British WWII Fighter Ace
Killed in Action
Noël Agazarian joined the Royal Air Force as a Volunteer Reservist and was commissioned as a Pilot Officer on 14 February 1939. He completed his initial flying training at the same time as Richard Hillary, at RAF Lossiemouth, after which both were assigned to RAF Old Sarum, to train as army co-operation pilots.[Note 3] They flew Westland Lysander liaison aircraft and Hawker Hector biplanes; during the training, Agazarian crashed a Hawker Hector but was unscathed. By the time his course ended (June 1940) France had fallen, the Dunkirk evacuation had taken place and a German invasion of Britain was thought to be imminent. Because of this crisis, Hillary and Agazarian were both amongst the majority of pilots from the graduating Army co-operation class who were immediately re-assigned as fighter pilots, something that pleased Agazarian immensely.
After a few weeks of fighter training, Agazarian joined 609 Squadron, a fighter squadron flying Supermarine Spitfires, based at RAF Warmwell in Dorset. His first victory was on 11 August 1940, when he shot down a Messerschmitt Bf 110 heavy fighter around 15 miles south of the Isle of Portland. On 12 August, he shot down two Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighters and damaged a Messerschmitt Bf 110 around 5 miles south of Portsmouth. This occurred during a large battle, when a formation of German bombers and their fighter escorts were intercepted by three RAF fighter squadrons after they bombed Portsmouth and its dockyards.
Agazarian was promoted from Pilot Officer to Flying Officer on 14 August and continued to fly throughout the Battle of Britain. His last victory with 609 Squadron was on 2 December, when he shared in the destruction of a Dornier Do 17 bomber with Polish pilot Tadeusz Nowierski. By this time he had shot down six aircraft, damaged four and shared in the destruction of three. One of the aircraft he flew during the battle, Supermarine Spitfire number R6915, still exists and is preserved in the Imperial War Museum in London. He twice made forced landings in it because of battle damage, but used it to shoot down a Messerschmitt Bf 109 and a Heinkel He 111 bomber.
In January 1941, Agazarian received a requested transfer to 274 Squadron in North Africa, a fighter squadron equipped with Hawker Hurricanes. On 1 May 1941, he destroyed a Messerschmitt Bf 109 over Tobruk, Libya. However, on 16 May, he was shot down and killed by Fw. Franz Elles in a Messerschmitt Bf 109 of 2./JG 27 near Gambut (Kambut), during the Commonwealth offensive known as Operation Brevity.
Flying Officer (Pilot), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Age: Unknown.