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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 137026
Last updated: 17 September 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic SPIT model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Supermarine Spitfire Mk IIa
Owner/operator:133 (Eagle) Squadron Royal Air Force (133 (Eagle) Sqn RAF)
Registration: P8074
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Moneydarragh, County Donegal -   Ireland
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Eglinton
Destination airport:RAF Eglinton
THE wreckage of a Spitfire aircraft including its Rolls Royce engine was dug from a peat bog in June 2011. 70 years after it crashed in neutral Irish territory during the Second World War.
The operation at Moneydarragh, Co. Donegal, was the latest chapter in the story of American pilot, Roland "Bud" Wolfe, who parachuted from the fighter plane into a diplomatic row between Britain and Ireland.

The 23-year old, a member of 133 Eagle Squadron, was on convoy patrol when the engine overheated eight miles from his RAF base at Eglinton — now City of Derry Airport. The pilot began an emergency return to his base, proceeding through the " permitted corridor " over Eire. Before he could make it the engine failed completely, and he radioed back to base with a last message: "I’m going over the side."

He then slid back the plane’s sliding canopy, released his safety harness, and launched himself into the skies above a cold and foggy Inishowen peninsula on Sunday, November 30, 1941.

The single-seat plane soared down a steep, heather-covered valley before plunging deep into the peat at Glenshinny Mountain and being totally wrecked.

The one-day dig was the first licensed excavation of a Second World War aircraft in Ireland and involved some of Britain’s top aviation archaeologists. It was organised by aviation historian, Jonny McNee, who began searching for the Spitfire six months ago, following numerous failed attempts by others. He said the plane was the first of 20 commissioned with £100,000 donated by Canadian millionaire, Willard Garfield Weston, during the Battle of Britain.

"This is the Holy Grail of Spitfires because of the tremendous history involved in it and the fact that it was the first Garfield Weston presentation plane. It has ‘Garfield Weston No 1’ written in four-inch yellow letters down the side of the cockpit," said Mr McNee. He said the discovery was also prized because of the wreckage’s relatively good condition, the story of Wolfe’s two-year internment at the Curragh detention camp and the fact he survived the Second World War to fly in Korea and Vietnam. Wolfe died in Florida in 1994 at the age of 76.


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Revision history:

29-Jun-2011 07:51 gerard57 Added
29-Jun-2011 07:54 gerard57 Updated [Narrative]
30-Dec-2011 07:05 Nepa Updated [Operator, Departure airport, Narrative]
30-Dec-2011 09:22 Anon. Updated [Aircraft type]
09-Jan-2012 01:37 angels one five Updated [Narrative]
28-Jul-2014 03:42 angels one five Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Operator, Other fatalities, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
04-Jun-2015 16:48 Angel dick one Updated [Operator]

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