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Thread: Hurricane lost on 7 september 1939

  1. #1
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    Default Hurricane lost on 7 september 1939

    Hello,

    According to a local history, the first air crash of WWII in West Kingsdown was on 7 September 1939 over Pells Lane, when a Gravesend pilot bailed out over Ryarsh and the Hurricane crashed in the village.

    Can anyone confirm this and give more details (unit, serial, pilot name) ?

    Thanks in advance

    Laurent

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    Hello Laurent,

    I can match everything except the date.

    from BoBT&N Mk.V

    L1865 of 501 Squadron, Gravesend crashed at Pells Farm, West Kingsdown on 24th August 1940, the pilot, 91039 KR Aldridge baled out and suffered a broken arm. I understand that fragments of the aircraft were recovered during a dig by London Air Museum and others.

    from Fear Nothing, The history of 501 County of Gloucester Squadron (Watkins)

    "P/O Keith Aldridge (L1865) was forces to bale out near Ryarsh after attacking a Ju.88 when his a/c was badly damaged by AA fire. He came down close to the hop fields at Pell's Farm, West Kingsdown suffering a broken arm and shoulder in the process"



    regards

    DaveW

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    Thanks Dave, I think the local historian had dates mixed.

    Best regards, and sorry for the double post

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    Just an observation on this is that Ryarsh to Pells Fm is about 11km as the crow flies- seems a long way for a parachute to drift.

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    Pete,
    Probably much of this information derived from official reports. However the format of accident and incident reports included "boxes", with one such box requesting nearest major town or village where incident occurred. Thus this location can often appear as the site of the accident or incident, but it is usually just a major reference point for the location of same, not always the ACTUAL location. In this particular case, the bale out probably took place fairly near to the final landing place rather than to the nearest significant town or village.
    David D

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