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biddendenlocal
13th August 2007, 14:54
Does anyone know of a combat crash of a Spitfire or Hurricane that crashed 1800yds north of Biddenden very close to the Smarden Rd about 200 yds from the Headcorn Turn. Locals put the date as 1940 but it could be 1941.Time would have been afternoon. Plane went sraight down from say 5000ft into the ground.No parashute was seen,and locals tell of local police collecting pieces of pilot. Memories say 603 squadron Hornchurch.I am told that there is nothing at the site commemorating the incident,and as we dont know the date,its very hard to solve the mystery.

Adriano Baumgartner
14th August 2007, 00:51
Hello,
IF you could at least give us a month, that would be a start! There are hundreds of crashs from OTU, PRU and Fighter Command Units...without more DATA, it will be certainly impossible to help you, because German combat claims were also not as precise as we would like ( they did not mentioned 1,800 yards from Biddenden, etc...They only put the hour of the combat, the height and general area: 15km East of such place, etc...).
Ask the old people of your area, search old articles ( newspapers ), check the local Police, ask the closest RAF unit - you certainly will have more data available.
Hope I helped to open your field of researches...It is not so easy to find out who claimed who...
Sincere and friendly yours
Adriano
PS: I am sure that IF you put a more precise date or information, a dozen of people from this Forum will help you as you want they do. I guarantee you my friend!

biddendenlocal
14th August 2007, 08:22
Hello,
The only detail I have is that the crash possition is Lat.51.74 Long 0.39.2. This I obtained from Google Earth image. Nothing has changed in the 67 years since I visited the site,a few days after the crash,as a 10yo ,evacue .Still the same open field,very close to the road.
I live in Australia,but in my quest for answers I contacted Biddenden,and now correspond with the boy in whose family I lived with in 1940/41 .He,s 78 and remembers the crash,his Brother-in-law remembers the crash,but so far,we cannot put a date to it.
My memory says it happened before 23rd August 1940.This is because Kent History Centre say school holidays began that day,and I think that it happened on a school day after school,at about 4.30 in the afternoon.At the time I was billited South of the village.
The sky was clear,and there did,nt seem to be much air activity.My attention was drawn skywards,by the sound of one short burst of machine gun fire.High in the sky were two dots,...one of the dots became what I have always believed to be a Spitfire. It never deviated,and crashed at high speed . I never saw a parashute.I was 1800yds away in Biddenden Village.
On visiting the site,after it was cleared of debris,it was said that very little remained of the pilot,and I doubt if they dug anymore of the plane at the time,for the engine would have been a long way down.
My contact in Biddenden is related to the person who was the local policeman in 1940,and he told them that he recovered human remains from air crashes,and took them home for safe keeping,until collected by the authorities. My contact believes he was refering to this particular crash,but there were other crashes near Biddenden,although none of the crashes I have seen reported say the pilot died in the planecrash.
The only other clue,suggested by a Biddenden resident,was that he thought it was a plane from Hornchurch,with a pilot Mac?sombody!
Nobody can help without a date!!! I did,nt keep a diary in 1940/41

Adriano Baumgartner
14th August 2007, 14:38
Could you send me your e-mail? I had some files that could be of interest for you..( Spitfires losses, Luftwaffe claims for that period )
Sincerely yours
Adriano ( baumgartner_asv@yahoo.com.br )
Brazil

Alex Smart
14th August 2007, 18:07
hi,

The one that sprung to mind was a thread on this website some time ago .
Pluckley, or near there.
I remember because of the Tea.
This thread must still be available on the site somewhere.
May be the same one that you are searching.

Alex

biddendenlocal
15th August 2007, 09:52
Alex,
My crash is 1 mile from Biddenden.I believe Puckley is at least 5 mile on. I cannot find the thread referring to Puckley,do we know the date ?
Alf

Alex Smart
15th August 2007, 12:19
Hi,

If I am right it was for a Spitfire piloted by F/O Oswald St.John Pigg. From 72 Sqdn came down in P9458 on the 1st September following combat with a Bf109 his a/c crashed and burned out at Elvey Farm, Pluckley, time given as at 11.15.
He is at rest in St.Oswald's Buriel Ground Durham.

