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Spitfire ER121

Stats:

model: VbT
factory: CBAF
engine: M46

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History:

MU 7-9-42 82MU 9-10-42 SS626 28-10-42 Gibraltar 1-11-42 SOC 31-12-42

* for acronyms please see Spitfire Production
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by: kurtis From the Son of the Photographer (Dr. Lowell Silverman US Army Dentist) 2018-11-14 04:11:15

In regard to the photographer's role, Dr. Robert Silverman was a dentist in the U.S. Army 32nd Station Hospital at the time.

These are from the collection of Robert Silverman. I would assume he took the picture, but I'm not certain of that. I would say it looks like it came from his camera, which typically has a blurry area in the lower right side of the frame. I applied levels and sharpening on the cropped photo, but didn't retouch it beyond that ugly brown mark in the sky.

My best guess is that the photo was taken between April and December, 1943. I was wondering if you had any thoughts on what's going on the photo. Attempted salvage operation, since they've set up a tent or something? Wonder what that wood thing is by the tail wheel too.

Here are a few details that might help with dating the photo. Robert's unit, the 32nd Station Hospital, arrived in Oran, Algeria on 26 January 1943. After three weeks bivouacked in the Bouissville area, they traveled by road inland to Tlemcen and operated there. According to his papers, he didn't even receive approval to have a camera sent to him until 15 March 1943, so the photo probably wouldn't have been taken sooner than April 1943 (if he took it himself). Officers did get R&R on the coast, so my grandfather might have taken it in transit during one of these jaunts. Since it appears to be the sea in the background, my speculation is that it would have crashlanded pretty close to Oran. The unit left Tlemcen and returned to staging in the "Goat Hill" area near Oran 8 December 1943 before shipping out to Italy a week later. The sort of sepia color tone also matches another photo in the set that was most likely taken at Goat Hill in December 1943. Don't know if they would have left the plane that long.

Lowell
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reply: kurtis ER121 Spitfire Crash Land -- Some Months Later 2018-11-14 04:14:34

Thanks Lowell, this type of context helps fill in quite a bit -- if only we knew how it came to crash land. The notes above on this aircraft only indicate it was Struck off Charge on (if it's correct) New Year's Eve 1942. What a way to ring in the New Year for the pilot. Thanks for adding this image, and, for a glimpse into the photographer's service, your father.