AR banner
Search Tips Advanced Search
Back to Top

• Kracker Archive
• Allied Losses
• Archiwum Polish
• Paradie Canadian
• Searchable Lists

Info LogoAdd to or correct this story with a few clicks.
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.
Check our Research databases: Database List


We seek additional information and photographs. Please contact us via the Helpdesk.

54 crest
08th November 1939 54 Squadron Spitfire I K9886 Sgt. Cole

Operation: Training

Date: 08th November 1939 (Wednesday)

Unit: No. 54 Squadron (motto: Audax omnia perpeti 'Boldness endures anything') 1 Group

Type: Spitfire Ia

Serial: K9886 (1)

Code: KL-?

Base: RAF Hornchurch, Essex

Location: Near Basildon

Pilot: Sgt. Eric James Cole 740300 RAFVR Age 21. Killed


During night flying training and whilst circling a beacon at night, Sgt. Cole crashed near Basildon at approximately 20:00 hrs, as a result of which the pilot was killed and the aircraft totally destroyed.

The cause of the crash was due to running out of fuel.

P/O. McMullen (2) accompanied by Sgt. Phillips (3) flew to Tangmere en-route to attend the funeral of the late Sgt, Cole and returned the same day.

(1) Spitfire K9886 built in Eastleigh and was first flown on the 05th March 1939 and delivered to the squadron on the 08th March 1939.

(2) P/O. Desmond Annesley Peter McMullen retired as a W/Cdr. on the 16th December 1957, he died on the 01st July 1985.

(3) Peter Anthony Burnell-Phillips was later killed in a flying accident on 9th February 1941 flying Hurricane I W9189.

Burial details:

Sgt. Eric James Cole. Portsmouth (Milton) Cemetery. Plot M. Row 1. Grave 63. Son of Lieut. Ambrose James Cole, R.N., and Edith Cole, of 2 Lower Drayton Lane, East Cosham, Portsmouth, England. Attended Portsmouth Grammar School 1928-1935. Joined 54 squadron on the 21st September 1939.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Portsmouth Grammar School, Sussex History Forum, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 16-06-2021

Pages of Outstanding Interest
History Airborne Forces •  Soviet Night Witches •  Bomber Command Memories •  Abbreviations •  Gardening Codenames
CWGC: Your Relative's Grave Explained •  USA Flygirls •  Axis Awards Descriptions •  'Lack Of Moral Fibre'
Concept of Colonial Discrimination  •  Unauthorised First Long Range Mustang Attack
RAAF Bomb Aimer Evades with Maquis •  SOE Heroine Nancy Wake •  Fane: Motor Racing PRU Legend
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', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. 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.
Click any image to enlarge it

Click to add your info via ticket on Helpdesk •Click to let us know via ticket on Helpdesk• Click to buy research books from Amazon •Click to explore the entire site
If you would like to comment on this page, please do so via our Helpdesk. Use the Submit a Ticket option to send your comments. After review, our Editors will publish your comment below with your first name, but not your email address.

A word from the Editor: your contribution is important. We welcome your comments and information. Thanks in advance.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember them. - Laurence Binyon
All site material (except as noted elsewhere) is owned or managed by Aircrew Remembered and should not be used without prior permission.
© Aircrew Remembered 2012 - 2024
Last Modified: 16 June 2021, 12:37

Monitor Additions/Changes?Click to be informed of changes to this page. Create account for first monitor only, thereafter very fast. Click to close without creating monitor