Others around the time you mention are-
8th August 40
P/O. P.F. Kennard-Davis s/d by Bf109 crashed west Langdon at 12.05 burnt out but pilot died later on the 10th.
16th August 40
P/O N.G. Bowen in Spitfire N3095 S/D by Bf109 at Adisham.
26th August 40 Sgt. M. Ridley in R6701 S/d by Bf109 at 12.15 crashed Adisham.
30th August 40 Sgt. J.I.Johnson in R6628 S/d by Bf109 at 18.05 crashed at Bishopsbourne.
There were other crashes but these are the Spitfires that come to hand .

There was a 603 Sqn loss that was P/O. Donald Kennedy MacDonald, who failed to return from a combat with Bf109's over Dover on the 28th August 40 in Spitfire L1046. Time given as 16.45.
He is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial .
This from "Men of the Battle of Britain" So could it have been him ?

603 lost three that afternoon, F/Lt. Cunningham in R6751 a/c "U" at 16.45, killed . P/O. Ritchie was wounded in R6989 a/c "X" a/c repaired.and P/O Benson in N3105 a/c"P" s/d over Tenterden at 1630, killed.

All for now
Alex

Ref FCL vol 1 and Men of BoB.

Brian Bines
15th August 2007, 12:53
A possibility but during school hols. on 5th. Sept a Spitfire crashed at Buckmans Green Farm Smarden at 0950 hrs. 'Battle of Britain Then and Now' believes this to be X4261 of 603 Sqd. F/L F.W. Rushmer missing. Although it does not meet your memories it might be worth considering,

Regards

Brian Bines

Alex Smart
15th August 2007, 22:08
Hello Brian,

Thank you for the update of Rushmer.

Yes, from "The Men of the BoB" page 440
There is a picture of him.

It is a well searched site it seems.
From the book-
His Spitfire X4261 could be that which crashed at Buckmans Green Farm, Smarden. The pilot from this a/c was buried as "Unknown" in All Saints churchyard, Staplehurst on 11th September. An investigation of the crash site in 1970 failed to establish the pilots identity. Rushmer was reported "Missing" and his name is on the Runnymede Memorial Pannel 4.
However a campaigne to prove that it was him began in 1989 and his three surviving sisters were traced by Andy Saunders. Positive identification of Rushmer was established by a pocketwatch found at the site in 1970, this being recognised by the dead airmans sisters. In May 1989 a named headstone replaced the original and a service od dedication was held in September.

Alex

biddendenlocal
16th August 2007, 04:57
Hi All,
The best response I,ve had from any group of enthusiasts!! The problem still remains.My crash site is exact.It is close to the road,on the road that goes from the Headcorn Rd [A274]to Stanten.Its called the Smarden Rd.,,The site is 390yds from the Headcorn Turnoff ,just opposite Weeks Lane,among trees ,just off the road.The trees lead up to the house in the field.I believe that house was there when the crash happened
Alf

Brian Bines
16th August 2007, 12:30
I do not have the OS map for the area so cannot see how close these are but from B.of B. and Blitz Then and Now are these possibilities:-
1. Oct 5th. Hurricane of 1(RCAF) Sqd at Deering Farm Smarden F/O H de M Molson baled out wounded.
2. Oct 19th Spitfire of 92 Sqd. crashed Tuesnoak Farm, Smarden Sgt. Allton killed.
I assume north of Biddenden might also be south of Smarden.
Looking up the place index in Blitz Then and Now (Luft.losses) the only Biddenden ref was a complete outsider - Sept. 15th Bf 109 StabI/JG 52 crashed Dering (Deering?) Wood opp. Berry Court, Biddenden Green Lt Bertel baled out POW.
Hope this one can be solved,

