Thursday, June 4, 2009

De Havilland Mosquito

Some great old footage of the Mosquito in action.

My father flew Wellington bombers from Sept '39 Jan '42 with No 75 (NZ) Squadron, then in Aug '42 he was posted back to New Zealand to do a tour of flying transport around the Pacific in Lodestars and DC-3 (C-47).

In Nov '43 he was sent back to England where he was offered the job of CO for 75 Squadron, which he turned down because he "Didn't want to miss all the fun!" He transfered to 487 (NZ) Squadron to have a go in the Mosquito.

No 487 (NZ) Squadron R. A. F. Hunsdon Mosquito Squadron ... Popeye 3rd from right.

Some photos I scanned out of our old family albums.

"Intruder" raid on railway work shop, Charleroi, Belgium. 12th April 1944.
11 second delay bomb hitting workshop.
Popeye's 20mm cannon fire has hit building on other side of light coloured paddock.
Tail wheel of Mosquito at top.

Flak burst.

Bomb going off.
With one engine shot out in the flack burst, Popeye climbed to 10,000 feet and cruised the 200 miles home at 180 knots on the other one.

Here is pure coincidence for you. When I posted this, I hadn't even thought of the significance of the 6th of June. If I'd had my head screwed on I would have saved it a couple of days to post it!

It took KG on Crusader Rabbit to remind me.

Below is a scan of my father's log book showing what he was doing in his Mosquito on 'D' Day.

Click to enlarge.
The red writing signifies night flying and the numbers in brackets are his ops tally.

R. I. P. Pop and all your mates.


KG said...

Nice post Wrat! Fascinating stuff, especially since I'm such a fan of the Mosquito.

WebWrat said...

They were a great aircraft KG. It's a crying shame that a heap of them were chopped up at Blemheim.

I saw a photo years ago of a guy standing on the wing of a Mosquito, chopping the engine out with an axe!!

WebWrat said...


Nemesis said...

An excellent post! The mozzie was a stand out performer of WW2 and used in photo-reconaisance, in which it was stripped of all weaponry, could outfly anything the Germans had, except the Me262.

The RAF still had them on the books into the 1950's!

Anonymous said...

Great post, excellent pictures!

Am also a big fan of the Mosquito,
especially the FB VI's.

What was Popeye's aircraft number and letter on that 12 April 1944 raid?

Am a model builder and would be a great subject...