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No 601 Squadron Hurricanes Mk.I with Flying Sword on the lower engine cowling


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Good morning All

 

All the best in New Year.

 

Some time ago I saw  on this Forum a few colour photos of Hurricanes Mk.I used by No 601 squadron with beautiful Flying Sword painted on the lower engine cowling. Unfortunately me and Uncle Google don't like each other and we don't cooperate well. Can anyone post this photos in this thread or just put a link to that discussion. I will be very grateful for help.

 

Cheers!

 

Dominik

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Oddly enough, I found a 601 Sq site

lots of photos, badly organised

eg

http://www.601squadron.com/bill-higgs.html

 

and this blog

https://601diary.wordpress.com/gallery/april-1940-tangmere

 

 I wrote a comment but it'snot been moderated yet, and that was a month ago,  so I'll post it here

 

Quote

Ran across your site via the 601 Squadron website, which I found searching upinformation about a 601 Sq Hurricane that crashed near Lewes.
I’m personally interested in the aircraft side, and as modeller, particularly in camouflage and markings.
I noted with interest in the photo Tangmere April 40 – Photo 4
https://601diary.wordpress.com/gallery/april-1940-tangmere/1940-04-p1-05/

that the individual aircraft code letter, A, (as in UF – A) is repeated on the front wing root, and it has added either side a small M and X, making it MAX, so I asssume this is the personal aircraft of http://www.601squadron.com/max-aitken.html

Another interesting feature is the winged sword emblem under the nose.
https://601diary.wordpress.com/gallery/april-1940-tangmere/1940-04-p1-04/
as well as the repeat of the code letter ‘H’ again.
more shots from the same time are found here of different squadron aircraft, Z, Y, T, O.
http://www.601squadron.com/bill-higgs.html

At a later stage in the Battle of Britain, probaly July, 601 had a unique marking for Fighter Command, as it’s spiiners.which were painted in red, white , blue stripes
this example
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/0c/8b/61/0c8b61605b03e32080f92c41065f4323.jpg
“Hurricane Mk I UF-S was flown by F/L Michael L “Mickey” Robinson on 16 August, the day he joined No 601 Squadron RAF ”

has an red lightning stripe down the side! Note,due to a filter the blues appear pale and the red dark.
There are a few other shots of 601 Sq Hurricanes where the striped spinner is visible.
there is a scanned monograph on Hurricane camoflage and markings here
http://www.boxartden.com/gallery/index.php/Profiles/Camoflage-Markings/03-Hawker-Hurricane

the series of markings changes in 1940 make it useful for dating photographs even if the details of markings are of less interest.

Hope of interest, and thank you for posting the fascinating photographs.

 

does have this fascinating image,  showing the winged  sword very well

 

1940-04-p1-04.jpg?w=1000&h=

 

HTH

T

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The flying sword motif shifted to the white of the rudder fin flash during the late Battle of Britain period and during the height of the BoB there were Hurris in 601 completely without it. I modelled Billy Fiske's most flown airframe P3383 (UF-E) a number of years back and although no photos have thus far come forward of her I modelled her without due to when she was taken on charge by the squadron. The individual aircraft code letter on the leading edges also seems to have disappeared fairly quickly once the BoB began in earnest.

 

That colour film belongs to the Rhodes-Moorhouse family and is actually quite long, much longer than the short snippets shown on "Dig 1940". There is much footage of Willie R-M and his wife Amalia. Apart from those few pieces on Dig, the film has never been released publicly.

Edited by Smithy
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Hi

Thanks for help. Tony these are the photos I was looking for. I've noticed one more thing. White in finflashes are wider on two of these Hurries. 

As I don't  know much about Hurricanes can you tell me whether these are ragwings or tinwings? 

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4 hours ago, DominikS said:

As I don't  know much about Hurricanes can you tell me whether these are ragwings or tinwings? 

in the colour photos Tony posted?

They look metal,  on metal wing Hurricanes the landing light are a bay further our ion the wing from the gunports.  

