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Thread: Bristol Beaufighter TFX

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    Default Bristol Beaufighter TFX

    Hi. I want to build a model of a Coastal Command Bristol Beaufighter TFX that an uncle of mine flew in April 1944 with 143 Squadron Coastal Command. However, from searching on the web, it seems like there were two different versions of the Beaufighter that were designated TFX. One looks similar to earlier versions of the Beaufighter but the other looks different as it has a dorsal fin and a thimble nose for a radar. My uncle flew several TFX's in April 1944. Serial numbers NE685, NE772, NE211. How can I find out if which version of the TFX those were?

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    Hello John

    Welcome to the Forum. As a rather rough and ready method, I usually search for photos of aircraft close or similar serials.

    For example, Beaufighter NE686 features on this decal sheet:

    https://www.aviaeology.com/store/p16...ater_Docs.html

    There are photos and a profile of NE775 on this page:

    https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/...456-squadrons/

    NE210 is on this decal sheet:

    https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/dal...5-and-489-sqns

    As I said, it's not foolproof, but a rough guide if you can't find a photo of a specific aircraft.

    Regards

    Simon

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    NExxx airframes were to the earlier standard. There were other much more subtle changes but I doubt that you'll be worried by those. Just check whether the squadron operated as torpedo carriers or rocket firers, or just as long range fighters at this time. I presume that you already know the individual codes. The colour scheme in use in April may be the earlier three-colour scheme rather than the later one. You don't say which model you are making to which scale, but if needed you can probably get help on this matter from Terry at Aviaeology.

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    John6465 (19th March 2019)

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    Quote Originally Posted by John6465 View Post
    April 1944. Serial numbers NE685, NE772, NE211.
    Hi,
    I found that these (all early TFX) were listed as:
    NE685 'HO-Q'
    NE772 'HO-C'
    NE211 'HO-N'
    Some others in 143 Sqn:
    JL880 'HO-C'
    JL890 'HO-X'
    JL943 'HO-Q' lost 1.5.43.
    JL945 'HO-W' lost 1.5.43.
    JM108 'HO-U' lost 1.5.43.
    JM279 'HO-Y'
    LX808 'HO-K', 'NE-K'
    LX848 'HO-A', 'NE-A'
    LX943 'HO-U', 'NE-U'
    LX957 'HO-H'
    LX973 'HO-R', 'NE-R'
    NE223 'HO-F', 'NE-F'
    NE822 'HO-T'
    NE666 'HO-Z', 'NE-Z'
    NE667 'HO-J'
    NE758 'HO-L', 'NE-L'
    NE764 'HO-M'
    NE813 'HO-W'
    NE822 'HO-T'
    NT960 could be 'HO-G'
    NT998 'HO-A'
    NV185 'NE-Z'
    I do not claim that squadron code 'HO' was used later than 1943, and that any of 143 Sqn's was ever coded NE.
    In April 1944 143 Sqn was anti-flak unit, mid-44 rocket-firing etc.
    Zoran

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    Because of the changes of rules in Coastal Command, from May 1944 to September 1944 143 Sq was allocated the code 1. It is possible that this was not carried. So for April 1944 the aircraft will have carried the code HO. I would expect the camouflage to have been the Temperate Sea Scheme of Extra Dark Sea Grey and Dark Slate Grey over Sky.

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    Thank you Simon.

    Quote Originally Posted by wwrsimon View Post
    Hello John

    Welcome to the Forum. As a rather rough and ready method, I usually search for photos of aircraft close or similar serials.

    For example, Beaufighter NE686 features on this decal sheet:

    https://www.aviaeology.com/store/p16...ater_Docs.html

    There are photos and a profile of NE775 on this page:

    https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/...456-squadrons/

    NE210 is on this decal sheet:

    https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/dal...5-and-489-sqns

    As I said, it's not foolproof, but a rough guide if you can't find a photo of a specific aircraft.

    Regards

    Simon

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    Thanks Graham. The code at that time was indeed HO. NE685 was HO-Q; NE772 was HO-Q; NE211 was HO-N.

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    Thanks Zoran. From Nov 1943 to April 1944 (and maybe beyond) the 143 Sqn Beaus used the code HO.

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    My uncle flew NE-666 "HO-Z" at least once in July 1944.

    The following web page has an illustration of a Beaufighter with tail #NE666 - but not 143 Sqn. Would this be the same plane that was with 143 Sqn?
    http://www.sonsofdamien.co.uk/Beaufighter%201.htm#mk10

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    Hello John

    The serial number is allocated to an airframe when it's purchased / ordered by the Air Ministry. It remains with the plane for all its life. Apart some cases of planes rebuilt with major modifications.

    When a plane is transferred from one Squadron to another, it retains the serial number, but the Squadron code will change (if one was carried, some Coastal Command Squadrons didn't carry a Squadron code), and the individual letter could change. It would depend if another plane on strength of the Squadron already had it or not. In order not to duplicate letters. In Bomber Command Squadrons with 3 flights, this could be avoided either by allocating a new set of unit code for the third flight, or add a bar, or a +, or for the duplicated letters.
    Last point, not hyphen in the serial number, always a group of 5 digits, no - no .
    Joss

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