I have just read on the above site an account of the Spitfire that crashed in Hampton in 1944. I remember the incident well and to my knowledge their discription of what happened is inaccurate. Is there anybody who can confirm my recollection of the event? Throughout the war my family lived in Oldfield Road. I was in the back garden when I heard a very loud bang, I looked over towards the railway station and saw a white parachute drifting parallel to the station. I called my mother and she too saw the parachute. Now, I have to rely on local gossip, at the time. The pilot landed in the Ormonds, much to the alarm of the residents who, as he spoke broken English, thought he must be German. Two police officers arived from the police station and some soldiers from the Water Works and escorted the pilot away. It turned out that the pilot was polish. My friend told me, a part of the spitfire landed in Lindon Road. I can only assume the rest of the plane crashed in the nursery, which was on the west side of Ripley Road. Can anybody remember? Good luck. Bryan.

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Hi Nigel, I have just come across your post, thank you. B.E.M. is an abbreviation the British Empire Medal. I was on the Birthday Honours List in 1986, for my voluntary service in the military. When I was demobilised from the Army in 1953. I had served two years. I volunteered for the Territorial Army and served up until my retirement in 1990. I served with the London Scottish Regiment, The 51st Highland Volunteers (Black Watch) and the London Irish Rifles. In my civilian life, for forty years I worked in the Royal Parks, retiring as an Inspector in the Royal Parks Constabulary, in charge of the mounted section. Maybe, I have been a bit verbose here !!! But, I would not want anybody to think I received the B.E.M. for doing very little !!! Regards. Bryan.

Nigel Planer said:

Bryan, what does B.E.M stand for?

I've got a few ideas, but wanted you to confirm it first.

Good on you Bryan, I think you are far from verbose....

You are very rightly proud - Rule Britannia!

Hi Margaret, Thank you for your post. A while back another lady posted, her mother worked in one of the shops near the road bridge. She too remembered an airman landing in Ormond Drive, during the war. Despite writing to the R&T I have been unable to uncover any evidence to support that a Spitfire crash landed anywhere in Hampton and the pilot being rescued by two courageous ladies. I am of course, aware that 'War Stories' never loose anything in the telling. I am still puzzled why the pilots recollection is at odds with ours. Your mum, remembers a bit of an aeroplane landing in the 'Lanes' (Oldfield Road) Bill's mum remembers most of the plane landing in Hall & Hall's.My late friend Frank Shaw spoke of a bit of the Spitfire landing in Lindon Road. All these locations are in close proximity of one and other. In my humble opinion, I conclude that, unless Flight Sergeant W.J. Parlee was 'Polish'. Young Jozef Stanislue dropped into Hampton on the end of a parachute !!! What do you think? Good luck. Regards. Bryan.

y a bang es i rember it very well, i was 12 at the time,we were playing in the road in priory road ,when we heard abang up in the sky,did not take much notice.My mother was coming home from work,she worked in sunbury,she was on her bike cycling through the  lanes, a minute earlier there was a crash in the didch,it was part of the plane, she got home and told us all about it,so we rushed there to see it we thought it was german,i brought a peice metal home,We lived near the railway arch.

The next thing we heard ,was a police man that lived near us by the name of mr busby,he told us he was running up ormond rd or drive trying to capture him which he did ,but he told us he was german ,and we all thought he was a hero,but now i know ,reading your letter he was polish. margaret



Bill Rosborough said:

My Mum's recollection was "it was one of ours and it was small" was she believes from 1941/42, bearing in mind a Spitfire and Hurricane, especially when damaged, may have looked very similar to her and the crash site being at the back of Hall & Hall adjacent to Kempton Park

Bryan - Can you recollect from memory the month and year specifically, or get verification from the authorities? I am the daughter in law of the Polish pilot who crashed near Hampton town, in a garden nursery. His log book is quite explicit as to the time. He was indeed flying Spitfire with Squadron 315 of the RAF and following recovery from the  head injury sustained in the cockpit upon crash, he was sent to Squadron 306 where he flew Mustangs and attained Ace status for V1 victories. He remained with Squadron 306 until its demobilization in '47.

