Aeroplane Monthly 1987-06
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Personal album
The Stirling apparently having its temporary canvas nose applied at Gilze-Rijen. Note the camouflage netting draped over the 99ft 1in-span bomber in an attempt to make it less conspicuous.
The Stirling was moved to the nearby airfield at Gilze-Rijen, where its nose was patched up with canvas and webbing for a ferry flight to the German testing establishment at Rechlin. It was photographed there, with a more permanent nose fairing.
Short Stirling Mk I N3705 MG-F of No 7 Squadron - the RAF's first Stirling squadron - went missing over the North Sea on August 16, 1942, while minelaying off Borkum. The next morning the Luftwaffe discovered it in a boggy field near Loevenstein Castle at Gorinchem in Holland, where it had forced-landed. It had nosed over when its wheels sank into the soft ground on landing, but was otherwise virtually undamaged. It is seen right being examined by presumably delighted Luftwaffe officers where it came down. Note the aircraft letter F painted over a partially-visible previous letter V.
The fireman, extinguisher in hand, walks away after a successful engine start at Rechlin.
With its nose bandaged, N7305 flies to Rechlin for evaluation.
The Stirling was moved to the nearby airfield at Gilze-Rijen, where its nose was patched up with canvas and webbing for a ferry flight to the German testing establishment at Rechlin. It was photographed there, with a more permanent nose fairing.
Back to the morning of August 17: Luftwaffe personnel examine the port inner engine of N3705 as the aircraft sits on a squashed tree at Gorinchem.
Another shot of the Stirling having its canvas-and-webbing nose fairing tied on, presumably at Gilze-Rijen. Underneath the canvas were several sacks of straw, stuffed into the aircraft's nose to preserve at least some aerodynamic shape.