An unidentified 118 Sqn pilot climbing in or out of a Spitfire named Patient Pat - so named because of the hammering it had taken.
A group of 165 Sqn pilots in August 1943 photographed after returning from escorting Bostons to Amiens. On that trip “Sailor” Quinton baled out over the Channel and was later picked up and rejoined the squadron. Today he lives in Northampton. Those portrayed here are from l to r, “Johnny” an American pilot on an exchange posting, Bluey Hebron (from Brisbane, Australia), Bob Gourby (a Free French pilot who was later killed), Douglas Eva (now living in Rome) and Douglas Gilbert.
Douglas Gilbert's brand new Spitfire Mk IX, MH601, shared with Bluey Hebron, and claimed to be 165 Sqn's fastest aircraft, especially after Gilbert had “gunked” (polished) it.
Another group taken at RAF Church Stanton in October 1943. They are from l to r, Marcel Loran (later shot down over Germany at 25,000ft by flak!), “Duke” Warren, whose twin brother was in the same squadron, “Walt” Disney who was “A” Flight's commander and Tom Vance, an Australian Flying Officer known to his friends as “Killer” after having shot down three enemy aircraft in one day.
Bluey Hebron poses in front of his 165 Sqn Spitfire at Church Stanton in October 1943.
Patient Pat being D.I'd by Cpl Parsons at RAF Ibsley in August 1942.
Our contributor, Douglas Gilbert, sitting in a new 165 Sqn Spitfire IX at RAF Church Stanton in October 1943 and taxying out to escort Westland Whirlwinds to bomb Cherbourg docks.