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85sqn

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85sqn last won the day on February 7 2015

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About 85sqn

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    Nick Adlam
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    Hampshire
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    Air war in the Mediterranean
    Battle of Britain
    Aircraft of 85 Sqn
    Aircraft of the Fleet Air Arm (WW2)

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  1. Thanks Djordje, it's actually black but but I think in some light it looks blue just like the real aircraft!
  2. Its a good website some excellent information- alot of the BPF/EIF photos are from the Imperial War Museum collection which can be found on the IWM website.
  3. Thanks guys. I did notice that some of that subtle shading might just be some specks on my lense!......
  4. Was resurrected again on 85(R) Sqn as the students solo badge until the Sqn. folded again more recently.
  5. Hi folks, this is the Ocidental Harvard kit built as G-AZSC as she is today, owned and operated by the Goodwood Aero Club. I've been lucky enough to have a few rides in her and couldn't resist the opportunity to give her a go in 1/48. The kit went together okay, a few hiccups on my part regarding instrument panel placement and cowling alignment. Airbrushed mostly with Tamiya. I have used: Master .30 gun barrels Fuse wire brake lines Ultracast Harvard exhaust RAF fighter style control column in forward cockpit (kit part in the rear cockpit) Maketar custom sized paint masks Some extra little parts like aerials etc from stretched sprue and a radio box in the rear cockpit to represent the smoke generator. Cheers for looking. I have another one on the go to be built as a target tug. Nick
  6. wow that building and it's contents really hit the nail on the head for me! Superb!
  7. Was there any further information on this topic?
  8. Fascinating thread chaps. Of the 1839 Sqn hellcats, is it known which was flown by Henry Adlam during Meridian?
  9. For the purpose of reference here is a useful post by detailiseverything: I add my pennies worth (based on various postings made here and elsewhere) - sorry for the picture distortions. If you click on them, they revert to original size. FAA AVENGERS (TARPONS until January 1944) Production details and Exterior/interior colours Wheel wells, struts and covers were normally the underside colour. The wheel wells on camouflaged TBF/TBMs of the RN were usually either painted to match the undersides Sky or in a few cases bright yellowy-green Zinc Chromate. US colours used for TSS Grumman used MAP colours, Eastern used ANA substitutes. Grumman--Dark Slate Grey (FS 34096), Extra Dark Sea Grey (FS 36118), Sky (FS 34583). Grumman used equivalent paint shades, ie colours that matched the official British colours and not substitutes ie colours that, while not matching British colours, were officially approved as being acceptable alternatives. The paint used by Grumman throughout the war on camouflaged British aircraft may not have been made in Britain but it was indistinguishable from paint that was. Eastern-- Olive Drab ANA 613 (FS 34130), Sea Grey ANA 603 (FS 36173), Sky (FS 34504). Sea Grey ANA 603 was British Extra Dark Sea Grey so wasn't a substitute as such. Sky Type S Gray ANA 610 was meant to be equivalent to British TSS Sky as well but there was apparently a difference. There was no ANA equivalent for Sky simply because at the time of the ANA consolidation it was not required by any service as a paint colour. 