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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 22068
Last updated: 12 June 2020
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Date:01-JUN-1940
Time:05:40
Type:Silhouette image of generic SPIT model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Supermarine Spitfire Mk Ia
Owner/operator:222 (Natal) Squadron Royal Air Force (222 (Natal) Sqn RAF)
Registration: P9317
C/n / msn: 520
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Le Touquet, near Dunkerque, Pas de Calais, Hauts de France -   France
Phase: Landing
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Hornchurch, Essex
Destination airport:
Narrative:
P9317: Spitfire Mk.Ia (c/no. 520) First Flown 29-1-40. Delivered to the RAF at 9 MU RAF Cosford 10-2-40. Issued to 222 (Natal) Squadron 9-3-40 as "ZD-A". Written off (presumed destroyed) when missing from patrol over Dunkerque; wreckage recovered by Germans 1-6-40. Pilot survived, taken as a PoW. Total Flying Hours 86.10.

According to the official Air Ministry file into the incident (File AIR 81/719): "Spitfire P9317 lost in air operations over Dunkirk, France, 1 June 1940. Pilot Officer H E L Falkus: prisoner of war".

Spitfire P9317 damaged in combat with Bf 109's of I./JG26 and Bf110's of I./ZG1 and forced landed at Le Touquet 5.40 am. Pilot Officer Hugh Edward Lance Falkust captured. According to his obituary (see link #12) "Shot down over France and imprisoned for four years, he was a constant menace to his jailers, and in one camp, famously captured and casseroled the Kommandant's favourite cat."

Aircraft ZD-A was a write-off. However, its is reliably reported (see link #8) that at least two Spitfires (K9867 of 74 Squadron and P9317 of 222 Squadron) were restored to flying condition for use in enemy propaganda films. See link #9 for a photo of Spitfire P9317 making a "staged" attack on a He 111; this is said to be a "still" taken from one of these films.

Sources:

1. Royal Air Force Aircraft P1000-P9999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1978 p 52)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/719: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14502496
3. http://www.airhistory.org.uk/spitfire/p008.html
4. http://ww2talk.com/index.php?threads/a-wing-patrol-over-dunkirk-saturday-1st-june-1940.19865/#post-240125
5. http://francecrashes39-45.net/page_fiche_av.php?id=4342
6. http://www.epibreren.com/ww2/raf/222_squadron.html#0106
7. http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?t=18668
8. https://robintudge.wordpress.com/2015/09/15/telegraph-celebrates-battle-of-britain-with-luftwaffe-propaganda-photo/
9. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/battle-of-britain/11865562/Watch-live-Battle-of-Britain-flypast-as-Prince-Harry-joins-veterans-in-Spitfire.html
10. Photo of Spitfire P9317/ZD-A: http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y232/mikermurphy/SpitfireMk1ZD-Aa.jpg
11. Biography of pilot Hugh Falkus (15 May 1917-30 March 1996): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Falkus
12. Obituary of pilot: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/hugh-falkus-obituary-1302872.html


Related books:

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
03-Aug-2008 23:15 Anon. Added
13-Feb-2011 23:07 angels one five Updated [Cn, Source, Narrative]
30-Dec-2011 05:44 Nepa Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Destination airport, Narrative]
30-Dec-2011 05:44 Nepa Updated [Location, Narrative]
15-Jan-2012 14:24 Nepa Updated [Operator, Destination airport]
24-Mar-2015 05:49 angels one five Updated [Operator, Location, Nature, Source, Narrative]
01-Jun-2015 15:01 Iwosh Updated [Operator, Nature, Destination airport, Narrative]
02-Sep-2019 22:42 Dr. John Smith Updated [Date, Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Source, Narrative]
02-Sep-2019 23:05 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Location, Country, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
03-Sep-2019 19:44 stehlík48 Updated [Operator]

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