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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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234 Squadron Crest
15.08.1940 No. 234 Squadron Spitfire I R6988 P/O. Cecil H. Hight

Operation: Interception

Date: 15th August 1940 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 234 Squadron

Type: Spitfire I

Serial: R6988

Code: AZ-?

Base: RAF Middle Wallop, Hampshire (10 Group)

Location: Leven Road, Bournemouth

Pilot: P/O. Cecil Henry Hight 41924 RAF Age 22. Killed


A huge raid made up of some 70 Luftwaffe bombers escorted by over 150 fighters were spotted making their way towards Portland in Dorset late in the afternoon. 234 were scrambled as well as other fighter squadrons.

At around 18:00 hrs his Spitfire was hit whilst over the Bournemouth area. It seems that he piloted his aircraft away from the populated area os the town and headed towards Metric Park. He then baled out but too low and his parachute failed to deploy. His body was found in the grounds of Hambledon on Leven Avenue with the Spitfire coming down just 50 yards away at the junction of Leven Avenue and Walsford Road.

The owners of the ground at Hambledon, Edith and Alfred Hoare created a garden of remembrance to the pilot. Just 3 months later on the 14th November 1940 the house was bombed, both were buried in in the rubble, Edith survived but Alfred died the following day.

On the 15th August 2015 a memorial stone was placed at the crash site and the local council named a road in West Howe Pilot Cecil Hight with an image of a Spitfire.

The squadron suffered 4 casualties during this operation, the others:

P/O. Richard Hardy 41921 RAF flying Spitfire I N3277 AZ-H force landed in France and taken PoW. Survived the war, passed away in September 1977.

P/O. Vincent Parker 42356 RAF flying Spitfire I R6985 shot down and taken PoW. Survived the war as a PoW, but sadly killed on the 29th January 1946.

Sgt. Zygmunt Klein 780685 PAF flying Spitfire I P9363 hit and crashed at Twyford - survived. Missing over the English Channel on the 28th November 1940 whilst with 152 Squadron.

Burial details:

P/O. Cecil Henry Hight. Bournemouth East Cemetery. Row S.1. Grave 144. Born on the 06th September 1917 at Taranaki, New Zealand, the son of Herbert Edward Hight and of Emma Hight (née Anderson), of Stratford, Taranaki, New Zealand. Thought to have completed 68 operational sorties. Grave inscription reads: "I Love Them That Love Me And Those That Seek Me Early Shall Find Me".

Zygmunt Klein Archive Report

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:

KTY - 31.12.2017

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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.
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