Hope to hear from you.

Hello Mary,

Thank you for your e-mail. Let me start by saying the UK owes an enormous dept of gratitude to all those courageous Polish pilots, who did so much to secure victory during the 'Battle of Britain'. Your father in law being one of 'The Few'. I was twelve years old when the second world war ended. I am sorry, but I have no idea of the date, when I saw the white parachute drifting earth bound. From then on I am relying on all the talk which was around Hampton at the time. At one stage the rumour was the pilot was German but then it changed to a Polish pilot. When I saw the account as recorded by The Aircrew Rememberance Society. I thought this is not how I or Hampton remembered it. But it would now appear two Spitfires crashed in Hampton. Flight Sergeant W.J. Parlee was the other one. could both pilots be Polish? I wrote to our local newspaper, in case they had covered the 'crash' at the time. The reply I received did not help much. I had hoped that somebody from one of the local history groups may have some information. So far no one has come forward. I beleive one thing is for sure. A very brave Polish pilot landed in Hampton, in the forties. How he got there isn't really important. The important thing is, he survived to fight another day. I am sorry I cannot be more help, but it is a long time ago. Kindest regards. Bryan

Good afternoon - Several years after this post, we visited my husbands sister Marion in Lynton, North Devon and we discussed this history. Well if you can believe it, Marion recollected one of the names of the ladies who had rescued my father in law that day in the garden nursery near Hampton village.

It was a Mrs. Shorthouse.  Can anyone attest to a garden nursery or a resident by this name through historical city directories at all?  The date of the crash was  Jan 31, 1944.

Any info would be appreciated!

Patti Hampton, daughter in law of the Polish Pilot from 315 Squadron

Thanks for the update Mary, I've been reading this thread with interest but unfortunately I can't shade any more light on this as it was way before my time.

It seems Bryan hasn't posted on here for over a year, I hope he is still around to solve this mystery once and for all.

Best,

Ben.

Mary Patrice said:

Good afternoon - Several years after this post, we visited my husbands sister Marion in Lynton, North Devon and we discussed this history. Well if you can believe it, Marion recollected one of the names of the ladies who had rescued my father in law that day in the garden nursery near Hampton village.

It was a Mrs. Shorthouse.  Can anyone attest to a garden nursery or a resident by this name through historical city directories at all?  The date of the crash was  Jan 31, 1944.

Any info would be appreciated!

Patti Hampton, daughter in law of the Polish Pilot from 315 Squadron

HI Bryan,

Ive been tracking a number of stories over the years centred around Hampton Court and airplanes.

Even been diving in the river and metal detecting around the sites that are still accessable to no avail.

Platts Eyot has stories about hitting with Ack Ack a lone Messchersmit tha crashed into the River but again no records have been found.

Your details have shown the following details and pictures of the "Spitfire" in Hampton.

As is usually the case there are many snippets to be gleaned with further research.

So it doesnt stop here. To see a picture of the man and his achievements get someone to print out this link,

http://www.aircrewremembered.com/zalenski-jozef.html

Also the National Archives at Kew reveal some details that could be linked to your story.

Contact the Twickenham history society too who have published records on incidents.

Many stories were masked so the location details were not recorded.

Suggest interested locals make a visit to Kew en masse to discover further details (count me in)

Not much new comes up with the Wellington Story yet with my research except

Sergeant (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner) Henry Wright BUTT     RAFVR No. 932611
Age 21 and the son of Nelson Frederick and Nellie Butt of Hampton. 
He is buried in class A East Cons grave 306 Hampton Cemetery.

St James Church records the event happened early December 1940 although other records say it was November 1940.

There may very well be a cross link to a downed Luftwaffe plane and the bombings to your story that would further confuse the matter.

The link below also gives further leads and avenues of research

http://www.pprune.org/archive/index.php/t-156209.html

As a modern pilot of taildraggers and biplanes as well as single performance engines I am still in awe of what all the young men from across the world went through for us with such basic training and equipment.  

Good luck with closing your story.

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