Jump to content

Spitfire LF IXe of 165 Sn RAF - Markings Query


NORTHDUK
 Share

Recommended Posts

My previous Spitfire build has ben delayed by faulty paint so I'm looking at another Spitfire in the meanwhile.  This is a Spitfire LF IXe, MJ482, SK-T of 165 Squadron between June 1945 and September 1946.  According to John Rawlings' Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft, this squadron spent much of the late war period on long-range escort and close support in Mustangs.  In June 1945, they were moved to Scotland (Dyce in another account) and re-equipped with Spitfire F IX and LF IX from an unknown source and then sent to Norway until November when they returned to the UK.  They were disbanded in September 1946 at Duxford when they were re-numbered as 66 Sn.  I can't find much information on the squadron's activities and their aircraft seem to have been rather camera-shy.

 

In Bruce Robertson's Spitfire - the Story of a Famous Fighter (P210), there is a small profile drawing of MJ482, SK-T of 165Sn and this clearly shows a LF IXe.  The squadron seems to have had a mixture of F IX, LF IXc and LF IXe although this is the only reference to a LF IXe that I've found.  As I have an old KP Spitfire LF IXe ready for decals, I'd like to use these markings for SK-T and can find most of them from generic sheets.  My problems are, first, that I don't know if there might have been some insignia or personal symbol on the port side and, second, that I don't know what the upper wing roundels would have been like.  These might have been Type B but they might have been yellow outlined Type C at this late stage of the war. 

 

Does anyone have any information that might help me with this?

 

Best wishes,

 

Gordon McLaughlin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Paul Lucas monograph on post war fighters in the UK suggests Type C (no outline) upperwing roundels from January 1945 with underwing serials from August 1945.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

MJF Bowyer's book Fighting Colours notes  "On July 23rd 1946, for example, Spitfires of 165 Squadron at Duxford still had the post war grey-green glossy finish, etc. and included SK-E : MK673 and SK-T : MJ482, both with 'pointed' tails and clipped wings, and SK-R : PT958, a MkIXe with 'pointed' tail and standard wings.".

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, NORTHDUK said:

In Bruce Robertson's Spitfire - the Story of a Famous Fighter (P210), there is a small profile drawing of MJ482, SK-T of 165Sn and this clearly shows a LF IXe.  The squadron seems to have had a mixture of F IX, LF IXc and LF IXe although this is the only reference to a LF IXe that I've found.  As I have an old KP Spitfire LF IXe ready for decals, I'd like to use these markings for SK-T and can find most of them from generic sheets.  My problems are, first, that I don't know if there might have been some insignia or personal symbol on the port side and, second, that I don't know what the upper wing roundels would have been like.  These might have been Type B but they might have been yellow outlined Type C at this late stage of the war. 

 

Does anyone have any information that might help me with this?

 

Best wishes,

 

Gordon McLaughlin

You must have a different edition of 'Spitfire - the story of a Famous Fighter' as P210 in my edition (Serial Number 474 at a cost of 45/- )is a Glossary of abbreviations!

Seriously though, the difference between F, LF and HF variants was the engine fitted.  This may or may not be traceable from the serial number.  Spitfire  - The History is a bit vague here.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

rossm,

 

From your first post, it seems clear that Type C roundels will be needed on the upper surfaces.  Do you know what size these would have been?  Reading your second post, I was intrigued to see the reference to "the post war grey-green glossy finish, etc".  For a moment, I wondered if these Spitfires had flown in Dark Sea Grey / Dark Green / Silver but it doesn't seem likely.  More probably, they were in wartime colours polished or otherwise glossed up.  MJF Bowyer, understandably enough, made no distinction between Ocean Grey and Dark Sea Grey initially so the glossy finish is the post-war element.

 

Seawinder,

 

Thanks for the link to the roundel thread. Again, it is clear that I need to use Type C.

 

Denford,

 

My edition is the "Second (Revised) Impression Autumn 1961".  The Glossary is on Page 215.  It had gone up to 60/-!  You're right that the difference between F, LF and HF variants was the engine fitted.  The main visible difference between a LF IXe and a LF IXc, though, is the relative positions of the cannon and 0.50mg in the wing.  My kit is a LF IXe which is why I'm making an otherwise unnecessary fuss about it.

 

My thanks and best wishes to each of you for your help.

 

Gordon McLaughlin

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, NORTHDUK said:

Do you know what size these would have been? 

