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See the Pilots who flew Serial JF692

2018-08-15

One thing that's been impressive over the years, is to see the pilot roster filled in for certain Spitfires. A user can enter Spitfire serials on a pilot's page, and, when this done for many pilots, the history fills in. Some of our users tend to focus squadron by squadron, airforce (e.g. "desert airforce") or campaign / date range. When that happens, we start to see particular aircraft patterns. For example, have a look at Spitfire JF692.

You can see a long list of 92 squadron pilots who flew this aircraft. As I've mentioned before, it's often important to a relative we've been in touch with to find out more about squadron or wing mates, other airmen that a father or grand-father may have flown with. By researching their stories, they are researching common experiences their own father / grand-father / uncle may have experienced in battle or just day to day life. By reading the list of other's that flew the same Spitfire, then linking to those pilot pages from the aircraft page, stories start to tie together. Of course it's a bit ad-hoc, one user from South Africa (SAAF) could fill in some detail, another in Canada ... read more ...

Would you buy a T-shirt (design option two)

2018-05-25

Can you help by providing feedback on this t-shirt design?

I hope you are enjoying this site, many enthusiasts are adding pilots on a regular basis, but we have some super-contributors at present (just look at recent pilot postings to see who they are) adding a considerable number of pilots each week and in many cases, linking up the to the aircraft they flew by serial. How many pilots on the site? You can count them using the bottom of the pilots page. There are currently 205 pages of 10 pilots per page (so some quick math says 2,050) and counting each week. Not only that, users can visit a page and add more information, such as a picture, or a comment.

Which brings us to the next topic - keeping this site going. As a developer, I was fortunate to be able to code this site up *using Laravel, a great framework for custom development and relating different types of information*. The site was my pleasure to create, to honour the pilots and also experiment with a form of digital curation, i.e. asking those with imagery and information (eg. family member) to post pilot info while it is still ... read more ...

Would you buy a T-shirt to support this Site?

2018-05-25

Can you help by providing feedback on this t-shirt design?

I hope you are enjoying this site, many enthusiasts are adding pilots on a regular basis, but we have some super-contributors at present (just look at recent pilot postings to see who they are) adding a considerable number of pilots each week and in many cases, linking up the to the aircraft they flew by serial. How many pilots on the site? You can count them using the bottom of the pilots page. There are currently 205 pages of 10 pilots per page (so some quick math says 2,050) and counting each week. Not only that, users can visit a page and add more information, such as a picture, or a comment.

Which brings us to the next topic - keeping this site going. As a developer, I was fortunate to be able to code this site up *using Laravel, a great framework for custom development and relating different types of information*. The site was my pleasure to create, to honour the pilots and also experiment with a form of digital curation, i.e. asking those with imagery and information (eg. family member) to post pilot info while it is still ... read more ...

Save Tangmere Tower

2018-04-13

Most aviation and WWII Hurricane and Spitfire enthusiasts know about RAF Tangmere, a famous WWII Battle of Britain station known not only for sending up fighters to defend England, but also as a jump off point for Special Ops (SOE) missions. Google will of course turn up lots of information on Tangmere, with famous pilots Douglas Bader and Johnnie Johnson (who later led 127 Wing of RCAF) amoungst the many who flew from or served there. I was even recently able to find youtube high-def drone video footage showing the current tower in detail as well as the surrounding area.

As I researched a possible cycle route last winter along the Kent coastline, and having read the fantastic novel "Wings Over Summer" by RAF Group Captain Ron Powell putting Tangmere into a first person narrative, I came across the current Tangmere tower online only to find it was virtually in ruins. How many ghosts wander nearby or keep watch from the derelict tower, I was captivated by the imagery and at once thrilled that it still existed, as if it was a best kept secret that shouldn't be.

With the runways turned back to farmers fields, and with encroaching development, ... read more ...

RAF 100 Years Celebrations 2018

2018-04-01

Many of know or at least may have heard that the RAF celebrates it's 100 year centenary in 2018. In fact, the official anniversary is today, April 1, which also happens to be Easter Sunday. If you are a UK resident or visitor this spring or summer 2018, there are many celebrations and events to take part-in; some with flying displays, some strictly planted on (or in) the ground. The RAF has protected the skies of Britain for 100 years and continues to do so, perhaps it's finest moment was the Battle of Britain where the Spitfire and Hurricane were the RAF's answer.

Here's a wonderful link to help you sort through the RAF 100 events, and, if you feel there are some must-see events, particularly those with a Spitfire flypast, don't hesitate to add a comment and / or use the contact us at the bottom of this page.

RAF 100 what's on.

... and for those who want to read about a couple of former Spitfire pilots who are themselves as old as the RAF one of which who took to the skies on April 1, check this link out.

Kurt read more ...

