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Thread: Spitfire NH464 - No. 84 GSU - FACE 24 Dec 1944 - pilot's name sought

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    Default Spitfire NH464 - No. 84 GSU - FACE 24 Dec 1944 - pilot's name sought

    On 24 Dec 1944 Spitfire NH464 was written off after a crash landing at/near Knokke, Belgium (Knocke in that day's use). Local history has it that pilot was an Australian, badly injured. Spitfire reportedly ended up in trees and part of three ship formation. .

    Spitfire list on Airhistory.org has No. 441 (RCAF) Squadron for NH464 on day of crash, but a/c was only there from 16 Nov till 23 Nov 1944. It then went to No. 84 Group Support Unit until wrecked. Crash perhaps on ferry or test flight.

    I wonder who can help me and look if ORB of No. 84 GSU for 24 Dec 1944 mentions pilot's name and/or crash itself? Record is held under AIR 29/823/3, unfortunately not online on the NA website.

    Thanks for any info.

    Regards,
    Leendert

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    Default Re: Spitfire NH464 - No. 84 GSU - FACE 24 Dec 1944 - pilot's name sought

    If it helps, "Flying Training and Support Units since 1912" has -
    84 GSU also took over the ferrying function of No.1311 Flt 21/11/44.
    So maybe a look at 1311 Flt papers may show something ?
    Alex

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    Default Re: Spitfire NH464 - No. 84 GSU - FACE 24 Dec 1944 - pilot's name sought

    I regret to say the 84 GSU ORB is a rather disappointing document, particularly for the period in question. Few events are recorded, never mind names or aircraft serials; both pilots and aircraft in and out of the unit are just recorded by quantity. However, for the day in question there is the following comment.
    "at last it was possible to get some pilots and aircraft to Belgium and Holland". Normal operations had been impaired for some time by poor weather conditions.

    In view of the fact that the Spitfire in question was one of a flight of three, I would hazard a guess that this formation was a delivery flight from 84 GSU. The pilots could have been from the unit's own ferry flight, another Ferry Unit, from the pool of pilots at the GSU awaiting allocation to units in Belgium or Holland or from units in either of those two counties who had been sent back to the UK to collect new aircraft.

    I think your best bet for the pilot's name would be the relevant Form 1180 (accident card), copies of which are held by the RAF Museum.
    Regards
    Chris

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    Leendert (18th July 2020)

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    Default Re: Spitfire NH464 - No. 84 GSU - FACE 24 Dec 1944 - pilot's name sought

    Thanks for suggestions. Will contact RAF Museum.

    Regards,
    Leendert

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