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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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91 squadron crest
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.

Burial Details:

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.

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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Last Modified: 08 May 2019, 22:34

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