Spitfire Mk1

RAF Serial: N3294

222 Squadron

Pilot: Sgt Emrys Lewis (killed)

Date: 4 July 1940 - 17.20 hrs

Place: Osgodby, Lincolnshire, UK

Click image for details

Photos: Jeff Carless and Simon Parry

Sergeant Emrys Lewis was taking part in a patrol over Lincolnshire and descending through cloud when he became disorientated. His Spitfire was seen diving out of cloud and attempting to pull out, but it had insufficient height and struck the ground at a fine angle.

The site was excavated in 2017 and filmed by Blink  for 'Great Escape at Dunkirk' shown in the USA in the NOVA series by PBS.

 

Spitfire N3294

Delivered to 222 Sqn 9 March.

Operations:-

2 June P/O J W Broadhurst. 04.25 - 06.35 Patrol Dunkirk and coastline northwards. From Hornchurch.

3 June P/O J W Broadhurst. 04.45 - 07.00 Patrol Dunkirk and coastline northwards. From Hornchurch.

4 June P/O J W Broadhurst. 04.05 - 06.25 Patrol Dunkirk and coastline northwards. From Hornchurch - landed Tangmere.

21 June Sgt E I Lewis. 08.48 - 09.12 Patrol North Coates at 7,000 feet.

24 June P/O R A N Morant. 23.32 - 0050 Night patrol 16,000 feet.

1 July   F/Lt Whitebread. 17.45 – 18.50 Patrol.

2 July   P/O J V M Carpenter. 09.00 – 09.45 Patrol Scunthorpe.

3 July   Sgt E I Lewis. 08.40 – 09.15 Patrol.

4 July Sgt E I Lewis. 16.20 Interception 20,000 feet - crashed.

RAF Casualty File

Accident to Spitfire N3294

Sgt Lewis E I

 

The pilot of the above aircraft No.591760, Sergeant E I Lewis, was No.3 of Green Section when ordered on an interception patrol at 16.20 hours. The Section was ordered to return to base one hour later without having made contact with the enemy.

The descent from 20,000 ft involved passing through a dense cloud layer from 15,000 to 5,000 feet in extremely ‘bumpy’ conditions. Consequently Nos. 2 and 3 found it impossible to keep formation. The Section Leader and No. 2 emerged at 5,000 ft half a mile apart and returned to base.

No.3 was seen by No.2 Section 291 Company, 50th AA Brigade to emerge from cloud with engine full on in an almost vertical dive, from which he had insufficient height to regain full control.