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Author Topic: Spitfire IX (BS185) crash, Herne Bay, August 1942  (Read 1840 times)
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John
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« on: October 28, 2011, 18:05:01 PM »

30th August 1942, and a Spitfire IX (BS185) broke up in the air over Kent and the wreckage plummeted to earth a mile and a half to the south of Herne Bay. The Spitfire from 611 Squadron, flown by  P/O A.H. Friday, was one of a pair that had been scrambled from Redhill at 14.15 and was flying as No.2. At about 14.40 whilst at an altitude of 21,000 feet, BS185 broke formation and the leader called him up to see if everything was alright, and received an affirmative. It was next seen from the ground performing apparently uncontrolled manoeuvres at a height of around 12,000 feet, and the starboard wing broke away followed by complete disintegration of the airframe.

P/O Friday was thrown out and killed. His total flying time was logged as 300 hours, of which over half were on Spitfires.

The accident was caused by loss of control due to lack of oxygen - the major cock in the oxygen supply line mounted on the starboard side of the fuselage was found to have not been turned on. The aircraft was trimmed for climbing when the pilot passed out and the centre section of the Spitfire failed as a result of overstressing in upload during a violent and probably uncontrolled pullout. After the Inquiry it was recommended that the layout of the oxygen system in these aircraft be examined with a view to deleting the oxygen master valve in the cockpit and, pending action on this matter, orders should be issued requiring the valve to be fully opened prior to any flight.
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John
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« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2012, 19:29:50 PM »

Information in the ORB of No.2 Mobile Balloon Unit.

Beltinge August 30th 1942
14.40 The Squadron Medical Unit was despatched to the scene of a flying crash in which 101908 P/O A.H. Friday, No. 611 Squadron, Redhill, received fatal injuries. He was found dead on our arrival at the site of the incident, the provisional cause of death being (a) Fractured cervical spine (b) Compound fracture pelvis.
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John
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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2013, 10:12:01 AM »

Photographs of his Headstone at Brookwood Military Cemetery have been added in the appropriate section of the forum.
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furball
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« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2017, 22:18:53 PM »

Bit late, but I've only just joined.

My mother and grandfather watched this happen. They saw the pilot get out (or fall out if he had hypoxia), but the wing cut through the top of his chute. Most of the airframe crashed just south of Herne school, they both went to look at it,but there were bullets & cannon shells going off all over the place. My grandfather was a special constable phoned Manston to tell them, and had to direct the recovery crew to the wreck, but when they found there was no vehicle access, they basically carted off all the major bits and then said if you want any of it, take it, and we won't have to carry it back!

There was a chunk of fuselage about 3'x4' in the shed for years, with various holes cut in it, where grandad, who was a builder, had used bits to mend gutters and things.

I believe my uncle donated it to a museum somewhere.

Lance
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Craggs
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« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2017, 07:47:07 AM »

Hello 'furball' and welcome to the Forum.........  and you're not "late" at all - you are very welcome

Thanks for those details, how very interesting - albeit a bit shocking for those who actually saw what happened.

Do you know what became of the crash site - is it still as it was , or as is most often the case , has it been built on or developed ?

If you have a read through some of the other topics and threads on the Forum you will see a number have had some sort of personal memory attached to them.  This always adds a nice touch to the topic and tends to make it tangible.  Thanks for yours.

NC
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John
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« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2017, 08:37:10 AM »

Welcome along furball, and thank you from me, too.

I've just realised that I forgot to post a link to another topic, this one regarding the memorial to the deceased officer, so here it is:

P/O Albert Friday memorial, Herne Bay
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furball
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« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2017, 11:18:29 AM »

No, the site is still a hasn't been developed, it's still a field, although housing is encroaching - there's an estate across the footpath from it now. You wouldn't know anything happened there, everybody seems to assume the plane crashed where the pilot came down, probably a mile away or so, where the memorial bridge is. I now live in my grandad's house, and the crash site's about a 1/4 mile away up a footpath.

Lance
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