Stormy Margate

Stormy Margate

Monday, 18 May 2009

A part from the Eastcliff Spitfire crash June 1941


Recently I posted a picture of an aircraft part I found on Ramgate main sands at the end of April, thanks to Elliot Smock a specialist in Second World War crashed aircraft recovery, the part was identified by the VACB stamp as a Spitfire part. VACB standing for Vickers Armstrong Castle Bromwich the manufacturers of a 1000 MK II spitfires between June 1940 to July 1941.
I have since been in contact with John Williams one of Thanet's Local History band of brothers. John is a aviation historian and has very detailed knowledge of Second World War losses and combat missions , he like myself is a member of the Margate Historical Society.
According to archive on 11th June 1941 a Spitfire MKII (P8654) of the Royal Canadian Air Force based at Biggin Hill was engaged in combat over the English Channel and was damaged as a result. At 17:05 hrs the Spitfire was reported as crashing into the Cliffs at the Eastcliff area of Ramsgate . The pilot Sgt Guy Alexander Chestnut (R/61485) of the Royal Canadian Air force was killed, he is buried at Margate Cemetery section 50 grave 15940.
The Spitfire MKII (P8654) is recorded as built by Vickers Armstrong Castle Bromwich Ltd (VACB) contract number B981687/39/C.23/C and was delivered to 609 Squadron Biggen Hill on 24th May 1941.
In all probability considering the location on the coast, where the part was found and the serial numbers the part would be considered as originating from that incident.
If any reader has any aircraft bits or believes they may have what maybe a aircraft part you wish to identify or the recorded history please contact me by email and I will forward the enquiry to Elliot or John.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

As a six year old boys my father took me and my brother along the East pier to see a spitfire that had done a belly landing in the middle of the sands,no mean feat as a large part of the sands were covered in barbed wire and scaffold pipe entanglements,a large transporter came and they took it to pieces and loaded it up and took it away,it seemed quite intact,about the same time a meschasmit crashed through a house near the lift end of wellington crescent,the pilot landed in denmark road, I lived on the Eastcliff but never heard of a spitfire hitting the cliff,
Stargazer.

Tony Beachcomber said...

Stargazer,

That's intersting , Thank you for that information I will pass it on. Any idea of the date of the belly landing you witnessed ?

Anonymous said...

Sorry Tony but I was very young and cannot remember,it must have been about 1940 as my father who worked at the harbour joined the fleet air arm early in the war,the old fishermen used to tell me of a fying fortress who's crew bailed out over Manston and were blown out to sea and drowned when they were dragged along the the surface by the wind.The wreckage still lays in Pegwell bay just south of the river and only just below low water mark,
Stargazer.

Tony Beachcomber said...

Stargazer,

Thank you for sharing the information. It all helps with the bigger picture and strengthens the archives.

Thanks

Anonymous said...

Hi, the bit you have was mounted to the engine with the exhust stubs sticking thought, the cowling would then in term attached to that piece
hope this helps

Tony Beachcomber said...

Thanks anon,

I will make a note of that.

I have donated the part to the Spitfire and Hurricane museum at Manston and it is part of their collection and it is on display.