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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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111 Squadron Crest
08.05.1941 No. 111 Squadron Spitfire I R6619 Sgt. Frederick A.V.M. Drummond

Operation: Training

Date: 08th May 1941 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 111 Squadron (14 Group)

Type: Spitfire I

Serial: R6619

Code: JU-?

Base: RAF Dyce, Aberdeenshire

Location: South West Aberdeen, Scotland

Pilot: Sgt. Frederick Agnew Vance Mansfield Drummond AUS/402000 RAAF Age 18. Killed (1)

REASON FOR LOSS:

Weather for the day was described as good visibility, slightly bumpy, cloud 10/10 at 2,000 ft - conditions at time of accident as unchanged.

Taking off from RAF Dyce at 10:15 hrs on a training exercise involving formation flying and collided with another Spitfire from the Squadron at 10:55 hrs.

The aircraft crashed South West of Aberdeen at 11:05 hrs killing the pilot. Sq/Ldr. J.S. McClean the commanding officer of 111 Squadron left to the crash site as soon as he heard about the accident. He first discovered Spitfire R6619 totally destroyed with the body of Sgt. Drummond close to the wreckage. It was obvious that the Spitfire had dived into the ground at great speed - part of a wing was found some 500 yards away in an adjoining field. He instructed an army guard to remain at the scene. He then moved onto the second crash site.

The other pilot, P/O. George Stobie Preston Bain (2) 85647 RAFVR flying Spitfire I X4931 failed to make a successful crash landing, although he did survive, suffering seriously injuries. The recovery team fund the Merlin engine had been torn off its mountings, the port main plane was torn away and lying nearby. The fuselage had been torn off behind the cockpit - the Sutton harness had been torn away causing the pilot to be thrown forward suffering severe head injuries from the reflector sight.

Eye witnesses to the accident stated that they noticed the two aircraft flying very closely together, one wing of one aircraft clipped the other aircraft, one remained steady for a moment then dived straight down. The other did not appear to be in difficulty and carried on out of sight. They thought that they were flying at about 700 - 800 ft.

The result of the investigation was inconclusive but it was felt that Sgt. Drummond had approached the other aircraft too close and realising this he broke away but his wing tip caught the fuselage of Spitfire X4931 resulting in the wing of R6619 to break off. P/O. Bain had no recollection of the accident either leading up to it or after. Statements were collected by the mechanics and riggers who declared that both aircraft had been checked prior to the flight with no irregularities.

(1) The younger brother of Sgt. Drummond, Vance Drummond (then 12 years old), enlisted in 1949 with 77 Squadron RAAF. Fought in Korea and shot down, taken prisoner. After release he then took part in operations in Vietnam. Killed flying a Mirage off Newcastle, NSW, Australia on the 17th May 1967.

(2) P/O. George Stobie Preston Bain suffered injuries so severe he was never to fly operationally again. Joined the squadron after hospitalisation as a trainee controller of operations at North Weald in 1941. Moved to Tangmere where he became deputy controller, receiving MiD for his work during the invasion. Appointed senior controller later. Released in 1945 as a Squadron Leader, passed away in 1996.

Burial details:

Sgt. Frederick Agnew Vance Mansfield Drummond. Dyce Old Churchyard. Grave 11. Born on the 27th December 1921 at Ngaroto, New Zealand the son of Leonard Henry Vance Drummond and Dorothy Josephine May Drummond, of Hamilton East, Waikato, New Zealand. Grave inscription reads: "At Rest".

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to sources as quoted below:

KTY 23.04.2018

Acknowledgements: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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