Wreckage of Spitfire recovered in France

Group photo of No. 457 Squadron's pilots at RAF Station Redhill in 1942. William Smith is perhaps one of them. (Australian War Memorial image SUK15004. )

The wreckage of a Spitfire that was shot down in April 1942 was unearthed in Hardifort in Northern France. The remains of the pilot, William James Smith, were found at the crash site.

Smith, a 24 year-old Australian, was flying with No 457 Squadron when he was shot down and killed. The aircraft’s wreckage is rumoured to be sent back to England for display, although some sources indicate its final destination will be the French museum La Coupole.

An attempt to locate the wreck had been carried out seven years ago but had not succeeded.

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