The Vicar's Letter
On August 3 at 12.30pm, Captain Jean Maridor of the RAF 91st Squadron took off on his last mission. Flying over the coast at Rye, he spotted a V1 flying bomb and set about the chase in his Spitfire and although he made repeated attempts to shoot it down he was unable to ground it. As the V1 made its way north he realised that the apparent trajectory of the V1 was Benenden School - a war time hospital sporting a large red cross on the roof. Captain Maridor made another attempt to bring the 'buzz bomb' down without success.

Realising the consequence to the hospital and the village of the V1 landing and exploding and with little regard for his own safety Captain Maridor closed in to the flying bomb. With less than fifty metres between his Spitfire and the V1 he let off a final salvo.

The gigantic explosion tore off the right wing and the Spitfire plummeted to the ground. Captain Maridor's remains were found close by the hospital surrounded by the aircraft's wreckage.

Benenden residents of the time vowed would never forget the bravery of the 23 year old French flyer Captain Jean Maridor DFC who died in action 3rd August 1944 to save their village

Information and picture sourced with thanks from and

Jean MARIDOR, chasseur de V1

Copyright Tim Dwyer 2004 -