Regards

Brian Bines

biddendenlocal
17th August 2007, 05:24
Thanks very much,for everybody,s help. The crash I saw,and the site I visited ,could only be described as being on Standen Farm,or Newcastle Farm, Standen being the nearest Hamlet[?] I think that the reference to P/O D.K.MacDonald missing on 28th Aug is a possibility as the time of 16.45 is right.and a local mentions Hornchurch&a Mac/somebody so something might be in it ! Perhaps the mystery was solved years ago,and the MacDonald family knew?
I have written to Newcastle Farm,but got no reply.I think we will only solve it locally,but a bit difficult for me in Australia! Alf

Brian Bines
17th August 2007, 14:48
Alf, having looked at a map there is another possibility 'B.ofB.Then and Now' shows that on 30th.Aug. Hurricane L1965 of 253 Sqd. is beleived to have crashed at Monks Hill, Biddenden at 1115hrs.The pilot P/O C.D. Francis is shown as missing, the location looks about 2000m NNE of Biddenden altough the time is not as described with the number of crashes in the area memories can be blurred. Anyway I hope you get a final answer to this,

Regards

Brian Bines

Chris Goss
17th August 2007, 15:41
RAF Cas Cards for this crash are very vague 'near Kenley' and he is still recorded as missing

Chris Goss
17th August 2007, 15:44
...even though he is buried in Brookwood Cemetery!

biddendenlocal
18th August 2007, 09:35
Is it not possible for someone to start up a website on a county basis,showing the exact locations of all the know crash sites,so that a catologue could be produced on line .In all the information given to me in answer to my problem,nobody has given me exact locations.For instance Monks Hill is only about 500yds from "my crash site" but the description Monks Hill could mean another 500 yds further on!!
With satelite technology you can state a site within a few yards.
My big problem is that I dont know the day,I dont know the month,I dont know the hour,but I know when looking by satelite ,its the place I stood at in 1940,and it was the only crash site I ever visited.
Alf

Brian Bines
18th August 2007, 11:58
Alf could you get someone to visit Maidstone library or make an online enquiry to see what records they hold. Sometimes the local history section has wartime Police or CD records which ofton record crashes/ bomb incidents. This might establish a date and give a location,although map references are on an older grid and Farm names have sometimes changed from those of 1940. There are some very detailed reports on wartime crashes from East Suffolk Police and a microfilm from Essex Police if the same exist for Kent in 1940 these may help your quest,

Regards

biddendenlocal
19th August 2007, 04:41
I have been in touch with the Centre for Kentish Studies They say Police records for the period have been lost or destroyed.He checked the War Diaries ,and gave me details of 3 crashes ,but none suited.
He did suggest a book called Aircraft crashes in Kent Part 1 1939-1940 by GGBaxter andKA Owen ,but I cant get that book in Australia.
Nobody can help it seems without a date.
Alf

Brian Bines
19th August 2007, 12:09
Apparantly from the location another researcher states this is a 1941 crash with the pilot Mac? from New Zealand killed. No other info. avallable at present.

Alex Smart
19th August 2007, 14:16
Hello Brian,

Apparantly from the location another researcher states this is a 1941 crash with the pilot Mac? from New Zealand killed. No other info. avallable at present

Please supply the link re the information on this NZ pilot.

