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Flt Lt John Dundas's 609 Sqn BoB Spitfire R6922 15 Sep 40


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I am planning to build this Spitfire (and then hopefully the Do17 F1+FS that it had a hand in downing) as part of the 80th Anniversary BoB GB.  Now I've done a good 5 or 6 hours at least of Google searching for any photos of this machine (and it's doing Mrs FC's nut in as I've been like a dog with a bone over it!), but I can find nothing of absolute help.

 

I have found websites that state the code letters of R6922 to be PR-T, but can find nothing to concretely back that up.  Where do you much more learn'd folk go looking for such facts?

 

Does anyone know of any photos of this airframe in any publications that I could try to track down (or links to websites that Google's SEO doesn't find!).

 

This pairing was beautifully built in 1/72 during the 75th GB but my plans are to use the new Eduard Mk1 and the ICM Do17 both in 1/48.  I have started the Eduard Spit and am blown away with the surface detail for starters, and will start a GB thread once I've confirmed in my own tiny mind that this machine is reasonably accurately buildable!

 

 

Does anyone know any pitfalls regarding markings or modificatons that I should be aware of, especially before I dive into a bog standard build of R6922 using Scheme A camoflague (as it's an even serialled Spit), Sept 1940 markings with sky undersides and underwing roundels and Xtradecal MSG code letters and 8" black serials.   

 

I'm hazarding an educated guess that this airframe would have the radio aerial to the tail, no cheesecutter IFF wires (and therefore no associated panel in the cockpit) and hydraulic landing gear selector.  Anyone disagree?

 

Thanks for any help, all gratefully received.

 

Stay safe you all!

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Wingleader's Photo Archive Number I, on the Spitfire Mk I, has a two-page (34 and 35) side-by-side comparison of an early and a later Mk I, K9912 and R7159. Both were photographed prior to the application of squadron codes. R7159, an Eastleigh-produced aircraft, has Sky undersides, aerial wire to the tail, and IFF. No info on the type of gear selector fitted. Note that both aircraft have the same camo pattern despite having odd and even serial numbers, so it appears that the A/B pattern scheme may already have gone by the wayside when the photo of R7159 was taken.

Edited by Rolls-Royce
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47 minutes ago, Rolls-Royce said:

Wingleader's Photo Archive Number I, on the Spitfire Mk I, has a two-page (34 and 35) side-by-side comparison of an early and a later Mk I, K9912 and R7159. Both were photographed prior to the application of squadron codes. R7159, an Eastleigh-produced aircraft, has Sky undersides, aerial wire to the tail, and IFF. No info on the type of gear selector fitted. Note that both aircraft have the same camo pattern despite having odd and even serial numbers, so it appears that the A/B pattern scheme may already have gone by the wayside when the photo of R7159 was taken.

Thank you for your input R-R, found a link to the sample pages for this publication: https://uploads-ssl.webflow.com/5a3134b40672a700015a5d31/5ea6cf979a5ca9e4fe65a619_Spitfire Bookbrochure.pdf  There's some great refernce shots there and once the world (and my business' cashflow) is restored to normal I think I will be investing in the real thing! 

 

The comparison shows IFF cheesecutters but dates them as a late-September 1940 mod, so I think that as the action I wish to model was on 15 Sep then I can safely leave them off R6922.  One tick off the list!!!  

 

I've just found the aircraft's history to be (from the allspitfirepilots.org site):

FF 12-7-40 6MU 13-7-40 609S 15-8-40 FAC2 15-9-40 AST 92S 15-10-40 crashed nr Smarden Sgt Alton killed 19-10-40

 

This youtube video shows the powered selector at 6.44 and the airframe R6693 was FF 4-6-40 so this predates R6922. 

 

I'm going to stick my neck out for powered undercarriage, so will need to source these parts from a huge spares pile in my man-cave, or make a home-brewed resin copy.   Two ticks!!!!

 

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On R6922... Ted Hooton's excellent article in Scale Aircraft Modelling November 1982, and using the aircraft record above, suggests for R6922...

