**** DONE: Spitfire Mk. I P9306 ZP H of No 74 Squadron Battle of Britain Group Build

Discussion in '#7 Battle of Britain' started by T Bolt, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    #1 T Bolt, Aug 4, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010
    Spitfire Mk. I P9306 ZP H of No 74 Squadron Battle of Britain Group Build

    User name: T Bolt
    Name: Glenn
    Category: 2, Intermediate
    Kit: Tamiya Spitfire Mk.1
    Scale: 1/48th.
    Accessories: True Details resin wheels Decals custom made, from kit and from spares box

    This is my second entry for the Battle of Britain Group Build. Spitfire Mk. I P9306 ZP H of No.74 Squadron. The aircraft is still in existence in Chicago at the Museum of Science and Industry although it no longer has the paint and markings from the Battle of Britain having been repainted some time later in the war. I have not been able to find any pictures of the aircraft during that time period and would be grateful for any help in that regard. If no photos can be found I intend to finish it in the Dark Green/Dark Earth/Sky Camo scheme with the code ZPH which I know it wore during the battle. Below is a history of the P9306 thankfully provided my Karl (Roche) several months ago, along with a picture I took several months ago

    Ordered as part of contract B980383/39., Apr. 20, 1939.
    Built by Supermarine Aviation at the Woolston works, Southampton, 1939.
    - Merlin III fitted. No 119226.
    - 508th Spitfire built.
    - First flight at Eastleigh, Jan. 19, 1940.
    Delivered to RAF as P9306.
    - BOC: Jan 20, 1940.
    - Allocated to 24 MU at RAF Turnhill, Jan. 24, 1940.
    -- Placed in storage.
    - Transferred to 4 MU at RAF Ruislip, Mar. 1940.
    - Transferred to 6 MU at RAF Brize Norton, June 27, 1940.
    - Transferred to 74 Sqn at RAF Hornchurch. Marked 'TRINIDAD'. Coded ZP-, July 6, 1940.
    -- Claimed 1 ME109 destroyed and 1 damaged. Pilot Plt Of P.C.F Stevenson, July 10, 1940.
    -- Claimed 1 BF110 destroyed near Harwich. Pilot Sgt Kirk. Coded ZP-H, Aug. 11, 1940.
    -- Squadron moved to RAF Wittering, Aug. 14, 1940.
    -- Squadron moved to RAF Kirton-in-Lindsey, Aug. 21, 1940.
    -- Squadron moved to RAF Coltishall, Sept. 9, 1940.
    - Transferred to 45 MU at RAF Kinloss for storage, Sept. 12, 1940.
    - Transferred to 54 MU at RAF Cambridge for storage, Sept. 17, 1940.
    -- Damaged. Transferred to 4 MU at RAF Ruislip for repairs, Sept. 29, 1940.
    -- Squadron moved to RAF Biggin Hill.?, Oct. 15, 1940.
    -- Claimed 3 more kills. Pilots P/of Cobdent and P/of St John.?, Nov.-Dec. 1940?.
    - Transferred to 131 Sqn at Catterrick. Used as a training aircraft. Coded NX-, July 18, 1941.
    -- Squadron moved to RAF Ternhill, Aug. 6, 1941.
    -- Squadron moved to RAF Atcham, Sept. 27, 1941.
    - Transferred to 52 OTU at Aston Down. Coded GK-, Oct. 22, 1941.
    -- Damaged. Transferred to Westland Aircraft for repairs, Feb. 3, 1943.
    - Transferred to 33 MU at RAF Lyneham for storage, Mar. 14, 1943.
    - Transferred to 61 OTU at RAF Rednal. Coded UU-, May 4, 1943.
    -- Damaged. Cat AK. Repaired on site, Sept. 20, 1943.
    -- Returned to 61 OTU.
    -- Withdrawn from active service.
    Earmarked for major overhaul. Damaged before being collected, Jan. 1944.
    - Transferred to 39 MU at RAF Colerne, 1944.
    - Allocated to the Royal Navy Disposal Account, 1944.
    - Transferred to 52 MU at RAF Cardiff for preparation for shipment, 1944.
    - Shipped to Chicago, USA, Aug. 2, 1944.
    -- Arrived at Chicago, Aug. 19, 1944.
     

