Accident Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk III Type C P9308, 19 May 1940
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 227494
 
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Date:19-MAY-1940
Time:day
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
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Seclin, France
Destination airport:
Narrative:
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:
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.

Sources:

1. Royal Air Force Aircraft P1000-P9999 (James J. Halley, Air Britain, 1978 p 52)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File Air 81/421: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14502092
3. http://www.airhistory.org.uk/spitfire/p008.html
4. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2254639/coleman,-john-herbert/
5. http://allspitfirepilots.org/aircraft/P9308
6. http://www.epibreren.com/ww2/raf/pru.html
7. http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showpost.php?p=56877&postcount=5
8. http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?t=5484
9. http://histomil.com/viewtopic.php?t=13294
10. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/15081040/john-herbert-coleman
11. https://www.nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/john-herbert-coleman


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
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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