The search for Hurricane P2825 shot down on May 16, 1940 over Hamme Mille

Aircraft wrecks, Interviews, WW2, WW2 Wrecks

By Pierre Kosmidis

Information and photos by Gordon Mackerracher, used by permission


A Hurricane shot down on May 16, 1940 over Hamme Mille in Belgium is under research by Gordon Mackerracher, who is looking for answers 78 years after the RAF fighter crashed in the fields of this Belgian hamlet.

Gordon Mackerracher explains to the information he has gathered thus far: The pilot of this aircraft was commanding officer Patrick Gifford DFC from 3 Hurricane squadron based at Merville, France, who is credited as the first RAF pilot to shoot down an enemy bomber in British airspace during the Second World War, on October 16, 1939.

The picture of Hamme Mille was taken by another aircraft patrolling the area and not necessarily the area that the aircraft was shot down.

Period photo showing the alleged crash site of Gifford's Hurricane
Period photo showing the alleged crash site of Gifford’s Hurricane

It was the the returning pilots who was flying with him that said that he was shot down over Hamme Mille.
We do not know if Patrick survived the crash as his body was never found.
“A German soldier named Willi Rothenburg removed this pilot’s log book from the burning wreckage and sent it to RAF Cologne in 1945 but in the letter he sent, he did not mention a pilot still being in the aircraft when they found it”, Mr. Mackerracher says, adding “If anyone has additional information, we ware kindly asking him to come forward, in order to determine the pilot’s fate”