 

Lucas quotes 56in on the Spitfire profile drawings in the book. This is supported by the Ducimus Camouflage and Markings booklet as standard for Spitfires.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

Spitfire MJ482 first listed in ORB on 8/6/45 flown by F/O Tynan on sortie lasting 25 mins under testing and checking. He flew from Duce to Sumburgh on 17th June and then to to Norway on the 20th. During the period in Norway the squadron primarily focused on formation flying although other sorties such as aerobatics, practice dogfighting etc are listed. Individual pilots did not get a huge amount of flying - F/Lt Rae recording 14 hrs in July and just over 8 in August. 165 Squadron flew back to Manston at the beginning of November and then flew to 3 Armament Practice School at Charter Hall in the first week of December. here the pilots flew air to air, air to ground and dive bombing sorties. At this time, the squadron received a new C/O , S/Ldr Dorian, a Blenheim pilot who had been shot down and taken Pow in 1940. Following his release he had been given command of 667 Sqn before taking over 165. It seems with little experience on fighters much of the flying was led by the flight commanders. MJ482 was flown for various sorties during the camp. At the end of the camp, the squadron moved to its new home at Duxford, bringing the Spitfire back to its first base. The ORB has little detail from this time on, in particular regarding individual aircraft. The main activity from April 1946 onwards were practice sorties for operation BIg Bull, the victory FlyPast over London in June 1946. F/Lt Rae flew T on April 30 for Big Bull no 5. 
 

I have a couple of photos of 165 Sqn aircraft at Duxford - still in their wartime markings and certainly not semi glossy. However at the end of June 1946, the squadron carried out a formation fly past for Denhem Film Studios. I would suggest that their aircraft may have been tarted up either for the victory FlyPast or for the film studio.

 

Hope this helps,

Simon

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sgifford,

 

Thanks for your reply.  This is far more than I have found elsewhere on 165 Sn in this late period.  Most sources  describe them as being in Norway to provide air defence for that country until the Norwegian Air Force returned.  It seems rather a lot to ask of one squadron but they were, I suppose, a token presence.   Are your photographs in a book or magazine?  If so, may I ask which it is?

 

Thanks again for your help.

 

Best wishes,

 

Gordon McLaughlin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, NORTHDUK said:

Most sources  describe them as being in Norway to provide air defence for that country until the Norwegian Air Force returned.  It seems rather a lot to ask of one squadron but they were, I suppose, a token presence.  

 

I have 331 and 332 Sqn getting a new batch of LF.IXs (all e armament, I presume?) starting at the end of April 45 and into May, and flying to Stavanger around May 22nd.  They "disbanded" from the RAF in September, upon official transfer to Norwegian Air Force.

 

165 and 129 Squadrons re-equipped from Mustangs to used LF.IXs (don't know whether 'c' or 'e', offhand) from mid May, and flew to Vaernes in June.  129 moved to Gardemoen in August, and both returned to the UK in November.

 

[Edit:] ...and 130 Squadron (thanks Simon!) re-equipped from Spit XIVs, primarily (?) taking some LF.IXs formerly with 401 Squadron (also some from 411/412 Sqns)- again from mid May, but (it appears) didn't move to Norway until July, basing at Kristiansand.  They moved to Gardemoen in October, and like the other two returned to UK in November.

 

All re-equipped or at least staged at Dyce before departing for Norway.

 

Note that the above is a "quick and dirty" look, so may not be precise in all details.

Edited by gingerbob
Incorporating Simon's 130 Squadron
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In addition to what gingerbob has written 130 Squadron also deployed to Norway with 88 Group. There is a bit in the Camouflage and Markings RAF Fighters 1945-50 UK Bases book by Paul Lucas on the Spitfire squadrons deployed to Norway that might help. The photos of 165 Squadron I have are small original prints that I found years ago when researching for a possible book (on the back burner) and as you say I haven’t seen much else from this period.

 

Simon

  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

gingerbob and Sgifford,

 

Thanks for the additional information.  It had, in fact, occurred to me that other squadrons must have been involved and my remark about asking a lot of one squadron was intended tongue-in-cheek!  Nevertheless, I had no other information about the defence of Norway and I'm grateful for the list of squadrons involved.  I'll follow them up tomorrow.  It was something I had never thought of until I started to look for markings for the KP Spitfire.

 

Many thanks and best wishes,

 

Gordon McLaughlin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...