'Sky Type S Gray' (or Grey) was terminology used by Dupont for its Sky equivalent paint 71-021 and is nowhere near FS 36373 in appearance by any measure. British requirements for Sky under surfaces were commonly communicated and specified as 'Duck Egg Blue' rather than as any form of grey. The ANA 610 standard for Sky is close to FS 24424 and was retained until 1949 when it was superseded by FS 34424. Black appears to have been painted over the nose and down the side, sometimes right down the side, back to the leading edge of the wing on some Temperate Sea Scheme /Anti Submarine camouflaged squadrons on North Atlantic/Norway operations (see following photos, p320, 853 NAS Air Britain Publications - Sqdns of the FAA and photo of JZ150 below). Perhaps for night strikes? Tarpon (Avenger) I: Grumman built 401 TBF-1B (export version of TBF-1) and TBF-1C serialled FN750 to FN949, JZ100 to JZ300. Not clear when switch to TBF-1C occurred. Not until at least after FN908 TBF-1 FN767 TBF – 1 FN908 TBF-1C JZ150 Since Grumman had dealt with the Fleet Air Arm prior to the advent of Lend-Lease for the sales of early Martlet fighters, Grumman-built Avengers used Dupont paints mixed to Fleet Air Arm approved TSS camouflage colours (Extra Dark Sea Grey, Dark Slate Grey and Sky) with a “hard edge” colour demarcation. The first and second cockpits in Bronze Green, the radioman’s compartment, the turret, and the bomb bay in Interior Green, with the cowling interior in light grey. Tarpon (Avenger) II: General Motors Eastern Aircraft Division built 226 TBM-1 and TBM-1C (equivalent to TBF-1 and TBF-1C) serialled JZ301 to JZ526. TBM-1C from JZ361 108 TBM-1C serialled JZ527 to JZ634 JZ574 10 TBM-1 and TBM-1C serialled VL401 to VL410 (reconditioned aircraft. Delivered to FAA but none allocated to squadrons) 40 TBM-1, TBM-1C and TBM-3 serialled VL432 to VL461, VL501 to VL510(reconditioned aircraft. Delivered to FAA but none allocated to squadrons) 6 TBM-1C and TBM-3 serialled VL994 to VL999 (reconditioned aircraft. Delivered to FAA in Australia but none allocated to squadrons) Eastern Aircraft-built Avengers used US TSS equivalent camouflage colours of Sea Grey, Olive Drab, and Sky Grey, with a more “soft-edge” colour demarcation. The cockpit, turret and radio compartment in overall Interior Green and the bomb bay and cowling interior in Zinc Chromate. Avenger III: General Motors Eastern Aircraft Division built. Initial deliveries of the Mk.III were from TBM-3 production. Most of the JZ635-720 batch were TBM-3E, and it is this batch that saw limited WW2 service. I would not expect a one-to-one relationship with the BuAer serials, however sensible it may seem. The KE batch were TBM-3Es, and went to the UK. 80 TBM-3 / TBM-3E serialled JZ635 to JZ720. US BuAer No.s indicate that the first 16 aircraft were TBM-3s and the final 64 were TBM-3E. (If there had been a one-to-one relationship with the BuAer serials, this would suggest a switchto TBM-3E from JZ651. However, AB picture of JZ654 (see below) shows TBM-3 characteristics – indented lower cowl flaps, stinger gun position extant, MK5 zero length rocket launchers but no underwing rack for an AN/ASP-4 radar pod Some Mk.III`s were delivered to the UK and were used post war, mostly on trials duties but most went S India and then some on to Australia and would have replaced the Mk.II`s serving aboard the BPF Fleet Carriers if the war had not ended when the bombs were dropped. Suddenly there was no use for all of these Mk.III`s so many were dumped at sea but those units remaining in theatre for any length of time re equipped with Mk.III`s and at least a couple of squadrons went to sea with them. Service records for aircraft of this batch end in 1946, when they were returned or more likely dumped. 