 

fabric wing

3559753440_ba7649c142_b.jpgHurricane mk.I by Etienne du Plessis, on Flickr  

Co-incidentally, L1936 is the plane that crashed near Lewes which I mention above

http://www.601squadron.com/frank-jensen.html

 

 

 

metal

27760878569_bf55113507_z.jpg

 

note the plane looks to be 'A'  note letter on front of wing

and see below

(as in UF – A) is repeated on the front wing root, and it has added either side a small M and X, making it MAX, so I asssume this is the personal aircraft of http://www.601squadron.com/max-aitken.html

 

1940-04-p1-05.jpg?w=900

 

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8 hours ago, DominikS said:

Hi

Thanks for help. Tony these are the photos I was looking for. I've noticed one more thing. White in finflashes are wider on two of these Hurries. 

As I don't  know much about Hurricanes can you tell me whether these are ragwings or tinwings? 

 

All of 601's Hurricanes had metal wings.

 

UF-A is most certainly Max Aitken's aircraft (he marked his Blenheim the same way) and is most probably P2920 (a Gloster build from their first production batch) which he flew throughout June and July at Tangmere where the footage was filmed. The film is most likely from June or July and P2920 was the airframe he flew almost exclusively.

 

HTH,

 

Tim

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19 hours ago, Smithy said:

All of 601's Hurricanes had metal wings.

 

what about L1936,   which is shown above?

http://www.601squadron.com/frank-jensen.html

Quote

Jensens's first crash was with 601 Sq. He crashlanded Huricane I L1936 on July 4th 1940 and was hospitalized. He didn't return to flying until November, so he missed the Battle of Britain.

 

And, you don't happen to know the aircraft letter?

 

19 hours ago, Smithy said:

UF-A is most certainly Max Aitken's aircraft (he marked his Blenheim the same way) and is most probably P2920 (a Gloster build from their first production batch) which he flew throughout June and July at Tangmere where the footage was filmed. The film is most likely from June or July and P2920 was the airframe he flew almost exclusively.

 

I suspect not, as Hurricanes from this batch after P27**   are fitted with Spitfire Rotols, and this a DH Hurricane unit.

 

another interesting aspect, and some point in the summer of 1940,  the codes letters of 601 sq planes got bigger, 

 

 

from http://www.601squadron.com/bill-higgs.html  which look to be 30 inch

more in link, reproduced here for discussion

2d4c70fd12fdfd00febabcb2556a7bdc?AccessK

 

to  these which look to 36 inch

fac31c1e3cf547e3bf1eec647e11129a---septe]#

 

0c8b61605b03e32080f92c41065f4323.jpg

 

601-squadron-hurricane-w760.jpg

 

there is another shot buried  in the 601 sq site, and I'm guessing the 3 above are from the same camera,  as they have the same effect of dark red/light blue from film filter.

is there any date for the tri-colour spinner photos?    

 

cheers

T

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Question for Troy: If Hurricanes from P27** all had Rotols, did P**** before this all have DH?  I'm asking because those provided to 607 Sq in April/May 1940 are predominantly P25**, and that would finally confirm which prop to use.  I shall have to reread the late Robert Dixon's book on Blackadder, where I vaguely recall a comment that Blackadder's aircraft had a Rotol, with the implication that this was unusual.

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12 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

Question for Troy: If Hurricanes from P27** all had Rotols, did P**** before this all have DH?  I'm asking because those provided to 607 Sq in April/May 1940 are predominantly P25**, and that would finally confirm which prop to use.  I shall have to reread the late Robert Dixon's book on Blackadder, where I vaguely recall a comment that Blackadder's aircraft had a Rotol, with the implication that this was unusual.

 

actually the pre P27** is your estimation,   

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234980181-hawker-hurricane-propellers-and-spinners-a-modellers-guide/

Quote

The Rotol Spitfire type spinner seems to have been introduced onto the Gloster built third batch of Hurricane in February/ March 1940.

