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  #1  
Old 30th January 2008, 15:36
Rittmeister Rittmeister is offline
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RAF downed fighter in May or June 1940

I'm new to this forum and all things aviation so please forgive me if the following question sounds awfully amateurish!

Is it possible to get further details on a downed British aircraft during the Westfeldzug in France 1940? I believe the aircraft is a Spitfire and the callsign (if that is the correct term) on the fuselage reads CZOZ. The "O" here is the British symbol, I don't know how to interpret it any better.

Thanks in advance for any help!
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  #2  
Old 30th January 2008, 15:43
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Peter Cornwell Peter Cornwell is offline
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Re: RAF downed fighter in May or June 1940

Hello Rittmeister,

Don't worry, we all had to start somewhere. This sounds like a No. 32 Squadron Hurricane to me. Can you post the image ? We may be able you further.
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Old 30th January 2008, 22:09
Leendert Leendert is offline
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Re: RAF downed fighter in May or June 1940

Peter,

Didn't 32 Squadron have the "GZ" code?

If so, then what squadron was "CZ" in 1940? Or perhaps the code needs a second look on the picture....

Regards,

Leendert
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Old 30th January 2008, 22:17
Leendert Leendert is offline
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Re: RAF downed fighter in May or June 1940

Rittmeister,

If "CZ" indeed turns out to be "GZ" then it is a Spitfire of 32 Squadron, as suggested. This squadron lost two Spitfires in France on 8 June 1940. Pilots Geoffrey Cherrington and Kenneth Kirkcaldie were killed.

Regards,

Leendert
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Old 30th January 2008, 22:27
Brian Brian is offline
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Re: RAF downed fighter in May or June 1940

Hi Leendert

You obviously mean Hurricane.

Cheers
Brian
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  #6  
Old 30th January 2008, 22:34
Leendert Leendert is offline
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Re: RAF downed fighter in May or June 1940

Brian,

You're right. Mixing up numbers is bad enough, but mixing up types is even worse...!

Regards,

Leendert
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Old 2nd February 2008, 00:56
Rittmeister Rittmeister is offline
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Re: RAF downed fighter in May or June 1940

Very impressive, thank you very much Leendert and Peter Cornwell! It seems historical research into WWII aviation has reached such depth that anything can be traced, even when faulty information has been supplied by the thread starter.

Ah, so the plane in question is a Hurricane Mk. I and not a Spitfire. And yes, upon further inspection, the code is indeed GZ rather than CZ.

So No. 32 RAF Squadron lost two planes on 08.06.1940. According to this site, the Squadron used Abbeville as its base. Abbeville was lost 4 days earlier. However as indicated by Leendert, the two planes must have been in combat since the pilots were killed. So we can exclude that GZ-Z was simply captured or so when their base fell. Is the more or less exact location known, where both planes were lost? Abbeville means utmost northren section of the front, which matches exactly where the photographer of the photo in 1940 found himself. In fact he drove through Abbeville himself during the Vormarsch. So it is likely he found these planes very shortly after they were shot down.

Eerie to me is, that I now know a pilot died in this plane. I attached a scan of the foto showing GZ-Z after the landing. Please excuse the bad quality of the scan. I always assumed the pilot got out safely because there is no body to be seen in the cockpit. Also the plane does not show any "combat signs" like bullet holes that (at least, myself as newbie) one would expect. At the contrary, it almost looks like an 'only' emergency landing as only the propeller took damage (the wings of the propeller beind curved, as to clearly suggest a forced landing) and the forward parts of both wings are scraped. Also as you can see the ground has been scraped away, GZ-Z crashed in a grassy field.

So now my question is, who flew GZ-Z? Was it pilot Kirckcaldie or Cherrington? This site lists both as only casualties of their squadron, however also doesn't know the exact code of both planes. They seem buried in two different graveyards, suggesting they were killed at least some distance from each other.

Also, how were both planes taken down? Like I assumed, it maybe was not air fighting. So German Flugzeugabwehr, perhaps?

Thanks again for all the help.



