27.06.1941 No. 74 Squadron Spitfire Vb X4668 ZP-E Sq/Ldr. John C. Mungo Park DFC & Bar.
Date: 27th June 1941 (Friday)
Unit: No. 74 Squadron
Type: Spitfire Vb
Base: RAF Gravesend
Location: Adinkerke, Belgium
Pilot: Sq/Ldr. John Colin Mungo Park DFC & Bar 40008 RAF Age 23. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
During a sweep understood to have been attacked by two formations of Bf109s from 1./JG26 and JG2 led by Major Rolf Pingel and Major Willhelm Balthasar. (see Kracker Luftwaffe Archive on this site)
The crash was witnessed by Mr. Joshua Recour then a 16 year old schoolboy. He and a group of friends were playing tennis when they saw an aircraft coming down with a lot of smoke coming from it. They jumped on their bicycles and raced off where the aircraft had crashed and saw the pilot dead, beside the wreck.
Fighter Command losses on this day:
19 Squadron Spitfire IIb P7379 Flown by P/O. M.F. Andrews 87655 RAF shot down during the late afternoon by Me109s - PoW No: 1375 Camp L3.
19 Squadron Spitfire IIb P7813 Flown by P/O. D.M. Cowley RAF shot down during the late afternoon by Me109s - PoW.
74 Squadron Spitfire Vb X4668 ZP-E Flown by 23 year old, Sq/Ldr. John Colin Mungo Park DFC and Bar. 40008 RAF of Bolton, Lancashire, England - killed.
74 Squadron Spitfire VB W3210 ZP-N Flown by 19 year old, Fl/Lt. Warren John Sandman NZ/401412 RNZAF - PoW No: 4379 Camp: Stalag Luft 3.
74 Squadron Spitfire Vb W3252 Flown by Sgt. Clive Geoffrey Hilken 745482 RAF shot down during the late afternoon by Me109s - PoW No: 29537 Camp: L3.
266 Squadron Spitfire IIa P8188 Flown by 24 year old, P/O. Stanley Cook 66488 RAFVR of Northampton, England - last seen leaking Glycol after combat - killed.
266 Squadron Spitfire IIa P8185 Flown by P/O. W.H. Holland 86664 RAF, shot down during the late afternoon by Me109s. PoW No: 1377 Camp L3.
303 Squadron Spitfire IIb P8331 RF-M Flown by 37 year old W/Cdr. Piotr Łaguna P-1287 PAF of Kędzierowo, Poland - shot down by flak near Hardelot - killed.
Shown above; Geoffrey and Chris Faux, nephews of Sq/Ldr. Mungo Park (courtesy Johny and Joshua Recour)
In 2007 a memorial service was held in his honour at the cemetery, organised by several people including Johny Recour and members of 74 Squadron, including Douglas Tidy, Derek Morris and John Yeo. During the service a poem was read out by the nephew and Godson of John Mungo Park, Mr. Geoffrey Faux. The service was concluded with the playing of ‘Te Velde’ (At rest in the Fields)
It is thought that these incredible series of photographs (1) sent to us by his son, Johny who explained that he thinks that they may have come from a young man living in De Panne who developed photographs for various people, including Germans - he always printed extra copies to give to his friends. (courtesy Johny and Joshua Recour)
Left: Sq/Ldr John C. Mungo Park DFC & Bar
Also shot down from 74 Squadron on this operation were two other Spitfires:
Spitfire Vb W3210 Flown by P/O. W.J. Sandman RNZAF Baled out and taken prisoner. Aircraft purchased and named ‘Malta’ by the inhabitants of Malta. (Along with W3212 named Ghawdex - another name for Gozo, an island off Malta) (2)
Spitfire Vb W3252 Flown by Sgt. Clive Geoffrey Hilken RAFVR Baled out and taken prisoner.
Mungo Park Road in Hornchurch - described further in a publication by Richard C. Smith ‘ Hornchurch - Streets of Heroes’.
(1) Some of the photographs we have withheld from publication as they could prove distressing to some readers.
Sq/Ldr. John Colin Mungo Park DFC & Bar. Adinkerke Military Cemetery. Grave E.17. Further information: Son of Colin Archibald Mungo Park (deceased), and of Marion Alexander Mungo Park, of Bolton, Lancashire, England.
His father L/Cpl Colin Mungo Park was killed on the 24th October 1918 whilst serving with the 7th Btn. Royal Sussex Regiment - he is buried in France. John was born in Wallasey, Cheshire in 1918. Educated at Liverpool College and joined the RAF in 1937.
Posted to 74 Squadron at RAF Hornchurch on the 4th September 1939. Fought with this squadron all through the Battle of Britain, by the end of November 1940 had twelve confirmed victories. Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross on the 15th November 1940.
He had been commanding 'A' Flight of the squadron since the 8th September 1940, promoted to command the squadron on the 10th March 1941 when the existing commander, the famous South African 'Sailor' Malan, was posted to another appointment.
Researched for relatives of the pilot with thanks to the following for further information, Johny and Joshua Recour from Belgium, 74 Squadron Association, Battle of Britain Historical Society, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses' Vol. 2, Aircrew Remembered own archives. Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
(2) Right: Spitfire Vb W3210 ‘Malta’ purchased by the inhabitants of Malta (courtesy Museum of Malta)