  • Scheme A.
  • Sky undersides applied on the production line, with the upper/lower surface demarcation along the cowling panel lines.
  • No underwing roundels until after 11-15 August; so applied either at 6MU - in which case it may have had the Type-As at the wing tips either 25-inch diameter centred 18 inches from the wing tips, e.g. X4474 (QV-I of 19 Sqn) or 30-inch diameter centred 21 inches from the wing tips, e.g. X4330, X4257; or on the squadron, in which case they are likely to have been the standard 50-inch diameter roundels centred 6-feet from the wing tip. Thinking of R6692, the smaller roundels applied at 6MU could be the most likely?
  • No IFF but may have had VHF radio, meaning no prong on the aerial mast; other photos of 609 Spitfires "late in the Battle" show VHF fitted; fitting began in mid-Sept.
  • Armour behind seat and pilot's head, plus voltage regulator behind the headrest.
  • Standard rear view mirror.
  • Fabric covered ailerons.
  • 609 applied the individual aircraft code letter under the nose in 10-12 inch black high numbers, see page 66 of the  WingLeader book mentioned above - well worth getting!

Osprey's Aircraft of the Aces book shows John Dundas's R6690 as PR-Q in profile 33, which he flew on 13 August (see Red Kite's "Battle of Britain Archive" Vol.3 9-13 August) and was shot down on 15 September killing P/O G N Gaunt. In the BoBA book, R6690 is shown as PR-A, minus underwing roundels and with standard HF radio fit.

 

This also may help you a bit though it's a bit like the old Morecambe and Wise sketch, all the right numbers but not necessarily in the right order and from a couple of months before. 

 

5 short films on Spitfire maintenance from June 1940 now in the IWM’s archives entitled: “The Daily Inspection of a Spitfire" looks at R6692 (not R6693) as mentioned above

https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/1060020636 

Part 1 - Intro

Part 2 - Flight Rigger

Part 3 - Flight Mechanic and Armourer

Part 4 - Wireless Operator, Electrician and Instrument Repairer

Part 5 - Inspection Completed (and air test prep)

 

The subject is a Mk1a R6692, which was built by Supermarine’s at Eastleigh and is fitted with a Merlin III engine. It first flew on 3rd June 1940, moved to 6MU on 5th and joined 609 (West Riding) Sqn RAuxAF at RAF Northolt on 7th June On 12th August 1940 while being flown by F/O J C Newbery it was overstressed by damage to the wings during a high speed attack on a Ju88 over the Channel 3 miles south off Portsmouth, after a major Luftwaffe attack on the RDF station at Ventnor on the Isle of Wight. F/O Newbery claimed the Ju88 as a probable. R6692 was struck off charge on 2nd September 1940.

 

The films are (probably*)taken at RAF Northolt, probably around 9-12 June, with it wearing 609’s PR codes (no individual letter has yet been applied). Or according to a condensed version of all the films on You Tube*, they were taken at 6MU at RAF Brize Norton, so dating them to 5-7th June. Odd that the MU has already painted on the Sqn codes as these would normally be applied when the aircraft finally reached the Sqn. It could be that a decision had been made to allocate R6692 to 609 while it was at 6MU and so the codes were applied there; possible but not common practice. A link, to the condensed version: https://youtu.be/8HIFc9xpguc  

 

As was practice at the time, R6692 had its fuselage serial overpainted, though it is still visible, and the serial is stencilled on the fin’s white stripes on both sides; which was less common. It is in the standard dark earth / dark green upper camouflage scheme A (applied to even-serialled aircraft, the mirror image B scheme was applied to odd-serialled aircraft) with aluminium/black/white undersides; the black and white underside scheme was an attempt to aid identification for British AA gunners! It has had 40-inch underwing roundels applied, probably on the squadron, as the smaller characteristic 6MU roundels under the wingtips have been overpainted, visible in a head on shot in film 2. The white stencilled 100 on both sides of the fuel tank panel is a reminder to use 100-cotane fuel rather than the 87 which had been used earlier in the year.

 

In film 5, R6692 emerges back into the daylight and is pushed some way onto the grass. It now has Sky undersides - applied by Air Ministry order when it was realised after the fighting over Dunkirk that the RAF fighters were much more visible to their aerial opponents than the German machines with pale blue/grey undersides. The underwing roundels have been overpainted too, not being reinstated until August.

 

Sadly the audio didn’t work for me, except on the condensed version; hopefully it will for you.

I hope that helps for a start.

 

Good luck

 

Nick

 

 

Edited by NG899
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On 9/9/2020 at 6:55 PM, NG899 said:

On R6922... Ted Hooton's excellent article in Scale Aircraft Modelling November 1982, and using the aircraft record above, suggests for R6922...

