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on the search of a downed spitfire - Tunesia 1943


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Hello,

I have received the following item a few years ago from a German soldier who was eyewitness from the downing of a Spitfire in Tunesia.

The pilot managed to get out of the plane before it crashed and went into German captivity, i have only the date of the downing of this spitfire, namely 22 april 1943. The shown piece is a original piece of parachute Silk cut from the spitfire pilots chute.

Is there anyone who can help in the following questions:

* What unit could teh SPitfire have belonged?

* Are there loss lists known for that very day in the African theater?

Thank you in advance + hoping to get a bit more info.

Edited by Stijn David
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If, indeed, the pilot WAS Churchill's nephew, as written on there, that may be the key.

I can't find a nephew who fits in the convoluted Spencer-Churchill family (compounded by generations of divorces) but I do seem to recall mention of a nephew of Churchill's being a POW at the famous Colditz castle...?

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Hi Rick

Thank you, iff it indeed was Churchill's nephew then we might find it out.

I think however that the Englisch pilot did tell that tale to impress the German's, i do not believe it all that much. => naughty chaps :blush:

Cordial greetings,

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Hello,

Thank you for clearing that out => i think we have to search for a more normal mortal soldier.

Mayby listing up what Englisch related fighter groupings or units where active in the Tunesia area can already narrow down a bit the possibility's ?

Cordial greetings,

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The Desert Air Force was first equipped with Spitfires in February 1942 flying from Heliopolis Egypt. The Desert Air Force reached a strength of 3 Squadrons of Spits and one Squadron of Hurricanes.

The Spitfire Squadrons

145 Squadron Code Sign ZX Disbanded Treviso Italy 1945 Reformed 1952 flying Vampire jets

92 Squadron Code Sign QJ Converted to Meteor Jets in January 1947

601 Squadron Code Sign UF/RAH Disbanded Bellaria Italy 7th May 1945 Reformed 10th May 1946 converted to Vampire Jets November 1949

The period the Spitfire was shot down it would have been a Mark VB/C.

Hope this helps

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Hello,

I have received a hint from a person, it is likely that the downed pilot was:

Warrant Officer W.H. Hunter RAF(Service No. 941800) of 72 Squadron

Is there anyone who can give me more info on this particular pilot?, any kills?, did he survive the war? , what medals did he earn, etc ...

Thanks in advance,

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Hi Michael,

Thank you for that info, so we can safely assume that he survived the war.

Any idea on where i could find out more on this particular pilot? as i believe this is the one i am after. I have it confirmed that he was the only one downed in that area on that very day.

It would be nice to get more info on him, mayby though some official instancy?

Cordial greetings,

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Have you tried contacting the National Archives in Kew?

I know service records from the Great War can be accessed but I'm not sure if WWII records have been released.

Tony

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Hello,

Thank you for the hint about the National archives. DO you have any idea on how to start the research or to whom i can write to get the search for this particualr officer started?

The German soldier (a Luftwaffe member) who has liberated that piece of parachute Silk would have great interest in knowing more about the fate of the Englisch pilot. It would be great iff we can find out more about that englisch pilot and his wherabouts, etc ...

Cordial greetings,

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Hello,

Thank you for the hint about the National archives. DO you have any idea on how to start the research or to whom i can write to get the search for this particualr officer started?

Cordial greetings,

Have sent a pm with some links.

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  • 4 months later...

Stijin,

I neglected to mention that in the same POW database I pointed to in my previous post that there are three 'Churchill' aircrew there also.

http://www.rafcommands.com/Air%20Force%20P...uery%20C_1.html

You can ignore the Australian, 401103 J. Churchill as he was shot down by an Italian fighter and went into captivity from Italy. I have viewed his service file, which has been scanned and is on-line at the National Archives of Australia.

Again, post to www.rafcommands.com - include photo.

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You could try with the RAF-museum. They have what they call a "reading room" for researchers. They say that (quotation) "the Museum holds a range of documents that can be used to help trace the history of specific RAF aircraft."

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  • 2 weeks later...

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