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Thread: P/O PJT Stephenson, 607 Sqn 15th Sept 1940?

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    Default P/O PJT Stephenson, 607 Sqn 15th Sept 1940?

    Hi all

    I'm after some info about 607 Sqn pilot P/O P.J.T. Stephenson, who collided with two Do-215s on 15th September, 1940 near Tenterden, causing both the Dorniers and himself to crash.

    I understand he was flying Hurricane V6688. Is there a individual code letter known for this aircraft? And is there any info on the two Dorniers - units, crew names, codes etc? I have an older copy of 'BoB Then and Now', and there doesn't seem to be an entry for the loss of the two Dorniers as far as I can see.

    Many thanks.

    Simon

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    There is a biography of "Paddy" Stephenson in "Those Other Eagles". Born in Dublin 25 August 1918, he served as an NCO but went on to command 607 Sq in Burma. His total claims were 3 destroyed in the Battle of Britain and a probably over Burma. He retired as a Wing Commander, emigrated to Canada and died 20th May 2003.

    If anyone can link 607 Sq serials and code letters during the BoB, I'd also be pleased to have the information.

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    Hi Simon,
    I have checked my version and it states:
    5/KG3
    Dornier Do17z-3 (3458) Crashed and exploded in Combwell Wood, Kilndown near Goudhurst 3:15pm following a collision with P/O PJT Stephenson of 607 Squadron. Oblt. Becker-Ross, Oberfw. Bruckner and Fw. Hansen killed, Fw Brinkmann missing. Aircraft 5K+GN a write off.
    The crash site was excavated in 1972 and many items are displayed at the Robertsbridge aviation museum.
    I also have Stephenson in Hurricane V6688 though I have no other details regarding the aircraft. I understand that he broke his ankle after bailing out.
    Hope this helps
    Gerry

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    Thanks for the replies Graham and Gerry - very helpful indeed.

    Regards

    Simon

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    Hi Simon,
    In the action you mention, 607 Squadron, attacked a formation of Do17s in the area of Appledore. They carried out a head-on attack; it was during this first run that Paddy Stephenson almost hit one Do17, passing just over it and bumped another, the second one crashed near Goudhurst, Stephenson was slightly injured breaking an ankle when he landed by parachute. Stephenson was flying Hurricane V6688 and no a/c letter has come to light, so far. I have a copy of Stephenson's photo album but his photo's of the 'Battle' period dwell on crews rather than aircraft. His only Hurricane photo's feature V6962 AF-H which he flew during the winter of 1940/41. In fact most of his album features only crews and pilots.
    To update his 'biography': he was a sergeant only during training. He joined 607 Squadron, his first squadron, June 18, 1940 and not July mentioned in 'Men of'. He emigrated to Canada after the war but came back to England and died in a Northumberland (Hexham I think) nursing home 2003.

    Best Wishes.
    Robert.
    Last edited by northeagle; 15th July 2010 at 14:19.

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    Could this be V6962? V6982 does not appear to have served with 607 Sq, according to Air Britain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Boak View Post
    Could this be V6962? V6982 does not appear to have served with 607 Sq, according to Air Britain.
    I think it is...it's on a very dark bit could well be a 6

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    Thanks for the further info Robert, and hello from blustery Whalton!

    Didn't he actually hit two Dorniers? I've read the combat report downloaded from the National Archives site, and in it he says he lost his right wing hitting the first enemy bomber, taking it's wing off too, and the other wing on the second, ending up in an inverted wingless dive. I don't know if any further info came to light after the combat report was written?

    He identifies both bombers as Do-215s - I guess the Do-215 and the Do-17Z are pretty identical, engines apart.

    Best regards

    Simon

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    [QUOTE=wwrsimon;51123]Thanks for the further info Robert, and hello from blustery Whalton!

    Didn't he actually hit two Dorniers? I've read the combat report downloaded from the National Archives site, and in it he says he lost his right wing hitting the first enemy bomber, taking it's wing off too, and the other wing on the second, ending up in an inverted wingless dive. I don't know if any further info came to light after the combat report was written?

    He identifies both bombers as Do-215s - I guess the Do-215 and the Do-17Z are pretty identical, engines apart.

    Best regards

    Simon[/QUOTE
    Hi Simon, I know Whalton well, I live nearer the coast, windy here as well. I first heard of this back in the 1960s before I knew what 607 Squadron was. Paddy Stephenson thought it was two that he accidentally hit, his family does as well: other's say only one.
    I looked through some logbooks: Francis Blackadder, 'Mayfield 1-00 607 head on attack on Do 215s. Formation split up. 4 Do certain, 2 probables, 4 damaged.' Dudley Craig: Mayfield 1-15, Squadron head on attack. 6 confirmed. Paddy Stephenson flew through two Do17s.' I know that there is a report somewhere that a German crew man nearly made a mistake in his pants when he looked out the front and saw a Hurricane about to hit his aircraft.
    If I had a quid for every time I read that they had attacked Do 215s I would be a rich man. I may be wrong but, I read somewhere that the Do 215 was an export version and little used in the Battle of Britain. Thing is, they thought they were 215s.
    Hope this helps a little or may make it worse.

    Best Wishes.
    Robert.

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    Thanks Robert.

    The Do 215s were intended for export, but were commandeered for the Luftwaffe and generally used as recce aircraft, and later as a handful of night fighters. They did not see service as day bombers in such a formation as described, there just weren't enough of them.

    Aircraft identification was always tricky in the heat of combat - during the Battle of Britain it was not unheard of for Bf 110s to be misidentified as Dorniers, particularly those Bf 110s with the large underfuselage fuel tank. I must admit thinking when I first saw this thread "Hmm. Has he looked into Bf 110 losses?" It is much easier from a comfortable seat with 50 years of looking at high quality photos.

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