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Chris Thomas

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About Chris Thomas

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    Hampshire coast
  • Interests
    Typhoons, Tempests, other RAF fighters to 1960ish, red wine, painting.

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  1. The photo shows EK497 which was used for RP trials by Hawker and A&AEE. Taken on charge by Hawker 8 June 1943, tested (as illustrated) at A&AEE August 1943. Later tested with Mk III rails in April/May 1944. Operational car-door Typhoons with RP were in 181 Sqn (first ops Oct 43), 609 and 198 Sqns (brief use Dec43/Jan44), 174, 175 and 182 Sqns spring 44 to July 44. Most Typhoons had RP and new canopies done at the same time in spring 44 but RP mods were the priority so the units with car-door/RP aircraft were the last to have them replaced. 174, 181 and 182 Sqns all operated car-door/RP Typhoons after D-Day. Photos of these Typhoons are scarce but there are some in publications I have authored or co-authored. I also supplied details for one which features in the Airfix 1/24 car-door Typhoon kit. There are some photos of bomber Typhoons which are known to have carried RP at times (until spring 44 bombs and RP were interchangeable and although they retained that facility the units specialised in one or the other after that). However, as you are making EK497, I won't list the refs here, unless you change your mind. Or if anyone else is interested. CT
  2. Not wishing to sound too smug but I bought mine when they first came out. I had known Roger for years and knew the effort that was going in to the series. I was so pleased for him (and myself!) when he battled through his illness to publish the third volume. If JM Smith can get one for £60 (the original price) it will be a bargain, real value for money and a decision he is unlikely to regret. I think books are underpriced today, despite extremely small print runs. Just as a comparison, in 1969 and only after much deliberation, I bought John Rawlings' 'Fighter Squadrons'. It was £6 and I was earning what today would be close to the 'minimum wage'. An online inflation calculator tells me that would be £97 nowadays. CT
  3. From 'Cold War Shield Vol 1'.... WK722, the CO's a/c in the foreground, was damaged in a accident during 601's first visit to Malta with Meteor F.8s, and that dates your photo to between 12 and 14 June 1954. From that it is possible to identify the other Meteors as for which codes are visible, as B WH364, C WH349, D WK739, E WK740, F WK742, G WK744, H WK745, and J WK783. If the list is complete and the dates are correct (and I see no reason why not during this period), there is only one possibility for the last Meteor in the line-up - K WK789. You really do need to get a copy of CWS 1.
  4. Thanks Jun, memory wasn't too bad then, but wrong about the spinner.. note for the modeller; the photos came from a former 226 OCU student and his recollection of their Tempests were that they were scruffy and poorly maintained. However he went on to fly Tempest VIs with 213 Sqn.
  5. If the BWC Museum refs are not completely helpful, I do have a couple of shots of XL-Y, but I am away from records for a few weeks. Certainly it did not have the white identity markings and the codes were black and maybe the spinner. IIRC (a big if) the serial was PR555. I used one of the photos in 'Typhoon and Tempest Story'.
  6. It is RAF Museum, Hendon, Archives that you need to contact. Internet for the number and then speak direct.
  7. Backplate looks ... maybe Sky ... but logic would say white. Your call! repainted side down to the white chin stripe definitely fresh OG.
  8. I'm glad you asked that question Mike. 20 years have passed since the T&T Aces book and some further hints have led me to reassess my interpretation. Back in 1999 I was passing on what was 'perceived wisdom' gleaned from researchers who had gone before, but I now believe that the two-tone spinners originated with a misinterpretation of the poorly-worded order which reinstated camouflage on the nose when the white nose markings were removed. The initial order said that the portion in front of the blades was to be Sky with camouflage aft of that; it was later amended to to state the complete spinner was to be Sky. After a close look at photos of 609's Typhoons in the early months of 1943 it seems to me that the rear half of the spinners match up with one of the camouflage colours. Later this may have changed to 'Flight colours' or even black. Looking at the front view of PR-Z, published in the Osprey Aces book, it appears that the rear of the spinner matches the Ocean Grey where it has been used to paint out the white. Furthermore, a colour photo of a 609 pilot has turned up, which shows the leading edge letter in Yellow. Looking at the PR-Z photo again it does seem that the 'Z' on the LE matches the Yellow stripe along the wing. So my best (partly informed) guess would now be OG/Sky spinner and Yellow code on the LE. CT
  9. The 195 Squadron ORB is unusual in that it records all flights, both operational and non-operational. It seems JP405 was one of 3 Typhoons delivered on 5 July 1943. On 6, 7 and 8 July it made a total of 12 flights, all of which were tests or training flights except for one at 2155 on 7 July when it was one of two Typhoons scrambled to intercept a pair of Fw 190s. Unfortunately they were unable to make contact. F/Sgt Vause was airborne on 1035 on 8 July, for "Cine Gun and Low Flying" exercises. He crashed at 1120 during the latter exercise. The Form 78 'movement card' has just two entires recording its arrival with the squadron on 6 July and the flying accident, category E, on 8 July. There is also the Form 1180 'accident card' which records brief details of the accident for statistical purposes. Copies of both these cards can be obtained from the RAF Museum Archives department.
  10. Hello Mike Thanks for the vote of confidence (?) but I worked with Airfix mainly on external colours. I do not have any good reference for much of the interior, although (from surviving parts) it would seem much was painted silver. However, I do not think this would be the case with self-sealing tanks, and although red (oxide) seems to be prominent on Hurricanes, the surviving Typhoon wing leading edge tank on display at Duxford is black. Unless anyone can come up with something more conclusive, that would be my choice. CT
  11. Presumably you are seeking information on the appearance of this aircraft. It was a brand new machine, having arrived at Ludham (195's base) just two days before the crash. A photo of such a short-lived aircraft is unlikely but I have one of its replacement JP503 which arrived a few days later. It shows completely standard markings - sky spinner, Typhoon identity stripes, Sqn codes to the left of the roundel. It was one of the last 'cardoor' Typhoons with the aerial mast through the canopy (soon to be replaced by a whip aerial), faired cannon barrels, no bomb carriers or exhaust fairings. JP405 would have been very similar. the crash site was Potter Heigham.
  12. The only Tempests used over Normandy (and then only briefly) were Mk V Series 1 which were not capable of carrying any underwing stores. Most Series 2 Tempest Vs were capable of carrying tanks, bombs or RP but, apart from 33 Sqn in he last two days of hostilities, (when they used 500 lb bombs) only the long range tanks were used. These LRTs were fitted for the vast majority of operations. The use of stores after the war is too complex to discuss whilst I am on holiday!
  13. 268 Sqn handed some of its FR Ibs on to 4 Sqn and both 84 Group Typhoon wings (123 and 146) had a few which they used for target reconnaissance and attack assessment, right up to the end of the war. Some aircraft had both inner cannon removed and various camera installations were fitted. I have not found any evidence that there was a PR version (i.e. no armament) just FR.
  14. 616 Sqn were equipped with the Meteor Mk III when've they arrived in 2nd TAF in April 1945 - a much better prospect than the Mk I, but still slower than the 262.
  15. I see from the other thread running on this topic that I gave the serial of the JFA that Vass was flying as EJ755, not NV755 as suggested here. Unfortunately I'm away from my records for a while so cannot check which is correct. I used to remember these things ... but not any more.
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