Graham Boak in a thread on Luftwaffe Experten Message Board (LEMB) still up but no longer active, suggested they appear from the P27** serial range onwards.,

which would be P2535 - P2584 (50), P2614 - P2653 (40), P2672 - P2701 (30)

 

so this is best guess from available photos

eg  the front two aircraft are P25**

Hawker-Hurricane-MkI-RAF-73Sqn-in-format

 

and assuming that 'X' above is  the same as P2647, which I  from the X and the added yellow ring, we

Hawker-Hurricane-MkI-RAF-73Sqn-TPX-P2647

 

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235023623-can-anyone-post-airfix-148-hurricane-mk1-paintingmarking-instructions/&do=findComment&comment=2767033

 

and P2728

hurr1-6.jpg

 

look to be Rotol

Gleed's P2798 is Rotol

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234984930-hurricane-mk-i-ian-gleed-87-sqdn-172-airfix-finished/&do=findComment&comment=2038600

 

as with all this, best guess from fragmentary data, though @tango98  may have some more info in his files.

cheers

T

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Troy Smith said:

 

what about L1936,   which is shown above?

http://www.601squadron.com/frank-jensen.html

 

And, you don't happen to know the aircraft letter?

 

 

I suspect not, as Hurricanes from this batch after P27**   are fitted with Spitfire Rotols, and this a DH Hurricane unit.

 

another interesting aspect, and some point in the summer of 1940,  the codes letters of 601 sq planes got bigger, 

 

My mistake, you are of course right about the fabric wings.

 

However I'd still say that Aitken's Hurri was P2920. The film was shot at Tangmere. 601 moved to Tangmere on the 17th June. Aitken was with the squadron until he was posted away on the 20th July. If we look at the ORB for this period in June and July P2920 was the aircraft he flew almost exclusively during this time so it hardly makes sense for another aircraft during this period to be coded A and carry "MAX" on the leading edges.

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10 minutes ago, Smithy said:

what about L1936,   which is shown above?

http://www.601squadron.com/frank-jensen.html

 

And, you don't happen to know the aircraft letter?

again, you happen to know the aircraft letter of L1936 when with 601?

 

11 minutes ago, Smithy said:

The film was shot at Tangmere. 601 moved to Tangmere on the 17th June.

 

Sky undersurfaces  came in early June,    these are B/W,   and IIRC, the film was shot sometime in May 1940

re

27760878569_bf55113507_z.jpg

Just about visible, 5 spoke wheel, which is seen on L**** and N****, but not  on P****.

 

Does the ORB, which I don't have, but am guess you do, list another aircraft for Aitkin,   I suggest  N2435

why?

f1f154bd90a33eaa954e108f99368845?AccessK

 

note plane in bottom right "our first tinfish"   in reference to metal wings?  (or just switch to Hurricanes) 

Thus us having code letter applied, and looks like an 'A'  serial is N2435

 

And, when new aircraft get delivered, including a shiny new Rotol propped P2920,  would not the C/O then upgrade to the better performing plane? 

 

Supposition I know, and I'm away from my books, so can't look up N2435,   or P2920 (is there a delivery date?)  but if anyone else can then please do.

 

cheers

T

 

 

 

 

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One problem with your suggestion for P2920 and its Rotol is that the RAF's fighter fleet had its variable pitch (i.e. 2 position) DH props converted to constant speed DHs, so there would have been little difference in the performance.  However it would be common for a senior officer to take up a new aircraft once he had any thought that his current one was beginning to flag. - or indeed, had disappeared for major overhaul.

 

Re 607: Blackadder wrecked his "lovely new Rotol" on the 15th May but the serial isn't specified.  I can't find a write-off on this date so presumably it was only the prop which was a wreck and not the entire aircraft.  Alternatively it was P2873 but this matches his being shot down on the 18th May.  However on the 17th August he flew P2680 with the DH cs prop.

