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Thread: Spitfire mid air collision over West Hove Golf Course, Brighton

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Delaware, USA
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    Default Spitfire mid air collision over West Hove Golf Course, Brighton

    Is this an easy mystery for the forum members to solve? . Going by his age , this should have been 1940. 215 Spit Pilots killed over UK (Remove 63 from Runnymede - and we should have 152 to work with). THe crash happened 8 am in the morning, while attacking a german bomber.. should help narrow it down?


    Veteran's traumatic Spitfire crash mystery
    By Laurie Churchman @lauriechurchman

    A VETERAN who witnessed a bloody plane crash as a boy wants to “unravel the mystery” of what he saw.

    John Noble, 90, was left traumatised after seeing two Spitfires crash over West Hove golf course during the Second World War.

    He remembers watching one pilot desperately try to free himself in mid-air.

    But both pilots were killed, and John recalls standing, aged 11, beside the blazing wreckage while ammunition exploded around him.

    John, who lived in Portslade, said: “What I saw has always stayed with me.

    “It was 8am and as I came downstairs, I heard what I thought was a cat raking at the front door.

    “When I opened the door, it wasn’t a cat.

    “It was machine gun fire. As I looked up, two Spitfires were attacking a German bomber flying over West Hove golf course at less than 1,000 feet.

    “But both pilots were unaware of each other and sadly collided. One spitfire broke towards West Blatchington and the second turned on its back.

    “I could clearly see the pilot attempting to free himself from his stricken aircraft.

    “He seemed to be caught by the leg and sadly he went down with the plane.

    “I called my mother, shouting that there had been a plane crash. I ran up Burlington Gardens, across Mill Lane, and down the path that leads to St. Nicolas Church to Goatcher’s field.

    “The pilot had been thrown clear on impact. Canadian soldiers stationed around the perimeter of the field had covered his body with his parachute.

    “The wrecked spitfire was on fire and .303 ammunition was exploding in the heat of the flames.

    “I went home traumatised and tearful that I had witnessed the death of a man who I will never know.

    “Having lived 90 years, for some reason, he is still a part of me.”

    John said he wants to “unravel the mystery” of what he saw by identifying the pilots and tracing their relatives. He also wants a plaque to be put up in the pilot’s memory at the site of the crash.

    He believes it may be possible to find records from the Tangmere aviation museum near Chichester, and has appealed to Argus readers for their help.

    He said: “Before I leave this planet I would like to know who he was and where he lived. Over my 90 years I have often thought about him and felt that his story should be heard.”


    Last edited by Jagan; 29th December 2019 at 05:24.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Thanked 78 Times in 74 Posts



    No.92 Sqn Spitfire Ia R6616 (40810 P/O John Fraser Drummond) collided with No.92 Sqn Spitfire Ia X4038 (41890 P/O Desmond Gordon Williams), on 10 October, 1940, whilst attacking a Do 17.

    Drummond -
    Williams -

    See also:

    https://www.battleofbritainmemorial....and-additions/ - scroll down to: JOHN FRASER DRUMMOND and DESMOND GORDON WILLIAMS.


    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 29th December 2019 at 07:06.

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    Jagan (29th December 2019)

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