Spitfire Pilot Who Crashed at Brompton Barracks, Kent, September 1940
I have an eyewitness account of a Spitfire crash in Brompton Barracks, taken from a R.E.'s personal war memoirs (now in the R.E. Museum.) It seems he typed up his memoirs of serving in the R.E.s during the war years (and beyond) and sent a copy to the Museum. It describes a very brave man, whose act of gallantry, I hope, received proper recognition from the Air Ministry/War Department.I have been trying to find out more, but without much luck so far. Sadly, there is no mention of the pilot's name, nor an exact date, only September 1940. I wondered if anyone might have any more information on this pilot? (Name/squadron/actual date of the crash/etc)
From "That Man There!" by F. E. Hesslewood:
Air battles raged about us almost every day during the next few months and we were very sad when our own gallant men were shot down. In one particular case I observed a Spitfire fighter in a shallow dive and trailing smoke, heading directly for a barrack block. The pilot, already halfway onto the wing, climbed back in what appeared to be an effort to turn the plane away from the buildings. Just missing the machine-gun nest on the Memorial Arch, the spitfire crashed in a sheet of flames and bursting ammunition in front of the museum block. The pilot, an Edinburgh man, was killed instantly, his parachute unable to save him although it had left the pack. He was a very brave man indeed and our hearts went out to his family.