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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 218366
Last updated: 29 July 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic SPIT model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Supermarine Spitfire Mk IA
Owner/operator:124 Squadron Royal Air Force (124 Sqn RAF)
Registration: X4108
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Rendall, Orkney Islands, Scotland -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Castletown
Destination airport:
In September 1941 the Spitfires of 124 Squadron RAF was based at Castletown near Wick in the Scottish Highlands to protect the approaches to Scapa Flow, anchorage for the Home Fleet, albeit by attacks from enemy aircraft or damage to ships caused by debris from floating wreckage from shipping or aircraft known as `Flotsam & Jetsom`.

On the morning of 24 September two pilots of 124 Sqn took off from Castletown on a `Flotsam` patrol off the Orkney Islands. One of them was a young Canadian, 20-year old Sgt Reginald Herman Pauley RCAF. He was relatively new to the squadron and had only arrived at Castletown on 1st August, but had flown several of these patrols prior to this one.

It is presumed the mission went OK and nothing out of the ordinary was reported as the two Spitfires made their way back towards Orkney from out east, Sgt Pauley was flying as Flight Leader as they entered low cloud near Rendall. Suddenly and without warning Reg Pauley`s Spitfire Ia X4108 struck an hill and he was killed instantly. His wingman, Sgt Moore flying R6627 in a split second managed to pull up and just cleared the hill.

Pauley, a native of New Brunswick, Canada, was buried with full military honours in Sandwick Cemetery, Orkney, alongside two other RAF pilots, Sgt Cox and Plt Off Bridger; both of whom also lost their lives to aircraft accidents in Orkney.

Based on the local knowledge of John Firth & Irvine Wood of Rendall, a visit was made by ARGOS group member Dave Earl to the scene of the crash on 20 May 2004, unfortunately due to knee deep heather he failed to find the crash site. In June the same year members of ARGOS again made enquiries about the Spitfire and two witnesses were found who saw the aircraft soon after the crash, another search was made based on their information and it is believed it is now know where it came down.

More information and photos relating to Sgt Pauley and this accident can be found in a new book `Lost to the Isles` by David W. Earl published by Hanover Publications. Copies are available from Davesbooks50 on Amazon just type in book title at:


Related books:

Revision history:

22-Nov-2018 21:48 Laurent Rizzotti Added

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