Incident Hawker Hurricane Mk 1 P2543,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 225896
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Date:Tuesday 26 March 1940
Type:Silhouette image of generic HURI model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Hawker Hurricane Mk 1
Owner/operator:73 Sqn RAF
Registration: P2543
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Ritzing, 23 km from Thionville, Moselle 57 -   France
Phase: Combat
Departure airport:Rouvres, France
Destination airport:
Hawker Hurricane Mk.1 P2543 ("P", named "Paddy III") of 73 Squadorn, RAF: Written off (destroyed in combat) 26 March 1940. Shot down by a Bf 109 piloted by Werner Molders of Luftwaffe 3./JG 53 over Merzig. (The official Air Ministry file on this incident states: "Flying Officer E J Kain: injured; Hurricane P2543 hit by cannon shell; aircraft abandoned at Ritzing, France; 26 March 1940").

Combat took place over Saarbrücken-Merzig, Merzig-Wadern, in Saarland, about 4 km from the France-German border. Damage sustained to Hurricane P2543: hood ripped off and engine caught fire. Pilot, leading Green Section of 73 Squadron (call sign Green 1) bailed out and survived, and descended by parachute, landing at Evendorf. The Hurricane came down at Ritzing, 23 km from Thionville, Moselle, France.

Crew: Flying Officer Edgar James "Cobber" Kain RNZAF (Service Number 39543); as stated above, bailed out by parachute, and survived. His two confirmed victories in the engagement on this day made him the first Hurricane pilot to become an "ace", with five confirmed victories.

Kain destroyed two Bf 109s of JG 53 during the combat, but then with his own engine on fire he bailed out, with shell splinters to his left leg, a bullet-grazed left hand and burns to the face. Kain went on leave to England on 2 April 1940, probably to recover from his injuries. He was back in action on April 23. (He was killed in action flying Hurricane L1826 on 7 June 1940)


1. Royal Air Force Aircraft P1000-P9999 (James J. Halley, Air Britain, 1978 p 15)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/104:


Hawker Hurricane P2543 "P" (named "Paddy III") at Rouvres, France in early 1940; the lack of a visible serial number is probably the work of a Wartime censor: ROYAL AIR FORCE: FRANCE, 1939-1940. ROYAL AIR FORCE: FRANCE, 1939-1940. © IWM (C 1147)

Revision history:

06-Jun-2019 21:37 Dr. John Smith Added
08-Jun-2019 10:38 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]
09-Jun-2019 20:21 Dr. John Smith Updated [Total fatalities]

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