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|Signatures on this item|
Flying Officer Frank Wheeler DFC (deceased)
|Frank Wheeler joined the RAF in 1941, training in England as a pilot after which he completed a period of instructing. In January 1944 he was posted to join 174 Typhoon Fighter Squadron at Westhampnett, his first operation being as an escort to the Mosquitos taking part in Operation Jericho, the Amiens Jailbreak. He stayed with 174 Squadron for the remainder of the War, serving throughout occupied Europe, and in 1945, at the end of his tour of operations, he was awarded the DFC. We have learned that Frank Wheeler sadly passed away in early 2013.|
|Warrant Officer Jack Hodges DFC||Jack Hodges joined the RAF in late 1940, and after completing his pilot training in Canada he returned to England and was then briefly sent to a Photo Reconnaissance Unit flying Spitfires. He moved to a OTU in Annan, Scotland on Hurricanes before finally moving to a holding unit in Redhill, flying Typhoons. In 1944 he was posted to join 175 Squadron. Shortly after this he moved to 174 Squadron at Westhampnett. He served on operations throughout occupied Europe until the end of the war, being awarded the DFC in 1945 for successfully leading a group of Typhoons against a German Armoured Division.|
|The Aircraft :|
|Typhoon||Single engine fighter with a maximum speed of 412 mph at 19,000 feet and a ceiling of 35,200 feet. range 510 miles. The Typhoon was armed with twelve browning .303inch machine guns in the wings (MK1A) Four 20mm Hispano cannon in wings (MK!B) Two 1000ilb bombs or eight 3-inch rockets under wings. The first proto type flew in February 1940, but due to production problems the first production model flew in May 1941. with The Royal Air Force receiving their first aircraft in September 1941. Due to accidents due to engine problems (Sabre engine) The Hawker Typhoon started front line service in December 1941.The Hawker Typhoon started life in the role of interceptor around the cost of England but soon found its real role as a ground attack aircraft. especially with its 20mm cannon and rockets. This role was proved during the Normandy landings and the period after. The total number of Hawker typhoons built was 3,330.|
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