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  2. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    hey Glenn i forgot all about that one or i would've got a Spit to do for the Group buid, look forward to your work on this one
     
  3. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Great choice Glenn!
     
  4. Peebs

    Peebs Member

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    I wonder how many surviving planes there are from the BoB???

    would be an amazing sense of history standing there looking at it for sure!!
     
  5. Vic Balshaw

    Vic Balshaw Well-Known Member

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    Nice one Glenn and a good stack of info to go with it. Looking forward to your work on this one.
     
  6. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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  7. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Nice one Glenn. Note that, as it is now, in the museum, the aircraft has the strengthening strips on top of the wings, above the area of the wheel wells. These were a later addition, and would not have been present at the time of the BoB. Note also that, if modelling it before late August, it would still have had the older radio, and the VHF antenna mast, as seen in the pic, would not have been fitted. the earlier mast was a straight, tubular item.
    I've loaned Jan a book on 74 Squadron, so ask him to see if there are any pics of 'H' - there are certainly some of the other Spits in the Battle. There is also a full list of ALL the aircraft which served on the Squadron, so there might be another snippet of information there.
    Peebs, there are at least seven British BoB survivoirs in the UK at least, one of them airworthy, plus a BoB Bf109E. Worldwide, I forget offhand, but around another 8 or 10.
     
  8. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys! I've been looking at that Spit hanging in that Museum since I was a little kid and have wanted to build it for some time now.
    I'm glad you said that about those stiffeners Terry as I had intended to add them to the wings. I'll send Jan a PM about the book. I can sure use a photo or a profile of it, or if not, of some of the other Spits in No 74 squadron at the time so I can get a feel of what it would have looked like then. The earlier radio mast is no problem. I have Squadron's Spitfire in action and it has very nice detail drawings of both types.
     
  9. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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  10. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    here you go Glenn ZP-Afrom 74 Sqdn notice it has the black left wing lower surfaces
     

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  11. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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  12. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Nice profile Karl. Note the underside colours are half black, half white OVERALL. This changed to the 'Sky' in late June, although it was mid July before many were re-painted. (the colour was supposed to be 'Sky', but, at first, various tones were seen, ranging from a pale blue not unlike RLM65, to the true , factory supplied 'Sky'.)
    Note the radio mast is the early type, easy to do from a piece of plastic rod. Jan will be able to confirm, from the book, the date the radio fit changed. IIRC, they were changed over to VHF as and when Squadrons moved into the South of England,on rotation, into 11 and 12 Groups, and this change started around mid - August.
     
  13. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Good people.....the Spit is mentioned, but I'm afraid there's no pics of her. :( Looking forward to this one Glenn! :thumbright:
     
  14. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Ah well, thanks for checking Jan. If you have a look at the pics in the book, there's one of Sailor standing alongside a Spit, which has the early mast. I don't think the caption gives a date, but could you check please? it might give a clue as to when the radio change came about. If not, to be on the safe side, assume it was mid-August, as most squadrons had completed the change by the end of August.
    Glenn, if modelling your Spit from July onwards (which will have to be after 10th July anyway, for the GB) then it would have changed from the half black/white undersides to Sky. Lacking any evidence that it could have been any one of the various shades, just assume it was the 'official' shade of Sky.
    I'll be posting more info on colours, codes, patterns etc in the next BoB Bits, hopefully over the weekend. (been held up by a glitch trying to 'paint' some profiles.)
     
  15. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    follow this link Glenn then scroll down for a profile of ZP-O as it was in aug 1940
    Aircraft illustration
     
  16. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for those profiles Karl, they'll be very helpful and thanks for looking Jan.

