July 27, 1922 - November 5, 1942
Stanley Henry Spallin was the son of Joseph Mark (engineer) and Cecelia Margueritte (nee Lambert) Spallin, of Edmonton. He was born in Fort Saskatchewan. His father's whereabouts were unknown, as his parents separated in 1923. Mrs. Spallin had sole custody of her children. He had one brother, Glen John, 28, at home in Edmonton. A second brother, James Edward, died of pneumonia in 1921. The family attended the United Church.
He was a store clerk with Safeway for two years. He listed drama and model aircraft as his hobbies. Sports: rugby, baseball, hockey and occasionally boxing. He smoked 3-4 cigarettes daily and rarely consumed alcohol, according to his attestation papers. He stood 5' 9 1/4" tall and weighed 142 pounds. He had brown eyes and light brown hair.
He enlisted in Edmonton on December 17, 1940. He was assessed: "Excellent young lad for Air Crew Service. More than average ability. Pleasant personality and quite mature. Should make a first class pilot. High recommended."
He was sent to Halifax September 2, 1941 and arrived at RAF Trainees' Pool on September 17, 1941.
Three times he was written up on the general conduct sheet while in the UK, for certified no entry.
On October 27, 1941, Spallin was involved in an accident, flying Hurricane I R2688 while at 56 OTU on a non-operational flight. He reported, "On 27/10, as I touched down after normal approach, the port wheel gave way. I immediately opened the throttle and brought the a/c down as slowly as possible. Upon final touchdown, the a/c went up on its nose. The landing was not a heavy one and I believe it must have been structural failure." Diagnosis: "Pilot struck a ridge and bounced into the air. The a/c stalled and landed on the port wheel heavily, with the port wheel breaking off. Conclusion: The accident was caused through a heavy landing by the pilot after hitting a ridge on the drome. The pilot is making satisfactory progress in his course and his training is being continued."
At 1153 hours, Blue section of 609 Squadron was scrambled to intercept an enemy aircraft reported near Deal. J. C. Wells reported, "Whilst orbitting inland off Deal, I was ordered to proceed to Dungeness following the edge of the coast. The cloud base over Dover appeared to be about 600 feet, leaving 100 feet air space above the cliff. I crossed the edge by St. Margaret's Bay, keeping seaward of the harbour and breakwater at Dover, to avoid any balloons that might be flying in the area. As I was about to cross the coast, I saw Blue 2 astern of me (F/Sgt Spallin). Having cleared the harbour area, I turned slightly left to follow the coast to Dungenss, flying about 1 1/2 to 2 miles off shore. When abreast of Folkestone, I was informed that enemy aircraft was south of Dover, so I returned to orbit this area. Visibility to landward was about 3 miles, but rather less to seaward owing to rain. R/T communications was very weak but I understood I was to go to Dungeness. Whilst following the coast to Dungeness, I looked back for my No. 2 but could not see him owing to poor backward visibility. It became apparent when I reached Dungeness that my No. 2 was no longer with me, and I assumed he had returned to base. Control asked me if I was happy about the weather, which though not good, was definitely operational. I replied in the affirmative. After again patrolling off Dover, I was ordered to pancake at base. At landing, I was informed that Blue 2 had struck a balloon cable at Dover and crashed into the sea. As I had taken care to give the balloons a wide berth, it appears that Blue 2 had cut in on the inside of the turn and flown into the balloon zone. Forward visibility was reduced owing to rain on the windscreen but if Blue 2 had his side windows down, there should have been no difficulty in that respect during the turn out to sea. It was not apparent that balloons were flying as they were in cloud."
Conclusions: "F/Sgt Spallin flew into the cable of the outer balloon of the area. The aircraft immediately dived into Dover Harbour and the pilot was unable to escape. Dover Naval Staff Officer has advised me that it is unlikely that any attempt at salvage will be made. In conclusion, I would state that I have every confidence in the leadership of F/O Wells and am satisfied that this accident was not cause by any error in judgement on his part." S/L R. P. Beaumont, 609 Squadron. Spallin's body was never recovered and his name is on the Runnymede Memorial.
Mrs. Spallin had wondered where her son's movie camera and films were. She was advised that Miss Orchard was in the possession of both. She lived at 4 Station Road, Rickmansworth, Herts. The RCAF asked Mrs. Spallin if she would like the RCAF to obtain both items, or contact Miss Orchard herself.