The attack was successful, two bridges were destroyed and several huts were burned in the area. Only one aircraft failed to return, Flight Lieutenant Cullen’s Spitfire LF.VIII of 452 Squadron was missing. He was last seen recovering from a dive-bombing run having successfully released his payload.
Twenty years before the United States made Saigon’s Tan Son Nhut airport famous as its main point of entry to Viet Nam, the Royal Air Force’s No.273 Squadron found itself temporarily based there as an involuntary but active part of France’s attempt to reestablish its colonial control.
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.
The Photo Recon pilot had no wingman, no flight, no formation. He flew alone in radio silence for hours at a time, navigating on dead reckoning all over mainland Europe; in his unarmed Spitfire he had only its altitude and speed, along with his wits and airmanship as protection.
Two brothers, two Spitfires; Ft/Lt. John Yarra and his brother, P/O Robert Yarra from rural NSW and their No.453 Sqn. Spitfires.
What to do with a spare Spitfire?
The largest single-day air engagement of the war; simultaneously a tactical loss and strategic victory.
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…”
The F/O Ian Keltie, RCAF Feature Article I published a few days ago…
“August 24, 1942 was a particularly hot day, as I recall. It was to be a hot day in more ways than one…”