Replica of Spitfire destroyed in head-on Northumberland crash in World War Two revealed

The replica Spitfire will "honour the memory of those that served here". Credit: Chris Davies / Laura Clarehugh

A replica of a Spitfire destroyed in a head-on crash in Northumberland will be housed at its former base to mark 80 years since its pilot's death.

Supermarine Spitfire Mk IA R6762 was part of a training unit based in Eshott, Northumberland, when it collided with an American Thunderbolt in 12 April 1944.

The replica Spitfire will be welcomed to its new home by a parade of RAF veterans. Credit: Laura Clarehugh

The new model made in the craft's image will be unveiled at Northumberland Woodland Burial and Crematorium, which was once part of RAF Eshott.

What happened in the 1944 crash?

The 19-year-old Norwegian pilot Seargeant Kai Arthur Knagenhjelm had been carrying out practice attacks with a fellow Spitfire at 5,000 feet for around half an hour.

When he returned to RAF Eshott, Sergeant Knagenhjelm was in a circuit, awaiting instructions to land.

The crash involving the two planes killed both pilots. Credit: Chris Davies

The Thunderbolt pilot, First Lieutenant Serapiglia, based at RAF Milfield, had disobeyed orders and was flying in the opposite direction. He collided head on with the Spitfire.

The craft was engulfed in flames and crashed at Blawearie Field at Eshott Home Farm.

First Lieutenant Serapliglia died when his plane lost a wing and burst into flames. It crashed south of Eshott Airfield.

Laura Clarehugh of Northumberland Woodland Burials and Crematorium, said: "We're incredibly proud of our Northumbrian heritage. We felt it was really important to honour the memory of those that served here.

"It's our great privilege to have a replica of R6762 to not only commemorate Sergeant Knagenhjelm and First Lieutenant Serapiglia, but all those that served during the war."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To know...