Crashed fighter aircraft near Lyons La Forêt or in the forest of Lyons

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Oldleg, Dec 4, 2015.

  1. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    I recently heard of a story of a British fighter pilot crashing in the area of Lyons La Forêt and I was wondering if one out there can help embellish the little information that I have. I unfortunately don't know either the date, the type of aircraft, the squadron or the pilot's name. All I know is that it deffinately did happen as several people have spoken to me about it. It may have beenn involved in a dogfight as that is what some have said. Any info on the plane, the pilot and squadron would be wlecome. The location is already known.
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Not even a year it happened?
    With very little info to go on the members are going to struggle with that one.
  3. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    No, although there is someone that I could speak to that lives around here. They may be able to give me a year, but that is about it I think.
  4. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    I know I keep throwing these quetions out with not much information to go on but it is hard to find anything here. THis is a small village in the middle of nowhere and most witnesses are either dead or moved out. It wouldn't be so bad if I had better access to the archives at Kew but I m bit far.
  5. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    You need to be making a search for all aircraft crashes in the Eure Department in which Lyons la Foret stands....beautiful Normand village.

    As I see it there are memorials to two Lancasters ME 614 and ND 533 which crashed in the Foret and which arcs the village to the south.The FC loss may not have a memorial of course.

    It is not an impossible task to ascertain the detail of the crash but it will be time comsuming to interrogate such records as Norman Franks Fighter Command Losses Volumes1,2 and 3. The period could cover the pre D Day fighter sweeps or those associated with the operation itself.Also is there a possibility the incident occurred in the early stages of the war.

    The question to ask of those available to consult is....did the incident occur before the invasion of Normandy or after?
  6. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    Not forgetting - The 2nd Tactical Air Force. As Harry says, depending on the period.
  7. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Peter, Thanks for pointing that out.

    I should have stated that Franks covers FC,ADGB and the 2nd TAF.......FC spawning the ADGB and the 2nd TAF...covers the entire war.......a very good reference indeed.....incidentally, my money would be on the 2nd TAF era
  8. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    Peter, I believe it was well before the D Day landings. I have been given an indication that may have been around 1940 mark. I know that the 10th Huzzars were in the area as they met up General Weygand annd his men. However, I can not confirm the year. I have spoken to ANSA 39/45 (Association Normand des Souvenir Airen or Normandy Association of Aviation Souvenirs) annd they know nothing of it. They are a group of historians who investigate wwII air crashes and then carry out officially lisence archealogical digs. After which finds are donated to museums. i am now trying to find out as much information as I can to pass on to them. There is a house not far from the crash site and I have been trying to arrange to meet the owner to see what they know but have not been able to meet with them. I have heard through someone thaatt knows themm that they have confirmed the story as being true.

    Due to Weygand and his men being here, the Germans did bomb this area quite heavily in fact as a child I used to play in the bomb craters.
  9. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    I forgot to mention that the last few years I have been involved in helping to organise remembrance ceremonies for the crews of ND533 and ME614 and Mosquito HK315.
  10. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    OK, looks like we've narrowed it down to PRE D Day....? Happy with that?
    It could also more likely be 1940, but does the Weygand dating link to the "fighter" crash or simply in conversation?
    Was it just the aircraft or was the pilot/crew killed or captured?
    There were a lot of communications and Army Co Operation aircraft such as Lysanders etc that may also be possibles, not just fighters, so whatever help you can provide, hopefully with these pointers in mind, may help us help you.

    I realise you are enthusiastically researching your locality, but I feel you need to have a few drinking sessions with those who have memories of WW2 events so you can try and fit as much info with facts. In such a small locality, there ought to be records with the Mairie or Gendarmerie as well.
    Your ANSA contact may be able to sift the details for you.

    The bomb craters you mention I assume are from the May 1940 Blitzkreig and not D Day+ Allied bombings?

    Keep on researching, we'll do what we can, accepting that it won't always be possible to come up with a firm conclusion.
  11. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys for helping, sorry that the information is vague. As my knowledge on the RAF is still in it's infancy, can I ask what exactly is 2 TAF? Is that what 2 squadron was orignally called?
  12. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    as already mentioned 2TAF = 2nd Tactical Air Force.
    I'll let you Google it
  13. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member


    Put simply it was a restructuring of RAF fighter resources tn late 1943 to meet the next stage of the road to victory.