50 TBM-3E serialled KE430 to KE479 (only 38 delivered to FAA and none allocated to front line squadrons). Most of those delivered, were used by second line squadrons until the late 40’s. Many of them were reconditioned ex US Navy aircraft and the SBG finish shows definite overpainting of the US Stars and also the previous US Navy sqn/carrier markings on the fin/rudder and upper wings too,....it is something to look out for on the few available photos including the well-known KE461. KE446 KE436 (see http://www.aviationphotocompany.com/p83129484/h55523C1C#h55523c1c) However they must have had the FAA mods made prior to delivery (see below re fixture and fittings for 1945/46 TBM-3Es). Some reconditioned TBM-3s in VL serial range delivered to FAA but none allocated to squadrons (see Tarpon (Avenger) II above). Except for VL994 to 999, which reported to Sydney aboard HMS Reaper 9.45. The last three appear to have been Mk.IIIs. Three others, described as "elderly", were handed over to the FAA at Norfolk "possibly as GI". Delivered in Sea Blue Gloss with an ant-glare Non-spectacular Sea Blue panel in front of the cockpit. Interior colours as per MKII. With the introduction of Sea Blue Gloss paintwork, the wheel wells were seen to be painted matt black on factory fresh machines. This was done so that any cracks caused through metal fatigue would be more easily noticed during mechanical or pre-flight checks. These are all the FACTORY APPLIED finishes. Carrier based aircraft were regularly checked for corrosion and touched up, or resprayed with FAA designated paint when returned to land bases in the UK. If the a/c were subsequently re-painted by the FAA, they would use standard colours (FAA formally adopted SBG for US supplied aircraft from August 1944). So you will need the serial to see how the a/c was finished. AB picture of JZ654 with delivery number in Canada and crown picture p82 in Profile 214 and in book ‘The Secret Years - Flight Testing at Boscombe Down 1939-1945’ of JZ635 at A&AEE of TBM-3s in TSS. Photo seen by others of JZ681 (TBM-3E) in SBG so perhaps JZ series TBM-3s delivered in TSS and TBM-3Es in SBG? Fixtures and fittings When the FAA adopted the Avenger in WWII, it was to fulfil the TBR mission. The standard TBR crew was a pilot, observer, and the Telegraphist Air Gunner (TAG), who operated the radio equipment and handled rear defence. The observer was responsible for navigation, gunnery spotting, reconnaissance work, and weapon aiming during an attack (other than dive-bombing mission). To suit the Avenger to this different crew combination, Blackburn Aircraft set up a rework facility in the US to modify airframes into a similar configuration as the original TBF, with a full cockpit behind the pilot for the observer (on USN aircraft this area was used as a rack for radio equipment). FAA Tarpons/Avengers delivered in WWII had the centre (navigator) cockpit as per the first fifty TBF-1s, with the observers seat placed looking forward immediately behind the pilot. It had rudimentary flight instruments and a stick and pedals. The stick was stored on the fuselage side until needed. There was no provisions for the Norden sight, though the bombing panel was retained. All had FAA radios, gun sights, Sutton harnesses and oxygen systems. F24 camera fitted in the TAG’s station (replacing stinger gun?) and ROTAG attachment points added. Radio mast was hinged so it could be folded over. Was it simply a matter of adding a hinge to whatever mast was on the airframe. Photographic evidence indicates vertical and re-positioned masts as per TBF-1c and TBM-1c were not fitted to FAAMK I and II machines (see below). Round domed windows replaced flat oval windows on the fuselage side by the TAG’s station. Though most may have not had a lower rear gun (replaced by a camera), some FAATarpons had it installed. TBF-1 and TBM-1 Had one a single upper right cowl mounted .30 calibre machine gun and associated gun trough. Radio mast on top of the canopy sloped backwards slightly. Antenna lead in was below the rear canopy. From late 1944/early 1945, the Stinger gun was removed. Late production airframes had Westinghouse ASB search radar installed with Yagi aerial arrays toed outwards at 40 attached under each outboard wing. (see photo of FN908 above) TBF-1C and TBM-1C Had a .50 calibre machine gun