“Bogle” Bodie and his Spitfire Mk. I

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Supermarine Spitfire Mk. I P/O Crelin “Bogle” Bodie No. 66 Squadron RAF Click to enlarge image No. 66 Squadron was one of the first ...

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. I
P/O Crelin “Bogle” Bodie
No. 66 Squadron RAF
Click to enlarge image

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.

6 Comments | Add New

By Mgr. Tomáš Bouzek  |  2011-12-01 at 14:51  |  permalink

Spitfire Mk.IA X4321/LZ-F – 5.9. 1940 Cat 3, 7.9. 1940Heston Aircraft Ltd., 12.9. SOC, cancel 64S 19-12-40 303S 28-2-41 58OTU 20-3-41 struck water crashed Incailloch Island Loch Lomand CE 14-6-42. So, It was destroyed, Struck of Charge and then rebuild. It is new aircraft with the same serial. AIRCRAFT WAS DESTROYED on 5. September 1940.

By John Brown  |  2011-12-01 at 20:19  |  permalink

In theory the identity of a Spitfire belonged to the main fuselage – the principle seems to be that the identity is ‘ owned ‘ by the component that everything else is built on to – and crashed aircraft beyond immediate repair would be passed to the Civilian Repair organisation for repair or recovery of useable components. What seems to have happened in this case is that X4321 was originally classified as a write-off, but on more detailed examination the fuselage ( at least ) was deemed repairable and used as the basis of a rebuilt X4321. ( K9942 at Cosford was built in 1939, but has wings built at Castle Bromwich in 1941, probably as a result of accident repair ) The situation with Spitfires is fairly straightforward, with the exception that some airframes were re-serialed on conversion to a different mark, others were not, it has been suggested that the only original component that could be guaranteed in the case of a repaired Lancaster was the airframe logbook!

By Tomáš Bouzek  |  2011-12-02 at 11:57  |  permalink

Thank You very much, Mr. Brown,

but I have one another question. As you see:

X4321 Ia 1085 EA MIII FF 29-8-40 8MU 30-8-40 66S ‘LZ-F’ 5-9-40 damaged by Bf109 over Norfolk force-landed P/O Bodie safe C3 7-9-40 HAL SOC 12-9-40 cancel 64S 19-12-40 303S 28-2-41 58OTU 20-3-41 struck water crashed Incailloch Island Loch Lomand CE 14-6-42

the aircraft was originally demaged on 7th September 1940. Which date is correct?

It yould be demaged at 12.30 and force landed at Hawkinge.

Was it really on 5th September?

Thank you very much

By Tomáš Bouzek  |  2011-12-02 at 12:18  |  permalink

K9942 Ia 155 EA MII FF 21-4-39 72S 24-4-39 bellylanded on return from patrol Acklington 5-6-40 7OTU 17-8-40 57OTU 17-8-40 FACB 6-2-42 53OTU 10-4-43 RNDA 17-3-44 33MU 6-4-44 82MU 15-5-44 52MU 28-8-44 RAF Museum Hendon as SD-V 8383M flown by F/O JB Nicholson VC extant 1984 [c/n 6S.30225]

But there is nothing about wings fitting in 1941.

By John Brown  |  2011-12-05 at 09:28  |  permalink

If you go to the RAF Museum Cosford site>Warplanes section>Spitfire and click on the full history of K9942 it records that when Medway Aircraft Preservation Society restored K9942’s wings in 1997/98 they found Castle Bromwich works plates, the record suggests that the wings may have been fitted 1942/43. Re-reading the history I’d agree, as no damage to K9942 is recorded in 1941, either a slip of my fingers typing or slip of brain! It’s possible that the wings may have been recycled from a crashed Castle Bromwich built a/c.
Regarding the discrepancy over the date of K9942 being damaged in 1940, my personal view would be to trust the entry in ‘ Spitfire, the history ‘ as the aircraft details are taken from the aircraft record cards, which would normally be written up at the time, whereas squadron diaries were often written up ‘ in arreas ‘ ( they did have more pressing matters to attend to at the time! ) and sometimes contain errors due to relying on memory or mis-reading notes.

By Douglas McCann  |  2012-02-17 at 22:05  |  permalink

Found this site while doing Research on three Swordfishes that crashed near Balloch on 30 Jan 1942, as far as i can tell all crew members died, there are no records to be found of crash site, and also there was a Lancaster crashed into conic hill killing all six of its Canadian crew,all are buried near by. this led me to remember my grandfather telling me about a spitfire crash on the loch, but and i cant confirm…i was allways told the engine block was embedied in the hill of one of the Islands….if that was the case, cant see fusilage beeing salvaged, also a flying jacket was found a while later, did the pilot survive?
Dougie

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