Posted 6 years ago
These are the fuses from "Screwball" Beurlings spitfire P7913, he was recognized as "Canada's most famous hero of Second World War", as "The Falcon of Malta" and the "Knight of Malta", having shot down 27 Axis aircraft in just 14 days over the besieged Mediterranean island. (History shows that as an Instructor returning to England, Beurling was posted as a gunnery instructor to 61 OTU. On 27 May 1943, he was posted to the Central Gunnery School. On 8 June, he was accidentally shot at during a mock dogfight, bailing out of Spitfire II P7913 as the engine caught fire.)
Sorry history, but that is wrong. My dad was the gunnery instructor on that occasion, and was in the astrodome of a Wellington bomber, advising the gunnery students on how to fire at attacking aircraft. Beurling was the mock attacking spitfire pilot. My dad says that as the spitfire came in for a mock attack, inverted, a stream of fluid suddenly poured out from the engine, probably glycol, my dad watched as Beurling bailed out. This aircraft was later recovered by the Fenland Aviation Museum. My dad wrote to them explaining how he had witnessed this bailout. As a thank you, the museum mounted the recovered fuses and sent them to him, still intact after going straight into the ground !! The notes are in my dads log book, he served in the RAF from 1940 to 1974.