    Terry I've used the info you provided and done some thinking and I think come up with somewhere to start. The history I got from Karl stated that it had the code ZP on July 6 and that it was coded ZP H on Aug 12 when Pilot Sgt. Kirk claimed the second kill of the Spit. The history also stated it was transferred from No 74 squadron to storage on Sept 12. At this point I intend depict it between Aug 12 ans Sept 12, so that would mean a sky underside. The range of those dates could mean either type of antenna mast so I am going to reserve judgment on that for now as it will be the very last thing I add to the model and can decide later

    A few questions I still have:
    1) The history says it was marked 'TRINIDAD'. I seem to remember reading somewhere that this was the "name" of No 74 squadron. Where would 'TRINIDAD' be marked on the Spit, and what size and color would it be?
    2) What color would the spinner be? Both the spits in Karl's profiles are black but I've seen others from that time period that are Sky and the plane currently has a sky spinner. Would it be Ok to use a Sky colored spinner?
    3) I'm going to paint on the codes. I've seen them gray in some sources and what looks like sky in others. Would sky be proper?
    4) Would there be any No 74 squadron markings or insignia in it?
     
  17. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    First off, the radio mast would almost certainly be the VHF type by then (the streamlined one).
    Trinidad (the country) had 'adopted' the squadron, and often sent gifts, and cash, which went into a Squadron fund. When applied, the name was painted in white letters, sometimes yellow, on the fuel tank cover just forward of the cockpit, I believe in four inch high letters. (Jan has my book, so I can't confirm this, unless he reads through the WW2 section !).
    However, due to replacement aircraft, and lack of time, this was not always seen on all aircraft. Certainly the first 'presentation' Spit, paid for by the people of Trinidad, had the inscription though, but i doubt many others did.
    The standard colour for spinners at the time of the Bob was 'Night' - slightly semi matt black. The Sky spinners weren't introduced until November 27th, at the same time as the Sky tail band.
    Code letters during the BoB were Medium Sea Grey, 24 inch high. Again, the Sky codes were introduced later, in April 1941.
    There were no Squadron markings or insignia, such as the Tiger's head (incorporated in the squadron crest), as this would have been a breach of security. No RAF fighters carried such identification, officially.
    Hope this helps.
     
  18. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Terry, I could not have asked for any more. That answers all my questions. The only thing else I can think of that I could possibly need is a scan from that book of yours of a pic of a no 74 squadron with the 'TRINIDAD" marking so I can try to match the font when I make the decal. Can you take a look when you get a chance Jan. Please!
    I can't believe how much I've already learned about the RAF during the Battle of Britain in the few days I've been searching out this aircraft!
     
  19. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Can't remember seeing a pic in the book showing the 'Trinidad' inscription Glenn, but no doubt Jan can check. I think I might have one on a later Spit though. But, as mentioned, few, if any of the Spits in the BoB carried the inscription, there just wasn't time to paint it on. This sort of thing started to happen once things had settled down a bit, in mid 1941, and even then, officially it was frowned upon, and only happened if there was a good reason, such as a whole squadron having it's aircraft (supposedly) supplied by presentation, where, for example, an English county or town raised money for the 'Spitfire Fund', which, of course. didn't neccessarily buy a Spit, it might have gone towards a Wellington. But, where possible, an airframe (or more) would be adorned with a suitable inscription, from a 'donor', when it went to the squadron concerned. Although 74 Sqn incorporated the name 'Trinidad' unofficially in their title, and IIRC, in the Squadron crest, their real 'name' was, and remains to this day, 'Tiger Squadron', from the Tiger's head in the crest, which was a legacy from the RFC Squadron in the First World War. Incidentally, they were one of the first two, then three Squadrons who got together, internationally, for what is now the annual 'Tiger Meet', where units from many countries who have a Tiger in their badge etc meet up for an 'exercise' and social event.
     
  20. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    That history which Karl supplied said it was marked "TRINIDAD" when it came to no 74 squadron and was also marked with the ZP code. I've seen this same history somewhere else on the web but can't remember where, so I think I will include it. I think it makes the subject a little more interesting too. I forgot to ask you earlier, Do you think it would have kill markings displayed? At that time the aircraft had scored two kills, but they were from two different pilots. Some how I think that maybe only the kill of the current pilot would be displayed.
     
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