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Thread: 341 Sqn losses 12 March 1943

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    Default 341 Sqn losses 12 March 1943

    In his book, 'The Big Show', Pierre Clostermann refers to a mid-air collision between two 341 Sqn Spitfires during a combat exercise whilst the squadron was based at Turnhouse. This resulted in the deaths of the pilots, identified in my notes from the book only as 'Artaud' and 'Commailles'. He states this occured the day before the death of (FF30247 Sous-Lt J.A.M.G.) de Mezillis, which I know to have been on 13 March 1943 (Spitfire Vb AA970, 'French Hope', due to structural failure). Can anyone please provide the full details of these two airmen and their aircraft?

    Keith

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    The 'Big Show' book is certainly a good read, but is not a reliable history book.

    Sgt Georges Comaille of 340 Sqn (not 341) was killed on 6 April 1943 when his aircraft collided on the ground with the one of Capitaine Massart, who survived.

    According to the book "Aviateurs de la liberté", he served with 341 Sqn from 19 January 1943 until shortly before his death.

    From the Spitfire production list available online, the two aircraft involved where the Spitfire Vb BM133 (wrecked) and W3569 (repaired and lost in December the same year with 316 (Polish) Sqn). Don't know who was flying which. The collision was at Athelstone Ford E Lothian.

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    Hello Laurent,

    Can you please confirm that the collision between BM133 and W3569 was on the ground ?

    The Spitfire production list gives the location of the accident as " Athelstone Ford ", however there is no such place as far as I can tell. There is a village, Athelstaneford, immediately to the southwest of RAF East Fortune which suggests to me that the collision took place in the landing circuit of the latter.

    In my opinion what may have happened was that the two Spitfires collided in the air. BM133 crashed at Athelstaneford ( damage Cat. E) and Sgt Comaille was killed. W3569 was more lightly damaged ( CA) and Capt. Massart was able to land at East Fortune.

    a15.
    Last edited by angelsonefive; 10th January 2013 at 17:18.

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    Default 341 Sqn losses 12 March 1943

    Thanks. I knew of the BM133/W3569 340 Sqn incident and had come to the same conclusion as a15, but I had no names.
    Is there a record of Artaud being lost on 12 March 1943?

    Keith

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    There was no FAFL death on 12 March 1943 and in the book "Aviateurs de la liberté" no man called Artaud is registered.

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    Default 341 Sqn losses 12 March 1943

    Thanks Laurent.
    Keith

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    Both aircraft came down at Athelstaneford, BM133 was totally wrecked and Sgt Comaille was killed. I have noted that W3569 wass assessed as Cat. A damage, also have noted that Sgt Comaille is now buried at Rueil-Malmaison.

    Alan.

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    Thanks for that.
    Keith

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    Keith,

    If you have access to scotlands people or just register then you can pay a small amount for access to the death register for anyone who died in scotland. The air force ones can give locations and cause of death which in the case of aircraft accidents will usually say died from multiple injuries sustained during flying accident or from burns or simply from flying accident. I have seen occasionally due to war operations.

    Hope that helps you.
    Regards Scott McIntosh

    ACIA Researcher

    Search for Air Crash Investigation & Archaeology on Facebook for our groups page.

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