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Thread: Accident report - Spitfire I P9497 at 58 OTU, Grangemouth

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    Default Accident report - Spitfire I P9497 at 58 OTU, Grangemouth

    I am beginning to research the planes flown by my father in WW2 and am intrigued by an accident listed on spitfires.net for P9497, which my father flew on 29 Sept, per his log book.

    Spitfires.net says P9497 "spins into ground" on 2 October 1941. It was a write-off.

    According to dad's log book he didn't fly again until 11 Nov, when he did a "check" flight with an instructor (I assume) in a Miles Master. There is also a note: "October in hospital. 'Digger' Gardner killed."

    Does anyone know where I can research whether 'Digger' Gardner was piloting P9497 when it crashed? I have no idea why dad was in hospital for a month - pretty sure he didn't tell me about this as one of his yarns, unlike the time he lost his hood, the time he pranged a PRU spitfire etc..

    Thanks in advance,

    Jeff Humm

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    Errol will come up with the answer as the pilot of this Spitfire was P/O Carlyle G. EVERISS - RNZAF - NZ41318.
    Regards,
    Henk.

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    Hello,

    20-10-1941
    No.58 OTU
    Spitfire I R6760

    Dived into ground, Strathallan Army Camp,Auchterarder, Perthshire.

    932502 Sgt (Pilot) Ronald Joseph GARDNER RAFVR +

    Buried Cheshunt New Burial Ground.

    Col.

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    Thanks very much for your replies.

    Col. Bruggy: 20 October is the date on the CWGC Roll of Honour for Ronald Gardner's death, so that matches.
    'Digger' Gardner died in a training accident (I assume) in R6760 on 20 October.

    My father (Eric Humm) flew P9497 on 29 Sept and was then in hospital for a month.
    According to spitfires.ukf.net, P9497 "spins into ground" on 2 October 1941 & was a write-off.

    There's no reference in my father's log book to him having a flying accident, so maybe another pilot crashed on the 2nd and my father was in hospital for something totally unrelated. OR ... ???

    Where should I go to research this further? RAF museum? National Archive?

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    Spitfire P9497 crashed at Cowie Colliery railway siding by spinning into a coal bing killing P/O Everiss. The site of the crash now has a factory built on it. P/O Everiss is buried at Grandsable Cemetery Grangemouth.
    Col is correct Sgt. Gardner was on R6760 which crashed at Strathallen Army camp.


    Regards,
    Alan.

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    Further details for loss of R6760 58 OTU Strathallan Camp, Auchterarder, Perthshire. 1215 hrs Cat A. Aerobatics, low flying, FL approaches. Went into shallow dive at 500 ft and continued into ground. Sgt RJ Gardener 932502 killed.

    Ian

    (via Henry Boot's records)
    Last edited by ian94avenge; 20th March 2011 at 20:13. Reason: spelling !

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    Many thanks Alan and Ian for your replies.

    I must look at 58 OTU's records if I can - I suppose this underlines how dangerous training was.

    Regards,

    Jeff

    Any tips for someone new to this line of research? Sources, books, archives???
    Last edited by Blaugrana; 20th March 2011 at 20:23.

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    The web page below was set up by Wallace Shackelton and is a Roll of Honour for 58OTU based on information extracted from the ORB. It is slightly out of date as the two "unknown's" are now three "known's" and since Wallace researched the unit in the early 1980's the exact locations are known of most of the 100+ written off.
    I still don't know the exact location where Strathallan Camp was but presume it was somewhere on Sir Willie Roberts estate at Strathallan Castle.
    estate
    http://www.gairney.plus.com/Aircraft/58_OTU_Roll_of_Honour.htm

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    Thanks, Alan, for the link to the Roll of Honour compiled by Wallace Shackelton. It makes very sobering reading and puts into context my father's self-deprecating references to having clipped a tree, or losing his hood etc etc.

    I must go and look at the ORB and find out more about the unit and Grangemouth.

    Thanks again,

    Jeff

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    Default Spitfire 58 OTU

    I wonder if Blaugrana's father was perhaps flying Spitfire IA R6638 (58 OTU) which, on 2 October 1941, suffered an engine failure, then crashed on landing near Ladybank, Fife, losing a wing. The aircraft was not written-off, however, until 29 July 1942, presumably after a further crash, being SOC 4 August 1942. It had earlier been shot down by a Bf 109 on 8 September 1940, whilst on charge to 222 Sqn. [All above from Morgan & Shacklady's 'Spitfire'.]

    There is a postscript on P9497. One of the party (Mr John Craig) who attempted to rescue P/O Everiss from the flames of his wrecked a/c reportedly spent 37 years trying to trace Everiss' widow. He visited her in 1979 and 'The Scotsman' newspaper reported that Everiss' name was to be included in a memorial commemorating NZ airmen who died in Scotland planned for the Musuem of Flight at East Fortune airfield. The crash site is now under the greems of the Cowie Bowling Club and a memorial service was due to be held at the spot on 2 October 2002.

    Keith

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