  • Scheme A.
  • Sky undersides applied on the production line, with the upper/lower surface demarcation along the cowling panel lines.
  • No underwing roundels until after 11-15 August; so applied either at 6MU - in which case it may have had the Type-As at the wing tips either 25-inch diameter centred 18 inches from the wing tips, e.g. X4474 (QV-I of 19 Sqn) or 30-inch diameter centred 21 inches from the wing tips, e.g. X4330, X4257; or on the squadron, in which case they are likely to have been the standard 50-inch diameter roundels centred 6-feet from the wing tip. Thinking of R6692, the smaller roundels applied at 6MU could be the most likely?
  • No IFF but may have had VHF radio, meaning no prong on the aerial mast; other photos of 609 Spitfires "late in the Battle" show VHF fitted; fitting began in mid-Sept.
  • Armour behind seat and pilot's head, plus voltage regulator behind the headrest.
  • Standard rear view mirror.
  • Fabric covered ailerons.
  • 609 applied the individual aircraft code letter under the nose in 10-12 inch black high numbers, see page 66 of the  WingLeader book mentioned above - well worth getting!

Osprey's Aircraft of the Aces book shows John Dundas's R6690 as PR-Q in profile 33, which he flew on 13 August (see Red Kite's "Battle of Britain Archive" Vol.3 9-13 August) and was shot down on 15 September killing P/O G N Gaunt. In the BoBA book, R6690 is shown as PR-A, minus underwing roundels and with standard HF radio fit.

 

This also may help you a bit though it's a bit like the old Morecambe and Wise sketch, all the right numbers but not necessarily in the right order and from a couple of months before. 

 

5 short films on Spitfire maintenance from June 1940 now in the IWM’s archives entitled: “The Daily Inspection of a Spitfire" looks at R6692 (not R6693) as mentioned above

https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/1060020636 

Part 1 - Intro

Part 2 - Flight Rigger

Part 3 - Flight Mechanic and Armourer

Part 4 - Wireless Operator, Electrician and Instrument Repairer

Part 5 - Inspection Completed (and air test prep)

 

The subject is a Mk1a R6692, which was built by Supermarine’s at Eastleigh and is fitted with a Merlin III engine. It first flew on 3rd June 1940, moved to 6MU on 5th and joined 609 (West Riding) Sqn RAuxAF at RAF Northolt on 7th June On 12th August 1940 while being flown by F/O J C Newbery it was overstressed by damage to the wings during a high speed attack on a Ju88 over the Channel 3 miles south off Portsmouth, after a major Luftwaffe attack on the RDF station at Ventnor on the Isle of Wight. F/O Newbery claimed the Ju88 as a probable. R6692 was struck off charge on 2nd September 1940.

 

The films are (probably*)taken at RAF Northolt, probably around 9-12 June, with it wearing 609’s PR codes (no individual letter has yet been applied). Or according to a condensed version of all the films on You Tube*, they were taken at 6MU at RAF Brize Norton, so dating them to 5-7th June. Odd that the MU has already painted on the Sqn codes as these would normally be applied when the aircraft finally reached the Sqn. It could be that a decision had been made to allocate R6692 to 609 while it was at 6MU and so the codes were applied there; possible but not common practice. A link, to the condensed version: https://youtu.be/8HIFc9xpguc  

 

As was practice at the time, R6692 had its fuselage serial overpainted, though it is still visible, and the serial is stencilled on the fin’s white stripes on both sides; which was less common. It is in the standard dark earth / dark green upper camouflage scheme A (applied to even-serialled aircraft, the mirror image B scheme was applied to odd-serialled aircraft) with aluminium/black/white undersides; the black and white underside scheme was an attempt to aid identification for British AA gunners! It has had 40-inch underwing roundels applied, probably on the squadron, as the smaller characteristic 6MU roundels under the wingtips have been overpainted, visible in a head on shot in film 2. The white stencilled 100 on both sides of the fuel tank panel is a reminder to use 100-cotane fuel rather than the 87 which had been used earlier in the year.

 

In film 5, R6692 emerges back into the daylight and is pushed some way onto the grass. It now has Sky undersides - applied by Air Ministry order when it was realised after the fighting over Dunkirk that the RAF fighters were much more visible to their aerial opponents than the German machines with pale blue/grey undersides. The underwing roundels have been overpainted too, not being reinstated until August.

 

Sadly the audio didn’t work for me, except on the condensed version; hopefully it will for you.

I hope that helps for a start.

 

Good luck

 

Nick

 

 

Nick, thank you so so much for such a comprehensive, well researched response.  Also @Kes has been an absolute gentleman and has posted me the Nov 82 SAM so I'll be cooking with gas when it arrives.

 

What a great place this truly is!

 

I paused the YouTube versions of the IWM films so many times to read the serial number on the fin but still got it wrong!!!!  If I had a brain I'd be dangerous!

 

Now I've got no excuses for starting that GB thread.  Normal service will therefore resume over on the other channel!

 

 

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