 

PS  Whereas I'm convinced that there will have been a time when all Hurricanes came off the line with DH props, that doesn't mean that all aircraft following the first Rotol example necessarily had Rotols, even at Glosters.  It would be convenient if it was true.

Edited by Graham Boak
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2 hours ago, Troy Smith said:

again, you happen to know the aircraft letter of L1936 when with 601?

 

 

Sky undersurfaces  came in early June,    these are B/W,   and IIRC, the film was shot sometime in May 1940

re

27760878569_bf55113507_z.jpg

Just about visible, 5 spoke wheel, which is seen on L**** and N****, but not  on P****.

 

Does the ORB, which I don't have, but am guess you do, list another aircraft for Aitkin,   I suggest  N2435

why?

f1f154bd90a33eaa954e108f99368845?AccessK

 

note plane in bottom right "our first tinfish"   in reference to metal wings?  (or just switch to Hurricanes) 

Thus us having code letter applied, and looks like an 'A'  serial is N2435

 

And, when new aircraft get delivered, including a shiny new Rotol propped P2920,  would not the C/O then upgrade to the better performing plane? 

 

Supposition I know, and I'm away from my books, so can't look up N2435,   or P2920 (is there a delivery date?)  but if anyone else can then please do.

 

cheers

T

 

 

 

 

 

Sorry I don't have the code for L1936. The 601 ORB whilst being one of the more detailed, unfortunately like most only lists serial numbers.

 

Also the film cannot be shot in May as if you look at the underwing roundel of the Hurri in the screen grab you posted above you can clearly see a yellow outer ring to the roundel. The addition of the yellow outer ring on the port side underwing roundel was only stipulated on 4th June 1940 with AM signal X479. 

 

The signal for the adoption of Sky was X915 on the 6th June but remember that because of the lack of stocks of the new colour signal X349 was sent out on 10th June stating the continuation of the black and white scheme. On the 14th June AM informed that black and white undersides could be painted over with Sky if the colour was available.

 

I've only ever heard that the film was at Tangmere and indeed Andy Saunders who has seen the entire film has stated publicly that it was filmed at Tangmere.

 

Cheers,

 

Tim

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Just to add, interestingly P2920 is first mentioned in the 601 ORB on the 11th June and flown by the a WC Roberts (most likely David Neal Roberts who was commanding the Fighter Station and Sector at Middle Wallop and therefore well known by and of 601) on "Type Experience". After this she is not flown again until the 13th by Max himself on  an "Air Test". After this Max flies her pretty much exclusively. Make of that what you will but it's possible the aircraft was newly rehauled in some way. This being in the mid range of this first Gloster contract and considering that the final deliveries from this batch were made in April it's safe to assume 601 was not P2920's first posting - sorry I don't have aircraft cards for movement. It's interesting that the Station Commander should want and choose to fly her on her arrival at 601 and then for the CO to take her as his own.

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According to Air Britain,  P2920's first posting was to 601 Sq.  As for deliveries, 607 Sq received aircraft in the P25** range when first equipped with the Hurricane at the end of April 1940, although by May they were operating a few P28** examples.  Aircraft would be delivered from the factory to the MUs, and there could be some delays before the fitting of military equipment was complete and the aircraft took its turn at waiting for issue to a squadron.  It may be relevant that the last (by serial) "Lost In France"Hurricane was P3045, burnt on evacuation from Nantes in June 1940, the previous one being 501 Sq's P2964, also June 1940.  The one before that was P2907 in May.   In this context 11th June does not seem unreasonable. 

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I've been following this thread in absolute awe of the wealth of knowledge being displayed by all you major players. While not wishing to detract too much from the main discussion, I'd like to raise a point that appears to have gotten lost. In another thread the photo of UF-S appeared and our fellow modeller Doug Rodgers suggested that it may also have a black rudder (a possible replacement perhaps). Doubt was cast upon this for some quite justifiable reasons, but I would like to think he is right. In the pictures troy used to illustrate the change in the size of 601's code letters UF-S appears again, along with UF-U from roughly the same perspective and still showing the same rudder colour (different from the camo). But I think the clincher that proves Doug was right is the picture of UF-N taken with the sun behind. I think it shows the fin has the same tones as the propellor blades. It's only a small observation, but would make an interesting scheme if Doug's correct.

