On 1941-04-16, Pilot G A L Manton (Wing Commander, RAF) with an unknown servicenumber, flew a Hurricane II with serial Z2576 for this duty: Escort. His mission was not completed. Circumstances of the aircraft loss: Shot down at Dungeness. This aircraft was a part of squadron no. 601. The location for the map is Dungeness, United Kingdom.
Circumstances at the end of this mission for Manton: he was wounded. There is no commemoration location known.
Jeremy Manton:My father talked about this event once or twice and our daughter transcribed his account of his life which includes the escort mission of Blenheims to bomb Berk-sur-Mer on the day of his crash landing
In March 1941 I was posted as wing leader to the Wing consisting of No's 303 and 601 Sqns. at Northolt. In April I led the Wing on a raid, escorting Blenheims to bomb Berk-sur-Mere. We ran into many 109's over the target as a result of which five of us were shot down, but the Blenheims hit the airfield and were not attacked. I was badly hit by cannon fire, the hood flew off and I felt stings in my leg and arm and immediately I half rolled and dived away only to find that my elevator controls were largely ineffective and although we had been at 30,000 ft. It was barely 1000ft. before I got the nose up to level flight and this only with the engine at full bore and in fine pitch.
The engine was leaking glycol into the cockpit and the engine temp. was rising. Sill over the sea I made for Dungeness in the hope that I might land at Hawkinge, but I was steadily losing height and realising that I could not get up the hill to Hawkinge I had no alternative but to do a wheels up on the marshes amongst the anti-invasion poles It was only when I tried to tighten my harness that I realized that the cannon shells had severed the anchorage behind the seat making the harness ineffective. They had also severed my oxygen and R.T. leads. The moment I closed the throttle the aircraft rolled to the right and the wing hit the ground.
I regained consciousness sitting in the front seat of an Army Lorry. The driver had seen me crash and had got me out of the wreckage and was taking me to an Army Casualty Clearing Station. Here my head was stitched-up and I was checked over for injuries, bandaged where bleeding, given a shot of brandy (I was promptly sick) and sent off to the Army Hospital at Benenden.
I was very stiff and sore but apart from a cut forehead, two black eyes, some small cannon shell splinters, bruises and scrapes I was miraculously in one piece, though not too mobile. The Hospital was a girls’ boarding school in peacetime and above my bed was a bell push with a sign- RING FOR MISTRESS. After three days I signed myself out and returned to Northolt. I was Medically Boarded and put off flying for three months because of lack of neck movement. In June 1941 I was posted as Wing Commander Flying to Colerne where I trained two Polish Squadrons 316 &317, getting my full flying category back in July.
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