Thank you
Alex

Brian Bines
19th August 2007, 14:34
Alex,

What I put on my last post was all I was given at present. I do not have the Fighter Command Losses books and hoped someone could look through under 603 Sqd. entries (from Alf's recollections) for 1941, to find a possible match. All I can add at present is the crash site might be referred to as Curteis Corner, Standon, Biddenden. If I get anything else I will pass it on,

Regards

Brian Bines

Alex Smart
19th August 2007, 14:55
Hello Brian,

Well From FCL vol 1&2.
For July, August and September 1941.
603Sqn
4/7/41 - F/O Prowse and F/O Ogilvie, both POW's.
14/7/41 - Sgt. Hunter Missing FTR am.
23/7/41 - P/O Blackall(RCAF) +; Sgt Jackman POW; Sgt Tabor +
5/8/41 - P/O Keable +
21/8/41 - P/O Falconer wounded
27/8/41 - S/Ldr Louden wounded
4/9/41 - Sgt Neil wounded
21/9/41 - P/O Maclachlan safe rescued by HSL.
27/9/41 - Sgt Allard POW;Sgt Archibald +

All for now
Alex

Alex Smart
19th August 2007, 15:20
Hi, This link should if i have done it correctly , show the area in question.

http://www.streetmap.co.uk/newmap.srf?x=585000&y=145000&z=5&sv=585000,145000&st=4&ar=N&mapp=newmap.srf&searchp=newsearch.srf&dn=663 (http://www.streetmap.co.uk/newmap.srf?x=585000&y=145000&z=5&sv=585000,145000&st=4&ar=N&mapp=newmap.srf&searchp=newsearch.srf&dn=663)


and this should show the fields

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=+45%C2%B023%2716.55%22N++10%C2%B054%2719.34%22E&ie=UTF8&z=18&ll=45.387932,10.905374&spn=0.002607,0.006738&t=k&om=1

Just write in "Standen, Kent" and then click on satellite,and hybrid then keep enlarging until the fields at Standen are up close.

Alex

biddendenlocal
20th August 2007, 15:51
Hi There,
When I went to the url map I found that I was sent to 45.23.16.55 10.54.19.34 This is in northern Italy!
' " My Crash" is LAT 51.74.46 Long.0.39.2.23 Nearest hamlet Stanten Close to Marsden Rd by the Weeks Lane turn. !800yds north of Biddenden. In some trees that form the driveway to a house .
My Biddenden contact also saw the crash and agrees it was late afternoon...Alf

Alex Smart
20th August 2007, 17:15
Hi Alf,

That is why I followed the link with a note .

"Just write in "Standen, Kent" and then click on satellite,and hybrid then keep enlarging until the fields at Standen are up close."

There is a dark mark in the field and from what i have read in threads on other searches this could and I emphasis "could" mean that that is where the aircraft crashed as it could be oil in the soil that spread from the motor.

Alex

Alex Smart
20th August 2007, 17:35
Hello Alf,

I HAVE SENT YOU A PRIVATE MESSAGE.

Alex

biddendenlocal
21st August 2007, 08:56
Hi, This link should if i have done it correctly , show the area in question.

http://www.streetmap.co.uk/newmap.srf?x=585000&y=145000&z=5&sv=585000,145000&st=4&ar=N&mapp=newmap.srf&searchp=newsearch.srf&dn=663 (http://www.streetmap.co.uk/newmap.srf?x=585000&y=145000&z=5&sv=585000,145000&st=4&ar=N&mapp=newmap.srf&searchp=newsearch.srf&dn=663)


and this should show the fields

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=+45%C2%B023%2716.55%22N++10%C2%B054%2719.34%22E&ie=UTF8&z=18&ll=45.387932,10.905374&spn=0.002607,0.006738&t=k&om=1

Just write in "Standen, Kent" and then click on satellite,and hybrid then keep enlarging until the fields at Standen are up close.

Alex
Hi Alex,
Yes I did get Standen.In fact close to my site.but because trees were present,you cant see any trace of oil at my site.It is,nt in open field.
Its close to the start of the driveway to the house . Alf

Alex Smart
21st August 2007, 11:53
Hello Alf,

Nothing has changed in the 67 years since I visited the site,a few days after the crash,as a 10yo ,evacue .Still the same open field,very close to the road.

That was an earlier post that I thought refered to the crash site being in an open field still as it was years ago. I must have misunderstood.

Thought it was down in an open field.

