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Flt. Lt. Nicholson's Hurricane


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Hi everyone

Forgive me if this question has been asked before, and I know I'm probably opening a can of worms here, but I'd be interested to know the general consensus of opinion regarding the markings for Hurricane P3576. I have the Aviaeology decal set for this machine, which I'm about to apply to my Airfix 1/48 Hurricane ( The new one ) and they give you two choices of markings to use, so my question is this :

Which is the more likely fuselage roundel size, and did this a/c have underwing roundels ? I've seen both versions depicted in paintings, prints, etc. but I'd like to have some input from my fellow modellers if possible ? :cheers:

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For underwing roundels, it's a 50/50 shot. The order to restore underwing roundels to the Sky underside finish was given in August 1940 so it's possible Nicholson's Hurri had them...but then again it's equally plausible that they weren't applied. IIRC the order to add underwing roundels came out on 11 August which is only 5 days before Nicholson's VC mission.

As to the fuselage roundel, best bet is to examine the few photos of other 249 Sqn Hurris and make your best educated guess (with reference to different implementations that might have been applied at individual factories).

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Open to debate, but I'd not trust a profile without a supporting photo, and apparently there are no photos of Nicholson's plane.

But there is a photo of GN-C and GN-A taking off on "Hurricane - The Illustrated History" on bottom of page 90, but is low resolution. Date is given as September 1940, but the books captions are often wrong.

Here's a photo as no scanner on this. There is no other info on this photo. Does anyone know more?

Hurricanes_249_Sq_GN_C_GN_A_0187.png

The GN-A in that looks like GN-C below, but with slightly thicker fin stripes than GN /P3154 in the next photo. The red does not cover the front of the fin, or appears not too as a what looks like the camoflage can be seen.

I know of two other 249 Sq photos. I don't know if this is the same GN-C, the one above looks to have a blob beneath the cockpit, bit this could just be a glitch in the picture, or less likely, some personal motif.

6897503193_bef8a337d4_z.jpg

and

this, P3154, note the very narrow but full fin height fin stripes. This helpfully shows the Sq codes read GN-A on the starboard side, this varies a lot between squadrons, the placement is not fixed!

see - http://cs.finescale.com/fsm/modeling_subjects/f/2/p/137680/1433121.aspx#1433121

p3154.jpg

from http://www.kirkbymoorside.info/day-hurricane-crashed-near-kirkbymoorside/

Hurricane P3154 on the back of the lorry about to leave Kirkbymoorside

History of the plane

Hurricane R3154 [sic - P3154 is more likley] was built to contract 96237/38 by Gloster Aircraft Ltd at Hucclecote and delivered to the RAF in February 1940 and after acceptance was flown to 607 Squadron at Vitry-en-Artois, France in March 1940. It moved with the unit to Abbeville on 12th April 1940, and returned to Vitry-en-Artois on 26th April 1940. It then moved to Norrent Fontes on 19th May 1940. 607 Squadron withdrew from France arriving Croydon on 22nd May 1940 but without any aircraft.

Hurricane P3154 made its way back to the UK and after servicing was issued to 249 Squadron at Leconfield in June 1940 and the unit then transferred to Church Fenton on 8th July 1940. It suffered Cat.R/FA damage in the incident at Kirkbymoorside, detailed above.

After repair the aircraft was issued to 56 Squadron at Boscombe Down in September 1940. The aircraft was to be written off later the same year whilst taking part in the Battle of Britain. Sgt D.H.Nicholls of 56 Squadron was injured in combat over Yeovil at 16.00hrs on the 7th of October 1940. The aircraft crashed at Alton Pancras, Somerset. Initially the damage was declared as Cat.R but after assessment was Re-Cat.W and struck off charge.

I'd say this is as good a guide as you will get, so I'd day use the 35" A1 roundels.

Aviology have hedged their bets on the decals and given the different options portrayed. The above photos may have surfaced later than the sheet, GN-C P3870 looks like a rare private photo, and the recovery probably is as well.

Without an airframe history it's hard to say more, a production date and when the plane was in an M.U. would help on the roundels.

I'd say the underwing would be unlikely, unless you have squadron diary, if they were not in combat in the preceding days the roundels may have been applied.

