Saturday, July 20, 2013

Jul

20

1943

A Spitfire ‘rhubarb’ over France ends badly

Spitfire F Mark XII, MB882 ‘EB-B’, of No. 41 Squadron RAF based at Friston, Sussex, in flight over Eastbourne.

On this occasion it didn’t turn out that way: as we crossed the coast there was an almighty bang and everything changed. After the roar and racket of the past quarter of an hour there was suddenly total silence. There was glass everywhere except in the instrument panel where it belonged. My right arm wouldn’t obey my commands but hung loose at my side. Almost every dial, indicator and gauge in front of me had gone haywire. Not a squeak from the radio; not a murmur from the engine; no wind noise; total silence; and around me total chaos. I was stone deaf.