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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 50526
Last updated: 6 October 2020
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Date:29-APR-1944
Time:15:10 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic SPIT model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk IX
Owner/operator:132 Squadron Royal Air Force (132 Sqn RAF)
Registration: MK639
C/n / msn: FF-G
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Slijk-Ewijk, Gelderland -   Netherlands
Phase: Combat
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Ford, West Sussex
Destination airport:
Narrative:
The Spitfire was on a Ranger operation to Deelen airfield, when suddenly a Messerschmitt Bf 110 G-4 appeared in the skies over Deelen airfield, flown by the highly experienced night fighter pilot Major Hans-Joachim Jabs of the Stab/NJG 1.

The following is taken from Wikipedia:
On 29 April 1944 Jabs paid a visit to fellow night fighter pilot Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer and his Gruppe at St. Trond, Belgium. In mid-afternoon through cloudy and foggy skies Jabs made the short trip back to his home base at Deelen. As Jabs approached Deelen he could see a small group of single engine fighters low over the airfield, which he took to be German. The aircraft, in fact, were from No. 132 Squadron RAF, led by Squadron Leader Geoffrey Page, who had taken a flight of Spitfires on a low level mission looking for enemy aircraft. The approaching twin engine fighter was just what Page was looking for. As Jabs continued his approach he saw the aircraft turn toward him. Realizing his mistake, he flew toward his attackers and through some cloud. Emerging on the other side he found himself approaching head on the Spitfire of New Zealander John Caulton. As the two aircraft rapidly closed both began firing, but Jabs' twin 30 mm cannon took effect first, ripping open the Spitfire's drop tank and putting hits on the engine and wing. Flying past, the undamaged Spitfires regrouped and turned to attack again. Jabs attempted to reach the cover of his airfield. As the Spitfires approached from behind, Jabs surprised them by turning into them again. Both sides were firing as they closed. For a brief moment one of the Spitfires was caught by the heavy forward guns of the Bf 110. It was engulfed in fire and crashed to earth. Jabs' aircraft had also taken several hits, and was losing power in one of the engines. He made an abrupt hard landing, and with the aircraft still rolling he and the crew scrambled for cover while the airfield's Flak batteries attempted to drive off the attackers. Despite the fire from the field's defenses, the Spitfires strafed the Bf 110, setting it ablaze.

As Caulton headed west in his damaged Spitfire a large gash opened on the wing. Soon he found his engine was running rough. He lost oil pressure, and as the engine overheated it soon seized up. Caulton had no choice but to put the aircraft down. He did so in a field about 30 miles away from the airfield at Deelen. Of the other four Spitfires that returned to England, all had suffered damage, either from Jabs or the Flak guns.

After the air battle Jabs drove over to the site of Caulton's crash and inspected the stricken Spitfire. Then he and his crew came to the building where Caulton was being held. The two exchanged greetings, and Jabs, who spoke English, asked "Were you flying the Spitfire?" "Yes" Caulton replied. "Well, I was flying the other." They spoke together for a short time, and Caulton asked Jabs for a small signed note as a mark of their meeting. Jabs did so, adding a brief instruction that Caulton was to be allowed to keep it.


Ranger - usually a deep penetration flight to a specified area, to engage targets of opportunity

Sources:

https://verliesregister.studiegroepluchtoorlog.nl/rs.php?aircraft=&sglo=T3637&date=&location=&pn=&unit=&name=&cemetry=&airforce=&target=&area=&airfield=
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans-Joachim_Jabs
http://www.associations.rafinfo.org.uk/code_names.htm
Google Maps
Nachtjagd Combat Archive 1944 part two for time
picture 1 - https://beeldbankwo2.nl/nl/beelden/detail/bfcfec7a-025a-11e7-904b-d89d6717b464/media/7e764cde-13ce-e482-2c85-09298249c550
picture 2 - https://beeldbankwo2.nl/nl/beelden/detail/bfcf916c-025a-11e7-904b-d89d6717b464/media/d44a944b-2a1d-d809-0f33-040730f2a325

1944 Note from Jabs to John Caulton.jpg
By Amateur Photographer - https://spitfireassociation.com.au/caulton-john-jeremy-2/, Public Domain, Link


Images:


Luftwaffe men inspecting the downed Spitfire on the 29th of April 1944.


Major Jabs (on the left) and his crew talking with John Caulton.

Related books:

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
17-Dec-2008 11:45 ASN archive Added
27-Apr-2019 13:19 TigerTimon Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Location, Phase, Departure airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
27-Apr-2019 13:25 TigerTimon Updated [Embed code]
28-Apr-2019 10:38 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]
29-Apr-2019 18:04 TigerTimon Updated [Source, Photo]
29-Apr-2019 18:06 TigerTimon Updated [Photo]
06-Apr-2020 17:36 TigerTimon Updated [Time, Source]