Accident Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk III Type C P9308, 19 May 1940
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 227494
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Type:Silhouette image of generic SPIT model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk III Type C
Owner/operator:PDU Royal Air Force (PDU RAF)
Registration: P9308
MSN: 511
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Rue Forzeau/Rue Estafflers, Templeuve, Tournai, Hainaut -   Belgium
Phase: Combat
Departure airport:Seclin, France
Destination airport:
Supermarine Spitfire P9308 was built as a Spitfire Mark Ia (c/no. 511). Originally built for delivery to the Turkish Air Force, but order cancelled 4-9-39 due to outbreak of war. First Flown 23-1-40. Delivered to the Photographic Development Unit, Heston Aircraft Ltd, Heston, Middlesex 11-2-40. Converted to Spitfire PR III Type C. To Vickers Armstrong Experimental Aircraft for mods (additional fuel tank in one wing, range 870 miles; wing became Supermarine Type 353 'D' Wing).

To Photographic Development Unit (PDU) RAF 1-4-40. Coded "LY-A", although photographs of Spitfire P9308 show only the "LY" code. First Photo-Recce operation against Emden, Germany, 5-4-40 by Flight Lt Le Mesurier.

Written off as destroyed when went missing from PR mission to Hamburg. Pilot Officer J Coleman posted as missing believed killed, 19-5-40. Some published sources claim that Spitfire P9308 was shot down by a
Messerschmit Bf-109 piloted by Fw Roth 4./JG. According to the official Air Ministry file on the incident (File AIR 81/421): "Pilot Officer J H Coleman, report of death; Spitfire P9308 crashed at Templeuve, Belgium, 19 May 1940". Unofficial sources give the crash site as the junction of Rue Forzeau and Rue Estafflers, in Templeuve, Tournai, Hainaut, Belgium.

Pilot Officer John Herbert Coleman, RAF 43692 (from New Zealand, aged 27), Photographic Development Unit, RAF posted as missing believed killed in action 19/05/1940. Buried at Templeuve Communal Cemetery, Tournai, Arrondissement de Tournai, Hainaut, Belgium. P/O Coleman had previously served as a Spitfire pilot with 19 Squadron, RAF.


1. Royal Air Force Aircraft P1000-P9999 (James J. Halley, Air Britain, 1978 p 52)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File Air 81/421:

Revision history:

22-Jul-2019 22:59 Dr. John Smith Added
27-Jul-2019 10:25 stehlik49 Updated [Aircraft type, Operator]
10-Jul-2021 21:45 angels one five Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Narrative]
10-Jul-2021 22:04 angels one five Updated [Narrative]

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