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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 228735
Last updated: 15 June 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:609 (West Riding) Squadron Royal Air Force (609 (West Riding) Sqn RAF)
Registration: N3222
C/n / msn: 447
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:English Channel, near Dunkerque, Pas de Calais, Hauts de France -   France
Phase: Combat
Departure airport:RAF Northolt, South Ruislip, Middlesex
Destination airport:
N3222: Spitfire Mk.Ia (c/no. 447) First Flown 3-12-39. Delivered to the RAF at 20 MU Aston Down 12-12-39. Issued to 609 (West Riding) Squadron 25-4-40. Presumed destroyed when went missing after attack on He 111s near Dunkerque 1-6-40. Pilot missing presumed killed

Airborne from RAF Northolt, South Ruislip, Middlesex for a combat air patrol over Drunkirk. Intercepted an enemy squadron of Heinkel He 111s over Dunkirk, and probably shot down by return fire from one of the He 111s that the Spitfire attacked. According to the official Air Ministry file into the incident (File AIR 81/731): "Spitfire N3222 lost in air operations over Dunkirk, France, 1 June 1940. Flying Officer J Dawson: missing presumed dead"

According to the squadron diary for this period: "Flying Officer Russell in Spitfire L1058 and Flying Officer Dawson in Spitfire N3222 dived on a formation and were just pulling out on ascertaining they were friendly when a Bf 110 appeared and got in a burst on Flying Officer Russell. He was seen to go down but appeared to get the aircraft under control when low over the water. He might have been able to make the beach; we hoped so.

Flying Officer Edge turned his attention to the Bf 110 and shot it down. Flying Off Dundas in Spitfire L1096 gave a Heinkel all he’d got and seriously damaged it. The crew smartly jettisoned their bombs and beat it. Flying Officer Howell in N3024 also attacked a Heinkel, setting one engine on fire. This crew also smartly jettisoned their bombs, as did three others in the vicinity.

Flying Officer Dawson swapped aircraft with Flying Officer Edge as his own hadn’t been re-armed and took N3222 to complete Yellow Section. He was last seen attempting to finish off the Heinkel set on fire by Flying Officer Howell"

Crew of Spitfire N3222:
Flying Officer Joseph Dawson, RAF (AAF) 90331, age 24, posted 01/06/1940, as missing presumed dead

As no trace of Spitfire N3222 or its pilot was ever found, the pilot is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial


1. Royal Air Force Aircraft N1000-N9999 (James J Halley, Air Britain 1977)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File Air 81/731:
8. .

Related books:

Revision history:

04-Sep-2019 21:10 Dr. John Smith Added
04-Sep-2019 21:16 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
06-Sep-2019 15:29 stehlík49 Updated [Aircraft type, Operator]

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