Captain Eric Ellington Doorly was born on 1 December 1920 in East Orange, Essex County, New Jersey, USA, the youngest of the three children of Edward Doorly (1873-1952) and Hallie R. Doorly née Martin (1883-1952). His elder siblings were Mary Sanchia Doorly (1914-2006) and Martin Edward Doorly (1916-1991). In the United States census of 1940 he was shown as living with his parents at 115 Weyford Terrace, Garden City, Nassau County, New York.
From the American Air Museum in Britain website we learn that in 1940 he was training as a service pilot at the Spartan College of Aeronautics in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Texas, USA and went to Canada where he joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. He was initially assigned as a Pilot Officer in No.133 (Eagle) Squadron at RAF Biggin Hill before gaining promotion to the rank of Flying Officer.
On 6 September 1942 he was flying his Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX, serial number BS276, when he was shot down on an escort mission to Abbeville, France. He evaded capture and with the help of the French Resistance escaped into Spain via the Pyrenees, returning to England in December 1942.
He transferred to the United States Army Air Forces in 1943 and served as a Captain in the 406th Fighter Squadron in the 371st Fighter Group of their 9th Air Force. He crashed his Republic P47D Thunderbolt aeroplane in a landing accident on 19 October 1943 in Camp Springs, Maryland, USA.
On 18 October 1945 he married June M. Wynkoop and they had three children, including Douglas Eric Doorly (b.1946) and Bruce Doorly (1950-2014). He would be married on further occasions to: Sally J. Heaney (1924-1968) and Helen Leichtag (1917-1999).
He died, aged 73 years, on 30 November 1994 in Vista, San Diego County, California, USA and on 6 January 1995 he was buried in Section CBA, Row 3, Site 523, in the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, 1700 Cabrillo Memorial Drive, San Diego, California.
Credit for this entry to: Andrew Behan.