The Museum was happy to receive an interesting item from Mr Alan Wooler of Abbey Wood in Kent and his grandson who visited the Museum on Sunday 20th April 2008. Mr Wooler kindly donated a wooden plaque on which was fixed a relic from a Spitfire that crashed during the height of the Battle of Britain. Interestingly the relic has a well crafted little metal Spitfire attached to it.
The relic which could possibly be a piece of Merlin engine casing, originally came from the crash site of the Spitfire flown by 22 years old Flying Officer Oswald St.John Pigg who was shot down and killed on Sunday 1st September 1940.
Oswald Pigg was born in 1918 and joined the RAF in early 1937, and after flying training was posted to No.72 Squadron and was still serving with the Squadron at the time of Dunkirk when he claimed a Junkers Ju87 ‘Stuka’ shot down. His Spitfire however was hit by return fire from another ‘Stuka’ and he crash-landed at Gravesend in Kent with a slight wound to one of his legs.
During the Battle of Britain whilst No.72 Squadron was based at Acklington in Northumberland, Flying Officer Pigg claimed a Messerschmitt Me110 destroyed off the East Coast near Newcastle when Luftflotte Five based in Norway carried out its one and only large scale daylight attack against England.
At the end of August 1940, No.72 Squadron were posted to the Biggin Hill Sector. During a late morning patrol on the first day of September, a Messerschmitt Me109E attacked and shot down Flying Officer Pigg who was at the controls of Spitfire MkIa serial P9458 which crashed at Elvey Farm, Pluckley near Ashford in Kent. He is buried at St.Oswald’s Burial Ground in Durham.
The Shoreham Aircraft Museum is grateful to Mr Wooler for handing on this fragment of history, which allows us to remember another brave sacrifice by a Battle of Britain pilot.