So it was down in what is now (was it then ?) the driveway to a house.

Is that the house on the same side as Weeks lane or on the other side of the road ?

By the bye there are two weeks lane's shown, have you any idea as to why there are two lanes with the same name, was the original lane diverted at some time perhaps after the war ? One seems to lead just to a farm house while the other later joins another road.

But we drift from the main, so I will stop now.

I hope that you will follow up on some of the links that I sent in my PM to you as they may prove useful, if just for elimination.

All the best
Alex

biddendenlocal
21st August 2007, 16:23
Alex,
My appologies!! As my memory sees the crash site.
I am standing on the road,looking at the crash site among small trees,about 6 yards in front of me.All I see is disturbed ground,for the site had been cleared.Its quite possible that at that time sufficient bits would have been left to prove an aircraft crash,but I was there with other schoolboys,and we were quite happy that we were looking at the site where a Spitfire had crashed a few days before,and that they had only found bits of the pilot.
To the right of the trees was a large open field.At the time I could,nt see past the trees,but I realise now that the trees were planted as the driveway to the house,but I could,nt see the house from the road.
My map of the area only shows Weeks Lane where it joins Smarden Rd about 400yds from the Headcorn Rd .Opposite this junction,a little to the left is the driveway to the house where the crash occurred.
Perhaps the person living in the house remembers everything!!
Alf

biddendenlocal
23rd August 2007, 04:51
Alex.
I now realise how difficult it is to describe an exact spot.!
[1] I would think the house was there in 1940.
[2] The house is opposite side of Smarden Rd to Weeks Lane.
[3] The south-east side of Smarden Rd.
[4] Crash site was on righthand side of the driveway near Smarden road
[5] Weeks Lane was probably not there in 1940 Maybe developed for Golf Course.
[6] The house on the opposit side of Smarden Rd from the crash site was probably there in 1940 ,and is possibly closer to the crash.
[7] Dont forget that I am writing this from Australia.!!
Alf

Alex Smart
29th November 2007, 03:25
Hi,

It has been a while since my computer crash back in August (again) !!! so what has been the news on this Spitfire crash if any please ?

Alex

Leendert
1st December 2007, 15:31
It appears that Hurricane P3869 of No 1 (F) RCAF Squadron made a crash landing at Biddenden on 26-8-1940.
But this aircraft could be repaired and the pilot was safe.......

Regards,

Leendert

Alex Smart
1st December 2007, 23:54
Thanks for update.

Alex

Andy Saunders
10th December 2007, 12:39
Alf

At exactly the location you quote I have "Sat 17 May 1941.British fighter down. Approx 17.45 hrs. Pilot Killed."

The location you describe matches exactly the wartime map reference I have for the above incident.

This was a 54 Squadron loss, Sgt Earl Joseph KEANE, RNZAF, who was 28 and lost on his 24th op. He is buried at Hornchurch. He was shot down after engaging two pairs of German fighters whilst on patrol over Maidstone.

I am pretty sure this must be your man.

Andy Saunders

Leendert
10th December 2007, 13:04
According the Tony Wood website E. Kean (see CWGC also) was flying Spitfire IIa P7833 on 17-5-41.

Interestingly, the spitfires.ukf.net gives for P7833 "missing off Clacton after engine failure" on 20-4-41!

Another mystery?

Regards,

Leendert
Brugge/Belgium

Andy Saunders
10th December 2007, 14:07
I am pretty sure the incident at Biddenden involved Sgt Keane of 54 Squadron on that date, but I do not have any accurate serial number recorded. From my notes it looks as if the ORB didn't give the s/n or else I didnt write it down (?), and it seems published sources offer some conflicting details. Maybe someone out there can offer the correct serial.

