Supermarine Spitfire Mk. I
P/O Crelin “Bogle” Bodie
No. 66 Squadron RAF
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No. 66 Squadron was one of the first units to receive the Spitfire already in 1938. It joined combat action in May 1940 over Dunkirk and and remained in the south-east throughout the Battle of Britain. This Spitfire Mk I ser. no X4321 was flown by the Battle of Britain ace P/O Crelin Arthur Walford Bodie.
Operating from Kenley on 5 September 1940, Bodie was engaged in combat with Bf 109Es. Bodie’s aircraft was severely damaged and was forced to belly-land. He succeeded in putting down X4321 to a well-executed belly landing in the vicinity of Barnhurst Lane, Hawkinge. The pilot escaped injury.
After repair, the aircraft went to No. 303 (Polish) Squadron during their conversion from Hurricanes to Spitfires in December 1940. It stayed with that unit for three months. Transferred to NO. 58 OTU by the end of February 1941, it ended its career a month later, crashing into the waters of Loch Lomand.
Bodie experienced another close shave on 5 October 1940. Flying another Spitfire, he encountered a Bf 109 over Tenterden in head-to-head confrontation. A well-aimed salvo shattered the armoured windscreen of his Spitfire, but once again the pilot escaped unscathed.
On 20 December, 1940 P/O Bodie and Flt/Lt George Christie of No. 66 Squadron made the first Mosquito (later known as Rhubarb) Spitfire sortie over France, attacking an airfield and strafing ground targets. They met no aerial opposition.
Unfortunately, Bodie didn’t survive the war. On February 24th 1942, aged 21 years., he found his death in a flying accident. He was officially credited with 7 aerial victories.