Originally Posted by strahljaeger
I was looking for information about some aircraft crashes. With a few men I work on the historical aviation history of my region (north of the Ruhr district, Germany). We have a large number of Germans and Allied aircraft crashes at the time of the WWII.
One of these crashes was the Spitfire Mk. XVI, SM312. On 25.03.1945 the fighter was on patrol in the area Dorsten – Bocholt, Germany. The aircraft crashlanded (after hit by flak) with pilot Fg.Off. Frederick Burdette Gillis near Dorsten. Gillis must have crashed in the battle area. Dorsten capitulated on 28-29. March 1945. During 25.-26.03.1945 Gillis moved back to allied troops. This troops moved from the airborne landing operation zone / crossing the river Rhein near Wesel to the east direction. Gillis returned on 27.03.1945 to the squadron.
Is there perhaps more information?
I search Gillis take-off time (I think from airfield B.90 Petit Brogel / Kleine Brogel) and the exact crash location of the Spitfir. Walter N. Dove (403 Sqd) wrote in his logbook: “F/L Gillis shot down by flak. Landed among our Paratroopers.” Some other books wrote only “near Dorsten”. The distance from the landing ground "Operation Varsity" north of Hamminkeln and the location “north of Dorsten” is about 15 Miles.
Perhaps also information from the salvage of the Spitfire? The aircraft was taken over by the 410 Repair and Salvage Unit (RSU) on 29.03.1945.
I would be very happy about some new informations. Last I would like to apologize for my bad English. I work with a translation program.
I'm not quite sure "what" new information you are looking for? Do you want information on F/L Gillis or information on the aircraft itself. You seem to uncovered a lot, and I'm not sure what we could add. Of course a great source of info is the Operational Records of the Squadron, which are available on line at the British National Archives (at a cost) and the military records of F/L Gillis at Library and Archives Canada (at a cost) IF he has passed away for more than 20 years.
I'll check to see if I can find if he has passed away