By Andrew Thomas
Eighty years after the Spitfire used to be first built, it is still an icon of army aviation. notwithstanding many affiliate its victory through the conflict of england because the excessive aspect within the heritage of the Spitfire, the years following have been of equivalent value. Having weathered the preliminary hurricane, firstly of 1941 Fighter Command took the struggle to the Germans with offensive missions over the Channel.
This ebook finds how RAF squadrons, first utilizing the Spitfire I and II after which, following the creation of the Bf 109, the cannon-armed Spitfire V, launched into more than a few missions which integrated probably the most vital air battles of the struggle, over Dieppe on August 19, 1942. along British pilots have been squadrons manned by means of exiled Europeans and pilots from the RAAF, RCAF, and RNZAF. in precisely 3 years, over 100 of those racked up ace prestige within the Spitfire.
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Extra info for Spitfire Aces of the Channel Front 1941-43 (Aircraft of the Aces)
During May 1941 Plt Off Andrew Humphrey shot down three He 111s at night – a remarkable feat. indd 31 Gardner being shot down and wounded to become a PoW that same day. Then, during a ‘Circus’ on the morning of 14 July over Boulogne, South African ace Flt Lt Peter Dexter of No 611 Sqn collided with another Spitfire from No 54 Sqn. Although both pilots bailed out, Dexter was killed, possibly by having struck his aircraft as he exited the cockpit. Ten days later 20-yearold Flt Lt ‘Boy’ Marrs of No 152 Sqn, who had claimed his 13th victory on 18 July, was shot down by flak and killed while escorting Hampden bombers targeting German battleships in Brest harbour.
The former reported; ‘I opened fire on this Me 109E at about 400 yards’ range, allowing what I thought to be too much deflection Almost immediately the enemy aircraft rolled over emitting a thick stream of white smoke and went straight down in a side-slipping attitude. ’ 9 March also saw Sqn Ldr Lloyd Chadburn – soon to become one of the great fighter leaders of the Channel Front – promoted to become No 416 Sqn’s first Canadian ‘Boss’. Far to the west, Spitfire VB-equipped No 131 Sqn claimed its first victory when, flying from Valley on 12 March, Flt Lt Ray Harries and Sgt A B F Vilboux shot down a marauding Ju 88 over the Irish Sea.
Pieces of cowling and the canopy peeled off, followed by the pilot, who hastily departed on his parachute. ’ On 21 June ‘Paddy’ Finucane was promoted to Wing Commander and appointed as the Hornchurch Wing Leader – at 21, he was the youngest in the RAF! Also promoted to lead the Ibsley Wing was ‘Bunny’ Currant from No 501 Sqn, who, by comparison, was an ‘old man’ of 30. By the end of the month their colleague at North Weald, Wg Cdr David ScottMalden, had joined them in the pantheon of aces when, on the 29th, he shared an Fw 190 during a ‘Circus’.