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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. Dear Chris i'm doing a build in 1:32 scale of my uncle's aircraft. He crashed US-X NV728 after total engine failure. @erniewise saw my posting and tentatively suggested you might have access to some pics of my uncles aircraft?  He also said the Eduard Royal Tempest kit gives this a/c as an option and states the pilot as my uncle  Sgt PC Brown. 

    He survived the crash badly injured and was taken prisoner. He later was promoted F/Sgt then WO2. Think he possibly joined or was transferred to 16 Squadron leaving Germany in Oct 1946. 


    Kind Regards


    1. Chris Thomas

      Chris Thomas

      Hello Andy

      Looks like you have been having some fun with your research.  First, yes, 4-aperture wheels - all Mk V Series 2 had them.


      Yes, I have a single photo which includes NV728 when with 56 Sqn but it does not show the individual code letter; I know this was X as 56 Sqn's ORB is one of the few which quotes serial numbers and code letters (usually it is one or the other, or none at all).  The photo appeared in the Tempest V album which I produced for Eduard to include in the Royal edition of their Tempest V kit.  The decals do not include US-X - they feature (among others) US-W (which Pierre Closterman flew when with 56) and US-T (CO's aircraft post war).


      The photo was a great find because wartime Tempest shots are relatively rare and in particular 56 Sqn.  If you let me have your email address I'll send you a copy but I must ask you to keep it for your own private use.  It came to me from a Canadian who is compiling his own photographic book and I promised to keep it as exclusive as possible.  Of course I have no doubt that someone will scan my book and post a copy in due course.


      I also met a 56 Sqn Tempest pilot called Bill Tuck, who was flying with your uncle when he was shot down.  Tuck went down too but a few minutes later.  He said they thought your uncle was killed as the Tempest crashed into trees at the end of its forced landing , and exploded, so he was surprised to meet your uncle, swathed in bandages at some point in his captivity.


      Tuck though that both Tempests were brought down by the same cause.  They found a single German lorry in a village and it was duly strafed. As Tuck broke away he saw a solitary German soldier in a doorway with a rifle pointing straight at him, and then felt a clunk as (apparently) his shot hit the Tempest's radiator.  There was no flak so he was convinced this dead-shot was responsible for bringing down both Tempests.


      It is very likely that your uncle was in 16 Sqn as he would have returned to 56 Sqn following his recovery (mainly burns I believe) and that unit was re-numbered 16 Sqn at the end of March 1946.  It flew Tempest Vs for a few more months and then converted to Tempest IIs in August 46.

    2. Col Walter E Kurtz

      Col Walter E Kurtz

      Dear Chris. Firstly, thank you for taking the time to reply to my message. I'm very grateful to you for taking the time. Others have said you are the 'go to' expert for both Typhoon and Tempest matters. I am aware of some of your publications and think your original research has  helped me fill in some of the missing pieces of the 'jigsaw' as your works are quoted elsewhere on other WW2 forums. 

      I too found the 56 squadron ORB from the National Archives. Interesting to understand that it's one of the few that is so detailed. 

      I find reading this most absorbing and humbling. I know of W/O Tuck and that he force landed on the same sweep as uncle Peter. I think it says he called up and said he was ok and was seen to then wave and run off. This was north of Dummer Lake That you got to meet Bill Tuck must have been amazing. I'm guessing that he is no longer alive? He and Uncle Peter joined 56 as replacements on the same day i believe. 


      I'm astounded you can give a first hand account of what happened. This is amazing information. I do recall my late parents saying something vague about he was shot down by ground fire. Maybe during captivity Bill and Peter discussed how they ended up POWs and that's where this information got passed to my parents.  


      Uncle Peter was badly burned as a result of his crash. his right side of his face bore the marks.  In almost all the pics post crash he has his head turned to the right to hide the burn marks. 


      I have a copy of the Air Ministry Telegram 3.4.45 informing his parents ( and his girlfriend- Miss Jean Bird) that he had been killed in action. I have a photo of his discharge / reserve papers dated 07.10.46 from 84 Group HQ . I'm pretty sure he must have  moved with the 56 squadron pilots to 16 Squadron. 


      I would be most grateful if you could send me a copy of  US-X NV-728. I do promise to use it for my own personal use. 

      My cousin has some pictures of 56 Squadron and uncle Peter. (He was a professional photographer). I'm hoping he will share these pictures with me in due course. I seem to recall there are some gun camera stills in this album. I'm very willing to give you open access to this material in the future once i get it!. My email address is andy.strange@sky.uk.


      One last point. 


      There is a pic i posted in my WIP thread." Revell Hawker Tempest MkV 1:32 - 56 (Punjab) Squadron April1945 , 2nd TAS Volkel, Holland - My uncle's aircraft (US-X)"

      It shows him on the wing of a Tempest. On the Port front radiator cowling there looks to be a dark arrow showing prop rotation direction. Is this possible? or is it just the shadow of the prop blade.  What do you think?


      Thank you !

      Kind Regards










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