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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 21971
Last updated: 13 November 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic SPIT model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Supermarine Spitfire Mk I
Owner/operator:65 (East India) Squadron Royal Air Force (65 (East India) Sqn RAF)
Registration: R6609
C/n / msn: 696
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:English Channel, off Folkestone, Kent -   United Kingdom
Phase: Combat
Departure airport:RAF Hawkinge, Folkestone, Kent
Destination airport:
R6609; Spitfire Ia (c/no.696) First Flown 15-5-40. Delivered to the RAF at 12 MU 17-5-40. Issued to 65 Squadron 1-6-40. Failed to Return from combat air patrol, Shot down by Bf 109 near Folkestone, Kent 7-7-40; pilot posted as missing, presumed killed.

According to the official Air Ministry file into the incident (File AIR 81/1037): "Spitfire P6609 [*sic] lost in air operations, 7 July 1940. Sergeant P S Hayes: missing presumed dead"

Airborne for a combat air patrol over the Straits of Dover between 20:19 and 21:38 hours (one of six Spitfire assigned to this task). Shot down by a Bf 109. It was later noted in the Squadrons records that; ‘Green Section’ and all three pilots have failed to return. It appears probable that the section was surprised in or below clouds and engaged by superior numbers of the enemy. F/O Proudman had had considerable experience and was a very excellent fighter pilot. The loss of this officer and the other two pilots with him is deeply regretted.’

Leutnant Hermann Segatz and Leutnant Hermann Striebel of the 5th Staffel of Jagdgeschwader 51 together with Leutnant Herbert Huppertz, Oberfeldwebel Fritz Beeck and Unteroffizier Eduard Hemmerling of the 6th Staffel of Jagdgeschwader 51 all made claims for Spitfires in this area, at this time.

Two pilots of No.65 Squadron made claims. Flight Sergeant William H. Franklin claimed two Messerschmitt’s and Flight Lieutenant Gerald A. W. Saunders another. In reality Jagdgeschwader 51 returned to their bases in France without sustaining any losses. The one aircraft that the Spitfires DID shoot down was "one of our own" - Hurricane P2756 of 79 Squadron, shot down in error, probably due to being mis-identified as a Bf 109, killing the pilot.

Flying Officer George V. Proudman (Spitfire Serial No. R6615), Pilot Officer Norman J. Brisbane (Spitfire Serial No. N3129) and Sergeant Patrick S. Hayes (Spitfire Serial No. R6609) still remain missing to this day.

Crew of Spitfire R6609:
Sgt Patrick Sherlock Hayes (Pilot) RAF VR 740268, aged 24 - posted as missing, presumed killed in action 07/07/1940, Commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial

Ltn. Hermann Segatz of 5./JG51 claimed a Spitfire shot down South West Dover at 21:20 hours. This ties in with the RAF Air Combat losses log which notes "65 Squadron Spitfire R6609, Convoy Patrol, take off 20:15. Shot down by Me 109 off Folkestone, pilot Killed in action".

Note that the official Air Ministry file AIR 81/1037 is in error, presumably a "typo"; the Spitfire involved was R6609 and NOT P6609. (Serial number P6609 was allocated to a Fairey Battle, which was diverted to the Royal Hellenic Air Force on 11 December 1939).


1. Royal Air Force Aircraft R1000-R9999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1980 p 41)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/1037:
6. First of the Few: 5 June - July 1940 By Brian Cull
7. Their Finest Hour: Stories of the Men who Won the Battle of Britain By Nick Thomas

Related books:

Revision history:

03-Aug-2008 11:29 Anon. Added
26-Dec-2011 12:33 Nepa Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
04-Nov-2012 21:40 angels one five Updated [Aircraft type, Cn, Location, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative]
09-Jun-2015 09:56 Angel dot comma Updated [Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source]
08-Oct-2019 23:22 Dr. John Smith Updated [Date, Time, Registration, Operator, Total fatalities, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
08-Oct-2019 23:22 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn]
08-Oct-2019 23:23 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
10-Oct-2019 16:36 juza7 Updated [Operator]

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