• This weekends photo.
    And a stunning air to air of a RAAF CA-17 Mk 20 Mustang A68-67.

  • This weekends extra.
    And a couple of very crisp shots of a P-38D involved in the Louisiana War Games.

  • This midweeks photo.
    A superb colour shot of U.S. Naval Aviation Cadets with a SNJ trainer at U.S. Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi, Texas, August 1942..

  • This weekends photo.
    And a wonderful air to air of three RAAF A20 CAC Wirraways in formation..

  • This weekends extra.
    And a nice closeup of an A-20A Havoc," Little Joe".
    20A Havoc

  • This midweeks photo.
    The 371st Fighter Group’s 405th Fighter Squadron “Damn Yankee,” Republic P-47D-16-RE Thunderbolt serial number 42-76099, sports a hungry mouth on its engine cowling – the eye is obscured by propeller blade. The aircraft is pictured here awaiting fuses for 500-lb bombs beneath the wings, likely at Advanced Landing Ground A-6 (Beuzeville Airfield, aka La Londe), near Ste-Mère-Église, France sometime after D-Day in the summer of 1944. This P-47 shows numerous symbols below the cockpit windscreen for bombing, fighter sweeps and top cover missions flown. It served on with the squadron until at least until October 8, 1944 when it was badly damaged in a taxiing accident at Dole/Tavaux Airfield (Y-7), France. (Image via Major Tom Silkowski, 190th Fighter Squadron, Idaho ANG).

  • This weekends photo.
    A 1943 photo of three badasses of the 303rd Kosciuszko Squadron, including ace Jan Zumbach 12 kills on the left.

  • This weekends extra.
    Captured in North Africa by the South Africans a Fiat G 50 gets a new identity.
    Fiat 50 Captured

  • This midweeks photos, some Spitty V's.
    No. 485 (NZ) Squadron was the first of the New Zealand Article XV squadrons, formed on 1 March 1941 at RAF Driffield, in Yorkshire. Its first commander was Squadron Leader Marcus Knight, an experienced pilot from Dannevirke who had flown Hawker Hurricanes with No. 257 Squadron prior to being appointed commander of No. 485 Squadron. The two flight commanders were likewise experienced pilots, and among the other personnel were Pilot Officers Edwards Wells and Bill Crawford-Compton. After a period of training, the squadron became operational in mid-April, carrying out convoy patrols. Towards the end of the month, it moved to Leconfield.

    It was equipped with old Spitfire Mk Is for its "working up" period with No. 13 Group, which was carried out with no recorded fatalities. The Mk Is were exchanged for Mk IIs on 1 June 1941. By July 1941 the squadron had scored its first victories, suffered its first combat fatalities and had moved to RAF Redhill, a frontline No. 11 Group RAF base to take part in offensive operations. One type of operation was fighter escort for "Circus" raids, in which a small number of RAF bombers (originally Bristol Blenheims and later Short Stirlings) were used as bait to draw up enemy fighters.

    Starting in August 1941 Spitfire Mk Vbs began arriving. At least 20 of the Mk Vs had been paid for by a subscription fund in which citizens of New Zealand and Pacific Island 'Protectorates' could participate. Most of these aircraft bore the names of New Zealand Provinces stencilled on the fuel tank cover, just ahead of the cockpit (e.g.: W3579 'Southland II'.)

    In October 1941 the squadron moved to RAF Kenley, becoming a part of the Kenley Wing with 452 Sqn (RAAF). It was during this time that the formidable Focke-Wulf Fw 190 first appeared. The Spitfire V was outclassed and many fighter RAF squadrons suffered heavy casualties, 485 Sqn being no exception; the Merlin 60 powered Spitfire Mk IX would counter this imbalance, but it would be some months before this version arrived in numbers. The unit remained at Kenley until July 1942, when the squadron was withdrawn for rest in Kingscliffe, Northants in No. 12 Group RAF.

    The start of 1943 saw 485 Sqn, still equipped with Spitfire Vbs, back in 11 Group, this time based at RAF Mildenhall. In June of that year, a contingent of thirteen squadron pilots were detached to Greenock Scotland to practice takeoffs and landings on "dummy" aircraft carrier decks. They then moved to Ayr and flew Seafire Ibs from the training carrier HMS Argus.The beginning of July 1943 saw a shift to Biggin Hill, one of Fighter Command's best-known bases. There the unit took over 611 Sqn's Spitfire IXBs.