HTH

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Many thanks for your input everybody . . . it's much appreciated. I've decided on my scheme after looking at other depictions of P3576, so if I turn out to be proved wrong then so be it !

I hope to post some pics when it's finished, so look out for them. :cheers:

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Many thanks for your input everybody . . . it's much appreciated. I've decided on my scheme after looking at other depictions of P3576, so if I turn out to be proved wrong then so be it !

I hope to post some pics when it's finished, so look out for them. :cheers:

May I Ask what other depictions? AFAIK the above are the only photos of 249 from that era. This gives a guide to style and size of codes, and most likely a 35 inch A1 roundel, (as opposed to the other version on the Aviology sheet, a 35 inch A type with an added 7 inch ring making it 49 inch.)

If the 'other depictions' are not like the above photos, I'd ignore them. Profiles are full of mistakes.

see here for an example - http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234963507-all-the-hurricane-questions-you-want-to-ask-here/#entry1673827

What I posted is as good as you will get anywhere on any modelling forum, and I try to give you my reasoning, both in that link and in the post above.

an example, decal sheet profile.

nicolson_vc.jpg

This is I think from the decal sheet, note it has the wrong code order, while this did vary, it was consistent in a squadron. The codes while of the right 'font' with squared off G, are not high enough.

This is enough to dismiss this as a poor representation.

The yellow outer ring was introduced in early May 1940, leading to 3 variations,

35 in A, with added 7" yellow ring, making a 49" roundel like the above.

and

1.jpg

35" A with narrow yellow ring

large.jpg

These are example of unit modifications, the alternate is a full repaint of the roundel, which is a big job, the other two just need the yellow, hence the two above variants.

the specified type A1 for a Hurricane is 35", as shown in all the 249 pics I posted.

This is what I said about Airframe history, if the plane went through an MU for servicing, it would most likely be repainted properly, or if it was built after May 1940, then it would have this from factory or MU.

If you can find anything that can give actual photographic evidence to the contrary to what I posted, I'd like to know. Anything else is likely to be supposition.

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When I said other depictions I meant other models which I've seen, plus other profiles. :worms: I know the Aviaeology sheet has two versions, so they leave it up to the individual modeller to decide which version to use.

I fully appreciate your help, Troy, but it's too late to change now, as the decals are on !

Just out of interest I've seen photos of 32 squadron machines, taken at Hawkinge early in the battle, and they show quite a wide variation in roundel sizes and code letter styles, so unless one has a photo of the particular a/c you can only go by whatever info you have. It's a far cry from my early modelling days when everything was dark green, dark brown and light blue underneath ! Anyway, thanks for taking the time to try and answer my query . . . As I said before, it's much appreciated. :cheers:

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  • 2 months later...

Further to my earlier posts I've abandoned my Airfix Hurricane ( Long story ! ) and am now building the Hasegawa kit as Flt. Lt. Nicolson's GN - A. I think I'll go along with Troy's advice regarding the 'GN' placement AFT of the roundel on the starboard side as per the BBMF's LF363 scheme of a couple of years ago, but I'm puzzled as to why so many models, including Airfix's 1/72 kit show the codes FORWARD of the roundel !

Can anyone enlighten me as to why this should be ? :cheers:

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You might like to read the following thread from Flypast's Historical Aircraft forum.

http://forum.keypublishing.com/showthread.php?135026-Flt-Lt-James-Nicolson-VC-and-the-RAF-s-Display-Typhoon&highlight=Nicholson

The red devil insignia appears new to everyone, but they also believe the position of the codes to be forward of the roundel on the port side. It is not uncommon to have the squadron codes to the left (or even to the right) on both sides of an aircraft, but they are often carried only forward (or aft).

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Graham, would I be correct in assuming that the 'GN' codes were carried forward on both port and starboard sides of this particular Hurricane , as you said they were forward on the PORT side, which was fairly standard ?

Edited by Starfighter
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I don't know what was correct for the starboard side, for that particular aircraft. The photo above of P3154 GN.H was taken in France. (EDIT. No it wasn't. See below.) In the book "249 At War" by Brian Cull, another photo shows GN codes forward of the roundel, but this is dated as early 1941. A picture of a Hurricane on Malta later in 1941 also has the GN codes forward of the roundel. The first Spitfires on Malta carried GN codes aft of the roundel. The book also has a picture of GN.A from the port side, taken in September 1940, but this is a distant shot and the serial cannot be read.

