St.Ives :: Armed Forces Day :: 28.VI.14

Found Simply Spitfire's MkIX MK805 occupying the town square today for the Armed Forces Day.

An overcast day with spots of rain as I arrived. A short, but impressive, display by the BBMF PR MkXIX PS915 made up for the cloud. Bearing in mind the restrictions to the view from the ground, due to the buildings, the pilot managed to stay visible and the growl from the Griffon reverberated around the town square.


Overhead :: 22.VI.14

Some of the traffic in my airspace today…
TFC Curtiss P-40F Warhawk 41-19841"Lee's Hope"

BBMF Spitfires heading home -  PR Mk XIX PS915...

…and LFIX MK356 marked as Mk IXc ML214, coded ‘5J-K’

The P-40F Warhawk returned later for some aerobatics...


Duxford :: 20.VI.14

Some views from todays dawdle around Duxford…

Shackleton now ensconced in H5 - snug fit! 

Something shiny awaiting 'glueing' together...

Hidden behind the wings...
Catalina doing some display practice...

Off we go...


PlaneTalk Forum to close.

Recent announcement made over on the PlaneTalk forum -

I think that the time has come to pull down the shutters on PlaneTalk after a long period of low activity.

Full announcement here.

Shame to hear this decision - thanks for the forum Rob.


Duxford :: 13.VI.14

Roger Niven (son of S/L John Niven) about to take to the skies over Duxford in one of Classic Wings Tiger Moths - R4922 - only 12 away from the DH82 (R4910) his father learnt to fly while at 25 EFTS in S. Rhodesia in July 1940!….


D-Day +4

S/L Niven had no entry for the 9th June.  Another early start for today in NH321 -

05.40 10/10 7000' 2 190's dived to deck E. of Caen. Chased one but 222 Sqdn got there first through intense flak. He pulled up, pilot baled out & landed in Caen suburbs. Kite hit deck in front of me. Other Hun beat it east.
10.35 Routine patrol 8/10 cloud over beaches. No activity.


Duxford :: 9.VI.14

Popped in today for a trog around and caught the arrival of something new for the TFC toy box…

Now confirmed as Curtiss P-40C Tomahawk 41-13357

Some other photos from today…


Call the roundel police...

Apparently letting the kids loose with paints on MH434 has upset some readers over on the Flypast forum!

D-Day +2

From S/L Niven's logbook for 8.6.1944 flying NH321 -

10.40 Weather fair. Nothing much doing. 8-9/10 cloud.
14.45 Weather good. 10/10 7000' No air activity. Emergency Landing Strip ready. Large explosions on beach at Oisetreham.
19.00 10/10 7000' relief late. 5 mins after end of patrol 12+ 109 bombers attacked Caen area from east. Gave chase till cloud of white smoke came from port ex. manifolds. Returned to Caen canal area. 12+ 190 bombers made abortive attack on ships. Chased one into cloud, hitting him twice on port side, then lost him. Flak from ships & land intense! Sqdn got 4 dest. 2 dam. making total 7 dest. 2 dam. since "D" Day. (1 Fw 190 damaged) 


D-Day +1

From S/L Niven's logbook for 7.6.44 flying MK862, MK960 & ML412

05.40 Alto stratus 10/10 9000' & 9/10 cumulus 1500'- 4000'. Battleships shooting at 190 dive bombers as we arrived. Chased 2 which passed over us at 8000' - couldn't catch. Chased several others. Like "good old days". Cumulus cleared 10m inland. 190's had long noses?
14.45 Weather much improved. Normal routine patrol. No activity in air. Caen in flames.
19.00 No cloud, but hazy. Smoke from Caen - 6000' & big blaze S of aerodrome. Warships bombarding Le Havre area. No joy!


6 June 1944 - D-Day.

Image courtesy Niven Family
70 years ago S/L John Niven DFC*, OC 485 (NZ) Squadron, spent the day flying Spitfire MkIXB MK862 on "Beachhead Patrol" - his logbook entries for the day...

05.35 First day fighters on patrol. Cloud over coast 7/10 1500' & hazy. Our troops approaching shore for first landing. Warships bombarding shore & Le Havre. Patrolled out to sea. No flak, no Huns.
10.35 Weather improved slightly. Landings made in St.Aubin area. Transports & tanks ashore. Heavy shelling from ships. Patrolled 1-6000'. No air activity.
18.50 Weather over beaches very clear with high cloud. Masses of bombers heading inland. Many gliders on ground near Bavent. Terrific bombing SE Caen. (Badly knocked about) On way home passed glider train stretching from Le Havre - 10 m. S Worthing.


D-Day poppies...

A local footpath has bloomed with poppies just in time for the D-Day anniversary...