R J "Dickie" Cork's Pedestal Sea Huricane

Discussion in 'Aircraft Markings and Camouflage' started by Glenn Sprouse, May 25, 2010.

  1. Glenn Sprouse

    Glenn Sprouse New Member

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    #1 Glenn Sprouse, May 25, 2010
    Last edited: May 26, 2010
    Good Afternon Everyone:

    In my continuing research into the siege of Malta (an ever expanding modeling project) I have run into another markings snag that I am hoping members of the forum can help me with. This deals with the Hawker Sea Hurricane flown by Lt Cdr Richard John "Dickie" Cork when he shot down five in a day during the Pedestal convoy to Malta in August 1942. I'll star by telling everyone what I know.

    R.J. Cork was CO of 880 NAS flying off HMS Indomitable at the time of this operation. The aircraft he flew was Sea Hurricane Mk.Ic Z4642. Theis plane was essentially a Sea Hurricane Mk.Ib refitted with the four cannon wing before being deployed with the fleet. According to one of my sources, this aircraft was the only cannon armed Sea Hurricane in the squadron, maybe even in the whole operation. What I know about the markings covers the cammo and squadron marking but I do not have the individual aircraft letter. I have included a rough profile covering what I know about the aircraft...
    [​IMG]

    If anyone has any more information on this particular Sea Hurricane, I would really appreciate any help you can offer. Thanks!

    Glenn
     
  2. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    mmmm...another interesting project! Sorry I can't help Glenn....will look back with interest though!:D
     
  3. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    just read in Schiffer's Britain's Fleet Air Arm in World War II that Cork's Hurricane was so badley dameged on his last sortie that day that it was tossed over the side after landing, so if you can find a list of losses for that day "12 aug" then you might be able to find out.
    the book didnt mention any details of the aircraft other than it was the only cannon armed Hurricane sorry !
     
  4. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    just found this in Osprey's FAA in WWII
     

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  5. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Good find there Karl!:D
     
  6. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    shame there's no picture though
     
  7. Glenn Sprouse

    Glenn Sprouse New Member

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    Thanks Rochie!!!!!!!

    That solves all of my problems. I had read that the aircraft was so badly damaged that it had to be cast overboard. It was tough fighting but it was also one of the Royal Navy's finest hours.

    Again, thanks for all of the help!!!!!!

    Glenn

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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  9. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    If it helps in Malta the Spitfire Years on page 491 they are clear that on his last flight of the day his Sea Hurricane was badly shot up by two Italian fighters but that he was flying Z7093 as his favourite Z4642 was under repair.
    On page 489 in the previous flight it mentions that he received two large holes in the wing from the gunner on a Cant Z1007bis which ties in pretty well.

    This means that L was a different aircraft Sorry
     
  10. Glenn Sprouse

    Glenn Sprouse New Member

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    Hey Glider, that confirms some other conflicting information that I had. I have a book on Aircraft of the FAA and it just lists serial numbers, general information and final dispositions of the aircraft. This book , aqnd all the others link Cork with the Z4642 Sea Hurricane Mk.Ic but it also states that the aircraft was eventually retired, not discarded for damage on 12 August. All other books that I have place Z4642 as being the damaged aircraft that was put over the side. However, they also agree that he wad definitely flying a cannon armed Hurricane. He also made at least two diffrent flights that day, if not three. Prehaps the earlier flights were in Z4642 and that aircraft was in need of repair forcing Cork to use Z7903 later in the day, which was in turn the aircraft that was put over the side.

    More info to research on! Thanks for the info Glider. I'l look into it!

    Glenn
     
  11. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I find it interesting that he liked the Ic as its performance must have been pretty poor. On the other hand the increase in firepower was considerable
     
  12. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    no probs Glenn, glad i could help
     
  13. Glenn Sprouse

    Glenn Sprouse New Member

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    Here is some information to confirm what I guessed at about Z4642 and Z7903. The following two sections are from the book "Fleet Air Arm Aircraft from 1939 to 1945" by Ray Sturtivant, I.S.O. and Mick Burrow. This book is a 480 page listing of all the serial numbers of every aircraft in the Fleet Air Arm and their dispositions during their careers.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This confirms that Cork flew two aircraft during the operation. Z4642 in the morning for the majority of his claims on 12 August and Z7093 for his last claim that evening. This would fit with the fact that Cork had to expend the majority of his ammunition on his last kill of the day. If Z7903 was a Mk.Ib with .303's then they would not have had the hitting power of Z4642's 20mm cannon. It would also explain why he as able to shoot down more aircraft in the early engagements of the day. In fact "Britian's Fleet Air Arm of World War II" by Ron Mackay states the reason for R.J. Cork's success was because of the cannon armament of the Mk.Ic which would agree with Glider's statement in his last post.

    This leaves us with the codes on these aircraft. I believe that Cork's chosen aircraft would have been Z4642 because of its armament. Most books seem to focus on Cork's cannon armed Sea Hurricane as "his" aircraft, even if they miss the fact that he flew two diffrent aircraft during the day. If Osprey's FAA in WWII is stating that his regular mount was 7*L, then the chances were that this is referring to Z4642. But what about Z7093? There is a chance that this aircraft could have been 7*L, but being a quick replacement while Z4642 was being repaired, this aircraft has not been as well documented and probably is not being considered as Cork's aircraft in most books, if it is mentioned at all. Because of this, I will probably go with 7*L for Z4642 until I can get better information. Even the two sections from the book I posted here don't include the squadron codes.:cry:

    There is one thing that might help this. There is a biography on R.J. Cork that has been printed in England. I have not been able to get my hands on a copy as of yet, but if anyone has this book it might have information in it that could solve this question, on top of just being a great book to read.

    Again, thanks for all of the help!

    Glenn
     
  14. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Mmmm...this gets more interesting!:D
     
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