15.07.1940 No: 17 Squadron Hurricane I P3482 P/O. Peter L. Dawbarn
Date: 15th July 1940 (Monday)
Unit: No. 17 Squadron
Type: Hurricane I
Base: RAF Debden
Location: Elsenham Hall grounds, Essex
Pilot: P/O. Peter Leslie Dawbarn 41905 RAF - seriously injured
REASON FOR LOSS:
During the afternoon of the 15th July at about 16:00 hrs whilst leading a section of 3 aircraft his Hurricane suffered total engine failure - as he was flying very low due to weather conditions he was forced to make a wheel up landing. Spotting a small clearing he put the aircraft down after turning off the ignition, fuel and opening the hood to enable a fast escape, in the grounds of Elsenham Hall grounds, Essex.
As he had very little control of the aircraft he landed within the field but due to his speed the aircraft continued until brought to an abrupt stop in a wooded area.
A branch from one of the trees came into the cockpit and struck the pilot in the face and head. An Air Raid warden having witnessed him coming down rushed over and helped him away from the aircraft taking him to the hall where they provided first aid and called an ambulance.
Suffering serious injuries Peter Dawbarn spent some 6 months in hospital recovering. Posted to 59 OTU at Crosby-on-Eden to instruct. Finally joining a Polish Squadron to instruct on Hurricane conversion. Retired as Squadron leader in 1946. Sadly, Peter passed away on the 4th July 2009.
With thanks to sources as shown below.