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SPITFIRES

By GERRYGENTRY
The aircraft served the Squadron well until the 23 June 1942. Sgt Alan Lever Ridings had taken off from RAF Hutton Cranswick to take part in a Ramrod (bomber protection) mission to Morlaix in France. Alan was escorting Boston Bombers when the family was told that another pilot from 19 Squadron had bailed out after being jumped and shot up by a FW 190. Alan had spotted the pilot landing in the sea and was circling him whilst passing details to radio operators to enable the stricken pilotís recovery. Alan was running low on fuel and was ordered back to base by his Squadron Leader who took over the job of guiding in the rescue team. Alan headed for home but never made it.

German fighters from JG2 Wing had been very active that day and a number of aircraft had been lost to the FW190ís although, German records do not make record of any Ďkillí around the time of Alanís disappearance. Joan, Alanís sister, thinks that he may have run out of fuel and had to ditch although no radio communication was received from Alan informing controllers of his need to ditch. His last recorded vector was on a heading between Berry Head and Start Point about six miles out to sea when contact was lost at 10.40 am on Tuesday 23rd June 1942. Alan was presumed missing over the sea. No trace of Alan or W3644 was ever found.

Tags: Photo journalism Digitally manipulated

Voters: bombolini, G3, buxton and 18 more


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Comments


Mike_Smith Plus
9 329 1 United Kingdom
20 Aug 2012 8:02PM
Cracking story and an awsome airplane both come together nicely. We all owe a lot to these guys and what they did.

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mikbee 9 3 8 Scotland
20 Aug 2012 11:32PM
Good manip' Gerry,
and good narrative too !!
Mick.
RLF Plus
6 17 4 United Kingdom
21 Aug 2012 11:27AM
Lovely picture and a remarkable tale of a very brave pilotSmile
25 Aug 2012 2:07PM
A fine image and tribute to both pilot and my favourite aircraft of all time.

P.

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