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Thread: 263 Squadron individual id letters

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    Default 263 Squadron individual id letters

    Hi,

    Can anyone add to my list of serials/individual aircraft letters for 263 Squadrons Gladiators, Hurricanes, Whirlwinds and Typhoons?

    Gladiator:

    N5579/D, N5908/F, N5633/K

    Hurricane:

    V6703/A, N2349/V

    Whirlwind:

    P7043/A, P7061/A, P6992/C, P7117/E, P7116/F, P6968/H, P6983/H, P6984/H, P7011/H, P6984/J, P6985/J, P6989/J, P7116/J, P6887/L, P7062/L, P7102/N, P6991/R, P6993/S, P7014/T, P7094/T, P6969/V, P6976/X, P6974/Z

    Typhoon:

    JR382/A, MN187/A, EK211/B, MN769/B, SW419/C, JR442/D, MN476/E, JR532/H, PD550/H, MN883/J, MN738/K, MN250/M, RB300/M, JR253/N, MN404/O, JR365/P, MN139/R, MN295/S, MN515/S, RB305/S, MN407/T, MN477/T, RB923/U, RB926/U, RB927/V, JR531/V, RB604/W, JR446/X, MN527/X, MM989/Y, MN261/Y, MN407/Y, MN292/Z


    Any help appreciated.

    Regards,

    Alex

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    Default

    Hi Alex
    What is left of the History section of the raf.mod site gives profile paintings of a Typhoon RB309/S in the part devoted to 263 Sqn History which is still made available with a little work to get to Sqn Histories. You might get something from a Google Image search under Westland Whirlwind but you do get a lot of helicopters and photos of plastic kits. The latter often show markings but may not have been properly researched.
    Regards
    Dick
    Last edited by Dick; 14th November 2007 at 22:03. Reason: Deleting an error

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    Default 263 Sqn Typhoons

    Alex, don't know where you got them, but some of the Typhoon serials on your list are incorrect.

    'RB923' not a Typhoon serial; no doubt an error for R8923 which has been reported as HE-U.
    'RB926' not a Typhoon serial; R8926 was not allocated to 263 either.
    'RB927' not a Typhoon serial; R8927 has been reported as HE-V but was actually lost in action 19 August 1943, months before 263 received Typhoons.
    'RB300' not a Typhoon serial.
    JR442 serial ok but was not allocated to 263 Sqn.

    Food for for thought. 263 used at least 136 different Typhoons...
    CT

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    Hi Dick, Chris

    Thnaks for your replies.

    John Shellard sent me a list of the Typhoons he flew while with 263 Sqn. RB923 was one of them. It's possible he miswrote the serial and it is indeed R8923.

    RB926 and RB927. I'll own up to that one. My source was the Profile Publication on the Typhoon and it has them as R8926 and R8927. As I've transferred them from paper to PC I've mixed up the R8 with RB. Easily enough done.

    RB300 and JR442 are in the Profile Publication under 263 Squadron. As yet I don't have any of the Air Britain RAF serials books to check these serials are all genuine 263 Sqn machines. I have got 2nd TAF on order for Christmas but I don't know if it has much info on 263 Sqn Typhoon ops. I haven't been able to get a copy of your Typhoon book yet.

    Regards,

    Alex

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    Default No. 263 (F) Squadron A/C Idents

    G'day Alex

    Gloster Gladiator Mk. I
    K7946 HE-R
    K7942 HE-H

    Gloster Gladiator Mk. II
    N5586 HE-K

    Westland Whirlwind
    P7116 HE-F *NOTE: This aircraft was later re-coded as HE-J

    Hawker Typhoon
    MN139 HE-Q
    MN823 HE-J

    Cheers...Chris

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    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for the extra info. Can I ask the source for the Gladiators serials? I have to be careful here as 605 Squadron operated Gladiators from around April-Aug 1939 and used the code HE. 263 Squadron was formed in October 1939 with the initial batch of Gladiators (K6145, K7917, K7952, K7961, K7965, K7979, K7985, K8004, K8032, K8044) being ex-605 Squadron.

    K7942 was lost in a collision while with 65 Squadron in February 1938 (The K File). In Ian Pipers book on 605 Sqn he does mention that K7942 served with 605 Sqn and wore the codes HE-H. I wonder if that's a typo for K7952, which is also mentioned.

    K7946 seved with 605 Sqn as HE-R. According to the K File this aircraft never served with 263 Sqn.

    N5586 was with 605 Sqn coded HE-K. It was later passed on to 615 Sqn and there is no further trace after May 1940, so it may have been lost in France (RAF Serials L1000-N9999).

    Regards,

    Alex

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    Hi Alex
    The Air Britain R Serials has R8923 with 263 but R8926 as with 183 and 164 surviving until 1946,and R8927 as lost over Amiens on 19/8/43 with 182 Sqn having previously been with 181. A look,admittedly quick, down the R Serials has only the one with 263. I don't have the later serials ie JA-,MA-etc
    Regards
    Dick

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    Default Typhoon serials and codes

    Quite right Dick, except that R8927 was actually still on charge 181 Squadron when lost, coded EL-R; it was borrowed by 182, who were one aircraft short, and lost along with its pilot, Flg Off M.I.Fraleigh.

    As regards MN823/J on Dakota's list - there is no record of this aircraft being with 263. However you already have a MN883/J which is correct, and the likely source.

    The other serial he mentions, MN139/Q you already have as R (correct); not to say that it could not have been Q as well as many aircraft had code changes during their service. However, I guess it probably comes from John Rawlings 'Fighter Squadrons' which - good as it was - does utilise a lot of codes from the lists that were exchanged between enthusiasts in the late forties/fifties. These were from raw 'spotters' reports - at a time when the full serial ranges were not known, never mind individual aircraft histories - and are subject to transcription errors (you know - written on the back of your hand while furiously pedalling away from the security guard!).

    If you are interested in accuracy of codes carried - known provenance is key. Sweeping them up from all sources offered is a waste of time.
    CT

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    Hi Dick, Chris

    Thanks for the additional input. Although I gather info from a variety of sources I do try and verify the information as accuratley as possible. My main source for serial info is the Air Britain publications, but as mentioned previously I don't have them all yet.

    Alex

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    Default Serial sources

    Air-Britain serial registers are pretty good - but not perfect - what published sources are? (mea culpa). Perhaps primary sources would be the answer....
    CT

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