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Thread: PRU Spitfire loss St Eval

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    Default PRU Spitfire loss St Eval

    Hi,

    I'm trying to find the identity of a PRU Spitfire that was lost at St Eval on or around the 22nd November 1940.

    From what I understand it was in a dispersal pen when another aircraft drifted on take-off and crashed into the pen. Both aircraft were written off.

    Alex

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    Hi Alex

    I have a note of Gladiator N5649 of 247S CTO at St Eval on 22nd November, pilot was 40817 NIC Francis, who was unhurt. ABS adds 'hit dispersal pen on night t/o'.

    'A/c Crashes in Cornwall' produced in conjunction with Davidstow Airfield lists another incident on this day when Beaufort I, L9822 of 217S, hit a truck on take off, also at St Eval and was DBR. Note ABS dates this incident as 22 October!

    Ottaway's 'RAF Benson' does not list a PRU a/c loss for 22 November and I do not have one in my lists either.

    regards

    DaveW

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    Hi Dave,

    Thanks. I wonder if its related to the Gladiator accident?

    Alex

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    Hi Alex

    Having had a quick look at the StEval ORB, can confirm the only notes of aircraft incidents are those already mentioned by Dave. The only details I can add that the Beaufort incident took place about 1015 hrs whilst the Gladiator was about 2015 hrs, both being listed on the same day.

    Kind regards
    Pierre

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    Hi Pierre,

    Thanks for checking the ORB.

    I've had a look through my various back up discs and, in an odds and sods file on one of them I have a note that the info came from the 247 Sqn history book by Air Britain.

    Does anyone have a copy of this book and can double check for me?

    Thanks,

    Alex

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    I will pass on to AB the correct date for the Beaufort .

    DaveW

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    Hi Alex

    Here’s what “Rise from the East: The story of No. 247 (China British) Squadron, Royal Air Force" by David John Marchant (Air Britain, 1996) has to say:
    ...
    One night in early December at St. Eval, Plt Off Francis took off for a night patrol. Jimmy Renvoize and the rest of the flight were sitting in the dispersal hut playing cards: “We heard him take off and his engine noise seemed to die away very quickly. About ten minutes later he walked into the hut with his parachute over his shoulder, looking very sheepish. It appeared that the undercarriage of his Gladiator collided with the top of the dispersal bay that housed one of the beautiful blue reconnaissance Spitfires. Both aircraft were written off.
    ...
    The F.78 for Gladiator N5649 places the accident on 22 November 1940 (rather than early December) and has the aircraft as struck off by 43 Group on December 27th. I don’t yet see an obvious candidate for a PRU Spitfire written off on the 22nd November so perhaps it was in the end repaired and returned to service.

    I haven’t seen the Accident Record card for this incident (which I would expect to name the Spitfire involved), but if such a card exists at Hendon it ought to be on Film MFC 77/16/13.

    All the best
    Niall
    Last edited by NiallC; 17th October 2010 at 21:14. Reason: typos, pytos and embarassing apostrophe use

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    Hi Niall,

    Thanks,

    I'll try and order an accident card for a Spitfire on this date and see what turns up.

    Alex

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    Hi Alex

    Personally I'd look for or order one for the Gladiator (for which we have a serial number and a reasonably robust date). In my experience where one (manned) aircraft damaged another parked and un-manned one, the only accident record card will be for the one that caused the accident, but it will give the serial number for the "victim".

    All the best
    Niall

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