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Mosquito FB Mk.VI PZ174 / YP*P 23 Squadron


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Hello,

In the near future I plan to build this aircraft as it was preparing for its last flight, using the Tamiya 1/48 kit. I'd like to be as accurate as possible and have so far found a number of decent references, but no photographs. "Trust no profile" I've been told, so I'd very much like to invoke the help of more knowledgable modellers on this forum to double-check what I've found on the aircraft and the crew. Here's what I have:

On May 16, 1944 De Havilland delivered Mosquito FB MkVI # 555 / PZ174 to 23 Sqn at RAF Little Snoring where it went into service as YP*P. Just over two months later, late in the evening of July 21 Flight Lieutenant Francis L. Grimwood and Pilot Officer Frederick B. Woodman left Little Snoring at 22:45 for Florennes (Belgium), either to attack the railroad emplacement there of for anti-nightfigher patrol, or both: Florennes airfield was home to a Ju-88 nightfighter-squadron. Whether or not they ever reached their destination is uncertain as just over an hour later PZ174 crashed in a heavy thunderstorm, leaving both Grimwood and Woodman killed in action. The cause of the crash was never established: they would almost certainly have encountered some Flak on their route, the weather may have been a factor but enemy aircraft could also be involved. In 2008 I witnessed the remains of PZ174 (including two 500lb bombs and a gun camera with half its film spent) being salvaged, which made a profound impression on me. That, and the fact I drive by P/O Woodman's last resting place almost every day, is the reason for this build: a small and personal tribute to the crew. As for YP*P's external appearance that evening, my sources say the night-fighter scheme of dark green/medium sea gray over medium sea gray would be correct, although I have seen photographs of 23 Sqn Mosquitos taken only weeks before with their undersurfaces in 'night' (which would have been standard in their previous posting on Malta). The 30" red type for YP*P and the 8" black for the serials are right I believe, but exactly which and how many roundels are appropriate is a question I would like some help with, as with any and all corrections on the above. If anyone has more information about the crew (other than their service numbers and DOB/DOD) I'd very much appreciate that, too.

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Indeed it is, Cees. I've seen the exhibit at the museum several times and it is very well done, just as the other displays at the fort are well worth a visit.

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National markings for this period should be 54" roundels on the upper wing surfaces (the so-called "Type B" red and blue), 36" red, white, blue and yellow ("Type C1") on the fuselage sides and 24" x 24" "Type C" fin flashes.

HTH.

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