East Lothian- The True
Spiritual Home of the Spitfire

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How The Battle Of Britain Started With The Battle Of Scotland
The True Spiritual Home of the Spitfire

Luftwaffe pilots dubbed the Firth of Forth ‘suicide corner’ after falling to Scots air aces – eight months ahead of ‘the big one’.

On the afternoon of 16th October 1939 the first Spitfires were in the skies around the Firth of Forth. Intelligence had brought, first, Edinburgh’s 603 squadron “Yellow Section” and soon after,their “Red Section” into contact with a German Junkers JU88 dive bomber, of the Elite 1/KG30 unit.

In the ensuing battle, from Edinburgh’s Colington Hill through Wallyford and Prestonpans, the fighters finally brought down the German plane in waters off Port Seton. So becoming the first hostile aircraft to fall to the might of the Spitfire. A second bomber, KG30’s leader, was brought down just moments later by Glasgow’s 602 Squadron Spitfire likewise into the icy waters of The Firth of Forth, near Crail. To this day, the squadrons argue amiably as to which squadron was the first Spitfire to bring down hostile aircraft. The surviving German crewmen were all rescued by local fishermen. FULL HISTORY


The Coastal Regeneration Forum is a voluntary organisation, dedicated to the maintenance and upgrade of East Lothian’s coastline, both as a civic asset and a public amenity. They are committed to commemorating the events of 16th October 1939 with a permanent memorial, telling of the courage of the pilots and sailors involved and the common humanity in extraordinary circumstances they and locals alike found themselves. The Forum is seeking funds and support for this worthy project.


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