So the squadron was not consistent with time. Whether it was consistent at any given time is another matter.

Edited by Graham Boak
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I don't know what was correct for the starboard side, for that particular aircraft. The photo above of P3154 GN.H was taken in France. In the book "249 At War" by Brian Cull, another photo shows GN codes forward of the roundel, but this is dated as early 1941. A picture of a Hurricane on Malta later in 1941 also has the GN codes forward of the roundel. The first Spitfires on Malta carried GN codes aft of the roundel. The book also has a picture of GN.A from the port side, taken in September 1940, but this is a distant shot and the serial cannot be read.

So the squadron was not consistent with time. Whether it was consistent at any given time is another matter.

HI Graham

The caption says not

from http://www.kirkbymoorside.info/day-hurricane-crashed-near-kirkbymoorside/

Hurricane P3154 on the back of the lorry about to leave Kirkbymoorside

History of the plane

Hurricane R3154 [sic - P3154 is more likley] was built to contract 96237/38 by Gloster Aircraft Ltd at Hucclecote and delivered to the RAF in February 1940 and after acceptance was flown to 607 Squadron at Vitry-en-Artois, France in March 1940. It moved with the unit to Abbeville on 12th April 1940, and returned to Vitry-en-Artois on 26th April 1940. It then moved to Norrent Fontes on 19th May 1940. 607 Squadron withdrew from France arriving Croydon on 22nd May 1940 but without any aircraft.

Hurricane P3154 made its way back to the UK and after servicing was issued to 249 Squadron at Leconfield in June 1940 and the unit then transferred to Church Fenton on 8th July 1940. It suffered Cat.R/FA damage in the incident at Kirkbymoorside, detailed above.

After repair the aircraft was issued to 56 Squadron at Boscombe Down in September 1940. The aircraft was to be written off later the same year whilst taking part in the Battle of Britain. Sgt D.H.Nicholls of 56 Squadron was injured in combat over Yeovil at 16.00hrs on the 7th of October 1940. The aircraft crashed at Alton Pancras, Somerset. Initially the damage was declared as Cat.R but after assessment was Re-Cat.W and struck off charge.

You may have other sources, I just quoted the link.

Graham, would I be correct in assuming that the 'GN' codes were carried forward on both port and starboard sides of this particular Hurricane , as you said they were forward on the PORT side, which was fairly standard ?

The answer is, without a photo, you don't know. There is no standard

This link may have got 'lost' http://cs.finescale.com/fsm/modeling_subjects/f/2/p/137680/1433121.aspx#1433121

but it is the best posting I have seen on the possible variation of RAF codes letters.

What I was trying to do in my posts above was show any other examples from the era of squadron practice, which is the 'next best' after a photo.

From the one photo of the starboard side of a 249 Sq Hurricane in July 1940, the codes read GN-H.

I don't know of another starboard photo of a 249 Sq plane from the BoB era.

You need to remember photography was prohibited on RAF bases, and during the battle this was much more of a concern, so photos from this era are very rare.

Those that exist are from two categories, from the occasional official shoot, two example are of 32 Sq at Hawkinge and 85 Sq at Castle Camps in July 1940, or the film of 56 Sq taking off [uS code], or 510 Sq taking off [sD code] all of which are very well known as a result.

Or illicit private shots, which the picture of GN-C is likely an example, which have leaked out from veterans photo albums over the years.

From memory though the commoner Squadron codes placement in the era is XX-X of the port side, and XX-X on the starboard.

Hurricane squadrons in the Battle with this form, from photographs, are 17 (YB), 32 (GZ) , 56(US), 85(VY), 87 (LK), 229 (RE), 234(VK), 249 (GN), 257(DT), 303 (RF).

An example of codes reading X-XX port and XX-X starboard is 504 Sq , code TM.

HTH

T

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That's very interesting, Troy. I think that I'll follow your advice and apply the codes as GN - A on the starboard side, since that's how they appear on your photo of GN -C. This was also the way they were depicted on LF363 of the BBMF at one time, although it was painted in the 'A' scheme, and my model has already been painted in the 'B' pattern, which may or may not be correct.