Anyhoo........discuss on gents, this thread is brilliant!

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Thanks for that Graham. It really is a bit of a conundrum, we know that the footage is post 4th June (due to the roundel) and according to Andy Saunders (someone who should know more than most what wartime Tangmere looked like due to the enormous amount of research he has undertaken) this was shot at Tangmere. If we consider that 601 moved to Tangmere on the 17th June and that the footage shows Aitken's personnel aircraft with "MAX" on the leading edges and we reference this to the ORB of the period, P2920 almost certainly has to be Max's personal mount. He hardly flew another airframe and his personal aeroplane was coded A and marked MAX on the leading edges continuing what he had done with his Blenheim.

 

 

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Re the photos of UF.S and its fin/rudder.  Black would be odd but as all the photographs appear to be taken on ortho film where the red appears very dark, could it be red primer?  However, given that the same appears to be true for UF.U and UF.N, could this be a B Flight marking?

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20 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

Re the photos of UF.S and its fin/rudder.  Black would be odd but as all the photographs appear to be taken on ortho film where the red appears very dark, could it be red primer?  However, given that the same appears to be true for UF.U and UF.N, could this be a B Flight marking?

 

You might be onto something there Graham. And with UF-N because that side of the aircraft is in full sunlight, it's obviously not a trick of light nor shadow. If it was a B Flight thing it seems to have disappeared by the time the squadron was in Exeter as photos of the unit's personnel with UF-S show a normal painted rudder.

 

Pre-war and early war 601 when they were still very much "The Millionaires Mob" were famous for flouting regulations so the idea that they might do something such as this is not outside the bounds of possibility.

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I think the rudder on UF-S is offset to port which, with the sun coming from behind, is causing shadow. 

 

UF-N is more intriguing although I detect camo demarcation running across the rudder about 1/3rd of the way down from the top.  That would militate against it being a flight colour or black.  Perhaps just a replacement rudder wearing different paint batch (noting the difference in tone on the colour images between the Hurris and the Ensign in the background)?

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48 minutes ago, mhaselden said:

I think the rudder on UF-S is offset to port which, with the sun coming from behind, is causing shadow. 

 

UF-N is more intriguing although I detect camo demarcation running across the rudder about 1/3rd of the way down from the top.  That would militate against it being a flight colour or black.  Perhaps just a replacement rudder wearing different paint batch (noting the difference in tone on the colour images between the Hurris and the Ensign in the background)?

 

I have not been online much,  some very interesting points made

 

but as Mark points out

camo demarcation on rudder,  could be a replacement,   but  I suspect it's a rudder angled to starboard , just enough to be in shadow, note the sun is low and from behind plane, look at the other shadows, 

Perhaps someone can experiment with a model and torch (if I didn't need to sleep soon I'd have a go  )

fac31c1e3cf547e3bf1eec647e11129a---septe

compare camo lines with image below

hurr1-6.jpg

 

6 hours ago, Smithy said:

Pre-war and early war 601 when they were still very much "The Millionaires Mob" were famous for flouting regulations so the idea that they might do something such as this is not outside the bounds of possibility.

 

the other factor,  IIRC in the 30's there was a Hawker Fury crash due to continual touching up of checks on the elevators,  causing imblance,  after that it was a rule not to paint control surfaces unless carefully montitored and checking to rebalance.

 

Pity,  the idea of a coloured rudder is appealing!  

 

note, is that a small personal emblem on the escape hatch,  I think UF-N had a Polish pilot,  maybe some Polish badge?

 

Thanks to @Graham Boak and  @Smithy for their input.

 

More when  i get chance.

T

 

 

 

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