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Old 2nd February 2008, 11:06
robert robert is offline
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Re: RAF downed fighter in May or June 1940

Hi,

the 32 Sqn lost three Hurricanes on the 8th June probably all to the III/JG26:
- P/O Grice crash-landed his P3353
- P/O Cherrington and Kirckaldrie were both shot down (N2582 and N2406)
I`m not sure about my data so any corrections would be welcomed.

Robert
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Old 2nd February 2008, 11:30
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Re: RAF downed fighter in May or June 1940

Hello Rittmeister,

Glad to have been of some help. Some further information that may be of use:

No. 32 Squadron were based at Biggin Hill but operated from Abbeville on May 17, 1940, Moorsele the following day, and Merville on May 19, 1940. By June 8, 1940, they were based back in England using Manston as a forward airfield.

I don't know how Leendert arrived at this day as the date for the loss of the aircraft in your photograph for the squadron suffered several other losses that could fit the bill. However, on that date they actually lost three aircraft as follows:

32 Squadron, Manston Wing patrol Le Tréport - Aumale

Hurricane P3353. Shot down by Bf109s of III./JG26 during attack on He111s of I./KG1 between Rouen and Neufchâtel-en-Bray and crash-landed behind allied lines 9.25 a.m. P/O D. H. Grice unhurt. Aircraft a write-off.

Hurricane N2582. Shot down by Bf109s of III./JG26 during attack on He111s of I./KG1 over Rouen and crashed at Fief-Thoubert, St-Saëns, 9.25 a.m. P/O G. I. Cherrington killed. Aircraft a write-off.
The remains of Geoffrey Cherrington, originally buried alongside the crash site, were reinterred as an ‘Unknown Airman’ on June 4, 1941, but post-war excavation of the site by the MREU in October 1947 discovered aircraft serial N2582 thus confirming his identity.

Hurricane N2406. Shot down by Bf109s of III./JG26 during attack on He111s of I./KG1 south-east of Rouen and crashed near Houville-en-Vexin 9.30 a.m. P/O K. Kirkcaldie killed. Aircraft a write-off.

Source: The Battle of France Then & Now p446

From this it would seem that 'Grubby' Grice is a better option IF indeed the date suggested is found to be correct. Pity that the photo doesn't show the serial number. Thanks for posting this.
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Old 2nd February 2008, 11:31
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Peter Cornwell Peter Cornwell is offline
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Re: RAF downed fighter in May or June 1940

Hello Rittmeister,

Glad to have been of some help. Some further information that may be of use:

No. 32 Squadron were based at Biggin Hill but operated from Abbeville on May 17, 1940, Moorsele the following day, and Merville on May 19, 1940. By June 8, 1940, they were based back in England using Manston as a forward airfield.

I don't know how Leendert arrived at this day as the date for the loss of the aircraft in your photograph for the squadron suffered several other losses that could fit the bill. However, on that date they actually lost three aircraft as follows:

32 Squadron, Manston Wing patrol Le Tréport - Aumale

Hurricane P3353. Shot down by Bf109s of III./JG26 during attack on He111s of I./KG1 between Rouen and Neufchâtel-en-Bray and crash-landed behind allied lines 9.25 a.m. P/O D. H. Grice unhurt. Aircraft a write-off.

Hurricane N2582. Shot down by Bf109s of III./JG26 during attack on He111s of I./KG1 over Rouen and crashed at Fief-Thoubert, St-Saëns, 9.25 a.m. P/O G. I. Cherrington killed. Aircraft a write-off.
The remains of Geoffrey Cherrington, originally buried alongside the crash site, were reinterred as an ‘Unknown Airman’ on June 4, 1941, but post-war excavation of the site by the MREU in October 1947 discovered aircraft serial N2582 thus confirming his identity.

Hurricane N2406. Shot down by Bf109s of III./JG26 during attack on He111s of I./KG1 south-east of Rouen and crashed near Houville-en-Vexin 9.30 a.m. P/O K. Kirkcaldie killed. Aircraft a write-off.


Source: The Battle of France Then & Now p446

From this it would seem that 'Grubby' Grice is a better option IF indeed the date suggested is found to be correct. Pity that the photo doesn't show the serial number.
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