More from Dean
This is a letter we had on file at 403 Squadron, after the war. This is about Abbotts, and how his plane came down. You will get a sense of what happened, after reading the letter. I still have the tie pin (Indian sword) mentioned in this letter. I made a mistake in my earlier post, about a piece of the propellor – it was actually the tie pin which I was presented, when I commanded 403 Squadron from 2000 to 2002.
Hillegom, June 24, 1945
Herewith I let you know that I would be very pleased to come into conversation with a Canadian pilot who landed on one of our Bulbfields in Hillegom, Holland on the 29th of July, 1943.
It happened in the morning on a beautiful day, probably during an air raid on the aerodrome of Schipol by a couple of RAF twin engined bombers escorted by fighter planes (Spitfires). The weather was beautiful, but the sky was dampy (fog) so we could not clearly count the bombers and the fighters we just only could hear.
Suddenly however a plane came down circling around with its engine heavy smoking. We noticed at once when it came out of the damp that it was a British fighter. The lower it came the more scared we got because we didn’t know where it should come down, because of its circling around. You should have seen the workers in the fields, they were also running a circle. When the plane came lower we saw the pilot was hanging besides the plane near the tail. His parachute was hooked on the little radio mast, behind the aviator’s seat. He was a lucky fellow, because the plane came on the ground all by itself with not too much speed, after flying over the roof of a little house with it missing it by a few inches. The aviator was dirty and black from sand and mud, and injured not severely. I asked what he was, and he said a ‘Canadian’. Then I had to shut my dirty mouth, so as the German soldiers said to me, which showed up by that time. I stole the plane’s propeller (it was a wooden one) and probably the aviator, which is now of course out of prison camp might like to have it as a souvenir of that plane which did his duty so wonderful to save his life by landing so beautifully all by itself. The plane’s number was KH-H49. BS 509 Spitfire.
Please be so kind and let me have the pilot’s name and address or you might tell him about this letter so we could come into connection with each other, and he can have the propeller if he wants it as a remembrance. Another man found a beautiful tie pin near the plane, which might be from the pilot. It has the form of an Indian Sword (Klewang). The man still got it, and don’t know if he likes to keep it. I think he will, but it is the property of that aviator probably, and it might be a very worthing remembrance tie pin which he would like to have back (from his mother, father, or girl or wife).
I hope you will do all you can to find out the aviator’s name, so we can come in touch with each other.
Thanking you for taking notice of this letter.
Very truly yours,
Ambachstraat, 29, Hillegan, Holland
Forgive my poor English writing. Hope you understand it.
20 Lincoln’s Inn Fields,
London, W.C. 2
27 August, 1945