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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 87245
Last updated: 15 June 2020
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Date:28-MAY-1940
Time:10:00 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic SPIT model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Supermarine Spitfire Mk I
Owner/operator:65 (East India) Squadron Royal Air Force (65 (East India) Sqn RAF)
Registration: P9435
C/n / msn: 598
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Calais Beach, Calais, Pas de Calais -   France
Phase: Combat
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Hornchurch, Essex
Destination airport:
Narrative:
P9435: Spitfire Mk.Ia (c/no. 598), First Flown 28-3-40. Delivered to the RAF at 6 MU 30-3-40. Issued to 65 (East India) Squadron 23-5-40 as "YT-K". Damaged attacking Do 17s near Calais and crash landed on the beach 28-5-40. Pilot survived.

According to the official Air Ministry File into the incident (File AIR 620): "Spitfire P9435 failed to return from an operational flight, 28 May 1940. Pilot Officer T Smart: missing, later reported safe". Force landed on the beach near Calais due to combat damage (hit in the glycol tank, forcing him to land) possibly by return fire from the Do 17 that he shot down. After crash landing, the pilot set fire to his wrecked aircraft, to prevent it from falling into enemy hands, using his Verey flare pistol. He then set off for Dunkirk, where he was evacuated, and returned to England later the same day.

Crew of Spitfire P9435
Pilot Officer Thomas Smart (pilot, RAF 40324, aged 21) - survived, evaded capture, returned to his unit

P/O Smart was given command of 229 Squadron at Ta Kali, Malta in November 1942 and led it until he was killed on 12th April 1943. His Spitfire EP716 was shot down, most likely by Oblt. Gunther Hannak of JG27. Smart baled out too low for his parachute to fully deploy.

He is commemorated on the Malta Memorial. Smart was awarded a Bar to the DFC (gazetted 18th September 1945) with effect from 11th April 1943.

Sources:

1. Royal Air Force Aircraft P1000-P9999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1978 p 53)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/620: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14502041
3. http://www.airhistory.org.uk/spitfire/p009.html
4. http://francecrashes39-45.net/page_fiche_av.php?id=6624
5. http://www.epibreren.com/ww2/raf/65_squadron.html
6. http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/Smart.htm
7. http://aircrewremembered.com/smart-thomas.html


Related books:

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
04-Jan-2011 17:51 angels one five Added
26-Dec-2011 12:58 Nepa Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport]
22-Jan-2012 21:23 angels one five Updated [Aircraft type]
06-Nov-2012 15:32 angels one five Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
26-May-2013 19:23 Nepa Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Narrative]
22-Aug-2019 20:37 Dr. John Smith Updated [Date, Time, Registration, Cn, Operator, Location, Country, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
23-Aug-2019 16:30 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]

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