THAMESIDE AVIATION MUSEUM

HAWKER HURRICANE P3234 TP-E

73 Squadron Debden

7th September 1940

"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few"

 

FLIGHT LIEUTENANT

REGINALD. ERIC. LOVETT. DFC.

Eric joined the R.A.F as a regular officer and posted to No 73 Squadron. At the outbreak of the war he went to France with the Squadron and it was there that he gained the nickname "Unlucky Lovett" this was due to a few unfortunate incident's.

On May 10th 1940 Eric came very near to death when he was shot down in flames in France, Eric trapped in his blazing Hurricane managed to crash land and had to be rescued from the cockpit, by this time his hands were very badly burned and near to useless. After a short spell in a French Hospital, Eric was flown back to England where after further treatment he was able to re-join 73 Squadron, who at that time were resting at Church Fenton.

Thursday September 5th 1940, "73" were posted to Debden Essex, to reinforce the No 11 Group area which had been taking the brunt of the Luftwaffe attacks on the south of England, within four hours of arrival at Debden they were pressed into action with the loss of one pilot, Sgt A.L.McNay, in Hurricane P3224, { some parts in museum} .

"73" also lost further four Hurricane's with the pilots safe..... P3110, P2975, P2815, P2984, landed damaged at Debden, with the pilot safe, and P 3204.

P3110 was excavated by us in 1976  P3204 was being flown by Eric Lovett and this time he baled out unhurt, Coded TP-H.

Two days later on 7th September Eric Lovett was shot down and killed.

His Hurricane P3234 Crashed at Fritze Farm, Stock, Essex, England. at 5pm.

 

 

37543 Flight Lieutenant

REGINALD. ERIC. LOVETT. DFC,

Eric Lovett

73 Sqdn. Royal Air Force who died on Saturday, 7th September 1940. Age 36.

Son of Reginald and Lily Lovett, of Golders Green.

Cemetery: HENDON CEMETERY, Middlesex, United Kingdom

Grave Reference/Panel Number: Sec. J.9. Grave 39576. cwgc

 

 

The dig was carried out in 1983, very little of Lovett's aircraft was found as it had crashed on the surface of the field. Among the parts found was the ballast weight made from lead, some wood from the cockpit area and part of the prop blade.

The remains of Eric Lovett's Hurricane on display in the museum 2004

 

On Monday 30th August 2004 we had a visit at the museum from Reg Lovett's second cousin and his wife who have been researching the circumstances behind his death, Andy Burton  is on the right with his wife left, behind them is the mortal remains of Reg Lovett's Hurricane. They have also visited the crash site in Stock Essex.

 

 

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TAM 2004