Battle Relic: World War Two British Supermarine Spitfire left (portside) wing aileron
Finding place: On the grounds of the Manoir de la chapelle on 1 Rue des Alpes Mancelles, 61250 Condé-sur-Sarthe, Departement Orne, France
Date: June 4th, 2015
GPS location: GPS: 48°25'57.76" N0°02'09.95"E
Introduction: While travelling through France from the excellent Tank Museum at Saumur to Normandy for the festivities in light of the 70th anniversary of D-Day, battle detectives billeted at the Manoir de la chapelle Bed & Breakfast in the village of Condé-sur-Sarthe near Allencon. The building is a 15th century manor with a walled court yard.
While there, we were entertained by the more than hospitable owner Frédéric Maltete ("‎Propriétaire -Gérant") in French). After introducing ourselves and explaining our focus of interest, Frédéric took us to the yard behind the living quarters and showed us a part of a Spitfire fighter plane of World War Two.

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Frédéric explained to us that the aileron was found within the perimeter of his property.

Markings on the plane part
A closer look at the object revealed some through-and-through damage suggesting hits from either anti-aircraft artillery or canon fire from another fighter plane.
We also noted the stenciled black markings: DTD  314  S

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Our research revealed that this is the paint specification number
DTD = Air Ministry's Directorate of Technical Development
DTD314 was the specification for a synthetic finishing material consisting of a pigmented primer suitable for direct application to metal or timber and a pigmented synthetic finishing coating suitable for application over the primer - by brush or spray.
DTD314 was underscored with an "S" to ensure that when refinishing the wrong paint wasn't used.

(click for an enlargement)

Spitfire left (portside) wing aileron
We also found that the plane part is a left (portside) wing aileron for the British World War Two Supermarine Spitfire fighter plane.

(click for enlargements)

What cause this aileron to end up in the yard of the mansion Condé-sur-Sarthe is still unknown.

From the website of the town we know that World War Two did affect the townspeople:
"In May 1940, waves of refugees fleeing the Nazis come through Condé-sur-Sarthe. The occupation resulted in forfeiture of any weapons, requisitioning of property, ration cards and curfews.
In 1944 , two days after the landings on the Normandy coast, Condé-sur-Sarthe is invaded by the Nazis fleeing Alencon. On 22 June, four men of the resistance force of Trun are shot at Galochère and fifteen others from Courcerault on June 30, 1944.
On 12 August, the Germans fled and the French 2nd Armored Division of Marshal Leclerc liberated Condé-sur-Sarthe without much difficulties."

There is however no mentioning of any downed aircraft within the community. The question remains also whether or not a Spitfire can continue its flight with one missing aileron. If the incident where the Spitfire lost this aileron occurred after D-Day, the pilot may have landed his aircraft at an aerodrome in the liberated part of Normandy.


On June 4th, 2015 at Condé-sur-Sarthe in France a World War Two British Supermarine Spitfire left (portside) wing aileron was shown to this agency. This plane part allegedly belonged to a downed aircraft.  We have determined the part as original but could not connect it to a registered crash or emergency landing of an aircraft of the mentioned type in this area. It remains an interesting relic to the battle to liberate France in World War Two though.

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