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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 136912
Last updated: 17 January 2022
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Type:Silhouette image of generic bttl model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Fairey Battle Mk I
Owner/operator:103 Squadron Royal Air Force (103 Sqn RAF)
Registration: K9271
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:1
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Rohrbach, near the Maginot Line -   France
Phase: Combat
Departure airport:Challerange, Ardennes, France
Destination airport:
Fairey Battle K9271 of 103 Squadron, RAF claimed the first-ever RAF "kill" in combat on 27 September 1939. The victim was a Messerschmitt Bf109D-1 from JGr. 152. It was shot down by return fire during an attack on three No. 103 Squadron Battles by four Bf109D-1s from JGr. 152 West of Hornbach and crashed near Bockweiler, at 12:30 hours. Gefreiter or Obergefreiter (sources differ on his rank) Josef Scherm was killed, the aircraft was a write off.

The victor was Leading Aircraftman (LAC) John Ernest Summers in Flying Officer A.L. Vipanís Battle K9271. Bf 109s had attacked just as the Battles had completed their mission to take oblique photographs along the Siegfried Line and turned for home. LAC Summers had held his fire until the Bf 109 attacking his Battle had closed right in before giving it a burst from his Vickers GO gun, whereupon the 109 had fallen into a wood. For this feat, LAC Summers was later awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal.

An hour later, however, K9271 was first attacked by French Curtiss H-75s then severely damaged by Bf109s of JGr.152 during photo-reconnaissance over the frontier between Bouzonville and the Rhine. Due to the damage it sustained, it forced-landed on one wheel near Rohrbach at 13:40 hours. Flying Officer A. L. Vipan unhurt. Sergeant J.H. Vickers critically injured; died of wounds 5.10.39. AC.1 J. E. Summers unhurt. Aircraft K9271 "PM-G" of 103 Squadron was a write-off.


1. Royal Air Force Aircraft K1000-K9999 (James J. Halley, Air Britain 1976 p 76)
2. The Battle File, Sidney Shail, Air Britain, 1997 p 132
3. National Archives (PRO Kew) AIR 81/18:

Revision history:

27-Jun-2011 02:05 ThW Added
10-Nov-2014 15:39 Zoom M. Updated [Time, Operator, Narrative]
10-Jan-2015 00:30 Dr. John Smith Updated [Other fatalities, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
01-Jun-2019 20:41 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
13-Feb-2021 21:13 Anon. Updated [Aircraft type, Operator]

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