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Hawker Typhoons 56 Squadron

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Hawker Typhoons 56 Squadron

Old 31st Aug 2019, 09:33
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Hawker Typhoons 56 Squadron

'B' Flight 56 Squadron detached to Tangmere and dispersed to Westhampnett where seen here late May early June 1942.

(Click on title for larger image)


Last edited by OUAQUKGF Ops; 1st Sep 2019 at 08:04. Reason: Correction
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Old 31st Aug 2019, 11:53
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That takeoff at 2'10" bears out what I was told years ago by an officer on my ATC squadron who had flown Tiffies.
He said the propellor disc was so large, if you raised the tail for takeoff you risked a 'prop strike' so you kept it in the 3 point attitude until you reached flying speed then when you hit a convenient bump which threw you into the air, you climbed away!
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Old 31st Aug 2019, 14:14
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When I was on 33 Sqn. in the seventies one of our pilots Tom Mutch, flew Typhoons in France. He said the after firing your rockets or suchlike when you opened the throttle to climb away the aircraft yawed so much that the German gunners, aiming in front of you, would send the shells all to one side.
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Old 31st Aug 2019, 20:25
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JD Oughton was on the first Typhoon squadron. He told me they found the torque frightening and his flight commander was killed when he crashed into a hangar on take off. A ferry pilot delivered a new machine to the airfield and JD questioned him about its characteristics. To his surprise the elderly ex WWI pilot said he found little difficulty apart from the forward view. He explained that on take off the stick should be slightly aft and the rudder pedals centralised. The brute was now tamed and largely without swing.. A little later they found that performance at altitude was poor and there were a number of structural failures, luckily cured by a stiffening band at the rear of the fuselage.
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Old 1st Sep 2019, 13:06
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He explained that on take off the stick should be slightly aft and the rudder pedals centralised. The brute was now tamed and largely without swing..
May I respectfully urge a word of caution when reading stories from those who have actually flown these and similar types. As we age and tell stories of our derring-do, it is inevitable we gradually start to embellish these stories without being aware of it. Soon, and with repeated telling of the same story, it is all too easy to fall into the trap of old age and believe what we are saying is really true, when it may be inaccurate. I have been guilty of that. Then when cross checked against my flying log book or diary notes the discrepancies appear.

The above highlighted statement about taking off in the Typhoon may be an example. In 1953 at the age of 21, and with a total of 210 hours in my log book, I flew Mustangs for a while. Within a year I flew three trips in a Sea Fury. Both types had powerful engines; the Sea Fury more so. Providing you didn't bash the throttle forward to the stops on the start of the takeoff run and/or try to raise the tail too early in order to get a better view over the long nose of these fighters, (and thus risk a strong swing due combination torque and gyroscopic effect), both aircraft were relatively easy to fly. Not forgetting that RAF or RAAF pilots flying these aircraft had probably previously flown Harvards. Or in my case, the Wirraway. These were first class training aircraft and well prepared you for more powerful types.

I find it difficult to believe that, as highlighted, the pilot could have his rudder centralised throughout the duration of the takeoff roll in the Typhoon and thus "tamed the Brute" The swing on take off which characterized these aircraft was easily held. Certainly that was so in the Sea Fury, so I presume the Typhoon with its less powerful engine should have been easily held providing good airmanship was applied.
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Old 2nd Sep 2019, 02:39
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What caught some of these pilots out was setting rudder trim in the same direction as their Merlin powered Spitfire/Hurricane. Prop turned in the opposite direction, may be an explanation to Blossy's hangar crash story.
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Old 2nd Sep 2019, 08:31
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In Pierre Closterman's book 'The Big Show', he describes his first take off in a Tempest. IIRC 'I drifted off the side of the runway and flew over the remains of No 5 hanger which had been demolished for similar reasons.,

Might not be totally correct; I haven't read it for over fifty years.
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Old 2nd Sep 2019, 10:57
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In late May 1942, as a result of a series of Luftwaffe hit and run raids along the south coast, 56 Squadron was detached from Snailwell to Manston ('A' Flight Gillam) and Westhampnett ('B' Flight Dundas). The coastal patrols that followed were the very first operational sorties by Typhoons. Whilst the Luftwaffe were conspicuous by their absence 'A' Flight lost two Typhoons (Sergeant Pilot Stuart-Turner killed) on June 1st when they were shot down by Spitfires south of Dover, having been misidentified as Focke Wulf 190s. At this stage of the War Typhoons were relatively unknown and further misidentifications and losses occurred. To minimize this risk Typhoons subsequently carried identification stripes. I have seen it said that one of the reasons the Pathe film footage was shot was to familiarize pilots with identification of the type. The photographs above were taken by Charles Brown on 21st April 1943 at Matlaske (Norfolk) 56 Squadron's base.

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Old 2nd Sep 2019, 13:34
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Photo Credit Military Wiki. Flight Global.
Further my last I've just come across this image of the Norwegian Flt Lt Erik Haabjoern (standing) with the 56 Squadron Score Board. This photograph was taken by Charles Brown 21st April 1943 at RAF Matlaske (Norfolk) the Squadron's base from August 1942 until July 1943. On July 30th 1942 Haabjoern , accompanied by 'Cocky' Dundas, was returning to base from escort duties with a failing engine when he was bounced by a Spitfire and shot down over The Channel. He baled out and was picked up.

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Old 2nd Sep 2019, 14:53
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Looking at your second image at post #8 above, it appears that the ailerons were not differential.