mounted in each wing just outboard of the wing fold. The .30 calibre machine gun and associated gun trough were deleted. The radio mast on top of the canopy was moved further aft and stood vertically. Antenna lead in was moved to the fuselage side below the turret. Photographic evidence indicates vertical and re-positioned masts as per TBF-1c and TBM-1c were not fitted to FAA MK I and II machines. Photos of possibleTBF-1C and confirmed (according to Sturtivant and Burrow) TBM-1Cs seen include; FN912 Scale Aircraft Modelling May 84 TBF-1C? JZ114 Model Aircraft Monthly Aug 05 TBF-1C? JZ150 Internet – Britmodeller forum TBF-1C? JZ159 Air Britain Squadrons of the FAA TBF-1C? JZ229 Air Britain FAA Aircraft 1939-45 TBF-1C? JZ396 Air Britain FAA Aircraft 1939-45 TBM-1C JZ401 Aeroplane Monthly Nov 02 TBM-1C JZ434 Scale Aircraft Modelling Feb 94 TBM-1C JZ466 Model Aircraft Monthly Aug 05 TBM-1C JZ496 Scale Aircraft Modelling May 84 TBM-1C JZ497 Aeroplane Monthly Nov 02 TBM-1C JZ535 Aeroplane Monthly Nov 02 TBM-1C JZ541 Air Britain FAA Aircraft 1939-45 TBM-1C JZ594 Scale Aircraft Modelling May 84 TBM-1C JZ614 FAA in Camera 1912-96 TBM-1C Westinghouse ASB search radar installed with Yagi aerial arrays toed outwards at 40attached under each outboard wing. Late production airframes had 70 inch MK4 rocket rails and wing racks fitted. Later still, MK5 zero length rocket launchers were fitted. However these were removed in FAA service. From late 1944/early 1945, the Stinger gun was removed. Later airframes fitted with propellers of broader chord? TBM-3 Had an uprated engine which required a redesigned cowling to provide adequate cooling and airflow for the engine’s relocated oil cooler. Intakes at 12:00 and 6:00 o’clock positions (previous variants had just the one intake at the 12:00 o’clock position). Four additional cowl flaps down each side of the cowling. The bottom two were indented and the lowest one notched to clear the exhaust stack, which was of a slightly different shape. MK5 zero length rocket launchers fitted as standard and cockpit instruments re-arranged. All FAA specific mods as per earlier versions (dome windows, observers station, British equipment etc.) made. TBM-3E (1945/46) Lightweight (by nearly a ton)variant of TBM-3. Engine cowl flaps further refined with the indentation removed from the bottom two flaps. From my basic research which was done quite a few years ago so my memory might not be correct, I think that the British Mk.III`s were TBM-3E`s from BuAer69140. If there had been a one-to-one relationship with the BuAer serials, this would suggest a switch to TBM-3E from JZ651. However, Air Britain (AB) picture of JZ654 shows TBM-3 characteristics – indented lower cowl flaps, stinger gun position extant, MK5 zero length rocket launchers but no underwing rack for an AN/ASP-4 radar pod I have written down that from BuAer86175 the TBM-3E` had external hooks fitted, meaning that the first batch of Mk.III`s serialled JZ635-JZ720 had internal hooks but the second and subsequent batches, beginning with KE430 had external hooks? The available photos that I have seen seem to bear this out. Stinger gun position and associated windows deleted. An under-wing rack for an AN/APS-4 radar pod was installed under the starboard wing. Pod used by or at least seen on some operational aircraft. A larger tail wheel was fitted to some aircraft Tail and wing de-icing gear was dispensed with. All presumed to have FAA specific mods as per earlier versions (dome windows, observers station behind pilot, British equipment etc.) made. Photos of KE443 in AB FAA Aircraft since 1946 and KE461 in Eric Brown's Fly Navy, show dome windows and open canopy above observers station.
  10. A couple of points answered so far: Dinghy stowage is marked by the square below the observers position and a close-up even says dinghy stowage in the centre. JZ127 kept its ventral gun shown in Ian's photo above.
