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Everything posted by AndyL

  1. Other 151 Squadron serials and individual code letters match as follows: N3373/H; N3378/Z; N1746/T; N1790/P; N1791/K; N3317/O; N3337/M; N3479/C; N3387/E; N1705/R and N3400/Q. Note that you might need to confirm whether the Defiant you go for has either the fishtail or 'Bluenote' six ejector style exhausts fitted.
  2. Lovely Defiant - you've done a great job. The real thing was possibly shot down by Adolf Galland, as in his memoir he recalled that he overshot his intended target and hit the leader of the formation; Squadron Leader George Garvin had ordered the squadron into a line astern formation for their attack on some He 111's. With reference to Flight Lieutenant Robert Ash (known as Clifford ) he had earlier served with 149 Squadron and had flown operationally up until June 1940 before requesting a transfer to Defiants. His death has been attributed to being shot while descending in his parachute - his father certainly thought so, and also thought George Garvin was fired at, however Garvin made no reference to this happening in his letters home or log book. Clifford Ash was found dead in field near Faversham; he had been wounded prior to having to bale out of the burning Defiant, but it appears that he struck the tail as he went out of the turret and broke his neck, the last thing he did while alive was to pull the ripcord - this was according to the squadron medical officer. The Clifford family were still trying to see if he had been machine gunned, and were trying to get an answer way into 1944 ( I have copies of the correspondence ). But on a decent note, the night before, 264 had held a rather boisterous party, and it was noticed that Clifford had unwound to a level never seen before by squadron members, so at least his last evening alive had been a decent one. Regards Andy
  3. @Spit Fan - if you do L7009, do not finish it with a Sky spinner. All my images of 141 Squadron Defiants have them in black. I'm still trying to get access to the pilot's photo album - Ian Donald was an avid photographer and I'm hoping there will be some images of 141 - he was ex Spitfires, joining them from 64 Squadron. As a good example, here's L7012 showing the difference between the turret base and framing colours.
  4. Interesting question - I've gone through my Defiant photos and there are a handful of all black turrets fitted. I have an image of Defiant L6966 taken at Hornchurch which shows an all black turret, plus another of a replacement Defiant delivered to 141 Squadron showing the same; and from the album of the late John Gard'ner, there's a photo of him and Dudley Slatter sat in their Defiant. This image is pre-19th July 1940 and shows an all black turret. Reference the 141 Squadron book - it might be my history of the Defiant, which has a lot of 141 material, and what I think is the most up to date account of their action on 19th July 1940. I am just revising the draft of the Battle of Britain chapter after some new material came to light with regard to a hitherto unknown Defiant crew that actually tried to play a part in the earlier mentioned action - I am having to add in material taken from letters written by the pilot, and notes from his log book. I am currently working my way through the night fighter chapter, which I have broken down into six month segments; this is by far the largest part of the book. Most of the manuscript is complete, however one fly in the ointment is the now lack of book cover. I had been given permission to used the painting by Australian artist Steven L Heyen which shows Defiant L7009 on 19th July. However this has since been dropped by my editor. I'm looking forward to seeing your build when you start it. Regards Andy
  5. Brilliant, thank you very much.
  6. Off the back of my work into the Boulton Paul Defiant, I have been given a copy of the log book owned by Noel Constantine. He was with 141 Squadron during the Battle of Britain, and later served with 23, 125, 264 and 87 Squadrons, before being posted to Ceylon to take command of 273 Squadron, the only RAF Fulmar squadron. As this area is out of my field of knowledge, I'd like to ask if anyone knows what colour schemes these Fulmars would have worn; all bar one of the aircraft he flew were from the X serial range. So, any ideas? Cheers, Andy
  7. I had this image from the photo albums of the late Air Commodore Ernest 'Bertie' Wootten, and it shows one of the Heinkels you're interested in. I can't remember the ID of this particular aircraft, but it was lost in Dorset ( I think ) when the pilot accidentally flew it into a gentle rising slope when crossing the coast. Hope it's of interest.
  8. Don't know if this helps regarding colour schemes, but 89 Squadron were originally based in North Africa, mainly Abu Sueir, with several detached flights based at other airfields such as Idku, and by the start of May 1942 they had claimed seven destroyed, two probable and two damaged. A detached flight, known as the Malta Flight, or 'C' Flight was raised and this is when 89 started to account for more enemy aircraft. This Malta Flight consisted of Shipard, Reeves, Fumerton, Mitchell, and Ross; they were posted to Malta on 22nd June 1942. Also, the squadron undertook a few shipping escorts in daylight too and at night flew intruder sorties over Sicily. If you look closely at the image I posted with Shipard and Reeves stood in front of Slippery Ship II, you can see what could be an overpainted roundel? I've never worked out if it's overpainted or a trick of the photographic film.
  9. Well, I've certainly learnt something from this thread inasmuch as I've just wasted £11 on a MiG RAF paint set!
  10. They come from Armament Volume II Guns, Gunsights, Turrets, Ammunition and Pyrotechnics, issued by the Air Ministry, Air Historical Branch in 1954. One copy is held in the National Archives, Kew; file reference AIR4/82.
  11. I'm probably late to the party, but this might be of interest..
