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Can you help?
Have you ever witnessed any aircraft crashes during World War Two? We are looking to hear from anyone with ANY information regarding aircraft crashes in the UK and Europe. Have you ever wanted to know more about why it crashed or perhaps you have often wondered about the pilots name, age etc. If so we can often help.
 
WANTED
WW2 Casualty Groups - RAF, Army, Navy. We will ensure their names are not forgotten.
 
WANTED
Volunteers wanted to attend museum during open weekends - would suit retired person within the Surrey/Sussex area.
 
BAPC Member

Member of the British Aviation Preservation Council

WINGS MUSEUM
REGISTERED CHARITY
NO. 1117879
 
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Aviation Archaeology - Spitfire IX BS548

 
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Rare still taken from film footage showing Spitfire BS548 taxing, Claud could well be at the controls. Note the Free French insignia below the cockpit
 
Spitfire IX BS548
Lieutenant Claude Raoul-Duval
341 ‘Alsace’ Squadron - Biggin Hill
Lost 17 April 1943
Tancarville, France
 
French Spitfire pilot Claude Raoul-Duval was lost on 17th April 1943 on Circus 286, led by Squadron Leader René Mouchotte. Claude and another Free French pilot, Lt Philippe Béraud, were claimed by Fw Herbert Gumprecht of 11/JG2. Béraud was killed near Etretat and is buried at Le Havre Sainte Marie cemetery. Claude Raoul-Duval baled out of Spitfire IX BS548, 341 ‘Alsace’ Squadron at Tancarville, east of Le Havre. Gumprecht was later killed in action on 16th August 43 in Normandy.
 
Claude’s wartime career is outstanding. After being shot down near Tancarville he was back in UK six months later having traveled via Spain and Gibraltar. With him were two USAAF crews – and his bride, a member of the French underground. He returned to 341 Squadron and served until 1945.
He wrote a book ‘Ciel de Sable’ (Sky of Sand) about his time in Libya and Egypt in 1942 when he was credited with a Ju88 shot down.
 
Spitfire BS548 had flown previously with Free French 340 Squadron ‘Ile de France’. It then went for a short time to 402 (RCAF) Squadron, then went back to 340 and later to 341. BS548 dived into reclaimed marshland and was completely buried. It was located by researcher Laurent Viton and excavated in September 2012 with Claude Raoul-Duval in attendance & about 90% of the aircraft was recovered & the serial number was confirmed by the discovery of "548" stencilied in several places.
 
A display dedicated to Claud and his fellow Free French Pilots and parts from BS548 will be put on display at the Wings Museum for the 2013 season.
 
The crater was still clearly evident in 2012!
 
The crash site was located by French historians close to the estuary
 
Gareth shows Claud's Rear View mirror - he commented he should have looked in it!
 
Claud very kindly signed parts of his Spitfire for the recovery team
 
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Bullet hole - evidence of combat
 
Lieutenant Claude Raoul Duval 1943 - Free French Air Force
 
The Wings Museum would like to thank the following people for the opportunity of attending this unique excavation: Gareth Jones, Steve Vizard, Simon Parry, Geoff Carless, Laurent Viton, & also the various French researchers & historians who made the excavation possible.
 
 
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