  11. Superb! Was that Richard Dreyfuss film?
  12. Hi Ian thanks for the reply, I thought as much regarding bombs I know the Barracudas were seen with British bombs earlier with the EIF. The Hobbyboss kit comes with US bombs. A while ago you asked if I could make out the serial of Q-4Y alongside Corsair JT634. I believe the serial says FN861. Cheers Nick
  13. Duplicated thread please delete
  14. Hi folks, I’m after some good gen on Fleet Air Arm Grumman Avengers. Some of you may know that for the last few year I have been fascinated with the EIF and BPF and in particular the exploits of the corsair squadrons after reading ‘Carrier Pilot.’ It is now the turn of the avenger to be modelled in 1/48 and I have the Hobbyboss kit. I have also managed to secure the observers windows from an Accurate Miniatures kit. I don’t know too much about the FAA avengers in terms of the finer points so please shout out if you have some tips. At the moment I am looking to do JZ127, an 854 Sqn Avenger/Tarpon MkI built by Grumman (making it a TBF-Ib or TBF-Ic?) which carried some bomb markings beneath the nose and a V-1 kill. I believe the pilot Sub-Lt Davies was able to get his aircraft into position to allow the TAG to destroy the V-1 back on the Channel front. This sqn went on to serve on HMS Illustrious between December 1944 and April 1945. From Fleet Air Arm Aircraft: Deld South Africa 11.43, To RNARY Wingfield tested after erection 5.9.44, to Atheling for Ceylon 8.9.44, 854 Sqn (H), 12.44-4.45; ship pitching, bounced, missed wires, into barrier Illustrious, CAT LQ 1.1.45, (S/L PL Hartley), port wing hit rotating prop Illustrious, CAT LX 9.2.45, S/L DP Davies. Above is the aircraft I wish to model and below are just some other examples. Colour Schemes: Is it coded ‘4H’ or ‘Q4H’ like the photo above? Is the H in a different colour to the 4? Maybe sky instead of medium sea grey? Is the spinner white, sky or silver? MAP paint in TSS. Hard edged. The other aircraft in the photo (A) has had its starboard wing roundel overpainted but looks like 4H has small EIF roundels. Are they in a transitional phase in readiness for BPF bars to be applied circa Jan 1945? ‘A’ also has a different spinner colour. Are they therefore two different flight leaders ranged for T/O? Underwing roundels may be small and further outboard of the ASV aerials, potentially the darker spot in the photo? ‘A’ doesn’t look like it is carrying any. Cockpit colour: Bronze green or dull dark green from bulkhead to turret with interior green in other crew areas? Grumman grey cowling? I know the photo is b+w but the cockpit doesn’t appear to be particularly dark in tone. Observers position: Does it have a fold down seat? Assuming that the Observer or TAG can go from the rear cockpit to the lower compartment, is it offset? Is that the radar screen for ASV forward of the observer? Should there be some radar kit in the lower compartment? Does it have a second control column stowed? Bomb load: Quite clearly shown in many photos are US bombs with squared fins. For a typical load 4x 500Ibs seems to be the norm. Seatbelts: Sutton style harness? Lap belt on lower bench? Dinghy Stowage: Is that the square beneath the observer’s position? Undercarriage Legs: White or Sky? See ‘4G’ above Small whip aerial: Present behind turret. Here is a couple of passages from ‘Front Line Avenger Squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm’ by R.G. Fletcher: “The aircraft was a mid-wing monoplane of all-metal, stressed skin construction and had accommodation for three crew members. Behind the pilot’s cockpit, there was a central glasshouse compartment given over to the accommodation of radio and other equipment. Then came the browning 0.5in gun turret and astern of this the lower cabin, occupying the whole of the fuselage behind the bomb bay, entered by a door aft of the starboard wing. Inside there was a folding bench-type seat facing forward opposite the radio and radar sets while below these there was a Perspex panel which, when the bomb bay doors were open, provided a downwards view for the bombardier as used by the USNAS. Above the radio was the access door to the turret and, on the right there was a space to crawl into the central glasshouse. To the rear of the seat, was the ventral gun position equipped with a Browning 0.3in firing aft. The cabin was poorly lit, having only one Perspex blister and a smaller window on each side although some daylight did filter down via the turret. The use of this lower cabin by the observer and TAG proved to be unsatisfactory for the former as visibility was poor and the use of navigational charts and instruments whilst sharing the bench seat with the TAG was not conducive to effective work or amicable relationships. However, by transferring equipment from the central glasshouse compartment, it was possible to provide the observer with a position which had excellent visibility and better facilities for his navigational duties. It also left the rear cabin for the exclusive use of the TAG apart from the very occasional passenger. With this change, some squadrons dispensed with the ventral gun.” From this I conclude that some of the kit mentioned in the first paragraph is in the glasshouse eg radar scope seen above in the photo of ‘4H’. I think that's it for the moment! Nick
