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West, Cyril J

Stats:

rank: Wing Commander
status: survived
airforce: RAF
born: United Kingdom

added by: str4tm4n
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Bio / Text:

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Wing Commander Cyril West DFC was the commanding officer of No 32 Squadron From April 1946 to February 1947. At that time the Squadron was based in Palestine and were flying Spitfire Mk IXs . His personal aircraft was MJ171 which carried the identification code GZ-?. The tradition of using a question mark to denote the squadron commander’s personal aircraft was established two years before Cyril West assumed command by Wing Commander George Sylvester DFC. Spitfires were transferred to 32 Squadron in Kolomaki, Greece, on October 9th 1944 and he chose MJ730 as his personal aircraft. He told his ground crew that there was a question mark over which letter they should paint on his aircraft since as the commanding officer he was neither a member of A flight nor B flight. For fun, they painted a temporary question mark (in whitewash apparently) in place of an identification letter. Sylvester enjoyed the joke, and from then until well into the fifties all subsequent COs used a question mark to denote their personal aircraft. The aircraft became known as “The CO’s Query”.

Squadrons:

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AirforceSqdrnDate
RAF 32 Squadron
RAF

Aircraft:

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SerialMarkingDate
MJ171 GZ-?
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