Accident Supermarine Spitfire Mk I K9985, 02 Sep 1939
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 137806
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Time:c. 11:00
Type:Silhouette image of generic SPIT model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Supermarine Spitfire Mk I
Owner/operator:611 (West Lancashire) Squadron Royal Air Force (611 (West Lancashire) Sqn RAF)
Registration: K9985
MSN: 199
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Barking, 5 miles SW of RAF Wattisham, Suffolk -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Duxford, Cambridgeshire
Destination airport:RAF Watton, Norfolk
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
First Flight 19-5-39. Delivered to 611 (West Lancashire) Squadron 22-5-39 at Speke, Liverpool as "FY-G". Written off (destroyed) 2-9-39 when flew into ground out of cloud whilst following six other Spitfires on a flight from Duxford to Watton. Pilot: Pilot Officer (90469) Henry Fiddes Leech RAuxAF - killed.

According to the Squadron diary/Operations Record Book:
"Harry' Leech was a pre-war member of 611 Squadron and detached to RAF Duxford, Cambridgeshire, for Summer Camp when war was declared (3 September 1939) and the Auxiliary squadrons were immediately called up and incorporated into the regular Royal Air Force.

The Form 540 (official diary) states the Sqn strength at Duxford and names the members of the Training Flight who returned to Speke (Sqn HQ) on 2 Sept. with a Battle, two Hinds and four Tutors. It also lists the 13 Spitfire Mk I aircraft with Merlin III engines, including K9985 FY:G, briefly describing the situation at Duxford as they mobilised for war. Harry was one who stayed at Duxford.

On 2 Sept it states '12.25 or thereabouts, Pilot Officer Henry Fiddes Leech was killed in a flying accident to Spitfire K9985 at a point about 5 miles southwest of Wattisham aerodrome'. We do not know what the time relates to except perhaps when the Sqn was informed at Duxford.

An additional note of 5 Sept relates to events over the previous few days stating the pilots were rated for day flying only and a battle flight was dispatched daily, if required, from Duxford to Watton, and it was on this flight that Plt Off H F Leech was killed. He took off from Duxford at 10:50 with six other Spitfires, all of which landed at Watton to await orders, at 11:10.

Harry's funeral was at St Peter's Chapel, Liverpool College, Mossley Hill, Liverpool and he was cremated at Anfield Crematorium on 7 September 1939"

NOTE: Although 611 (West Lancashire) Squadron was nominally based at Speke, Liverpool, the squadron has been mobilized due to the invasion of Poland the previous day, and was operating out of RAF Duxford, Cambridgeshire


1. Royal Air Force Aircraft K1000-K9999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1976 page 80)
4. 611 Squadron RAF ORB for September 1939:

Revision history:

02-Aug-2011 17:54 angels one five Added
25-Dec-2011 04:48 Nepa Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Operator]
10-Jan-2012 11:15 Nepa Updated [Operator, Departure airport]
10-Jan-2012 15:49 angels one five Updated [Aircraft type, Cn, Operator, Location, Departure airport]
13-Jan-2012 01:46 Nepa Updated [Operator]
22-Jan-2012 19:33 angels one five Updated [Aircraft type]
06-May-2012 13:27 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
30-May-2012 00:38 Nepa Updated [Time, Operator]
04-Nov-2012 23:55 angels one five Updated [Aircraft type, Source, Narrative]
23-Nov-2012 16:34 angels one five Updated [Time, Location, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
20-Aug-2013 23:22 JINX Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Location]
15-Oct-2013 04:25 angels one five Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Narrative]
22-Oct-2013 14:54 JINX Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Operator, Narrative]
18-Nov-2013 18:23 Nepa Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative]
23-Apr-2014 08:49 angels one five Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Narrative]
29-May-2015 10:45 Angel dot comma Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Narrative]
20-Jan-2016 17:52 JINX Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Operator]
21-Jan-2016 17:47 Gagarin Updated [Operator, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
23-Jan-2016 14:29 JINX Updated [Operator, Narrative]
15-Feb-2018 08:09 Nepa Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Operator, Narrative]
02-Apr-2018 00:05 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
02-Apr-2018 00:06 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
07-Feb-2021 21:36 angels one five Updated [Time, Narrative]

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