Air Enthusiast 2007-02
D.Nicolle - Fury over Palestine /Post-war conflict/ (1)
Plt Officer Shalabi al-Hinnawi (right) and some of his colleagues with one of the REAF's battered Spitfire Vcs, probably at al-Arish in October 1948.
Plt Off Shalabi al-Hinnawi pictured in one of the battered Spitfire Vs at al-Arish, probably in October 1948.
A REAF Spitfire V following a wheels-up emergency landing in 1947. The aircraft was repaired and went on to serve in the Palestine War.
The wreckage of an REAF Spitfire V (601 or 607) that crashed in the northern Negev region of Palestine. For many years this was thought to have been the aircraft flown by Wg Cdr Sa'id Afifi Muhammad al-Janzuri, who was shot down and killed on July 18. However, al-Janzuri is now known to have been flying Mk.9 630. The last recorded mission flown by Spitfire V 601 was on October 9, 1948, when no losses were suffered, but the last recorded mission by Mk. V 607 was in July 18, though its pilot was not lost.
REAF Spitfire 9 664 captured by an Israeli force at the dispersal airstrip of Bir Lahfan on December 29, 1948. Unlike REAF Spitfire 9s earlier in the Palestine War, this had a local version of a Middle Eastern or desert camouflage scheme, with dark earth and mid-stone upper surfaces, and azure blue lower surfaces. REAF roundels on the wings lacked the crescent and stars while the individual code letter was on the starboard side of the fuselage only. Spitfire 664 is only known to have flown one sortie during the Palestine War, on October 18, 1948.
Egyptian pilots and the last flight of Spitfire 9s handed over the REAF, pictured at the British Maintenance Unit at Abu Qir in northern Egypt, on September 18, 1946. In green and grey European camouflage, they carried Egyptian national markings but lacked serial numbers
A probably 'staged' photograph taken at al-Arish, showing members of the REAF's Tactical Air Force welcoming back a pilot, perhaps Abu Zaid (second from right). Note the green-white-green colouring added to the Spitfire's spinner.
REAF pilots at al-Arish shortly before the outbreak of the Palestine War. Standing from left to right: Mahmud Baraka [?], Jamal Irfan, Abd al-Rahman Inan, Ali Sharmi and Tahir Zaki; kneeling: Khalil al-Arusi. In the background is one of the REAF's Spitfire 9s.
Shalabi al-Hinnawi and a colleague on the wing of a remarkably battered and oil-streaked REAF Spitfire 9 at al-Arish, late in 1948.
Shalabi al-Hinnawi, wearing a leather flying jacket, and four of his colleagues with a Spitfire 9s at al-Arish, autumn or early winter of 1948. Note that the spinner is painted green and white.
Sqn Ldr Abd al-Hamid Abu Zaid with his favourite Spitfire 9 (probably 646) at al-Arish during the Second UN Truce, summer 1948. The markings painted on the side of the fuselage (see close-up) consist of, from the top: six Gladiators, indicating the combat sorties Abu Zaid flew during the World War Two; Matar Aqir (Tel Nov air base) with two bombs and two aircraft destroyed on the ground; Tel Aviv with six bombs; Matar Tel Aviv (Sde Dov air base) with five bombs and an aircraft destroyed on the ground; Matar Bayt Hikma (unidentified airfield) with three bombs; Musta'marah Shaydum (unidentified 'Colony') with five bombs and three armoured cars or tanks; Musta'marah Kafr Brayr (Colony of Brayr [?]) with five bombs and three armoured cars or tanks; Musta'marah Negba (Colony of Negba) with four bombs; Musta'marah Dayr Sunaid (Colony of Day Sunaid; Yad Mordechai) with five bombs; Musta'marah Danjun (Colony of Danjun [?]) with two bombs.
Shalabi al-Hinnawi in the cockpit of a battered REAF Spitfire 9 at al-Arish, late 1948.
A Spitfire 9 in REAF markings, but still with the RAF serial number EN314, at 107 MU, in Kasfarit, Egypt, in 1947. British records indicate that this was one of several Spitfires caught by the British arms embargo and that it was never handed over to the Egyptians.
