Pilot Officer (or Sous-Lieutenant) Scheidhauer was a 21 year old Frenchman, whose family home had been in Brest, Brittany at the outbreak of WW2. He had escaped from occupied France in late 1940 and by early January 1941, he was on his way to fulfilling his boyhood ambition of being a pilot, when he started flight training with the RAF.
On 18 November 1942, Scheidhauer, and another French RAF pilot, were flying Spitfires and had been in a raid over Normandy. Scheidhauer’s Spitfire seems to have been hit by anti-aircraft fire and in trying to make his way back to safety, perhaps dis-orientated during the attack or because of damaged instruments, he sighted Jersey, where he knew that he had no choice but to crash land.
He crashed landed close to Diélamont Manor in Trinity and was met by a number of local farmers who advised him that he had landed in occupied Jersey and not, as Scheidhauer thought, the Isle of Wight. Captured by the Germans about 45 minutes later, and shipped off to Germany as a prisoner of war, the story of Scheidhauer did not end there; he was one of the Great Escapers from Stalag Luft III who was re-captured and murdered along with another 49 other escapees.
And neither was it the end of Scheidhauer’s Spitfire; with Scheidhauer and his local reception party not having any fuel because of shortages in Jersey, they were unable to set fire and destroy the Spitfire, and it was shipped to Germany, where it was modified and tested by the Germans.