Spitfire Mk VII MD131

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by archivist, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. archivist

    archivist Well-Known Member

    This aircraft, piloted by F/Sgt Ernest John Tanner, of 131 Squadron was involved in an incident and was either shot down or badly damaged near Jersey on 21st June 1944. Does anyone have any more details please.
  2. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

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  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    I dont know if this is him but

    Great Britain, Royal Aero Club Aviators’ Certificates, 1910-1950
    Name: Ernest John Tanner
    Birth Date: 9 Dec 1922
    Birth Location: Mitcham, Surrey

    England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007
    Name: Ernest John Tanner
    Death Age: 81
    Birth Date: 9 Dec 1922
    Registration Date: Sep 2004
    Registration district: east Surrey
    Inferred County: Surrey
    Register Number: ESB7
    District and Subdistrict: 755/1B

    Obviously this would mean he survived the 'crash' was probably taken prisoner by the Germans on the CI's and had to wait until 1945 for release. It would be extremely difficult for the Germans to ship him off the islands to a main camp somewhere in Germany. I do not know of any records held that might show him being held as a POW, except perhaps his service records, or some files on CI's. This would account for him not showing up on the CWGC register.


    Now Ancestry has updated itself I can access the records so:
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
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  4. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    The 131 Squadron website actually states that MD131 was hit by flak and caught fire during a belly landing. Tanner OK, so presumably he made it back to base and therefore not a PoW.
    Spitfire MD131 - Airframe Details - Aviation Directory
    I thought the Mk VII was a specialised high altitude pressurised version, but the 131 site seems to indicate they were happy to mix it at low level too.

    EDIT: 1939 Register has him as son of Charles E and Amelia J Tanner, several siblings at Spencer Road, Mitcham. Father was skilled GPO and Ernest was apprentice telephone wireman.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
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  5. archivist

    archivist Well-Known Member

    Thanks to all who replied. This information is for his widow who is still alive and 91 years old. She will be very happy with that

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  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    So I wonder why the web site shows this :

    Spitfire MD131 - Airframe Details - Aviation Directory
    Tanner, E J
    Click the name above to see a profile of Tanner, E J
    21 / 6 / 1944 Died : 21 / 6 / 1944

    Archivist - can you find out from his wife if he made it back to the UK or crash landed in the Channel Islands, which you suggest in post #1

    Might be worth contacting the web site and asking them to correct their details

  7. archivist

    archivist Well-Known Member

    TD this is obviously rubbish - if you look carefully it says on the left that he died on 21/6/1944 and on the right it says he crashed on that day and "He was unharmed" !!! In reality, this site is only there to sell prints so it is doubtful whether they are bothered about what they say. Now for the truth! He was with another Spitfire that day and he was hit by flak so the other pilot shepherded him back to England and he crash landed near Salcombe, Devon. He was unhurt but the plane was written off after catching fire on landing. So there was no crash on Jersey - actually he was shot down 30 miles away near Guernsey. He did not get picked up by a French fisherman and he did not escape!. He lived to be just short of 82 and died peacefully in 2004
    E J TANNER.png
  8. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    You seem to be asking for information which you already possess, so why state "he was either shot down" when you knew the full story.
    This isn't the first time you've asked for our help when you knew far more than you revealed in your initial post.
    Why don't you purchase the ORB from Kew?

    You're alienating us from wanting to help.
  9. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    No 131 Squadron was allocated to a new air arm, designated the ADGB,(No 10 Group) in late 1943 when Fighter Command was restructured to form a home defence arm in the form of the ADGB and the 2nd TAF in preparation for the invasion of Europe.

    No 131 Squadron was based at Culmhead (Church Stanton) south of Taunton for 3 months in the summer of 1944.In November 1944 it was posted to the FEAF....active from February 1945,it was disbanded on 10 June 1945 but immediately renumbered as No 134 Squadron,relocating to Kuala Lumpur on the fall of Japan and disbanded there on 31 December 1945.

    Spitfire MD 131 is recorded as being hit by flak over St Peters Port Guernsey when on a shipping reconnaissance sortie....returning to base, it crash landed landed.....the location given in Post #7 of Salcombe looks like a diversion heading to RAF Bolt Head, a Fighter Command airfield on the southern outskirts of Salcombe......a belly landing suggests the undercart may have been damaged.The aircraft caught fire and was SOC the following month.
  10. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    I have to agree with Kevin, in that it certainly appears that you already knew the answers to your questions in post no 1 which you have expressed in post no 7

    Can you explain?

  11. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Please as stated before why don't you give the full info we chased our tails on another thread.
  12. archivist

    archivist Well-Known Member

    The information I gave in post no 1 was all I had at the time. The full story came to light when someone sent me a copy of the ORB in response to an enquiry I made elsewhere and I only received that information about an hour before I made post no 7. However, I apologise if I have offended anyone and thank you for your help.
  13. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    you havent offended its just the same thing happened in your last query thread.
    it just gets very cloak and dagger
    If you had said this information has just come to light then job done but you post looks like you already had the info.

  14. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    OK, provide the link to where you made this enquiry elsewhere......
  15. archivist

    archivist Well-Known Member

    My pleasure. If you are a member you can find it on this facebook page: Wartime Army/Navy/RAF Family Research Group
    The attached screenshot is the relevant part and I have also enlarged the bit that is clearly taken from the Squadron ORB Untitled7.png Untitled8.png
  16. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    Thanks for clearing that up.

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