Spitfire JF559


model: VIII
factory: EA
engine: M63


All Images:


FF 4-6-43 33MU 6-6-43 82MU 14-6-43 La Pampa 2-7-43 Casablanca 14-7-43 Middle East 1-9-43 NWAfricanAF 1-11-43 92S 'QJ-N' Crashed on landing Bellaria 30-1-45

* for acronyms please see Spitfire Production

Links (URLs):


Name Date Rank Status
Smith C P K 1945‑01‑04 P/O kia
Mannion D S 1945‑01‑05 F/Sgt ok
King G M 1945‑01‑09 P/O ok
Long D F MK 1945‑01‑11 W/O ok
Wright D 1945‑01‑12 F/L ok
Michell A J R 1945‑01‑18 F/Sgt ok
Widdowson S 1945‑01‑20 W/O ok
Huck T 1945‑01‑21 W/O ok
Hodgkinson T L 1945‑01‑22 Sgt ok
Jones O H E 1945‑01‑23 F/L ok
note: 'pilot to aircraft' linkage created via Pilot's page

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Comments / Questions:

by: kurtis from the above link ... fate of JF559 (and pilot - crash landing) 2019-06-19 23:58:09

... "she was losing height too quickly, and my struggling with the controls seem to make little difference — they were becoming heavy and sluggish because, without the engine, the airspeed was dropping. I couldn’t make it. The bod in the control tower was telling me to bail out, but it would be suicide at this height. I kept her coming in and thought I was just going to make it onto the runway, when I hit a sand dune about 100 yards from the end of the landing strip with an almighty bang which shook me right through my spine. The undercarriage, wheels and legs snapped off immediately, and the propeller blades splintered into small fragments and whipped past the cockpit. Then the starboard wing broke off just beside the fusalage, there were terrific banging and wrenching noises going on, and everything seemed to go into ‘slow motion’ - I felt as if I were watching the whole ‘show’ on a cinema screen. The poor old Spitfire sort of half ploughed through the sand dune and half bounced over it and, when I and the Spit hit ‘terra firma’ again 50 yards further on, it was into the side of another sand hill. She then slewed around and went at it sideways, and with another enormous bang the fuselage tore in half just behind my cockpit, whilst my port wing sort of buckled up, bent, and then the end broke off it. The remains of my Spitfire then just stopped dead but, inspecting the crash site later on, it was clear that the engine had torn from its mountings and continued onwards as if it were still trying to make it back onto the runway on its own; it had eventually stopped after another 10 yards or so.

During this disintegration of my ‘plane I was flung forward hard against my straps, and my face was bashed into the reflector sight which sits on top of the instrument panel. Blood spurted out of each side of my oxygen mask, under my goggles, and into my eyes. The pain was terrible and I thought for a terrible second that the lower part of my face had been torn off by the impact. Everything then stopped, and it was suddenly very, very quiet. I tried opening my eyes but I couldn’t see a thing “Oh God, please not this! Please don’t let me be blinded’ I thought; and I prayed that it would not be so. I then reached up and pulled off my mask and goggles, they were warm and sticky with the blood, and so I fumbled around for a hanky (handkerchief) I kept in my pocket. I began to wipe my eyes, and once I’d cleaned off as much as I could, I tried opening my eyes again. Thank heaven, I could see! I was so relieved. It was simply the blood in the goggles that had temporarily blinded me. I looked around, and my blurred vision settled upon what appeared to be a huge ‘gravestone’ sticking out of the sand. In my banged about state I actually wondered if perhaps I was already dead! This all must have all taken just a few seconds because, next, I was quickly undoing my harness and ‘chute straps and pulling my helmet off. I could hear the emergency vehicles and shouts of the ground crew as they headed for the wrecked ‘plane. I and was beginning to struggle out of what was left of my Spit — now just a cockpit and ¾ or so of the port wing - when the first of the ground crew chaps came rushing forward and quickly helped drag me out. My clothes and face were now covered with blood and my hanky was saturated with it. One kind chap gave me his own handkerchief to soak more of it up. As I was being pulled out of the cockpit I saw that one of the wings of my Spit was stuck end-on in the sand a few yards away — it was certainly ‘a gravestone’ for my aircraft, but not for me!"