Redding man remembers Spitfire crash like it was yesterday

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Last week’s column by our resident historian Ian Scott about the Spitfire training exercises during World War Two stirred up memories for James Ward, who was just a boy at the time.

James, now 78, was nine when he witnessed the crash which killed brave Polish pilot Eugeniusz Lukomski, whose Spitfire went down in the Braes on November 24, 1941.

James said: “I remember it like it was yesterday. Me and my pals were all up at the park at Spinkhill flying our kites when it happened.

“It came down about 500 yards away from Grandsable Cemetery. The story at the time was that one was coming in to land while the other had just taken off and one clipped the other’s tail.

“We ran down Westquarter Avenue to get closer and there was a big crowd. It’s something that stands out to this day.”