Spitfire IIa P7904

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Member for

17 years 2 months

Posts: 1

Hello to all -

This is my first post to this forum. It was recommended to my by Mr. Rob Rooker of the 152Hyderabad website.

I've been attempting to track the fate of Spitfire IIa P7904 which was on strength with 152 Squadron before being transferred to 130 Punjab Sqn. on July 26, 1942. The question specifically pertains to a photo posted on the Luftwaffe Experten Message Board of a crash landed Spitfire, (PJ-N of 130 Sqn), which has been identified as P7904:

http://p069.ezboard.com/fluftwaffeexperten71774frm59.showMessageRange?topicID=45.topic&start=1&stop=20

Based on various references, P7904 was apparently shot down over Ijmuiden, Holland on August 21, 1942 and the pilot taken POW. Two variations of the pilot's last name have now surfaced; P/O Henry Webster Pickstone......and P/O Pickthorne.

To muddy the water a bit, I have been in correspondence with a Dutch citizen who has provided information that P7904 was shot down by flak and crashed into the sea off the Dutch coast which implies that PJ-N could not be P7904.

Other references mention that two 130 Sqn. Spitfire Mk IIs were shot down on August 21, 1942. The first being P/O Pickthorne's aircraft at 0725 hours and the second being P/O W.R.Bloyce's aircraft P8370, which was bounced by Me 109s of JG53. Apparently, P/O Bloyce was KIA. P/O Pickthorne was apparently taken prisoner; however his name (neither Pickthorne nor Pickstone) appear on any German prison camp records I've located on the web.

I would appreciate your help in verifying whether the photo of the crash landed Spitfire PJ-N is in fact P7904 or P8370 or a different 130 Sqn. Spitfire altogether. I would also like to know the ultimate fate of P/O Pickthorne (or Pickstone) and of course, his correct last name.

Any information you can provide to help sort this out would be appreciated.

Photos of P7904, P8370 and / or other crash landed Spitfires in occupied Europe which would have fallen into German hands would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Mike

Original post
Profile picture for user black-panther

Member for

17 years 6 months

Posts: 196

Hi Mike, Did you get my last e-mail ? from me Rob 152 Sqn

Come on chaps dont let me down I've told Mike this is best Forum around.

Good Luck Mike.

Cheers Rob
www.152hyderabad.co.uk

Profile picture for user Flood

Member for

18 years 5 months

Posts: 7,755

Hi, and welcome.
You might want to recheck your sources if they are telling you these events happened in 1942...;) 130Sqn apparently went over to Spitfire MkVs in October 1941.
Spitfire The History and Air Britains RAF Aircraft P1000-R9999 both give 1941 as the last known dates (P7904 - noted in both as FTR 21/8/41; P8370 - noted in Spitfire... as SOC 27/8/41).

Flood

Profile picture for user black-panther

Member for

17 years 6 months

Posts: 196

Hi Flood
Sorry thats my mistake your right 1941 not 1942, Just been a bit busy with my event at Duxford for the Battle of Britain Wings Appeal.
I'm glad some of us are on the ball

Cheers
Rob.
www.152hyderabad.co.uk

Profile picture for user allan125

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21 years 10 months

Posts: 374

130 squadron - PJ-N

Hi Mike - I have trawled all the way through FCL vol 1 from the period that 130 was formed until 31 Dec '41 (into the V period) and, apart from Pickthorne/Bloyce on 21 August, can only find one other 130 loss - that being Sgt Cox on 31 December in Vb BL286. I know that FCL is not 100% accurate :rolleyes: , but unless someone has access to 130 squadron's Forms 540/541 we will not get an "official" answer. I can understand Floods piece from STH about P8370 being marked SOC on 27/8/41 - that's probably the date the squadron clerk filled in the card !! For example, my own 125 Wing research, of which 130 was part of in it's XIV period, has found out that 453 RAAF squadron AM78's show they swopped Spit's with 129 squadron on 17 July 1943, but the actual changeover was on 28 June. Similarly when they swopped with 341 (French) squadron on 15 October '43 they were not recorded until 3 November. What we all need to know is how genuine is the comment "...Dutch citizen who has provided information that P7904 was shot down by flak and crashed into the sea off the Dutch coast" - I am not doubting the person making the comment, but what proof have we that it happened to PJ-N? As a person with an interest in 130 (Punjab) squadron I hope an answer, which is out there, surfaces soon. :) cheers - Allan

Member for

1 year 4 months

Posts: 1

Harry Pickstone was shot down over the Dutch coast, I had this confirmed by his sons who live on Salt Spring Island, BC. Canada. I bought Harry and his wife's house on the island in 2007. There was a picture of a Spitfire in the workshop on the wall and when I asked Harry's son's about this they told me that Harry spent most of the war in a German prisoner of war camp. Harry's sons recalled that their father when asked what it was like to fly a Spitfire said something along the lines of: bit like a 19 year old being given the keys to a Ferrari!

Profile picture for user Robert Whitton

Member for

16 years 10 months

Posts: 1,316

Henry Webster Pickstone

Birth19/05/1922 Radcliffe Lancashire England

Residence25/08/1941 Oberursel Hochtaunuskreis Hessen Germany

Marriage11/07/1953 Horsham Sussex England

Death10/03/2004 British Columbia Canada

During the Second World War, many captured American and British airmen passed through Oberursel as they were interrogated and processed into the German POW camp system at the "Durchgangslager der Luftwaffe" or "Transit Camp of the Luftwaffe" located in the town. The camp name was commonly shortened to "Dulag Luft", or simply "Dulag". Almost all allied airmen who were shot down and captured spent some time at that camp before being moved to their permanent assigned "Stalag".

PICKSTONE _ Harry Webster passed away peacefully in his sleep at Lady Minto Extended Care Facility, Salt Spring Island, on March 10, 2004, after a lengthy illness. Born in England on May 19, 1922, Harry was a Spitfire Pilot in the Second World War before being shot down in 1941 and spending the rest of the war as a POW. In 1953 Harry immigrated to Canada with his wife Joyce where he pursued careers in Victoria and Vancouver as an architect, museum curator and town planner. In 1981 he retired to fulfill his dream of living a rural life on Salt Spring Island. Harry is survived by his wife Joyce, his four children; Tim (Elissa), David (Suzanne), Michael (Claudia) and Sarah, along with five grandchildren. He will be terribly missed by us all. His family wishes to express their gratitude to the wonderful staff at Greenwoods and Lady Minto who cared for him so well in the last years of his life. A private memorial will be held at a later date.

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