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Tomahawk 112 sqn AN413 'K' - when would the 'GA' squadron codes have been applied?


Mark Harmsworth
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I'm currently building the Trumpeter 1:48 Tomahawk as AN413 'K' - one of the options in the kit.

There is minimal info provided with the kit so after a little research (primarily the ORBs) I know that this plane was with 112 squadron in Egypt during October to December 1941.

AN413 was originally the regular mount of P.O. Bartle until 19th November when P.O. Duke (yes that one) is shown as the pilot in two sorties.

The next day - 20th November 1941 - AN413 was "severely hit" in combat with Bf110s, after P.O. Jeffries engaged and damaged one of the 110s, although fortunately he "brought it home and landed successfully at base".

There seems to be no further mention of AN413 until the last flight(s) on 12th December - three weeks later - which suggests a period of repair perhaps.
 

One complication though is that there is a degree of confusion, even in the ORBs, as a result of the Tomahawk serial number ranges starting 'AK', 'AN' and 'AM' (e.g. is that entry really AM541 or should it be AK541?).


My main question though is about the appearance of AN413. I have had some help in this forum about the colours which, contrary to Trumpeter's instructions of Dark Green / Dark Earth over Sky, would (probably) have been desert scheme. The kit is provided with the individual 'K' but without the squadron codes of 'GA' which I think could/would have been applied before that last flight on 12th December. There's a few images of 'GA' in use at that time, some clearly applied in a hurry. 

My interpretation is that showing this plane without the squadron codes would place it before the damage taken in the combat of 20th November. Would that be about right?

 

Many thanks for any replies

Mark

 

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Originally, the letters "GA" were already assigned to 112 Squadron in June 1941. They were supposed to be painted on the aircraft in the second half of November. According to Andre Zbiegniewski´s book 112 Squadron 1939-41, due to the heavy fighting during Operation Crusader the squadron codes were applied to the Tomahawks somewhat later than planned and, as you mentioned above, most of them in a hurry. It could be possible that some of the planes such as AN413 never wore the GA code letters before they were written off or lost. So in my view, it would be about right to show the plane in a desert camo with just the letter "K" whereas displaying AN413 with "GA K" would be somewhat speculative.

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No information on squadron codes, some on serial number overlap.

 

AH741 to 880 Tomahawk I, AH881 to 990 Tomahawk Ia,, AH991 to 999 Tomahawk Ib, AK100 to 570 Tomahawk Ib, AM370 to 519 Tomahawk Ib, AN218 to 517 Tomahawk Ib

 

Serial numbers overlapping are therefore 218 to 369 AK or AN, 370 to 517 AK, AM or AN, 518 and 519 AK or AM

 

Assuming I have all the destinations listed correctly, the distribution is,
29 lost at sea between AK218 and AK334,
101 arrived in UK but sent to Russia, between AK242 and AK364,
4 between AK225 and 279 retained in the UK,
100 were sent to China between AK466 and 570, AM375 and 519 (Including AM518 and 9 while 82 had numbers of 517 or less),
49 to Russia between AN469 to 517

 

Of the 152 duplicate numbers between 218 and 369, 134 (101+29+4) never went to the Middle East, all the AN made it but only AK248, AK249, AK254, AK312, AK346, AK348 to 355, AK365 to 369

 

Of the 148 triplicate numbers between 370 and 517, 131 (82+49) never went to the Middle East, that works out as follows, AK, AM, AN serials,
for 10 numbers none to Middle East
31 numbers one to Middle East
39 numbers two to Middle East
68 numbers all three to Middle East.

 

None, 472, 473, 478, 480, 487, 492, 501, 508, 514, 515

One, AN467, AN468, AK470, AM471, AK475, AK477, AM479, AM481, AK482, AK484, AM486, AK489, AK491, AM493, AK494, AK496 to 499, AM500, AK502, AK504, AK506, AM507, AK509 to 513, AK516, AK517

Two, AK and AN, 375, 381, 388, 395, 402, 409, 416, 423, 429, 431, 433, 435, 437, 439, 441, 443, 445, 447, 449, 451, 453, 455, 457, 458, 460, 462, 463, 465

Two AM and AN, 466

Two AK and AM, 469, 474, 476, 483, 485, 488, 490, 495, 503, 505

Edited by Geoffrey Sinclair
Typo correction AN to AM, also AK355 confirmed by Buz as not lost at sea.
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3 hours ago, 112 Squadron said:

Originally, the letters "GA" were already assigned to 112 Squadron in June 1941. They were supposed to be painted on the aircraft in the second half of November. According to Andre Zbiegniewski´s book 112 Squadron 1939-41, due to the heavy fighting during Operation Crusader the squadron codes were applied to the Tomahawks somewhat later than planned and, as you mentioned above, most of them in a hurry. It could be possible that some of the planes such as AN413 never wore the GA code letters before they were written off or lost. So in my view, it would be about right to show the plane in a desert camo with just the letter "K" whereas displaying AN413 with "GA K" would be somewhat speculative.

Thank you - that's what I was hoping for.

 

So I'd guess that you have an interest in the squadron given your screen name and profile image??

Mark

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1 hour ago, Mark Harmsworth said:

Thank you - that's what I was hoping for.

 

So I'd guess that you have an interest in the squadron given your screen name and profile image??

Mark

 

That is correct, this particular squadron and its distinctive markings always fascinated me since I started aircraft modelling. The history of the RAF and Commonwealth airforces in WW2 is one of my favorite subjects and I collected quite a lot of literature about all Squadrons involved in the operations on all the fronts in the past decades.

 

A very useful resource for 112 Squadron and its aircraft can be found here:

 

http://raf-112-squadron.org/raf_112_squadron_photos_1941.html

 

including a list of all known planes that served with the Squadron as well as their serial numbers and known codes:

 

http://raf-112-squadron.org/raf_kittyhawK_codes.html

Edited by 112 Squadron
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