ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 228015
Last updated: 15 June 2020
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Date:11-OCT-1940
Time:c. 1615
Type:Silhouette image of generic SPIT model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Supermarine Spitfire Mk I
Owner/operator:41 Squadron Royal Air Force (41 Sqn RAF)
Registration: X4052
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Nr South Ash Manor, West Kingsdown, Sevenoaks, Kent -   United Kingdom
Phase: Combat
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Hornchurch
Destination airport:RAF Hornchurch
Narrative:
October 11th, 1940, was a busy day for Fighter Command in southeast England.
The Luftwaffe mounted four raids that day, consisting mainly of high altitude fighter sweeps carried out by bomb carrying Me.109's.

41 Squadron was " scrambled " to intercept two of these raids. The first sortie resulted in no contact with the enemy, but the second, the last raid of the day, resulted in the loss to the Squadron of 3 Spitfires, one of them shot down and two destroyed by a mid-air collision.

As the Squadron climbed through about 25,000 feet to intercept a large formation of 109s, Yellow Section, at the rear of the Squadron, was dived on by a group of the enemy fighters.

The order to " break " was given and in the melee two Spitfires, X4554 ( Sgt Leslie Carter ) and X4052 ( F/O Desmond O'Neill ) collided, both aircraft being heavily damaged in the impact and falling out of control.
Sgt Carter was able to bale out of his wildly gyrating aircraft ( its tail section severed from the fuselage and restrained only by a control cable ) and landed safely, but F/O O'Neill was not so lucky. He was able to abandon his crippled Spitfire but was killed when his parachute failed to open.

Desmond Hugh O'Neill is buried in Square 7A, Grave 12104, Streatham Park Cemetery, Surrey.
R.I.P.

Sources:

Blood Sweat And Courage - 41 Squadron RAF 1939-1942, pub. by Fonthill 2014
Spitfire production list


Related books:

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
08-Aug-2019 04:24 angels one five Added
08-Aug-2019 04:31 angels one five Updated [Source, Narrative]
08-Aug-2019 23:35 angels one five Updated [Source, Narrative]
09-Aug-2019 18:08 angels one five Updated [Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description