These things happen...

Thursday, 22nd February 1940 D173

A Heinkel He 111P was forced to land, with smoke streaming from its port engine, at East Coldingham near St Abbs Head, Berwickshire at 12.30. The enemy aircraft landed in a field in a very remote spot, and as Sq Ldr Farquhar (whose kill it was) wanted the authorities to examine the Heinkel, he decided to land his Spitfire beside it, to prevent the Germans from destroying their plane, he landed his plane alongside at high speed, the bombers crew looked on in disbelief as it trundled on down the hill and cartwheeled into a bog. They first hauled out their injured rear gunner and set fire to their plane, then ran down the hill to rescue the gallant Squadron Leader, who was suspended upside down by his safety harness, the bomber's crew all took part in this rescue.

By then, the Heinkel was well alight so they all rushed up the hill (Sq Ldr Farquhar included) to pull the German rear gunner further from the flames. The comedy of errors was not quite over, the LDV arrived on the scene over the crest of a nearby hill and because they hadn't seen the Spitfire at the bottom of the hill, assumed that the Squadron Leader was part of the Heinkel's crew, so they arrested him too. It was only when he produced an OHMS envelope bearing his latest income tax demand that they transferred him to the side of the 'goodies'. One of the Heinkel's crew, Fw Sprigarth, was mentioned in Parliament for his part in the rescue.

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I can imagine the scene in the Wing Co's office when the Spitfire pilot got back:

"You silly Farquhar! This'll be all over the internet in 80 years time!"

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