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Fighter plane crashes in Uplyme - 60 years ago.
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Joined: 25 Jun 2007

Posts: 17

PostPosted: 06/07/07, 08:20    Post subject: crash Reply with quote

The Ware Cross crash is certainly nothing to do with any other, especially any bomber crash which would have been later.
You'll grow old too -- if you're lucky!
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David Lott

Joined: 21 May 2007

Posts: 7

PostPosted: 10/07/07, 07:56    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update from latest research

Searching on the Internet has shown that there was 22,799 Spitfires produced, each one with a short précis of its individual Production History. Although a considerable number were destroyed during WW2 in the Southern area of England, including a considerable number in the Devon (about 30) / Dorset region ( about 28 ). Out of all of these histories just one was found that bears “some resemblance” to what I have been looking for… and it read as follows;

EP288 Vb CBAF M46 37MU 14-6-42 402S 25-6-42 122S 12-8-42 350S 29-11-42 610S 27-3-43 hit trees in low level flight CE Axminster Devon 1-2-44 FH409.00

EP288 Vb is the serial No. of the aircraft and the type of Spitfire, a Mk Vb.
CBAF is the manufacturing factory, in this case Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory.
M46 is the type of engine fitted.
37MU 14-6-42 is the receiving Maintenance Unit that holds and checks out the aircraft prior to its allotted Squadron being designated, and the date the aircraft was received.
The rest of the notations are the dates and various Squadrons that the aircraft flew with, i.e. 610S = 610 Squadron (County of Chester Squadron) had the aircraft from 27-3-43 up to the crash on 1-2-44.
The written section is the aircrafts fate, and the date of the accident.
CE in this section shows that the Aircraft was written off. There are many different code designation letters.
FH409.00 is the number of Flying Hours that the aircraft flew.

Because the nearest town is usually nominated as the crash area location, and if this is the crash that I “believe” that I saw then the border for Axminster is just to the west of Trinity Hill, and was probably the nearest direct point for vehicle access to the recovery area for the Crash Wagon, fire engine, ambulance etc. (Axminster information obtained from the Internet)
However I accept that this remains as pure speculation at the moment.
I have been in touch with Michael Lewis who is the Chairman of the RAF’s 610 County of Chester Squadron Association and appealed for information. Michael has replied confirming the Squadron’s ownership of the aircraft, and also stated that she wore the Coding of DW-E on the fuselage. Michael included a very good photograph in his email that shows this aircraft with three other Spitfires from the same Squadron and over England. Strangely enough this photo came by the Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial Website, who hold the copyright.

Michael also says that he does expect to be able to supply further information regarding the crash later, and after he has spoken to an ex pilot from the Squadron at the time. For the 610 Squadron Website see http://www.610squadron.com

Andrew Pentland, who lovingly and laboriously entered the 22,799 data base histories for each of the Spitfires, as well as lots of other information, on http://www.spitfires.ukf.net/index.htm Go to the base of the opening page and click on Production, then on the Left scroll down the page and click on the No 038, then scroll down to the entry EP288. Andrew, who is an Australian, has also given me advice as to where I may also find further information that he can’t lay his hands on at the moment. I’ll let you know what comes of this. Andrew also states that there is no listing of the crash in the Fighter Command losses book, which indicates that the flight undertaken when the plane was written off was Non Operational.

WW2 Home Guard War Books / Diaries are a no go for any crash reports as the following are the total holdings for the area. The Imperial War Museum 3, Devon Record Office 1 (Lympstone HG, more by sheer luck than judgement, and by courtesy of the Imperial War Museum.) West Devon Nil, Dorset 3, Somerset 4, Cornwall 19. Quite astounding when you think that nearly every town or village had at least one Home Guard Unit.
Searching on and around Axminster has yet to reveal any information on crashed WW2 aircraft. Unfortunately, and as yet, there are no similar Production Histories for the Hurricane, of which approximately 14,231 were built.

Regards to all Dave.
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Joined: 17 Sep 2005

Posts: 706
Location: Lyme Rd, Uplyme

PostPosted: 04/12/07, 09:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Dave,

Did you ever get any further with this fascinating enquiry ?

it's never too late
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David Lott

Joined: 21 May 2007

Posts: 7

PostPosted: 25/05/08, 12:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

G'day all,
Just a small update to my posting above dated 10-07-07, with regards to the loss of a WW2 fighter that crashed at Axminster.

The following record which extends the current knowledge for that particular crash has very kindly been located and forwarded by Michael Lewis of 610 RAF Squadron (County of Chester) Association and is a part page from their Operational Records. My sincere thanks go to Michael for his research.

Unfortunately, although this appears to be the closest fit so far, from the information supplied I am still inclined to think that this was not the same aircraft that struck the ridge area of Trinity Hill as seen from the Mrs Ethelstone’s School. My reasons for saying this are (a) the fact that the aircraft that I saw appeared to have already suffered damage. (b) The subsequent visible explosion. (c) The flight path that the Trinity Hill crash aircraft had been taking and was described in an earlier posting.

This does not end my search for further evidence, but it does help by way of a possible elimination.

Clutching at straws…does anyone in the area have any knowledge of this 601 Squadron (City of Chester) spitfire crashing in Axminster, and if so where please?

Unfortunately the Lyme Museum, although stating that they do hold some records for the local Home Guard, have so far failed to reply to my request for any further details.


Dave Eden NSW

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Joined: 07 Dec 2008

Posts: 9
Location: Broadstone

PostPosted: 08/12/08, 16:18    Post subject: aircraft crashes near Uplyme 1952 and 1960 Reply with quote

New to Uplyme.com Forum. Thought my recollections of two aircraft crashes in the locality might be of interest, especially as there is no mention of them on the Forum that I can find.On 31.10.1952 a SEA FURY T20, VX297 200/CW,
738 SQD. ditched into the sea on the ledges off East Beach, Lyme Regis. The pilot who was uninjured, managed to avoid the church but struck some chimney pots on houses as he approached his emergency "landing" spot, which was just to S.E. of the East Beach Jetty. The aircraft was recovered by using inflation bags under the wings and it was hauled along the beach, up the Cart Road, and was placed on a lorry transporter. It proved to be an interesting event as the recovery lasted a few days and the aircraft was loaded up in Cobb Gate Car Park. Along with many others I watched the recovery take place with great interest,
Another local incident occurred on 11.11.1960 when I was visiting the Air Sea Rescue Unit which was based at Lyme Regis (between 1937 and about 1964). An explosion was heard to the North of Lyme Regis and shortly afterwards RAF staff at the Unit were alerted to the fact that an aircraft had crashed in vicinity of Trinity Hill.They attended the scene in a 3 ton lorry and I set off on my Motor Cycle to find the crash scene. It turned out to be a METEOR jet aircraft and I came across the crashed plane beside the road at Trinity Hill. Just to the West and opposite the existing car park area. The pilot was killed and the body was trapped in the wreckage. A local Doctor was called and the pilots body removed. It transpired that the cause of the crash was probably due to flying at excessive speed that caused the aircraft to break up in mid air and it 'shook itself to pieces' the jet engines from the aircraft were located each some two miles from the crash scene, one near Hawkchurch and the other near Killmington. I have found details of this aircraft on the Dorset Air Crashes website and it was an RAF METEOR T7 A-AEE MOD(PE) WF766.
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