COALHOUSE FORT, EAST TILBURY, ESSEX, ENGLAND.
THE HOME OF AVIATION ARCHAEOLOGY IN ESSEX
The Excavation of a "Battle of Britain" Spitfire.
Sgt. Frantisek Marek. 310 (Czech) Squadron, attached to 19 squadron Duxford.
This dig was carried out on the 14 September 1975 the 35th anniversary of the crash.
Sgt Frantisek Marek joined 310 sqdn on the 6th August 1940 aged 27 years, attached to 19 sqdn "A" flight on the 29th August 1940.
During a routine patrol on 14th September 1940 at around 16.40hrs R6625 crashed at Black Bush Corner, Horndon-on-the-Hill, Essex, Cause unknown but presumed oxygen failure.
The Aircraft History
R6625 was taken on charge by No 12 MU on 26th May 1940,
Allocated to 19 sqdn on 31st May 1940,
Transferred to No 7 OTU 11th August 1940,
Relocated to 19 sqdn on 10th September 1940,
R6625 claimed a Me110 on 11th September while being flown by Sgt Roden.
As a result of flying battle damage on the 14th September 1940 R6625 was struck off charge on the 15th September 1940
The dig was carried out on the 14th September 1975, the 35th anniversary of the crash of this aircraft the day before what is now known as Battle of Britain Day, the 15th being the turning point of the Battle.
Waking up on that morning in 1975 by the sound of pouring rain, the complete opposite of the weather 35 years earlier. Arriving on site for an 8am start we were all hoping that the rain would ease but no! all day all through the dig it just kept on raining.
The first major item to come to light was the propeller complete with its yellow tips ,boss, and counter balance wieghts, instruments, gun site, compass and of course the Rolls Royce Merlin engine all in fantastic condition, ok the Merlin is bent and twisted but it did hit the ground at around 400 mph. It was hard work sifting through the spoil heap looking for the smallest of parts but by the end of the day we had a major part of a Battle of Britain Spitfire, now for the cleaning and restoration of the parts.
On the dig ; Roger Pickett, Fred Dunn, Robin Hill, Dave Campbell, Ron Wingrave and Colin Wingrave.
A story of the excavation can be found in issue ten of "After The Battle Magazine"
THE REMAINS OF R6625 ARE ON DISPLAY IN THE MUSEUM
INCLUDING THE PROP AND ENGINE
© TAM "99