    (Below at Kenley)


  • This weekends photos.
    This captured Messerschmitt Bf 110, became the most photographed Luftwaffe plane of WW2.

    The aircraft was a twin-engined heavy fighter or ‘Zerstörer’ (‘Destroyer’ in English) flown by the Luftwaffe and some other nations during WW2. It was championed by Hermann Göring who nicknamed it ‘Eisenseiten’ (‘Ironsides’). The Bf 110 was a successful aircraft in the early stages of WW2 in the Polish, Norwegian and French theatres of war. However, its lack of agility in the air was its primary weakness and this was exposed during the Battle of Britain (10 July – 31 October 1940). Some Bf 110 equipped units were withdrawn from the battle after heavy losses and redeployed very successfully as night-fighters. It enjoyed a successful period following the Battle of Britain as an air superiority fighter and strike aircraft in other theatres of war. During the Balkans Campaign, North African Campaign and on the Eastern Front it provided valuable ground support to the German Army as a fighter-bomber (Jagdbomber/Jabo). Later in the war it was developed into a formidable night-fighter, becoming the main night-fighting aircraft of the Luftwaffe.

    The Bf 110 S9 + CK was one of 16 fighter-bombers from 2 Staffel Erprobungsgruppe 210 (2./Erp.Gr.210) that took off from Calais-Marck airfield in Northern France. It was piloted by Oberleutnant Alfred Habisch and crewed by Radio Operator Unteroffizier Ernst Elfner. They targeted the airfield at Martlesham Heath in Suffolk and destroyed some workshops and the officers mess. Two hangers were seriously damaged and the attack also ruptured the watermains and disrupted telecommunications.
    ErprGr210 S9 CK Alfred Habisch WNr 3341 Shot Down 15 Aug 1940
    The aircraft of 2./Erp.Gr.210 then went on towards London, escorted by 8 Messerschmitt Bf 109s. Their target was Kenley but, flying into the low setting sun, they mistook the South London airfield of Croydon which was a civil airport being used by the RAF as the target. As they commenced their bombing run, Hurricanes from 32 Squadron Biggin Hill and 111 Squadron Croydon arrived on the scene. While the Bf 109 escort departed and escaped largely ignored by the Hurricanes, the German fighter-bombers, led by Hauptmann Walter Rubensdorffer released their payload of bombs on the buildings below.
    The suburb of Croydon shook as explosions shattered the airfield. Surrounding houses were damaged as blast waves tore holes in walls and one house had its roof lifted. The blasts were felt as far away as Woolwich and the Houses of Parliament in Central London. It’s not known if Rubensdorffer was aware that Croydon was a suburb of London. At this time, Hitler’s explicit orders were that London, including its dockland area and suburbs, were not to be attacked or bombed. Anyone violating this order would be court-martialled if they survived such an attack. Rubensdorffer would never find out if he would be court-martialled for what became the first ever bombing raid on London in WW2. His crippled aircraft crashed as he tried to guide it back to base after the attack, killing both himself and his crewman.

    While being chased by the Hurricanes of 32 and 111 Squadrons as they tried to escape, the Bf 110s actually flew over the airfield at Kenley that had been their intended target. One by one they were hit and had no time to go into their defensive circle pattern, their only means of defence against the British fighters. Some tried to keep altitude and head for home, others became victims of the chasing fighters and crashed into the heavily populated suburbs around Croydon and Purley. The Bourjois Perfume Factory in Croydon sustained a direct hit. Sixty people died and over 180 were injured. A number of the German aircraft also came down in the fields of Kent and Sussex, of which S9 + CK was one, coming down at Hawkhurst in Kent. Others struggled to make it back to their base in France with many crashing into the Channel.
    Habisch and Elfner both survived the crash and were captured by the local Home Guard. Elfner suffered a bullet wound to his right hand. Both crewmen were eventually shipped off as POWs to Canada. Their aircraft, still mostly intact, was later displayed outside various locations, including Finsbury Town Hall, as part of a ‘Victory Tour’ during the Battle of Britain. It was then shipped to the USA on the SS Montanan in April 1941 and passed to the Vultee Aircraft Corporation for evaluation.

    Text from here -

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