Hurricane Markings / Biggin Hill

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by graham jones, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. graham jones

    graham jones New Member

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    Hi,
    Hopefully someone can help me.My father who has passed away served at Biggin Hill during WW2.
    He was ground crew.
    I have in my possesion a small water-colour painting of a flight of six hurricanes.The story he told me when I was a child was that the painting was painted by a fighter pilot and presented to my father.He then flew on a mission and was lost in action.The picture is not signed.
    I would like to know more about the painting.The markings on the side of the planes are - NV followed by a single letter.I am aware that the single letter depicts the aircraft itself,but could anyone give me some information about the NV markings.
    Hopefully someone can answer my question!
     
  2. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    79 Sqn based at RAF Pembrey

    Formed in 1917, fought in France and later in the Battle of Britain both occasions on Hurricane Is.
    Transferred to the Far East SEAC on later, cannon-armed Hurricanes before converting to P-47s. Disbanded at RAF Brawdy in 1992.
     
  3. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Nice work Colin.
    Here's a little additional information.
    The Squadron's Hurricanes were sent to France for ten days in May 1940. On May 20th 1940, 79 sqn were bsed at Biggin Hill, moving to Digby on the 27th May. They returned to Biggin on June 5th, operating from there until 2nd July, when they again moved, this time to Hawkinge. July 11th saw them at Sealand, near Chester, with a move to Acklington, Northumberland, on 13th July, presumably as a rest period, but also to take on duties for Northern defence.
    A return to Bigin was made at the height of the Battle of Britain, when the Squadron was based there from 27th August until September 8th. they then moved once again, this time to Pembry, Wales. Various moved followed up to the end of 1941, whilst preparing to locate to Far East, departing for India on 4th March 1942, arriving on 20th June.
    The Squadron was disbanded on 30th December 1945, and reformed with Meteor FR9's in November 1951, before receiving Swift FR5's in June 1956. This type was still in operation until December 1961, when the Squadron was re-numbered Number 4 Squadron at Guttersloh, (then) West Germany.
    However, the Squadron's codes at the time of the Hurricane Mk 1 were 'AL', the 'NV' codes being allocated in June 1941, when Hurricane MkIIB's were received.
    I'll need to do a search to find out which, if any, squadron used the 'NV' codes at the time of the BoB, unless someone has access to a quick cross-reference for codes/squadrons?
     
  4. graham jones

    graham jones New Member

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    Hi,
    Thank-you very much for your quick replies,very informative.
    I would like to find out some information about the unknown pilot artist,but I am sure that would be impossible [I do`nt even know his name and it wasn`t signed].
    Thanks again,and any more information about The Squadron`s time at Biggin Hill would be most welcome,or could you point me into the right direction for references.I know nothing about this side of my fathers life and clearly would like to know more.
    GRAHAM JONES
     
  5. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    You're welcome Graham. I'll carry on looking to verify the codes etc, and post any further info here.
    Terry.
     
  6. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Graham it may be impossible to find out the identity of the individual pilot/artist but there are some things that would help. For the pilot if you have a date (even approximate) for his loss it could narrow him down considerably. An even longer shot for a small water colour would be if any aircraft serials are visible. That is the number,on the fuselage, infront of and just beneath the horizontal stabiliser. You'd be surprised how accurately amateur artists familiar with their aircraft could be. The colours can help with dating. I'm guessing the two upper colours are brown/green rather than grey/green? Can you make out the colour under the wings? It may be "Sky" which is blue/green or a grey colour or even possibly black or white. Is there a light coloured (Sky) band around the fuselage infront of the fin? What colour is the propellor spinner? The style of national markings (roundels and fin flashes) can also be revealing!
    Don't give up too easily,you'd be amazed at what can sometimes,though not always, be divined.
    Steve
     
  7. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Very good points Steve. It might even be a picture of Hurricane IIB's, not at Biggin Hill. All the info mentioned by Stona (Steve) will be useful in identifying the squadron, probably the approximate time and place, and maybe even the pilot(s).
    Is there any chance of posting even a small pic of the painting? This would help enormously. If you're concerned about it being used, by all means watermark it or similar. With those NV code letters, there is a strong probability that the picture was painted after the Squadron's time at Biggin - maybe the pilot concerned re-visited, and gave the painting as a gift of thanks? Who knows, but any info might help.
    Terry.
     
  8. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Correction re Codes
    I've just re-cheked my references, and the codes used by 79 Sqn were indeed 'NV' at the time of th Battle of Britain.
    The 'AL' codes were introduced at the time of the Munich crisis, and were in use up to the outbreak of war, when all squadron codes were changed, in an effort to confuse the enemy.
    Apologies for the error, and any confusion caused!
     
  9. graham jones

    graham jones New Member

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    Hi,
    A big thank-you for helping me.
    I have emailed a scan of the picture,but it is a bit basic and I doult that you can get anything from it appart from the markings on the side.
    Regards
    GRAHAM
     
  10. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    No picture posted here Graham?
     
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