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History Air Crashes of WWII

Allied - Spitfire Mk I N3242

REF NR: 1928

Pilot Officer M Lyall by all accounts flying with 602 Squadron, went head-to-head with one of the most decorated Luftwaffe pilots of the 2nd World War - Major Helmet Wick. The German was on a flying 'Frei Jagd' or free hunt, over the Isle of Wight area when they came across the flight from 602 Squadron at around 3pm. Three spitfires soon became victims with no loss from the major's wing. It is then considered that P/O Lyall's spitfire dived towards the earth and crashed at or around Rill Farm, near Whitley bank. It is assumed Lyall bailed out too late as he did not survive the event. His aircraft however had better luck, as it was not too badly damaged. As a result, it was recovered and converted into a Mk V and reissued to 603 Squadron but yet again found its way into trouble and sadly was lost at sea a year later.


On a follow up, Major Helmet Wick after over 44 kills became a victim that November. His downing is now attributed to that of another Spitfire Mk 1 X4586 from 609 Squadron piloted by Flt Lt. J Dundas who himself was latterly shot down by Wick's wingman Pflanz.  A memorial to Flt. Lt. J Dundas was unveiled in 2000 just above Freshwater on the cliff edge.   



 Note: Images and diagrams of the aircraft displayed reflect the type of aircraft and are not those of the specific.