Belgian Hurricane

Discussion in 'Aircraft Pictures' started by korenwolf, May 23, 2010.

  1. korenwolf

    korenwolf New Member

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    Hi All,


    Few years back I found some pictures of Belgian Hurricanes, but I have some difficulty with identifying them.
    I thought maybe one of you could help.

    On both pictures I see the same man, so I presume they where taken at the same time and in the same place.

    On the first a partial Hurricane, presumably of No.87 Squadron as I see a K and an H in it's Unit code and I think the first letter in an L. This is supported by the fact that No.87 Squadron was par of the BEF at the beginning of the war.

    The second one is more of a mystery for me. It't clearly a Belgian Hurricane, but which one?
    Few years back "FlyPast Magazine" published an article about he Belgian Hurricanes.
    The article also contained a list of the Belgian Registration/serial numbers these aircraft used, mut No. 36 wasn't among them.
    I found a whole bunch of information on the other Hurricanes of the Belgian Air Force, but not of No.36

    Can anyone tell me more about these photographs?
    (Never seen them in book)

    Cheers,
    Erwin
     

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  2. antoni

    antoni Banned

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    #2 antoni, May 23, 2010
    Last edited: May 23, 2010
    The first photograph looks to be L1628 LK*H impounded 14/11/39 after it force landed near De Panne. According to The Battle of France Then and Now it was impressed into service with the Belgian Air Force unit 2/I/2 as H37.

    I thin there were three RAF Hurricanes that met this fate. On 10/11/39 L1619 LK*P ran out of fuel and force landed at Aalbeke. According to the same source it was given the Belgium serial H35. On the 14/11/39 L1813 LK*O landed near Koksijde in bad weather. Again the same source says it was given the Belgian serial H38.

    So why the gap? There is a photograph of H36. So where did this extra Hurricane come from? Perhaps the above serials are in error? The second photograph could be the same Hurricane so perhaps L1628 was coded H36 not H37?

    What issue was the Flypast article in?
     
  3. korenwolf

    korenwolf New Member

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    Thank you for the interesting information.

    The FlyPast is the July 2002 issue.
    Below is the list of Belgian Hurricanes as supplied by the FlyPast Magazine.
    As you can see, no H36 :confused:

    H20 to H22 - Diverted ex-RAF L1918 to L1920 respectively
    H23 to H27 - Diverted ex-RAF L1993 to L1997 respectively
    H28 to H32 - Diverted ex-RAF L2040 to L2044 respectively
    H33 and H34 - Diverted ex-RAF L2105 and L2106 respectively
    H35, H37 to H39:
    Four aircraft ingterned prior to war breaking out.
    Tie-ups between Belgian and RAF serial numers unknown.
    As follows:
    L1619 of No. 87 Squadron, Plt Off H J R Dunn, force landed nov 10, 1939
    L1628, 'LK-O' of 87 Squadron, Fg Off R L Glyde, force landed nov 14, 1939
    L1813, of 87 Squadron, Sqn Ldr W E Coope force landed nov 14, 1939
    Inknown example from 1 Squadron, Plt Off Thomas force landed dec 9, 1939
     
  4. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    The stencilling on the fin and rudder, next to the W/T indicators, includes the serial number of the aircraft, a standard marking on removable parts. Close examination, as best as I could get, reveals a 6 and a 9, so it's possibly L1619. I'll see if I can use some different software to enhance further, but I doubt it.
     
  5. antoni

    antoni Banned

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    According to The Battle of France Then and Now on 9/12/39 N2367 (87 Squadron) lost bearings in fading light during a delivery flight from Glisy to Lille-Seclin and force landed at La Ferme Blanche. It was given the serial H39. Damaged 2/3/40 and under repair at Wevelgem when overtaken by the German advance in May 1940.

    Thinking about it, if the two photogrpahs were taken at the same time they must be different Hurricanes as they have different markings. The gap in the sequence must be because there was already a Hurricane H36 when L1628 and L1813 were allocated their serials.
     
  6. korenwolf

    korenwolf New Member

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    I've put the photo under a microscope.
    The text on the rudder reads something like "HH/109992" with "CX" below it.
    The long text on the fin is too blurred, but the same "CX" is below it.

    Maybe this helps?
    I could also try to make a higher resolution scan. I used to have one, but lost it in my recent computer crash :(
     
  7. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    The first numbers, with HH, are the part numbers reference for the plan drawings. After the CX there should normally be a serial number, but so far I can't make out anything.
     
  8. antoni

    antoni Banned

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    CX signify Cellon X a proprietary Cellon dope for fabric covered surfaces.
     
  9. Brackda

    Brackda New Member

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    #9 Brackda, Jun 1, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2010
    Hello,

    I am new to this forum and I think I can help out a bit with the question of the two Hurri pics.

