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Spitfire squadron leader deliberately shot down by his own squadron?


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On 8/15/2018 at 10:30 PM, stevehnz said:

Derek Robinson was my thought, it reads a bit like one of his plot lines, Somewhere between Piece of Cake & A Good Clean Fight.

Steve.

One of DR's sources was Bob Spurdle, who in his own memoir described (without naming) the actual Moggy.

When he had a fatal crash on the runway, Spurdle mentioned the pleasure it gave him to walk through that area and think that bits of "Moggy" were still underfoot.

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2 minutes ago, tomcervo said:

One of DR's sources was Bob Spurdle, who in his own memoir described (without naming) the actual Moggy.

When he had a fatal crash on the runway, Spurdle mentioned the pleasure it gave him to walk through that area and think that bits of "Moggy" were still underfoot.

Seems like with that much information, it should be easy enough to figure out who that pilot was. Spurdle seems to have served mainly with three squadrons, so it wouldn't be too hard to figure out who was KIFA. 

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10 hours ago, stevehnz said:

Sounds like I need to re-read both A Peace of Cake & Blue Arena, the latter I've read recently but without this association.

Steve.

It was in A Good Clean Fight (his best, I think) that DR thanked Bob Spurdle for his insights.

I started out recommending it as the best Mel Gibson movie never made--now I say Tom Hardy.

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12 minutes ago, tomcervo said:

I started out recommending it as the best Mel Gibson movie never made

I always assumed that would be a Zulu Dawn remake, with him as Cetewayo. It would tie nicely in with his other interests and work as a spiritual sequel to The Patriot.

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1 hour ago, Procopius said:

I always assumed that would be a Zulu Dawn remake, with him as Cetewayo. It would tie nicely in with his other interests and work as a spiritual sequel to The Patriot.

And a natural follow-on from Braveheart.

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They were both men of their time,  and the right people for the job at that time,  and they excelled at what they did, but we should not view them through "Boys own" stories rose tinted superhero spectacles! 

 Absolutely spot-on, Selwyn!

 

I know a (now very elderly) gent who worked with Bader at Shell, and he's never had a nice word to say about him. But, in his day, he was a very effective leader.

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22 hours ago, Rod Blievers said:

 Absolutely spot-on, Selwyn!

 

I know a (now very elderly) gent who worked with Bader at Shell, and he's never had a nice word to say about him. But, in his day, he was a very effective leader.

About the most honest and balanced assessment of the man I've read.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4397566-bader-s-war

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I immediately thought of Bader when I read the article.

 

He never really convincing clarified how he was went down with the explanation that an enemy plane crashed into the rear of his plane and he had to bail.

 

Others have said he would never admit to the fact he was just shot down legitimately by the Luftwaffe. 

 

Friendly fire is a distinct possibility too and this would explain the vagueness of the incident with parties wanting to cover it up.

 

I considered an American pilot could have shot him down as Johnie Johnson mentions this having occurred in his book 'Wing Leader' but they were not yet in the UK at the time.

 

Seems friendly fire from Casson is most likely.

 

If not, possibility aliens. 

Edited by Oberleutnant
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In the middle of a fighter vs fighter "event", how clearly do you think you would understand what happened directly behind you?  And remember, just because some enthusiast later put together a plausible (or not) story of "what happened", doesn't necessarily mean that it is, in fact, what happened.  This applies in general, not specifically to the Bader incident.

 

[Edit: Please note that I do not mean 'enthusiast' to be derogatory, I just mean that this person is doing a bit of sleuthing and making a "reasonable" (hopefully) deduction.]

Edited by gingerbob
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As I understand it, Casson himself thought - or at least feared - that this was what had happened, so there is rather more to it than just "some enthusiast later"  (Dilip Sarkar, I believe.)  Whilst it is entirely understandable that Bader himself could not have known, the complete lack of any matching claim or collision from the Luftwaffe side is influential evidence in itself.  However, if there was a real case of deliberate shooting down of an RAF "Squadron Leader" by friendly fire (hah!) then this isn't it.

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No one has mentioned the factor of poor aircraft recognition during WW 2.  It was very common on both sides despite aircrew sent on courses and supposed to attend unit instruction, few did.  The Royal Observer Corps Journal periodically published a page of dated instances of 'friendly fire' .  It made sobering reading.  Whitleys and Hudsons brought down and claimed as Do 217, Wellingtons and Blenheims as Ju 88 and He 111.  Stirlings as Fw 200s.  Spitfires and Hurricanes galore, either in the heat of the moment or plain mis-identification.  Even Lysanders were not immune.  In 1943 off  Morocco  the USAF shot down 4 Coastal Hudsons from Gibraltar in three days, they were on A/S patrols near the US fleet.  They are reported as ' Unidentified white Italian bombers with top turrets'.  This report is in 'Mediterranean Air War Vol.3'.  Even P-38s were brought down there by P-40s.  Consider the large number of Me 109s and Fw 190s brought down by their own flack during Operation Bodenplatte. 

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12 minutes ago, Mike Starmer said:

No one has mentioned the factor of poor aircraft recognition.... 

Probably because the OP posted a question about a deliberate kill of a S/L. 

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