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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 228718
Last updated: 4 April 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic SPIT model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Supermarine Spitfire Mk Ia
Owner/operator:41 Squadron Royal Air Force (41 Sqn RAF)
Registration: P9314
C/n / msn: 516
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Dunkerque, Pas de Calais, Hauts de France -   France
Phase: Combat
Departure airport:RAF Hornchurch, Essex
Destination airport:
P9314: Spitfire Mk Ia (c/no 516). First Flown 25-1-40. Delivered to the RAF at 10 MU Hullavington 14-2-40. Issued to 41 Squadron 14-4-40 as "EB-M". Written off (destroyed) when Failed To Return from combat operations 1-6-40; pilot killed.

According to the official Air Ministry file into the incident: "Spitfire N9344 [*sic] lost in air operations over Dunkirk, France, 1 June 1940. Flying Officer W E L Legard: missing presumed dead"

Airborne from RAF Hornchurch, Essex, for a combat air patrol over the Calais-Dunkirk sector. Shot down over Dunkirk, and the pilot was killed.

Pilot of Spitfire P9314:
Flying Officer William Ernest "Billy" Legard, RAF 34045, age 29, posted 01/06/1940, as missing presumed killed.

William Ernest "Billy" Legard was born in Brompton Hall, Yorkshire in 1911; he arrived at 41 Squadron on 26th November 1939. He was killed when Spitfire P9314 was shot down on 1st June 1940, he was 29 years old. His body was never found and he is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. The Legard family own Scampston and West Knapton Halls in Ryedale. Through marriage Billy Legard is a direct descendant of George Cayley (also of Brompton Hall), a 19th Century pioneer of aviation.

Note that the official Air Ministry file AIR 81/725 is in error with regard to the Spitfire involved. Serial N9344 was a Tiger Moth, not a Spitfire (part of a batch of 50 Tiger Moths serialled N9300 to N9349). In addition, several unofficial published sources give the Spitfire's serial as "P9344". However "P9344" was never allocated, being part of a "black out block" of unused serials between P9340 and P9360.


1. Royal Air Force Aircraft P1000-P9999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1978)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/725:

Related books:

Revision history:

03-Sep-2019 20:25 Dr. John Smith Added
04-Sep-2019 06:35 stehlík49 Updated [Aircraft type, Operator]
14-Mar-2020 00:59 angels one five Updated [Narrative]

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