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Thread: Mustang FD564 26 Nov 1944

  1. #11
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    Hello Steve,

    Indeed, if Wilton would have tried to fly towards his homebase, he would have taken a north-easterly course. Now, if the damage was severe, any direction in order to get out of the assieged area would have done fine (obviously not out to sea).

    There were no airfield in the vicinity of Dunkirk at the time, B.43 Arques-Fort Rouge (previous station of No. 268 Squadron by the way) or B.53 Merville had been vacated. That would have left airfields in nearby Belgium as the closest ones (Coxyde, Knoke-le-Zout, ...), Coxyde especially would have been quite close, especially when flying.

    Joss

  2. #12
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    Sorry about the late reply on this one as when it was originally posted I was away overseas for an extended holiday, not too far in part of it from the area in discussion. I've only just stumbled across this inquiry.

    The No.1 of the pair of Mustangs 'pin pointed' the crash site of F/L Wilton's crash as being 8 miles south east of Dunkirk near Poperinge, which is just inside Belgium.

    FD564, cross referenced against multiple pilot's log book entries was coded 'N' at that time.

    FD498 'J' was actually the other Mustang in that pair the day and was the Mustang F/L Wilton flew on his next operational sortie once he arrived safely back with the Squadron. It remained with the Squadron into early 1945.

    When you talk about the photograph of the crashed Mustang near Witternesse with what seems to be a "J" in the code, remember at this time the Tac/R Mustangs only had the single aircraft id letter displayed forward of the fuselage roundel. So if there are potentially other code letters obscured by the witnesses to the crash in the photo, I doubt it is from No.268 Squadron or any of the other Tac/R Mustang Squadrons. You are then probably looking at a later Merlin engined fighter.

    Enjoyed my time in Brugge (especially the Zot) and Ieper.

    Regards,
    Colin Ford
    Canberra
    Australia

    No.268 Squadron Royal Air Force 1940-1946
    Historian by Appointment
    (by the surviving Squadron members)

  3. #13
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    Hello Col,

    Poperinge is definitively not 8 miles south-est of Dunkirk. It's much further away. 8 miles SE of Dunkirk is still in France, and villages likes Téteghem or Uxem or Warhem may fit the bill, geographically speaking.

    As for the picture of the force-landed Mustang in Witternesse, it's not possible to say whether or not she was carrying a Squadron code, as 3 Frenchmen are posing right in front of the fuselage area where these two letters would be. They both passed away years ago, very few people remember the anecdote, the time is unsure, only the location. I suggested in the book of my friend Hugues Chevalier 2 possible Tac/R Mustangs lost in the early days of september 1944, but with no certainty.

    Thanks for your help.

    Joss

  4. #14
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    Hi Joss,

    Location of Poperinge was my 'quick and dirty' conversion on a large scale map. I've now replotted and crash location looks to be around area between Oost-Cappel and Roesbrugge-Haringe using a wartime chart. So just on that border area.

    Regards,
    Colin Ford
    Canberra
    Australia

    No.268 Squadron Royal Air Force 1940-1946
    Historian by Appointment
    (by the surviving Squadron members)

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