Aviation Historian 2
J.Wood - The Lion and its Claws
Typhoons undergo maintenance in a former Luftwaffe hangar after 263 Sqn’s move to the Continent in August 1944. The “Tiffies” of 263 Sqn shared hangars with those of other squadrons, including 197 Sqn, a Typhoon of which, coded OV-A, is seen in the background. In the foreground is an Avro Anson also undergoing maintenance.
A groundcrew member works on a Gladiator at Bardufoss - note the winged-dog motif on the panel beneath the canopy;
Gladiator II in suitably Nordic surroundings, suggesting it may be N5628, one of 263 Sqn’s aircraft, during its deployment to Norway in 1940 (where it was destroyed in a bombing raid, its remains now being on display in the RAF Museum at Hendon); it may, however, be N5626, which served with No 141 Sqn at Turnhouse in Scotland.
A member of 263 Sqn’s groundcrew works on a Gladiator in one of the distinctive log revetments at the unit’s base at Bardufoss, near Narvik, during its second posting to Norway during May and June 1940. The logs were from trees that had been chopped down to lengthen the runway, which had been 50yd too short for Gladiators.
Whirlwinds fitted with bombs were unofficially dubbed “Whirlibombers”, an example of which, P6971, is seen here in October 1943 at the unit’s base at Warmwell in Dorset, from where the pugnacious twin-engined fighter-bombers would attack enemy shipping and airfields. That December the unit re-equipped with Typhoons.
Flight Sergeant Harvey beside the tail of a 263 Sqn Whirlwind;
A posed photograph of 263 Sqn pilots, probably taken by a professional photographer sent to take official portraits of squadron members.
Flight Lieutenant David G. “Bill” Ross, an RAF Volunteer Reserve pilot who flew Whirlwinds with 263 Sqn. He was killed on May 2, 1942, while serving with another unit, reportedly having taken off in a Spitfire from Great Sampford after polishing off ten bottles of Benskins Colne beer with his CO, Sqn Ldr Gilbert, who was also killed.
Leading Aircraftman Rogers (furthest right) and his groundcrew colleagues stand beside Hawker Audax I K7429, probably some time before he joined No 263 Sqn, which re-formed at Filton on October 2, 1939, as a fighter squadron equipped with Gloster Gladiators.