87 Sqn 5.10.39:
Demonstration flight over Lille and district. Sgt Witty flying in sub-flight killed in flying accident at forest of Nieppe when section broke up on return. (Hurricane L1776 written off). Excerpt from letter forwarded to A.M.:- "A squadron formation of four sections each of three aircraft had flown over the anti-aircraft batteries defending Lille, Tourcoing, and Armentierre, at the request of the French O.C. who was commanding these batteries, who was anxious that his gunners could recognize the Hurricane aircraft. On returning to the Aerodrome on a flight that lasted less than an hour, the squadron broke up into four separate sections....The rear flew on for about two miles until the Section Leader had satisfied himself that he was clear of the other sections and he then ordered the section to break up. Sgt. Witty who was flying on his right broke away sharply and steeply to the right, who according to eye-witnesses fast flying speed and spun into the ground at the Forest of Nieppe. Sargeant Witty was killed outright. This accident was thought to be due to an error of judgement on the part of the pilot!"
Any ship can be a minesweeper, once.
ED/BTR Ressurection Project