Andy Saunders

paulmcmillan
10th December 2007, 15:36
The incident on 20.4.41 was the one in which P/O C COLEBROOK was killed - But he could have been flying either P7383 or P7833 both of which were with 54 Sqn e

54 Sqn lost another Spitfire the same date (20.4.41) : P7666 P/O J STOKOE safe

So it is possible Kean was on P7383 on 17.5.41 but i have no information one way or another

Leendert
10th December 2007, 15:38
Andy,

Pilot Kean (not Keane) is indeed listed as being killed at Biddenden on 17-5-41.

The correct serial of the Spitfire (if of any further importance) is a detail to be examined.

Regards,

Leendert

Andy Saunders
10th December 2007, 19:01
Yes, you are quite right. It was E J Kean, without an "e" on the end. Also it was Erl Joseph as opposed to Earl. I had assumed Erl was a typo. Seemingly not.

Alex Smart
11th December 2007, 15:10
Hi,
Air Britain P1000 - R9999
Both P7383 and P7833 "Portadown" are BOTH given as being from 54 Sqdn AND both are given as being Missing, believed after engine failure on patrol off Clacton on 20-4-41.
Morgan and Shacklady in "Spitfire the History" also has the 20-4-41 for both losses.

Both the CWGC site and the Auckland Cenotaph site has Kean without the "e" on the end , but the Auckland one does spell christian name as Earl while the CWGC site only has Erl.
Which is correct ?

Alex

paulmcmillan
12th December 2007, 12:40
With apologises to Charles Dickens - This is a Tale of Three Spitfires:

a) P7383
b) P7833 -- Presentation Name: Portadown
c) P7883 -- Presentation Name: Grahams Heath

I have consulted the following books:

1) Franks, Norman L.R. - Royal Air Force Fighter Command Losses (FCL) of the Second World War, Volume 1, Operational Losses: Aircraft and Crews 1939-1941, Midland Publishing, 1997 ISBN: 1857802861
2) Foreman, John - Air War 1941: The Turning Point, Part 2 (TTP) - From the Blitz to the Non-Stop Offensive, Air Research Publications, 1994. ISBN: 1871187257
3) Martyn, Errol W - For Your Tomorrow (FYT) - A record of New Zealanders who have died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Services since 1915 - Vol 1: Fates 1915-1942, Volplane Press, 1999 . ISBN 0473063107
4) Halley, James, J (Editor) - Royal Air Force Aircraft P1000-R9999 (AB Serials); Air Britain (Historians Ltd) ISBN 0851302531
5) Boot, Henry and Sturtivant, Ray - Gifts of War - Presentation Aircraft in Two World Wars (GoW); Air Britain (Historians Ltd), 2005 ISBN 0851302483


But firstly, in Martyn's FYT Sgt Kean's, full name is given as Earl Joseph Kean - But is down as in P7833 (but qualified with a ?) against this serial, which indicators the author had his doubts

In Foremans TTP - for 20.4.41 - P/O C Colebrook is listed twice, once in P7883 and also in P7666.

Firstly P7666 was actually piloted by P/O J Stokoe who bailed out into the channel, but was rescued injured.

As for P7883, P/O C Colebrook could not have been in this aircraft as GoW has a full history of it which reveals that it crashed Barbers Booth 4 mls NE of Chapel-en-le Frith, Derbyshire 10.12.43 while with 53 OTU, F/Sgt R MITCHELL being injured.

For 17.5.41, Foremans TTP has Sgt EJ Kean on P7833 (I wonder if this is where Tony Wood got his information)

GoW again has a full history for P7833 and records this as being the aircraft that P/O C Colebrook was killed in on 20.4.41.

As previously stated AB Serials has the same fate for both P7383 and P7833 (54 Sqn are given as being missing, believed after engine failure on patrol off Clacton on 20-4-41) - This information is most probably taken from either the accident card or movement card - This information is also probably what is in the "Spitfire the History" (though I have not checked) - But indicates to me that someone updated the cards wrong back in 1941 and duplicated the same information on two different cards.