Spitfire P7350 Battle of Britain Pin from Poppyshop.org.uk

2018-02-10

My father recently asked me to drop by a few days before his own birthday, pointing to a small brown box that had come in the mail. He said, "it's for you". I curiously opened it and found myself in awe as I looked down at a beautiful Spitfire pin made from Duralumin fabricated metal, from the original P7350 that flew in the Battle of Britain. Wow! I had never seen this type of thing before, and, here in my hands was a part of flying history. I also wasn't sure how I became the recipient of a gift on his Birthday but there it was.

The 18mm wide (wingspan) lapel pins are sold by the poppyshop.org.uk, in support of the efforts of The Royal British Legion. All purchases made from the Poppy Shop help to fund the work of the Legion, providing practical support and advice to Service personnel, past and present, and their families. It's a great cause. The pin comes in a jewelley box, with a small certificate explaining the pin and where it came from.

So out of the blue - perhaps in more ways than one - a symbol that has become an icon for ... read more ...

A Son's Tribute to 244 Wing of the Desert Airforce!

2018-01-05

As the editor (and founder) for www.allspitfirepilots.org, I've been fortunate enough to be in touch with many sons, daughters, grand-children, nieces and nephews of former Spitfire pilots. What's almost universal about them is that in a quest to find out more, they typically end up researching a great deal about other pilots in the squadron or wing. For Kevin Charles, son of Spitfire pilot Alan Charles, this is no different. You can check out Kevin's profile on this site to see the couple of hundred pilots he's posted, along with his own father's page. Kevin has posted a considerable amount of material on the Desert Airforce, and, he attributes that in part to long cricket matches on TV allowing him to read through the ORBs. In corresponding with Kevin, I requested a short article summing up his research interest and activity which you can read below. Plus he just located his father's log book, so stay tuned for more.

From Kevin Charles on Spitfire pilot Alan Charles and 244 Wing - the Desert Airforce!

My father Alan Charles was a member of 601 Squadron and flew Spitfires in Italy at the end of WW2, and managed ... read more ...

Look up pilots on the site by Squadron number! (NEW FEATURE)

2017-08-29

Greetings, as we head into fall -- a number of new features are being planned for the site. You may have already seen a few. For one, the squadron numbers and serials flown sections of a pilot page have been given more room, and, soon, more information (incident report) will be able to be added when adding a date / serial no in the pilots 'aircraft flown' section. That will move the site closer and closer to showing ORB / logbook details.

But one feature that was very simple to add, and, potentially very useful -- was a recent change to hyperlink the pilot's squadron number on the pilot page to go to a page that lists all other pilots having the same airforce / squadron identification -- and so far, the results are fascinating. For example one of our users (Kevin Charles son of Spitfire pilot) has been diligently adding pilots from 92 Squadron and other squadrons of 244 Wing during a particular date range primarily operating out of Italy. As a result, a lot of squadron pilots are showing up on the site, and now those that flew as part of a particular squadron can be seen on ... read more ...

Interview with Captain Balan, RIAF Number 4 Squadron

2017-08-26

I was recently contacted by the daughter of Captain M. Balan, who flew with Number 4 Squadron of the RIAF during the closing days of WWII and subsequently with Number 4 Squadron in Japan as part of the occupying force.

I was able to ask a number of questions directly to Mr. Balan through his daughter, who was very kind in phoning her father in India to obtain the answers. Mr. Balan looks very young in his service pictures, and, apparently is doing very well at 93 and fondly remembers his flying days, and we thank him for sharing some of his stories. He was extensively interviewed on the www.bharat-rakshak.com web-site (links are on the pilot page for Captain Balan), where lots of detail can be found on his early flying days, EFTS training, and deployment to Japan where he flew the clipped wing Spitfire.

Although he wasn't in combat, flying was dangerous, as they flew for extended periods over water, over low mountains, in bad weather, in training dives (black out possibility), and, take-offs side by side fighting off immense torque by the Spitfire airscrew, applying full rudder to get in the air without incident. I loved his quote ... read more ...

DUNKIRK

2017-07-21

A great escape of immense magnitude, where 338,000+ UK, French, and Belgian soldiers were evacuated from the choked pocket around Dunkirk. Director Chris Nolan has created what looks to be an extraordinary film using as much 'in camera' footage as possible, including real aircraft. The whole movie evokes a 'being there' sense that transports the viewer back in time. Dramatic, emotional, triumphant -- for saving the British army. On the eve of the Battle of Britain and what many feared would come next, the invasion of England itself.



There has been some rancour in the day (one story of RAF being kicked out of a pub by returned soldiers) regarding the RAF being there in sufficient force to prevent the casualties. As the German tanks stopped to let the Luftwaffe decimate the forces below, it became very desperate. The RAF did respond, in numbers, and as one source (Ellis) quotes "during the nine days from May 26 through June 3, the RAF lost 177 aircraft destroyed or damaged; the Germans lost 240 (including from flak). For much of the Luftwaffe, Dunkirk came as a nasty shock." There was success in the air, but also ... read more ...