As you say, I think a common system would have been followed within the squadron, although the size and style of codes did vary a lot : I'm thinking of photos of 32 squadron, for instance.

Anyway, thanks for everyone's input and advice, it's much appreciated. :cheers:

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I thought was quoting from the caption in 249 At War, but apparently not. My apologies. This book also gives the personal letter as H although this is not visible. The style of the fin flash is that seen in the first flush of such use, so if this is an example of how 607's aircraft were marked I'm grateful to you for drawing that to my attention. We can also assume that the GN codes were painted directly over the AF ones, I think, which may or may not have any relevance to how of other 249's aircraft were coded.

I have the aircraft with 607 Sq. in France, based on Air Britain P serials, but I don't think it appears in Cull's 20 Days In May, Cornwell's The Battle of France: Then and Now, or Dixon's biography of Blackadder. So was it previously AF.H? 20 DIM gives P3448 as AF.H: which according to Air Britain was lost in France, unit unknown, but it is included in Blackadder's log book. It is said elsewhere that 607 didn't carry codes when in France, but I don't see why this practice should have carried over to 249 Sq.

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Hi everyone

Forgive me if this question has been asked before, and I know I'm probably opening a can of worms here, but I'd be interested to know the general consensus of opinion regarding the markings for Hurricane P3576. I have the Aviaeology decal set for this machine, which I'm about to apply to my Airfix 1/48 Hurricane ( The new one ) and they give you two choices of markings to use, so my question is this :

Which is the more likely fuselage roundel size, and did this a/c have underwing roundels ? I've seen both versions depicted in paintings, prints, etc. but I'd like to have some input from my fellow modellers if possible ? :cheers:

Hi:

Haven't been around on BM much of late, so have only just tripped over this one.

As a long term admirer of Nicolson, 'GN-A' was my only choice for the test shot of the new Airfix Hurricane, that subsequently appeared in Airfix Model World magazine, earlier this year. This subsequently drew a pleasant email from Jim Nicolson, nephew of James, expressing his delight at seeing his uncle's aircraft in AMW. His narrative let slip an aside, "I thought you and Steve might be interested to know that, according to his widow, my uncle apparently had a red devil figure painted on the nose of P3576."

Jim's now a personal friend and gives illustrated talks about his uncle's life and time in the RAF. He confirmed that Muriel had indeed told him that James wrote to her prior to the combat engagement on August 16, 1940 to tell her (among other things) of his personal marking. That lodged in the old brain box and bugged me no end, so there was nothing for it but to scratch the itch. The following is a cut 'n paste from the Key Publishing forum thread referred to elsewhere in an earlier contribution and explains things more particularly.

"I’m the ‘independant researcher’ Andy has referred to previously (Hi Andy!). Just a few words from me, if I may, to explain where I fit in to all this. You should also understand that I set out to answer two questions -

Was there such an emblem on Nicolson's Hurricane on and prior to August 16, 1940.

2. What did it look like?

Sometimes an innocent surprise can be the catalyst for a chain of events that are at once, unexpected and out of step with anything that could be reasonably anticipated.

I received a phone call from Airfix Model World (AMW) Editor Chris Clifford back in the earlier part of this year, in the wake of my test shot build of the new 1/48 Airfix Hurricane, to advise he'd received a complimentary email. The test shot didn't come with decals, so I was free to choose the markings. That was an easy decision for me, as a long term admirer of James Nicolson VC and so the kit was duly published in the AMW March 2015 issue as 'GN-A' P3576 in a special Battle of Britain supplement.

The email was from Jim Nicolson, nephew of James (JBN) and within the body of the narrative was the remark "I thought you and Steve might be interested to know that, according to his widow, my uncle apparently had a red devil figure painted on the nose of P3576". This was an intriguing revelation. I had no such marking on the Aviaeology decal sheet I'd used in the Hurricane build and so contacted Terry Higgins at the company, who confirmed he had no knowledge of such a thing either.

