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Thread: Spit Mid Air

  1. #1
    Eddie Fell Guest

    Default Spit Mid Air

    I am hoping that somebody can help me fill in the gaps/ unravel the following

    On 3/8/45 two Spitfires collided in mid air during combat practice

    One was an LFIX MJ411 and the other is unkown to me

    One of the pilots was W/O Thomas Jeffery (killed) and the other was W/O Henry Scall (baled out)

    At http://www.spitfires.ukf.net/ MJ411 is shown as being with No. 1 Sqn which could match it to Jeffery who according to CWGC was also with No. 1 Sqn. I do however have other information (original source unknown to me) which has this a/c with CGS at Catfoss and flown by Jeffery.

    I also have conflicting sites for the crash location of the aircraft. The aforementioned site shows Hutton Cranswick (the base for 1 Sqn at that time) but 'just off the end of the east runway at Catfoss' has also been given.

    It seems unlikely (although I don't rule anything out) that each of the aircraft returned to crash at its home station

    Any help in identifying the second aircraft, placing the pilots in the correct seats and determining the two crash locations would be much appreciated.

    Many thanks

    Eddie

  2. #2
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    Default Spit Mid Air

    Hello Eddie,

    Spit IX = MJ411 = W/O. Thomas Jeffery.
    Spit F21 (?) = ? = W/O. Henry Scall.
    For more see "The Price of Peace" by Colin Cummings.

    Alex
    Last edited by Alex Smart; 4th April 2009 at 12:06.

  3. #3
    Eddie Fell Guest

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    Thanks Alex

    I now suspect Cummings may be where the other half of my (contradictory) info originated.

    Perhaps one of our Death Registration experts could assist with the District for Jeffrey as I believe Catfoss is Holderness and Hutton Cranswick is Buckrose. At least that will narrow down where it happened

    Eddie

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    Eddie

    I've just finished a wartime history of 1 Squadron which is due to be published in November.

    As this mid-air collision occurred outside the period I was looking at I can't add a great deal at the moment, except to say that Jeffrey joined 1 Sqn on 27/2/45 from 53 OTU at Kirton in Lindsay.

    I have no info on W/O Scall, however I will be going to the National Archives next week so will have a look in the 1 Sqn ORB to see if there is anything of interest.

    Peter

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    Death of Thomas JEFFREY (this is the spelling in the register) registered at Holderness

    dg

  6. #6
    Eddie Fell Guest

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    Many thanks Peter and Dave

    The ORB lookup offer if much appreciated.

    Holderness rules out Hutton Cranswick as the crash site which leaves a missing serial and 'ownership' of the second aircraft to confirm

    Cheers

    Eddie

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    Hello,

    Eddie, did I miss something ?

    From Cummings's book.
    there were five Spitfire IX's in the flight which were bounced by only two F21's.
    As I understand it the Spitfire IX's took avoiding action and two collided but it is not clear if one of these was one of the two F21's or a second Spitfire IX ?
    All it seems were 1 Squadron aircraft.

    Alex
    Last edited by Alex Smart; 4th April 2009 at 12:04.

  8. #8
    Eddie Fell Guest

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    Hi Alex

    I clearly don't have the full story. I have being doing some research on Catfoss and have been doing some checking on the losses and other incidents associated with that Airfield as recorded by a friend of mine. All I had was that two Spits had collided with the loss of one life. As a 'bomber' person under normal conditions, finding out about fighter aircraft is all new to me hence why I value the help of contributors to this board. I have no reference material of my own (like Cummings, FCL) as this is a one off project. My assumption was that one aircraft was from 1 Sqn and the other from CGS and I am trying to tie in the two pilots with the two aircraft that went down and determine where they fell.

    I hope this clarifies

    Cheers

    Eddie

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    Eddie

    Managed to get to the National Archives today and had a look at the 1 Sqn ORB but it doesn't tell us much that we don't already know.

    As all flying was non-operational, individual sorties are not recorded and the 540 is extremely brief. It states that in the afternoon of 3/8/45 six Spit IXs were bounced by two Spit 21s. The IXs broke to port and about 30 sec later Jeffrey and Scall collided. Jeffrey's Spitfire broke up and spun in, Scall parachuted successfully without serious injury (no locations given).

    Jeffrey's funeral took place on 7/8 in Leeds with three sqn pilots in attendance. Scall returned to the sqn on 8/8 after a few days in Beverley hospital.

    Although it has been suggested that Scall was flying a Spit 21 I would question this as he was quite a junior pilot having only arrived on the sqn on 20/6/45 from 61 OTU. There were not too many 21s on strength at this time and I doubt whether he would have been entrusted with one. Have checked the serials of known 1 Sqn Spits in 'Spitfire The History' to try to find the a/c that Scall was flying but without success.

    Regards

    Peter

  10. #10
    Eddie Fell Guest

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    Many thanks Peter

    It seems to confirm that both were from No. 1 Sqn rather than Scall being from the CGS so a plus for me there.

    Cheers

    Eddie

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