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Sgifford

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Everything posted by Sgifford

  1. In addition to what gingerbob has written 130 Squadron also deployed to Norway with 88 Group. There is a bit in the Camouflage and Markings RAF Fighters 1945-50 UK Bases book by Paul Lucas on the Spitfire squadrons deployed to Norway that might help. The photos of 165 Squadron I have are small original prints that I found years ago when researching for a possible book (on the back burner) and as you say I haven’t seen much else from this period. Simon
  2. Hi, Spitfire MJ482 first listed in ORB on 8/6/45 flown by F/O Tynan on sortie lasting 25 mins under testing and checking. He flew from Duce to Sumburgh on 17th June and then to to Norway on the 20th. During the period in Norway the squadron primarily focused on formation flying although other sorties such as aerobatics, practice dogfighting etc are listed. Individual pilots did not get a huge amount of flying - F/Lt Rae recording 14 hrs in July and just over 8 in August. 165 Squadron flew back to Manston at the beginning of November and then flew to 3 Armament Practice School at Charter Hall in the first week of December. here the pilots flew air to air, air to ground and dive bombing sorties. At this time, the squadron received a new C/O , S/Ldr Dorian, a Blenheim pilot who had been shot down and taken Pow in 1940. Following his release he had been given command of 667 Sqn before taking over 165. It seems with little experience on fighters much of the flying was led by the flight commanders. MJ482 was flown for various sorties during the camp. At the end of the camp, the squadron moved to its new home at Duxford, bringing the Spitfire back to its first base. The ORB has little detail from this time on, in particular regarding individual aircraft. The main activity from April 1946 onwards were practice sorties for operation BIg Bull, the victory FlyPast over London in June 1946. F/Lt Rae flew T on April 30 for Big Bull no 5. I have a couple of photos of 165 Sqn aircraft at Duxford - still in their wartime markings and certainly not semi glossy. However at the end of June 1946, the squadron carried out a formation fly past for Denhem Film Studios. I would suggest that their aircraft may have been tarted up either for the victory FlyPast or for the film studio. Hope this helps, Simon
  3. Hi Kari, I think you did pretty well - I have done a lot of research on 6 Squadron and their Hurricanes, the postwar stuff went into a book but have a lot on the wartime era as well. Had a quick scan of my notes and the Tito visit to the airfield was on September 2, 1944 so I would suggest that the August 31 sorties would be the most likely - I have a photo of the airfield that shows the proximity of the hills to the single runway. during this time 6 Squadron was still based in Italy with Vis as a detachment so the ORB only records operational details of what was happening there - so it is not surprising that the filming is not mentioned. Always happy to talk about the squadron and their Hurricanes, Simon
  4. Hi, I think that the footage was taken at the airfield at Vis (the proximity of the hills in the background is clearly visible when the Hurricanes are taking off). Likely dates would be in August/September 1944 when LD233 ‘C’ and KZ224 ‘F’ we’re flown on a number of sorties from the island - including on 14 September when LD233 was shot down with the loss of the pilot. Sadly there is no reference to the filming in the squadron ORB. Hurricane LD233 ‘C’ was unusual in that it carried the aircraft letter under the front of the nose - see the photo in Troy’s original post. This photo is one of a sequence taken by an American photographer of aircraft at Vis during the visit of Tito to the Yugoslav Spitfire squadron based on the Island of Vis - it is not unreasonable that the RAF film crew were present at the same time. All of the squadron’s Hurricanes that were flown to Italy were repainted to day fighter colours before leaving Egypt but later aircraft were supplied from maintenance units in Italy and Egypt and show a degree of variation in markings - certainly a few made it into action in desert colours as shown from the sequence of photos taken by RAF photographers at Aragon’s airfield in October 1944. Simon
  5. The radiator mesh guard is visible on a photo of Hurricane KZ320 taken from the front quarter I have. Unfortunately, in pretty much every other photo where it might be possible to see the guard the radiator is in shadow so no detail can be made out. Simon
  6. All 6 Squadron Hurricanes retained the Merlin XX through to the types final withdrawal in Jan 1947. The use of the Merlin XX actually became problematic with the squadron struggling with serviceability. The ORB refers to the availability of 2 or 3 Merlin XX for the squadron’s use in Nov 46 by HQ RAF Middle East at Kolundia. Simon
  7. N2265 was on strength of 771 Sqn in 1942/43 period and could well have been coded R5P which could explain some confusion regarding its use over the Orkney Isles,,particularly if the profile is taken from a typically poor wartime photo?
  8. Hi Tony, I think the code B is for the comms unit - I have another photo with an Argus aircraft also wearing the B code. simon
  9. Hi Troy, I’m beginning to think that you are going through my Hurricane photo folder - I bought this one as well. This was one of a number of photos of aircraft belonging to the Mediterranean Allied Tactical Air Forces Comm Flight at Bari in early 1944. Most of these units rarely mention serials in their records so a lot of comms aircraft are unknown hence not being listed in the Air Britain serials books. simon
  10. Hi Troy, it is that photo which I bought - there were no other Hurricane photos unfortunately. I am very interested in the Hurricane IV but few photos ever come up - in particular shots of them in the UK seem particularly rare so I am on a constant look out. Simkb
  11. Hi Steve, I bought the Hurricane photo from the vendor - as you say lots of unpublished shots - but a lot of interest. Still rare chance to get a photo of a Hurricane IV in the U.K. I think the captured Luftwaffe photos went for a significant amount. cheers, Simon
  12. Hurricane is LD863 ‘S’ of 438 Sqn. Photo taken on December 30 or 31 while escorting a ME110 and Ju88 to various USAAF bomber airfields (there is a reference in the ORB). Aircraft was still on strength towards the end of March 1944 before being allocated away. hope this helps, Simon
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