  12. Hurricane L2012 was UP-V. This comes from the log book of Sergeant Leslie Ralls who flew L2012 three times in June 1940.
  13. The only other option you might have ( when the National Archives are open again ) is to check the casualty file for T1884, which is AIR81/4348. The pilot of your Blenheim was killed on 9th August, flying a 487 (N.Z.) Squadron Ventura. By then he had reached the rank of Squadron Leader ; his full name being Edgar Alfred Costello-Bowen. He is buried in Marham Cemetery.
  14. Finally, I thought I'd add this one. Though it doesn't show a Beaufighter, it has L-R Nevil Reeves, Doug Oxby and Merv Shipard with the squadrons captured Kubelwagen.
  15. And here's another view of one of the 89 Squadron Beaufighters, with Nevile Reeves in the cockpit.
  16. Here's another image for you - Merv Shipard and Nevile Reeves stood on front of Slippery Ship II. I obtained copies from both Doug Oxby and the Reeves family when I was writing about the latter back in 2007.
  17. Early days yet, but Pietro Abbate of 3D Models Kits announced that they are working in a 1/32 Defiant in resin. Regards Andy
  18. Next year. Something called 2020 got in the way and due to a few issues I couldn't finish it. Trying to tie everything up by the end of the year.
  19. Just an update - Ian Donald was the pilot of L7009, and his family have been found. He was an exceptionally keen photographer ( as family members still are ) and they hold a lot of photographs taken by him, so we might just get to see an image of 'Cock of the North' after all. So, watch this space...
  20. Does this help - one from my collection showing the set up on an 85 Squadron Havoc.
  21. Nice to see the progress on the Defiant. Just in case you might not have seen this, here's the real thing. And here's a few items from the above..
  22. Just starting my trip into this GB, but still wondering which Defiant to depict, as I have four 264 Squadron options and three from 141 Squadron. Or the one Defiant that flew with 264 on 29th May 1940 when the squadron claimed 37 enemy aircraft and later served in the Battle of Britain with 141. Choices, eh? Base kit will be the 1/48 Airfix offering, to which I may add a Barracuda wheel set to. So, I'm off to clear the bench and build something for the first time in 28 months.
  23. I've gone through my Defiant images for 264, with some taken at Martlesham Heath, Duxford and Hornchurch and they are parked with the turret turned to starboard and open, gunners access footpeg extended, footstep on the port wing down, and the speed fairing behind the turret lowered. The pilots canopy is open. 141 set up the same, photos taken at West Malling, Hawkinge and Grangemouth. Both squadron images in my collection show pilots parachute and air gunners Parasuit on the port tail plane.
  24. L7021 was lost when being flown by Squadron Leader George Garvin and Flight Lieutenant Robert Ash. Garvin had joined 264 to take over from Philip Hunter who had been given a staff officer posting, but his command was somewhat thrust upon him when Hunter was killed on 24th August. Robert Ash was an ex 149 Squadron air gunner who had flown operationally before requesting a posting to Defiants. Their loss came about after 264 were engaged by JG26, and and during the encounter, the master fuse in Ash's turret blew - he had been using it on the high speed setting and if you used it in this mode too much, then the old fuse would pop. ( the guns were fired electrically, but the elevation and rotation of the turret was hydraulic ). Robert was in the process of changing the fuse ( the turret carried spares ) when they were hit, L7021 was set alight, and Ash wounded. Garvin gave the order to bale out, with both getting clear, but Ash was found dead in his parachute near Faversham. Ash's family were insistent that he had been machine gunned while descending, and were still trying to ascertain the facts in 1944. They claimed Garvin said he was fired upon, but nothing in his surviving letters and log book support this. The 264 medical officer told the aircrews that when found he had suffered a broken neck, having hit the tail when he baled out. The last thing he must have done was pull his ripcord and when the parachute opened, he descended dead. As to air gunners getting out of Defiants, the pilots notes give two routes; one over the side of the turret, or if not possible, drop into the fuselage kick out the panel in the floor, as long as the pilot lowered the undercarriage to retract the aerials. I think a lot has been made regarding the apparent difficulty for an air gunner to get out in an emergency. In a tumbling, out of control aircraft, nobody really has much of a chance when those g forces kick in, but in a Defiant turret, the air gunner sat much higher in the turret than people think. The doors were spring loaded and could be popped open by unlocking the ratchets, and the fairing immediately behind the turret could be lowered with the flick of a lever ( as long as the Co2 system was working, of course. At the time, Defiant air gunners wore the GQ Parasuit, however there always was room for a clip on parachute to be carried in the turret, but while the air gunners were wearing the Parasuit this wasn't carried as it required them to wear the observer type harness, which some squadrons changed to later in the war. As an aside, L7021 was damaged on 24th August when being flown by David 'Bull' Whitley and Robert 'Sam' Turner with the latter having a bullet pass through the turret and his oxygen mask, taking the tip of his nose off as it departed. Whitley and Turner were killed the same day as Garvin and Ash were brought down.
  25. AndyL

    Defiant Intruder?

    @gingerbob Here's Michael Young and Les Russell in front of N3377. Note Michael Young had a line of kill markings under his cockpit. Young survived the way, but Les Russell was later killed in action serving with 78 Squadron. The photo came to me via the Russell family.
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