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The Airmen's Stories - F/O P E G Carter

 

Peter Edward George Carter was born on 4th May 1919 in Croydon and attended John Fisher School in Purley.

He joined the RAF on a short service commission and began his flying training in October 1938.

Carter was initially posted to 605 Squadron at Wick. He joined 73 Squadron in France on 21st May 1940.

Carter was shot down on 24th May in Hurricane P3274 after combat with Me110s of V.(Z)/LG1 south-west of Amiens. The Hurricane, TP*K, was a write-off.

His subsequent report stated:

.....two of his bullets pierced the radiator and the cockpit was filled with steam and glycol. I half rolled and went down into a dive which was not followed. I eased out of the dive and opened the hood. Being over enemy territory I headed south judging the direction by the sun, as I could not see the compass, for about 5 minutes, by this time the cockpit was almost unbearable although the engine was still running fairly well.

I decided to land at Elincourt. On landing, the aircraft nosed over and tipped over onto its back after running 50 yards. My forehead, eyes, nose, ears and mouth were under the ground and I was in danger of suffocation. I fought clear, freed myself and and shouted in French for help. Meanwhile glycol was dripping from the engine and radiator and being absorbed in my clothing.

I was taken out by French labourers in a nearby field. I spent the night at the General Headquarters of the French VII Army and proceeded to Paris on 25th May in an army car. I reported to the Air Attache in Paris and proceeded to Gaye on 26th May, reporting for duty at 16.40 hours.

The squadron was withdrawn to Church Fenton on 18th June. He claimed two Ju88s destroyed on 15th August.

 

 

 

Carter was attached to 302 (Polish) Squadron at Leconfield on 24th August.

 

At 302 Squadron L to R: Carter, P/O ZTA Wroblewski, F/Lt. JA Thomson.

Above image courtesy of Brian Gates.

 

He was a member of a squadron patrol on 18th October 1940. The patrol became lost in fog over the Surrey Hills. The patrol leader caught a glimpse of Kempton Park racecourse and ordered his pilots to make forced-landings.

Carter was one of two pilots killed in the attempt, when he tried to bale out at 50 feet. His Hurricane, P3931, crashed on the racecourse.

This account comes from Brenda Telander who was 10 years old at the time:

I was sent on an errand by my mother to collect one pound of sausages which she had ordered in advance from the butchers. Instead of returning via Manor Lane, I decided to go via French Street instead. I turned left in to Staines Road and was walking towards White Lodge Garage. On the corner was a café and as I continued walking there was a very loud explosion. The first plane came down very fast and blew up on impact setting the fence and trees alight. Then a second plane came and was breaking up, bits seemed to fall in the field near by, and as I stood there a pilot fell from the sky landing about 25 -30 feet in front of me. There was no movement but his parachute had been deployed as it came down over his body.

I was so shocked at what I had seen I was rooted to the spot.

Then bullets started to explode and were firing in all directions. A Warden then picked me up to remove me from the danger. Once he put me down I ran home the way I should have gone via Manor Lane.

When I got home I told my mother what I had seen. She scolded me for not coming back the way I should have. When she saw the sausages she noticed that my fingers had pierced the skin of two of them from the shock of what I had seen.

She said 'Those two will be for you for tomorrow nights dinner' . I was 10 years old in 1940.

 

*************

 

Carter was 21 and is buried in Queen's Road Cemetery, Croydon in the grave of his mother's family.

 

 

 

Below: the incident is commemorated on a plaque at Kempton Park racecourse.

 

 

June 2021 - An autobiography 'Peter - One of the Forgotten Few' has been published by Brian Gates.

[email protected]

ISBN 978-1-8381732-0-3

 


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