    These pictures turned up a couple of years ago on eBay and delivered one important proof to what some Belgian researchers, including myself are stating since some years.
    To us the impounded RAF aircraft have never seen service with the Belgian Aéronautique Militaire. The pictures were taken during the evacuation of the Evere based Etablissement d'Aéronautique (deep maintenance and repair unit) towards France after the German invasion of Belgium.
    First of all it is important to see H-36 because this aircraft had a nose stand after a blown tire at an unknown location on 6 May 1940 (Info Royal Army Museum Brussels - Russian Arch box 883/185-14-2123 I/2Aé. Stuk 285.). This machine was noted prop-less (remember nose stand) at Bordeaux-Merignac airfield in June 1940. Unfortunately I have no information of L1628 LK*H also being at the same location, but this would be logical.

    In short, to us, the Belgian Aéronautique Militaire has received 20 Hurricanes as planned of the normal RAF production line with H-39 (3 blade prop) simply being the next aircraft available featuring the new modifications. This last mentioned aircraft is often identified as being RAF's N2361 (no a/c code) of N° 43 Sq which crash landed at Esplechin near Tournai by a Canadian pilot on 9 December 1939. This however has also been found to be false as the wreck of this aircraft (still wearing RAF c/s) was seen in a hangar at Wevelgem airbase when the Germans took over the place. A 21st AéM machine, H-42 was a Belgian licence build Hurricane which was delivered on May 6th 1940. A following machine H-43 had already test flown but was not yet delivered by the time the Germans attacked, on May 10th 1940.

    Hope this helps,


    Best regards,


    Daniel Brackx
    Belgian Aviation History Association
     
  10. antoni

    antoni Banned

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    So, what you are saying is that Belgium received 20 Hurricanes from Britain that were given the numbers H-20 to H-39. H-39 had a Rotol 3-blade propeller because it was the last to be made and had the latest improvements. The RAF serial numbers of H-35 to H-39 are not known?

    Those Hurricanes impounded by Belgium were simply stored. This makes sense to me as I think the rules of neutrality require any equipment to be impounded by a neutral country but they do not usually confiscate it and use it themselves. It should be returned to the owners when hostilities cease. This is what happened in Sweden and Switzerland. For a neutral country to use any impounded equipment it would need the permission of the owners. This, I think, sometimes happened during the war. Sweden was allowed to keep some aircraft for sending back some personnel and the Germans offered to supply Switzerland with some fighter aircraft for the return of a BF 110 night fighter with very secret radar on board.

    So, these impounded Hurricanes could only be transferred to Belgium if the British government was sympathetic to the Belgian position and gifted them to Belgium. A possibility but I would expect some documentary evidence if that happened. One source says that five Hurricanes were impounded by Belgium and another was given to Belgium to compensate for the shooting down of a Belgian Fairey Fox by a Whitley on 9th September 1939. It does not identify any of these Hurricanes. Perhaps the number five also includes the one supposedly given to Belgium as compensation. I cannot find any fifth Hurricane that Belgium obtained.

    The photograph of L1628 must have been taken in the spring or early summer of 1940. It still has its RAF markings and is dismantled. It is indeed difficult to see how it was incorporated into the Belgian Air force. Most likely it was dismantled for transport and put into storage and never reassembled.

    According to Marek Rys, Hawker Hurricane, Mushroom Publications, “The few Hurricanes built in Belgium were actually equipped with the standard British armament of eight .303 in machine guns. All but one were fitted with a two-blade Watts propeller, the exception being H-100039 which was fitted with a Rotol three-blade constant speed unit.” Presumably H-10039 is the full version of the serial number H-39? You say that H-39 was the last Hurricane supplied from Britain. This I think you make more sense.

    According to The Battle of France Then and Now, H-42 was one of nine Hurricanes caught on the ground Schaffen and destroyed in a low-level attack by KG77. Presumably there were also Hurricanes H-40 and H-41 licence built by Belgium as was H-42?
     
  11. Brackda

    Brackda New Member

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    Hi Antoni,


    I have indeed some RAF serials for the last batch of Hurricanes (H-35 - H38 >< L2107 - L2110 no serial for H-39 !!) but I have no confirmation at all for these. So be careful with them !!

    It is not known what the serials H-40 and H-41 were supposed to be for. Two solutions are possible: or these (Belgian) machines weren't finished yet by May 10th 1940 or the Belgian Government reserved these indeed for impounded RAF Hurricanes.

    It is the first time I see the registration H-10039 and I suppose this is wishful thinking based on the fact that the first Belgian machine H-42 had its c/n painted on the fuselage, being H-10042.

    Also a difficult part of the Belgian pre-war Hurricane story is the fact that pictures exist of an "H19" and H20" (no dash between letter and number). Both serial were painted in a non standard AéM Belge way. On top of that theoretically H-19 never existed.

    Regards,


    Daniel Brackx
    Belgian Aviation History Association
     
  12. antoni

    antoni Banned

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    #12 antoni, Jun 2, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2010
    Logical. Do the aircraft movement cards (Form 78) not reveal if they were sold to Belgium?
     
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