26.07.1944 No. 91 Squadron Spitfire XIV RM743 Fl/Lt. Eugene Seghers DFC
Operation: Diver Patrol
Date: 26th July 1944 (Wednesday)
Unit: No. 91 Squadron
Type: Spitfire XIV
Serial: RM743 (1)
Base: RAF Deanland (Advanced Landing Ground), Hailsham, Est Sussex
Location: Ridgewood, near Uckfield, Sussex
Pilot: Fl/Lt. Eugene Georges Achilles Seghers DFC. 82162 RAFVR Age 34. Killed
We are seeking any further information on the pilot or relatives - local historian Duncan Bennett is trying to arrange a memorial at the crash site.
REASON FOR LOSS:
During an attack by the ever increasing waves of the V-1s over southern England 91 Squadron were scrambled to intercept another attack.
Wg/Cdr Bobby Oxspring Commanding Officer of 24 wing described the incident:
‘At 14.20 hrs Fl/Lt. Gin Seghers, a Belgian attached to 91 Squadron lost his life within sight of the airfield when he attacked a target at an awkward angle of a full 90 degrees. Trying to pull enough deflection he lost sight of the V-1 under his nose and misjudged the distance. To our horror he struck the warhead which in a deadly flash demolished both the V-1 and his Spitfire.’
On Saturday 24th August 1940 he had a narrow escape whilst serving with 41 Squadron. Flying a Hurricane I V6567 on a patrol when he was intercepted and subsequently shot down at 16:30 hrs by Me109s - he managed to bale out, uninjured into the Channel. The aircraft eventually crashing at Tedders Lees near near Elham, Sussex.
(1) Built at the Supermarine works Chattis Hill, Hampshire, England, powered by the Griffon 65.
Initially buried at Brookwood Military Cemetery, reinterred after the end of the war in his home country, as was most Belgian aircrew.
Fl/Lt. Eugene Georges Achilles Seghers. Brussels Town Cemetery. Belgians Airman’s field of honour. N.o.K details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information? Born on the 7th April 1910 in Ledeberg, Ghent, Belgium. Served with 32, 46, 609, 165 and 91 Squadron. Also served as instructor at 52 Operational Training Unit.
Researched for relatives of the pilot, further information obtained from, Brian Cull/Bruce Lander - 'Diver! Diver! Diver!’, Battle of Britain Memorial, Winston G. Ramsey - 'Battle of Britain Then and Now'. Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Aircrew Remembered own archives.
You can follow Duncan's progress with the memorial on Eugene Seghers memorial on Facebook - please support his efforts.