Mosquito Bites

For those of you who can’t get enough of Mosquitos…

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Mosquito Bites

Fancy yourself at the controls of Military Aviation Museum’s DH98 Mosquito FB Mk.26?

Come on up... looking through the crew door of a Mosquito Mk.XIII NF (Night Fighter), from February 1945. (AWM SUK13768) Come on up… looking through the crew door of a Mosquito Mk.XIII NF (Night Fighter), from February 1945. (AWM SUK13768)

I don’t know; maybe if Jerry Yagen was super-impressed by your glass-smooth arrival at Osh Kosh or something. Anyway, it would certainly be a priceless opportunity, even if the Timber Terror is reputed to have a nastier bite than its malarial six-legged namesake.

But back when KA-114 was brand new, vast numbers of Mosquitoes (de Havilland ones) were serving in a world war that would claim over 53 million souls. That meant attitudes around high performance combat aircraft were a lot more sanguine than they are today. In fact “losing a few” was pretty much seen as the price of doing business.

So when an RAF Test Pilot* shared his impressions of the big twin’s…

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Close Call

Amazing story

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Close Call

Early on the morning of September 27th, 1943, the distinctive baritone thunder of a Merlin engine rose over the base of No.410 Night Fighter Squadron RCAF, at Coleby Grange, Lincolnshire.

This was a Mosquito base, so the sound of a single Merlin was nearly always bad news. A Mosquito was difficult enough to land with both turning. But the crew of this particular Mk.II NF, serial DZ757 and wearing squadron codes RA-Q, had even bigger trouble on their hands.

Flight Lieutenant M A Cybulski (RCAF) was managing to keep his engine-out twin on course with almost the entire fabric covering of his rudder burnt away. To all appearances, there simply wasn’t enough surface left to resist the off-centre power of the remaining Merlin. What’s more, the fabric covering the wooden fuselage, the inner port wing, the starboard wing underside, and the port tailplane had been severely burnt…

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Ranger to Grove revisited

Comment from Anders Straarup, www.airmen.dk

AirmenDK now contains www.airmen.dk/grove44.htm as the first of 9 pages describing how George Stewart and Bud Badley of 23 Sqn attacked a JU88 fighter at Fliegerhorst Grove and later a radar tower at the West coast of Jutland, Denmark on 26 SEP 1944.
George sent a page from his photo album and his report. The painting Day Ranger to Grove is very fine. Thanks to Danish Experts the type, serial number and exact position of the radar tower have now been added.
AirmenDK has details about 463 planes and 3.089 Allied airmen – most of them shot down over Denmark.

You may see www.airmen.dk/mosquito.htm

 

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01058 Day Ranger to Grove, low res

 

Most interesting article about the Mosquito

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RAF trials – a high altitude radar guided dogfight

The arms race continued in all areas of the war. When the high altitude Junkers 86P was seen as a ‘speck of silver’ high above Britain in 1942, countermeasures were needed. It was ‘only’ a reconnaissance aircraft but it could not be allowed to operate unchallenged – the military build up in Britain was now moving up a gear or two.

One of the aircraft adapted to counter it was the Mosquito. The high altitude version was also stripped down of armament, given longer wings and an improved engine. The ace night fighter John Cunningham was one of the first operational pilots to give it a trial flight, in April 1943. His regular Navigator, C.F. Rawnsley, was with him, and wrote a memorable account of their first flight:

RAF Records Online

Someone told me about this Website

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23 SQUADRON – 1925 to 1943 – AIR27/287
After the first world War, 23 Squadron was reformed in 1925. During the Battle of Britain period the unit operated Bristol Blenheims from Collyweston near Wittering. Other places formally recorded in this batch include Kenley, Biggin Hill, Ford, Manston, Luqa in Malta and Sigonella in Sicily. It was while he was a member of 23 Squadron that Douglas Bader lost his legs following an accident in December 1931, duly noted in that months’ Summary of Events [nb. our search function looks for the first month of each record – Bader’s December accident can be found on the page starting with October records]. Aircraft in service with squadron during this period included the Boston (and Havoc variant), Mosquito, Blenheim and Snipe.

Paying homage to his grandfather

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This blog is a tribute to my Grandfather, Andrew John Broodbank. During the Second World War, he was a Radar Operator (Navigator) with 488 (NZ) Squadron, RAF. His Operational Tour lasted from 3/ix/43 until 9/ix/44. I am lucky enough to have a significant collection of material from this period including flight logs, photos, personal journals and notes. This blog will follow, 70 years later, his time with the squadron. I hope you enjoy reading this blog, which I hope will serve as a lasting tribute to my grandfather and all those he served with.