43 Squdron Crest
No 43 (Fighting Cocks) Squadron

RAF 43 (Fighting Cocks) Squadron Spitfire photographs

Aircrew RAF 43Sqn Ashley Guest Mediterranean 01

Aircrew RAF 43Sqn Ashley Guest on his Miles Majestry 01

Aircrew RAF Young Ashley Guest bright eyed and bushy tailed 01

Spitfire LFIX RAF 43Sqn FTN MJ116 France 1944 0A

Spitfire MkIX RAF 43Sqn FTM and FTO at Klagenfurt 1945 IWM CL2983

Spitfire MkIX RAF 43Sqn FTM and FTO at Klagenfurt 1945 IWM CL2983

Mechanics of 43 Squadron, Royal Air Force, stationed near Klagenfurt, study literature relating to the General Election.

Imperial War Museum IWM CL 2983 https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205207939

Spitfire MkIXs RAF 43Sqn at dispersal points on Ramatuelle 1944 IWM CL997

Spitfire MkIXs RAF 43Sqn at dispersal points on Ramatuelle 1944 IWM CL997

Operation DRAGOON: the Allied invasion of southern France. Supermarine Spitfire Mark VIIIs and IXs of No. 43 Squadron RAF parked at dispersal points on Ramatuelle landing ground.

Imperial War Museum IWM CL 997 https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205234202

Spitfire MkVcTrop RAF 43Sqn EF682 waterlogged airfield at Capodichino near Naples Italy IWM CNA2039

Spitfire MkVcTrop RAF 43Sqn FTY ES352 at Comiso Sicily IWM CNA1056

Spitfire MkVc RAF 43Sqn FTY ES352 at Comiso Sicily IWM CNA1056

Airmen of No. 3201 Servicing Commando approach Supermarine Spitfire Mark VC, ES352 'FT-Y', of No. 43 Squadron RAF at Comiso, Sicily.

Imperial War Museum IWM CNA 1056 https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205209238

Spitfire MkVcTrop RAF 43Sqn FTZ JK101 with Sqn Ldr M Rook at Jemappes Algeria IWM CNA356

Spitfire MkVcTrop RAF 43Sqn FTZ JK101 with Sqn Ldr M Rook at Jemappes Algeria IWM CNA356

Squadron Leader M Rook, Commanding Officer of No. 43 Squadron RAF, and noted as the tallest pilot serving in the RAF at the time, poses with his new Supermarine Spitfire Mark VC, JK101 'FT-Z', at Jemappes, Algeria.

Imperial War Museum IWM CNA 356 https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205209191

Spitfire VIII RAF 43Sqn FTF Ashley W Guest MT714 Ramatulle Aug 1944 IWM CL998

Spitfire VIII RAF 43Sqn FTF Ashley W Guest MT714 Ramatulle Aug 1944 IWM CL998

Operation DRAGOON: the Allied invasion of southern France. Mechanics servicing Supermarine Spitfire Mark VIII, MT714 'FT-F'', of No. 43 Squadron RAF, at Ramatuelle landing ground.

Imperial War Museum IWM CL 998 https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205211653

MK528 LFIX CBAF M66 33MU 25-2-44 222MU 3-3-44 Empire Raj 21-3-44 Casablanca 6-4-44 238S 43S 'FT-M' SOC 30-4-47

Spitfire MkIXc, Flt.Lt.G Edwards, 43 Sqn RAF. Description: Spitfire F.MkIXc, flown by Flt.Lt. George Edwards, 43 Sqn RAF. Klagenfurt, Austria. May 1945. Skin requestd by Kosmos, Flt Lt Edwards is his great uncle.
Quote from Kosmos:-

He did his flight training in the US (and Canada) in 1941-42. While he was based in Texas, due to "political reasons", (pre-Pearl Harbor) the training was provided by "civilian contractors", who he described as "real nutcases, but great flyers!"; they were all ex-stunt pilots and crop dusters!

Apparently, one guy had a trick of taxiing/flying a Stearman trainer with just the tailwheel on the ground!? He also remembered that night flying over Dallas was very impressive, compared to the blacked-out UK at night.

After qualifying, he was posted to RAF Training Command as an instructor and was based in the UK for about a year. He transferred to a training unit in Egypt flying Spitfire VB's, which he felt was slightly under powered (by mid-war standards) and handicapped by the Vokes filter.

Also, once the wheels were down, the landing had to be made very quickly or else the engine would seriously overheat, due to the undercarriage leg obstructing the oil cooler! He said that this was only a problem with MkV's in the Mid-East. It didn't happen in colder climates.

In mid 1944, he was due to be posted to a combat squadron going to Greece as part of the "Balkan Airforce". But due to a minor illness his posting was delayed, so he missed Greece and went to Italy instead, joining 43 Squadron at Florence in September. As well as the Spit Mk.IXc MK528, he remembers occasionally flying a Spit Mk.VIII. The squadron strength was usually 16 Spitfires, divided into two "Flights" of eight aircraft. He is certain that A-flight used red/white codes and spinners and B flight used blue/white.He said this practice was introduced during the time he was with the unit.

At this time, 43 Sqn mainly flew ground support and escort missions in northern Italy, and later into Yugoslavia. He was promoted to Flight Lieutenant and commander of B-flight when "his boss", Flt.Lt. Hedderwick, was KIA in early 1945.

Soon after VE-Day, he had a pointed rudder fitted to MK528, which he said made taxiing "as easy as driving a car", compared to the Spitfire with normal, rounded rudder.

During the summer of '45 he was transferred to Jerusalem as an RAF sector controller, working at the King David Hotel. While he was there, he got to fly a P-51, which he described as "an excellent aircraft!....you could land the Mustang with the brakes on". On a visit to Ramat David airbase, 213 Sqn were in the process of exchanging their Mustang IV's for new Spit IXe's. Naturally, having about 400-500 hours flying time on Spitfires, he asked if he could take one up!.....and was surprised to find his request promptly refused! The 213 boys didn't want anybody playing with their new toys!

But he was then told if wanted to do some flying, he could 'borrow a Mustang instead', as they were soon to be sent back to the UK!

He was shipped back to the UK, for demobilisation in early 1946 (so he luckily missed the bombing of the King David Hotel!), and is now 85 and lives in Newcastle, UK. His name is George Edwards.

IL-2 Sturmovik Cliffs of Dover - COD/CLOD skins
 
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    Magazine References: +

  • Airfix Magazines (English) - http://www.airfix.com/
  • Avions (French) - http://www.aerostories.org/~aerobiblio/rubrique10.html
  • FlyPast (English) - http://www.flypast.com/
  • Flugzeug Publikations GmbH (German) - http://vdmedien.com/flugzeug-publikations-gmbh-hersteller_verlag-vdm-heinz-nickel-33.html
  • Flugzeug Classic (German) - http://www.flugzeugclassic.de/
  • Klassiker (German) - http://shop.flugrevue.de/abo/klassiker-der-luftfahrt
  • Le Fana de L'Aviation (French) - http://boutique.editions-lariviere.fr/site/abonnement-le-fana-de-l-aviation-626-4-6.html
  • Le Fana de L'Aviation (French) - http://www.pdfmagazines.org/tags/Le+Fana+De+L+Aviation/
  • Osprey (English) - http://www.ospreypublishing.com/
  • Revi Magazines (Czech) - http://www.revi.cz/

    Web References: +

  • History of RAF Organisation: http://www.rafweb.org
  • History of RAAF: http://www.airpages.ru/eng/ot/raaf_01.shtml
  • Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/

 

This webpage was updated 6th June 2021