Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Ian Willoughby Bazalgette

In memory of:

Squadron Leader Pilot Ian Willoughby Bazalgette

August 4, 1944

Military Service


Service Number:

118131

Age:

25

Force:

Air Force

Unit:

Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Division:

635 Squadron

Citation(s):

Victoria Cross The following particulars are given in the London Gazette of 14th August 1945:-

On 4th August 1944 Squadron Leader Bazalgette was "Master bomber" of a Pathfinder Squadron detailed to mark an important target for the main bomber force.

When nearing the target his Lancaster came under heavy anti-aircraft fire. Both starboard engines were put out action and serious fire broke out in the fuselage and the starboard main-plane.

The bomb aimer was badly wounded. As the deputy "master bomber" had already been shot down, the success of the attack depended on Squadron Leader Bazalgette and this he knew.

Despite appalling conditions in his burning aircraft, he pressed on gallantly, marking and bombing it accurately. That the attack was successful was due to his magnificent effort.

After the bombs had been dropped, the Lancaster dived, practically out of control. By expert airmanship and great exertion Squardon Bazalgette regained control. But the port inner engine then failed and the whole the starboard main-plane became a mass of flames. Squadron Leader Bazalgatte fought bravely to bring his aircraft and crew to safety.

The mid-upper gunner was overcome by fumes. Squadron-Leader Bazalgatte then ordered those of his crew who were able to leave by parachute to do so. He remain at the controls and attempted the almost hopeless task of landing the crippled and blazing aircraft in a last effort to save the wounded bomb aimer and helpless air gunner.

With superb skill and taking great care to avoid a French village, he brought the aircraft safely down. Unfortunately, it then exploded and this gallant officer and his two comrades perished.

His heroic sacrifice marked the climax of a long career of operations against the enemy. He always chose the more dangerous and exacting roles. His courage and devotion to duty were beyond praise.

Distinguished Flying Cross, Award effective 1 July 1943 as per London Gazette

Additional Information


Born:

October 19, 1918
Calgary, Alberta

Ian Willoughby Bazalgette was the son of Charles Ian and Marion Edith (née Bunn) Bazalgette. His family moved to Toronto, Ontario in 1923 where received his early education at Balmy Beach School. Then his family moved to England and his education was completed at Rokeby, the Downs, Wimbledon and by private tutor. In September 1940 he received a commission in the Royal Artillery and the following year he transferred to the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. In the autumn of 1942 he was posted to No. 115 Squadron, R.A.F. for flying duties. In September 1943 he went to an operational training unit as an instructor and in April 1944 he was posted to No. 635 (Pathfinder) Squadron as a flight commander with the rank of Squadron Leader. He earned a Distinguished Flying Cross in Italy on 9 July 1943. In 1949 a mountain in Jasper National Park was named after him. Squadron-Leader Bazalgette is buried in the military plot in Senantes Churchyard, Oise, France about twelve miles west-north-west of Beauvais. His medal is on display at the R.A.F. Hendon Museum in England. During the summer of 1990 at the Nanton Lancaster Museum in Nanton, Alberta, a plaque was unveiled by Mrs. Ethel Broderick, Ian Bazalgette's sister, and the markings of the Bazalgette aircraft (F2-T) were unveiled by Chuck Godfrey DFC, his wireless operator on the VC flight, and George Turner, his flight engineer. Flypasts included an armed forces CF-5 and an Aurora from No. 407 Squadron in Comox. Hamish Mahaddie, an RAF legend who arranged for Ian to join the Pathfinders and Larry Melling DFC, a pilot who flew with "Baz" on No. 635 Squadron were special guest speakers at the banquet. Master of Ceremonies was Duke Warren DFC.

Commemorated on Page 245 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cemetery:

SENANTES CHURCHYARD
Oise, France

Grave Reference:

N/A

Location:

Senantes is a village 20 kilometres west-north-west of Beauvais, and 8 kilometres east of Gournay-en-Bray. The village lies on the road from Beauvais to Gournay-en-Bray. In the north-east corner of the churchyard behind the local War Memorial is the grave of one airman from the United KIngdom.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

Send us your images
  • Photo of Ian W. Bazalgette– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Photo of Ian Bazalgette– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Photo of Ian Bazalgette– Ian Bazalgette Victoria Cross
Submitted by Operation Picture Me
  • Group Photo– Ian Bazalgette Victoria Cross
Submitted by Operation Picture Me
  • Photo of Ian W. Bazalgette
  • Photo of Victoria Cross– Ian Bazalgette Victoria Cross
Submitted by Operation Picture Me
  • Ian Bazagette School– This school was named after Ian Bazagette, who won the Victoria Cross during the Second World War.  The school is located in Calgary, Alberta.
  • Cenotaph– Barrie Military Park, Canadian Victoria Cross Recipients, Cenotaph
  • Memorial– Squadron Leader Pilot Ian Willoughby Bazalgette is also commemorated on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Memorial– Squadron Leader Pilot Ian Willoughby Bazalgette is also commemorated on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Memorial– Father J P Lardie's comments as inscribed on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Commemorative Village– Senantes
  • Monument
  • Monument– Grave site
  • Gravemarker– IAN WILLOUGHBY BAZALGETTE  VC, DFC
  • Grave Marker– grave site

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