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Yugoslavian Mystery surrounds Canadian Pilot

2016-03-15

A Yugoslav (Croatia today - Yugoslavia in WWII) airplane modeler has a mystery on his hands that he hopes someone can assist with. This modeler / enthusiast began in earnest back in the 1980s, and, seems to choose aircraft which crashed in his neck of the woods, which for him is Makarska. He has interviewed many locals (even recently), and, seems to be interested in primarily one pilot's (Brodie) aircraft, while also posting and asking about a second. He has added dozens of photos for various aircraft that crashed in then Yugoslavia, along with pilot names, and, first person interviews with locals on the fate of the pilot. His English is not perfect, however, he did pen something for us to place in the blog here with respect to the particular aircraft he's researching. The attached the image (left) to his email, pilot #1 is Brodie.

He is looking for just one letter from the marking on an aircraft (ironically the first aircraft he started with back in the 1980s and 300 kits later, he's returning to his first for more information). The spitfire pilot is Canadian Flt/Lt John McAndrew Brodie. Anyone? Just log in and post a reply (question) to this very blog.

"I have been searching, for a long time, all data about Spitfire Mk. VIII F, serial mark JF 344 from 32. squadron, which was shot down at Baska Voda, Yugoslavia , at 14 th February 1944 Baska voda is just 8 km from where I live. The pilot was Flt/Lt John McAndrew Brodie from St. John, New Brunswick, Canada, serving in the RAF.

All I need is his squadron letter after GZ and roundelle at fuselage ( A, B, C .... ?). The remains of the aircraft (the engine Merlin 63 , parts of one wing, can be seen at the sea bottom. There were ( good ) remains of one cannon and one machine gun in a private collection which are not accessible any more."

Another email was received from this gentleman with the following addditional text;

"I have started with kits in 1972. I was 14 years old. My real interest for history started in 1981.

... More than a few crashes around Makarska.

Funny, I also spoke with person who knows the fisherman from the J. M. Brodie story. I must go to speak with that fisherman. Still waiting for cannon pictures.
A friend of mine, while speaking with him about the Spitfire of J.M. Brodie, told me that an engine is in front of his house, at 10-15 meters deep [in water]. Than again, he told that to a German diver who went to check it. The diver was upset because he found a piece of aluminium nearby with swastika on it. ( Is the engine Merlin 63 or DB-601 ). Luckily, I know a diver who is interested in ( claiming one B-24 as his discovery to date) To be continued...

Sincerely yours,

Srdjan Gojak
A. Starcevica 22,
HR 21300
Makarska

Can you help me?

P.S. I am an aircraft modeller, that is why I am writing to you.
Some Facts about this Spitfire:
Serial mark JF 344 VIII, contract number 4065, factory Eastleigh, Engine M63, 32. squadron, last airfield Foggia, Italy, the pilot number in training school Aylmer, Sept. the 26. 1941. course 32 "X" group in Canada was J-7602, burried at Belgrade war cemetery. He is no. 1 at the attached picture.

P.P.S.
The duaghter of late J.M. Brodie lives in Canada. She does not know either the last letter after GZ-, ( information from a Spitfire enthusiast from Croatia )
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Comments:


by: andrea John McAndrew Brodie /JF344 2016-11-19 19:30:49

My comment about the doughter was not correct. It should be "sister".
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