    The restructuring was to meet the air defence of the British Isles as before but further and most importantly,to form fighter and fighter bomber preparation for the invasion of Europe The latter's task would be the air support of of the Allied ground forces in the invasion of Europe.Overall the key to success on the ground was the achievement of air superiority wherever the Luftwaffe operated.....the 2nd TAF was the conduit to make this possible.The numerical designation 2nd was immaterial,it could have been designated any number....may have confused the Germans initially but I would think the Germans would have soon recognised the deception.

    Fighter Command then from December 1943 was renamed the ADGB,the Air Defence of Great Britain to distinguish between the two fighter arms of the RAF.The ADGB was eventully renamed Fighter Command from October 1944.

    Following on from the suggestion that the aircraft incident occurred during the Battle of France,the aircraft could have been a Battle or a Blenheim.The RAF had deployed 10 squadrons of Battles to French airfields under the designation of the AASF....the Advanced Air Striking Force....the force was severely mauled as the Battle was no match for the daylight operations of the Luftwaffe......the AASF was written off as the performance of the Battle was inferior aircraft when tested in combat.

    Two squadrons of Blenheims were also deployed as the Air Component,France and returned inadequate performance against the enemy.Along with the Battle,the Blenheim had a very short career as a RAF front line aircraft from its exposure against the Luftwaffe.

    The aircraft loss must have been recorded somewhere.
    Peter Clare likes this.
  14. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    Harry, thank you very much for tour comment on our village. I have been here for 6 years and love it, especially during the summer. I will let you know what I find out when I visit someone who may shed light on the incident either today or during the week.
  15. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    What did a 'Battle' aircraft look like and who built them? I have never heard of that kind of aircraft. This is what I love about my hobby. I am learning fascinating stuff all the time.
  16. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

  17. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    Kevin cheers mate for the info. It looks very vulnerable with such a large canopy.

    I know someone from Battle! The person married a local guy and settled down here.
  18. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    Kevin, your suggestion of a drinking session is a good one as I miss my pub sessions back home in London but alas they are not great drinkers here and besides the cafés are not like our pubs, they don't feel homely etc, more like a daytime cafe experience except a little posher. The other problem is those who have the memories are either moved, gone bonkers or dead! ONe lady I wanted to contact died last week aged 105.

    I have spoken to the chief of the Gendarmerie and he says thay longer keep records. As for the Mairie I will be speaking to someone later this week about that although thier archives probably will not have anything as a lot of documents would have been destroyed.

    As I have been a good boy the wife has decided to treat me to some films made by the British army in 1944 of the liberation of or village for christmas. I am hoping that there may be some images of the aircraft but I have wait until Santa has been. The films were found in the Imperial War Museum's archives. Don't know how long they are but looking forward to watching them over christmas period.

    I mentioned about Weygand because he was here in 1940 I therefore thought their could be a link. His division had their weaponary hidden in the forest which is I thought that there may be a link. Also I have just thought..... I carried out an interview with the an old man who has jjust moved. He was a child durong the war and I believe he did mention about watching a dogfight nearby in 1940. However, he said he thought it was a French plane whilst all the other people speak of a British plane.
  19. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    French Air Force was pretty much decimated by the Luftwaffe too, so you'll need to keep that in mind, in black and white photo's the roundels fin flash would look quite similar, but aircraft types not similar..

    many times you'll find people saying "records destroyed, no longer available etc" when what they really mean is they haven't got time to look....
    If you can find someone willing to dig through dusty old files, they may be willing to admit they do have the records if someone will sort them..... (hint)

    I doubt you've been that good to deserve a wife as generous as yours, but we'll see if Santa has brought you anything!
    You can send me a Personal Message as you'll have to tell me who she is from Battle!
  20. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    I still have not had any response from the lady whose house is in front of the crash site but I have spoken to the first person who told me about the incident and the date she has given me is 1941. I will be going to see the landowner later this week I hope. Looking at an intervie that I recorded with the a gentleman who at the time was a young boy there was dogfight above a place locally known as Les Maisons Blanche (the white houses).

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