Finally, FCL does not have a serial for Sgt EJ Kean, but (IIRC) has P7833 against P/O C Colebrook

Therefore, and assuming the same mistakes keep happening (P7383 viz-a-viz P7833 viz-a-viz P7883 - and I had to check this posting 2 times to make sure I did not perpetuate the mistake!) That we can assume that:

Either Colebrook was on P7383 or P7833, with P7833 as the most likely (based on evidence) and Kean on P7383 or P7833 with P7383 as the most likely (by a process of elimination)

Comments?

biddendenlocal
12th December 2007, 14:08
Hi All
As a witness to the crash all I ever wanted, was to know for sure that the sacrifice of the pilot that day was recognised.I am told by Biddenden locals that many years ago there was a plaque .Now that we can put a wartime map reference to my site and get absolute details of the pilot,perhaps a plaque of rememberance could be sited
Alf Bushnell

Andy Saunders
12th December 2007, 22:00
Alf

Yes, there was a story of a cross in the hedge tended by locals but there is nothing there now. It could well be that the local Parish Council may be interested in a plaque at the site or in the village. Glad to have helped you solve it.

Paul

A fascinating dissertation on the serial number mystery. It would certainly be good to discover the correct information. I wonder what detail is recorded on his Casualty File? Probably holds the answer!

Andy

Errol Martyn
12th December 2007, 23:15
Hi,
Both the CWGC site and the Auckland Cenotaph site has Kean without the "e" on the end , but the Auckland one does spell christian name as Earl while the CWGC site only has Erl.
Which is correct ?

Alex

The first volume of my 'For Your Tomorrow' records Kean's first name incorrectly as Earl, as did the CWGC register at that time. In 2003 I had occasion to have his name checked with Births, Deaths and Marriages in New Zealand. This confirmed that the correct spelling was Erl, which information was passed on to the CWGC authorities who in turn corrected their records.

Errol

Franek Grabowski
13th December 2007, 00:07
Beg me pardon, but I personally know three people, whose names were wrongly recorded by clerks. I would say decisive is how Kean or his family spelled his name.

biddendenlocal
13th December 2007, 02:19
Hi ALL, Recently the Australian Govt,paid thousands of dollars to get dna identification of soldiers who were killed in WW1,when remains were found in France.Furthermore they paid the cost of travel to France of living relatives,to attend the burial service at the War Cemetery.We are probably talking of in excess of $100,000.
Would,nt it be nice if the British Govt paid a few thousand pounds to the site in Biddenden to prove and recognise the sacrifice of the pilot who gave his life for England that day
Alf

biddendenlocal
13th December 2007, 03:45
Hi All,
It seems fairly certain,that the crash of a Spitfire at Biddenden,was the one that killed Sgt Kean NZ after combat at around 17.45 on Sat 17th May 1941

Sat 17 May 1941
Fighter Command
Patrol
54 Squadron, RAF (Southend, Essex - 11 Group)
Spitfire IIA P7833(?) - took off at 1725 as one of a flight to patrol over Maidstone, Kent at 20,000 feet. Shortly afterwards the flight was ordered south to intercept enemy aircraft. As two pairs of the latter came into view below, the Spitfire leader ordered the formation to break and dive upon them. In the ensuing engagement P7833 was shot down, crashing at Biddenden, 11 miles SE of Maidstone. The pilot is buried at Hornchurch, Essex.
Pilot: NZ401390 Sgt Erl Joseph KEAN, RNZAF - Age 28. 24th op.

