45 Seconds

On the 25th of September the Battle of Britain was entering its third month. While there may never be complete agreement on the specific the win/loss ratios, it is nevertheless true to say that through August and early September the RAF had barely managed to replace its losses in aircrew and aircraft. Aircraft production had been heavily targeted by the Luftwaffe and the RAF’s operational aircrew losses were only just matched by the training unit output; the exhaustion of both its physical and material reserves was a real and present danger.

Foresight

UPDATED to include information on F/O James M. Cartmell DFC, pilot of the featured Mosquito MM312.
In just 37 days between 1 May and 6 June 1944, No.140 Squadron, RAF flew 143 PR sorties over France. The foresight they helped provide saved countless lives on D-Day and after. This is the story of how they did it.

Flying Nightingales

Prior to June 13th, 1944 the British had never sent women to a combat zone. On that day, Myra Roberts, Lydia Alford and Edna Birbeck became the first of around 200 “Flying Nightingales” who risked their lives to bring home what would amount to 100,000 wounded men from mainland Europe over the remainder of the war. This is their story.

G for George

G-George flew 89 sorties over occupied Europe with No.460 Squadron during a period when most operational Lancasters were shot down before they had even reached 20. In 107,085 total sorties flown by Lancasters, 2,687 went missing. Remarkably, G-George brought its crew home alive from every operation it flew on.

F/O Les Clisby’s Hawker Hurricane Mk.I of No.1 Squadron RAF, France May 1940

I present my first previously unpublished Feature Article. The subject is F/O Les Clisby and his Hawker Hurricane Mk.1. This remarkable Australian fighter pilot was noted for his aggression, both in the air and on the ground… “Remarkably, Clisby landed nearby, drew his service sidearm and chased the German crewmen across the field as they tried to escape! He captured one in a rugby tackle…” I hope you enjoy the article.

Flt. Sgt. George “Grumpy” Unwin’s Supermarine Spitfire Mk IA

While Tamiya’s new tool Spitfire gets all the attention, here’s one of the old tool version…

“In late May, 1940 the BEF was forced from continental Europe by the Germans at Dunkirk. The now famous retreat was covered in part by Spitfires of No.19 Squadron. Flight Sergeant George Unwin was already an experienced Spitfire pilot by this stage of the war…”