  15. Hi folks, I’m after some good gen on Fleet Air Arm Grumman Avengers. Some of you may know that for the last few year I have been fascinated with the EIF and BPF and in particular the exploits of the corsair squadrons after reading ‘Carrier Pilot.’ It is now the turn of the avenger to be modelled in 1/48 and I have the Hobbyboss kit. I have also managed to secure the observers windows from an Accurate Miniatures kit. I don’t know too much about the FAA avengers in terms of the finer points so please shout out if you have some tips. At the moment I am looking to do JZ127, an 854 Sqn Avenger/Tarpon MkI built by Grumman (making it a TBF-Ib or TBF-Ic?) which carried some bomb markings beneath the nose and a V-1 kill. I believe the pilot Sub-Lt Davies was able to get his aircraft into position to allow the TAG to destroy the V-1 back on the Channel front. This sqn went on to serve on HMS Illustrious between December 1944 and April 1945. From Fleet Air Arm Aircraft: Deld South Africa 11.43, To RNARY Wingfield tested after erection 5.9.44, to Atheling for Ceylon 8.9.44, 854 Sqn (H), 12.44-4.45; ship pitching, bounced, missed wires, into barrier Illustrious, CAT LQ 1.1.45, (S/L PL Hartley), port wing hit rotating prop Illustrious, CAT LX 9.2.45, S/L DP Davies. Above is the aircraft I wish to model and below are just some other examples. Colour Schemes: Is it coded ‘4H’ or ‘Q4H’ like the photo above? Is the H in a different colour to the 4? Maybe sky instead of medium sea grey? Is the spinner white, sky or silver? MAP paint in TSS. Hard edged. The other aircraft in the photo (A) has had its starboard wing roundel overpainted but looks like 4H has small EIF roundels. Are they in a transitional phase in readiness for BPF bars to be applied circa Jan 1945? ‘A’ also has a different spinner colour. Are they therefore two different flight leaders ranged for T/O? Underwing roundels may be small and further outboard of the ASV aerials, potentially the darker spot in the photo? ‘A’ doesn’t look like it is carrying any. Cockpit colour: Bronze green or dull dark green from bulkhead to turret with interior green in other crew areas? Grumman grey cowling? I know the photo is b+w but the cockpit doesn’t appear to be particularly dark in tone. Observers position: Does it have a fold down seat? Assuming that the Observer or TAG can go from the rear cockpit to the lower compartment, is it offset? Is that the radar screen for ASV forward of the observer? Should there be some radar kit in the lower compartment? Does it have a second control column stowed? Bomb load: Quite clearly shown in many photos are US bombs with squared fins. For a typical load 4x 500Ibs seems to be the norm. Seatbelts: Sutton style harness? Lap belt on lower bench? Dinghy Stowage: Is that the square beneath the observer’s position? Undercarriage Legs: White or Sky? See ‘4G’ below Small whip aerial: Present behind turret. Here is a couple of passages from ‘Front Line Avenger Squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm’ by R.G. Fletcher: “The aircraft was a mid-wing monoplane of all-metal, stressed skin construction and had accommodation for three crew members. Behind the pilot’s cockpit, there was a central glasshouse compartment given over to the accommodation of radio and other equipment. Then came the browning 0.5in gun turret and astern of this the lower cabin, occupying the whole of the fuselage behind the bomb bay, entered by a door aft of the starboard wing. Inside there was a folding bench-type seat facing forward opposite the radio and radar sets while below these there was a Perspex panel which, when the bomb bay doors were open, provided a downwards view for the bombardier as used by the USNAS. Above the radio was the access door to the turret and, on the right there was a space to crawl into the central glasshouse. To the rear of the seat, was the ventral gun position equipped with a Browning 0.3in firing aft. The cabin was poorly lit, having only one Perspex blister and a smaller window on each side although some daylight did filter down via the turret. The use of this lower cabin by the observer and TAG proved to be unsatisfactory for the former as visibility was poor and the use of navigational charts and instruments whilst sharing the bench seat with the TAG was not conducive to effective work or amicable relationships. , by transferring equipment from the central glasshouse compartment, it was possible to provide the observer with a position which had excellent visibility and better facilities for his navigational duties. It also left the rear cabin for the exclusive use of the TAG apart from the very occasional passenger. With this change, some squadrons dispensed with the ventral gun.” From this I conclude that some of the kit mentioned in the first paragraph is in the glasshouse eg radar scope seen above in the photo of ‘4H’. I think that's it for the moment! Nick