Dialogue with Jim (a really lovely guy) revealed that he'd visited JBN's widow, Muriel many times before she died, who had told him of a letter JBN had written to her in 1940, prior to the VC engagement on August 16, 1940 in which 'Nick' mentioned that he'd had a 'red devil' emblem painted on his Hurricane. Jim confirmed that Muriel's mind was sharp as a tack and that he regarded her recollection as entirely accurate.

Jim also disclosed to me during our initial contact, that JBN's uniform and Mae West were on display at the Tangmere Museum of aviation and that there was a red devil emblem to one side of the display case, which he speculated, was possibly a German bomber Geschwader symbol. I was curious about that, as JBN's only known 'kill' was the Bf110 he took down over Southampton. Given that the ‘110’ was not a ‘bomber’ per se, I couldn’t personally see what relevance to the Tangmere display might lay in an arbitrary German symbol, so with that in mind, ‘parked’ those thoughts temporarily.

In essence, I’d reached 'critical mass' at this point and determined to 'chase down' this elusive red devil that I'd never previously seen appear on any decal sheet or any finished model that I was aware of. First order of business then, was to Google it to a standstill and happily a particular enquiry phrase threw up a comment by one Andy Saunders, on Key Publishing’s forum way back in 2009, that the emblem was '...a detail often overlooked'.

Next up, was some background checking on Andy (who, to my everlasting shame, had never heard of before) that quickly revealed him as a respected aviation historian, who had worked on some very notable restoration projects, among them the recent 'Guy Martin's Spitfire', so I did the next logical thing and emailed him to ascertain the source of his assertion in 2009. He was just off on a project for three weeks, so there it rested. I picked up threads with Andy on his return and a short while later he dropped back to me and attached to his email was a scan of an IPMS article drawn up by the late Doris Reeves and illustrated by Gary Davidson both from the Souders-Earhart chapter of the IPMS in the USA - the piece having appeared in 'Wings and Wheels' sometime before Doris passed away in 2000. Entitled "Heroic Hurricane", it included a port side profile drawing of 'GN-A' and a detail illustration of the red devil emblem. The narrative made mention of having been derived from the November 30, 1940 article in the now defunct Illustrated London News (ILN).

The ILN piece, it turned out, was a double page centre spread, dominated by a painting by noted war artist, Bryan De Grineau and endorsed with the statement "Specially drawn for the Illustrated London News by our special artist Bryan De Grineau from details personally supplied by Flight Lieut. Nicolson VC".

The narrative itself included "On the side of his 'Hurricane' he carries as a symbol a little devil making a defiant gesture". This material, together with Muriel's personal testimony eradicated any doubt that there was indeed, such a symbol in Nick's Hurricane on August 16, 1940. What remained, was to establish, as far as might be possible without photographs, what the emblem looked like.

It’s perhaps useful to add here that my discussions with Jim Nicolson revealed that Tom Neil advised him that 'Nick' caused some degree of irritation on 249 due to his 'fastidious' approach to things and always wanting them to be 'right'.

According to Jim, (who has the actual telegram and one 'Nick' sent to Muriel, his wife, on being told he would receive the VC) Nicolson dictated a telegram to a policeman by the roadside immediately after being shot down. He is reported as having given the police officer 'a rocket' for adding an 'h' erroneously to his surname. Fastidious indeed. I mention this, as ‘Nick’ would not have ‘signed off’ on the ILN material without first checking its veracity.

So, back in research mode, the emblem on the cabinet at Tangmere matched that in the Souders-Earhart article and further background checks then revealed that Andy Saunders was actually the founder of the Tangmere Museum (something else I wasn’t aware of). It was clear therefore that the origin of the Tangmere painting had to be established and so I picked up with Andy again. He kindly verified that he had indeed commissioned the now late Michael Payne to paint the emblem and that the Souders-Earhart article was the source of it.

I then felt compelled to examine the ILN edition myself and lashed £33.50 (putting my money where my mouth is) for an original example from the publishing date. It tallied with the Souders-Earhart article and as such, it seemed reasonable to share the outcome with Terry at Aviaeology. I asked if he would revise his decal presentation to include the red devil and happily, he agreed to do so, in 1/72, 1/48 and 1/24 and that was the conclusion of my initial investigations, that were obviously driven from a modelling perspective.