If this is the case I assume roll rate was considered more important than suffering adverse yaw.
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Old 2nd Sep 2019, 16:46
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They look differential to me, but why is it parked with the flaps down; to save time just in case of a scramble?
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Old 2nd Sep 2019, 16:50
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I think most WW2 fighters didn't use flaps for take-off but looking at other images the Typhoon looks like it did.

If they are not differential that down aileron has a lot of deflection.
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Old 2nd Sep 2019, 16:56
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They look down slightly...


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Old 2nd Sep 2019, 17:01
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The second part of the Take-off checks :

[color=left=#333333][ ] Throttle -- 3,200 rpm[/color]=left
[color=left=#333333][ ] Magnetos -- CHECK[/color]=left
[color=left=#333333][ ] Propeller -- CYCLE high rpm/[/color]=left
[color=left=#333333]low rpm/high rpm[/color]=left
[color=left=#333333][ ] Engine Instruments -- CHECK[/color]=left
[color=left=#333333][ ] Throttle -- 1500-1700 rpm[/color]=left
[color=left=#333333][ ] Flaps -- SET for takeoff (0-20 degrees)[/color]
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Old 4th Sep 2019, 10:17
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56 Squadron's C.O. Squadron Leader T.H.V. Pheloung RNZAF and his Typhoons pose for Charles Brown's camera between Cawston and Aylsham on April 21st 1943. See post 23 for update.
On 15th March 1943 Pheloung had abandoned his Typhoon over The North Sea after being hit by a flak ship. A Walrus from 278 Squadron Coltishall located him 35 miles off the Norfolk coast and picked him up. Pheloung was subsequently killed in action on June 20th 1943 during a low-level shipping strike.

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Old 6th Sep 2019, 16:13
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The trials and tribulations encountered with early Typhoon operations are well documented. My grateful thanks to Janine Harrington author of 'RAF Matlaske 1940 -1945 A Brief History' for allowing me to copy an extract from her interesting book.

A week after Typhoon R8825 was photographed (as seen above) her pilot had a lucky escape.


56 Squadron Typhoon DN265 US-B Sgt Driscoll

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Old 6th Sep 2019, 16:45
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Photo credit Forgotten Airfields Norfolk John. The last of the large brick and earth revetments was bulldozed away a year or two ago.


R.A.F. Matlaske delightfully situated in The Middle Of Nowhere Norfolk. Excellent today, as then for Dog walking.

Originally planned with three grass runways. The longest 1600 yds, the other two approximately 1300 yds. Prone to water-logging and described by Pilot Officer Harry Shaw (56 Squadron Tempest pilot) as having "A heck of a slope on it!"
A very busy fighter airfield (satellite of Coltishall) throughout the war. At its peak 2,500 personnel were based here. Airmen and NCOs were billeted at nearby Barningham Hall, first in the house and later, when The Hall was occupied by Officers, in the grounds. When 56 Squadron arrived in August 1942 the Officers, Airmen and NCOs were billeted in Itteringham village, the Officers at Itteringham Mill astride the River Bure.
'Cocky Dundas' the CO was a great dog lover. Subsequent to his departure on November 10th 1942 the following entry was made in The Squadron Diary? ' 29 November 1942 Appointment of a new Mess Officer (F/L Sutton 1489TT Flight) An enormous improvement in orderliness and cleanliness was soon noted. It had been difficult to tell it from a kennel with untrained dogs running all over, leaving behind signs of their presence.'

My thanks to Janine Harrison for allowing me to quote from her excellent book about RAF Matlaske.

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Old 8th Sep 2019, 19:15
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Cocky Dundas, Robin and other members of 56 Squadron at Duxford January 1942.



Robin, whose sudden appearance and over familiar behaviour outraged Air Vice Marshal Vincent on the occasion of an inspection by General de Gaulle at 59 OTU in October 1941. This together with his Master's unkempt appearance coupled with the split-arse formation flying demonstrated to the dignitaries by Dundas and his Free French trainees resulted in Cocky and Robin being given an immediate posting.

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Old 11th Sep 2019, 09:42
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Matlaske 1943. From the Log Book Of Flt Lt Andrew Magee. Canadian died 1990. Credit 'The Typhoon Project'
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Old 14th Sep 2019, 17:16
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'A' Flight 56 Squadron Matlaske December 1942. L to R: Sgt Magee. P.O.Stimpson. F.O.Myall. F.O.Rouse. F.O.Poulter. F.O.Deugo. Sgt Sullivan. Credit Alistair Goodrum/Ken Ellis. 'They Spread their Wings' with thanks.

Flying Officer V.G. (Roger) Poulter returns from a sortie in DN314. Matlaske Winter 1942-3. Sadly on the afternoon of 12th April 1943 Poulter was killed when his Typhoon failed to recover from a spin during dog-fighting practice near Oulton, Norfolk. Photo: Imperial War Museum.

Members of 278 ASR with Walrus Matlaske March 1942. The CO was Flt Lt (later Sqn Ldr) P.R. Smith (KIA April 1943) with dog. The unit moved to Coltishall in August 1942. Flt Sgt (later F/O) W.F. Sims sitting extreme right fished Sqn Ldr Pheloung from the drink 35 miles off Happisburgh, Norfolk when DN 314 hit by flak 15 March 1943. Extracted from: ' The RAF Air Sea Rescue Service' by Norman Franks with thanks.

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