On the 30th September 1940 a mid-air collision occurred while flying during a routine patrol between two Hurricanes from 238 squadron RAF Middle Wallop. L1702 flown by Pilot Officer Robert ‘Bob’ Austin Kings and N2474 flown by Pilot Officer Vernon Churchill Simmonds, both Pilots baled out safely although P/o Kings was injured in a heavy landing due to his parachute being damaged by getting ripped on the tail of his aircraft. The engine was recovered from a depth of approximately 18 to 20 feet from where it fell at East Knoyle, Wiltshire, by John Congram on the 23rd September 1984 and then donated to the Aspinell brothers in May 1988.
The Hawker Hurricane MkI from L1702 one of the first 600 off the production line and was the first of these aircraft to have the Merlin III engine fitted into it and is on permanent loan to our Trust by Derek and Rod Aspinell.
The engine was manhandled into what will become the Battle of Britain room in the RAF Hornchurch Heritage Centre, we are now awaiting a display stand to be made for the engine. A big thanks goes out to all dedicated volunteers that gave up their time to make this happen.