KEAN, Sgt Erl Joseph. NZ401390 (prev. A401390);
b Livingstone 8 Mar 13;
St Bede's Coll, Chch (Senior Athletic Champ);
company manager - MacDuffs Ltd, Wgtn.
NZ Army/TF 1yr;
RNZAF Levin/GTS as Airman Pilot u/t 4 Jun 40,
1EFTS 1 Jul 40,
1FTS 24 Aug 40,
Pilot Badge [wef 18.10.40] & Sgt 21 Dec 40,
emb for UK & att RAF 6 Jan 41,
3PRC 2 Mar 41,
53OTU (Spitfire) 10 Mar 41,
54 Sqn (Spitfire - 24 ops) 21 Apr 41,
kao 17 May 41.
Hornchurch Cemetery - Sec.A. grave 1346, Essex, England.
Alf

paulmcmillan
9th January 2008, 14:13
Just had an email from Errol Martyn, who has been in contact with AHB - AHB has in relation to Sgt Erl Joseph KEAN

"“His aircraft Serial No. was P7833 (as opposed to P7383).”"

So a tale of 3 Spitfires is:


a) P7383

Missing, believed after engine failure on patrol off Clacton on 20.4.41. P/O C Colebrook 54 Sqn Missing



b) P7833 -- Presentation Name: Portadown

Shot down, crashing at Biddenden, 11 miles SE of Maidstone 17.5.41
NZ401390 Sgt Erl Joseph KEAN 54 Sqn, RNZAF Killed

Note: Both AB Serials and Gifts Of War is incorrect on fate for this aircraft

c) P7883 -- Presentation Name: Grahams Heath

Crashed Barbers Booth 4 mls NE of Chapel-en-le Frith, Derbyshire 10.12.43 while with 53 OTU, F/Sgt R MITCHELL being injured.

Spitfire 9
18th February 2008, 22:07
I know it is rather late to post on this thread, only just had a look ! anyway, I have a photo of P7833 PK-K while with 315 sqdn, and of course it carries the Polish emblem on the nose.

There is evidence of 65 'East India squadron' markings on each side of the cockpit as being one time previous 'owners' also presentation details PORTADOWN

Mervyn

biddendenlocal
4th March 2008, 13:54
I have recieved from Air Historical Branch(RAF) M.O.D. 11th Jan 2008, confirmation that Sgt E.J.Kean RNZAF serving with No 54 Squadron RAF was flying Spitfire P7833 when the aircraft crashed at Biddenden at 18.30hrs The crash site is given as Biddenden map reference 294584 and experts tell me that this equates to the spot I visited as an 11yo boy in 1941 after witnessing the crash on Sat 17th May .1941
Latitude 51*07*41* Longtitude 0*36*06*
Does Sgt Kean have any living relatives?
Alf B

Spitfire 9
4th March 2008, 15:10
For what it's worth.............

It sounds 'possibly' like it 'may' be right alongside a little road called "Clapper Lane " Or. am I in the wrong place also ?

Also, a post on a Polish website indicates that P7883 was with 308sqdn and in action on 2/7/41 shooting down an Me109 & damaging another.

As previously mentioned, I have a photo of Mk 2a P7833 taken at Northolt in JUNE 1941 while with 315 Polish sqdn, coded PK-K. The photo also has evidence of a previous owner as the 65sqdn East India Crest is still plainly visible on the side of the cockpit.

This is an interesting thread................... I think I want be a detective in the next life.

Mervyn.

Andy Saunders
4th March 2008, 23:15
No, Clapper Lane is more towards Staplehurst and involved a Hurricane.

Spitfire 9
5th March 2008, 00:03
Cheers Andy, I did have my doubts !!

B.F.M. Droog
5th March 2008, 00:37
Hello Alf,

The chance is great; maybe you can find them via this link:

http://www.google.com/search?q=kean+%22new+zealand%22

VoyTech
28th March 2008, 14:32
As previously mentioned, I have a photo of Mk 2a P7833 taken at Northolt in JUNE 1941 while with 315 Polish sqdn, coded PK-K. The photo also has evidence of a previous owner as the 65sqdn East India Crest is still plainly visible on the side of the cockpit.
There is a series of photos depicting P7855 PK-K, but the ornamental style of small size serial characters has led several authors/researchers to believe it was P7833.
BTW, in June 1941 No. 315 Sqn was on Hurricanes at Speke, the photos were taken in August.