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Thread: Spitfire BL991 340 Sqn 19 October 1943

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    Default Spitfire BL991 340 Sqn 19 October 1943

    Spitfire VB BL991 of 340 Sqn, Drem, suffered an engine failure and dived into the North Sea 3 miles NE of the Bass Rock, on 19 October 1943. I am seeking details of the (presumably French) pilot; can anyone help please?

    Keith

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    BL991 Vb 340 Sqn near Isle of May, North sea 1040 hrs. Cat E. Engine failed, gave off black smoke and dived into sea. Adjt A Pottel 30457 (French) missing.

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    According to the book "Aviateurs de la Liberté" about FAFL airmen, the pilot was André Pottel, alias John Fiel (many French airmen adopted aliases to avoid reprisals on their family in occupied France).

    André Pottel was in 1940 a Caporal (Corporal) in 103e AR (Artillery Regiment) and was wounded on 14 May 1940 at Faousault, Ardennes. Sent to the hospital of Lamballe, he was evacuated on 22 June to Liverpool.

    He enlisted in FAFL (Free French Air Force) on 14 October 1940, then trained in RAF schools as a fighter pilot. He graduated from 52 OTU on 24 April 1942 and went to 93 Sqn RAF before joining 340 Sqn on 22 September.

    According to this book, he was killed during a diving exercise, crashing into the sea 4 miles off Isle de Man (typo for May?). Only an oil slick was found at the place of the crash.

    The book gives no serial for the Spitfire.

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    Laurent,

    Equally my ref to Isle of May could be wrong as I had cut and pasted my reply from a word doc passed to me from Henry Boot. The Isle of Man is more sensible and I will amend this record.

    Regards,

    Ian

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    Ian, I would hesitate to dismiss 'Isle of May' as it is near to Bass Rock, which itself is off North Berwick. See http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&q=isle+of+may&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_q f.&bvm=bv.1357700187,d.d2k&biw=1448&bih=780&um=1&i e=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wl
    regards
    DaveW

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    Default Spitfire BL991 340 Sqn 19 October 1943

    Thanks to all. I will stick with the Bass Rock!

    Keith

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    Thanks Dave, will hold steady !

    Ian

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