A Spitfire 9 in REAF markings on its delivery flight from the UK, pictured at Luqa, Malta, early in 1948. This was probably one of the last Mk.9 to be handed over before the arms embargo.
An REAF Spitfire which put down at Faid, one of several REAF aircraft forced to land at British airfields in the Suez Canal Zone in late December 1948 or early January 1949. It could be the aircraft flown by Tahir Zaki, which had to land at Faid on December 29, having escorted a daylight mission by a Short Stirling.
Spitfire 9s and their Avro Lancaster ‘mother ship’ after arriving in Egypt at the end of their delivery flight from the UK, in late 1947 or early 1948.
A British reconnaissance photograph of REAF Spitfire 9 664 being towed to Israel behind an Israeli Army vehicle on January 1,1949.
A pair of REAF Spitfires sweeps over Tel Aviv to attack the Israeli air base of Sde Dov. Thought taken on May 17, 1948.
An REAF Spitfire attacking an Israeli Army column near Rafah in north-eastern Sinai during the final days of the Palestine War.
The remains of Tahir Zaki's Spitfire 9 after he made an emergency landing in the northern Negev, having been hit by ground-fire. He then walked barefoot, to leave tracks ‘like a Bedouin', for 2 1/2 days in high summer before reaching Egyptian-held territory.
REAF Spitfire 9 622 made a forced landing in Israeli-held territory but the pilot escaped back to the Egyptian lines. It is said to have come down on November 5, 1948 and the pilot was reported to have been Mustafa Kamal Nasr. However, the last recorded mission by 622 was on October 18 when the pilot was not Kamal Nasr. The lack of identification stripes on the rear fuselage and wings also points to an earlier date than November 1948.
REAF Spitfire 9 664 being dismantled and loaded aboard a lorry.
Mahmud Baraka's Spitfire 9 on the beach near Herzliya, having been hit by groundfire during a sequence of attacks on Sde Dov airport outside Tel Aviv on the first day of the Palestine War. The aircraft has incomplete Egyptian national markings, with the green and white REAF roundels lacking their central crescent and stars. The machine also lacked a serial number or other identification code.
The fuselage of an unidentified REAF Spitfire, forced down early in the Palestine War judging by its absence of fuselage identification stripes. It was taken to Ma'arbarot where the Israelis used it as a source of spare parts for their own Spitfires.
The wreckage of one of the REAF Spitfire 9s shot down by the British during the Egyptians' mistaken attack on the airfield of Ramat David on May 22, 1948. It is said to be that of Sqn Ldr Nasr al-Din.
The first Hawker F2/43 (Fury I to be) NX798, which later became G-AKRY and was 'called up’ for the REAF.
The Hawker F2/43 prototype in British markings, and with the RAF serial number NX798, pictured in flight over England, late 1944.
The prototype Hawker Fury ended its days in Egypt fighting in the Palestine War
The Sabre-powered Fury prototype LA610, later civilian-registered as G-AKRZ.
Hawker test and demonstration pilot Bill Humble (in suit) with REAF officers in front of G-AKRY at Almaza.
Этот "Фьюри" F.2/43 был продан англичанами Египту
The Hawker F2/43 prototype, carrying the British civil registration G-AKRY, in England prior to its sales promotion flight to Egypt.
G-AKRY at Luqa, Malta, during its sales promotion flight to Egypt.
Sqn Ldr Abd al-Hamid Abu Zaid with the first Fury prototype, in REAF markings and desert camouflage al Almaza during the summer of 1948.
Surviving fragment of the original photograph of Sqn Ldr Abd al-Hamid Abu Zaid's Fury prototype, taken at Almaza in the summer of 1948. It shows the skull and crossbones motif he painted in black and white on the aircraft's red spinner.
Side views of the second F2/43, LA610, with the Griffon 85 (top) and the Sabre VII (bottom).
Spitfire 9s and their Avro Lancaster ‘mother ship’ after arriving in Egypt at the end of their delivery flight from the UK, in late 1947 or early 1948.