590 Operational sweep 1942-03-25
BL590 Wing formation over London (Warships Week) 1942-03-26
BL590 To Hunsdon 1942-03-26
BL590 To North Weald 1942-03-27
BL337 Convoy patrol 1942-03-29
BR232 Cannon test 1942-07-03
BR384 Fighter sweep - Alamein Line 1942-07-05
BR325 Fighter sweep - Failed to return 1942-07-06
AD208 Cine gun practice 1942-12-02


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