After 18 months of on and off again progress on these Airfix Hurricane’s, the 249 Squadron build is finally completed. Info on the pilots below:
F/O Percival Ross-Frames “Percy” Burton
6 June 1917- 27 September 1940
Pilot Battle of Britain. Service number 74348. 1 Confirmed air victory
249 Squadron Church Fenton 1940
Hawker Hurricane MK1 V6683 (GN-H)
On the morning of September 27th 1940 the squadron engaged a formation of Me110’s of V/LG1. The Hurricanes broke the Germans’ two defensive circles and the enemy aircraft went south at low level, heading for the Channel. Burton
pursued one of the 110’s for about forty miles, often at little more than treetop height, but the German pilot, the Gruppe Kommandeur of V/LGI, Hauptmann Horst Liensberger, was unable to shake him off.
Just north of Hailsham, Burton’s guns stopped firing (presumably due to being out of ammunition) and the two aircraft skimmed over the rooftops. The Hurricane, V6883, was above and behind the Me110. Burton suddenly banked and made what
appeared to be an attack. Both machines lurched and an object spun away. The tail unit of the110 dropped into a field, followed by the rest of the aircraft. The falling object was the wingtip of Burton’s Hurricane. His aircraft crashed into a huge oak tree on New Barn Farm, throwing its dead pilot clear and burning itself out in a field.
The German crew were buried in Hailsham Cemetery but were exhumed after the war and buried elsewhere. Burton is buried in St Andrew’s churchyard, Tangmere.
Eye-witness reports indicate strongly that he deliberately rammed the Me110. A letter from Fighter Command to the Hailsham ARP Chief said that Burton was to be recommended for a posthumous gallantry award. This could only have been the VC but in fact he only received a Mention in Despatches due to a VC being awarded to the squadron a few weeks earlier.
He was promoted from Pilot Officer to Flying Officer 26/9/40. In 1980 a road on a housing estate near to the site of the crash site was named ‘Burton Walk’ in his memory.
P/O James Reginald Bryan Meaker DFC
19 January 1919- 27 September 1940
Pilot Battle of Britain. Service number 42514. 7 Confirmed air victories
46 Squadron Digby & 249 Squadron Church Fenton 1940
Hawker Hurricane MK1 P5206 (GN-L)
On 24th February 1940 Meaker was posted to 12 Group Pool Aston Down, to convert to Hurricanes. It was around this time he was involved in a mid air collision with another squadron member though both pilots baled out successfully. He joined 46 Squadron at Digby on 31st March. After a short spell on flying duties at 27 MU, Meaker was posted to 263 Squadron at Scapa Flow on 4th May. The squadron’s Gladiators were loaded on to HMS Furious, which sailed for Norway on 14th May. They were unloaded on the 21st and began standing patrols. The squadron was withdrawn on 7th June and Meaker returned to Britain by sea.
Meaker joined 249 Squadron at Leconfield in late June. On 15th August Meaker claimed a Me110 destroyed, on the 24th a Me109, on 2nd September he destroyed a Me110, shared a Do17 and damaged another, on the 6th destroyed two Me109’s and on the 15th he destroyed two Do17’s, shared a probable Do17 and damaged a Me109.
On the morning of 27th September 1940, J.R.B Meaker shared in the destruction of a Me110 in the same engagement that led to the demise of his squadron mate P.R.F Burton. Later that afternoon in a separate engagement while
attacking a group of five JU-88’s on his own, his plane was hit by defensive fire and upon bailing out, his head struck the tail section of his Hurricane P3834 and he fell dead with an unopened parachute.
Meaker is buried in West Dean Cemetery, Sussex. He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 8th October 1940). In 1990 a memorial was placed near the spot where he was killed.