22/23.11.1942 No 316 Squadron / No. 2 O.T.U. Spitfire / Beaufighter Sgt. Orzechowski / Sgt. Patterson
Operation: Night training exercise
Date: 22/23rd November 1942 (Monday)
Unit: No. 316 (Polish) Squadron / 2 O.T.U.
Type: Spitfire Vb / Beaufighter VI
Serial: BL246 / EL394
Code: SZ-A / ?
Base: R.A.F. Hutton Cranswick, Driffield, Yorkshire.
Location: Barmson, East of Driffield, Yorkshire
Pilot: BL246 – Sgt. Tadeusz Orzechowski P-783097 P.A.F. Age 21. Killed
Pilot: EL394 – Sgt. Robert Andrew Patterson R/102077 R.C.A.F. Age 20. Killed (1)
REASON FOR LOSS:
During night training a 2 O.T.U. Beaufighter was practising circuits and landings exercises when the two aircraft collided and crashed in the village of Barmston, killing both crew members.
We understand that a recovery group managed to rescue the Merlin engine from the Spitfire and initial reports were that is is in good condition and possible that it could run once again, although this was in 2007 and no news has surfaced as to this progress.
Course 23 58 O.T.U: Front row: P/O. Bendit, P/O. Banach, F/O. Andersz, Fl/Lt. Ridkosil, F/O. Preihs, P/O. Ciach, P/O. Birtus – Centre row: Sgt. Ziendalski, Sgt. Haczkiewicz, Sgt. Makowski, Sgt. Muszynski, Sgt. Gilis, Sgt. Orzechowski, Sgt. Plenkiewicz – Rear row: Sgt. Bednarz, Sgt. Starzynski, Sgt. Kierski, Sgt. Sztuka, Sgt. Murkowski, Sgt. Kobylinski
Note: The Spitfire was built at the Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory and was fitted with the Merlin 45 engine.
Sgt. Tadeusz Orzechowski. Driffield Cemetery, Yorkshire. Grave 6194. Born 13th September 1921 in Lwów, Poland. N.o.K. details not yet available. He was buried on 26th November at a funeral with full military honours.
Sgt. Robert Andrew Patterson. Brandesburton Churchyard. Grave 23. Son of Walter and Agnes Bernice Patterson, of Mossbank, Saskatchewan, Canada.
(1) Patterson Creek in Saskatchewan has been renamed after Sgt. Robert Andrew Patterson
Researched for relatives of both pilots with thanks to the Grangemouth Air Cadets and the Grangemouth Spitfire Memorial Trust who provided me with so much information and assistance during my visit, Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński – ‘Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945’, Polish Squadron O.R.B. ‘website’.