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  #41  
Old 12th December 2007, 12:40
paulmcmillan paulmcmillan is offline
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Re: mysterious kent crash

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?
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  #42  
Old 12th December 2007, 14:08
biddendenlocal biddendenlocal is offline
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Re: mysterious kent crash

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
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  #43  
Old 12th December 2007, 22:00
Andy Saunders Andy Saunders is offline
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Re: mysterious kent crash

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
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  #44  
Old 12th December 2007, 23:15
Errol Martyn Errol Martyn is offline
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Re: mysterious kent crash

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Smart View Post
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
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  #45  
Old 13th December 2007, 00:07
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
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Re: mysterious kent crash

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.
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  #46  
Old 13th December 2007, 02:19
biddendenlocal biddendenlocal is offline
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Re: mysterious kent crash

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
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  #47  
Old 13th December 2007, 03:45
biddendenlocal biddendenlocal is offline
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Re: mysterious kent crash

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
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  #48  
Old 9th January 2008, 14:13
paulmcmillan paulmcmillan is offline
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paulmcmillan
Re: mysterious kent crash

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.

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  #49  
Old 18th February 2008, 22:07
Spitfire 9 Spitfire 9 is offline
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Re: mysterious kent crash

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
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  #50  
Old 4th March 2008, 13:54
biddendenlocal biddendenlocal is offline
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Re: mysterious kent crash

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
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