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Thread: Aircraft Type ?

  1. #1
    windebrowe Guest

    Default Aircraft Type ?

    Can any body identify this aircraft type, am I right in thinking a late mark Spit ?

    The pilot is my wifes uncle Flt Lt Bill Metcalfe, writing on the back is practically unreadable but

    my best effort at transcribing is this -

    Taken on the last day of the war on the last operation to Sylt ? Germany, when we landed at RAF ???????? Holland the war was over, photo taken by Chris Kennel ?, No 263.

    http://i265.photobucket.com/albums/ii207/skiddaw/BillMet.jpg

    Steve

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    Default

    Hi Steve
    Do you have any info as to whether your wife's uncle was engaged in tactical recce? From Famous Fighters of the 2nd World War/William Green, it looks like the a/c is a Spitfire F.R XIVE . The E variant was among the final Spit.XIVs built and featured, on the last few built, the cut down rear fuselage with the rear -vision hood as the photo has, but the F.R Version also had clipped wings as it's role was intended to be low level,again as per the photo. It also had an oblique camera in the rear fuselage but the photo is not clear enough to be sure if this is fitted, unless the black rectangle that cuts into the Roundel is an aperture for such a camera. A look at a log book might show if he flew such a/c.
    Regards
    Dick
    Last edited by Dick; 31st July 2008 at 22:14.

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    Default Mk XIV

    Hi Steve,
    I'm no Spitfire expert by any means, but it looks to me like a Mk XIV powered by a Rolls Royce Griffon engine.
    Regards
    Max

    That's 2 votes then Dick!!

  4. #4
    windebrowe Guest

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    Hi
    I am afraid I don`t have any further information on Bill ( James William Ward Metcalfe or Medcalfe-seems to alternate, born 1918 at Rhu, Scotland). I had thought the 263 was the sqn No but they were in Typhoons in 1945.

    I have one further photo of Bill with his groundcrew taken ( the writing is very faded and smudged ) 43 Sqn Aug 1943 at North Weald, Essex - best I can make out, but 43 Sqn were on Malta in Aug 1943 so thats another mystery. Though the Sqn number may well be wrong and or possibly the year.

    Is there any way of tracing his career in the RAF ?

    Steve

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    There's a "dead ringer" for this shot on page 517 of the Shores/Thomas 2nd TAF trilogy, though that aircraft bears a K. It's identified as an FR.XIV of 414 Sqn.

    edit - the caption identifies the aircraft as per the above, however it refers to 414 Squadron obliquely, saying that 414 Sqn. had "finally replaced its 'stopgap' Spitfire FR IXs, after some eight months of operations, with Spitfire FR XIVs, some of which had bubble canopies, as seen here on 'K'."
    Last edited by mhuxt; 1st August 2008 at 03:11. Reason: accuracy

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    Try 268 Sqn - they were on Spitfire XIVs, based at Twente in Holland, at the end of the war.

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    Steve,

    Spitfire FR.XIVE MV369 of No.268 Squadron RAF, sortie on 8 May 1945. Photo would have been by F/L Chris Arnell. Your wife's uncle Bill would be F/L J W W Metcalfe RAFVR?

    Details from 'ADJIDAUMO - Tail in Air' - the History of No.268 Squadron Royal Air Force 1940-1946.

    F/L Arnell in Spitfire FR.XIVE NH652 and F/L Metcalfe in Spitfire FR.XIVE MV369 took off at 11.31 hrs to conduct a Tac/R covering the Sylt area. Three self propelled barges were observed. No movement was seen, but considerable shipping was seen moored in Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven and Wilhelmshaven. Many aircraft were parked on aerodromes and five seaplanes were seen at Sylt. The pair of aircraft safely landed back at Twente at 13.16 hrs, signalling the conclusion of the last operational sortie flown by the Squadron in Europe during the War.

    F/L Metcalfe joined 268 on 14 March 1945 from 84 GSU, stayed with them post-October 1945 when Squadron was renumbered as No.16 Sqdn. Flew Mustang Mk.1A, Mustang Mk.II and Spitfire FR.XIVE operationally whilst with them.

    Want to know more? Feel free to contact me off board at:
    cbfordATcyberoneDOTcomDOTau

    Regards,
    Colin Ford
    Canberra
    Australia

    No.268 Squadron Royal Air Force 1940-1946
    Historian by Appointment
    (by the surviving Squadron members)

  8. #8
    windebrowe Guest

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    Many many thanks, what a wonderful response from you all, my wife is over the moon.

    The story on the reverse was true , notwithstanding my transcription errors !.

    Steve

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    Just found this thread as I was researching further three photo's hanging in my local Inn, The Rhu Inn. First is a group photo captioned "Flt/Lt. Bill Metcalfe Ex. Rhu House 1918-1932 with ground crew of 63Sqn North Weald"
    Second photo shows a Spitfire Mk14 coded 'R' and reads " Flt/Lt. Bill Metcalfe, this photo was taken on the last day of 1939-1945 war on last operation to Sylt, Germany. War had ended when he landed at RAF Enschede. This photo taken by Flt. Chris Arnell of No.268"
    The third photo is unrelated and is of a local Seafire Pilot .
    Up till a few years Bill Metcalfe visited the Inn when he was in the area. Unfortunately I never got to meet him but several of my friends had the privilege of his company.

    Alan.

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