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Hawker Hurricane Mk I (Wreck)

Serial No: P3175
Period: WWII
Reference: 79/A/1722-23
Museum: London
Location: External Display
On Display: No

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This is one of three recovered wrecks displayed at Hendon, along with a Gladiator and Halifax from Norway. This Hurricane, however, came from an English beach.

It was built by the Gloster Aircraft Company Ltd and taken on charge by the RAF in June 1940, joining No.257 Squadron based at RAF Northolt for the defence of London on 9 August 1940 when the Battle of Britain was well underway. Four days later, whilst being flown by Flying Officer Mitchell, P2617 claimed a Ju88 probably destroyed south of Tangmere. Other sorties included convoy cover patrols in the Portsmouth area.

On 15 August 1940 the Squadron moved to Debden, from where Pilot Officer Gerard Maffett claimed a Dornier 215 damaged whist flying P3175 on 18 August, moving to Martlesham Heath the next day. Numerous convoy patrols continued.

On 31 August 1940 P/O Maffett took off as part of a nine-aircraft scramble from RAF Martlesham Heath; they attacked a formation of about 50 Me 110s escorting Do17 bombers over Clacton; P3175 was shot down; P/O Maffett bailed out at low level but was killed when his parachute failed to open. The wreck lay in a marshy coastal inlet near Harwich until recovered in April 1973, moving to RAF Hendon in 1977 and being displayed in the Battle of Britain Hall from its opening in November 1978.



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