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RAF aircraft's crash sites in Province of West-Vlaanderen:

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Last update: 25/06/23

Elegy to
the Heroes of Silence

* To the 122 Squadron *
* To the crew of BM138-MT-N *
* To the monument erected in remembrance *
* Cemetery where rest the crew *

Crash site of Spitfire BM138-MT-N

cest raf squadron
Unit: 122 Squadron
Aircraft: Spitfire
Code: BM138-MT-N
Base: Swanton
Mission: Circus 157
Incident: shot down by German fighter

Location: (Prov. West-Vlaanderen)



Since spring 1941, circus was a code name used by the RAF for an operational tactic, in which a small group of RAF bombers was sent out on vital bombing missions in France.
The bombers were accompanied by large numbers of fighter planes for protection as well as potential engagement with fighter planes of the German Luftwaffe.
Pilots, however, preferred to use the term offensive sweep. The Plan: Operation Circus 157 is scheduled for the afternoon of the 5th May 1942. Six Douglas A-20 light bombers known as Boston from 226th RAF Squadron are scheduled to bomb the electric power plant in Lille-Sequedin in Northern France.
They are to be accompanied by 3 Squadrons – 36 Supermarine Spitfire fighter planes of the RAF 64th, 122nd and 313th Squadrons, out of which 24 aircraft engage in dog fights with 21 German Focke-Wulf Fw 190 fighters during the operation.
At 15:35 hrs, Spitfire of F/Sgt Stacey Jones is hit by the enemy fire almost immediately after the clash between the Spitfires and the Focke-Wulfs starts. His plane nosedives and hits the ground in the front garden of a house on Provensteenweg near Poperinge. The pilot does not survive the horrific impact. Stacey is only 22 years old and is due to go on leave in six days with his brother Cliff, serving in the British Army. His letter is on its way and he is looking forward to his well deserved rest.

F/Sgt Jones is the first one of the three fighter pilots of the 122 SQN killed in action that afternoon. He is the only one of the four allied pilots perished in Operation Circus 157, who still has no memorial whatsoever at his crash site.


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

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