Page last updated at 16:58 GMT, Thursday, 27 August 2009 17:58 UK

Plaque for crashed Spitfire pilot

Pilot Officer Albert Hugo Friday
Pilot Officer Albert Hugo Friday was killed in the crash in Herne Bay in 1942

A man who saw a Spitfire plane crash in Herne Bay during World War II has unveiled a plaque to the dead pilot.

Albert Hugo Friday, of 611 Squadron, was killed on 30 August 1942, near to Blacksole Bridge, Beltinge, when his aircraft suffered engine failure.

The 22-year-old RAF pilot had been heading for the airfield at Manston after finishing a sortie.

Wally Mankelow, who was a teenager at the time, said he was keen for Mr Friday to be remembered.

He heard the explosion and watched the plane wreckage come down to earth while he was walking to Sunday school with his sister.

'Intercept German aircraft'

Mr Mankelow said: "My dad was killed in the air force and he's got a memorial up at Oakington [in Cambridgeshire] and I thought it would be nice that we had something for this young man.

"He'd taken off with another pilot to intercept a German aircraft but it was a reconnaissance aircraft and was very, very high. They didn't make it up to them.

"What caused the explosion, we don't know. There's a theory that fumes had built up in the fuel tank and exploded but I don't know if that's right."

The information about Mr Friday and the memorial plaque will now be included in the Herne Bay Cultural Trail.


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