As you might imagine, I was pretty content at the fact that I’d taken Jim’s email ‘aside’ and united the pieces of an aspect of aviation history that had become separated and 'lost' (and had zero cognisance among the world wide modelling community) and that it all pertained to one of my great heroes...but there was more to come and it really was unexpected.

I was touring Facebook a little over a month ago when I tripped over a three quarter frontal shot of a Eurofighter Typhoon in dark earth and dark green. On its flank was what looked like ‘GN-A'. I emailed Jim to ask if he knew about it - he didn't and as someone who regularly gives illustrated talks about Nick, was very excited by this and keen to know more, so I lapsed into research mode again and traced the Tiffie to Coningsby. After a couple of transfers I ended up with Yvonne Masters in their Media Comms Office. I explained my Airfix Model World role and my contact with Jim and asked if they had a Nicolson tribute aircraft. Yvonne confirmed that they did and we spoke about it for quite a while, during which (surprise, surprise) I mentioned the matter of the red devil emblem and that I would share the material more particularly mentioned above with them. As the conversation wound down, Yvonne added that there was going to be an official press unveiling on Thursday 21 May. I suggested they'd benefit from having Jim and his Nicolson artefacts present on the day and guess what, no surprise, I said it was essential I go too and happily 'The Angel of Coningsby' gave it her blessing.

I duly forwarded my evidence to Yvonne and requested that the RAF place Nicolson's emblem (as depicted on the painting at Tangmere) on their Tiffie as a further mark of respect to Nicolson. This, I was advised, initially went to the SEngO of 29® Squadron, who I now know to be Bryn Kirby, who helped begin the process of examining my application. Well, the correspondence naturally flowed between Coningsby, me, Jim, Andy and Chris, until I spoke to Yvonne last week and pressed her about the status, to which she replied that it was looking '98.5% certain that the emblem would be applied'. On Wednesday of this week, the day before the unveiling, I received an email from Coningsby verifying that some 75 years after Nicolson's emblem had last appeared in the skies over Southampton, it would once again take flight. It was an emotional moment - more so when Jim and I were escorted to the aircraft on Thursday, ahead of the press pack and saw his symbol emblazoned on the Tiffie. Next to it, was stencilled "Flt. Lt. James Nicolson VC.

I'll never forget what that engendered in me. A conversation with Bryn on the apron revealed that the sign off within the RAF to my request was "...second in overall command". Jim and I were later invited to lunch with Ben Westoby-Brooks, the synchro pair display pilot and Bryn Kirby in the officers mess and later had a very pleasant chat with Andy 'Milli' Millikin, current boss of the BBMF, before a tour of the hanger. A truly epic day and it was very evident to me, that Jim’s presence on the day gave a depth and focus to the event that greatly benefitted the RAF and the media in consequence. He’s going back for a gala dinner with senior RAF personnel and to give his famous talk about ‘Nick’ to the squadrons and personnel on base.

And now, some thanks and recognition from me. First up, has to be Jim Nicolson, without whose email and ‘aside’ about the red devil, I’d never have gone galavanting off on all this in the first place or ended up at Coningsby and that leads me naturally on to Andy Saunders, who’s very kind co-operation in providing the Souders-Earhart scan and answering my many questions with patience and consummate professionalism led me to Tangmere and the painting he commissioned. Thanks also to Tangmere Museum for ‘minding’ me so closely and attentively while I was on-site and for co-operating with my photography request.

So, we all played a part in a piece of modern aviation history but do you know what? It’s not actually about Jim, Andy, Tangmere or me - it’s about James Nicolson VC and his astonishing act of bravery over Southampton in those dark days of 1940, when the Germans stood on the North French coast and planned their invasion of Britain."

So, with all that in mind, I've had dialogue with Terry Higgins at Aviaeology (another top drawer guy), who (like me) was unaware of the emblem and has now kindly confirmed that addendum sheets are in production of the red devil in 1/72 - 1/48 - 1/24.

Terry was happy about my choice of narrow fin flash and 'A-GN' code placement on the starboard side, as that's his recommendation on the sheet. What doesn't seem to have been mentioned here, are photos (I believe there are two) of Tom Neil larking about by a 249 'cane that has a portion of a code letter that is aft of the fuselage roundel and is clearly not an 'N'. It's angle says to me it's an 'A' and as the pic I'm thinking of in Tom Neil's book 'Gun button to fire' was taken in September 1940, is likely of the original 'GN-A's replacement.

