During the German invasion of France, the British sent an expeditionary force to the European mainland in an attempt to check German advances. With little initial action, this eventually became known as the ‘Phoney War’. When the fall of France became inevitable, the RAF was to provide cover for retreating British and French troops across the English Channel.
RAF flying officer Peter Cazenove was hit and made a belly landing on the beach near Calais. Before crashing he had radioed that he was OK, adding, ‘Tell mother I’ll be home for tea!’ Cazenove was eventually captured and sent to Stalag Luft III, where the ‘Great Escape’ eventually took place. The above photo is Cazenove’s Spitfire, half submerged by the Calais tide.