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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 228628
Last updated: 15 June 2020
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Date:31-MAY-1940
Time:day
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: N3295
C/n / msn: 507
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Fort Mardyck Beach, near Dunkerque, Pas de Calais -   France
Phase: Combat
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Hornchurch, Essex
Destination airport:
Narrative:
N3295: Spitfire Mk. Ia (c/no. 507). First Flown 18-1-40. Delivered to the RAF at 9 MU RAF Cosford 22-1-40. Issued to 222 (Natal) Squadron 9-3-40 as "ZD-D". Written off (presumed destroyed) when Failed To Return from a combat air patrol over Dunkirk 31-5-40. Total Flying Hours 48.55.

According to the official Air Ministry file into the incident (File AIR 81/689): "Spitfire N3295 experienced engine failure over Dunkirk, France, 31 May 1940. Pilot Officer G G A Davies: missing, later reported safe". Took off from RAF Hornchurch, Essex for a combat air patrol over Dunkirk, covering the evacuation of British and Allied Forces (Operation "Dynamo"). Hit by flak/AAA which caused engine failure, and force landed on Mardyck Beach, near Dunkirk. Pilot set fire to his aircraft (to prevent it from falling into enemy hands) using his Verey flare pistol.

According to a biography of the pilot: "Graham Gordon Ayers Davies was born on 6th March 1919 and lived in Paris as a young child. He was sent to school in Folkestone, afterwards working as an engineer with Imperial Airways, flying between Croydon and Amsterdam.

In March 1939 Davies joined the RAF on a short service commission and did his elementary flying at 7 E&RFTS Desford. In May he was posted to 14 FTS Kinloss and, after completing his training, he joined 236 Squadron in early November. He moved to 222 Squadron at the end of the month.

Davies was over Dunkirk on 31st May 1940 in Spitfire N3295 ZD-D, when his engine gave trouble. He decided to land on a beach, with the hope that the sand would be hard. He landed safely in spite of being fired at by French soldiers, who thought his Spitfire was a Stuka! He was driven into Dunkirk, then told to go back and burn his aircraft, which he did and was then taken back and returned to England in a paddle steamer."

Davies survived WWII, staying with the RAF until retirement on 17th June 1959 as a Squadron Leader, and died in 1986. aged 67

Sources:

1. Royal Air Force Aircraft N1000-N9999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1977 p 19)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/689: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14502353
3. http://francecrashes39-45.net/page_fiche_av.php?id=6586
4. http://www.epibreren.com/ww2/raf/222_squadron.html
5. http://www.airhistory.org.uk/spitfire/p003.html
6. http://www.crash-aerien.news/forum/ww2-t20465-2385.html
7. https://www.avions-bateaux.com/uploads/attachment/produit/produit_2021_1e82cfccead1643280aa39ce031f5bc0.pdf p 57
8. http://ww2talk.com/index.php?threads/dunkirk-operation-dynamo-evacuation-beaches.25035/page-28
9. https://forum.keypublishing.com/forum/historic-aviation/89374-spitfire-mk-i-ii-and-iia-s-prop-fittings?p=1965910#post1965910
10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort-Mardyck


Related books:

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
30-Aug-2019 22:53 Dr. John Smith Added
30-Aug-2019 22:57 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
31-Aug-2019 06:36 stehlik49 Updated [Aircraft type, Operator]

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