In tandem with this, Andy Saunders commissioned the painting of Nick's 'cane by Robert Taylor and has his since rescinded his position on the starboard codes and fin. Here's a related thread that explains things a little more. Please note his comment that Corgi 'got it right' (with their 1/32 die cast).

http://forum.keypublishing.com/showthread.php?90512-F-Lt-James-Nicolson-VC

I haven't posted this as any kind of 'last word' on the matter or that anyone isn't free to model Nick's bird exactly as their research and beliefs suggest but just to contribute my experiences with the matter.

Wish you all well with modelling!

Best regards

Steve

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I thought was quoting from the caption in 249 At War, but apparently not. My apologies. This book also gives the personal letter as H although this is not visible. The style of the fin flash is that seen in the first flush of such use, so if this is an example of how 607's aircraft were marked I'm grateful to you for drawing that to my attention. We can also assume that the GN codes were painted directly over the AF ones, I think, which may or may not have any relevance to how of other 249's aircraft were coded.

I have the aircraft with 607 Sq. in France, based on Air Britain P serials, but I don't think it appears in Cull's 20 Days In May, Cornwell's The Battle of France: Then and Now, or Dixon's biography of Blackadder. So was it previously AF.H? 20 DIM gives P3448 as AF.H: which according to Air Britain was lost in France, unit unknown, but it is included in Blackadder's log book. It is said elsewhere that 607 didn't carry codes when in France, but I don't see why this practice should have carried over to 249 Sq.

there were some differences between 607 aircraft in france.

one of them is now in the raf museum at Hendon AF-F P2617 I asked them why there were no fin flashes and apparently they didn't carry them over there. but they were re-supplied with aircraft and were on the move quite a bit so not all aircraft were the same.

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there were some differences between 607 aircraft in france.

one of them is now in the raf museum at Hendon AF-F P2617 I asked them why there were no fin flashes and apparently they didn't carry them over there. but they were re-supplied with aircraft and were on the move quite a bit so not all aircraft were the same.

When you mention P2617, and fin flashes, who did you ask? If it was one of the chaps on the floor, I'd not take that as gospel. There is debate as to if it even wears the right individual aircraft letter, or...see quotes below.

P2617 is portrayed in what I think is the earliest known scheme, which is early 1940 standard, so no fin flash or yellow ring on roundel, both of which were applied in early May 1940.

I've not seen a Hurricane with a yellow ring and no fin flash either.

A look through the now archive only Luftwaffe Experten Message Board, which has a very interesting thread on captured and wrecked Hurricanes,

see http://www.luftwaffe-experten.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=309&page=5

which reminds me Graham is a 607 Sq buff, and they also were known for just having the sq codes and no individual aircraft letter.

No visible code on either 607 Sq a/c - although the second has something that appears to have been brushed out? Peter Cooksley said that the 607 Sq Gladiators that went out to France had no individual codes, so this may be an unusual squadron habit. Codes were used to distinguish these aircraft, so unless these examples are atypical we are left to wonder how. Also no fin flash.

I have seen other photographs of 607 squadron aircraft in France without individual code letters. The Gladiators did not carry them although they did have the letter in the cockpit for the pilots logbook. The logbooks I have seen from the period code serial numbers and not letters for the hurricanes. Thanks to Graham Boak for altering me to the photographs.

David Charles
607 Squadron Historian

It should be noted that while P2617 is painted in early 1940 markings, the airframe served with training command and at some point had a 'bullet' Rotol and knuckled tailwheel fitted, as is still displayed with these.

A parting thought, I don't know of any preserved Hurricane I which actually has a Spitfire type Rotol fitted, even though this is the iconic spinner for BoB Hurricanes. Anyone know of one?

T

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When you mention P2617, and fin flashes, who did you ask? If it was one of the chaps on the floor, I'd not take that as gospel. There is debate as to if it even wears the right individual aircraft letter, or...see quotes below.

I emailed them so im guessing one of the archivists?

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