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15 October 2014
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Spitfires and Messerschmidts Over Chichester

by BBC Southern Counties Radio

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Archive List > Royal Air Force

Contributed by 
BBC Southern Counties Radio
People in story: 
Peter Gardner
Location of story: 
Chichester
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A4386440
Contributed on: 
07 July 2005

I had just come out of the Central Junior Boys School in the autumn of 1940, when two spitfires roared overhead. They had obviously had a successful sortie for one flicked a victory roll (contrary to regulations) and clipped the wingtip of the other one. I saw one crash at Westhampnett- I saw the smoke. The pilot din't survive. I don't know what happened to the other one.

As for Messerschmidts- on Spitfire day (raising funds for new ones) the R.A.F. parked a captured 109 next to the corn exchange and for 1/6 you coud sit in the cockpit (which I did) and work the controls and press the firing button and a member of the Air Training Corps told me all about the machine. I was nine years old and remember thinking how small and spartan the cockpit was.

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