Aeroplane Monthly 1985-06
Personal album
Douglas Boston III AL729, probably photographed at Ryak, a small airfield located midway between Beirut and Damascus.
Hawker Hurricane IIC HV612, equipped with four wing-mounted 20mm guns. Note the Vokes filter mounted below the nose for desert operation.
Curtiss Kittyhawk III (P-40M), possibly FR385, of 112 Squadron. Powered by a 1,600 h.p. Allison V-1710-81 or 73 engine the Kittyhawk Mk III was armed with six 0-5in calibre guns and had provision for a 1,000lb bomb load. The type served almost exclusively in the Mediterranean theatre and the Western Desert, and later on in Italy and Sicily.
A tropicalised Supermarine Spitfire Vb, AB328. By the end of August 1942 three squadrons of Mk V Spitfires were operating in the Western Desert. The Mk Vb was armed with two 20mm guns and four 0-303in guns.
Bristol Beaufighter IF V8340. The engine covers were standard equipment in the desert. The IF was the main production version of the Beau and was used in the Western Desert as a long-range day-fighter.
Martin Baltimore III AG864. The Mk III featured a Boulton Paul twin-gun dorsal turret.
Supermarine Walrus W2767 served with DAE in Egypt as an air-sea rescue aircraft. A total of 746 Walrus amphibians was built, of which 191 were the wooden-hulled Mk II used for training aircrews.
An anonymous Bristol Beaufort Coastal Command torpedo bomber.
Fairey Albacore N4229 stands ready, loaded with an 18in, 1,610lb torpedo. Alternative armament consisted of six 250lb or four 500lb bombs.
Bjorn Halgrimson’s photograph was taken at the end of the European war when airmen had to be entertained. Football matches were arranged between some squadrons and this one is taking place next to Stirling IV transport Thunderbird III of 295 Sqn in June 1945, after it had brought in a team of 438 Sqn players from Flensburg.