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Old 11th June 2018, 16:44
Icare9 Icare9 is offline
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Hawker Tempest Mk V JN759 3 Sqdn 6 August 1944

The Tempest was attempting to intercept a V1 when it lost control and crashed near NINFIELD, East Sussex. I have a map reference WR1532 which appears to put it somewhere near Marlpits Lane and Skinners Lane.

Can anyone trace a better location for a more precise crash site?
I have the details of the pilot, Mackerras, with 11 V1's and 3 shared, being 2nd highest RAAF V1 killer, but can't find anything on where precisely it crashed.

I'm wondering if the V1 he intercepted was the one that crashed near Church Wood, close to St Mary's Church. A village lad, Hugh Gordon Tate, was killed on 1st August when a rogue barrage balloon which had broken free drifted across Ninfield Rec, where a number of boys grabbed the ropes trying to tether it, but a gust blew it towards the road, shedding boys as it went. Hugh clung on but was electrocuted when it drifted into nearby HT power lines.

The day of his funeral was when the V1 exploded, forcing mourners to duck into hedges. 6th August was a Sunday, so was this the V1 Mackerras intercepted? 5 days seems a bit too soon, and no one noted anything about a plane crashing, but that might just be that everyone focussed on the V1 and not on anything else.

If they were linked, then the village will want to commemorate it, and therefore need the precise location to do so.

All help gratefully appreciated, as always
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Old 11th June 2018, 17:51
Alex Smart Alex Smart is offline
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Re: Hawker Tempest Mk V JN759 3 Sqdn 6 August 1944

Hello,
"Aces High" vol 2 just has " at Ninfield".
It does give details about the pilot and his score though.
If you go to the last entry in the attached link you may be able to acquire a photo of this airman. Also info from the Australian Archives.

http://www.rafcommands.com/archive/05349.php

Good luck with your search.
Alex

Last edited by Alex Smart; 12th June 2018 at 18:29.
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Old 11th June 2018, 19:49
Icare9 Icare9 is offline
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Re: Hawker Tempest Mk V JN759 3 Sqdn 6 August 1944

Thanks, Alex, have had a lot of help from the library in Pymble etc, so have almost all I can about him, that JN759 was the 30th Tempest produced (starting at JN729) but NOT precisely where it crashed.
The NAA site has 140 odd pages o his record, and includes his paybook which shows signs of charring around the edges, so presumably recovered from the wreckage and which implies a severe fire, if scorched through his uniform......

The strange thing is that most WW2 events were recorded by "someone" locally, not always the same person, but no one knew of this Tempest crash so no idea as to where more specifically than WR1532. It was just 2 months after the D Day mid air of 2 B26's over Battle, one crashed at Ashburnham Place, which is very close by and the Marauders had many eyewitnesses, but none apparently for the Tempest.
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Old 11th June 2018, 23:27
Alex Smart Alex Smart is offline
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Re: Hawker Tempest Mk V JN759 3 Sqdn 6 August 1944

Have you checked Police records ? Also to find the Recovery Unit that were responsible for the removal of a/c wreckage in the District ?
Alex
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Old 12th June 2018, 03:26
Col Bruggy Col Bruggy is offline
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Re: Hawker Tempest Mk V JN759 3 Sqdn 6 August 1944

Icare,

One person who would have local knowledge and would have looked at this incident would be Andy Saunders. Have you spoken to Andy?

Col.
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Old 12th June 2018, 13:19
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Chris Goss Chris Goss is offline
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Re: Hawker Tempest Mk V JN759 3 Sqdn 6 August 1944

Andy is an infrequent visitor and is currently very busy but I can ask him if you wish as he has all of the late Pat Burgess' records
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Old 12th June 2018, 13:20
Icare9 Icare9 is offline
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Re: Hawker Tempest Mk V JN759 3 Sqdn 6 August 1944

Yes, I messaged Andy on facebook, but no response as yet.
If anyone has a better way to contact him, please let me know (pref by PM if he doesn't want it broadcast).
Would the Police records, mortuary records etc (he was taken to Battle mortuary after the crash) be at ESRO? How would I find which Recovery Unit was involved and where/how to access their records?
Thanks for all suggestions and advice.
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Old 12th June 2018, 16:09
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Chris Goss Chris Goss is offline
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Re: Hawker Tempest Mk V JN759 3 Sqdn 6 August 1944

Cas Card, Accident Card & serial card just say 'near Ninfield'. I have spoken to Andy who has the location and Police reports but he is simply snowed under with professional and personal work and if he can, he will try and answer you but does not know when that might be
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Old 12th June 2018, 21:08
Icare9 Icare9 is offline
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Re: Hawker Tempest Mk V JN759 3 Sqdn 6 August 1944

Chris, pleas accept my thanks and pass them on to Andy. I realise he's a busy man, so don't want to put pressure on him. If there is a better location, then the Parish Council will consider how best to commemorate Mackerras's sacrifice, if not this anniversary, then next when it will be the 75th.

Thanks to all contributors and hopefully, in the fullness of time, the village will be able to pay their respects to this young man.
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