Spitfire repairs

Discussion in 'Aircraft Pictures' started by fastmongrel, Feb 6, 2016.

  1. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    No warm comfy workshop for these poor Erks.

    [​IMG]Spit by Stuart, on Flickr
     
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  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    It must have been hell trying to work on any aircraft, in the open, in all weathers, especially snow and ice. And then get back to a freezing, damp tent or, if really lucky, a draughty tin hut, with a small, pot-bellied coke stove the only heating, and the ablutions 1/4 mile away, with luxurious cold water to wash and shave in !
    It's little wonder that the average aircrew really respected and acknowledged the work of the 'Erks'.
     
  3. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    Would that be for training purposes, no codes?


    Geo
     
  4. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Possibly a new addition to a squadron, or to an overseas Depot (looks like it could be Europe, winter of 1944/45), awaiting application of codes.
     
  5. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    don't look like they are having fun....
     
  6. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Can anyone make out the serial? Black spinner and no Sky fuselage band. I agree that this is the winter of 1944/5, probably February, given the markings or lack thereof, but where?
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  7. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    I think i can make out 355 but not the preceding letters
     
  8. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    May be the number plate of the lorry can be helpful.

    registration.jpg
     
  9. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    I have tried playing around with editing software and I cant see the 1st letter clearly because of the shadow no matter what I do but I think I can make it out as SH 255. Though thats probably more wish than fact.
     
  10. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    MH355?

    That sort of fits.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  11. Snautzer01

    Snautzer01 Well-Known Member

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  12. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    Not sure what to make of the first number

    Capture.JPG

    Geo
     
  13. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Looking at the numbers on the lorry, it looks like it might be from 20 MU. The markings don't show a Fighter Command Group marking, such as F/11, but do appear to have a 2 TAF marking.
    Reading from the top:- Vehicle 'owner' (RAF), vehicle registration number, Group (TAF/84), and then what appears to be 2 MU (Maintenance Unit).
    So very likely Europe, possibly Holland, possibly late January early February, with the Spit for a 2TAF Squadron - black spinner would possibly indicate this, along with the bomb pylons. Note also clipped wings.
     
  14. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I'm not entirely confident about the structure of the 2nd TAF's support, but I do know that both 83 and 84 Groups had a Group Support Unit (GSU) back in the UK. These units held both replacement aircraft and pilots for the operational Groups. Replacement aircraft would be flown out to continental Europe from these organisations by replacement or ferry pilots. These aircraft would already have passed through a Maintenance Unit, being fitted with all the relevant government equipment (armament, radios etc) and with relevant tactical markings applied.
    IF that aircraft is at No. 2 MU then it is probably still in the UK.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  15. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Error on my part Steve - that should have read '20 MU'.
    However, I agree it could still be in the UK, although the roundel on the truck, and the work being done on the Spit, suggest to me that it could be on the Continent, if only because of the depth of work being carried out in the open, as opposed to in a hangar at a permanent MU.
    I'm not certain, but I believe the RAF roundel was only applied (to sides, cab rood or 'tilt' roof) to vehicles bound for the Continent. I have very little in the way of info on MUs, or Mobile Workshops, but I'll admit that I think 20 MU was a UK-based unit, on a permanent airfield, as I'm fairly sure I've seen it noted in such things as Spitfire allocation histories, such as published in the Shacklady 'Bible'.
     
  16. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    If anyone visits TNA then AIR 29/980, covering No.20 MU from establishment until 1945 would be worth a look.

    Description:
    20 Maintenance Unit, formed at Chalford, Aston Down, near Stroud October 1938; includes 5 Satellite Landing Ground (SLG) Berrow and 14 SLG Overley; includes misfiled ORB for 21 MU, Fauld February 1941 (UK).

    20 MU left both those SLGs by the period in question, but may have had a section elsewhere with limited facilities.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  17. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Good info Steve.
    Be interesting to find out where/when etc, but from the info you posted, it's likely to be in the UK.
    Amazing what one photo can do to promote curiosity !
     
  18. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Nice shot!
     
  19. BerryMORE

    BerryMORE New Member

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    As in my favorite movie.
    Dialogue between mechanics.
    - What is the most hard part of our work?
    - at minus 30 adjusting the engine.
    - No, most hard it's awaiting...
     
  20. peter benn

    peter benn New Member

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    Whatever the location, the situation is interesting. Plastic over the engine might indicate the heads are off the Merlin. Two Erks on the prop indicate an attempt to move the engine... no danger of it starting, because presumably everything's been disconnected. Is it seized?

    Is the landing gear retracted, or removed? Why?

    Presumably the plane landed with landing gear deployed, certainly a handy stand for maintenance.
     
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