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RAF aircraft's crash sites in Province of Oost-Vlanderen:

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Elegy to
the Heroes of Silence

* To the 542 Squadron *
* To the crew of AB340 *
* To the monument erected in remembrance *
* Cemetery where rest the crew *

Crash site of Spitfire AB340

crest raf squadron
Unit: 542 Squadron
Aircraft: Spitfire
Code: AB340
Base: Benson
Mission: Brugge
Crew officer: Sergeant Goldie John Dunlop
Incident: Shot down by German fighter

Location: (Prov. Oost Vlanderen)



During the afternoon of January 26, 1943, four photo-Spitfires of 542 Squadron left Benson in Oxfordshire for the continent, possibly to register the damage at Bruges. The marshalling yard had been attacked there the day before. Three aircraft of the A-flight landed back on Benson, mission accomplished. The fourth Photo Spit, piloted by Sergeant Goldie, would never return.
After all, while John Goldie was taking pictures with his Spitfire PR IV AB430 over Flanders, he was noticed by Feldwebel Bugaj who had been touring around for half an hour in his Fw 190 A-4 (11.Staffel) at that time. Bugaj dived under the British fighter plane of which he recognized the blue and white cockade. In a first series of shots pieces of metal tore off the wings. A dark trail of smoke emerged from the engine. Sgt Goldie dived into his battered Spit from 5000 meters to Earth, and at 1500 meters pulled the curve back horizontally. His maneuver was pointless, however; Bugaj was still hanging in his tail, firing one last time from all the onboard guns. The AB430 disappeared in an explosion at 1:45 PM.
When Bugaj skimmed the ground at a height of fifty meters, his smashed victim lay in a stream near Ursel airfield. The wreck was next to a row of willow logs about ten meters from the road Ursel-Aalterbrug (hamlet of Wessegem). John Goldie, 22, was charred and removed from the wreckage. The German recovery teams also found his camera. Sgt Goldie is still resting in Eeklo.
His opponent, Unteroffizier Karl Bugaj, would be killed as Leutnant on 12 April 1943 on a ferry flight to Deelen. He had five wins.


The grave of Sgt Goldie

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The International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC)
Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC)
Aircrew Remembered

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