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Richard George Arthur Barclay
-17 July 1942
Place of birth South London
Place of death Killed in Action El Alamein
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Air Force
Years of service 1939-1942
Rank Squadron Leader
Unit No. 611 Squadron RAF
Commands held No. 238 Squadron RAF
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Distinguished Flying Cross

Squadron Leader Richard George Arthur Barclay DFC RAF was a British pilot who was killed in action on 17 July 1942 during the battle of El Alamein aged 22.

Born in South London, and attending Stowe School and Trinity College, Cambridge, Barclay joined the University Air Squadron in 1938, and was called up on the outbreak of war. Posted to 249 squadron in July 1940, he flew though the Battle of Britain, receiving the DFC in October.

Flying Officer Richard George Arthur Barclay (74661), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve - No. 249 Squadron. This officer has shown admirable coolness and courage in combat against the enemy. His keenness and determination have enabled him to destroy at least four of their aircraft (DSC Citation [1])

As a flight commander with 611 Squadron, Barclay was shot down over occupied France in September 1941. He force landed and evaded capture, making his way to Spain with help from the French Resistance. In April 1942 he was posted to North Africa and returned to flying as CO of 238 Squadron, flying Hawker Hurricanes Mk II's.

He was shot down and killed by Lt. Werner Schröer of III./Jagdgeschwader 27on 17 July 1942.

Barclay is buried at the El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt.[2]

His diaries, written during his wartime career up until his death, were published in 1974 and give a rare, descriptive and highly articulate first hand account of the life of a fighter pilot in 1940-41.


  • Barclay, George; Humphrey Wynn (1977) [1974]. Angels 22: A Self-Portrait of a Fighter Pilot (Revised edition ed.). London: Arrow Books. ISBN 9780099161301. OCLC 4464601.  


  1. ^ London Gazette Issue 35001, 26 November 1940
  2. ^ Commonwealth War Graves Commisson


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