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Thread: Unidentified Walrus, 282 Squadron Castletown, 1943

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    Default Unidentified Walrus, 282 Squadron Castletown, 1943

    The 282 Squadron ORB (Air 27/1615/1) refers to the ditching of one of the squadron's Walrus aircraft on 1 March 1943, 5 miles east of Wick. Squadron Leader Fifefield was picked up by a trawler after 18 minutes in the water. The unit had only formed on 1 January 1943 and the ORB refers to delivery of W2715 on 25 January and W2726 on 3 February, both from the FAA at Lee-on-Solent. According to Sturtivant (FAA Aircraft 1939-45) W2715 survived the war to be sold on 10 October 1946. W2726 went on to have a Cat B accident on 24 May 1943 and subsequently went back to the FAA, so the aircraft involved in the 1 March incident does not appear to be either of these aircraft. I have been unable to trace S/L Fifefield.

    Does anyone have a note of the aircraft involved and any more on Fifefield or any other crew?

    Thanks in anticipation

    Keith Bryers

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    Default Re: Unidentified Walrus, 282 Squadron Castletown, 1943

    Keith

    Forgive me if I've misread it but wasn't a Walrus delivered to the squadron on 18 Jan 1943 - W30?7 (The watermark blanks out the missing number).

    Brian

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    Default Re: Unidentified Walrus, 282 Squadron Castletown, 1943

    8th June 43, W3047 , crew rescued.?

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    Default Re: Unidentified Walrus, 282 Squadron Castletown, 1943

    Hello,

    741681 (Pilot) John Stewart FIFIELD OBE,DFC,AFC (83274)

    01.03.43
    131 Sqn
    Spitfire Vb BL659

    S/L Fifield took off at 14.50 to practice aerobatics. The engine cut, and he ditched five miles east of Wick. He had previously flown with 602 and 616 Sqns in 1942, before being posted to the squadron as CO. In March 1943 he completed his tour, but returned to operational duty at the end of the year with No 169 Sqn, flying Mosquitoes, with which he was awarded a DFC. His claims consisted of two confirmed victories, and one probable. He remained in the RAF after the war. Note on the aircraft: TOC No. 39 MU 06.02.42, issued to No.131 Sqn 25.01.43. Served previously with Nos. 130 & 610 Sqns.

    No.131 (County of Kent) Squadron 1941 - 1945.
    Listemann, Phil H.
    N.P.:Philedition,2013.
    pp.10-11.

    See also: Those Other Eagles/Shores/Grub Street,2004/p.186.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 5th October 2021 at 02:20.

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    Default Re: Unidentified Walrus, 282 Squadron Castletown, 1943

    Excellent Col,
    I had started to look for the Hawk :(

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    Default Re: Unidentified Walrus, 282 Squadron Castletown, 1943

    Oops! You are quite correct - it was W3047 - staring me in the face in the ORB as delivered 18 Jan 1943! Its accident, which did not involve "Fifefield", was on 8 June 1943, all safe.
    Thanks

    Keith

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    Default Re: Unidentified Walrus, 282 Squadron Castletown, 1943

    Thanks for this. Confusion in my records! I had a record of Fifield on 1 March 1943. The 282 ORB has him as "Fifefield" and I didn't note the connection.

    Fifield seems to have been quite a character. In this particular incident the Spitfire went down to 25' below the surface, he overcame a jammed hood then swam/treaded water for the 18 minutes before the Aberdeen trawler 'Ben Hope' picked him up. He was back in the camp in 4 days and returned to flying duties a week after his immersion. He was shot down by a Fw 190 during the Dieppe operation but was rescued by a midget submarine. Post-war, he commanded a squadron at the CFE in 1946 and later became a production test pilot with de Havilland. He went on to be Chief Test Pilot with Martin Baker and on 3 September 1955 he made the first live ground level ejection in a Martin Baker seat from a Meteor T.7 at 140 mph on the Martin Baker runway, reached 80' with the main chute inflating at just 35'.

    He died from pneumonia on 11 December 2014, aged 97.

    Keith

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    Default Re: Unidentified Walrus, 282 Squadron Castletown, 1943

    Caithness Police report has the Walrus crashing into the sea at Murkle Bay, Dunnet Head on the 8th June 1943.

    Alan.

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to AL90 For This Useful Post:

    Keith Bryers (9th October 2021)

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