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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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RAF Fighter Command Crest
17.12.1943 No. 287 Squadron Spitfire Vb AD315 Fl/Sgt. Peter Yorke Morris

Operation: Cross country flight.

Date: 17th December 1943(Friday)

Unit: No. 287 Squadron (Ford)

Type: Spitfire Vb

Serial: AD315

Code: Not known.

Location: Green Hailey, near Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire.

Pilot: Fl/Sgt Peter Yorke Morris 1322304 RAF(VR) Age 21. Killed.


Fl/Sgt Morris with Spitfire AD315 whilst on I.A.Z course from Ford crashed into a hill at 800 feet at Green Hailey, near Princes Risborough, Bucks in fog at 15.45 hours. The pilot was killed instantly and the aircraft completely wrecked. 


Records show that Spitfire AD315 was previously test flown with Rolf Pingle's Me 109F for speed trials. Me 109F and Spitfire VB (AD.315) flew together to 19,000 ft. for comparative speed trials. 

At 18,880 ft., the Me 109F was about 21 mph. faster than the Spitfire with a true speed computing to 362 mph. which agrees with Farnborough's figures. The Spitfire however, was only giving a true 341 mph. with emergency boost of only 8 1/2 lbs, which does not seems enough.

Above: Me109 and Rolf Pingle

At 15,000 ft. the Me 109's engine was vibrating at full power and it was not possible to find its superiority in speed, but the Spitfire was giving 350 mph. true (this agrees with Boscome) at plus 13 emergency boost.

The Me 109 computed to 345 at this height, which agrees with Farnborough again. Weather not being fit for high altitude work, the Me 109F then did a comparative speed run against the Spitfire VB at 1,000 ft. The Spitfire's maximum level speed at 1,000 ft. computes to 292 mph and the Me 109 was about 10 to 15 mph faster, but it was not possible to judge the difference in speed more accurately, as the weather was very bumpy.

Note: Built at Castle Bromwich Factory and powered by the Merlin 45 engine.

Brookwood Military Cemetery, Woking

Right: Grave of Fl/Sgt. Morris (courtesy Ian McLauchlan - place mouse over image)

Burial detail:

Fl/Sgt Peter Yorke Morris. Brookwood Military Cemetery, Woking, Surrey. Grave: 21.C.20. Son of Ernest M. Morris and Hepzibah L. Morris, of Chiswick, Middlesex, England. 

Information thanks to 287 Squadron ORB (Operational Record Book). Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses' Vol. 1-3, Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

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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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