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mhaselden

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  1. You're practically neighbours...er, sorry...neighbors. See? I'm bilingual.
  2. I think the difference between G11 and G12 is not specific to a fighter or bomber variant. It simply reflects that some Blenheims had a portion of the front glazing overpainted. Here's an example of a bomber Blenheim with nose glazing overpainted:
  3. Thanks for sharing that interesting image. Unfortunately, the quality is so bad that it's really hard to draw definite conclusions from it, except that it clearly has a large flash occupying the entirety of the fin, and that it's a 36 Sqn machine. It's even difficult to tell whether the underside of the upper wing is black or a light-toned shade. Certainly the wheel spats appear lighter than the metal parts of the fuselage but, again, it's not clear we can draw any really tangible conclusions from it. Perhaps we're seeing Light Earth/Light Green as per the shadow compensation s
  4. Definitely looks like black undersides. Spinner might be red with a dark blue stripe just forward of the prop blades.
  5. IIRC, GR-U of 92 Sqn appears in a couple of photos showing a vic of the Sqn's Spits at Paris. All the airframes appear to show the factory-delivered scheme with black/white wing undersides and aluminium beneath the cowling and rear fuselage. The individual airframe code letter was repeated on the underside of the cowling.
  6. mhaselden

    Saintly Fiat

    Is the cowling red or perhaps blue? The cowling seems to be tonally more similar to the blue of the roundel than the red (IMHO...which isn't worth much). The fuselage stripe just forward of the roundel appears to have a light-toned outline and I think I'm seeing the same think aft of the roundel but it's not as distinct. There appears to be some kind of emblem in a circle, of the same shade as the fuselage strip, immediately beneath the cockpit. The light-toned outline seems to stop at the aft edge of that circular badge.
  7. The odds are slim but the 31 Sqn Operations Record Book, might offer some options for the serial number. If you're really lucky, it may even mention the individual code letter. ORBs should be downloadable for free from the UK National Archives. I stress again that it's much more likely that the ORB won't have the details you seek...but what have you got to lose?
  8. 67 Sqn started operating Buffalos in March 1941. With 488 Sqn arriving in Singapore in November of that year, most of the airframes had been in constant use for 6+ months, mostly by pilots who had little/no experience operating modern fighters. Pre-hostilities propaganda photos of 243 Sqn Buffalos flying in formation show them in tight vics rather than the battle-pair or finger-four formations that started to emerge during the BoB. Very few of the Buffalo unit leaders had operational experience. The following summary is going from memory...but I think it's pretty accurate.
  9. Here's another grubby-looking Buffalo, this time from Burma but the operational environment wasn't massively dissimilar to what was seen in Malaya/Singapore:
  10. Alan, I think it's hard to be sure exactly what we're seeing in the photo. What you describe as worn/peeled paint looks, to me, like dirt/mud that's been blown back onto the lower fuselage. Few RAF airfields in the region had "all weather" surfaces and, given monsoon season that starts in late November/early December, it would not be surprising if aircraft became rather mud-spattered during operations.
  11. It rather depends on the level of damage that required the wing change. Sqn Ldr Churchill's rather infamous critique of the Buffalo suggested that even a single bullet in the wing's fuel tanks would require a wing change, something that could not be accomplished at the unit level due to lack of adequate lifting gear. Churchill's somewhat biased opinion is contradicted by operational experience where the Far East Buffalo squadrons clearly had a process for repairing battle damage to the wing tanks. Peter Bingham-Wallis of 67 Sqn grumpily complained that his favourite airframe was
  12. I suspect that the entire wing had been replaced on W8191. The port fuselage underside, port undercarriage leg and port wheel still show as black, while the port wing underside is light-toned.
  13. Most Buffalos that had the black port undersides had that scheme carried forward onto the cowling as shown in Alan's pic of W8191 above. The 488 Sqn machines had the individual letter in white on the black portion of the front cowl, while 453 Sqn had a black letter on the Sky side of the front cowling. Here's the pic of the front of W8209, TD-E, taken circa 19 Nov 1941. Yet again, this is incorrectly labelled as being AN180, GA-E, of 21 Squadron, which is patently incorrect because there's well-known photographic evidence showing that AN180 was GA-B. Also, 21 Sqn did not repeat
  14. If you're keen on making "Snifter", note that imagery of 19 Nov 1941 show the front cowling ring with a black letter 'E' on the front starboard face. Also, the black port underside doesn't extend to the front cowling ring. It's possible this inconsistency was fixed prior to the outbreak of hostilities...but equally possible that it wasn't. For the record, 'TD-F' was Buffalo W8152.
  15. 1. Most 453 Sqn airframes did have black port undersides but you'd have to identify the specific airframe to be 100% certain. None of the RAF's Buffalos in Singapore/Malaya had a yellow outer ring to the port underwing roundel. 2. I'm pretty certain RAF Buffalos had Sutton harnesses. 3. Observation windows were present on all RAF-procured Buffalos. 4. W8209 was definitely TD-E. The association of TD-F is long-standing, based on a photograph that shows only part of the individual code letter. The IWM has a film taken when 453 Sqn was declared operational on 19 Nov 1941.
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