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Thread: 41 Squadron Spitfire EB-M 1940/1941

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    Default 41 Squadron Spitfire EB-M 1940/1941

    All

    This series of photos have potted up on TOCH of a Spitfire on a Beach in France

    http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?t=50410

    which clearly show the fate of an early Spitfire with Sqn codes EB-M (41 Sqn)


    It is listed as being P9314

    We have been here before on P9314 !

    http://www.rafcommands.com/archive/10569.php

    and

    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...1940&styleid=3

    In the intervening 9/11 years

    So can anyone identify the pilot and loss date for this aircraft?

    It appears it may be the aircraft of Flying Officer William 'Billy' Ernest Legard RAF (#34045) on 1940-06-01 but he is on Runnymede and that looks like a survivable forced landing.

    Kind Regards

    Paul
    Last edited by paulmcmillan; 1st February 2018 at 12:32.

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    Hi Paul,

    P/O William "Bill" Stapleton also went down near Dunkirk on 1.6.40 the victim of flak. Steve Brew in his 41 Sqn book quotes Wally Wallens as saying " on his way out.......he was hit by ground fire and went into the drink just a couple of hundred yards out ...". Captured, injured. Steve Brew offers N3234 as a possibility for this aircraft but not tied up.

    As for the dates in the 12 O/C piece, I believe 41 Sqn pulled back to Catterick in Yorkshire on the afternoon of 8th June and so this would make a loss near Dunkirk after this date seem less likely.

    regards
    Peter

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    Hello

    LEGARD's casualty pack mentions Spitfire I P9344 (one digit different than P9314) and STAPLETON on N3107. Same sheets in STAPLETON's own casualty pack. No individual letter quoted

    I provided Steve Brew with some casualty packs (AIR 81 series at Kew) covering these No. 41 Squadron losses, to supplement his books.

    Joss

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    Thanks gents.

    My conclusion on this in "Courage" was: "The pilots and aircraft involved in the second patrol are not listed on the ORB’s F541 on 1 June 1940, as they usually would have been. Instead, it is merely summarised, “0830-1040 Four sections as above, carried out offensive patrol over Dunkirk. 3 [sic] Enemy aircraft shot down”. Unfortunately, the omission of the standard list of aircraft deployed on the patrol has led to some confusion in regard to Fg Off Legard’s and Plt Off Stapleton’s aircraft. Contemporary works logically assume that Legard was flying N3108 and Stapleton N3234 on this operation, as they are listed flying these aircraft on the F541 on the day’s first patrol. This theory is also supported by the fact these were their regular aircraft in the days preceding 1 June 1940. However, Legard could not have flown N3108 on the second offensive patrol, as this aircraft appears in the Squadron ORB several times after this date, being flown by other pilots. Substantiating this, Morgan and Shacklady’s Spitfire; The History (Key Books, 1987), perhaps the most reliable contemporary record of all Spitfires manufactured and their fates, indicates N3108 was passed to 64 Squadron in October 1940 and not struck from charge until July 1941. The same publication does, however, show that N3107 failed to return from operations on 1 June 1940. In Stapleton’s case, though, there is also a discrepancy. The aircraft he is listed as having flown on that sortie, N3234, is indicated in Spitfire; The History as not being struck from charge until the end of August 1940, and the Squadron’s ORB also shows N3234 being flown after 1 June 1940. Thus, despite efforts, it still remains uncertain which aircraft Legard and Stapleton were flying on their second offensive patrol on 1 June 1940. As the second list was omitted from the Squadron’s ORB, the author concludes that one of the pilots was probably flying N3107, whilst the other remains unknown."

    The casualty packs, released since the book (unfortunately) now confirm Stapleton was flying N3107, but Legard's is still unclear. There is no definitive evidence.

    It is a surprisingly difficult exercise to match up serials and codes, and the 44 I have for Spit I's are listed in a table on p110 of "Courage" (can't attach it to this message, unfortunately), but I have no EB-M's at all :-( I also have none for N3107, N3234, P9314, or 9344, I'm afraid.

    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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    Hello Steve,
    Was there ever a P9344 ?

    And for N3107 date of loss is given as June 1st, 40.
    While N3234 date of loss is August 5th 40 crashed after take off near Sandwich, Kent.
    Ref AB serials books
    This would only leave one possibility from the four serial numbers suggested ?

    Alex
    Last edited by Alex Smart; 2nd February 2018 at 17:06.

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    Does any one know what Flight in 41 Sqn Legard and Stapleton were in ?

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    There was no Spitfire with the serial P9344.

    John

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    Hello

    I incline to think a typo was made back in June 1940, P9314 becoming P9344 as shown in the casualty packs. Then the date of loss for that machine was reported late, and the "SOC" date was confused with the real loss date.

    As JohnE puts it, and it was in the other threads mentioned in the original post, there was no Spitfire P9344.

    Joss

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